So, where were we in the saga of My Son’s School Needs To Communicate With Me Better About All The Great Things They’re Doing?
The end of last week was a bit rubbish. On Friday, I calmed down and got a plan. I found a nice pretty card with a picture of a butterfly on in calming lilacs and I wrote every so politely, firmly and unambiguously inside “Please can we have a copy of X’s Thrive notes, thank you”. Hubby collected him from school while I collected little sister (so we could set off straight away on our big trip) and I gave him the card to hand to the teacher. Job done, right?
Hubby reported back that he’d talked to the teacher (teacher B for anyone taking notes) and that she had suggested we arrange to see them after school this week to talk about the notes.
This did not make me happy. By this point, the original aim of finding out what he does there is long out of the window I just want a copy of the notes that I’m entitled too and I’ve been told I can have and I’ve asked for at least 3 times now. Plus this week is mega busy, partly with end of term school shenanigans, and seeing his teachers after school means finding someone to look after him while we do it and hubby will want to leave work early and …..
I mainly forgot about this when we were away but when I was lying in bed trying and failing to sleep Saturday night this was one of the things that was rolling around my head.
I decided in the end that I would adopt a firm, polite, unyielding persona, of one who appears to listen and then repeats their point. Much like the head teacher at the school (which is why I’ve not contacted her at any point). As you won’t know head teacher, think politician. I decided that my response to teacher A on Monday would be “thank you for offering to see me about this, but I’m afraid I don’t have time this week, a photocopy for us to look at at home like the Senco said we could have will be fine thank you”. I practiced it in my head. Polite, to the point, firm and unwavering is not my style.
So, yesterday afternoon comes around. I’m running late, I decide I can’t be bothered with this conversation yet so I stand a way away so boy runs to me, avoiding teacher. Boy runs over and tells me teacher wants to see me. Great. I take a breath and go over (see One Depressed Mama, I’m following my own advice for once).
I should point out at this point that it’s Teacher B, who’s normally not there on Mondays. I have my script in my head but then she starts to describe the terrible day she’s had with him. Script out window. Massive Guilt attack. I know why she’s had a terrible day with him. He’s barely slept all weekend and yet despite that he was really good for us, it’s obviously caught up with him. I feel guilty about being a Bad Parent for taking him away in term time when he clearly couldn’t cope. I explain I know why he’s being bad, but she’s already aware he went away – he must’ve been telling her about the Tour De France.
Afterwards I thought about this guilt and I decided that it was a gut reaction and I’m going to let it go. After all, the school never seem that concerned when being at school makes him so tired that he’s a nightmare at home, midly sympathetic yes, but they don’t consider not teaching him for a few hours to make my life easier. And this was a very important trip to us as a family and it did me a lot of good. Plus it was unusual for us, we’re not taking him away like this in term time often. So I have decided I was not irresponsible, it was an exceptional circumstance (having the tour de france cycle down a huge hill that was part of one of hubby’s favourite rides as a teenager is unlikely to happen again) and this side effect is predictable, unfortunate, but temporary. I do, however, have to keep reminding Bitchface to tow the party line on this one.
Anyway, it seems like the main problem she had was getting him to write a letter. They’re buddying the kids up with the ones who’ll be at the top year of the juniors in September (great idea, see, they are a good school), the year 5’s had all written letters and the year 2’s were supposed to write replies. And he didn’t. She apparently kept him in at break and dinner time but he still didn’t write his letter. In the end he didn’t go to assembly at the end of the day and she left him with a teaching assistant instead and he finally wrote something.
I have some sympathy for the teacher. He’s infuriating when he’s in that mood. And he should be able to write a letter. But on refection, I don’t think keeping him in is ever going to work. You only get him to do stuff if you have him on side and keeping in the boy who needs to run around lots is never going to work.
So, once she’s discussed all this (well, more told me than discussed, I wasn’t quite sure what she expected of me, maybe I should’ve asked her that), with me being distracted by keeping an eye on boy over her shoulder who’s being quite irresponsible with an umbrella at high speed, then she mentions the Thrive stuff. I’m worn down at this point and when she starts talking about how the documents wont make much sense on their own and I need to have them explained to me my heart sinks and I’ve lost all my resolve. But then I realise that she’s suggesting I meet with the Teaching Assistant who takes him for Thrive, whom I know because she was the full time class TA when he was in reception, and she’s great. And it makes sense. And Teacher B is suggesting times when I can see TA towards the end of school hours and Teacher B will take over supervising the kids on the computers so that TA can talk to me.
This is actually a sensible, thought out plan and Teacher B is offering to give up some of her Planning Time to facilitate it, I feel like I’ve been met half way. And I can still ask for a copy from the TA if I think it’s appropriate so I can talk it through with hubby, who won’t be able to come.
So, that is the new plan. See TA in school, find out what is going on in his Thrive time, so that I have some idea. And also, work out what this blinking “Thrive Documentation” is, the thing that it’s so hard to find out about, that they’re using instead of the Home School Action Plan, that I only know about as their SEN policy states they will use a HSAP. Partly, I want gather evidence on how well/badly I feel they’ve been following their own SEN policy so that I can write a letter explaining the error of their ways to them after then end of term. Unless of course I decide that I’m being obsessive/vindictive/unfair and don’t write it. Or more likely I intend to write it and never get around to it.
We shall see. Anyway, I have a next step in the saga.