It all started with MJ’s first high school Open House. I was eager to hear all of the information that the teacher would give us about educating our special needs kiddos. Well, I was extremely disappointed! She greeted us as we entered the classroom and sat down. She then played a video of the administrative team introducing themselves to the parents. After the video, she gave us a sheet that detailed what subject was taught on a specific day (the school operates on a block schedule). She then said, “do you have any questions for me?” I could not believe that she did not tell us anything about what the kids would learn in her class, nothing about projects, nothing about the process at lunchtime, nothing about reading, nothing about math, nothing about social studies, nothing about science, nothing about their electives. SHE TOLD US NOTHING! Well, when she asked the question, I looked around at the other parents to see if anyone was going to begin asking questions…No one did, so I took out my journal and began asking what I believe to be basic questions, that I assumed would have been automatically answered during her open house presentation. What stands out the most is when I asked about what reading and math curriculum she used. Her response was, “I don’t have a curriculum.” I immediately repeated what she said with a scowl on my face. How can she not have a curriculum?! Where is she getting the information to teach my kid?! From that moment I knew that I would have to set up a parent/teacher conference with her to really find out what “curriculum” she uses. I don’t want MJ to be “work-sheeted” to death! I don’t have time for him to be completing meaningless worksheets day after day and not truly learning anything. The conference will be in the next week and I am praying that there is a good outcome to it.
8 thoughts on “Open House Horror”
This is so frustrating! I’m praying that the conference goes well and she has an answer to this curriculum thing. Please keep us updated.
I find it interesting/disturbing the other parents didn’t have any concerns about it. Did you speak to any of them after the presentation to get their take on it?
Sure did! She had concerns as well and we are both dealing with separate issues with the teacher.
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Nicky, all I could say was “OMG”!!! Seriously? Words fail me …
Shocked. Yes. Surprised. No. Sadly this type of mess continues even after the child becomes an adult. I’ve had my confrontations with Stephen’s group home. I’m always striving for more for my brother. Fortunately his training center AABR is excellent. The problem lies in the budget cuts. For the last several years I’ve spent more time calling politicians, attending rallies, protesting, marching and demonstrating so we don’t return to the warehousing days of the 1960s.
One of my goals has been to get art back into his classroom at AABR. Because the state did not provide enough funding they had to let go the art teacher last year. This was one of Stephen’s favorite classes. Studies have shown the art is essential for adults with Autism or other learning disabilities. Since then I’ve tried to get people who are art teachers to volunteer their time, more calls to elected officials and of course I’m always doing fundraising on social media.
Disturbingly living in the richest country in the world one still has to fight for funding for programs and services that give a better life for people with developmentally and intellectual disabilities. My parents fought in the 1960s and 1970s. I fight now. Keep in mind Stephen and I are nearly 60! Yes things have improved since the 1960s. No more Willowbrook. But unless you stay on the backs of educators and service providers the gains your loved one has made could easily slip away. The good news in our case is the I’m Now Retired! Hallelujah! Retired as of August 16th. Using this time to continue my Autism Activism Advocacy.
Such a shame. I too believe that this has been going on for years. Keep advocating. If we don’t, who will.
I wish you all the best Nicky. I know you will keep pressing until the school improve. It is hard to imagine how a teacher could not have a curriculum.
I’m still confused by it!