I wanted to cry at a team meeting today. The student is an 8th grader who has good abilities and average intelligence, but he’s failing his academic subjects, all of his academic subjects. He’s on an IEP for ADD and Anxiety. Earlier in the school year he was beat up in school and the other students were arrested. He went to court and testified against them. So, it’s been a difficult year, but he has a positive attitude and tries hard. He gets academic support every day for organization, academic planning, and self advocacy skills.
As I asked questions at the meeting about his progress and how he was participating in his classes. I was astonished at the level of apathy from the teachers. He had missing assignments that were classroom assignments. I wanted to know how they could be missing if they were completed in class. The teacher said, he doesn’t turn them in at the end of the class. He forgets to hand it in and stuffs it in his backpack. The class has 13 students and a teacher and an aide. Yet no one can ask him or remind him or help him learn a strategy to remember to hand it in. Two of the missing days were from days he missed school due to the court case. And yet he wasn’t given the opportunity to make up the assignment, just given a zero. His class participation is good, but his quizzes are mostly failing grades. When asked, the teacher assures us that he understands the material and is staying up with the rest of the class even though his test scores don’t reflect it and if you ask the student, he claims to not understand all of the work.
His academic support teacher, the special education teacher, who works with him every day, doesn’t know how he’s progressing towards his IEP goals and isn’t aware of how he’s organizing his assignments.
Like I said, I just wanted to cry.
One of the obstacles that I have the hardest time dealing with is when they just don’t care. I don’t know if it’s just that school personnel are overwhelmed or they’re burned out? But I am finding more and more situations that just don’t care.