Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Everything I need to know about life I learned from playing with my Legos...

Buddy's teacher has said, on multiple occasions, that he has a hard time following directions. Especially multi-step directions. I'm willing to believe this.

A few weeks ago, Buddy received several Star Wars Lego sets. One afternoon, he sat down and proceeded to put together a kit with 248 pieces and 29 pages of instructions. My assistance was in the department of "clicking" fiddly bits, not in the department of interpreting directions. He did that all by himself.

And I said to myself: This kid can follow directions.

How could I translate the Lego success to classroom success? I put forth a suggestion to his teacher: if Buddy had picture cards of each step of his directions, as visual cues, and also as elements of his own exercise of assembling the appropriate direction cards in the correct order, we might just have a strategy in place for improving this little deficiency.

She said it was a good idea. Several days later, she sent home a note with a list of directions he needs to work on.

This morning I made the cards, and brought them to school when I joined Buddy for lunch. She said they looked great and they'd give them a try.

This afternoon Buddy gets in the car and I check his backpack for homework and notes (S.O.P.). I find his direction cards in his folder with a note from the teacher saying she is barred, by law, from using the cards in the classroom without testing and documentation that he may use these modifications.

I'm flabbergasted. What's more, I'm a teacher. When I was in the classroom and had a kid who needed to go at it from a different direction, we worked on a strategy that would reach him or her. I know nothing about this law she's citing.

She's a first year teacher, and has all of my sympathy on that note. I'm sure she showed the cards to an experienced teacher, who rattled off this stupid notion, and she bought it hook, line and sinker. Part of my problem here is that I would never have done that, even in my first year. In fact, I was notorious for demanding, "Why the hell not?" Heh, still am.

She gets a little cringe-y around me, 'cause she can smell that I have a temper. What she very well may learn when I walk Bud into class tomorrow morning is that, up until now, I haven't unleashed it on her.

1 comment:

Mande's J-Life said...

oh my god, what happened with that one? I really want to hear how you reemed her ass. If she is barred by law from modifying lessons to help her students learn, then she should also be barred by law from talking about these concerns with students' parents. The idiocy of it all!!!!! That really pisses me off!