The Principal Meeting

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 | 0 Comments

We saw the principal. He was pretty nice. He is an alumni from the same college that I just graduated from. Which I'm not sure if that means anything, but I thought it was interesting in any case.

We asked all our questions. The answer on the phy-ed? Well, unless we have some sort of official document from some sort of official sorce that says that JD is unable to successfully participate in the regular phy-ed activities, he has to attend those classes. Bummer. But on the upside, the principal told us that he's pretty sure that none of the kids take showers.--I mean for phy-ed. I still don't understand the whole idea. As if being an adolescent wasn't awkward enough, let's force them to get naked in front of each other so that they can REALLY find things to pick on each other about.

I discussed my objection to that piece of filth that they call the school psychologist. The principal of course said that this was the first time he has heard anything negative against this man (well, he obviously has not talked to his ex-wife!). I told him that it didn't matter how many people he seemed to get along with because we weren't those people. He agreed and said that I should write him a letter with instructions not to allow the slimey asshole contact with my son. Done, and done!

He did say something disturbing. He was trying to assure me that there wasn't much tussling between grades. He said that the only time the 6th graders get roughed up by 8th graders is when they, the 6th graders, don't keep to themselves and get in the 8th graders way. It's their own fault then.

WHAT?! It's their own fault?!

I asked him if he was saying that he not only supported, but encouraged grade segregation in his school. I think this threw him off a bit. He tried to say that to integrate would be too hard because there are just far too many children (about 800) and that it was far easier on the children to stay with their own grade groups. I told him that it was unnatural and asked if the school did anything to ease this distinct separation and categorization.

Well, to be honest with you, uh... no, not really.

Oh, I see. Well, what about bullying? How do you handle that?

He went over possible situations using JD and a ficticious character named Ted. "If Ted did this, then JD should do this." He tried to be very thorough in the possibilities that JD might encounter and what his options would be at the school. He came up with some very specific scenarios, too, involving hitting/pushing, ganging up, and even the possibility of this Ted lying to make JD look like the one causing the problems. When the principal was done covering all the scenarios he could think of, he asked JD what he thought.

JD said, "Well, I can tell you one thing. I hope I never meet Ted!"

All in all, it went rather well and he was very good about meeting us so late in the day and being very patient and understanding with all our questions and concerns. Even though I still have some hesitations and JD does now too, we are both feeling that this is still worth a try. We have to set up a meeting with the school guidance counselor in two weeks and then register for classes. I really wonder what we are getting ourselves into!


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Blogger Indigo Red said...

I'm with JD; I don't want to meet Ted, either.

August 09, 2005 11:00 PM

Blogger Sandy said...

Ted's an asshole and the world is full of them. I haven't read this blog for long so I know I am obviously missing alot of info on JD etc. I hope everything works out for you.

August 09, 2005 11:23 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Indigo Red, the really funny thing was, and I didn't notice this until yesterday when I was looking at the principal's business card, that the principal's name was Ted! He used his OWN NAME!

Sandy, I'm with you. The world IS full of assholes!

August 10, 2005 8:17 AM

Blogger Sask 1 said...

Maybe he used his own name because he was the bully when he was at school.
Hope everything works out well.

August 10, 2005 10:02 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

I know. It kind of got me thinking...He did seem to know that "Ted" kid a little too well.

August 10, 2005 12:26 PM

Blogger evilsciencechick said...

the principal's name isn't Ted, is it? cause that would be a bad sign.

Well, it doesn't make sense, and it SHOULDN'T be encouraged...but there will always be older kids picking on the younger kids. Don't mess with the 8th graders. It seems unfair when you're in 6th grade, but seems to make much more sense (for some reason) when you're in 8th grade.

I'm sure JD will be fine! Just...maybe stick him in a giant hamster ball on his first day.

(that may only make sense to SSB)

August 10, 2005 1:18 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

ESC, well I must confess that I do change the names to protect the innocent, but he did use HIS name as the name of the bully. I thought that was a little weird.

August 10, 2005 1:53 PM

Blogger Tayster said...

My oldest daughter starts school in two weeks and I am so scared.

She's extremely nice to everyone, which is just going to make her a target for "Ted's."

