Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: cityslicker on January 09, 2013, 01:31:02 PM

Title: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cityslicker on January 09, 2013, 01:31:02 PM


I sometimes struggle with the line between personal and professional when it comes to my kid's teachers.  I want to be professional, I want them to be professional, they ARE professionals...and yet, my kids are very personal to me. 


I like some advice about if it's ever appropriate to make it personal with a teacher when being professional is not getting you what your kids need.  This incident happened a year ago, but it feel it still has reverberations through my kids school experience.  I struggle with wanting to apologize, try to make it right, but have been cautioned by someone I trust that this would be interpreted as admitting wrongdoing.  So I guess my question also includes the question of how to acknowledge and move on. 

To try to be brief, say my son has purple disability, in which it is commonly understood that some difficult behaviors can be attributed to symptoms of the disability.  Purple disability has a set of treatment techniques that are widely understood to be effective and are well known. 

His (new to him) special education teacher began applying techniques to him that are commonly understood to be effective with pink disability, but are 180 degrees different than techniques used for purple disability.   I felt that these pink techniques were detrimental to my son.  They included some physical restraining, which my son perceives as panic inducing rather than soothing. 

I spoke with her many times about this, and discovered in speaking with her that she did not know even the most basic information about purple disability.  She assured me she was learning about it as quickly as she could.  This problem persisted through the school year.  I spoke with her.  I spoke with her immediate supervisor.  I spoke with her director.  I spoke with the school principal.  I got nowhere, and was encouraged to be patient and work with her.  I requested that he be assigned a different teacher, and this was denied.  People listened, but it all kind of had the feel that I was complaining too much and didn't want to see my son disciplined. 

Finally, I was venting to a friend one day (this was months into this problem).  Her sister used to be teacher's coworker- just one of those small world things.  Friend shared with me that teacher had left her previous employment, working with pink disability, because she wanted to become a director of various disability programs in the future and the one hole in her resume was that she had no experience in working with purple disability.  Talk about information I didn't really want to know. 

We plugged along for another month, until she told me her plan for the next year was to divide his behaviors into volitional and non volitional behaviors and send him home from school early for volitional behaviors, which is a pink disability technique.  I asked how she planned to do this as she does not have any training in purple disability and she told me she planned to train in purple disability over the summer.  She also shared that she had not trained in purple disability over the school year as she had been busy. 

I, unfortunately, blew up at that point and told her very emotionally that I was aware of her career aspirations, that I was aware that she was using this job as a resume builder, and that my son was not going be her training experience.  She wanted to know who had told me that, which I did not share.  She did not deny that this was correct information.  She started crying and we left, both in tears and angry.

I spoke with both of her supervisors in the next few days- the immediate supervisor to be told that we were getting a new teacher, because current teacher felt that I had attacked her personally and felt she was no longer able to work with me, and the director, who told me that I had not kept the discussion on a professional level and had "made it personal."

We got a new teacher, who was experienced in purple disability, and things almost immediately got much better, where they have remained to this day.  Old teacher has clearly talked to several people at the school, who have referenced in passing the difficulties she and I had.  I'm concerned about this, but also really wonder if I shouldn't have "made it personal"?  I have considered apologizing to her over the last few months but keep coming back to the fact that this is how my son was able to get what he needed.

Plus, I keep thinking "yes, I made it personal.  It is personal!"

Thanks for reading this novel, I'd appreciate any counsel.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: lilihob on January 09, 2013, 01:49:02 PM
Did you swear at her?
Did you physically touch her?
If you can honestly say no to these questions, you did nothing wrong.
She let your child down, she wept when you busted her on why she was letting your child down.
I feel that she is the one making it personal by dragging others into your disagreement.
A teacher once tried to force my child to "mentor"(baby-sit) a disruptive child. She admitted this made her life easier. It did not make my child's life easier. I put a stop to it. Children go to school to learn and be supported by the adults, anything else is not acceptable. The child's only responsibility is to do their very best.
She was using your son to practice on, whether she was bolstering her resume or not.
 A student teacher is only acceptable if you can see they're visibly improving. She was obviously failing him.
Do not apologise for advocating for your child.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Moray on January 09, 2013, 01:51:14 PM
I'm not sure why you're using "made it personal" as shorthand for "yelled at her".  :-\

First: I absolutely agree that you should (and have every right to) take things up the chain if she is not giving appropriate treatment to your son for whatever reason. That said, you had no right to yell at her, and I think your comment about her career aspirations was out of line for the simple reason that it was a personal attack, and also indicated that you'd been researching her/gossiping about her.

I know this sounds harsh, but you did yourself (and your son!) no favors by unloading on her. Now the school's focus may  be on your emotional outburst and finding another teacher who you don't have a "personality conflict" with, instead of finding someone already qualified to treat your son, or providing the existing teacher with the help and training she needs to be effective.

ETA: I misread; I see now that they've already brought in a new teacher.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: lilihob on January 09, 2013, 01:58:21 PM
I'm not sure why you're using "made it personal" as shorthand for "yelled at her".  :-\

First: I absolutely agree that you should (and have every right) to take things up the chain if she is not giving appropriate treatment to your son for whatever reason. That said, you had no right to yell at her, and I think your comment about her career aspirations was out of line for the simple reason that it was a personal attack, and also indicated that you'd been researching her/gossiping about her.

I know this sounds harsh, but you did yourself (and your son!) no favors by unloading on her. Now the school's focus may  be on your emotional outburst and finding another teacher who you don't have a "personality conflict" with, instead of finding someone already qualified to treat your son, or providing the existing teacher with the help and training she needs to be effective.

I think I messed up the quotes :-[
" This problem persisted through the school year.  I spoke with her.  I spoke with her immediate supervisor.  I spoke with her director.  I spoke with the school principal.  I got nowhere, and was encouraged to be patient and work with her.  I requested that he be assigned a different teacher, and this was denied."

I missed the yelling part, that was unfortunate, but OP did try to deal with it nicely, months went by, no progress til she did lose her temper. She admitted to doing no research, why is it the OPs son's job to teach her?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Steve on January 09, 2013, 01:59:57 PM
You did fine, you got done what needed to be done. You should be really proud of yourself for helping your son this way.

In my opinion, an unqualified teacher should not be responsible for a special needs child alone. It is fine that she wants to learn, but it should have been under the supervision of an experienced teacher. You told the truth and obviously struck a nerve. You were obviously right, no apologising for being right imo
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Moray on January 09, 2013, 02:02:41 PM
I'm not sure why you're using "made it personal" as shorthand for "yelled at her".  :-\

First: I absolutely agree that you should (and have every right) to take things up the chain if she is not giving appropriate treatment to your son for whatever reason. That said, you had no right to yell at her, and I think your comment about her career aspirations was out of line for the simple reason that it was a personal attack, and also indicated that you'd been researching her/gossiping about her.

I know this sounds harsh, but you did yourself (and your son!) no favors by unloading on her. Now the school's focus may  be on your emotional outburst and finding another teacher who you don't have a "personality conflict" with, instead of finding someone already qualified to treat your son, or providing the existing teacher with the help and training she needs to be effective.

I think I messed up the quotes :-[
" This problem persisted through the school year.  I spoke with her.  I spoke with her immediate supervisor.  I spoke with her director.  I spoke with the school principal.  I got nowhere, and was encouraged to be patient and work with her.  I requested that he be assigned a different teacher, and this was denied."

I missed the yelling part, that was unfortunate, but OP did try to deal with it nicely, months went by, no progress til she did lose her temper. She admitted to doing no research, why is it the OPs son's job to teach her?

Where did I say it was the OP's job to teach her? I very explicitly said that she had every right and responsibility to advocate to her son. However, and this is a big "however", yelling was not appropriate. It was rude. Full stop.

That doesn't mean the OP isn't entitled to her feelings. That doesn't mean she doesn't get to cry and be frustrated. But yelling at the teacher was a personal attack, and it was rude.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 09, 2013, 02:03:58 PM
I'm not sure how this discussion couldn't have taken on some type of "personal" angle.

She "personally" had no training in dealing with your son, therefore, she could not professionally help your son. 

Her lack of training has an effect on your son "personally".

If you blew up at her and started calling her names, then I can see the director's point about you making it personal.  But really, I think you should just be glad you were able to finally convince them to get an instructor in with the necessary training needed.  And if anything, the Director should be apologizing to you for allowing the issue to go on so long that it ended up in an emotional blow up for both of you. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 09, 2013, 02:04:02 PM
Did you swear at her?
Did you physically touch her?
If you can honestly say no to these questions, you did nothing wrong.

I think one can honestly say no to those questions and still have behaved badly. Yelling isn't appropriate, that's why people apologize when they lose their temper. We are all only human, but you have to own up to your mistakes. It doesn't sound like either you or the teacher did, cityslicker.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: WillyNilly on January 09, 2013, 02:04:42 PM
I completely disagree with Moray. You clearly did your son a huge favor by getting personal because your son is now getting the education and disability support he needs and is entitled to.

I also don't see why you, as a parent, which is a personal role,should be expected to act professionally. The teacher is a professional but your role *is* personal - her career (making things easy, her experience, etc) are not your responsibility, your responsibility is to your son and that is a personal role. Sure its great and preferable when your personal goals and needs mesh well with the teacher's professional goals and needs but that still allows they are vastly different roles.

So long as you didn't sabatage her career, I think you were 100% fine. You tried the "official" route of talking to her and her superiors and it didn't work and you needed to do *something*. If they didn't want it to come to you making personal, they should have fixed the problem before it came to that.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Moray on January 09, 2013, 02:07:32 PM
It's a fact of life that sometimes (don't tell the kids!) tantrums work. They just do. That doesn't make them polite.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: JustEstelle on January 09, 2013, 02:13:58 PM
I don't know where you live, OP, but Texas law is such that, if a parent of a special-needs child requests changes in the child's IEP, which might include a change in teachers, the ARD committee has no choice but to try at least to bring such needed changes to pass.  It sounds like the teacher, her supervisors, and the school administration all let you and your son down last year.  The first time you requested a change, something should have been done.

From what I can see, you really tried to work with them and you tried to go up the chain of command to get things made right for your son.  It's unfortunate that you were made privy to some information that you probably shouldn't have known.  And unfortunate also that you blurted out that you had that information when the teacher refused to work with you.  However, I don't think you did anything wrong.  I don't think you're "hard to work with."  The other teacher was using your child as a guinea pig and it shouldn't have happened.  At all.

I don't think I'd say anything to that teacher. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: WillyNilly on January 09, 2013, 02:16:34 PM
It's a fact of life that sometimes (don't tell the kids!) tantrums work. They just do. That doesn't make them polite.

But I don't think yelling is always rude or impolite either.
OP asked nicely, it didn't work. She spoke to someone else nicely, it didn't work. She waited patiently. She did everything politely as she was asked to and none of it worked.
I don't think reacting to be being pushed around is rude.

I mean its impolite to punch someone, right? But when its in self defense because they are actively attacking you its not impolite. Its impolite to yell in most cases, but not after asking calmly and repeatedly and getting zero results.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: lilihob on January 09, 2013, 02:19:32 PM
RE Moray, I messed up the quotes, I didn't mean to infer that you thought that the OP had a responsibility to the teacher.
I thought that the school did, that's why they were refusing to help until it all blew up.
I agree that if emotional=shouting that was unfortunate.
I also agree that

"It's a fact of life that sometimes (don't tell the kids!) tantrums work. They just do. That doesn't make them polite."

I too would have had that tantrum.


missed out a line+ I can't spell.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: alkira6 on January 09, 2013, 02:20:03 PM
Okay, as a teacher who does teach special needs kids, this woman was totally in the wrong. Even if you disregard the whole stepping stone thing she was doing with your son, you still went through months of frustration and stonewalling because this teacher was not doing her job.  Really, yelling was rude.  However, in this particular case, I can see why frustration made you go there.  Unfortunately, as you can tell by the rumors, the yelling put it back on you and her failure was completely whitewashed with the label of "personality conflict". Please tell me that you documented all that you did to get the problem resolved before the yelling, because you will probably need it later on if you have a problem.  Knowing schools the way I do,you have been labeled a problem parent and will need the ammo.

PS - Do not apologise. At this point it would do nothing but validate to her that she did nothing wrong and she is likely to spread this to the same people she told about the yelling.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 09, 2013, 02:28:23 PM
I, unfortunately, blew up at that point and told her very emotionally that I was aware of her career aspirations, that I was aware that she was using this job as a resume builder, and that my son was not going be her training experience. 

As I see it, this is the portion where the OP made it personal - a personal issue between OP and the teacher.  As Moray pointed out, this shows the OP was gossiping about the teacher and/or researching her, both of which don't look great for OP, IMHO.  And, frankly, I don't have any problems with the teacher's aspirations or desire to build her resume at all.  For example, I am one of several in-house attorneys at my company.  It is well known that I have aspirations to be President or General Counsel of the company some day.  That doesn't mean I do not take my current position very seriously - I think ambition shows that I do because I wish to prove myself worthy of my aspirations.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 09, 2013, 02:29:17 PM
It's a fact of life that sometimes (don't tell the kids!) tantrums work. They just do. That doesn't make them polite.

But I don't think yelling is always rude or impolite either.
OP asked nicely, it didn't work. She spoke to someone else nicely, it didn't work. She waited patiently. She did everything politely as she was asked to and none of it worked.
I don't think reacting to be being pushed around is rude.

I mean its impolite to punch someone, right? But when its in self defense because they are actively attacking you its not impolite. Its impolite to yell in most cases, but not after asking calmly and repeatedly and getting zero results.

It's ok to punch someone in self-defense because that is a situation that etiquette simply doesn't apply to. Same with yelling at someone when they're about to get hit by a bus or something. But it's never polite to yell at someone just because you're pissed off at them.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 09, 2013, 02:29:48 PM
The thing about teachers and other professionals becoming qualified is that there is absolutely no other way to do it than hands on experience. She wanted to work eith all sorts of disabilities, she recognized the gap in her experience was in that one area and she set about to get ecperiemce. That is not a bad thing, that is not a devious thing, it is nothing anybody should be attacked over  Her bosses allowed her to be assigned her that student, when it was made clear there was a gap in her training they neither moved her nor made sure she was getting extra purple training.

