Friday, September 23, 2011
Wednesday was my team meeting with the eighth grade teachers. I didn't sleep much the night before. I woke feeling sick. I sent an email out to my prayer warriors:
I have been wrestling with all of the fear, disappointment and heartache that we have gone through in the last eight years. I am going over and over in my head how this meeting will play out. I know His grace is sufficient. I know I need to trust in Him with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. But still, I am approaching Nineveh and I just want to run. I tell Amanda all the time, we need to be asking what does the Bible say about this topic and what would Jesus do. Now I need to just hear my own words.
Then I went to work. On Wednesdays, I clock in at 8 am and then clock out around 9 to go to Bible study until 11. I asked for prayer and then sat and cried on two of the ladies shoulders. I love these ladies!
From about 11:30 to 12:30 I covered a couple of classes and assisted. Then I left to come home, change and have the Big D. Twice.
I arrived at the middle school ten minutes early. I looked up a verse in my car before going in.
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
OK God. You will go first and you won't leave me. (Exhale).
The meeting started with a question from the support specialist. She asked if the issue was Amanda completing her homework. That launched me in to my description of Amanda. I said she can complete the work but getting it from my house to their classroom is another issue. I talked about how sweet Amanda was, using my molasses analogy. I told them that she was three weeks early and has and never will be early again. I told them that at the end of the year she will have driven them crazy and they will be bidding her farewell. Most of the time the teachers laughed at my comments. I think that was a good sign.
The social studies teacher is amazing. He said that he grades on ability not whether she can bring a pencil to class or bring an assignment to class. The English teacher disagreed. The two of them almost got in to a fist fight. That's when I suggested we move on and cross that bridge if we come to it.
The 504 Plan requests seemed so silly when they talked about what goes on in their class. They said that if she missed three assignments they would be contacting me. They said they meet and discuss patterns of behavior of their students. So if Amanda was doing poorly in science, the teacher would see if she was also doing poorly in another class. They would be looking for red flags.
At the end of the meeting the English teacher stayed behind to talk to me. She apologized if she came off as offensive. She said her son has ADHD so she understands my struggles. She said he went to college and excelled. I was so relieved because my first impression of her was not a positive one.
I am not certain what happened last year. But I certainly learned my lesson. The key to a successful year is communication with the teachers. There are some parents who never meet their child's teachers. Those are the students who just do well. But I believe that we have so much to offer to each other. I love building relationships.
I left the building thinking "this was the best 45 minutes that I have spent in the last EIGHT years." I have probably had about three meetings a year, if not more. I have probably had about TWENTY FOUR meetings for my daughter.
(Oh and did I mention that no one seemed bothered to go the extra mile for my child because it was in their contract?)
I feel so blessed with the fact that my daughter has needed extra help. I have had people praying for us for years. I have met some wonderful educators. I have been blessed with my bible study ladies and friends (especially Ellen and Allison). I know that this rain will help someone else in their struggle.
I KNOW that this year will be Amanda's best year EVER!