Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meet Me In The Lounge

This morning Hubby and I took Miss 10 to school together. We had a meeting scheduled, an IEP, to discuss Miss 10. I have heard other parents really dread their IEP meetings, but I have never felt that way. This time I made Hubby come with me. My reasoning is this, if I die someday soon in some weird accident, then he needs to deal with these meetings and all those little things that come with having a child with learning disabilities, ADHD, etc. He needs to know what to expect and who he will be dealing with. Her problems aren't just going to go away, they'll continue for her entire life. He was pretty quiet throughout the entire meeting, but now he knows what to expect, right?

Our meeting took place in the teacher's lounge, basically a room the size of a mid size bathroom with an eight person table in the center, a microwave stand in the corner and a chairs pulled close together. Teacher's lounge doesn't conjure up that image does it? Our parochial school doesn't have a lot of funding for much as far as a nice secluded relaxing spot for the staff.

Besides Hubby and I the meeting consisted of Miss 10's classroom teacher, Mrs. J., the school principal, Mr. L., the LD teacher, Mrs. B., and the head of our local special ed, Mrs. C. Mrs. B and Mrs. C are both new to their positions this year, they have not dealt with Miss 10 in any way before this. Mrs. J. is a veteran teacher who both my older kids loved with abandon. The principal has been helping with Miss 10 for years, and knows her fairly well by this point.

I go into these meetings fairly nervous, not dreading them, but nervous anyway. At home Miss 10 is a yo-yo on a string. She jumps around, she talks non-stop, she's always got a story to tell and she can't get it out fast enough. She is emotional, nervous, jittery at times and we usually tip toe around emotions and are just waiting for the next meltdown. Every year I wait for these aspects of her personality to start causing problems in the classroom. So today, after we had gone over background information, that was again the first question I asked, "Is Miss 10 a problem in school or in class?" Other than Hubby and I everyone started to laugh, and all said the same thing, "are you kidding? She's a joy/angel/sweetheart." And then I melt just a little because I am so relieved!

Today's meeting was productive in many ways. We struggled until third grade just to get her tested so she was eligible for services. Last year the LD teacher was worthless, there was no progress made by her with Miss 10 in any manner. This year we wanted to be sure to get a headstart with areas she struggles with.
I was so impressed with the new LD teacher, she is a former classroom teacher with many years of experience, and the new head of special ed (I hate that term) happened to graduate from college with me, and I really like her. Hubby and I are hopeful that things will be much better this year.

Meetings that are full of so many different people typically produce few results, and I don't know how the results will be long term for this one, but I have high hopes. This meeting felt like a group of friends, Miss 10's friends, all trying incredibly hard to find ways to help her, to make school less of a struggle and more of a success. No one made us feel like we weren't doing enough at home, instead the principal made a point of telling everyone how very hard we work at home to get Miss 10 through each year successfully. As the meeting progressed ideas were flowing from everyone, and they all had such good things to say about Miss 10 and what she is capable of accomplishing.

We are lucky to be at a school the size of ours, to be at a school where teachers and staff know the students who go there. The people at our school not only have to help, they want to help, they have genuine feelings for their students, they care about their home life and they work with them not only on school work, but with any aspect of their life that a student might struggle with. Hubby and I are fortunate to be able to send our kids to a school with so much to offer. They may not have a lot of money to work with, but they make up for it in many other ways. Happy Love Thursday everyone!


Anonymous said...

TWO THUMBS UP!! It sounds like the meeting went very, very well. Congratulations! Not all IEP meetings are so successful.

DeeAnn said...

I'm so relieved to hear things went so well. What good news!!

Lo said...

"I asked, "Is Miss 10 a problem in school or in class?" Other than Hubby and I everyone started to laugh, and all said the same thing, "are you kidding? She's a joy/angel/sweetheart.""

That's fantastic to hear! Often the kids are worse at school than at home because they can't get the individual attention they need to help them stay on track.

You are a teacher's dream of a parent. It's great how much you work with her and how you stress the importance of education. You would be surprised by how many parents don't.