Dear Middle School Coordinator,
Thank you for your response regarding my concerned email about Tomika's needing to follow the third-in-three-months new Maths/Science/Health teacher by what is written on the board, because of her inability to understand her or even pronounce her name.
Thank you also for the information, but I am fully aware of the conduct card that Tomika was given. She informed me the same day she got it, and told me of the circumstances under which she earned it. She was very upset about it actually, and believes that it was undeserved. Usually when confronted, Tomika will admit her mistake and accept any set punishment, so in this case I am inclined to believe her. Unless there is another incident of which I am unaware, I think that she was well within her rights to stand up for herself against the transgression that she was charged with, and that the card was awarded to her without adequate proof of her supposed crime. I have taught Tomika to respect authority figures, and accept discipline, but more importantly to stand up for herself and what she believes in. Consequently, I do not view the conduct card as of terrible import in the grand scheme of things.
With regard to your feeling that Tomika is not focussed on her learning, I’ll admit that I’m particularly surprised to hear this. Tomika spends several hours every day on Homework, sometimes becoming engrossed to the point of ridiculousness. I know this to be true because her Homework area is in the same room as me. I have also spoken to Tomika’s teachers, all except the new one, and they assure me that they are all happy with Tomika’s progress to date.
In fact, she has just received excellent grades on both her Textiles and English schoolwork, and upon speaking with her English teacher I was told he was extremely impressed with her dedication and organisation on her recent Images of Greatness assignment. In addition, her German teacher tells me she is doing well and her attitude in class is great, and her Music teacher is so happy with her swift comprehension and completion of set tasks along with her work ethic, she could not praise her highly enough. She has even suggested that Tomika not only come to her for extra work when she finishes her own, but that she help teach the other children when they need help. This list includes her previous Math/Science/Health teacher who didn’t have a problem with Tomika’s work at all, she actually said that her test scores were improving steadily, and she didn’t even remember the incident that you spoke to me about on the phone that you said was so terrible, even when directly questioned about it.
So in respect of these reports, I would be very interested for you to supply me with a list of the areas in which you think that she requires assistance. If Tomika indeed needs as much help in her classes as you suggest, I question why it is that her actual teachers are telling me differently.
Having said that, none of those things are the subject of my concern, nor what I have initially contacted you about.
I can appreciate your assertion that the new teacher is experienced, however I can’t help but question if the reason Tomika is having troubles in the math/science/health classes are due to her not being able to get comfortable, and therefore invest herself totally into the trust of her teacher, being that there has been so many upheavals with teachers coming and going. Please bear in mind that I am not merely trying to make waves on the say so of my own child who is simply ‘having a whinge’, I am also taking into account the reports that I have heard from other parents with the same worries as myself. I cannot be led to believe that every student that has complained about their inability to understand the new teacher is due to their own folly.
I must add, I find it quite troubling that instead of assuring me that you will look into my concerns about the new teacher, and perhaps offer assistance or alternatives for helping Tomika feel at ease with her, you have greeted my worries by merely thanking me, saying she has worked at the school for a few years and is an outstanding and dedicated teacher, and then taking an offensive stance and blaming Tomika’s supposed lack of focus on her learning.
For the record, Tomika has been at Primary school for the past 7 years, and has been an outstanding and dedicated student the entire time. I sincerely hope that this has made you feel as comforted and encouraged as your affirmation has made me.