What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Grammy Teacher, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    It's not the new television program that I'm referring to. It has that same title!
    Here's the situation. There are two brothers, one in my class and the other one next door in my coworkers class. We are involved in a reading program this month. Parents are asked to read to their children and write down some of the books that they read. The children bring in the slips of paper and proudly tape them to a reading poster. At the end of the month, we have a pizza party to celebrate reading. Well, the mother of these two boys won't read to them. We have asked her several times and given her books from our classrooms to read to them and she tells the boys she is too busy. These boys have serious speech and behavior problems and we are beginning to see why more clearly. We have told her about the public schools child development days and offered to take her there if need be. We told her we are very concerned about the boys and want to help them, but we need her to cooperate. She ignores us. What would you do???
     
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  3. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Preschool children in my school district are eligible for Child Study Team evaluation. I would contact the CST in your district in regards to these boys. I know for a fact that if our CST finds something educationally or physically wrong and the parent will not take steps the CST will notify child services. Why allow these children to suffer because of the mother's unwillingness.
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I don't know how it works in your state but if they have delays can't some one at the center refer the children to CDS for testing?
     
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'm not sure. In the past we had teachers come in from the school for things like speech, but I've been told they won't do that anymore. They offer a Preschool program within the school and we have tried to get her to enroll the boys there, but she won't do it.
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2008

    Can the mother read?????????????????


    Sounds like she is hiding it.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And, while trying to get through to the mother, tell the students that you will be their reader and log in what you read to them.
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    We're at our wits end. Their speech is terrible and their behavior is worse. They steal things, push other kids, holler and it's hard to explain, but the younger one grimaces his teeth when he's excited and kind of quivers. They flail their arms around, the older one in my class has trouble concentrating and repeats bad behaviors over and over and over. They're kind of like untamed animals.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Yes. That is a good question on your part. She can read.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I do that. Thanks for the suggestion though.
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2008

    on the spectrum?
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    This was my first thought as well. There's no easy way to ask the question. I would contact an adult literacy center in your area for more information.
     
  13. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I don't think you can have a child tested WITHOUT parental permission. I'm afraid there probably isn't a lot you can do at this point grammy. Document all of your concerns as well as parent refusal to cooperate. Will their records be sent to the school district in the fall?
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    She has read and filled out forms in the office. She reads letters and notes that we leave in her mail box and responds appropriately. She holds down a full time job, but I don't know how much if any reading is required. I'm quite certain she can read children's books.
     
  15. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    That's the case. We do need parents permission. I "think' I could get her to sign for it, but I don't think the school will cooperate because they have a Preschool program the kids can come to for help in special areas of concern. The boy in my class will be going on to Kindergarten in the fall so he will get the help he needs. They never ever ask us for records on any of the kids. My main reason for trying to do something now is because I'll have his little brother next year and I honestly don't think I can take another year of this mother not cooperating.
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

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    What I think is happening is, the boys go home each afternoon around 4:00, she feeds them and they go straight to bed. The boys told us that they go right to bed. One of them said mom won't read to us because we are too naughty. The other one said she didn't have time. Probably both reasons.
    Regardless, in my eyes, not reading to your kids is like not feeding them. It's like neglect.
     
  17. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I would call the Early Childhood director of your school district and tell them your concerns. I have helped our PreK teacher with this many times. Explain that you would like an evaluation done and tell them what behaviors you are seeing. They may be able to help you. Don't the children in the Preschool program need to "qualify" for it.......and to do so, they must be tested?
     
  18. Grammy Teacher

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    Kinder, that's what I was thinking, contacting someone at the Preschool and get their input. No, they don't need to "qualify" to attend Preschool. They go by age only. When they are aware of children who have problems, they place them accordingly. That's what Child Development Days are for. Children sign up for Preschool and the teachers do a little assessment so they know what teacher to place them with. She wouldn't go. We even offered to take her there if transportation was an issue. She just ignored us.
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    This is sad. All I can recommend is that you try to get a volunteer to take the boy out for 10-15 min and read to him each day. This will reinforce to him that reading is special, hopefully he will enjoy the books (get lots of nonfiction for him), and he will have lots of slips of paper on the poster - he will be part of the group. Also, being read to by an adult, maybe it will develop a good relationship there. It sounds like he isn't getting much from his mom. I would say, do what you can to meet the goal without the mom.

    As for next year, sheesh.
     
