Since it's behind us, I can disclose that the second grade teacher Zuki started off with last year, was a disaster. I won't outright say that it was all her fault, but now that he's in a class with teachers who actually give a shit, I see a distinct difference in his progress. He's excited, he's motivated and most importantly, he's confident and figuring things out for himself.
Maybe it was being a seven year old boy. Perhaps it was second grade. Whatever was the case, he's now a completely different person. I feel like going back to her and slap down his notebook in her face (like she did to me, seriously) and say "In your face!".
I remember how smug she was when she compared his handwriting to another student, who was exceptional to the point that it put my mother's precise penmanship to shame. He can't keep up, she said but her face expressed, I want nothing to do with him.
After jumping through hoops, bending over backwards and walking over hot coals, I had him designated to CTT (Collaborative Team Teaching) with two teachers for the rest of his educational term. How do I know he's happy? He came home Friday afternoon asking to do his homework.
He asked when he could get to do his homework.
Teachers have a hard job - they deserve more than recognition, they deserve awe. I hate to say anything bad about any one of them because I'd hate to think a bad one existed among them. But you wind up learning something regardless. What I've learned is that there are people who truly care about our kid's education and are willing to go above and beyond to make sure they get a damned good one. To them I owe my life. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I thank them for finding a way rather than trying to bang a nonagon peg into a square hole.
For us, the second grade Hell is over. Perhaps it's a little too early to celebrate, but when it seems like the air is a little more breathable, the future is more pliable and finally - finally the talented little person is emerging with all the wonder education has to offer, what can you do but treat him to some Fish n' Chips.
Way to go, Zuki.