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Middle School teachers - grrrrr!!!

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Catiesmom, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Catiesmom

    Catiesmom Approved members

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    Middle school has been something of a challenge with 6 different teachers, having a locker and staying organized. We had to have a conference with all the teachers at the beginning to explain diabetes and that Catie's diabetes is different from Allison's (another CWD) who is in high school now. Otherwise the teachers have no clue.

    But then the math teacher cuts no breaks, at all. Not only did they put Catie in 7th grade math, only 6 6th graders in that class, but they schedule the class first thing in the morning, right when we have a breakfast spike, everyday. Doing everything we can to get that spike down, at least it peaks out at 300 and comes back to normal within 2 hours and doesn't go over 400 anymore. But this teacher doesn't get it. We had to conference with her twice so far, explain the blood sugar thing again. I suggested Catie wasn't placed correctly in math this year. Nope, not gonna change her class.

    Then the teacher has to assigns these "Problem of the Week" problems that are so hard even her dad and I can't figure some of them out and we both took calculus in college. WTH. So I helped Catie on these and now my handwriting is one them and Catie gets 0's for them and has to do other make up problems. My bad. Next time Catie will recopy whatever answer I can come up with so she gets some credit for them. These problems are stupid and way too much work on top of the regular nightly problems that we have to do.

    I'm not asking for a break because of the diabetes, just that this woman consider that these amount of homework she gives all the kids is excessive. I know nothing will change but it feels good to vent.

    __________________
    Catie, 11 and growing fast
    dx 6/19/09, Animas Ping since 9/28/10, Dexcom since 10/14/11
     
  2. Becky Stevens mom

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    Im sorry:( You know, that really stinks! I know you want your daughter's middle school experience to be a positive one and it doesnt sound like this teacher is helping with that. And math in itself is just plain hard, well, for me it was. Does Catie have a 504 plan? If so, you can arrange a meeting to discuss putting in the plan that Catie's blood sugars need to be within a certain range or she doesnt feel well and is unable to concentrate with highs or lows.

    And about helping with the homework. Definitely write it down yourself and have her copy it. My older boy used to get 4 hours of homework when he was in 5th grade and I finally stepped in and helped him out most nights so he could finish in 2 hours. I do think that some teachers, not all, but some really love to give lots of homework. I dont know if it makes them feel like theyre doing a better job or what:confused:
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I wouldn't even discuss placement with a classroom teacher. Call the principal and insist on a meeting to understand how the placement was done and what evaluation mechanism is used when a child isn't doing well. As for the class time, I don't think there's anything you can do about the schedule unless there is another section of the same class meeting at a different time of the day - and even that would be disruptive.

    If you don't have a 504, get one. If you have one, call a meeting to revise it to deal with the issues that are arising with the middle school transition.

    Good luck.:cwds:
     
  4. pancake111

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    If I were you, I would go to the guidance department because they are in charge of all of the scheduling. It's weird for a 6th grader to be in 7th grade math. And if she is having a really hard time, it really makes no sense to keep her at that level.

    Also, what is she eating in the morning? Cereal tends to make your blood sugar spike.
     
  5. swimmom

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    She can't be the only math teacher. I know teacher quality & personality vary widely at our school. Maybe a transfer??? To a class that isn't 1st period?
     
  6. MommaKat

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    I'm sorry you're going through this, and share your pain. My son, nonD but struggling with post concussive syndrome from a TBI last year is in H.S. math in 8th grade (he too did 7th grade in his first year of middle - not strange depending on the district.) They put him in with the worst teacher, one they know I've been tutoring kids from for the last 15 years. He's terrible, and I don't understand why they continue to protect his job. I've gone as far as the superintendent about a change in placement as my son is more than capable but currently at a D. There is no modeling, no explanation, just a very quickthis is how I do this problem, now do these pages. The man collects homework once a week and does not grade it. We've argued about homework (my ds also has a 504, and h.w. modification is part of that.) I believe homework needs to be meaningful, and it isn't meaningful if you're not using it to provide immediate feedback (for the teacher AND the student.) More than enough research shows that 'practice' cannot be the only purpose, because if it's not being done properly, or isn't explained AND understood well enough, all the student is reinforcing are misconceptions and possibly incorrect procedure.

