Monday, December 16, 2013

Controlling the Mama Grizzly Within

On the one hand, kids always complain about their teachers.

On the other hand, her complaints seem quite legitimate.

On the other hand, I'm only hearing her point of view, and when she's this stressed out and upset about something, her point of view can get warped by her emotions.

On the other hand, the mom I met at the ball game the other night told me her daughter's complaints about that teacher, and they were the same.

On the other hand, she is learning a lot about self-discipline and working really hard this semester.

On the other hand, those lessons now seemed learned -- and I'm not sure continuing in this vein is worth the hell she's going through.

On the other hand, it's an AP class. It's the highest level of English class one can take in high school. She's got to expect it to be tough.

On the other hand, the difficulty should be in the content, not in the back-breaking workload and lack of support. And it shouldn't bring her to tears as often as it does. And it shouldn't be discouraging her from wanting to go to college "if this is what college classes are like".

On the other hand, she hasn't gone to the teacher to ask for help or to explain the problems she's having: the reading assignments nobody knew about but were still quizzed over, the quiz questions that seemed to have more than one possible right answer, the essays whose correct punctuation was wiped out by the website she had to turn it in on (and she has her hard copy to prove it), the inability to figure out where she's supposed to find all of the work she's supposed to do (the school website . . . another website . . . the board in the teacher's classroom . . . texts that sometimes are received and sometimes aren't . . . there doesn't seem to be a consistent system here).

On the other hand, she has seen the teacher's interactions with other students and their complaints and concerns enough to believe that all such issues will be made to be her own fault somehow and not addressed satisfactorily.

On the other hand, she is almost eighteen. She'll be on her own at college next year. She needs to learn to confront people on her own and stand up for herself when she feels like she is getting a raw deal.

On the other hand, she's never had to do that before, and how is she to learn how to defend herself against a powerful, intimidating authority figure unless it is modeled for her? And isn't the parent supposed to be her child's advocate when no one else will?

On the other hand, if I step in and tell the teacher what my daughter is feeling about her and her class, it may make the teacher angry . . . or make her think badly of my daughter . . . it may make things worse for her rather than better.

On the other hand . . . no, that's it. That's the rub, right there.

Grrrrrr.  The Spirit of wisdom and revelation. That's what I need, Lord. Soon, please.

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