I think I'm going to be sick...

August 10, 2005 4:53 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

JD was extremely nice to everyone too- until the first grade when his teacher made him a target.
But, he did come back around once he got out of that situation, so there is hope.

August 10, 2005 11:04 PM

Blogger Shannon said...

Maybe he was just using his name to reinforce the fact that principals and administration are often seen as enemies or picking on kids when they try to enforce their rules. I'm not trying to defend them, or say they don't do that, but maybe that was his reasoning.

Good luck to JD. I hope he doesn't meet any Teds either. 6th grade is rough for anyone.

August 10, 2005 11:33 PM

Blogger Sandy said...

You are kidding about his name(the principal)being Ted....aren't yah? Because if you are not that concerns me. I have never been a big school lover so I am always a little untrusting of teachers and principals.(I spend alot of time in the principals office growing up. It started in grade 4...long story)

August 10, 2005 11:55 PM

Blogger DrMax said...

Just let JD know he has the total support of all the folks that like his mom's blog! (Boy, that sounded a lot better in my mind then it did when I said it out loud.)

August 11, 2005 2:52 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Maybe, Shannon. I also thought he might be using his own name to avoid using a name that JD might associate with a real kid in the school.

Ah, Sandy, some one else who distrusts the school system! I wonder if most people just don't pay to much attention or don't expect much from it. My distrust comes from actually having gone myself. And he really did use his own name!

DrMax, I find that a lot of the things I say sounded a lot better in my head! And- Awe! that's so sweet.

August 11, 2005 8:07 AM

Blogger SierraBella said...

I'm hoping this all works out for you and your son.
Ted sounds awful evasive.

August 11, 2005 12:31 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Yes, he does, Sierrabella.

August 11, 2005 12:37 PM

Blogger OldRoses said...

I feel sorry for both you and JD. It's obvious neither one of you has a clue what you are getting into. You are being way too idealistic. And the principal is BSing you big time. I don't mean to sound negative, just realistic. Be prepared to be totally disillusioned. Good luck to you both. JD, be tough and but be true to yourself.

August 12, 2005 12:50 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Thanks, I certainly will keep that advice close.

August 12, 2005 7:53 AM

Blogger jac said...

Syl ! I hope that everything turns out well.

August 12, 2005 1:23 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Thank you very much, Jac :)

August 12, 2005 1:39 PM

Blogger Kari said...

aw, i wish JD the best of luck, Sylvana!

August 12, 2005 3:34 PM

Blogger Furlong said...

As a teacher, I will restrain myself from saying all the things I'd like about the people commenting about how inept teachers are. I mean I certainly wouldn't go into a McDonalds and tell people how to cook french fries nor would I tell a surgeon how to do brain surgery. So for all of those who are commenting on teachers and how they don't trust them, I suggest you see how well you can manage a classroom of 30 students between the ages of 12 and 14. Until that day, (and this is directed at those certain people) have a coke and shut up.

August 13, 2005 11:35 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Thanks, Kari. I really appreciate it.

Furlong, I wouldn't tell people at McDs how to do their business either- my tax dollars aren't going to fund their business, the government doesn't force me to eat there, and I can make fries the way that I like them at home.

You yourself admit that it is very difficult to work in the public school system the way that it is now. It is NOT a good system. It is hard on the teachers as well as the kids. I have seen a lot of teachers so burnt out that they begin to resent the kids and the parents, but they still work at the schools because that is their career.

I don't trust the system. I think too many agendas are being played out in schools that I completely disagree with. And I don't trust all the teachers. I have met some assholes that like to call themselves educators that take themselves way to seriously and do not know how to handle kids.

I can't do brain surgery, but I have every right to expect a brain surgeon to do it well. And if they can't, then I have every right to call them on it, (or someone acting on my behalf, of course, since at that point I'd most likely be dead).

It's always good to get other people's perspective on a situation. I think we could see your perspective better if you actually explained it. And I for one, would really like to hear a logical, well thought out argument from the "inside". So far, I haven't gotten a satisfactory one. Why don't you come up with something when you have gotten over the excitement and get back to me. Until then, have a Coke and smile.

August 15, 2005 1:48 PM

Blogger Furlong said...

