Weekend Assignment #59: Teachers Worth Remembering
Mrs. D has this hands down! She was not my teacher but the 1st grade teacher to my Son James. Since his birth I always knew there was something different about this child, he was born a great thinker and not only was his mind racing at top speed all the time but so was his tiny little body! He wasn't the type of child that took how anything ran at face value, no he had to take it apart to see how it worked, then put it back together then take it apart again to see if he could improve on its design.
He never sat still, he was always in motion.... a constant blur and a constant challenge. I decided when he was 3 to put him in a 2 afternoon a week Parents Day Out Program so I could spend some alone time with his sister who was just 10.5 months older than him, I felt that she was robbed of 'Mommy' time because his arrival was so short after hers, and she was by far the least squeaky wheel in the family, she didn't mind taking a back seat to her siblings but I wanted time set aside for her and I. We spent those afternoons talking, playing, shopping, tea parties you name it we did it.
The good times were always over shadowed when ever I picked my Son up from the PDO program, I was ALWAYS told how he disrupted the class, how he couldn't follow the simplest direction, how he could not sit still, how he bothered everybody included the teacher, how he seemed to bully the other kids, the last straw came when I walked in one afternoon to pick him up only to over hear the teacher (not Mrs. D) say "how she hated Tuesdays and Thursdays because HE was there!" to another Mother.....needless to say I was LIVID! How very unprofessional of her, and believe you me!!!! I voiced my concerns with her and the administrator and I pulled him from that class.
The following year came a wonderful Preschool teacher who was better equipped to handle my Son......She knew he was a handful but loved him in spite of himself.....Then Kindergarten and I was constantly called on the carpet because of the same issues he exhibited earlier and was told he was a discipline problem over and over......Well I am not about tobeat the Holy hell out of my child everyday to make him a better student...I needed answers and didn't know where to look for them......he was my only boy with 3 older sisters and I and everybody else that knew him attributed this to 'He's a boy that is what boys do' and since I had no one to compare him to I bought into that for a while too.
First Grade and Mrs. D.....finally half way through school she called me in one day and said, "I don't think Jimmy CAN control himself and his impulses, I want to have him tested for ADHD"......finally someone who saw what I saw and possibly had a solution and not just pass it off as a discipline problem for me to handle at home. After several batteries of tests, being evaluated by a Pediatric Specialist, cat scans and mri scans of the brain, blood tests to make sure it wasn't biological in nature and then finally a PET scan he was diagnosed severe ADHD he was textbook perfect ADHD.(future testing showed other things that we can be exposed to as he grows and a year later he was diagnosed with ODD.. Oppositional Defiant Disorder.)Whole nother ballgame!
With Mrs. D by my side along with his Doctors my son was finally given a fighting chance to get the best education he deserves, with the right amount of medication and behavior therapy he is a happy (most of the time Ü) well adjusted child who can sit still in class and not disrupt his fellow students who can process what he is being taught and has become not only an excellent student but there aren't any more discipline problems out of the realm of normalcy.
Mrs. D.....that one teacher who could step out of the box and realized that not every child is from the cookie cutter type and that the ones with special needs are worthy of understanding, patience and a good education. We all became better at our jobs, her as a teacher, it taught her to look for signs early and act on them, me as a parent because the whole process taught me the tools I needed to handle Jimmy and Jimmy himself to become all he can be. He is in advanced studies and he is no longer is a discipline problem at home or school and he is ready to take on 8th grade in the fall!