show me, teach me, blog me

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 13 2008


I have this one student that I am just at a loss about how to help. His academics are just SO low. In all areas he is performing at a pre-K level. He is 10 years old and in 3rd grade, already the 2nd oldest in the class. His mom has told me on the rare occassion that she returns a phone call that he is deaf in one ear. I have worked with the school to get him a 504 plan and I am following the procedures in that plan. I have been as creative as possible, even giving him his own phonics phone (which is two curved pieces of PVC pipe) in an effort to amplify his own voice when he reads. Apparently the doctor’s have reccommended that he get amplification device for his ear and have set mom up with the resources, which was reinforced in the 504 plan. She has yet to take any steps to get her child amplification devices. She also refuses to come in for any meetings to discuss his academics. The only day she said she would come is next week on Wedesday after 5:00pm and I am not available at that time. This is probably un-TFA but I’m not going to give up my personal life because this is the one time she says that she will come. (She’s stood up every meeting thus-far)

He has an F, a LOW F (like 20%) in all academic subjects. On spelling tests he scores a 0/15. He holds him pencil in his fist and struggles to write the letters of the alphabet. He is the only child in my class who hasn’t been able to master his x0 or x1 multiplication facts in the past 5 weeks.

I have been trying to accomodate him, but he isn’t even making any progress on the sight words we are working on, “of, had, said, his, been, when.” When I ask him if he practices the cards I made he says that he lost them. I send home 1st grade decodable books (This is Pat. This is Pat’s Map. Pat’s cat is on the map.) and after a week he still can’t read them. He also says that he lost them.

I asked his little sister (also in 3rd grade) if she could work with him. She said that she would, but I don’t see any progress. Mom is in complete denial about his progress. She refuses to recognize the problems and she just blames the hearing…which is probably a huge factor…but then refuses to help him by getting him the amplification devices that could help him! Even if the hearing was fixed he basically missed his entire education from here on because he couldn’t hear. He is performing like a child with no formal education because he simply has not recieved one due to his disability.

I just don’t know what to do! I have 28 students and I try to give them all their fair share. I know that equal is not always fair, but even if I worked with K.Y. everyday all day I’m not sure how much progress we would make. I feel torn, I don’t want to “give up” on him, but I feel like everything so far has been futile.

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    An Elementary School Teacher in the Show Me State

    St. Louis
    Elementary School
    Elementary Education

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