OP, I do think there was some fault in your corner. You characterized her aspirations as bad. You complained that she intended to learn by eorking with your sin. I promise the very best teachers he has ever had got.that way through.learning and practicing with student after student. I do think that if you felt she needed more/brtter training and supervision the people to talk to and the ones to blame were above her head.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: DaDancingPsych on January 09, 2013, 02:33:06 PM
Polite or not, I am at a loss of what more you could have done. This woman was not qualified, it was not working, and no one was listening.

I agree that at this point, apologizing would only “prove” that this teacher was right. I think you would be better served focusing on your son’s current situation, so that the new teacher labels you as an “awesome parent”. While I don’t work for the education system, I imagine that the majority of the communication that they get is negative. Since this new teacher is working, you may want to voice that. Don’t mention last year’s issues, but do mention how you appreciate this or that of what is working now. I think it would be better use of your energy.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: bah12 on January 09, 2013, 02:40:56 PM
Yeah, I agree that it's not necessarily a bad thing that the teacher wanted to fill a gap in her work portfolio, and hands-on really is the only way to that.

That being said, things weren't working out with your son and as a parent, you have every right to advocate for him and insist on change if necessary.  Your child is the most important thing and it's personal for you, so I don't necessarily blame you for getting frustrated and losing your temper.  I think it's unfortunate though, that it had to come to that.  Ideally, your concerns would have been heard and addressed by the teacher and the school long before this point and you wouldn't have had to get to the point where you yelled at her.

So, while I agree that yelling is rude and it would have been nice had you not done that, since it wasn't your default reaction to this teacher, and given the circumstances, I can give you a pass.  At this point, I wouldn't do anything about it.  It's done. 

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: MrTango on January 09, 2013, 02:41:37 PM
As long as you were not violent with her, I can't fault you.  She failed to become appropriately trained to deal with your child's disability, despite having promised to do so.

If anyone brings it up with you, focus your remarks on how much better your child is doing with [new teacher].
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: otterwoman on January 09, 2013, 02:43:14 PM
My take on it is that the administation knows they should have moved your child, and that they didn't listen to you and they are trying to make you feel bad about making the teacher cry, so they get you to forget they failed you and your child.

Your son is doing better with the new teacher and her methods. Just concentrate on working with her as best as you can.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: mj on January 09, 2013, 02:47:44 PM
I completely disagree with Moray. You clearly did your son a huge favor by getting personal because your son is now getting the education and disability support he needs and is entitled to.

I also don't see why you, as a parent, which is a personal role,should be expected to act professionally. The teacher is a professional but your role *is* personal - her career (making things easy, her experience, etc) are not your responsibility, your responsibility is to your son and that is a personal role. Sure its great and preferable when your personal goals and needs mesh well with the teacher's professional goals and needs but that still allows they are vastly different roles.

So long as you didn't sabatage her career, I think you were 100% fine. You tried the "official" route of talking to her and her superiors and it didn't work and you needed to do *something*. If they didn't want it to come to you making personal, they should have fixed the problem before it came to that.

I agree with this. 

And IMO, there is nothing wrong with a teacher getting hands on experience to boost their resume.  But this teacher was in over her head, knew it and didn't take up training -- all while knowing she was not serving her students best interests.  This was clearly only a bullet point in her resume, not a learning experience.  As well, the school knew that the teacher was not in the best interests of the student and with plenty of knowledge and time, did nothing about it. 

The school and teacher made this personal first.

Yelling and calling someone out does not always automatically = rude in my book.  This was not bad service one time at a restaurant.  This was about a childs well being, health and education that was clearly being neglected or outright mis-handled for a long period of time.  These are the situations where you need to raise your voice to be heard.  Well done.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: buvezdevin on January 09, 2013, 02:51:22 PM
It is not clear to me that the OP yelled at the former teacher, she "blew up" andspoke "emotionally" which might have included yelling, or might have just been ... Emotional.

Being "emotional" rather than calmly "professional" in this situation is pretty understandable.

To those saying that this teacher or any teacher needed to work with purple disability kid(s) to build her skills or experience - that is true, but *only* after the teacher responsibly obtains the training and knowledge *needed* to work with purple disability.  The fact that this teacher was assigned *without* having that training is pretty appalling.  Even the teacher acknowledged to OP she had not done such training, because she was too busy (???) for the previous year.

OP, I am glad things are now better for you and your child.  I agree with others that not offering an apology seems best, not least as it seems none has been offered to you by a teacher and school leaders who let you down for a full year.  Best wishes establishing a productive, appreciative and supportive relationship with the new teacher.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 09, 2013, 02:53:16 PM
The thing about teachers and other professionals becoming qualified is that there is absolutely no other way to do it than hands on experience. She wanted to work eith all sorts of disabilities, she recognized the gap in her experience was in that one area and she set about to get ecperiemce. That is not a bad thing, that is not a devious thing, it is nothing anybody should be attacked over  Her bosses allowed her to be assigned her that student, when it was made clear there was a gap in her training they neither moved her nor made sure she was getting extra purple training.

OP, I do think there was some fault in your corner. You characterized her aspirations as bad. You complained that she intended to learn by eorking with your sin. I promise the very best teachers he has ever had got.that way through.learning and practicing with student after student. I do think that if you felt she needed more/brtter training and supervision the people to talk to and the ones to blame were above her head.

But the teacher acknowledged that she had not yet even taken training on her son's disability.  I agree that real knowledge comes with experieince.  But before a professional is let loose to gain the experience they should have had the basic training. 

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: WillyNilly on January 09, 2013, 02:54:21 PM
It's a fact of life that sometimes (don't tell the kids!) tantrums work. They just do. That doesn't make them polite.

But I don't think yelling is always rude or impolite either.
OP asked nicely, it didn't work. She spoke to someone else nicely, it didn't work. She waited patiently. She did everything politely as she was asked to and none of it worked.
I don't think reacting to be being pushed around is rude.

I mean its impolite to punch someone, right? But when its in self defense because they are actively attacking you its not impolite. Its impolite to yell in most cases, but not after asking calmly and repeatedly and getting zero results.

It's ok to punch someone in self-defense because that is a situation that etiquette simply doesn't apply to. Same with yelling at someone when they're about to get hit by a bus or something. But it's never polite to yell at someone just because you're pissed off at them.

But I don't think this was the OP simply being "pissed off" - this teacher was actively harming the OP's son - using disapline techniques proven to stress and upset him, hindering his education, etc. This yelling was directly related to defending her child.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: SPuck on January 09, 2013, 02:54:53 PM
I think the teacher should be blamed and that her aspirations were misplaced and way off. There is hands on training, but there is still a certain level of skills and procedures she needed to know before taking on this student. I wouldn't expect a traditional medium art teacher to suddenly start teaching Photoshop and Indesign without taking a course themselves.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 09, 2013, 03:00:02 PM
I have never seen any school where a teacher has the authority to asdign themselves, that would include special education teachers. Any administration who assigned or agreed to assign her and then kept her there when there were proplems should have arranged for.some professional development or changed the assignment. By not doing eithr  they at.the.very leasy sent her a message of approval. They might eben have loaded her up with othet PD  that kept her busy.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: yokozbornak on January 09, 2013, 03:02:01 PM
I completely disagree with Moray. You clearly did your son a huge favor by getting personal because your son is now getting the education and disability support he needs and is entitled to.

I also don't see why you, as a parent, which is a personal role,should be expected to act professionally. The teacher is a professional but your role *is* personal - her career (making things easy, her experience, etc) are not your responsibility, your responsibility is to your son and that is a personal role. Sure its great and preferable when your personal goals and needs mesh well with the teacher's professional goals and needs but that still allows they are vastly different roles.

So long as you didn't sabatage her career, I think you were 100% fine. You tried the "official" route of talking to her and her superiors and it didn't work and you needed to do *something*. If they didn't want it to come to you making personal, they should have fixed the problem before it came to that.

I agree with this.  You did what you needed to do to help your child.  In my opinion, it's not your responsibility to be professional, it's hers, and she failed miserably at it.  I am glad your son is getting what he needs now.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: MariaE on January 09, 2013, 03:03:38 PM
I don't see where it said that the OP yelled? Blowing up =/= yelling.

OP, I definitely don't think you should apologize.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: camlan on January 09, 2013, 03:05:11 PM
I once yelled at a doctor because after a week of treatment for a specific problem, my father wasn't getting better. I was sure Dad didn't have problem A, but that he had either problem B or C. A week of polite, patient questioning and suggesting things to the doctor had done nothing to change the doctor's mind.

The morning after my "temper tantrum," there was a parade of different medical personal in and out of Dad's hospital room. Two confirmed that Dad did not have problem A. A few others figured out that he did indeed have problem B. After 24 hours of the correct treatment, Dad was 75% improved. He was discharged from the hospital in five days.

My brother has a child with physical disabilities who requires a one-on-one aide in school. One year, Nephew had a toxic aide. My brother and SIL tried to work with the school for five months, attempting to get the aide the proper training to work with Nephew, or at least to stop her from making things worse--she prevented him from doing the few independent things he could do, kept telling him that he was crippled and would end up in a home or worse, that sort of thing. Other adults in the classroom verified this. I noticed a huge change in my nephew after two months of this aide. He was depressed, sad, scared, instead of the bright, happy, active, alert child that he had always been. He never cried before, he was always crying. He never mentioned his disabilities before, he was always crying about them.

It wasn't until my brother stormed in to the principal's office and demanded that a new aide be found immediately and until that happened, he (my brother) would be attending school daily and acting as his son's aide that the toxic aide was removed. A new, wonderful aide was found in two days.

I don't advocate that people throw temper tantrums and issue ultimatums. But I think that sometimes politeness is seen as agreement, or that you aren't going to push the matter further. And sometimes, with some people, you have to get loud/angry/mad to be heard and taken seriously.

I'm not exactly proud that I yelled at that doctor. I am happy that I managed finally to get Dad the medical treatment he needed. If I had known a better way of getting that done, I would have used it.

The OP should be glad that her son has a good teacher now. The school and the principal should be apologizing to her and her son for giving him a completely inadequate teacher.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: m2kbug on January 09, 2013, 03:06:00 PM
I was in a similar situation.  I don't feel I owed an apology, but at the same time I feel bad for the teacher and circumstances.  It's not just the teacher here, other school professionals, whom I'm assuming you spoke to at length, and you probably have an IEP, also didn't address these problems, so if there is to be blame, it's not on this one person.  You spent a lot of time trying to better the situation and work with the teacher and the school and it didn't work.  She was working in this environment to learn, but she wasn't learning.  Your child's needs weren't being met.  It's unfortunate the situation had to blow up, but it sounds like you handled it with tact and I don't see that you owe anyone an apology
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: bansidhe on January 09, 2013, 03:17:01 PM
Polite or not, I am at a loss of what more you could have done. This woman was not qualified, it was not working, and no one was listening.

This. It's great that the teacher wants to work with kids with Purple Disability, but how about at least going through some basic training first instead of making a Purple Disability kid's life difficult by using him as a guinea pig. And shame on the school administrators for prolonging a bad situation by sticking their heads in the sand.  >:(

I'm surprised OP didn't blow up earlier and I don't think she has anything to apologize for. Might not hurt, however, to be sure to express appreciation for the teacher who actually knows what she's doing - both to the teacher and to the administration.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: bonyk on January 09, 2013, 03:21:08 PM
As an SE teacher, I am baffled.  Was the teacher not following your son's IEP?  Didn't it have specific strategies that were to be followed?  I also don't understand why, if she was interested in learning about your son's disability, she did not actually put in the effort of learning.

I can't really fault her for not being trained in your son's disability; that's the administration's fault for putting an unqualified teacher in that position and not getting her the training she needed.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sophia on January 09, 2013, 03:26:51 PM
The teacher had an entire school year in order to learn about Purple Disabilities.  Yet she did not.   Considering that purple and pink disabilities seem to have opposite requirements from the teacher, reading one respected book would have put her far ahead of her starting point and to the point that the OP wouldn't have been so frustrated.  Note, that the OP wasn't complaining that the teacher wasn't an expert.  She was complaining that the woman was actively doing the opposite things that the purple disability requires.  Fact is, she was doing a crappy job and should have been removed as the teacher of all purple children until she could get her act together.  She could also have ... oh, maybe listened to the OP while she was the teacher.  She had NO other information to go on. 

I think the teacher was protesting too much.  She was trying to make it the OP's fault rather than "Well, I can't do my job properly"
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Two Ravens on January 09, 2013, 03:28:16 PM
I don't see where it said that the OP yelled? Blowing up =/= yelling.

OP, I definitely don't think you should apologize.

To me, that's exactly what it means.

I am not sure how you could "blow up" quietly.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Moray on January 09, 2013, 03:29:33 PM
OP, is this the same teacher your son had last year?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CakeBeret on January 09, 2013, 03:30:47 PM
Polite or not, I am at a loss of what more you could have done. This woman was not qualified, it was not working, and no one was listening.

This is where I'm at. I think that, regardless of whether it was rude, it was justified. The OP tried all the proper channels, more than once, and that got her nowhere. If the OP had used name-calling or insults or violence, that would be wrong. But aside from that, I think the OP is in the right, and should put the situation behind her.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Girlie on January 09, 2013, 03:50:41 PM
Obviously, the teacher and administration weren't listening or weren't willing to change when the OP was polite about it. Nothing that the OP said mattered. Something had to blow up somewhere- and in this case, it was the OP.

While I understand that the OP now feels badly about the way it happened, this seems to be one of those situations where you cut your losses and run. The child is with a better qualified teacher for his needs and is doing well.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Iris on January 09, 2013, 04:04:21 PM
wait - let me get this straight - old teacher has clearly been discussing your interaction with others, and you feel as though this is affecting how you and your son are viewed? SHE is the one being massively unprofessional  and personal there. To me, the important point here is that after a year of working with your son she STILL hadn't done the training required to properly care for him. Then, when you rightly called her on that, she has left no stone unturned in her quest to make you the bad guy.

I wouldn't apologise. You had one moment of weakness versus her having a year of incompetence. Personally I wouldn't be above a little effort to state my case. I wouldn't bring it up, ever, but if someone says"0h yes, teacher A told me about your little breakdown. You shouldn't make things personal." then I would be completely happy to reply "l complained about a teacher with inadequate training and the effect that was having on my son. I really don't know what you've been told, but I don't recall a personal attack at all."

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Poppea on January 09, 2013, 04:11:23 PM
I, unfortunately, blew up at that point and told her very emotionally that I was aware of her career aspirations, that I was aware that she was using this job as a resume builder, and that my son was not going be her training experience. 

