Mar. 10th, 2017


Mar. 10th, 2017 07:01 pm
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I have only one special-needs student at the moment. She's hard-of-hearing and ESL, but she's smart, too. I like her, but she's a challenge.

Well, her mother emailed me a couple of days ago over concerns that Y is stressed at school and being bullied. I sent her a very carefully-written email that the itinerant teacher for the hard-of-hearing students and the principal both said was very well-done. It carefully addressed each of the points and suggested a solution to each.

She completely misunderstood it. She thinks I'm not using the FM system at all. (The FM system is basically a radio that pipes my voice straight into the hearing aid, so she can hear me much better.) What I actually said was that we have been neglecting the use of the FM microphone. The FM system has two parts - one than hangs around someone's neck and has a little mic that clips onto a lapel or something, and one in the shape of a hand-held wireless mic. I've been using the main FM system that hangs around my neck, consistently, but the kids haven't been making good use of the microphone.

She thinks I don't consider the things that were said to Y to be bullying. What I actually said was that I had not heard them, and I didn't see anything that would indicate bullying.

She thinks I don't explain to Y using face-to-face communication and short sentences, as is in her IEP. I do - but the kids don't, because they're SIX YEARS OLD, and it's the communication with the kids that's the problem.

So she went off on me. I forwarded her email to the principal, Jane, and asked for her support. The principal sent her an email asking her to come in for a meeting after March Break. I was cc'ed on that, of course. Y's mom deliberately replied only to the principal and repeated everything she'd said to me, only without pulling even the few punches she'd pulled before. She obviously doesn't realize Jane read her prior email, and it didn't occur to her that Jane would make sure I saw her reply. (Jane replied to her email in the thread, added me back into it, and that had the effect of quoting the email the mom had deliberately NOT sent to me.)

So now I'm in the worst possible position for an INTP with an anxiety disorder: someone has badly misunderstood me, is super upset with me (and if she believes all that, she has a right to be - I'd be upset with a teacher who did the things she thinks I did) and I have to sit on the whole thing for eleven days while everyone stews about it. My anxiety is telling me to write an email to defend myself, my brain and my principal are telling me not to touch it, Y's mom is still apparently expecting an email from me in reply to the last one she thought I would see, and I'm a bit of a mess.

I thought this mom was smarter than this, honestly. She doesn't seem to realize that if she got an email from the principal instead of me, it means she shouldn't expect one from me. It also means the principal has read everything she sent me, because I shared it with her. I wouldn't have asked for the principal's support without doing that. So cutting me off that last email and trying to get Jane to believe I was horrible to her child is proof positive that she doesn't understand how this is working.

Happy March Break to me, I guess?

June 2017


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