He thrived in the gifted classes and one year in third grade he came home from school and told me that the teacher had given him detention. I was shocked as this wasn't typical for him. He said that he had used the word "brain fart" and the teacher got mad at him. We used the word "brain fart" all the time in the family as it simply meant a task related forgetfulness. I asked him how he used it. He said he was doing his work in class when he realized he had forgotten something at home. The teacher was going to ask him to turn something in and when she asked about it and inquired why he had forgotten it, he said, "I don't know, I must have had a brain fart."
Oh boy, I needed to do damage control as I really didn't think he should get his "first" detention in all his school history for a word that I had taught him and approved of within the home. So I called the school and made an appointment to talk to the teacher. Being a college graduate, I thought there might have been some common bond I could connect with via the higher education of learning avenue. In college we were encouraged to think outside the box and see another point of view. Maybe if I just explained that this was "family folklore" and completely acceptable in our house, she'd let him get out of this detention. Truth be told, I was the one that should be going to detention as I taught him that word.
I met with her and it was clear that she thought this was a really really really bad word. It was inappropriate language as she put it. There was no common bond and quite frankly I thought she was going way over board. She was a new teacher in one of my son's classes I found out so after not being able to work this situation out, I asked to sit in on one of her classes. I made an appointment and sat in on a class. It was clear that this woman had issues. I left not feeling so good and pondering how I would handle this situation to best fit my son's daily life.
the next day my son came home with a form to sign. No different than any other day but it was kind of lengthy so I set it aside. After dinner, I sat down and read the form. This same teacher was asking our permission to have my son tested for the ESL, "slow reader" classes~! As Steve says, YGBSM! You've Got To Be Shitting Me! How could he be deemed a gifted student by all his teachers and then a new teacher comes along and tries to side track him to a whole different curriculum that could have altered his entire academic path. I scratched all through this form and said DENIED across the form. The right thing to do was set this woman straight and protect my son. I wrote a scathing letter to accompany the form and said to my son, "Give this to the guidance counselor and NOT to the teacher."
In the letter to the guidance counselor, I wrote what I had observed that day. This teacher would not allow two students to leave their desks after they had asked permission to sharpen their pencils. They were left to try to figure out how to do their class work without the tools to do so. She then made another student sit in a chair in the corner for asking a question at a time that she deemed a "non-questioning period." I don't know about you, but when you have kids, there is no such time. They will always ask questions and in my home we encouraged them to do this. There is no such thing as a stupid question was our philosophy.
I heard later from my son this teacher was "let go." I couldn't have been happier for my son and the other twenty-nine students in her class. Those kids were not acting normal that day. You could see the fear in their eyes of one very insane person. Kids know when an adult is not being nice and when they are "pretending." They smell something weird....like a lingering odor...that's worst than passing gas. The kids knew this teacher’s brain fart smelled the worst…she absent-mindedly forgot the most important task of all...to teach!