Tag Archives: Teaching

As my wife slept soundly by my side, she climbed into our bed

The wife:

Friday evening started with our middle daughter having a few friends over from her university days, to begin a weekend of partying, saying goodbye, and good luck. Middle child was moving to Seoul, South Korea for a year to teach ESL (English as a Second Language).

Now this was not the first time middle child has had friends over for the weekend, our house is the gathering point for pre-drinking. This time though, hubby and I would be joining the party. As the young ladies prepared their make-up, slipped on their fancy outfits, poured their pre-drinks, hubby and I ate pizza prepared and served by middle child’s best friend. Next car pools, and designated drivers were arranged, and off we went to the Ping Pong Bar and Lounge (another of middle child’s best friends had booked one of the game rooms for a night.).

Though many tears flowed, the evening was a success. Hubby and I our made our way back home, while the girls went off to a house party. Sooner or later, they would arrive back at the house, and crash.

Sometime during the middle of the night, I awoke to check which girls had made it safely back to the house. Two were in middle child’s bed, our niece was in the young man’s room, the young man was in my sewing room. Middle child had not yet arrived home. I was not worried, she is twenty-three, and moving across the world. I went back to bed.

The husband:

As my wife slept soundly by my side, she climbed into our bed. Young, beautiful, nubile, every man’s dream was happening to me. Slowly I rose…..out of our bed, tucked the young woman in bedside my sleeping wife, and went downstairs to sleep on the couch.  The dream was not a dream, and as much as I may have wanted to act upon this threesome, I could not.

The wife:

I awoke with a start! The young woman awoke with a start! WTF? Where was my husband, and how did she get into our bed? She had no idea. Oh the poor girl, embarrassed beyond belief, apologizing over and over again, that finally I told her to shut up! No harm or funny business had come to any of us, it was no big deal. The poor girl went back to middle child’s room, well I went off to find my husband, to ask what the hell had happened during the night? As he related the story of her climbing into our bed, all we could do was laugh, having had too much to drink, she had slept-walked.

As others awoke in the house, and a phone call to middle child, the poor girl hid in the bedroom too embarrassed to come out. I went upstairs, and spoke to her again. We were not upset in the least, if anything, it now gave me material for a blog post (I promised no names), and she would have to live with some fun teasing, as I asked her would she tell her mom?

An experience of a lifetime began today

For the past week and a half, it has felt like we’ve been on a roller coaster, as we readied ourselves and middle child for her experience of a lifetime. When she was born some twenty-three years ago, I never imagined that one day she would leave to travel to the other side of the world.  Going away family dinners were held, a lovely party at the Ping Pong Bar & Lounge put on by one of her best friends. Friends she hadn’t seen for ages, people she grew up with, came to wish her safe travels and good luck.

Always the adventurous one, unable to find a job at home, she looked overseas. Off to Seoul, South Korea to teach English as a Second Language for a year. So this morning after the alarm went off at 4 a.m., we gathered her luggage, just under the weight limit of fifty pounds, trying my best not to cry, knowing I will probably not see her for a year, we drove her to the airport.

When she lands in Seoul tomorrow, she will be fourteen hours ahead of our time. She will not have a phone, hopefully she can find free wi-fi to tell me she’s safe. I will try not to worry.

Middle child on the plane.

The adventure begins for middle child.

 

What constitutes a bad teacher? Should he/she be fired?

For years I volunteered up to or more than three times a week in my children’s elementary school. I volunteered in each child’s class so I would be aware of what they were being taught since they attended a French Immersion school.

When the eldest was in kindergarten, her teacher noted she had problems pronouncing certain letters of the alphabet and would benefit from speech therapy. We were to close so we didn’t notice the problem; the eldest was given speech therapy while in school. Middle child did not pick up the speech impediment, but the teenage boy did and by that time, the waiting list for speech therapy was well over a year-long. We were lucky that I was working part-time so my income went to pay for a private speech therapist. Middle child was having other difficulties which we blamed on learning two languages so she was given extra help in the Learning Resource centre.

By the time Middle child was in grade six, she was still going to the Learning Resource centre for assistance, but now there were other problems. She was coming home from school and telling us that her teacher was not giving her any work to complete, so all she was doing in the resource room was helping in the younger kids with their work. Writing this part just makes me cry, even though it has been years since it occurred. I met with her teacher, who denied this and said my child was lying, but middle child continued to complain about not be given any work and now she was hating going to school.

Since I volunteered at the school in both the classroom and was an active Parent Council member, I was on very good terms with the Principal. I discussed this matter with her and it was decided a meeting with the teacher, the learning resource teacher, and a board representative was necessary. During the meeting I continually asked the teacher what work she was giving middle child and was it true, that in fact she was not giving her any assignments at all? (Not a peep was heard from the Learning Resource teacher during this time). The Principal asked the teacher to produce the assignments she was supposedly giving middle child. It was then that the teacher admitted, “No, I haven’t been giving her any assignments to do in the Learning Resource Centre”. Assignments middle child needed if she wanted to be graded on and receive a mark on her report card. There were no marks to be had though. At this point, the Principal immediately stood up, and ended the meeting. I had won a first of many battles for middle child!

Result: middle child was sent home with umpteen number of assignments to complete, but as far as I know, there was no punishment given to the teacher and since she was the only grade six teacher, middle child remained in her class. After grade six, we pulled middle child out of French Immersion and enrolled her in an English school. Her grade seven teacher was beyond marvelous! We met with him, explaining the issues and how we were putting her in an out of school program to bring her up to grade level (she was two levels behind). Middle child hated reading and writing. Again, it was lucky I worked part-time, because when we enrolled her in a private program to bring her reading up to grade level, it literally cost a fortune. She hated going, but once she got there, the teachers were fabulous at making reading fun, teaching her how to correctly pronounce words, spell and write stories. It took over six months, but the extra work paid off, middle child was reading and writing at a grade level above her class and now enjoyed the work.

(Note: Middle child had been on the waiting list for years for a reading and writing assessment through the school board. It wasn’t until grade ten, that we borrowed money to have an assessment done, since the assessment through the school board wasn’t going to happen for a very long time. The assessment was necessary for her to continue to receive extra help through the high school and it would also be necessary for when she applied to University. The private assessment, by a licensed Psychologist, was pages and pages long, outlined her learning disabilities, one being dyslexia.) No wonder she hated reading and writing!

Questions still remain:

Why wasn’t the teacher disciplined or if she/he was, why wasn’t I, the parent informed?
Why wasn’t this teacher fired for incompetence?
Why didn’t the Learning Resource teacher ask why student wasn’t being given work to do?
Why are assessments for Learning Disability such a low priority in our Education System?

There are good teachers and there are bad teachers, just like in any profession, good and bad employees. Rarely do you hear of a teacher being fired for incompetence and I believe in some circumstances, they should be, just like in any other job, incompetence should not be tolerated. Retraining, I agree with this, but in the case I have described where the teacher just didn’t bother to give middle child assignments, the teacher should have been fired. How many other students has this happened to and will happen to?