Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why I'm in love with Danny's teachers

To say that last school year was a disaster for Danny would not be an understatement.  His teachers did not understand Danny's special needs, so he ended up floundering and even failing many subjects. Unfortunately, they didn't know how to help him.

All summer I prayed that this year would be better.  I met with his special ed teacher and asked her--really pleaded with her--to recommend a good teacher for Danny.

The teachers she picked for Danny are superb.  I couldn't have asked for a better placement!

Danny spends half the day in the resource room getting extra help with reading and math in a small setting with Mrs. C.  He then spends the afternoon with Mrs. F in a regular ed classroom.

I cannot overstate how amazing I feel these women are.  In just two short weeks, they have managed to change Danny's school experience from one filled with stress and failure, to one that is challenging, but manageable.  He is finally succeeding and enjoying the learning process.

Here is a list of some of the reasons I adore Danny's new teachers:

~~When I asked Mrs. C and F to meet with Danny before school started, they were enthusiastic and willing to help.  They took time from their busy schedule the day before the first day of school and gave us a tour of Danny's new school.  Mrs. F even walked him through all the places he would go on that first day.  They encouraged him and assured him that he wasn't the only person who was nervous.  They were too.

As a result, this was the first year, in the last 6, that Danny did not cry or even get misty-eyed on the first day of school.

~~As soon as we met Mrs. F, she approached Danny and shook his hand, telling him she was glad to meet him.  Instead of addressing all her questions and comments to me, she talked almost exclusively to Danny.  And she talked to him with respect and listened to his concerns.  She never talked down to or rushed him.

~~At the end of the first week, Mrs. F called me to tell me how great Danny was doing! And Mrs. C sent a note home saying the same thing. In the last 3 weeks I have gotten more p
ositive communication from his teachers than I got all year in second grade.

~~During the call, Mrs. F mentioned that Danny struggled with his first spelling test, so she asked me if I would mind if she shortened his list.  She said that she wanted him to have some success. I readily agreed, knowing that the regular list was a bit too challenging for Dan.

I loved that Mrs. F was so proactive in making modifications for Danny.  She didn't wait for our IEP meeting.  She didn't even need to consult his Special Ed teacher.  She just intuitively understood that 18 spelling words were a bit overwhelming for him.  So, she asked that we focus on the first 10 words.  This way, he would still be learning the same information, but in smaller chunks to make it less stressful for him.

~~His teachers are going out of their way to support Danny in his social interactions.  They prompt him to talk to others and encourage him to learn his classmates' names.

I could probably list about 20 more reasons why these teachers are excellent, but I won't bore you.  I cannot adequately express what a relief it is to have such caring, intuitive, hard-working teachers for my son this year.  I feel like this is a crucial year and these women are helping to make school an enjoyable place, rather than a stressful one for Dan.

I wish second grade hadn't been such a bad experience.  I wish his teacher from last year could see how well he is doing now, so maybe she'd realize she could have helped him more, but I guess it doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is that Danny is getting exactly what he needs, thanks to amazing teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty.  They probably have no idea what an enormous impact they are having on Danny's life, but I hope I can somehow thank them enough for all that they are doing.

For more posts on education, visit the Spin Cycle.

Second Blooming


gretchen said...

What a wonderful blessing! And what a good mother you are to have been proactive yourself, and make sure he got in with the best teachers for him. YEA DANNY!

You are linked!

Alysia said...

Clone this teacher!

Ginny Marie said...

What a great beginning to the school year! It sounds like his teachers are doing everything right. YAY!

VandyJ said...

THe teacher truly does make a difference in how kids learn. SO glad that this year you have a good system and great teachers!
Turbo had trouble with a teacher who was far to close to retirement and didn't deal well with him in first grade. His teachers since then have been great but that one year put him behind. We are still catching up.

Susan Lindgren said...

YEAH! The second day of school the teacher called to tell me about something N did. I felt relieve that she could see the good in him. It makes all the difference.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Wonderful! It must be such a relief for him after being miserable last year. Yay!