Friday, January 17, 2014

How do you like THEM apples?

The kids came home with report cards this month. For the second quarter, Alex received straight As!!! It was so awesome to see her excited little face. And, for me, it illustrates just how much difference a teacher can make when it comes to handling a child with diabetes in the classroom. 

Last year...
  • Alex was struggling in almost all of her classes, even her usually "easy" A in reading (she reads about 2 grade levels ahead).
  • Alex was receiving a LOT of zero papers - for missing or incomplete work. She said she was in the health room for a lot of it and didn't get a chance to make work up. 
  • We had to meet with Alex's teacher several times to review her IEP and discuss the challenges with little improvement.
  • I had a child who started to "hate" school.
  • Alex was punished multiple times for not having her agenda filled out (because she was in the health room when the rest of the class was filling it out) and for having trash under her desk (kicked there by her neighbor after she left class for the health room at the end of the day).
  • I had to play nice but feel frustrated at the teacher's excuses that there are too many kids in the classroom (indeed 38 kids is a lot) AND that she couldn't possibly always catch Alex's missing work as being excusable - it was Alex's responsibility to speak up AND that it's okay for kids to grade Alex's papers which is where a lot of zeros came from because kids didn't care that she was in the health room!
 This year...
  • I've met with Alex's teacher THREE times total and all were for normal conferences, etc. - no necessary meetings because of a problem with her IEP being followed.
  • Alex LOVES school again.
  • Alex has not received a negative in her binder since day one - she had never had a negative before last year either. So were back to what I knew to be true about Alex's good behavior in school.
  • Alex received 1 B and the rest A's for first quarter and ALL A's for 2nd quarter! 
I am thankful for an understanding teacher and an awesome school nurse. I'm also thankful to have a daughter that genuinely cares about doing well in school. Her dad had promised her a new American Girl doll if she came home with straight A's about a year ago - trying to encourage her especially in math where she was getting a C for a while. This week...she got her doll. 

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