As I see it, this is the portion where the OP made it personal - a personal issue between OP and the teacher.  As Moray pointed out, this shows the OP was gossiping about the teacher and/or researching her, both of which don't look great for OP, IMHO.  And, frankly, I don't have any problems with the teacher's aspirations or desire to build her resume at all.  For example, I am one of several in-house attorneys at my company.  It is well known that I have aspirations to be President or General Counsel of the company some day.  That doesn't mean I do not take my current position very seriously - I think ambition shows that I do because I wish to prove myself worthy of my aspirations.

So what?  An teacher or administrator would have to be very naive to think that parents who know each other socially do not discuss the employees of the school which they support through tuition or taxes.  A parent does not have to act professionally in that setting, the teacher needs to because it is her job.  In this case the teachers and administrators were acting unprofessionally, blowing off the OP's concerns.  It was only when she brought up her outside knowledge and made it clear that the OP's son treatment was being discussed with others that they gave him the services which they were already legally required to provide.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 09, 2013, 04:14:13 PM

So what?

My point was that the problem as I saw it was not that things were personal to the OP because it involved her son but rather that things were "personal" between the OP and the teacher (as evidenced by the OP calling out the teacher's IMHO absolutely normal career aspirations and implying there is something sinister there).  Like some other PPs, I see this as a problem with administration, not with the teacher. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: gramma dishes on January 09, 2013, 04:16:40 PM
I'd like to know how that teacher got hired in the first place.  My daughter taught ECSE and she had to know about virtually every kind of child that might possibly ever be in her classroom.  If she found that she had one that she had no experience or even training for, she would have made it her immediate priority to find out as much as she could about how to deal with that student successfully.

There are mentors around and all it would have taken would have been a phone call, a meeting, some exchange of materials and they'd have been off to a good start.

OP, I'm so sorry you and your son had to deal with that situation.  And no, don't apologize. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Poppea on January 09, 2013, 04:21:55 PM

So what?

My point was that the problem as I saw it was not that things were personal to the OP because it involved her son but rather that things were "personal" between the OP and the teacher (as evidenced by the OP calling out the teacher's IMHO absolutely normal career aspirations and implying there is something sinister there).  Like some other PPs, I see this as a problem with administration, not with the teacher.

Its a problem with the administration, but I see the OP's emotional outburst as her way of letting the teacher know that she understood that the teacher wasn't really all that interested in working with the purple disability (ie knew nothing about appropriate treatments) but instead was marking time so she could become a director of programs someday. 

Her response - crying and then telling her boss she couldn't work with the child and then badmouthing the parent?  I think its a good thing the other teachers know the OP won't put up with incompetence.

OP  congratulations, you are now considered a "squeaky wheel">  This means you will get more grease.  This is a good thing.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: MyFamily on January 09, 2013, 04:25:11 PM
This teacher was harming a child.  I don't care if it wasn't an issue of hitting the child with a belt, but she was harming this child.  The OP tried multiple times to get this teacher to stop.  Frankly, I'd be livid if this had been my child, and as it is, I'm sick thinking of what the OP's child (and the other poster's nephew) had to go through.  Yelling to protect a child was the right thing to do - made evident by the fact that it wasn't until she yelled that the administration finally decided to do something about it. I don't view this as etiquette as much as an issue of health and safety. 

As far as making it personal, it is personal.  It is your kid and it is personal.  And my husband, a teacher, would agree with me on that - a parent-teacher relationship is very different from other relationships.  The teacher is a professional, but for the parent, they are the advocate for their child. 

OP, I'm relieved that things are better for your son now.  And, honestly, if someone makes reference to what happened before, I think you'd be correct in reminding them that what happened was because you were looking out for your son, and you'd appreciate if the focus could be on what is best for your son right now and in the future, and not on how the school failed him in the past.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Firecat on January 09, 2013, 04:26:39 PM
I don't see where it said that the OP yelled? Blowing up =/= yelling.

OP, I definitely don't think you should apologize.

To me, that's exactly what it means.

I am not sure how you could "blow up" quietly.

It can definitely be done. When I'm really, truly, so angry I'm shaking, I don't yell. I get very quiet. But very intense. Every word comes out not loudly, but in a very precise, clipped kind of way. And. sort. of. separated. like. this. And I'm holding extremely steady eye contact with whoever is on the receiving end.

My BFF has seen me do that a couple of times in the 20-mumble years we've known each other. She says I'm not loud, but she doesn't want to stand within about three feet of me when I'm that angry - not because she's afraid of getting hit or anything like that, but because she says the air in that "bubble" around me feels like lightning is about to strike.

Anyway, I concur with those who say the OP should not apologize, because I think the teacher would take it as vindication of sorts. I think that for the OP, it's one of those "least said, soonest mended" scenarios. At most, I think the OP should make a point of being polite and professional when dealing with other teachers and the administration at the school, which I suspect she's already doing.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cookiehappy on January 09, 2013, 04:27:58 PM
Polite or not, I am at a loss of what more you could have done. This woman was not qualified, it was not working, and no one was listening.

This is where I'm at. I think that, regardless of whether it was rude, it was justified. The OP tried all the proper channels, more than once, and that got her nowhere. If the OP had used name-calling or insults or violence, that would be wrong. But aside from that, I think the OP is in the right, and should put the situation behind her.

Me as well.  I mean how long was the OP supposed to hang on while this teacher got the "purple" training?  The situation had gone on a year already and showed no signs of improvement.  And in the mean time, her son suffers.    Personal?  You're danged right!

OP, if you're ever asked about the situation, just respond, "oh son is doing incredibly well with new teacher".  Don't try to explain yourself -you didn't do anything wrong.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 09, 2013, 04:33:46 PM
But I don't think that is completely true. Wanting to be director and not having previous experience does not mean there is/was no interest. It means that there were limits on what she knrw and managed to learn. I think the assumption made by OP and then here would be what migjt require the apology. It is fine.to ask for what DD needs - to make assumptions and insults about character and motivation really don't achieve anything and are not re ally reasonable, IMO.   

If OP had wanted to say she would go to a lawyer to assure that her DD was getting appropriate services that would make a lot.more sense to me.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: buvezdevin on January 09, 2013, 05:34:00 PM
But I don't think that is completely true. Wanting to be director and not having previous experience does not mean there is/was no interest. It means that there were limits on what she knrw and managed to learn. I think the assumption made by OP and then here would be what migjt require the apology. It is fine.to ask for what DD needs - to make assumptions and insults about character and motivation really don't achieve anything and are not re ally reasonable, IMO.   

If OP had wanted to say she would go to a lawyer to assure that her DD was getting appropriate services that would make a lot.more sense to me.

Whatever interest/motivation the teacher had in effectively teaching OP's son, and/or eventually being a director, is not the the issue so much as her lack of knowledge specifically required to do her current assignment, failure or inability to pursue training for the full year she did teach OP's son, and inability to plan appropriately for the following year absent such training.  Maybe she will get such training, and then be wonderful with "purple" students.  Whether or not she does, OP was making no assumptions regarding the fact that this teacher already had been, in effect, experimenting with OP's son in the absence of having trained in appropriate  and effective "purple" teaching methods.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cityslicker on January 09, 2013, 05:44:57 PM
Thanks for everyone's insights.  I actually meant emotional= crying, not yelling.  I was probably yelling in that way where someone says "stop yelling at me" and you think "I'm not yelling, I'm just mad!".  I certainly wasn't yelling in terms of volume- the entire administrative staff was right outside the door, and I'm sure they would have stuck their heads in if they heard raised voices.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Iris on January 09, 2013, 07:07:14 PM
Thanks for everyone's insights.  I actually meant emotional= crying, not yelling.  I was probably yelling in that way where someone says "stop yelling at me" and you think "I'm not yelling, I'm just mad!".  I certainly wasn't yelling in terms of volume- the entire administrative staff was right outside the door, and I'm sure they would have stuck their heads in if they heard raised voices.

In that case I personally think you are completely in the clear, etiquette wise.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: DoubleTrouble on January 09, 2013, 07:12:17 PM
Whatever interest/motivation the teacher had in effectively teaching OP's son, and/or eventually being a director, is not the the issue so much as her lack of knowledge specifically required to do her current assignment, failure or inability to pursue training for the full year she did teach OP's son, and inability to plan appropriately for the following year absent such training.  Maybe she will get such training, and then be wonderful with "purple" students.  Whether or not she does, OP was making no assumptions regarding the fact that this teacher already had been, in effect, experimenting with OP's son in the absence of having trained in appropriate  and effective "purple" teaching methods.

Exactly. I've allowed myself & my sons to be guinea pigs for people who are learning how to do X procedure or treat Y problem but the initial contact is always with a senior employee who explains that this person is learning & if I was OK with it. I personally would be OK with a teacher using my child to help learn how to work properly with "purple" teaching methods but I would also expect that the teacher would be under the supervision of someone experienced with "purple" methods & would be actively pursuing training outside the school environment. This teacher did none of that & I don't fault the OP for getting emotional about the situation, it's unfair to her child & to any other children with "purple" condition to have this untrained teacher.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Jones on January 09, 2013, 07:38:34 PM
IMO, the teaching hierarchy was the first to break off the professionalism, as it can't be professional to punish a child in a way that is opposite of effective, possibly detrimental. They were aware of the problem, they did nothing.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: katycoo on January 09, 2013, 08:03:54 PM
You didn't make the issue personal - it was already personal.  its your son.

Further more, you attempted to handle it professionally and nothing improved.  Now things have.  Win, I say.

If teacher seriously wanted experience working with purple disability, she'd have been all over cultivating a relationship with you, learning what you found to be effective techniques for him.  Treating him like another disability isn't helpful at all and she should know better.  the fact that she doesn't or doesn't care means she probably shouldn't be a director of the facilities she's aiming for.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: JenJay on January 09, 2013, 08:42:23 PM
wait - let me get this straight - old teacher has clearly been discussing your interaction with others, and you feel as though this is affecting how you and your son are viewed? SHE is the one being massively unprofessional  and personal there. To me, the important point here is that after a year of working with your son she STILL hadn't done the training required to properly care for him. Then, when you rightly called her on that, she has left no stone unturned in her quest to make you the bad guy.

I wouldn't apologise. You had one moment of weakness versus her having a year of incompetence. Personally I wouldn't be above a little effort to state my case. I wouldn't bring it up, ever, but if someone says"0h yes, teacher A told me about your little breakdown. You shouldn't make things personal." then I would be completely happy to reply "l complained about a teacher with inadequate training and the effect that was having on my son. I really don't know what you've been told, but I don't recall a personal attack at all."

Yes!!!
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: citadelle on January 09, 2013, 08:58:56 PM
In my experience, the way that teachers typically communicate about these types of incidents is to warn one another that the parent needs careful treatment. You may in fact receive better service as a result, which would be a positive outcome. On the negative side, teachers may be skittish around you, afraid to set you off, and may not be as open or honest about what they perceive about your student.

My experience s probably worth what you paid for it  :) but there it is.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: MrTango on January 09, 2013, 09:56:20 PM
After re-reading the OP, I had a realization:

If the Special Ed teacher was physically restraining my child in a manner that was not specifically laid out in the child's IEP, I wouldn't bother calling the school principal.  I'd call the police.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: JanaL on January 09, 2013, 10:45:51 PM
How would you feel if that teacher brought up random gossip she may have heard about you at a conference, information that has nothing to do with your child's education?  If the situation were reversed, I'm betting you would be completely indignant- and rightfully so.  I don't really understand why teachers aren't also deserving of basic etiquette in their interactions with parents.

If the teacher wasn't following the IEP, yes, that's an ENORMOUS problem.  Any other issue is completely secondary.  I think it is a massive assumption to think that the teacher in question had all this free time to pursue specialized training- this is an administrative issue to the highest degree.  Teachers get stupid assignments from administrators all the time that don't match their qualifications, right or wrong.  Even after voicing their grave concerns and ethics about such circumstances, teachers have no power to do anything about that, other than try as hard as they can to do right by those students.  Should this teacher have done better?  Possibly, probably- I wasn't there- but I don't think that gives you the right to pull random, secondhand heresay about her career goals into that conversation.  That is, frankly, none of your business and has no bearing on the teacher's performance (or lack of performance) in the classroom with your child.  Just because she had to be professional and not respond to that personal attack in kind doesn't make it right that you did that.  I have never met a teacher who aspired to utilize their students as guinea pigs in their quest to climb the career ladder.  Actually, there's not much of a ladder to climb in education, as much as it may be a lateral transfer of sorts.

You are justified - encouraged, even- to fight for your child's education and well-being, of course, but I think that throwing gossip in the teacher's face about her career aspirations, whether true or not, was completely out of line.  That is completely irrelevant- the only issue that should have been addressed in your conference was the quality of education your own child is- or is not- receiving.  The teacher really doesn't have to answer to you in any other vein than that concerning your child.  Period.

I'm tired of the level of disrespect that occurs toward teachers on a regular basis that is deemed acceptable in some circles.  You can be an advocate for your child without dragging the teacher's personal business into the mix.  The profession loses a lot of excellent teachers who tire of being in a position of weathering awful verbal abuse at times from parents, and cannot say anything on that level in return.  I used to teach high school and weathered my share of inappropriate observations from parents.  One of the perks of being a college professor now is that I no longer have to interact with those types of parents. 

Parents and teachers must work TOGETHER, not against each other.  It's a two-way street.  I doubt that teacher wants to have any further interactions with you, and would likely take great pains to avoid you, even.  I think it's best to move on and try really hard to stay professional in the future. Keep the focus on your child and you will get the best results in return. 

 



Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: bansidhe on January 10, 2013, 12:05:39 AM
Parents and teachers must work TOGETHER, not against each other.  It's a two-way street.  I doubt that teacher wants to have any further interactions with you, and would likely take great pains to avoid you, even.  I think it's best to move on and try really hard to stay professional in the future. Keep the focus on your child and you will get the best results in return. 

There was no two-way street, as I see it. Sounds more like a roundabout with no way out. OP kept the focus on her child for a year and made several attempts to go through the appropriate channels to solve the problem - all with no results. The teacher did not have the appropriate training to be working with OP's son and did not appear to make much of an effort to obtain the training and no one in administration wanted to address the issue.

If I were OP, I wouldn't be shedding any tears if I learned that the teacher didn't want any further interactions with me. If I worked for the school, I'd just be glad that I wasn't getting sued.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: sammycat on January 10, 2013, 12:06:39 AM
OP, you and your son were let down by the teacher, the administration, the school, and the system.  In your shoes I would've gone nuclear, not just gotten 'emotional'. 

