Friday, August 5, 2011

I Don’t Belong Here

What the hell am I doing here -  I don't belong hereThose of you have followed along for a while know that Algebra 1, was the bane of my parental existence for the entirety of my big girl’s 8th grade year.

I mean I tried everything I could think of to get that kid to just turn in her work. I begged, I pleaded, tried empathy, I remained calm, I lost my cool, I threatened, I followed through, nope, it wasn’t gonna happen, she would do her work but she would NOT TURN IT IN. I emailed the teacher, I set her up with a tutor, I took her to a professional tutoring place, both of which informed me she didn’t need help…she completely understood how to do it. But still she would not turn in the work. I called the school counselor (many times), I meet with the other school counselor, and I took her to a private counselor. Still she refused to just turn in the mother freaking homework we watched her do!

It always came back to it wasn’t her fault and my big girl insisting that she didn’t belong in that class in the first place.

I would pull out the letter from her 7th grade teacher explaining why the big girl had been placed in 9th grade Algebra, rather than 8th grade math. I would show her where the letter outlined the test score and grade requirements; I would show her where it showed her grades and her test scores and how hers were well over the minimum requirement to be placed in the advanced class. But she could not be dissuaded from her insistence that she was wrongly placed in the class.

I knew that her belief was at the root of her lack of effort…But, It. Made. No. Sense! It was a mistaken belief, and I had no idea where on earth it came from. I was very worried, that she had somehow lost confidence in herself for no apparent reason, with no logical explanation.

That is until Mr. Sunday and I went to school on the day before the revoked Chicago trip to see if our big girl had turned in her work, which she hadn’t. Me being me, I looked the teacher in the eye and said

“I just don’t understand what is going on here! Does she understand the work or not? She has always loved math and excelled in it until this year. Did she hit a wall or something? ”

“I have no idea, she doesn’t speak in class and she refuses to ask for help.”

At this point my big girl chimes in crying with, “I keep telling you that I DON’T BELONG IN THIS CLASS IN THE FIRST PLACE!”

As I start with “No, honey we have been over and over this and that is just not TRUE”

Her teacher, that she has had all freaking year interrupts me with,

“No she is right. Mrs. So and So put a LOT of kids in this class who don’t belong here because she was retiring and she wouldn’t have to deal with the fall out.”

I was stunned…Me stunned…into silence…yes, I am sure my eyes were bugging out and the vein in my neck was popping…but I could say nothing. Oh, My Goodness, so this is what she has been telling her class all year. This is why my daughter who easily qualified for the class was insisting that she didn’t belong, and all of the king’s horses, tutors, and counselors or mommy could convince her otherwise.

Now, I clearly understood what had happen and how, but I had no idea how to fix it. I had no idea how to give her love of math or self-confidence back, or how to combat a solid year of being given the message that some of them weren’t good enough and didn’t belong and her willingness to internalize it and take it on as her truth. Oh what a mess.

Powered by Blogger