You seem to lump all teachers together as if they are all evil. You make no differentiation between the one or two bad and the good ones.

You say the system is "bad", well I haven't heard any suggestion as to what can make it better. You sit there and tell me to explain my position when you yourself haven't expounded on your point of view. You talked in vaguery with the occasional passive aggresive insult (when you get over the excitement).

I spend money out of my own pocket to buy the simplest of instructional supplies as most teachers do. Its annoying that people spout off at the mouth about teachers lumping them all together like we are the reason for the decline of western society.

Don't tell me to provide an argument when no question was posed. All I saw in reference to teachers on the comment board was how untrustworthy we are. When a question is actually posed and not a little lets-hate-educators-fest I will respond to the question posed if one ever will be asked

August 16, 2005 9:46 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

I have already explained my position through personal experiences in previous posts.

I'll tell you one thing that I think could make it better- more money and smaller class sizes. I also think that teachers should be trained to be more progressive in their thinking rather than trying to squeeze all kids into a single mold. The majority of teachers that I have met in my life have lumped all kids into one category instead of treating them as individuals.

I have met more than "one or two" teachers that I feel should be no where near children. I never said they all were like this, though.

I didn't tell you to explain your position, I said it would be nice if you would. We all know our point of view, but we don't necessarily have insight on yours.

I was actually teasing when I wrote the last line. You obviously were in no mood to be teased though. If you simply get defensive when you hear things like this instead of trying to find out why people might feel this way, you will only reinforce and perpetuate those people's feelings.

I personally feel that the problems are with the system and that the teachers are just a product of the system. It's the ones that are willing to step away from the system to be more accommodating to the children's interests and needs that become great teachers. And I've had a few of those in my life. However, I have had more teachers that acted more like drill sergeants or wardens than educators.

I'd also like to remind you that you lumped all landlords together. "Landlords suck. The end. They are the most untrustworthy of all people in the world. Don't ever trust a landlord because they will do whatever they must to rape you out of your money." Now, being a landlord myself, I guess I could have taken offense, as you have at our comments; but even though you have basically said landlords were all like that, I know this is not true. And, I am confident in the fact that I am not like that. Perhaps if you were more confident in the fact that you weren't an untrustworthy teacher, you wouldn't get so upset either.

August 17, 2005 6:53 PM

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August 17, 2005 10:13 PM

Blogger Furlong said...

My response will be forthcoming, I'm a bit sick this week, I went hiking and may have gotten bitten by a tick. You'll have to excuse me if I don't have the energy to post.

I don't know how they do things out in the midwest, but in New England the training is very rigorous and "progressive". You were correct when you say, "we need smaller class sizes and more money" but of course who is going to provide that?

Additionally, a lot of money on this state is spent on standardized testing to enforce the no child left behind act. This money cannot be cut, it's mandated by the law.

I make no argument about older teachers who may be burnt out. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that most parents only show up to complain and never show up to support their children.

Once again, I'm not feeling good so I'm going to stop now, and believe me it isn't a cop out. If you would like to continue this discussion via email or something else I would be happy to.


P.S.- The landlords are evil thing.. yeah it's called a joke.....I do a lot of that on my site.....tell jokes, be funny, etc. You may have noticed that by reading it. Also, you have that subtle insult thing at the end of a comment brewed to perfection. You've mastered it, it's like a fine wine.

August 17, 2005 10:45 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

See, I knew the thing about the landlords wasn't true. But I have had quite few asshole landlords, that's why I would never be one. I'm tough but fair.

Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well. You should get tested for Lymes- they can put you on antibiotics right away so you can prevent going full-fledged. Once it gets past a certain stage, I don't think that they can cure it.

I hate the standardized testing and no-child left behind thing. These are some of the agendas that I was refering to. All talk and no funding. Plus it puts way too much pressure on already stressed schools and teachers. And usually the schools that already suffer from lack of funding.

That subtley thing is not meant to insult, most of the time. I have honed that skill from years of dealing with difficult/reactive friends that do not take critism easily. I find that if I'm too straight forward with them, they just shut down or get combative. So, I use it to soften tough information to get it through to them.

August 17, 2005 11:34 PM