I tend to act first. My initial response to something I don't like is almost always emotional and not very nice. Ok, is pretty much always. All I can say this time is at least I didn't publicly post the kind of message I sent my husband and best friends. Now, that would have been bad. Walter was awed by my creative use of vulgar language and my ability to write a full paragraph using almost no clean words, though, so at least I made my kid proud *eye roll*
Last night, Alex's mommy came by to drop off school stuff. Talking to her, I was reminded of several things it's vital for Alex's teacher to know about- like chocolate. and milk. and migraines. Let me tell you, the panic that came with that realization was enough to motivate me to write that letter I didn't want to write.
I made notes last night and wrote the letter this morning while waiting for the school offices to open so I could hunt down some principals. Once I finally got someone in Alex's school, I guess my irritation wasn't concealed very well since the sweet lady was very reluctant to give me the information I was asking for beyond the fact that the principal was in a meeting. She wondered if the new assistant principal could help me and if maybe I have a problem with this teacher. Oh, yes. Yes, I do. The problem has everything to do with the principal and why I am looking for him which means no, the new assistant principal can't help me. (yes, if you are counting, that's new assistant principal #3. I'm sure you know how happy I am about that.) I finally got the e-mail addresses and the assurance that the principal will definitely be calling me back.
The next phone call was to the Goofy Child's principal. I should have called her first because she relaxes me. As soon as she took my call, everything was ok. She always sounds so at ease, so calm. She was working on the teacher list when I called so of course she had time to talk about it. We talked about the teacher I wanted and the reasons I wanted her. She told me about the teacher she picked and the reasons she picked her. She said she could trade the teachers if that's what I thought was best but as soon as I heard the name of the teacher she picked... she was right to pick this one. The teacher she chose was our niece's teacher one of the years she lived with us. She just moved from teaching third grade to teaching first. The principal asked what my impression of this teacher was from what I knew and... I like her. Our niece had nothing but good things to say about her and talking to her at the parent/teacher conference, I was impressed with her abilities as a teacher as well as her genuine interest in her students as individuals. Looking over the staff roster the other day, I had run across her profile and was actually hoping to have her for third grade.
We talked about having a meeting to discuss what to do about the Goofy One this year but she doesn't think it needs to be before school starts (Thank God) so she'll plan on having one soon after.
Talking to Goofy's principal, reflecting on our conversation, I'm taken out of the us vs. them mentality. I'm reminded that principals have a job to do and they have more information than we do about the school, the staff, and the students. I know Alex; the principal knows his school, he knows me, and he knows Alex. For him to make the decision to change Alex's teacher (a-freaking-gain) knowing the effects on Alex and myself, knowing the hell he's putting us through and the hell we will put all of them through ... he must have a good reason. (maybe... I hope.) I at least owe it to him to ask and to really listen to his answer. Maybe I'll even agree with the reasons.
and maybe it might be a good idea to ask for a team meeting close to the beginning of the year after they get a little bit of time with Alex so we can get to know each other a little and start out on the same page instead of bickering all year then scrambling to catch up at the end of the year.