Tag Archives: education

Love It!

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I’m so proud, James is a former student of mine! I had him senior year and he was a nice, polite, funny kid. What makes his story even more awesome is that he had never played football prior to joining our squad his 12th grade year! Way to go! You may read the rest of his story here.

*Image via Google

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Every Room Needs a Mom

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For the last few months I have served as the “room mom” for Nicholas’ grade.  I wish I had a room parent for my own classroom!  Some of my responsibilities include:

  • Calling and emailing parents for various reasons
  • Designing and decorating bulletin boards
  • Providing snacks and treats
  • Organizing parties
  • Coordinating volunteers
  • Teaching “special” lessons

This allows me to contribute without taking too much time from work.  But our  school breaks are different from my son’s which gives me the ability to use a portion of my vacation to do some hands on work.  I also collect BoxTops for education.  What are ways in which you participate in your child’s education?

What Was She Thinking?

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            Last night my husband and I happened to turn to the news channel as they were featuring a story about a teacher who allegedly had sex with a student. Can you imagine the shock I felt when they displayed the mug shot of Evan’s teacher?  Evan’s teacher! Mrs. Vasquez, age 37, had been charged with 4 felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor!  Here is an excerpt from the news paper article:

 

Investigators say she allegedly drove a 15-year-old male student to her home in the Castleton area May 1 and had sexual intercourse with him, said Sgt. Matthew Mount of the Metropolitan Police Department.


Vasquez, 37, faces preliminary charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, Mount said.

 

According to a police report, the student told authorities Vasquez first had engaged in flirtatious behavior with him.
The two eventually concocted a plan; the student told police, for Vasquez to arrange to take the student on a special lunch outing that would be described to administrators as a reward for recent improvements in the boy’s classroom performance. The two intended instead to go to the teacher’s home for sex, the boy told police.

 

 

            At the beginning of the year I filed a complaint against the school for not following Evan’s IEP.  One of my many issues was with the teacher, Mrs. Vasquez and her educational practices.  She had a variety of grade levels in one class, and therefore gave ALL of the kids the same assignments.  So while Evan was in 3rd grade and should have been doing 3rd grade work, he was doing 2nd work because she had more 2nd graders than any other grade.  This was confirmed when she had mixed up papers from other students in Evan’s folder. Grades 1-5 were all doing the same worksheets.  When I asked her about this, she acknowledged that she had trouble finding lessons for each grade level.  Her class only consisted of 6 students and she even had the help of an assistant and a therapist; it wasn’t like she was going at it alone.  But the number of students fluctuated often due to students moving, being transferred back to their home schools, being expelled, or like Evan, eventually placed in residential treatment. 

  Nor did she have any classroom management.  She got flustered very easily and was always a nervous wreck.  She used a point system to reward and punish behavior.  However, this was a random practice.  Some days she would use the system and other days she would not.  I asked her to email me his point sheet because Evan was very good at “losing” his.  She emailed me this information maybe once per week when it should have been a daily form of communication.   They did more watching movies and recess than actual assignments. 

My biggest problem with her was that she gave the kids the answers to their work.  When they could not solve a problem, rather than teaching them how to come up with the solution, she would just tell them.  This was done on a regular basis—even on tests.  I figured this out when I would give Evan work to do at home because of course, they never had homework.  I suspect that she did not want to experience the wrath of the volatile children when they could not do their work.  The very same standards that he was mastering at school he could not do in any form at home.  He finally told me that they “shared” work, especially when the students got angry.  Evan even got frustrated with me once because I didn’t “help” him like Mrs. Vasquez.   Overall she was not very consistent in any area—something especially needed when you are working at an alternative school for students with behavior problems.  

            When I requested a case conference, they did not address my concerns about Mrs. Vazquez.  I suppose they did not believe them to be valid because she was one of their own, even though I came well documented regarding my claims.  However, when I filed an official complaint with the department of education, my lengthy allegations were substantiated.  After Evan left for residential treatment, they finally placed her in another class of four eighth grade students.  This is where she met her victim. 

I am left to wonder if maybe this incident could have been prevented had the school been willing to monitor her more closely?  I also wonder if she was ever inappropriate with any of the other students such as my own stepson? It saddens and angers me as both a teacher and a parent that this happened.  I hope with all the hope I can muster that the allegations are just that.