Probation (Also known as the follow up to the conference).

Bebe’s conference was this morning. I’d say that it was boring but you know better.

It was anything but. To start the teacher we had been trying to reach for a week decided not to stay and talk with us after Brian did not shake his hand upon introductions. Now I get where my husband was coming from. I’ve been working with Breanna for two weeks (over really) to try and find a way for her to get her grade up on her own as I mentioned in my last post and when that didn’t work, I reached out to the teacher…

The teacher took Brian’s actions as a sign of disrespect. Understandable. Totally (and Brian did apologize later) but Brian took him not calling me back (after three separate attempts) as disrespect as well. It’s a two way street. And who knows, maybe the teacher still had lasting emotions over my voice mail to him last grading period over a project that Breanna did and a situation that arose from it. It’s not in my nature to call teachers and leave them unpleasant voice mails but I feel like I’ve dealt with all I can possibly stand with the school in the last two years and my patience is very thin.

Even still, I don’t ever and won’t ever let it get in the way of working with the school when it comes to the kids’ academic success. We may differ on many things but as long as everyone’s goal is to see the kids do well, then we will do whatever we can to make sure it happens.

So even though this teacher decided not to be involved, Bebe’s TAG teacher and another teacher joined the principal, Brian, and I. I think that a lot was put on the table and a lot was resolved despite the absence of the teacher we were originally there to see.

I stand by my statement that if I had known she was failing, there would have been no reason to involve the school principal. We don’t enjoy coming in and talking about this stuff. I like it much better when I don’t have to go in and everything can be resolved easily.

What we learned is that this teacher is not the only one Bebe is being… misleading with. This subject (Social Studies) just happened to be the one she was failing. She has not been completing work in her Math class also and we found that out. It wasn’t such the extreme that it hurt her grade horribly but it was eye opening to us.
This just tells us what Brian suspected, is that Bebe has been hiding more than a bad SS grade, which doesn’t make us happy.

I am all for conflict resolution and I don’t want to go into thoughts on the teacher or anything else at this point because it isn’t productive at all and it won’t bring her grade back up. Now it would have been nice to have him there so we could hear what he offers in terms of making up work or extra credit but we got enough information from the principal and the other two teachers to know that there are opportunities for her to make work up (so that she doesn’t need extra credit) but she chose not to take those opportunities and that responsibility falls on her, but it would have been nice to hear him say it. The principal admitted that saying there was no extra credit available because of where she is in the class may not have been the best way to say it but she couldn’t speak for him completely because she didn’t know. Bebe had confessed to her Math teacher that the reason she didn’t show up one day to work on some missing work was because it was too nice of a day and she didn’t want to miss recess and he shared that with us. At least she was honest with him, right?

Here’s what’s going to happen going forward (or at least I hope since I have to get all teachers involved).

I can’t rely on the teachers to use the online progress book. I’ve tried ever since Bug was at the Elementary school and it didn’t work then so I’m taking a different approach.

We’re going to require that Bebe fill out her planner every day. EVERY. DAY. It will have all the day’s homework and any upcoming or ongoing projects listed in it. We are asking that all the teachers check her planner every day. EVERY. DAY. and then initial or check off that they’ve seen it and then I will sign off every night at home to show that I’ve seen it. There’s also a calendar that lists out the homework a month in advance. We want this also.

Should we have to do this for her? No, she’s 11. We think she should be responsible enough to do these things on her own but somewhere she got lazy in it all or decided these things didn’t need to be done and as I always tell her that if you can’t prove you can handle your business then we will look over your shoulder until you learn how to handle your business. Sometimes that’s what it takes. Bug had to learn it and she does now too.

What I hope is that whatever problems the teacher has with Brian or I, or both, that he puts it aside to work with us. This morning was not a great indicator of that but the principal knows us well enough to know that we don’t play around. If we know there’s a problem we are on it like fleas on a dog. We are not easily chased away or deterred. If we know there’s a problem, we take care of it. It sounds harsh but we know that Bebe is capable of excellent work. She wouldn’t be in TAG and she wouldn’t have made the honor roll every year since starting school if she wasn’t capable. We’ve always advocated for the kids if there was a problem and we’re not about to stop now.

Brian did apologize for his actions this morning and though I’d love to have an apology from the teacher as well I doubt I will get it. (Believe me, you didn’t want to be Brian riding home in the car with me… He got an earful on his own behavior when we left and I mixed no words.)

As for TAG… we’re letting her stay. For now. She is on probation for two weeks (I wanted more but Brian thinks two weeks is enough). She has to keep grades up, the planner filled out, and work turned in. If she can’t do that, she doesn’t get to stay in TAG. I don’t know what she’s paying her Math teacher but she needs to give him a bonus because he really championed in the conference on her behalf. I mean like half of the plan that was come up with was his idea. I think I might love him because he sure adores her but it’s hard not to like her. It’s damn near impossible not to love her. I’m glad he was in there for her.

In other news, Bebe was so upset over what has been going on and thinks the world is against her, (though it was largely of her own doing), that I had her sit down with me on Friday night and listen to this song on my mp3 player by Pink (whom I have a girl crush on but whatever…). She said she liked it but I don’t think she got what I was trying to say to her. We may have to listen again tonight with some explanation, some brownies and some tears. I don’t want her to be perfect, but I don’t want deception to come between us. She knows she can talk to me. I realize I’m turning into a mom and the older she gets the more my coolness factor fades but I still get it. I still get her. She just doesn’t think I do.

**warning… parts of the video might not be for kids and there is the language, hence why I didn’t let her watch the video, only listen to the song. I just love the message of the song.**

That’s where we are today. I don’t care if every teacher or the principal thinks we’re craptastic parents and hates the thought of working with us, just so they do it. It’s not about Brian, it’s not about me, it’s about my daughter whom I will go to bat for and fight like a rabid bear for every day of the week and twice on Sundays if need be. I don’t care if there is only two months of school left, just so differences are set aside long enough for us to all work together on this.

I’m hoping that the rest of the teachers will be on board and see it this way too because we really don’t want to pull her out of TAG but if the issue is her not doing the work because she’s not in the classroom, what choice do we have?

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 765 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.


  1. All of it sounds like an ordeal for you and for your daughter.
    But I must say thank you for giving me a new parenting adjective I hadn’t heard before: craptastic. It is fantastic. (-:

  2. I can’t take credit for Craptastic. My sister came up with that one. I also can’t take credit for fanfreakintastic which is another one of her words but you’re welcome to apply them wherever you see the need. I know I do.

  3. Man. You have a lot to handle lately. It sounds like you all have a solid plan, though. Which is very impressive.

    On the subject of craptastic, allow me to introduce one of my favorites: craptacular.

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