    The school hasn't and won't change anything. My ds is so frustrated and overwhelmed that he's now getting C's or lower in all classes. You just don't take a kid with a TBI and put all electives before lunch, with all content after lunch - plain dumb planning.

    Similar problem with dd - she has A's on all her work, but she's missed time for D, and despite her 504, every single teacher has marked her work down, taking her down to Bs for late work and absences. I'm so mad I could spit nails. I couldn't understand why she wasn't placed in 7th grade math, and found out they didn't b/c of D. I want to pull my hair out.

    When schools dig their feet in and refuse to work with you, it's time to bring in an advocate. After the break, that is exactly what I'm doing. I'll bring in an ADA advocate for dd and the neuropsych for my son - things will change. I've done the polite but assertive approach - it's mid year, and at this point school's should have identified and responded to problems - that's response to intervention (RtI - mandated by NCLB). If your dd's teacher won't respond, you as a parent are an equal stakeholder in your daughter's education, and you have the right to ask that her placement be changed. (not nec for a different teacher, sadly.) I hope you come up with a solution, and as a teacher who LOVES math - the homework you describe sounds insane!
     
  7. akgiauque

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    I am confused is this a diabetes issue or a personality conflict with the teacher?If it is diabetes adjust the 504 if you have one if you do not get one. Make adjustments, if she is in 6th grade she is 12? And you are about to get if not already some hormonal issues with puberty and Diabetes.
    If it is the other do what you have to do.
     
  8. Heather(CA)

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    Is there another class she can move to? :(
     
  9. GaPeach

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    Can't help on the Middle School part as ours is the best ever. Total cooperation from teachers, nurse and adminitration.

    However, I may can help a little on the breakfast spike. I notice that you are on the Ping. We have our DD's basal rate increase about two hours before wakeup to allow her nighttime target BG to get to the daytime target before she eats breakfast. It made a huge difference in the spike when starting at a better number.

    And pre-bolus breakfast too.
     
  10. Beach bum

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    But then the math teacher cuts no breaks, at all. Not only did they put Catie in 7th grade math, only 6 6th graders in that class, but they schedule the class first thing in the morning, right when we have a breakfast spike, everyday.

    Have it in her 504 about class timing. Have your endo write a note explaining the impact of high bg's on her problem solving skills and how morning math isn't a good fit. They do a blended math program at our school too, it's for the kids who are really excelling in 6th grade math and can meet the challenge of 7th.




    But this teacher doesn't get it. We had to conference with her twice so far, explain the blood sugar thing again. I suggested Catie wasn't placed correctly in math this year. Nope, not gonna change her class.

    Don't even bother with the teacher. Go to administration/guidance, discuss what I mentioned above.

    Then the teacher has to assigns these "Problem of the Week" problems that are so hard even her dad and I can't figure some of them out and we both took calculus in college. WTH. So I helped Catie on these and now my handwriting is one them and Catie gets 0's for them and has to do other make up problems. My bad. Next time Catie will recopy whatever answer I can come up with so she gets some credit for them. These problems are stupid and way too much work on top of the regular nightly problems that we have to do.

    We have to write on our kids "done with help." This way, the teacher can see the trouble spots and know that the kid really is struggling and not that a parent just did the problem. Not saying you did the problem without showing her, it's just that there are parents who do do this.

    I'm not asking for a break because of the diabetes,
    But you are asking for an accommodation, and this is where the 504 needs to come in and this is why guidance/administration needs to be involved.

    just that this woman consider that these amount of homework she gives all the kids is excessive.
    What do you consider excessive?
    My kids, in MS, 5th grade have math 4 nights a week, usually 40-50 minutes worth of work per night.
     
