Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm disliking these junior high years more and more

I've said it before, and I'll say it again that public education was not made for most boys.  Most boys, unlike most girls, aren't people pleasers.  They aren't motivated by wanting someone's approval.  They are motivated by exploring what they find interesting, even if that interest occurs at an inopportune moment.  They need to feel movement far more than girls.  That movement is what keeps them connected to the interest.  I've seen it time and time again in my son, his friends, when I've worked with high school students, and even in my college men.

This is all a preface to the issues Cubby has been having in school this year.  Not submitting homework is high on the list, but his teachers all of a sudden are hinting at that four letter acronym of ADHD.  Mind you, he's been in school for 10 of his 12 years.  He's chatty and moves around a lot, but not once has a teacher sat across from me and said "Wow, this needs immediate attention."  But this year, they're all over me to "get him evaluated." That would be fine, except I'm not a big proponent of medicating kids.  I know there are kids out there who cannot get through the day without medication to help them absorb ideas.  They need that medication, and I don't fault their parents at all for giving it to them.  But I don't think that NEED is there for Cubby.  He absorbs material just fine, even stuff he's not really interested in.  I think the teachers would be happier if he were quieter, but that's their need, not his.

Unfortunately, "evaluation" seems to be their only paradigm for helping Cubby to succeed.  We've got software where teachers can input students' grades and parents can check whenever they want.  However, I find the teachers wait a couple weeks, then post a myriad of grades, so I can't really catch Cubby on the cusp of doing badly, when only one assignment is missing.  He's often plunged into three or four missing assignments by the time I see the grades, which I check every other day or so.  I've asked for a list of the assignments prior to the due dates so I can remind from home.  They responded with "we want him to be responsible for himself" which I get, but he's newly turned 12, and that method isn't working.

The last meeting centered on "evaluation" again, to which I finally responded that if the goal of the meeting was to fast track Cubby to drugs, they'd better come up with a new agenda.  Having done my research (I mean, research is in my BLOOD, man), I'm even more against drugs for Cubby, and something new needed to be brought to the table.  They said they were setting up a new during school study group they had in 7th and 8th grade, and they thought "some" students might benefit from it in 6th.  The counselors taught it, and the counselors were given a list of homework due that was upcoming, so they could closely monitor if they were doing it (Doesn't it sound like what I was asking for? No matter, sign him up!).  Better solution, by far, than just getting an assignment book signed, when it wasn't forgotten at school or at home.

This started last week when they returned to school.  How many students is "some" you might ask.  Eighteen.  Eighteen is "some" and that's only for one counselor.  There are four counselors at the school.  Is it a mix of boys and girls you may ask.  No, it is NOT.  Twenty BOYS, whose parents I'm fairly sure were probably encouraged to medicate.  I just love how both Cubby and I were made to feel like he's an absolute anomaly, and there was something seriously wrong, when in reality, he's pretty darn common.  I wish there would come a time when our education system--and by the way, this is a stellar school and district--realizes all kids aren't the same, and they don't learn the same, because we've got a generation of boys who are getting the short end of the educational stick.

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