  20. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    You said the magic word, neglect. Call child protective services. Isn't it better to be safe then sorry in the long run?
     
  21. Here2Learn

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    this is pretty common with low income kids....i know first hand. is that the case with them? sounds like it.... the parents are usually tired from working all day and then have to come home and cook, clean, bathe the kids, etc. and they want to be left alone...they want the kids to go to their room or watch tv. it's no excuse...i've been in that situation working and going to school full time with kids...it's stressful, but i still read to them and had them practice writing instead of watching cartoons. unfortunately, not everyone cares that much about education. i don't think there's much you can do to change that situation...you can't MAKE her read to them, and it's not abuse that she won't. nobody is going to intervene. do you have a program at your school where the older kids come in and read to the younger ones? if not, get one started. i know of a couple of schools where the fifth graders come in once or twice a week for about twenty minutes to read to the kindergarteners. "reading buddies".... it's a great program.
     
  22. 2ndTimeArnd

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    Mar 27, 2008

    I would have guessed the same as Miss Frizzle - can't read and is to embarrassed to admit it. Sounds like neglect ... but of course not reading to a kid is very little to go on. But those other behaviors are very worrisome, too. You have to feel sorry for those boys .. any other staffers who could be their reader, like aides or whatever? And I would echo what other posters said about trying to get some public agency involved. Are you in a public school, Grammy Teacher?
     
  23. Here2Learn

    Here2Learn Companion

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    child services won't do anything when parents are driving around blitzed with their kids or sending them to school with the same clothes on for days at a time....they aren't going to do anything about a mother not reading to her children.....it would be a waste of time.
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Unfortunately, you are right. Please don't be too harsh on child services though. I see so many good people driven into the ground trying to do right by the kids in their care (the CPS workers). These people have case loads of 70 or more kids, and often as much as 100. The abuse frequently needs to be horrific before they step in because they are simply overwhelmed with cases that would make you sick to your stomach. My parents' foster kids' current case worker has 113 kids he is responsible for. He must see each of them at least once a month, supervise visits, testify in court, fill out mountains of forms, keep in touch with foster parents, biological parents, psychiatrists, etc for each of these kids. Where is the time? He is not an unusual case manager for my area.

    What this means is that we, as a community, need to do more for these kids. We, as teachers are in a prime position to help. No, we can't "do it all", but we can, as somebody else suggested, read to a child for 15 minutes a day. We can take the time to snuggle a preschooler or kindergartener who might not get that kind of attention at home. We make time to listen, undistracted, to the 3rd grader who finally hit the ball with the bat on the playground. Little things make a big difference.

    On a side note, One of my students earned his eagle scout ranking this year, along with one other young man. Attaining the rank of eagle scout is a huge deal, yet his mother couldn't be bothered to attend the ceremony. His teachers went instead of his family. A couple of weeks ago, this same young man told me that when his buddies tried to convince him to shoplift, he refused. Why? Because he didn't want to dissapoint me. His math teacher. In small ways all year, he's come to know that at least one adult cares about him, and that was enough for him to make the right decision in that situation. We are all capable of having that kind of impact, we just need to stop thinking that it's "somebody else's job".

    Okay, I'll get off my :soapbox: now.
     
  25. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Well, thanks for all your insight. It helps to put things into perspective and helps me make a decision. I have no intention of contacting human services. I might look into some help from the school system and perhaps persuade mom to send the younger one to their half day program next year. She refused this year, but maybe if I have some paper work in hand, she'll sign something and we can get the boy on the bus!!!!
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Grammy, let us know what happens. We're all rooting for the boys :) (and you :D )
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Could you send home books on tape?
     
  28. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    One more random thought. Maybe the mother is overwhelmed and needs services herself. Or maybe she just needs to know that somebody cares about HER, and isn't out to get her.

    Motherhood is a tough gig. That could be part of the issue.
     
  29. Here2Learn

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    don't think i was dissing child services...i understand the realities. i was just making a point that because of all the reasons u mentioned that they don't have time to be bothered with a mother who won't read to her kids. it is frustrating when u report a mother who does drugs and then drives with her kids and the case is closed, and then a week later she's on the front page of the paper being arrested because she ran into a pole and put 1200 people out of power (with her child in the car). the mother in question is neglecting her child's education in my eyes, but there are millions of kids who have it a lot worse...not that it's an excuse, but child services just has bigger fish to fry. it's not the workers...it's the whole system. i agree with you that teachers have to step up in these situations...that's why i suggested the reading buddies. little things make a big difference...even if it isn't in the "job description". i would seriously look into having the older kids come down and read to the younger ones. it has made a big difference for everyone involved in the cases i've seen.
     
