Oh, lovely readers, staunchest followers, I had a meeting with the principal at the elementary school my two oldest children attend. It was interesting.Firstly, while the principal was present, the meeting was mostly with the school’s IRT. Yeah, that was my first question, too.
What the heck is an IRT, you ask? Well, let me tell you. An IRT is an Instructional Resource Teacher whose job it is to support the classroom teachers and specialists, coordinate staff development, and connect individual classrooms with Wake County Curriculum initiatives and innovations.
She has been working with Pynni’s class to help the vast and varied substitutes to stay on track with the students along with the Title I reading teacher. They’ve been doing their best, but there is just something to be said about teachers that KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON, I must say.
This particular IRT did her homework on Pynni and spoke with the only people who could tell her anything (you know, because there is no permanent teacher in her classroom) (oh, and it’s the Title I reading teacher that she spoke to) (oh, and while Ms. Title I is a former teacher of the year and is a very talented teacher, SHE ISN’T PYNNI’S PERMANENT TEACHER!). Okay, so Ms. IRT did a lot of work and put a lot of information together and I VERY much appreciated all of the work she did to try and answer any questions I may have had. She did. Answer my questions.
The first thing I noticed is that what the school is saying Pynni is struggling with she has not issue with at home. I pointed this out. The response was that some kids do MUCH better at home, but it’s their performance in school that counts. Fair enough, or at least true enough, but what do you do about the discrepancy? Have a talk with her, I was told. Uh, right. I’ll do more of that, check.
The second thing I noticed, Ms. IRT and Ms. Title I both saw it too, is that Pynni is WAY above where she should be in a ton of other areas. Like being able to create words out of two separate syllables. For Kindergarteners this is a hard skill to learn. She is a master. She can then break the syllables apart (of different words cause how hard would it be if you’d just seen them apart?) and give you whatever syllable you ask for. There were lots of other examples of this.
So I’ve started including Pynni, directly as opposed to just being in the car during this conversation, in our morning pep talk. It’s a tool that has helped Chi beyond measure and I’m hoping it can help Pynni.
Then there’s the rebuilding of her self-esteem. Somewhere along the way all of this has made her feel less-than. Stupid. Slow. I don’t know exactly, but the light in her eyes about school has diminished. It is the saddest thing I’ve witnessed in a long time. So I spend time with her working on these things she has no trouble with because the school says she does. I spend time working with her on the things that challenge her because that’s the only way to move her forward.
And I tell her how smart she is, how impressed I am with her and how much I love her at every opportunity. I bought her a composition notebook (of course Pieces had to have one, too) so that she could practice writing whatever takes her fancy. Now she and Pieces sit at the table and draw or write and she’s helping him learn more about his letters. Maybe being the one to help him will help her in the end.
Homeschooling is calling my name.