child development

To All The Teachers Who Failed My Daughter

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young-girl-chalkboardI still receive email updates from my daughter’s former school.  I need to reply and asked to be removed, but deleting each sporadic update is easier. What I really want to do — what I really, really want to say — is thanks for nothing. Thank you for collecting a paycheck, and that’s it. You failed my daughter and you’re failing all the students like her.

I have a stack — more like a Mt. Everest — of paperwork telling me my daughter doesn’t read so well. That’s the easy way to explain her learning disability in “memory recall,” which affects her reading comprehension, basic reading, and fluency. She’s at risk for depression, anxiety, learning problems, withdrawal, and somatization — when your anxiety is so intense, you begin to experience physical symptoms without an organic cause. Like, for instance, telling your teacher “my stomach hurts” everyday for three months so you can go to the nurse and blank out instead of trying to understand a critical thinking concept when you can’t even read. And then having the teacher think you’re lazy so she fails you as a ten-year-old.

I went through the roof when I saw that final fifth grade report card. I flew down to the school, fired off emails — I lost it. I made calls, I contacted people district wide — higher-ups and non-profit advocates. How could one teacher — without notice — fail a child with a learning disability? If you think Congress does nothing, try and manage the bureaucracy of a public school — you have a better chance of spinning your hair into gold and living comfortably for the rest of your life. Try and tell a principal that a teacher does a horrible, very bad, no-good job and you might as well be blowing in the wind. No one wants to hear it. There are tests the regular track students must master for funding and highest achiever honors to give to the gifted. If your child is designated special education, your family is effectively sitting bench in the baseball game of education — you’re part of the team in so far as you don’t speak up and dare to participate because you’ll bring everyone else down.

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