Friday, January 26, 2007

Oh No You Did NOT Just Say That!!!!

Son #1 comes home from school yesterday. He is my super bright (to see just how bright, check out my Jan. 18th post), very eccentric, very tiny for his age, hyperactive, socially awkward, creative, beautiful child with glasses and a speech impediment. Now, none of these qualities in and of themselves are a big deal. But when you put them all together, I'm a little concerned that some bully might perceived Son #1 as an 'easy mark.' Fortunately he has pretty high self-esteem.

Back to yesterday. I asked, as I always do, how his day at school went. He tells me it was okay, but he got "annoyed" (his word) with his gym teacher. When I asked why, he told me that his gym teacher told him "My dog could play football better than you."

Um, yeah. And I bet your dog could teach physical education better than you do, nimrod! Dear Hubby played every sport there was in high school (the advantage of a small school). Coaches sometimes talk 'smack.' I get that. But IF - and it's a big 'if' - he feels compelled to "joke" like that (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he WAS indeed joking), shouldn't he save it for his athletes with whom he has developed rapport, rather than talk smack to the unathletic kid who doesn't even know how to play football? Uh, yeah, what a way to inspire a love for sports, Coach.

I know there are some folks who will suggest that Son #1 and I need to develop a thicker skin, but I really disagree. As a Christian, I try to teach my kids to treat other people with dignity. But I also want them to know that they too should be treated with respect and they should stand up for themselves, tactfully and firmly, when they aren't. In the meantime, though, I 'got his back' (as well as Son #2's and Son #3's).

Fortunately, Son #1's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting is on Feb. 1st and I will bring it up then since the assistant principal sits in then. His regular teachers are great with kids who learn differently, but I'm far less impressed with the teachers of the other classes like gym and music (I'll save music for another day).

11 comments:

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

You do not need to get a thicker skin! I would be calling the school and I asked my hubby said he'd go down to the school and talk to him (ok, he really said he'd kick the guys butt..but I re-worded it so he'd come off like the youth pastor he is.lol) There is no need for teachers to ever talk down to a child like that. It makes me so angry!! I'm hoping that he said it in fun.

Anna said...

Oh girl....that would have made me mad beyond words! I don't care if coaches talk smack...thats just mean. I would definately bring that up at your meeting..because that is completely uncalled for. You'll have to let us all know how it goes!!

Elle*Bee said...

Thanks, ladies. I'll keep you posted. It's not the first time this teacher said something that I considered to be insensitive, but neither Son #1 nor I can remember what the other instance was. I always tell my kids to do their best, even if they don't feel that they're good at something (or something that they're not particularly interested in). But with an attitude like this teacher's, I can see why some kids just decide to give up. The bullying gym coach - how stereotypical is that? (Dear Hubby said pretty much the same thing that yours did, flip flop mamma.) I was going to write a note, but I'm still so flabbergasted! Perhaps Mom will benefit from a 6-day cooling off period. >:-(

Lala's world said...

I would have a problem with that too! so you go girl! that teacher sounds like a bright individual....um NOT

Nicole said...

WOW. That kind of chocks me. That a teacher (that is what gym teachers really are) would degrade a child like that. I would be more than a little upset about it. There is just no excuse for words like that to a child. Kidding or not.

Elle*Bee said...

lala and nicole, I'm still pretty shocked myself, which is why I didn't march down there on Friday. I will bring it up at our meeting on the 1st, even though the coach doesn't attend that. The asst. principal does, so I think that might get the ball rolling.

Chicky Pea said...

You skin is just fine. That teacher, however, sounds like an ass. Something tells me he wasn't joking when he said it either. That is just my feeling on the situation.

That Chick Over There said...

I hate when coaches "motivate" in such a way. I'm so sorry.

Sue said...

Ohh I'd be asking to talk to that "teacher" (and I'm using the term loosely here) and his boss about his choice of words. You are correct - if it were a team situation, where the coach was trying to motivate a team member, that would be one thing. But in a class? Not so much.

And if he's saying things like that to your son, who knows what he's saying to some of the other kids? Grrrr.....Sorry. Keep us posted!

Elle*Bee said...

thanks, chicky pea, I'm really trying to give him benefit of the doubt that it was a poor attempt at humor, but I don't know...

welcome, that chick, and thanks for weighing in. I don't like that method of "motivating" either. It might be slightly different if he tried out for a team and this is the coach's - ahem - style. If he didn't like it, he could quit. Instead, this is a kid who is taking the class because it's mandated (and rightfully so - kid's need physical activity) and it's clear that he struggles. In that situation, I think the teacher should be more supportive.

I was a gym geek in school, his dad was a jock. Neither one of us are happy about this...

I believe at some point, sue, I will be having a chat with the teacher. I want to bring it up at the IEP meeting though (the gym teacher doesn't attend) for a couple of reasons: the asst. principal will be there, I can ask about the formalized training that these other teachers (P.E., music) have in dealing with children with exceptionalities (as they're called in our state, since 'disability' isn't really accurate). Plus they also hand out the most recent booklets on accommodations, least restrictive environment, protections under ADA and IDEA, etc. It might make it a little harder to just brush it off then.

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

I know exactly how your son felt. The same thing happened to me in school. And that was over 30 years ago!

Some things just don't change.