  11. swellman

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    What does the spike have to do with math or vice versa? .... I'm missing something.
     
  12. Heather(CA)

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    I think she is thinking that the breakfast spike from food is affecting her cognitive abilities? Meal spikes don't affect Seth that i can tell...Not sure about other kids:confused:
     
  13. Style mom

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    This is what I assume too. I've not noticed that meal spikes affect my son's cognitive abilities either.
     
  14. emm142

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    It's definitely possible. Highs impair my ability to do math in particular (I haven't seen it so much with other subjects).
     
  15. Michelle'sMom

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    Any spike affects my dd's cognitive ability, whether from a meal or otherwise. Math in particular is very difficult for her when BGs are high.

    OP, I sympathize. I wish I could offer advice, but I'm in a very similar situation here. I hope you can find a way to work it out.
     
  16. Nancy in VA

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    Its not unusual in our school system for the advanced students to be in 7th grade math in 6th grade - they typically have enough students though that the entire class is 6th grade.

    That said, our school also schedules the advanced classes near the beginning of the day. I actually think its because they allow homeschoolers to enroll in up to two classes and math is often one of them - and by scheduling them first thing in the morning, it makes it easier for outside students to do just that class and then leave.
     
  17. MamaBear

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    This is true for my son as well. Yesterday during his online schooling he took 3 tests in 3 different subjects with a good BG. The results were 100%,98% and 85%. An hour after lunch he took a test in the same subject which he had earlier scored 100%, only this time his score was 50%. :( His BG was 288 at that point. So yes for some spikes most definitely do affect cognitive ability. :(
     
  18. swellman

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    I was unaware of that ... I will definitely keep an eye out for this phenomenon.
     
  19. Catiesmom

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    Here's some more info: we are in a catholic school, there is only one math teacher for all 6 classes of math (2 for each grade, 6, 7, 8) and based on a placement test given at the end of last year they decided her best fit would be in the advanced group. So we could switch to 6th grade math, but it would be the same teacher. However it would be at a different time of day.

    Switching to public school would be way too upsetting. The school is huge, over 1000 kids in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. She wouldn't know anyone, and believe me, this would upset her whole world and make things a million times worse. As for going to the administration, they would just bring the math teacher in and get her opinion. Back to square one.

    Breakfast spikes definitely make her more unfocused. Now last year she had math first thing in the day and because the 5th grade teacher was more understanding, it was not an issue.

    We do have the basals raise two hours before breakfast and the ratio is the highest all day and we prebolus. These things have all helped. And she never eats cereal or poptarts. Usually some carb like whole wheat toast, with eggs, sausage, yogurt (sugar free). We tried lower fat and upping the basals but that gave us lows before lunch.

    The 504 or physician's order that they follow affects gym class only, but we see the endo this week and will ask for something in writing about blood sugar readings and that first class of the day/performance at any time with a high blood sugar reading. The nurse taking on the math teacher with a doctor's order would be more effective (and fun to watch!!). The nurse took on the gym teacher last year which was funny. The gym teacher totally lets Catie do what she wants now.

    We are also going to see about trying Apidra.

    As for the homework, she will definitely now copy it into her own handwriting if she can't figure it out and I help her (which I will). The whole point of a private school is the increased parental involvement and success of the students.

    She's looking forward to college when she can take fewer classes at a time:) That's only 7 years away.

    Thank you all, it's the best knowing we're not alone.

    Catie, 11 and growing fast
    dx 6/19/09, Animas Ping since 9/28/10, Dexcom 10/14/11
     
  20. caspi

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    I'm confused. Are you saying that your private school depends on the parents doing their children's homework so the kids can be successful? :confused: I don't see how this is going to be of any help to them when they get to high school or college. If your daughter is unable to do the homework because she doesn't understand something, she needs to let the teacher know this and get the extra help or tutoring she needs. Doing her homework for her is not going to help her in the long run.

    I would also like to add that both my sons are in public school and parents are VERY involved.
     

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