The thing that stands out for me is that when you requested a change in teacher it was apparently deemed too hard, and so the answer was 'no'.  But the moment the teacher requests it, it's all action stations and she's given what she wants.  CRIVINS!?  >:(

Yes,  an apology is owed here - TO you (from the school), certainly not by you.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: JustEstelle on January 10, 2013, 01:10:03 AM

If the teacher wasn't following the IEP, yes, that's an ENORMOUS problem.  Any other issue is completely secondary.  I think it is a massive assumption to think that the teacher in question had all this free time to pursue specialized training- this is an administrative issue to the highest degree.  Teachers get stupid assignments from administrators all the time that don't match their qualifications, right or wrong.  Even after voicing their grave concerns and ethics about such circumstances, teachers have no power to do anything about that, other than try as hard as they can to do right by those students.  Should this teacher have done better?  Possibly, probably- I wasn't there- but I don't think that gives you the right to pull random, secondhand heresay about her career goals into that conversation.  That is, frankly, none of your business and has no bearing on the teacher's performance (or lack of performance) in the classroom with your child.  Just because she had to be professional and not respond to that personal attack in kind doesn't make it right that you did that.  I have never met a teacher who aspired to utilize their students as guinea pigs in their quest to climb the career ladder.  Actually, there's not much of a ladder to climb in education, as much as it may be a lateral transfer of sorts.



I am a retired teacher, having taught a total of 30 years in both public and private schools in Texas.  I have been in the trenches, and I know what it's like.  I also know that, when I had a student in my care whose needs I was having trouble meeting, I sought help from various resources.  I talked to parents, counselors, and other support personnel who might have more insight than I.  I also, when I was going for reading certification (yes, I had been placed in a position for which I was not yet certified), I turned to my department colleagues for mentoring and I attended workshops and professional development sessions, as well as taking graduate-level courses in my summers and at night. 

The teacher in this situation did NOT listen to the parent.  At all.  It appeared that she just used what skills she did have for working with pink disability and used it as a band-aid on the OP's son.  Even when things weren't working.  Even when the OP told her that it wasn't working. 

Believe me, I do get my hackles raised when I think that teachers are getting short shrift, but this is not the case.  This teacher kept doing the same thing, over and over again, even when it wasn't working, and the administration didn't help either. 

I'm sorry, but the teacher here gets no respect from this veteran teacher.  None whatsoever.  Ignore the parent?  Hurt the student's educational needs?  I have nothing but contempt for you (that teacher) then.   >:(
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Gyburc on January 10, 2013, 05:13:36 AM
OP, I don't in the least blame you for becoming emotional, and I don't think that it was wrong. Teachers are professional people, of course, but they work with children and parents, so they are working in the 'personal' sphere. They should be aware that professional decisions they make have huge impacts on people's personal lives and personal development. (My mother, for instance, was profoundly affected by her headmistress's decision to refuse to allow her to apply to university on the most spurious grounds possible.)

I'm absolutely horrified by how the teacher behaved, and I'm very glad indeed that your son has been transferred to someone who can actually help him.

I do think you were probably wrong to bring up the issue of her motives for taking the job, but in the circumstances, I think you can be excused. In your place I might very well have blurted it out too.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: learningtofly on January 10, 2013, 07:26:27 AM
I don't see what you could have done differently.  My mom worked with SE kids for years.  Over time the treatments/techniques changed.  She went to seminars and classes on weekends and over the summers.  Her kids were important to her and while she had to do some classes to keep her certification, her main drive was to keep up with how the world was treating her kids.  She educated the teachers in her school.  She wanted to be able to handle any situation whether it was with a parent or a child.  She retired believing she made a difference in some kids lives.  I know she did.

My SIL has ambitions similar to the teacher the OP encountered.  However, she does not think she knows it all and has never put her ambitions over the needs of her kids.  That's what this teacher did.  It's ok to say that the one gap in your resume is purple and that you need hands on experience to understand purple disabilities.  It is not ok to not learn about purple disabilities and try pink treatments.  That is just filling a hole on your resume by saying you worked with a purple child.  She really should have spent last year educating herself and not failing your son.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: bopper on January 10, 2013, 08:15:07 AM
I concur with others...you tried directly talking to the teacher.  That should be your first step. You talked to her boss. That is the second step. You talked to the principal, that is the third step.  Still your son was not getting what he needed...as you said, what he needed was typical for his disability so it isn't like you had your own methodology that you were making up.   And still he wasn't getting what he needed...so you went into Mama Bear mode and it happened.  Me thinks the teacher is transferring her own guilt on to you.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 10, 2013, 09:19:16 AM
After re-reading the OP, I had a realization:

If the Special Ed teacher was physically restraining my child in a manner that was not specifically laid out in the child's IEP, I wouldn't bother calling the school principal.  I'd call the police.

I think the police would be total overkill. If the IEP isn't being followed, the next step is to bring in a lawyer to the next IEP meeting. That's what the next step should have been.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 09:23:36 AM
Agreed
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CakeBeret on January 10, 2013, 09:23:59 AM
How would you feel if that teacher brought up random gossip she may have heard about you at a conference, information that has nothing to do with your child's education?  If the situation were reversed, I'm betting you would be completely indignant- and rightfully so.  I don't really understand why teachers aren't also deserving of basic etiquette in their interactions with parents.

Except the info about the teacher did not have "nothing to do with the child's education". The information had EVERYTHING to do with the child's education. it revealed that the teacher was USING a disabled child to fluff up her resume. Which is despicable. A teacher who is actively harming a disabled child for her own benefit does not deserve to have her actions swept under the rug.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 09:26:09 AM
That is the spin that was put on the info OP received.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 10, 2013, 09:27:27 AM
I admit I don't understand why it is so wrong to want to expand your resume when you're a teacher? Then again, I have been assuming this whole thread that the disability is Asperger's and the teacher is familiar with autism, which is probably leading to a bit of bias.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CakeBeret on January 10, 2013, 09:29:28 AM
I admit I don't understand why it is so wrong to want to expand your resume when you're a teacher? Then again, I have been assuming this whole thread that the disability is Asperger's and the teacher is familiar with autism, which is probably leading to a bit of bias.

I have nothing against wanting to expand one's resume. The problem is that the teacher put no effort into learning about the new disability, and did more harm than good with her bumbling inaccuracy. If she had done her research into proper purple techniques and learned how to work with a child w/ purple, I'm sure this thread would never have been started.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 09:32:42 AM
A teacher who is actively harming a disabled child for her own benefit does not deserve to have her actions swept under the rug.

Reasonable minds can disagree that this is an accurate description of this situation.  I think it is completely off base.  No where did I get the sense the teacher is visciously wanting to harm disabled children, and frankly choosing special education to act out some sort of "I'm going to get to the top no matter who I step on!!!!" scenario just doesn't make sense.  The teacher, to me, should have been better guided and backed by administration.  Also, unless I am mistaken, any potential employers down the road would be more likely to be interested in "I have certification for Purple Disability" over "I worked for a year with one child diagnosed with Purple Disability."  The whole, "This teacher is using the OP's child to get ahead!" just doesn't make rational sense - she isn't getting ahead!
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 10, 2013, 09:36:15 AM
After re-reading the OP, I had a realization:

If the Special Ed teacher was physically restraining my child in a manner that was not specifically laid out in the child's IEP, I wouldn't bother calling the school principal.  I'd call the police.

I think the police would be total overkill. If the IEP isn't being followed, the next step is to bring in a lawyer to the next IEP meeting. That's what the next step should have been.

But for needlessly physically restraining a child?  I don't think in and of itself that would be overkill.  If a teacher physically restrained my child and continued to do so after I had addressed the issue with them, going to the police doesn't seem entirely unreasonable. 

And it's one thing to expand your resume as a teacher, but not at the expense of the children in your care.  Hey, if you're a teacher and want to eventually teach Spanish, that's awesome! But don't stand in front of a class babbling nonsense to the students while telling them it's Spanish!

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: citadelle on January 10, 2013, 09:37:05 AM

  The whole, "This teacher is using the OP's child to get ahead!" just doesn't make rational sense - she isn't getting ahead!

I agree. The teacher in question can be criticized and the OP can be justified without villianizing the teacher. The question in the OP was should an apology be offered. The consensus seems to be that an apology is unnecessary. That doesn't mean, however, that the teacher must be viewed as the Devil Wears Prada Education Edition for the OP to be justified.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CakeBeret on January 10, 2013, 09:38:44 AM
A teacher who is actively harming a disabled child for her own benefit does not deserve to have her actions swept under the rug.

Reasonable minds can disagree that this is an accurate description of this situation.  I think it is completely off base.  No where did I get the sense the teacher is visciously wanting to harm disabled children, and frankly choosing special education to act out some sort of "I'm going to get to the top no matter who I step on!!!!" scenario just doesn't make sense.  The teacher, to me, should have been better guided and backed by administration.  Also, unless I am mistaken, any potential employers down the road would be more likely to be interested in "I have certification for Purple Disability" over "I worked for a year with one child diagnosed with Purple Disability."  The whole, "This teacher is using the OP's child to get ahead!" just doesn't make rational sense - she isn't getting ahead!

The teacher chose to use panic-inducing physical restraint techniques rather than listen to the parent or do her own research about appropriate techniques. I consider that actively harming the child. The teacher did these things because she wanted to be able to claim to have worked with purple disability, without taking the time to do any research or training. I stand by my statement.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 09:44:47 AM
The teacher did these things because she wanted to be able to claim to have worked with purple disability, without taking the time to do any research or training.

This is the part that is over the top for me.  I think the teacher should have handled the situation differently, and I think administration should have guided her better.  I do not see from the information we have been given that she had any evil motive.  That's where I think your point gets lost - in villianizing the teacher.  I think your point would be valid (though I disagree) without going over the top.  Once it becomes "what an evil vile teacher stepping on the heads of defenseless children to get the top of the highly compensated and much lauded position of Special Education Coordinator!" I think people start to question your position. At least I do.

And again, can someone in education chime in on this: My understanding was always that a Purple Certification would have more weight than a vague statement of "I worked with Johnny.  He is diagnosed with Purple."  It just seems to me that if the teacher had some sort of evil motive she wouldn't have worked with Johnny at all but simply gotten the certification.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 09:46:03 AM
I think I'd have to know a whole lot more abot what the vhild was doing and why the teavher thought physical restraint was a good idea. Say the child slams their head into the desk. Now physical restraint might make sense and with one disability it might work. With another you might be better off putting a pillow on the desk. However, I think I would go through a lawyer rather than going to the police with a complaint that the teacher was tryng to physically stop kid from slamming head into desk. Now I have no idea what led to physical restraint inOP's case, no idea whether there were other people around, etc.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 10, 2013, 09:49:09 AM
A teacher who is actively harming a disabled child for her own benefit does not deserve to have her actions swept under the rug.

Reasonable minds can disagree that this is an accurate description of this situation.  I think it is completely off base.  No where did I get the sense the teacher is visciously wanting to harm disabled children, and frankly choosing special education to act out some sort of "I'm going to get to the top no matter who I step on!!!!" scenario just doesn't make sense.  The teacher, to me, should have been better guided and backed by administration.  Also, unless I am mistaken, any potential employers down the road would be more likely to be interested in "I have certification for Purple Disability" over "I worked for a year with one child diagnosed with Purple Disability."  The whole, "This teacher is using the OP's child to get ahead!" just doesn't make rational sense - she isn't getting ahead!

The teacher was working with a child who had special needs.  She had no experience working with this disability.  She had no training with this disability.  Despite her ignorance and despite the concerns of the child's parent, she continued to pursue her own course of action based on nothing more than her ignorance.  She did not get any training, she didn't listen, she just blundered on.  Whether she set out to intentionally hurt this child or hurt the child due to misguided intentions doesn't make a difference in the ultimate impact it had on the child. If her actions were harmful to the child, it's the child who bears the consequences of her actions regardless of her intentions. 

I'm not saying the teacher is evil or a villain, but she was definitely in the wrong and showed a lack of common sense which in her field can be very damaging.  The teacher could be a very sweet person, but sweet people muddling about with disabilities they have no knowledge of can still do a lot of harm. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 09:57:22 AM
From what I understood, the teacher was doing what administration told her to do.  I think she was between a rock and a hard place.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CakeBeret on January 10, 2013, 10:05:32 AM
From what I understood, the teacher was doing what administration told her to do.  I think she was between a rock and a hard place.

Sure, but she also chose to not pursue any research or training. Shoot, she didn't even have to do that much: she could have just taken OP's advice in the first place.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Bexx27 on January 10, 2013, 10:16:00 AM
This was a spectacular failure primarily, I think, on the part of the administration. My knowledge of special needs and IEPs is pretty limited, but it's my understanding that an IEP is developed and monitored by multiple parties, including someone with expertise such as a school counselor, therapist, or social worker. Heck, my DH is a football coach and he needs to be aware of IEPs for the students he coaches. The administration repeatedly telling the OP to just work it out with the teacher, while not providing the teacher with the necessary training or consulting with an expert, is just bizarrely irresponsible.

I disagree with the posters who are saying that the OP did everything she could to advocate for her child. Unless there is something left out of the story, she let this mistreatment go on for a year and never looked outside the school's administration for a solution. Personally, my first step would have been to get my child's therapist involved. If that didn't work, a lawyer. I would have escalated to the county's administrators, the school board, possibly even the media, whatever was necessary. The teacher was certainly in the wrong, but she was also thrown into a situation for which she was unqualified and clearly in over her head with no support whatsoever. I think the OP's focus on the teacher as the main source of the problem, while understandable, was misguided. 

That said, I don't think the OP owes the teacher an apology. She didn't go on a expletive-laden rant or throw a fit; she became emotional and accused the teacher of something she believed to be true -- after the teacher had refused to accommodate the child's IEP for a year and stated that she would continue to do so. If that's not provocation, I don't know what is. She was interacting with the teacher as a parent, not as a professional colleague, and parents shouldn't be expected to put aside their emotions and act professionally under those circumstances.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cityslicker on January 10, 2013, 10:19:55 AM
The restraint in question happened when he was damaging school property and would not stop to verbal commands.  We have an extensive Behavior Intervention plan (BIP) that has physical restraint as the absolutely last step.  This was developed by school staff with much more experience in purple disability and is in the IEP. She chose to go from step 2 directly to step 15, literally.

