Yeah sure, I’ll talk to him

I got a call from one of my kid’s teachers today. It was the same story I’ve heard many times before. This time it went something like this:

Teacher: “Your son has been told numerous times to come into the class and put away his books. He consistently fails to do it in time; he’s too busy talking.”

Me: “Yes, he told me he had 5 points deducted because he had his book in his lap.”

Teacher: “Yes, it’s supposed to be inside his desk or at his feet.”

Me: “Oh, ok.”

Teacher: “I give them all a couple of minutes to put away their things in the beginning of class, but your son never pays attention to the time.”

So that’s when I tell them in the shortest length possible, I know. I know he’s unable to do anything in the exact time alloted. He daydreams, he fidgets, he creates things with paperclips etc…but never what you ask him to do right that second. Then I apologize and tell them I’ll talk to him. His story is entirely different, but there are still enough similarities to see and sympathize with the frustration he’s feeling.

We can go on and on that it must be our parenting; he must listen and instantly obey. But…he’s not going to. The reason I know this is because his father is the same way.  He doesn’t even hear half of the things going on around him. He, like my son, can observe the tiniest object in  a place no one would ever look and remember its exact placement, but realize the person in front of him is on fire — no way. They could both instantly recognize a tree has lost 3.5 leaves from a certain branch they walked by the other day, but if you asked them to hand you a pair of scissors they will forget by the time they reach the drawer. Meanwhile they’re contemplating where those 3.5 leaves could have gone. And if they did go somewhere it was probably some far off land…

You know, the far off land where only “artsy” people’s minds wander. I imagine it looks something like The Yellow Submarine movie or a Van Gogh painting.

I know it must be annoying if you’re a teacher. I know it is as a mother and as a wife. It’s annoying to me because I am so firmly planted in this world… I’m a complete and total stressed out mess. There is no wandering to a far off land; I’m too busy worrying about the dirt that’s right under my feet.

And you know what? I’ll never be an artist. I’ll never “see” what these people see. I’ll never live in their far off land. And you know what? That Sucks for me.

The more time goes by the more I realize, public school doesn’t teach you anything but the basics and if you’re “special” in any sort of way it’s just something  hopefully you can deal with and still come out of with at least a speck of self-esteem.  Basically, school — you suck.

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6 responses to “Yeah sure, I’ll talk to him

  1. I could not have said it better myself Juliet. Public schools are falling short in so many areas right now.

  2. I TOTALLY relate. It’s hard to ‘forgive’ the thing about them that makes them so special. If you haven’t already read it, there’s a book called Driven to Distraction by Hallowell and Ratey. It was very insightful for me, but it sounds like you already have that part. Matt read some…until he got distracted. Then he read it again…until he got distracted. Then he was stuck in a room in ‘extras holding’ for 10 hrs with nothing to do and had only that book, so he finally read it all. He came home and apologized to me for everything. Imagine my surprise!
    Anyway, if you figure out anything that helps, PLEASE pass along your tips. Last year we were lucky with Kaylin’s teacher. So far so good this year, but I’m sure we’ll eventually get a teacher who doesn’t understand how the distracted function, and how wonderful they can be if you lower your expectations of ‘following the rules’ and give them more time than others to get used to a routine.

    • I’ve never found anything that seems to work except a different school environment. I looked at going back to private schools and after my heart attack from chasing my wallet down the street, I realized we’re fucked! I just keep giving him props…while yelling at my husband to concentrate :))

  3. You are so ont the money with all of these blogs! (So Kyle!! and me also I must admit!!) Look for a Charter School..they are everywhere and there is only a small fee or nothing as they are government supported…I wish I had known to go that route…too much money on Private schools!! The problem there is always a waiting list! Otherwise what anout the tennis schools…he loves tennis and they play all day and go to school he could try out? Love you, K

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