Friday, September 26, 2014

The Principal's Office

Judah laid down in his bed and told the aide, "I'm tired." this morning. I asked him what he wanted to do this afternoon and he said, "I don't know." Again pottying completely on his own today. We did put a diaper on him since he hadn't pooped and it was about his pooping time of day. Half an hour later we all left to pick up Sebastian. Judah peed in his diaper while we were on the playground at school, filling it so much that he was uncomfortable running! ha. That was a first, very unexpected. He is very aware of having a diaper on! On the playground Judah chased Sebastian & his friend around, trying hard to climb as high as they were. The aide was close by, pulling him down many times. Willow was also climbing. She can now climb the bars that form a half rainbow shape, ending at the top of the play structure. When she gets near the top I can barely reach her. Makes me so nervous! Brave little monster.

Scott & I met with the principal. She was able to explain how the dual language system is set up there. It's not as the website says - 50% class time spoken in English & 50% in Spanish. It's 90% Spanish and 10% English through 1st grade. 2nd & 3rd move to 70% Spanish & 30% English. However, this year 2nd & 3rd are at 50% English & 50% Spanish because they are lacking teachers who can do the job (Spanish). The principal herself is not fluent in Spanish (her native language is German & she is fluent in English). Apparently she knows enough to get by & she said she could sit in the classrooms and understand mostly what the teachers were saying. ?? That was pretty surprising to me. I questioned if she had sat in Sebastian's classroom when we found out she knew nothing of his teacher's check mark system. Honestly I just find it hard to believe that someone who isn't fluent in Spanish could catch on to what the teacher was saying as she sputtered out the Spanish language non-stop, not to mention the 30 energized, talkative children floating about.

The principal seemed to think that people can only learn to be fluent in another language if they are taught at a young age, same with sports (her example was swimming). ?!?!?! What?!

The principal suggested keeping Sebastian in his class through the end of November or Christmas & see how it goes. She said he could go into the English class if we decide to move him. She knows we are out of district. She confirmed that they do have room in the English classes for more students. She suggested keeping in close contact with his teacher, continuing to go in after school & make sure we are clear on what he needs to be doing, etc. She thought it might be a good idea for his teacher to discreetly speak to him in English if she saw that he looked lost. She also suggested that we speak with the teacher about the check mark system, which of course we already have, but can always do again if we need to. She also said that she would be speaking to her about the system. Yikes. At one point the principal shared her thought on what could be happening - that perhaps the randomness of giving kids check marks could be the teacher using the surprise effect, which she thought could be good. At that point I told her that they are trying to get a certain number of check marks to get a prize. It's not a surprise effect situation - it's a luck of the draw competition for 6 & 7 year olds that pulls their focus away from education & adds stress to an already stressful situation.

The principal knew that the teacher answered kids in Spanish if they asked a question in English. I told her that I had watched a kid ask the teacher a question in English, & was given a Spanish answer - I let her know that this kid asked her question 3 times & got the Spanish answer 3 times. Ultimately the kid gave up & went back to her seat, obviously she was not understanding the Spanish answer. Principal had no comment on that.

When we picked up Sebastian the principal was nearby. We marched along in a line in front of her, with Willow taking the lead & Sebastian, myself, Judah & the aide following directly behind. The principal greeted Sebastian, telling him to have a nice weekend. She said hi to Willow (Willow was at the meeting too). Then she asked to know Judah's name & was studying him a bit as if she was piecing together a picture of our family - he was the missing piece (she had met everyone else). The aide at the end of the line probably really threw her for a loop!! haha.

I'm going to attempt observing both the English first grade & Sebastian's class (again). The principal ok'd me to take Willow & sit in the pod area outside of the classrooms if I wanted to try that. She added that if Willow wasn't cooperating then I could always just leave. I think this is a good idea. I'm not sure how much I will be able to catch of the Eng classroom, I could probably volunteer in there, esp on a day when Sebastian actually goes in there for his reading.

Sebastian brought home his work from class. They did another worksheet just like the homework he spent an hour on last night. He got about one right out of every 6 or 7. Another classmate that finished first (these kids get to go around & help other students) had helped him get through the rest of the problems - and there were a lot!! So we still need to work on that stuff quite a bit more it seems. I was really happy to see that he had accepted so much help from a co-student. He also said that he was polite to the girl who always tells him to scoot his chair over (they don't have much space at their tables). I had suggested that he be polite. He said that she stopped asking for a while after that, but then it started again, haha.

Scott took the morning off since I wasn't feeling well. By noon I made myself get up & we met with the principal an hour later. After some decongestant medicine and extra strength Tylenol, I began to feel more human.

Judah had no bm.
He had his beta! I ordered Iron-up - should have it in 2 days.
Judah missed fish oil (why?!?), iron-up, vitamin b-6.
We need to do eye drop tomorrow, didn't need skin rash med today.

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