Monday, March 4, 2013

Teacher Trouble

   Things were going very well at school for Mikey and the boys in his class. Unfortunately, I have learned that all too often, when all seems well, something else is bound to happen. As we headed towards the end of the school year, we received word from his school that his teacher would not be returning the following year.
    Now, we were never told why, as the district was trying to respect the privacy of the teacher, but we were told that the change would be immediate. That meant that the school only had a short time in which to find a replacement. They started to interview immediately, and we anxiously waited to hear the news.
   When a replacement had been found, we were called to set up individual meetings with the new teacher in order to provide her with some information about our children, and to voice any concerns we might have had. Personally, I liked the teacher who had left abruptly. I thought she did a pretty good job with the boys, and they seemed comfortable with her. I felt badly that she had up and left, but it was out of my control. So, I waited for the date of  my meeting, and was eager to meet her replacement.
   Well, let me just say this.... I had a bad feeling from the moment I met her. She reminded me of a combination of Rachel Ray and Rosie O'Donnell. She had ,it seemed to me, a "bully-like" quality. She was nice,but not overly friendly, and we spoke briefly about Mikey. I was very curious to know what her qualifications were, because the school was not providing us with much information. What I did find out was that her prior experience included training aides who worked with children who had autism. I was not very impressed.
   When I left my meeting, I couldn't help but think that the district made a rash decision in hiring her due to time constraints. However, I kept my opinions to myself and let things happen as they would. School started up again, and Mikey went in happily,as usual. A few months in, we noticed that the head-banging began again. He seemed to be a bit frustrated at times, and we were concerned. At first, we thought maybe just the teacher change that  had caused it. He had been so used to his old teacher, maybe he was having difficulty adjusting.
   I was called in for meetings on various occasions, and each time I met this teacher, I disliked her more. Again, I just felt she was a little too" rough around the edges "to be working with this group of children. I was not getting any sense of genuine kindness, or love of her job from her and it made me uncomfortable. One day ,I was called in to observe the class. This was something that the school did from time to time. When I came in, the class was filled with aides, along with the speech teacher and the new teacher. The teacher was going over the days of the week with the boys. She was standing in front of the desk of a boy that Mikey had known from preschool..a very sweet,happy boy. As she asked him what day of the week it was, he did not initially respond, because he was busy fiddling with his shoes. The teacher then, bent down,grabbed his feet,pulled off his sneakers, and threw them at the wall behind her.She then slammed her hand on his desk and said" Now, tell me what day of the week it is!"
   I could not believe my eyes or my ears. All I could think was did I just see what I thought I saw? I was livid....I stared at this woman with the nastiest expression possible, and looked around at all of the other adults(aides,speech teacher), in that room, and could not understand how this was going on with noone saying anything. At that point, I wanted to speak my mind, but I did not want to upset the boys.When her little episode was over, she behaved as if nothing had happened, but I was furious. I left the classroom,with Mikey,  in a state of shock. In retrospect, I know I should have approached the principal immediately, but I needed some time to process it all.
   When I arrived home, I told Mike what I had witnessed, and while I was not looking to have anyone lose a job, I could not let this go. Perhaps this type of behavior was the reason Mikey was banging his head again. I made a call to the class consultant and told her what I had experienced while in the class. I explained to her that if this person behaved like this with a parent in the room, I could not even imagine what she was capable of when no other parent was there. I also expressed my disappointment at the other ladies in the room for not coming forward and expressing concern over this erratic type of behavior. She assured me that she would make sure the complaint went to the right people.
   Before long, we were informed that there would be another teacher change. However, it did not happen right away. A few moms in that class even received calls from this person begging them to speak on her behalf. All I know, is that whether or not the reason for her dismissal had anything to do with what I witnessed, this person did not belong in a room with these innocent boys. I had a bad feeling about her from the get go,and unfortunately I was right. This, is why I have difficulty trusting some people that work with my son. I always go with my intuition, and it has not worked against me yet.To see someone taking advantage of the fact that these children were unable to go home and tell their parents what went on was simply disgraceful. My only regret is that I was not present to watch her walk out of the doors of that school for the last time. I would have been more than pleased to show her the way out.


  1. Is the school where Mikey is in a special school?

    And wow, since parents and obersevers were there, I thought she'd be at her best behavior and be plastic. Plastic, yes. Since when there are observers, teachers would be very nice and seem stiff. And they're nice even to those students who always misbehave and irritate them. Haha.

    1. Sorry for the typos. I'm using my phone.