Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Learn the Hard Way

This past weekend we took the girls to get their hair cut before school started again. Jordan really wanted short hair this time and she argued with Ronnie about it all the way there. She wanted hair that looked like Dora the Explorer. I completely vetoed her having bangs, but I was willing to let her cut it that short. Ronnie wasn’t having any of it. Guess who won?


That photo was taken by Lake Pontchartrain after they got their hair cut. It had been years since Ronnie and I had been to that side of the lake so we stopped to check everything out. While we were there two huge airplanes flew over to land at the New Orleans airport. Needless to say, Brandon was just thrilled with that. I didn’t get a photo of them because they moved too quickly, but I tried! I did get this one. It just melts my heart. Aren’t they cute?


Then there’s this photo too. Saturday was a good photo day!


Somehow I even ended up in a photo. I’m sure you all know how rare that is because I am usually the one behind the camera.

Wearing jeans was not a smart wardrobe choice on Saturday. The heat index was 118! We stayed at the park for about 30 minutes before the kids started whining to go home. I don’t blame them! I didn’t know it was possible to be that hot. Ick!

The girls had their school orientation Sunday afternoon. I thought it was a bit strange to do it on the weekend, but I went to drop off their supplies. They had so much stuff I was afraid they would fall backward and be stuck there like a turtle on top of their backpacks if I’d have sent the supplies Monday morning.

As usual, there was a ton of drama with the school. Alexis’ teacher didn’t have her file and didn’t know she was supposed to have 504 accommodations. She knew nothing about her situation or her diagnosis which really upset me. She gave me her home phone number and asked me to call her that evening to explain. She was polite, and upbeat. I think she’s going to be amazing this year with Alexis. I couldn’t have been happier with her!

Jordan’s teacher was a whole other story. Jordan has been mainstreamed. Even though she has cerebral palsy she is super smart and is in “regular” classes with other kids who do not have special needs. I walked in to the classroom with her and the teacher said, “Oh, this must be Jordan.” She was not thrilled. I immediately got  the impression that she was not happy to be teaching a special needs child. She didn’t address Jordan at all. She handed me a huge pack of papers to fill out. I started asking her questions about the arrangements to meet Jordan’s needs. Not only did she not have Jordan’s file, she hadn’t read her IEP, and she only knew she was “some sort of special needs child”.

I asked her who was going to remind Jordan to go to the bathroom every 2 hours because of her overactive bladder. She said, “Oh, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that at all.” I wish I could type a tone of voice so you could hear the way she said it. SO condescending and completely disinterested. I finally told her thank you for her time, and proceeded back to the front office where I asked to speak to the principal. I told her everything that had happened, and that I was extremely disappointed with the lack of preparation. I was under the impression when we did last year’s IEP that she would have an assistant in the class room to help Jordan.

I have to give credit to the principal. She got upset too, and walked me back to discuss things with Jordan’s teacher who did the IEP last year. Her teacher from last year was horrified. She apologized profusely for the new teacher not telling me that the special needs classroom was across the hall and that I needed to go talk to them too. The new teacher was informed that she was supposed to tell me to go to the second class. At this point I was still very upset. I felt like Jordan’s new teacher had omitted that information purposefully. I feel like she thinks Jordan is an inconvenience, and if that’s the truth then she should be ashamed of herself for judging my beautiful, bright child beforehand.

The principal then walked me back to meet with the 1st grade special education teacher. When we passed the regular education class with the principal, and the new teacher saw her with me she got an astonished look on her face. Then she started stuttering and said, “I totally forgot to tell you to go over there.” I don’t believe her at all. I spoke to the special education teacher and the assistant, and they relieved all of my fears. They will be watching out for her and popping across the hall every two hours to bring her to the bathroom and help her change if she needs to. They’ll get her off of the bus, and help her carry her lunch tray. The special education teacher told me that she had discussed all of this with the regular education teacher so she DID know.

Monday morning we woke up bright and early. I got the girls up a little earlier than normal because I wanted to get some photos of them dressed up for their first day of school. Aren’t they sweet? They love each other! (For now. LOL)


This is my favorite one photo I took. They were holding hands waiting for the bus to turn around at the end of the street.

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I am watching the school situation very closely with Jordan. It hasn’t improved much at all in the past two days. I have barely any contact with Jordan’s regular education teacher. The homework assignment sheet she sent home yesterday was convoluted and completely unclear. I am really worried that she’s not going to treat Jordan well. Jordan says that she likes her class, and that she’s making friends. I keep telling myself maybe the regular education teacher was just having a bad day. I really hope so. I’m really thankful that the special education teacher and assistant will be popping in and out of the classroom so much to keep an eye on Jordan.

*Don’t forget to stop by Ideas for Scrapbookers to see my post on using Basic Grey’s Max & Whiskers paper!



Amanda Sevall said...

First, I must say I LOVE the new haircuts!! The girls look adorable -- your kiddos are so cute!! You're a good mom Heather. Jordan is lucky to have you watching out for her. Hang in there with the teacher. Hopefully it will get better and at least you have the special ed teachers across the hall watching out for her like you would. It's unfortunate that she's treating Jordan and you this way. :(

Cindy d said...

You are a wonderful advocate for your children. I'm so glad that the principal, special educators, and last year's teacher are on your side in case things don't improve. When does your son start school- is it 2011-2012, or the following year?

JadeCook said...

sorry to hear that! I hope the school situation gets better! I love all the pics! even the one you are in!

Heather Landry said...


Brandon is only three, so he has two more years before kindergarten. We don't qualify for him to go to preschool because "we make too much money". LOL

Heather Landry said...


I really love the haircuts too! They are so much easier to deal with in the morning. I'm hoping it gets better too. If it doesn't, I'm going back to throw a huge fit.

kim said...

love your photo together, you look beautiful. I too hate to be on my

but your dd's hair is cute!

ugh i am so worried about my son going to 1st grade too with his special needs.

from my expereince, your first gut reactions to a classroom or teachera re probably true. is ther any way that you could get her in a different room/teacher ?

hope things get better.

Elizabeth said...

What a post! I love the Dora Haircut on J she wears it so well!

OMG about that teacher, I know you're completely on top of the situation but don't deal with a bad situation all year like I did last year, it's taken me all summer to get dd willing to even right her name!

Hugs for everyone!