Purple and pink disabilities are very different, FWIW-one is neurological and one is not.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 10:25:52 AM
It is true that several people are usually at.IEP meetingd. I have never been to one eith fewer than three other staff members and the studeny and parent(s) are always invited. The student would be assigned to her caseload but in any case I ever heard of.admin would oversee that.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: rashea on January 10, 2013, 10:28:10 AM
The restraint in question happened when he was damaging school property and would not stop to verbal commands.  We have an extensive Behavior Intervention plan (BIP) that has physical restraint as the absolutely last step.  This was developed by school staff with much more experience in purple disability and is in the IEP. She chose to go from step 2 directly to step 15, literally.

Purple and pink disabilities are very different, FWIW-one is neurological and one is not.

That makes it much worse. Did you ever have an IEP meeting when it became clear that she wasn't following it?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 10:30:26 AM
Was this teacher left alone with a violent child? That in and of itself seems off!  Why was no other staff present?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cityslicker on January 10, 2013, 10:33:02 AM
We had an emergency meeting with the principle in which I was told that the teacher had the right to supercede the BIP if in her judgement it was an emergency.  I was later told that he was kicking a wall.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 10:34:31 AM
We had an emergency meeting with the principle in which I was told that the teacher had the right to supercede the BIP if in her judgement it was an emergency.  I was later told that he was kicking a wall.

Do you think this is not appropriate? 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: NyaChan on January 10, 2013, 10:36:41 AM
I'm not going to use specifics because it essentially would be legal advice, but there are clear (at least in IMO) guidelines for who should be at an IEP meeting which are listed out in the relevant statutes.  When I was working in that area, one of the weak points of the education plan which was attacked was the composition of the IEP team.  Still, the teacher should have read the IEP and followed it even if she didn't have the training to understand why her own techniques weren't better.  And yes, I agree, in addition to making her concerns known at the school, the OP could have requested a formal meeting with a lawyer present to straighten things out - this would have been helpful I think at the meeting about the wall-kicking.  Still, it seems she didn't have to as the school that didn't care that a parent was seriously concerned did care when it was the teacher coming to them with a problem - funny how it was suddenly so easy to get a new teacher in.

ETA:  It really bugs me when systems perpetuate the problem of people making a fuss to get what they need or want.  All the school did was teach people that it will ignore the polite parent and respond to those who blow up.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TootsNYC on January 10, 2013, 10:44:23 AM
The thing about teachers and other professionals becoming qualified is that there is absolutely no other way to do it than hands on experience. She wanted to work eith all sorts of disabilities, she recognized the gap in her experience was in that one area and she set about to get ecperiemce. That is not a bad thing, that is not a devious thing, it is nothing anybody should be attacked over  Her bosses allowed her to be assigned her that student, when it was made clear there was a gap in her training they neither moved her nor made sure she was getting extra purple training.

OP, I do think there was some fault in your corner. You characterized her aspirations as bad. You complained that she intended to learn by eorking with your sin. I promise the very best teachers he has ever had got.that way through.learning and practicing with student after student. I do think that if you felt she needed more/brtter training and supervision the people to talk to and the ones to blame were above her head.

But the teacher acknowledged that she had not yet even taken training on her son's disability.  I agree that real knowledge comes with experieince.  But before a professional is let loose to gain the experience they should have had the basic training.

The other thing about the point that I put in blue:

To the teacher, there's always next year to get better.

For my kid, this is the only year he will be 10. And he will be 11 very rapidly, and that precious learning time between 10 and 11 will be completely gone. My child doesn't get a do-over. That makes me a tiny bit frantic sometimes.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: AngelicGamer on January 10, 2013, 10:46:33 AM
We had an emergency meeting with the principle in which I was told that the teacher had the right to supercede the BIP if in her judgement it was an emergency.  I was later told that he was kicking a wall.

Do you think this is not appropriate?

Considering what the OP said about the physical restraint being the last ever step, I think (as someone who has no dog in the race) that it is. 

I was a student under an IEP in the state of Illinois.  There was only ever four people in those meetings - the social worker who had my case, my Orientation and Mobility teacher, my mom, and me.  Yes, my disability was more physical and not psychological (legally blind), but it always seemed like it was only ever two people of the school in the room for any sort of IEP meeting. 

Also, I agree with what Toots just said.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Bexx27 on January 10, 2013, 10:58:21 AM
We had an emergency meeting with the principle in which I was told that the teacher had the right to supercede the BIP if in her judgement it was an emergency.  I was later told that he was kicking a wall.

Do you think this is not appropriate?

I wouldn't think it's appropriate unless the definition of "emergency" is made clear and agreed upon. I wouldn't consider something an emergency unless it involved imminent risk of harm to the child or another person. Kicking the wall wouldn't qualify.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Eden on January 10, 2013, 11:09:07 AM
OP, what is the advice you need? I understand your previous situation and your frustration with it. I guess I'm unclear on the current issue for which you're seeking advice.

ETA: Or maybe you're just looking for confirmation that you were not out of line before?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: gramma dishes on January 10, 2013, 11:11:42 AM
It seems like maybe some people are forgetting that this is not a 'regular' teacher who has had a child with special needs placed in her 'regular' classroom.  The OP said in her opening statement that this is a Special Education teacher.

They have to have training to get that license.  It requires taking several extra classes and also doing a separate student teaching assignment in a Special Ed classroom with a certified Special Ed teacher (and usually a variety of aides and other people like Speech Pathologists, etc.)  So this teacher should have had at least some knowledge and hopefully some experience as well, in dealing with both "colors" of disabilities.

If she simply hadn't had the opportunity to experience dealing with the OP's son's specific issues, she certainly had a world of knowledge available literally at her fingertips.  Special Ed teachers do consult with one another and most colleges and universities offering Special Education teaching programs welcome past students to come back to them for advice when confronted with something they feel unfamiliar with.

This teacher did not do that.  She simply continued for an entire year trying to fit the round peg into the square hole.  She was in the wrong and I think the OP was more than sufficiently patient.  If she (OP) hadn't done what she did, her child would not have been able to progress and his frustration might have even made him actually lose ground. 

I do not think the OP owes anyone an apology.  I do think the school owes OP an apology, but she won't get it.  So the OP is doing the right thing by moving on.

It disturbs me that so many people here are so quick to call the police/lawyers/ etc.  Most of these things can and should be handled at the source.   Good for the OP for doing so.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: buvezdevin on January 10, 2013, 11:16:08 AM
We had an emergency meeting with the principle in which I was told that the teacher had the right to supercede the BIP if in her judgement it was an emergency.  I was later told that he was kicking a wall.

Do you think this is not appropriate?

I wouldn't think it's appropriate unless the definition of "emergency" is made clear and agreed upon. I wouldn't consider something an emergency unless it involved imminent risk of harm to the child or another person. Kicking the wall wouldn't qualify.
Absolute agreement.  A teacher having the right to address an emergency with discretion should not be so broad as to allow every instance of less than desired behavior of a child as an emergency. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Bexx27 on January 10, 2013, 11:18:19 AM
It seems like maybe some people are forgetting that this is not a 'regular' teacher who has had a child with special needs placed in her 'regular' classroom.  The OP said in her opening statement that this is a Special Education teacher.

They have to have training to get that license.  It requires taking several extra classes and also doing a separate student teaching assignment in a Special Ed classroom with a certified Special Ed teacher (and usually a variety of aides and other people like Speech Pathologists, etc.)  So this teacher should have had at least some knowledge and hopefully some experience as well, in dealing with both "colors" of disabilities.

If she simply hadn't had the opportunity to experience dealing with the OP's son's specific issues, she certainly had a world of knowledge available literally at her fingertips.  Special Ed teachers do consult with one another and most colleges and universities offering Special Education teaching programs welcome past students to come back to them for advice when confronted with something they feel unfamiliar with.

This teacher did not do that.  She simply continued for an entire year trying to fit the round peg into the square hole.  She was in the wrong and I think the OP was more than sufficiently patient.  If she (OP) hadn't done what she did, her child would not have been able to progress and his frustration might have even made him actually lose ground. 

I do not think the OP owes anyone an apology.  I do think the school owes OP an apology, but she won't get it.  So the OP is doing the right thing by moving on.

It disturbs me that so many people here are so quick to call the police/lawyers/ etc.  Most of these things can and should be handled at the source.   Good for the OP for doing so.

The OP tried unsuccessfully to handle it at the source for a year. In fact, she never did so successfully because it was actually the teacher refusing to work with her that solved the problem. I would certainly try first to work it out with the school, but would move on to other options if that didn't work.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 10, 2013, 11:18:40 AM
OP, what is the advice you need? I understand your previous situation and your frustration with it. I guess I'm unclear on the current issue for which you're seeking advice.

ETA: Or maybe you're just looking for confirmation that you were not out of line before?

OP wanted to know if her behavior warranted an apology to the teacher.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Eden on January 10, 2013, 11:26:21 AM
OP, what is the advice you need? I understand your previous situation and your frustration with it. I guess I'm unclear on the current issue for which you're seeking advice.

ETA: Or maybe you're just looking for confirmation that you were not out of line before?

OP wanted to know if her behavior warranted an apology to the teacher.

I see. Then, I agree that no apology is needed. I don't know why i thought there was an ongoing issue for which she was seeking advice.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 11:26:50 AM
I think that regarding that it sounds like OP and teacher do not really cross paths anymore. Seaking her out now is likely to open up old wounds. I do think it would be wrong to share her theories on teacher's motivations with anyone. If she has shared that in the past and they bring it up I do think it would be appropriate to say something like "while my expectations were reasonable, I should never have speculated about teacher's motives"
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: NyaChan on January 10, 2013, 11:32:10 AM
It seems like maybe some people are forgetting that this is not a 'regular' teacher who has had a child with special needs placed in her 'regular' classroom.  The OP said in her opening statement that this is a Special Education teacher.

They have to have training to get that license.  It requires taking several extra classes and also doing a separate student teaching assignment in a Special Ed classroom with a certified Special Ed teacher (and usually a variety of aides and other people like Speech Pathologists, etc.)  So this teacher should have had at least some knowledge and hopefully some experience as well, in dealing with both "colors" of disabilities.

If she simply hadn't had the opportunity to experience dealing with the OP's son's specific issues, she certainly had a world of knowledge available literally at her fingertips.  Special Ed teachers do consult with one another and most colleges and universities offering Special Education teaching programs welcome past students to come back to them for advice when confronted with something they feel unfamiliar with.

This teacher did not do that.  She simply continued for an entire year trying to fit the round peg into the square hole.  She was in the wrong and I think the OP was more than sufficiently patient.  If she (OP) hadn't done what she did, her child would not have been able to progress and his frustration might have even made him actually lose ground. 

I do not think the OP owes anyone an apology.  I do think the school owes OP an apology, but she won't get it.  So the OP is doing the right thing by moving on.

It disturbs me that so many people here are so quick to call the police/lawyers/ etc.  Most of these things can and should be handled at the source.   Good for the OP for doing so.

The OP tried unsuccessfully to handle it at the source for a year. In fact, she never did so successfully because it was actually the teacher refusing to work with her that solved the problem. I would certainly try first to work it out with the school, but would move on to other options if that didn't work.

Parents are supposed to be given a packet of information with all their rights and deadlines for bringing suit BECAUSE Congress wanted to make sure they had recourse under the law if schools and the government weren't holding up their end of the bargain.  Having a lawyer look into things can be smart, not an overreaction, especially if you are unsure of whether the school is giving you the right information about what they are allowed to do.  I'm not saying lawyers should be called in over every little thing, but I think that the OP wouldn't have been getting the run-around for quite so long if she had.  If nothing else, she would have been set up for the next year's IEP meeting if the school never did come through during that year.

As for the original question, I don't think the OP should apologize at this point.  I think it would stir things up again and perhaps give the school the impression that you backing down on the original issue of having a trained teacher.   
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 10, 2013, 07:55:22 PM
Wow, what a thread. For the original question, no, I don't think the OP should apologize at this point. There are apologies that are good for everyone and help them forgive each other and move forward together; and then there are apologies that will just create more drama and tension. I feel like in this case, the OP's apology would fall into the latter category, no matter how sincerely meant.

Although it sounds like a terribly frustrating situation, and I personally don't know enough to know if there were other avenues the OP could have tried, I do think it was rude to make it "personal" by questioning the teacher's motivations with the specific information the OP had received through "back channels." That takes the focus off the real problems and into soap opera territory. But again, I don't think apologizing would accomplish anything good at this point; I would just focus on being a polite but persistent parent with the new teacher, and let her and the other school employees see the real OP.

The saddest thing to me is that the whole "blow up" is what got the OP what she wanted, a new and better teacher for her son. What a lesson to teach parents!
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CatFanatic on January 11, 2013, 10:23:14 AM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 10:33:02 AM
POD to CatFanatic.  You said well what I was trying to figure out how to say.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: gramma dishes on January 11, 2013, 10:53:04 AM
Maybe you're right.  But I have a feeling that other teachers at the school may have known what was going on before this particular 'conversation' happened and I suspect that many of them may have felt the OP was right. 

She doesn't have a reputation for constantly complaining or berating teachers so I doubt that other teachers who have had experience working with her (and her son) in the past, or are now, or will be in the future are exactly shaking in their boots in fear that she will go off on them.  I think that such an incident happened only once makes a huge difference.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 10:59:53 AM
She doesn't have a reputation for constantly complaining or berating teachers so I doubt that other teachers who have had experience working with her (and her son) in the past, or are now, or will be in the future are exactly shaking in their boots in fear that she will go off on them.  I think that such an incident happened only once makes a huge difference.

True, but if I remember correctly, the OP in the past was very supportive of this teacher and praised her for working extra hard with her son.  To me it just seems almost bipolar (not in the clinical sense - just a 180 degree deviation) to lash out at the teacher and call into question her motives when in the past, prior to this incident, the OP was very supportive of the teacher and giving her gifts to show her appreciation. 

I don't think the OP necessarily HAS to apologize, but I think it would smooth over real life instances working with the staff at the school.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: HappilyInsane on January 11, 2013, 11:17:08 AM
Maybe you're right.  But I have a feeling that other teachers at the school may have known what was going on before this particular 'conversation' happened and I suspect that many of them may have felt the OP was right. 

