Schrodinger’s School

The other day, I joked to Austin that “first grade is like the black box on an airplane. We’ll only find out what’s inside when it crashes.”

In some ways, I think no news is good news. I’ve had very brief conversations with the school psychologist and with the special education teacher who supervises Andrew’s classroom. It sounds like there’s not much to say because the things going on are the things we expect. But I’ve found myself missing the daily communication that came with preschool and kindergarten.

When I pick up Jordan from preschool, his teacher always lets me know how his day was, even if it’s just a quick “great day today, buddy!” directed at my son. When it’s a more complicated day, she tells me about the specifics.

This week, though, I had one of those phone calls that I was a little surprised I hadn’t received in the last six weeks. Andrew’s gym teacher called me.

“I just want to start by saying that Andrew is fine. He hasn’t been injured. Parents are always worried when I call,” she began.

Her list of concerns about Andrew’s behavior in her class was exactly what I would expect. He fails to follow directions, doesn’t attend to tasks, and can’t keep his hands to himself.

“Yes,” I said, “those are definitely the kind of challenges Andrew has in a classroom.”

It’s why he has an aide in his classroom, but it sounds like the gym teacher isn’t really kept in the loop on that. Actually, it sounds a little like she’s left in the lurch with no assistance.

I couldn’t help feeling that she expected me to have a solution for her, something I would say that would fix the problem. It’s something my best friend and I had talked about just the other day, too, that we’re just not shocked enough when teachers call us.

“I swear to god,” she said, “the next time his teacher calls me, I’m just going to say, ‘My son is autistic?!?! I had no idea!'”

It’s hard not to feel like you’re falling short as a parent when people keep looking to you for solutions that you don’t have.

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About Mark

I'm a stay-at-home dad with a husband and two young sons. When I'm not driving the kids to school or camp or swimming lessons or cleaning up bathroom accidents, I try to remember to update my blog.

Posted on October 16, 2012, in Parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I clearly don’t know you, but reading through your blog postings I highly doubt you are falling short as a parent. Listening to my sister-in-law and other parents that I know that have young school age children, it seems to me that some of these teachers are so just overwhelmed that they are losing their patience and energy for kids that really need extra guidance.

    • I think part of it may also just be a natural progression as my son gets older, and the changed dynamic of him taking the bus. When you see the preschool teacher every day at pickup, you have little conversations. Now that he takes the bus home, I only see his teacher at events.

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