  30. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    We are doing a RIF reading program right now, too. Parents are asked to read one book to the child, write the title on a slip and return the slip to school. We also are having a party when we get 25 slips back. Of course many of my parents do not bother. Sigh. It is very discouraging.
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    They would never be returned, the brothers are so rowdy they would break the tape, mom would still say there is no time to read(they eat supper and go to bed,) and I doubt they have a tape player and are not capable of taking care of one. Thanks anyway!!
     
  32. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    True. She does have some county assistance for child care, food, etc. People give her things(she says they leave tons of things on her doorstep)clothes for the kids for example. The kids go visit dad and grama on occasion, so she does get time for herself.
     
  33. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    There are no "older kids" in our facility. I read to the class daily. This is about parent involvment in our program and she has none when it comes to helping the boys learn(speech) and in this case the importance of reading to her kids. She has time to wander the aisles of Wal Mart though, but no time to read stories to her kids. Social Services can't get involved in this type of thing, so it's not even an option to think they would or should. I am trying to get help from the public school.
     
  34. Grammy Teacher

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    School has been contacted and I hope to get necessary paper work to bring to her to sign the younger one up for their Preschool program for next fall. That way, they can see what he needs for speech and do some assessments. I just need him out of my hands(classroom) and in the hands of someone trained to help him in speech and can perhaps get her involved somehow. Thanks for all your help.
     
  35. teacherstudent1

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    One of my previous positions was with ECI, Early Childhood Intervention, which is part C of IDEA. Children with qualifying disabilities up to the age of three can receive free services in the child's home from your states part C early childhood intervention program.

    Once a child turns three, they can be tested by the local school district who must offer free special education services to qualifying students. Some states continue to offer in-home services through ECI and some offer the services through special programs in the local public schools.

    States must also provide preschool services for low-income, second language learners, and children of the active military. These services are also free.

    It is true that parent consent is necessary for initial assessment and placement, however.

    I would try to explain to the mother that you are concerned for her children's future success due to there significant behavior and speech problems, and be sure she knows that there is no charge. She might even save money if she is paying for daycare (which I'm assuming she is). Many parents don't want to admit a problem, are afraid of labeling their child, or simply don't know where to turn. But is seems pretty clear that she and her children need help.

    Someone mentioned a spectrum disorder (such as PDD, Aspergers, Autism), and this is certainly a possibility (given the description of repetitive motions, speech delays, tantrums).

    At the very least the children need to be evaluated and offered appropriate interventions. The earlier these start, the better chance these children will have.
     
  36. MsTeacher98

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    What a frustrating situation. I don't really have any other advice to add. Maybe if you bring her the forms all filled out except her signature and play up the benefits of having him in the program thats in the same building as his brothers...

    Motherhood is hard, being poor is hard, the whole situation is hard- but doesn't she realize that she is actually making the situation worse?
     
  37. Grammy Teacher

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    We have those programs, but first you have to get the parent's consent. That's what I'm working on right now.
     
  38. Grammy Teacher

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    Exactly what I'm trying to do. I hope to get some forms next week and bring them to her. She is poor and I don't think she has the "smarts" to realize how important all of this is for her kids.
     
  39. MissFroggy

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    I understand the problems with the mother, they sound terrible and it seems those boys need a lot more help in general than they are able to get-- but one thing about your incentive program...

    I'm not sure it's fair for a child who has no control over their home life or circumstances to be punished and not allowed to join in the party (if this is happening) because of an uninvolved parent.

    I hope there is a way for ALL children to participate! Perhaps put a paper on the poster each time YOU read a book to the whole class, that way it's like everyone has had a book read to them and can participate in the party.
     
  40. Grammy Teacher

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    Oh no it's not like that! Of course I read to them everyday and there will be a pizza party for all. No need to worry about that.
     
  41. 5thgraderocks

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Do you think dad and grandparents would be more approachable? I was thinking about tapes as I read the suggestions. It sounds like they have lots of problems. They're lucky to have a caring teacher at such a young age. You might not "fix" them but getting them on track early is their best chance!
     

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