She doesn't have a reputation for constantly complaining or berating teachers so I doubt that other teachers who have had experience working with her (and her son) in the past, or are now, or will be in the future are exactly shaking in their boots in fear that she will go off on them.  I think that such an incident happened only once makes a huge difference.

This. Give it time, OP. Other teachers and administration will see that she is the one keeping the situation aflame while you prefer to sit by and let the fire go out. If there are no such incidents with his current and future teachers, they will realize for themselves exactly where the problem lies. And also, if they put her with another purple student, she may be in the same situation with another parent, which will make it even more obvious where the problem actually lies. Although, I seriously hope they don't do this until she gets some training in that area.

As a parent of a child without disabilities, there were also teachers that I had conflicts with that chose to tell those tales to other teachers. I have more than once been told " You know, I heard (whatever) about you, but I just don't see that".

As far as the blow up, while it might not have exactly been etiquettely correct, you did what you felt you were forced to do, and it got the desired result. You didn't blow up right off the bat and I see nothing that says you have done that since. You went through proper channels first and no one would listen. As far as bringing up knowing she didn't have the proper skills, she admitted that to you herself, so it wasn't all second hand knowledge.She was in over her head and instead of trying to learn what techniques she should have been using, she instead tried to force him to conform to the ones she knew. At the very least, she should have taken time to speak with one of his previous teachers and find out what worked for them.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 11:21:26 AM
This is slightly off topic, but I am curious how the teacher should have handled the situation.  What would the purple technique have her do when a child is violent and kicking the wall, and how does that differ from what the pink technique would do?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 11, 2013, 11:39:34 AM
The impression I'm getting about the teacher was that she was trying to get that training/certification by "learning" on OP's son without doing the legwork to actually learn about OP's child.

It's like saying "Oh I will get a certification in working with the rectangles to add to my other qualifications in working with circles, triangles and squares!"  But for a year, instead of trying to learn how to work with rectangles, she repeatedly just tries to shove that rectangular shape into a square shaped hole because well hey, they're so similar that it will work!  It's just the rectangle and his mother that are just being so darned difficult and she just can't understand why she can't get the rectangle to go into the square hole and she just KNOWS it will work if it weren't for the rectangle's difficult mother!

Meanwhile his mother is going to the administration saying "Please help my son, this woman is trying to use the techniques for squares on my son and he's not a square so he's not going to fit into that hole and I'm worried she's going to damage him somehow by trying to make him fit!  Please help her understand she has to learn methods for rectangles and make her stop using the square methods on him because he is NOT a square!"

Oy. 

I don't fault the teacher for wanting to get more experience and learn how to help children, but this one seems to have been rather lazy in doing so.  Instead of actually learning techniques to work with the purple disability, she kept trying to force the ones for pink disability on him, willing them to work and refusing to understand why they didn't.   Thus trying to shove a square peg in a round hole, or like my analogy,a rectangle in a square hole. 

I'd have a lot more sympathy for the teacher if she'd read a book, attended a seminar/class or two and actually tried methods for the purple disability.  That would show she was actually trying to help OP's son, not just trying to get away with saying she was helping him when she really, really wasn't.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: gorplady on January 11, 2013, 11:52:53 AM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

I agree wholeheartedly with CatFanatic.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: #borecore on January 11, 2013, 11:56:21 AM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

I agree wholeheartedly with CatFanatic.

Me, too. OP's behavior strikes me as inappropriate even if the teacher was motivated by purely selfish impulse and needed to be replaced.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 11, 2013, 11:58:39 AM
While I don't blame the OP for getting exasperated, I do think that using the info garnered from another source was inappropriate.

Just the fact that teacher was using pink methods on a purple disability without listening to anyone else was enough.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Moray on January 11, 2013, 12:03:19 PM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

I agree wholeheartedly with CatFanatic.

Me, too. OP's behavior strikes me as inappropriate even if the teacher was motivated by purely selfish impulse and needed to be replaced.

Ditto.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: DoubleTrouble on January 11, 2013, 12:08:30 PM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

I understand what you are saying but the teacher's career aspirations are relevant to this. If you have told people that you want to get experience working with purple disabilities but then do nothing to learn about purple disabilities (& admit to not doing any learning) & furthermore try to make pink standards fit a child who has been diagnosed with purple disability then it really does not bode well for her future career & decision making. I don't think anyone would have a problem with the teacher if she had been putting in the effort to learn about purple disability but she didn't & is not showing herself a competent teacher by trying to put a rectangle in a square hole (thanks for that great analogy Piratelvr!).

And I know teachers are over worked & under paid, my Mom was a teacher for close to 40 years so I've seen that side of it but those who want to improve make time for it. My Mom made the time to get her Master's degree in one town while working in another town & also pregnant with twins over 30 years ago. I have little sympathy for someone who can't make the time these days when there are so many different ways to take classes from in person to online & so many ways to connect with people who have the experience. It shows a lack of professionalism on the part of the teacher which, considering she is having an impact on a child, is inexcusable.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: gorplady on January 11, 2013, 12:20:36 PM
To be quite honest, I feel the parent did her child a great disservice by reacting in that manner. I understand that special needs parents feel that they have to fight for their children (and as a parent of a special needs child, I do understand) but I don't believe in the burn all bridges to get what I need/want for my child.

I have a friend who believes wholeheartedly in this approach. Unfortunately, what I am hearing from other parents and teachers at the school where our children go together is that her daughter is now being treated with kid gloves and they are sugarcoating everything so as not to incur her wrath, because she blows over the top for everything.

Case in point: the music teacher did not want to put her daughter on the risers for the concert and wanted her in the front row on the end so if she had an issue when she got out on stage, it would be able to be quickly and easily dealt with without drawing huge amounts of attention to daughter.

SN Mom felt that it was discriminatory towards her daughter and called for an emergency IEP meeting, brought in the special needs advocate, the school principal, and threatened legal action.

So they caved and moved her to the middle riser, second row. Guess what happened when her daughter got out on stage in front of an auditorium of 1000 people?

Exactly what the music teacher thought would happen.
--

The point is that sometimes the nuclear option is necessary, when you've exhausted all other options. The OP in this case erred terribly by making it personal. I'm reminded of another thread where a poster was upset about how a teacher was treating her son and said she'd get that teacher fired. She ended up getting banned.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cityslicker on January 11, 2013, 12:22:07 PM
This is slightly off topic, but I am curious how the teacher should have handled the situation.  What would the purple technique have her do when a child is violent and kicking the wall, and how does that differ from what the pink technique would do?

The purple technique assumes that the behavior is related to processing difficulties secondary to the disability.  Techniques include reducing the sensory input in the environment and redirecting.  Pink technique assumes the behavior is the primary disability and needs to be consequenced without any other techniques attempted.  Restraining increases, not decreases, the sensory overload.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sophia on January 11, 2013, 12:25:03 PM
This is the reason I think the career-based comments were justified.  Her career goal had a direct and negative impact on the OP's child. 

Because she was in a hurry to add purple to her resume, she sought out a position where she would be caring for a purple child WITHOUT ACTUALLY LEARNING ABOUT PURPLE CHILDREN.  Actually, her resume is already spiffed up.  She has "had experience as the Special Teacher for a Purple child. " 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: cityslicker on January 11, 2013, 12:26:49 PM
I want to thank everyone for their thoughts.  This interaction certainly didn't feel great when it happened.  I have some food for thought.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CaptainObvious on January 11, 2013, 12:28:51 PM
This is slightly off topic, but I am curious how the teacher should have handled the situation.  What would the purple technique have her do when a child is violent and kicking the wall, and how does that differ from what the pink technique would do?

The purple technique assumes that the behavior is related to processing difficulties secondary to the disability.  Techniques include reducing the sensory input in the environment and redirecting.  Pink technique assumes the behavior is the primary disability and needs to be consequenced without any other techniques attempted.  Restraining increases, not decreases, the sensory overload.

Does a school's zero tolerance policy on violent behavior make exceptions for kids with disabilities? Could the have played a part in her decision to skip 10 steps?

And aren't behavior issues always a symptom and not a major disability? I'm not sure how a pink technique would be all that different from a purple when dealing with what they consider to be violent behavior?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: yokozbornak on January 11, 2013, 12:37:12 PM
To be quite honest, I feel the parent did her child a great disservice by reacting in that manner. I understand that special needs parents feel that they have to fight for their children (and as a parent of a special needs child, I do understand) but I don't believe in the burn all bridges to get what I need/want for my child.

I have a friend who believes wholeheartedly in this approach. Unfortunately, what I am hearing from other parents and teachers at the school where our children go together is that her daughter is now being treated with kid gloves and they are sugarcoating everything so as not to incur her wrath, because she blows over the top for everything.

Case in point: the music teacher did not want to put her daughter on the risers for the concert and wanted her in the front row on the end so if she had an issue when she got out on stage, it would be able to be quickly and easily dealt with without drawing huge amounts of attention to daughter.

SN Mom felt that it was discriminatory towards her daughter and called for an emergency IEP meeting, brought in the special needs advocate, the school principal, and threatened legal action.

So they caved and moved her to the middle riser, second row. Guess what happened when her daughter got out on stage in front of an auditorium of 1000 people?

Exactly what the music teacher thought would happen.
--

The point is that sometimes the nuclear option is necessary, when you've exhausted all other options. The OP in this case erred terribly by making it personal. I'm reminded of another thread where a poster was upset about how a teacher was treating her son and said she'd get that teacher fired. She ended up getting banned.

She gave them a year to improve the situation.  She asked nicely.  She tried to work with the teacher, and yet this lady was allowed to try techniques that actively harmed her child.  I think she had exhausted all options.

I also think that the teacher has every right to have career goals, but as some have pointed out, she was using this to pad her resume and seemed to have no real interest in actually learning about purple disability.  That's fine if she wants to do it, but no parent should have to watch their child be a guinea pig while she pads her resume. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 01:34:16 PM
This is slightly off topic, but I am curious how the teacher should have handled the situation.  What would the purple technique have her do when a child is violent and kicking the wall, and how does that differ from what the pink technique would do?

The purple technique assumes that the behavior is related to processing difficulties secondary to the disability.  Techniques include reducing the sensory input in the environment and redirecting.  Pink technique assumes the behavior is the primary disability and needs to be consequenced without any other techniques attempted.  Restraining increases, not decreases, the sensory overload.

In actual action though what should the teacher have done?  The only thing I can think of to reduce sensory input would be to remove the child from the room, which would likely involve picking up a kicking and screaming child. I think I am having a difficult time understanding in real terms what technique the teacher should have used.  I might better understand why the restraining was so offensive if I knew what you (OP) wanted her to have done instead.  I never saw the restraining as a punishment or "consequence" but rather "how do I get this child to stop this behavior before he hurts himself or someone else."
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 01:35:32 PM
This is the reason I think the career-based comments were justified.  Her career goal had a direct and negative impact on the OP's child. 

Because she was in a hurry to add purple to her resume, she sought out a position where she would be caring for a purple child WITHOUT ACTUALLY LEARNING ABOUT PURPLE CHILDREN.  Actually, her resume is already spiffed up.  She has "had experience as the Special Teacher for a Purple child. "

I completely disagree.  If her goal was to beef up her resume she would have gotten the certification and never actually worked with a purple child. 
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: buvezdevin on January 11, 2013, 01:36:12 PM
For me the "why" of the situation, whether it was a teacher's motivation to build a resume, or the administration's desire to have a certain work load distribution among SE staff, or misaligned stars is of considerably less importance than the net result of having an SE student inappropriately taught for a full year due to a teacher's lack of pertinent training, with no reliable indication that was imminently to be changed.

OP had been communicating regularly with administration and teacher, told to "work with...be patient" with teacher, and apparently was doing so for a year with no measurable progress in the *teacher's* methods or applicable training.

I don't think it unreasonable to question a teacher's ability/willingness to manage her assignment appropriately when there is already a year of less than appropriate effort as history.  And I would not particularly care about a teacher's personal or professional motivations where they were observably insufficient to produce a desirable outcome for the child student.  OP seems to have been upset more, but not solely by information she was told which may or may not be accurate regarding "why" the teacher was assigned and continuing to teach OP's child - but that information presumably would not have bothered OP at all if the teacher had been actively pursuing developing her own training and ability to teach OP's child or purple students generally.

While I think it would have been more on point if OP had said to the teacher allowing a year for the teacher to obtain appropriate training was all that OP was willing to allow, and the lack of improvement in teacher's skill set meant OP would require a change - OP inferred as much by stating 1. her belief that the teacher was making resume building a priority, and 2. Teacher was not trained appropriately to teach purple students.  The important point is the second one, and it appears to have been demonstrably true, with need for training acknowledged by the teacher.  The first point, or motivation, is not the reason OP objected to teacher - and may or may not be accurate.  Doesn't change the actual issue regardless of motivation.

It is unfortunate that a year of communication with various points did not improve the situation, but an emotional communication to the teacher which led to the teacher's emotional reaction did.  As the situation is now better addressed for the student's needs, I still don't see the need for, or appropriateness of offering the teacher an apology for an emotional exchange.

Unless the apology consisted of "I deeply regret that your inappropriate use of techniques with my child, and your insufficient training regarding effective purple techniques led me to become so frustrated after a year that I mentioned a professional aspiration which you may or may not have."
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 01:40:01 PM
Unless the apology consisted of "I deeply regret that your inappropriate use of techniques with my child, and your insufficient training regarding effective purple techniques led me to become so frustrated after a year that I mentioned a professional aspiration which you may or may not have."

I understood that the OP previously very much liked this teacher and praised her for putting in so much effort for working with her son.  OP, can you clarify?  Is this a different teacher than the one you posted about before?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Specky on January 11, 2013, 01:57:38 PM
There is also the possibility that the use of inappropriate techniques and philosophies by this teacher may have led to the outburst and behaviors.  I've seen this happen.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 11, 2013, 01:59:16 PM
You are generally required to work with purple children in order to get purple certification.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 11, 2013, 02:07:33 PM
This is slightly off topic, but I am curious how the teacher should have handled the situation.  What would the purple technique have her do when a child is violent and kicking the wall, and how does that differ from what the pink technique would do?

The purple technique assumes that the behavior is related to processing difficulties secondary to the disability.  Techniques include reducing the sensory input in the environment and redirecting.  Pink technique assumes the behavior is the primary disability and needs to be consequenced without any other techniques attempted.  Restraining increases, not decreases, the sensory overload.

In actual action though what should the teacher have done?  The only thing I can think of to reduce sensory input would be to remove the child from the room, which would likely involve picking up a kicking and screaming child. I think I am having a difficult time understanding in real terms what technique the teacher should have used.  I might better understand why the restraining was so offensive if I knew what you (OP) wanted her to have done instead.  I never saw the restraining as a punishment or "consequence" but rather "how do I get this child to stop this behavior before he hurts himself or someone else."

But we don't need to know or speculate on what the teacher should have done.  We don't need to speculate on what "purple" and "pink" actually mean and we don't need to try and cobble together a more suitable behavioral plan for the OP's child based on what we think "purple" equals.

The point is if this special education teacher was properly trained and experienced in dealing with purple disability and was following purple guidelines she would have taken the appropriate action. 

I know the idea of an apology in is question, but given the fact this is the OP's child I am going to take her word that she knows what purple is, has read about it, gone to the appropriate purple experts about it and knows that the teacher wasn't trained/experienced in purple.  The teacher herself admitted that. 

A person with a disability was in the care of an individual who was not trained in that disability.  The caregiver, for a year, made polite efforts to have that situation addressed.  Ultimately, caregiver "blew up" at the untrained individual, leaving both in tears, but finally getting the situation resolved.  Does that warrant an apology to the untrained individual?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 02:12:31 PM
You are generally required to work with purple children in order to get purple certification.

Wait - so we know what "purple" stands for?  Because if it is what I think it is, and pink is what I think it is, then I do not see the big deal in the difference in technique.  For me, to understand, it really does matter what purple technique would have had the teacher do.  If purple technique said to start singing lullabyes and instead the teacher did the pink technique of restraint, I might understand.  If purple technique said "gather legs together to stop flailing" I don't see the big deal.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 02:13:42 PM
A person with a disability was in the care of an individual who was not trained in that disability.  The caregiver, for a year, made polite efforts to have that situation addressed.  Ultimately, caregiver "blew up" at the untrained individual, leaving both in tears, but finally getting the situation resolved.  Does that warrant an apology to the untrained individual?

In my opinion, yes.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 11, 2013, 02:14:55 PM
We don't know.  Regardless of what it is, you don't get certified in "it" without working with the kids.  It would be like becoming a heart surgeon before you ever got near a heart. The way you learn is practice, discussion, documentation, writing ...
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 02:17:31 PM
We don't know.  Regardless of what it is, you don't get certified in "it" without working with the kids.  It would be like becoming a heart surgeon before you ever got near a heart. The way you learn is practice, discussion, documentation, writing ...

I guess my point is that if the teacher only wanted to get credit, she would be pursuing the accreditation.  And based on this, then, the teacher WAS learning and working toward her accreditation.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Dalek on January 11, 2013, 02:19:20 PM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

I agree wholeheartedly with CatFanatic.

Me, too. OP's behavior strikes me as inappropriate even if the teacher was motivated by purely selfish impulse and needed to be replaced.

Amen!
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 11, 2013, 02:49:12 PM
I'm going to go against the majority here (and I'll probably get flamed, but I feel it needs to be said): I think the OP owes the teacher an apology for her remarks about the teacher's career aspirations. It was out of line, and all the 'but it's your CHILD!' mama bear-type defences in the world  don't change that. Even if she feels she was justified, think of this: every teacher in the school now regards the OP as that parent - the one who will make accusations about you having a personal agenda/vendetta. This means every interaction they have with your child will be fear-based, and while some people may regard that as a good thing, I don't - I'd rather have honest input and a different perspective than the placation of someone who is scared I will overreact. Apologising for the out-of-line remarks woudl go some way to mitigating this.

I agree wholeheartedly with CatFanatic.

Me, too. OP's behavior strikes me as inappropriate even if the teacher was motivated by purely selfish impulse and needed to be replaced.

Amen!

Okay, but do you also think the teacher owes the OP an apology for ignoring the special needs of her child?  Do you think the teacher owes the child himself an apology for ignoring his purple disability and treating him like a pink?
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 02:52:41 PM
Okay, but do you also think the teacher owes the OP an apology for ignoring the special needs of her child?  Do you think the teacher owes the child himself an apology for ignoring his purple disability and treating him like a pink?

This wasn't directed to me, but I will answer.  My answer depends on the specifics I posted upthread.  If I am guessing correctly on what purple and pink are and what actually happened, and if this is the same teacher the OP posted about previously on Ehell, no, I don't think the teacher owes an apology.  It might be nice for her to give one, but I do not find her actions to shock the conscience at all.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 11, 2013, 02:59:48 PM
Okay, but do you also think the teacher owes the OP an apology for ignoring the special needs of her child?  Do you think the teacher owes the child himself an apology for ignoring his purple disability and treating him like a pink?

This wasn't directed to me, but I will answer.  My answer depends on the specifics I posted upthread.  If I am guessing correctly on what purple and pink are and what actually happened, and if this is the same teacher the OP posted about previously on Ehell, no, I don't think the teacher owes an apology.  It might be nice for her to give one, but I do not find her actions to shock the conscience at all.

I haven't read the previous comments about this teacher so I lack the benefit of that perspective.  And I have no clue about purple/pink and what actually happened - all I can think of are pretty colors!

But as to the bolded, from my perspective I'd say the same regarding the OP's actions.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 03:04:53 PM
But as to the bolded, from my perspective I'd say the same regarding the OP's actions.
Oh, I agree.  My wording may have implied something other than I meant.  To me, it seems some posters believe the teacher's actions DID shock the conscience.  I don't think either of their actions did, although I do think the OP was wrong in how she handled the situation and that it would be in her and her DS's best interest to apologize.  And as I said, I think the teacher probably would be better off apologizing for the altercation situation also.  But based on what I know from what the OP posted, I do not think the teacher had it out for the DS or actively was harming him throughout the year or during the incident in question. I don't think she needs to apologize for making a split second decision to restrain a violent child.  I do think that if it would help the OP get over it, the teacher should apologize though.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: buvezdevin on January 11, 2013, 03:19:34 PM
But as to the bolded, from my perspective I'd say the same regarding the OP's actions.
Oh, I agree.  My wording may have implied something other than I meant.  To me, it seems some posters believe the teacher's actions DID shock the conscience.  I don't think either of their actions did, although I do think the OP was wrong in how she handled the situation and that it would be in her and her DS's best interest to apologize.  And as I said, I think the teacher probably would be better off apologizing for the altercation situation also.  But based on what I know from what the OP posted, I do not think the teacher had it out for the DS or actively was harming him throughout the year or during the incident in question. I don't think she needs to apologize for making a split second decision to restrain a violent child.  I do think that if it would help the OP get over it, the teacher should apologize though.

Where I differ from Turtledove on this stems from my read of the OP (discussion of restraining techniques not working occurred regularly over months, the issue persisted, and teacher said she was learning about purple as quickly as she could then later acknowledged she had been to busy to train during the year) and what I think Turtledove is reading as a single instance of restraint. 

It it were a one-time occurrence, with discussion/agreement on what would work going forward, that might be upsetting, but an emotionally charged discussion would seem counter-productive.

If this was a repeated occurrence, where OP - or anyone - repeatedly raised the matter of the inappropriate and ineffective technique, had that information accepted and was told the teacher was working to learn appropriate techniques - then, wash, lather repeat - I think OP becoming emotional was completely understandable, and rather than make any apology, the most I would suggest OP should do is be appreciative and supportive of current, trained teacher, and pursue productive and complimentary communications with those now involved in administration of the school.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Dr. F. on January 11, 2013, 03:30:28 PM
I believe the teacher the OP has posted about previously is the current "good" one, not the one discussed in her post in this thread, which is the one before the current one. I may be wrong about that.

Personally, I find the teacher discussed here's behaviour inexcusable, in that she completely ignored the input of the parent and continued pursuing an ineffective course, even though she had been given advice to use a different method.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Queen of Clubs on January 11, 2013, 04:27:00 PM
I spoke with both of her supervisors in the next few days- the immediate supervisor to be told that we were getting a new teacher, because current teacher felt that I had attacked her personally and felt she was no longer able to work with me, and the director, who told me that I had not kept the discussion on a professional level and had "made it personal."

I don't blame you for getting emotional, OP.  Your son had been putting up with his teacher using the wrong techniques all year, then you found out his teacher (who said she would have training) hadn't had the training she'd promised to have.

I'd also be annoyed that you requested a different teacher several times, but was told that wasn't possible until the teacher got upset and refused to work with you.  I think the school handled this incredibly badly and it could all have been avoided if they'd listened to you months before.

As for the teacher and an apology, it'd be a cold day in you know where before I'd apologise.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: CaptainObvious on January 11, 2013, 04:32:06 PM
I believe the teacher the OP has posted about previously is the current "good" one, not the one discussed in her post in this thread, which is the one before the current one. I may be wrong about that.

Personally, I find the teacher discussed here's behaviour inexcusable, in that she completely ignored the input of the parent and continued pursuing an ineffective course, even though she had been given advice to use a different method.

Based upon a search, the date on that post would be consistent with the teacher mentioned in the OP.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Acadianna on January 11, 2013, 10:14:40 PM
If purple is what I think it is, then the teacher should have had some sort of training.  Many techniques for working with students who have purple disability can be somewhat counter-intuitive, and without training it's easy to do precisely the wrong thing.  The situation mentioned by the OP (viewing the behavior as willful "misbehavior" rather than as a response to sensory overload) is a perfect example of this.

Even if no workshops were available to the teacher, there are dozens of excellent websites and books available on the subject.  In our district, there are lead teachers with both training and experience in this area whom we can and should consult when needed.  There's really no excuse for a teacher having a complete lack of background knowledge about her student's disability.

As for the BIP -- yes, the teacher should have followed it to the letter.  If we disagree with a BIP, then the proper procedure is to call an IEP meeting and propose changes -- not simply to go ahead and do what we think works better. 

I also agree -- I think it was Toots who said it? -- that the child doesn't get a "do-over."  He/she has only so many years before moving out into the world, and we can't afford to waste a year by staying in the same place, let alone by moving backwards.

I do think the OP was somewhat out-of-line to bring up the teacher's personal circumstances, but if I were the teacher in that situation, I'd give the OP a pass and not look for an apology.  I expect that sometimes parents will react with emotion -- after all, these are their precious babies.  As a parent myself, I know how that feels, and I find it helps a lot to try to walk in their shoes for a bit.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: NyaChan on January 11, 2013, 10:40:35 PM
As for the question for what the teacher should have been doing - the Education Plan for OP's son had a list of different steps laid out in the order that the teacher was supposed to follow.  She skipped all the initial steps and went for the last resort option, ignoring the less upsetting options that could work for the student.  She should have followed the plan that had already been created with the OP's son's needs and behavior in mind.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 12, 2013, 02:04:54 AM
As for the question for what the teacher should have been doing - the Education Plan for OP's son had a list of different steps laid out in the order that the teacher was supposed to follow.  She skipped all the initial steps and went for the last resort option, ignoring the less upsetting options that could work for the student.  She should have followed the plan that had already been created with the OP's son's needs and behavior in mind.

For me, I still would like to know what, specifically, the teacher was supposed to have done.  I didn't see where the teacher was punishing the DS at all.  I understood she was trying, in an emergency situaiton, to prevent a violent child from hurting himself or someone else.  What, specifically, were those steps that she skipped?  If the steps were, "1) sing lullabyes; 2) walk away from child; 3) sing lullabyes in Spanish; (etc)" I would feel quite differently than if they were, "1) grab child's hands to calm him; 2) pick child up and move away from wall he is kicking; 3) take shoes off child so he will do less damage if he kicks another child in the face; (etc)."  I would really need to know what the teacher should have done, specifically, compared to what she actually did in an emergency, to villify her in any way at all.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Iris on January 12, 2013, 03:34:51 AM
As for the question for what the teacher should have been doing - the Education Plan for OP's son had a list of different steps laid out in the order that the teacher was supposed to follow.  She skipped all the initial steps and went for the last resort option, ignoring the less upsetting options that could work for the student.  She should have followed the plan that had already been created with the OP's son's needs and behavior in mind.

For me, I still would like to know what, specifically, the teacher was supposed to have done.  I didn't see where the teacher was punishing the DS at all.  I understood she was trying, in an emergency situaiton, to prevent a violent child from hurting himself or someone else.  What, specifically, were those steps that she skipped?  If the steps were, "1) sing lullabyes; 2) walk away from child; 3) sing lullabyes in Spanish; (etc)" I would feel quite differently than if they were, "1) grab child's hands to calm him; 2) pick child up and move away from wall he is kicking; 3) take shoes off child so he will do less damage if he kicks another child in the face; (etc)."  I would really need to know what the teacher should have done, specifically, compared to what she actually did in an emergency, to villify her in any way at all.

I really don't see why you need that. An IEP is not a program just randomly plucked from the air. It is carefully crafted by a team of qualified and involved people and tailor made specifically for each individual child. I think that is all we need to know to know that it would have been a reasonable sequence of events entirely appropriate for the OP's son and his known behaviours. Whether you mean to or not, your post is coming across as "submit your child's educational plan to me for my evaluation, and then I will decide whether or not it is a valid educational plan and whether the teacher was free to ignore it at will". Even if you are an expert in children with disabilities I would consider that overstepping the mark.

Now, I will freely admit as an educator that if I had a child that was new to my care I may forget his/her IEP (we call them PLPs but the principle is the same) if it has a really convoluted and involved series of events, particularly if there is a situation that I feel may harm the child. So I am not vilifying this teacher based on this one incident. However, it really is outrageous that after a full YEAR of caring for a child with a specific disability she had still not found/made the time to do ANY training in that disability. There is no other way to slice it. From a professional standpoint I am happy to say that one fact is simply not adequate. Teachers teach out of their primary discipline all the time, but IME they put a LOT of effort into ensuring that they master that discipline to the extent that they need to to teach it competently.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: TurtleDove on January 12, 2013, 06:14:25 AM
Whether you mean to or not, your post is coming across as "submit your child's educational plan to me for my evaluation, and then I will decide whether or not it is a valid educational plan and whether the teacher was free to ignore it at will".

No, not what I mean at all.  I would like to know how what the teacher should have done varied from what she actually did.  The IEP allowed her discretion in an emergency.  And if her discretion varied her move from the Purple techinique of "pick up child and move into hallway" to "restrain child" under the Pink technique, that is very different than if the Purple technique said "sing softly to the other children" and instead she chose the Pink technique of "restrain child."  I hope I am making why the specifics matter to me clear.  It's not at all that I think I know what is best.  It is that I have no way of knowing how what the teacher did was egregiuos or not because no one has said what specifically she should have done.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: buvezdevin on January 12, 2013, 08:07:09 AM
Whether you mean to or not, your post is coming across as "submit your child's educational plan to me for my evaluation, and then I will decide whether or not it is a valid educational plan and whether the teacher was free to ignore it at will".

No, not what I mean at all.  I would like to know how what the teacher should have done varied from what she actually did.  The IEP allowed her discretion in an emergency.  And if her discretion varied her move from the Purple techinique of "pick up child and move into hallway" to "restrain child" under the Pink technique, that is very different than if the Purple technique said "sing softly to the other children" and instead she chose the Pink technique of "restrain child."  I hope I am making why the specifics matter to me clear.  It's not at all that I think I know what is best.  It is that I have no way of knowing how what the teacher did was egregiuos or not because no one has said what specifically she should have done.

I think the reason you want to know specifics actually highlights why the lack of this teacher's training for purple techniques was an issue, and the teacher's year long absence of training was egregious.

To you, me or anyone not trained in purple techniques, the steps of a purple IEP might or might not make sense.  OP's first post is clear that techniques which are suited to pink are counter productive for purple, so what techniques work for purple and why they do or don't work would not be intuitive, but would need a specific understanding - through training.

Given that OP also mentions that this was an on-going problem, not a single emergency event, also indicates that the question of reasonable discretion teacher had to apply the IEP was not a one time question, but resulted from the *teacher's* failure to understand the IEP and purpose/reason for the  actions which should have been undertaken prior to using restraint.  So, to me, "what" steps should have been taken first is not of consequence.  The teacher's lack of training in relevant techniques, and lack of understanding would make it difficult for me to trust the teacher to effectively determine when to omit multiple steps and move to "emergency" technique.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Bethalize on January 12, 2013, 08:49:03 AM
So the teachers knows she is lacking in training, says she is going to get training, doesn't get training and instead continues with actions that are contraindicated, then when the inadvisability of this is flagged up to her she ignores it and carries on with her own sweet way? Even though her own sweet way is against the IEP carefully put down by a group of professionals? Then she ignores yet more attempts to draw her attention to what she is doing is not working and making the child very unhappy.

How arrogant and self-centred does someone have to be to continue making a child unhappy because they have a fixed idea about what should work? That is the same kind of thinking that used to force left-handed children to write with their right hand. In this day and age when professional expectations and standards are different I find this teacher's behaviour unacceptable. It might not have come from malice, but ignorance, laziness and stupidity can be just as harmful.

The mistake the teacher made was ignoring input from others. When dealing with a person who is NOT LISTENING (caps intentional) how else can you get through to them?

OP, it would have been good if you hadn't brought in the personal that you did. It was a counter attack that it would have been good if you could have managed without (although from what you've written perhaps it needed saying). However, what else could you have done to get through to the teacher? Personally if I had done what you had done I wouldn't apologise for what I said because of the multiple errors on the teacher's part that created a situation where you had very few powers left. So I say don't apologise. Not unless the teacher has apologised for (1) making herself a liar by not doing the learning she needed (2) not responding to concerns (3) not having the wit to see that her fixed ideas were hurting a child in her care.



Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Elisabunny on January 12, 2013, 11:05:56 AM
We don't know.  Regardless of what it is, you don't get certified in "it" without working with the kids.  It would be like becoming a heart surgeon before you ever got near a heart. The way you learn is practice, discussion, documentation, writing ...

But on the way to becoming a heart surgeon, you do lots of classroom work learning about the heart before you ever get near one.

I don't think the OP would have had a problem if the teacher had put in the time to actually learn about Purpleness before practicing on her son.  However, Teacher did not do any of the necessary research, and so (continuing the analogy) insisted on treating a heart like a liver.

Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: artk2002 on January 12, 2013, 11:24:47 AM
TurtleDove, perhaps I can give a slightly more concrete example that would help. Only slightly more concrete since I'm not a SPED teacher and don't know what OP's son's particular challenge is.

As others have said, an IEP is put together by a team of experts who are familiar with the child and with the generally accepted practice for dealing with that child's situation. They may start with a template and then customize it for the child. An expert in purple children would be familiar with the purple template and an expert in pink children would be familiar with the pink template. The specific IEP for that specific child takes precedence over the template, though.

So, here's a sample snippet from an IEP for a pink child, dealing with some behavior. Let's say it's playing too roughly with a toy:


For a purple child, the plan might be:


The first two steps don't exist for the pink child because they are known not to work for those children. The last two steps are included for the purple child because you need a "backstop" to deal with dangerous situations. They are not recommended actions because they will result in upsetting the child. They're there for emergencies.

The problem in the OP is that the teacher went straight to "take the toy away" or (worse) "restrain the child" without trying the first two steps. No emergency, she just went straight to them. That's going to damage the child. Why she did that is immaterial to the child's welfare. From the OP's description the teacher lacked any of the training and experience that might justify going against the IEP in a specific situation. But even then, the right thing for the teacher to do would be to go back to the committee that produced the IEP and have the IEP changed. Arbitrarily bypassing it is bad for the child (and may have legal ramifications -- those IEPs can be powerful weapons against indifferent teachers and administrators.)
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Sharnita on January 12, 2013, 11:42:40 AM
We don't know.  Regardless of what it is, you don't get certified in "it" without working with the kids.  It would be like becoming a heart surgeon before you ever got near a heart. The way you learn is practice, discussion, documentation, writing ...

But on the way to becoming a heart surgeon, you do lots of classroom work learning about the heart before you ever get near one.

I don't think the OP would have had a problem if the teacher had put in the time to actually learn about Purpleness before practicing on her son.  However, Teacher did not do any of the necessary research, and so (continuing the analogy) insisted on treating a heart like a liver.

Yes - I was just address the issue of certification and the idea that it came before working with the children.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Acadianna on January 12, 2013, 02:50:02 PM
For me, I still would like to know what, specifically, the teacher was supposed to have done.  I didn't see where the teacher was punishing the DS at all.  I understood she was trying, in an emergency situaiton, to prevent a violent child from hurting himself or someone else.  What, specifically, were those steps that she skipped?  If the steps were, "1) sing lullabyes; 2) walk away from child; 3) sing lullabyes in Spanish; (etc)" I would feel quite differently than if they were, "1) grab child's hands to calm him; 2) pick child up and move away from wall he is kicking; 3) take shoes off child so he will do less damage if he kicks another child in the face; (etc)."  I would really need to know what the teacher should have done, specifically, compared to what she actually did in an emergency, to villify her in any way at all.

I've worked for many years with students who have emotional disturbance and behavior plans.  For a long time, I worked in a self-contained classroom for such students.  (We no longer use that kind of classroom.)  Here's how these things are handled in my district.

Unless I misread the OP's additional information, the problem was destruction of property, and not danger to a person.  If only property is at risk, then there is no justification for going off the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).  Property is less important than the child's welfare.

Now if a student has some sort of melt-down but is not endangering himself, the first thing the teacher should do is clear the room of all other students and non-essential staff.  (A staff witness should remain in the room.)  This ensures that there is no danger to other children.  Again, no reason to go off-BIP.

If another child has been attacked, then the teacher should separate the students (using approved techniques for which the teacher has had training -- see below) and remove the attacked child from the room.  The BIP would still be followed with the child who has the disability.

It's likely that the BIP already provides for situations where there is danger to the student himself, or there may be a separate "action plan" for such situations.  If not, then this would be a situation that might justify going off-BIP.  Restraint should be a last resort though, if there is anything else that can be done (removing dangerous objects, putting a pillow under the student's head, etc.)  Restraint is itself potentially dangerous, both to the student and to staff.

Danger to staff is a little more of a gray area, I think, but again restraint should be a last resort.

If there is any possibility that a teacher might need to use physical restraint, then he/she should be specifically trained and certified in appropriate and acceptable techniques.  (These are designed to minimize harm to both student and staff, as inappropriate restraint can lead to injury or even death of the student.)

I can't cover every possible situation that can arise, but a teacher who goes off-BIP had better have reasonable justification for doing so -- and this means that there was danger to a human being.  Going off-BIP just because the teacher disagrees with the BIP's effectiveness is never an acceptable reason, as the BIP is a legal document which must be followed.

ETA:  If the BIP of a child who is prone to violence does not address this issue, then the case manager needs to call for an IEP meeting immediately and revise the BIP.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Twik on January 14, 2013, 11:44:03 AM
We don't know.  Regardless of what it is, you don't get certified in "it" without working with the kids.  It would be like becoming a heart surgeon before you ever got near a heart. The way you learn is practice, discussion, documentation, writing ...

I guess my point is that if the teacher only wanted to get credit, she would be pursuing the accreditation.  And based on this, then, the teacher WAS learning and working toward her accreditation.

It doesn't sound as if the teacher was learning anything - she was sailing ahead with the idea that a toolset for one disability is suitable for all of them.

It is unfortunate that parents, in advocating for their children with special needs, sometimes have to fight dirty, but they do. It sounds like the teacher, and her supporting administration, had decided "there is no problem here". In that case, the only way to affect change is to make it clear that there is, indeed, a problem. If that takes screaming, so be it.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Eeep! on January 14, 2013, 12:37:40 PM
We don't know.  Regardless of what it is, you don't get certified in "it" without working with the kids.  It would be like becoming a heart surgeon before you ever got near a heart. The way you learn is practice, discussion, documentation, writing ...

I guess my point is that if the teacher only wanted to get credit, she would be pursuing the accreditation.  And based on this, then, the teacher WAS learning and working toward her accreditation.

It doesn't sound as if the teacher was learning anything - she was sailing ahead with the idea that a toolset for one disability is suitable for all of them.

It is unfortunate that parents, in advocating for their children with special needs, sometimes have to fight dirty, but they do. It sounds like the teacher, and her supporting administration, had decided "there is no problem here". In that case, the only way to affect change is to make it clear that there is, indeed, a problem. If that takes screaming, so be it.

The teacher even admitted herself that she hadn't done any training.  You don't just magically learn how to deal with something as complex as a disability by osmosis.  Either you learn it by figuring out what techniques work and don't work, or you get training.  The former puts the poor child in the position of being a Guinea pig, which is unnecessary as much of that groundwork has been laid out by others before.  And the latter is  something the teacher - for whatever reason - failed to do.  If she was truly interested in her own development as a teacher, she would have remedied that in some way - heck just reading some teachers' forums and a book or two would be better than nothing.  Or, if she truly didn't have the time, but still cared about her student, she would have spoken to the administration herself and got the poor kid some help.  The fact that she did neither of these really seems to speak volumes.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: rashea on January 14, 2013, 12:52:20 PM
OP, generally, I think you made a mistake in bringing it up. I also think the teacher and school were so out of line they couldn't even see it anymore. Frankly, with most disabilities a quick google search will give you the basics of supporting someone with that disability. And if not, well, that's why you have a detailed IEP.

Frankly, I think you would have had a lot more credibility if you had escalated the problem when you couldn't get it resolved with the teacher/principle. Loosing your temper doesn't help in most situations, and it seems this teacher was able to get at least some spin on this situation to make you look like the bad guy.

If you had been asking this right after the incident, rather than months later, I would have suggested sending a letter to the school and copying the teacher on it. Something along the lines of saying that you wish you had approached the issue in a different way, and that isn't how you wanted to get things resolved, but that you hope they would own their own failures in the situation.

I also would encourage you to seek legal advice if you're every advocating for your child unsuccessfully in the future. You probably had a lot more clout in this situation than you realized. Start by contacting your local Center for Independent Living. They may also have support groups that can help you navigate the system, or simply give you a group of people going through the same thing.

And to give an idea of what an IEP might say for a student whose behavioral problems are secondary to their disability.
1. Ask child to return to current activity.
2. Ask child to calm themselves quietly.
3. Have child repeat calming phrase (maybe with hands over eyes)
4. Remind child that they have a goal of not having harming self, others, and property.
5. Offer child a chance to go to a separate room to calm themselves.
6. Attempt to lead child by the hand to the separate room where they can be separate from others to calm themselves.
7. Remove other children from the room.
8. Play soothing music for the child.
9. Bring child something they are allowed to hit.
10. Restrain child using appropriate technique..

This is culled from various IEPs, and isn't one example, but is a possibility.

And kicking a wall should never have resulted in restraints. It seems unlikely to result in real property damage (depending on the wall I suppose) and seems very much like a self-stimming issue. At that point, the child is trying like crazy to deal with an overload of sensory information. Restraint is likely to increase that sensory information. This is pretty basic knowledge for some disabilities, though without knowing which disability we're talking about I can't say for certain.

Finally, the school let down the child, and the teacher. I would feel that school actually holds the most responsibility in this situation. You don't put a student with a disability in with a teacher that isn't trained to help someone with that disability. And if you do, and I recognize that sometimes it happens when things shake out that way at the beginning of the semester, you make sure you get that teacher appropriate training and supports.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: joraemi on January 15, 2013, 08:52:05 AM
I'm going to say right off the bat that I stopped reading at page 5, so if someone has already said this, I apologize.

In my mind, this is a clear case of safety trumps etiquette.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: Twik on January 15, 2013, 10:01:01 AM
You are generally required to work with purple children in order to get purple certification.

Wait - so we know what "purple" stands for?  Because if it is what I think it is, and pink is what I think it is, then I do not see the big deal in the difference in technique.

That's why teachers get training, to understand the "big deal" about differences in technique.
Title: Re: Yes, I know I'm making it personal...
Post by: nayberry on January 15, 2013, 11:30:10 AM
^^ pod Twik


in my school year 6 at primary (5-11yrs old) we had a child with yellow syndrome,  they were lovely but if they got over excited or over stimulated it could cause a major meltdown,  this was just how they reacted.  the teacher had a learning support assistant who worked with the child and knew what signs to look out for, as did the teacher. 
one week we had a sub teacher who thought they knew it all, when LSA started to take child out of situations that were over stimulating the sub refused to allow it and was responsible (i was 10 and have no doubt it was down to them) for the child injuring themselves.
 that sub was written up and never allowed to come back to our school, the parents knew it was not the schools fault and never thought of litigation (i learnt a few years later as friend of the family)


it takes a lot of time and work to learn about different conditions, purple could very well be one that doesn't react well to be touched by non family or untrusted people.


OP i think the school owe you an apology, not the other way around.