Because I'm aware of this, I try really hard to be on my best behavior when I'm in any kind of setting where being a snarky bitch is frowned upon, like at the preschool playground or something like that. If someone there is telling me all about how they chew up their kids food and feed it to them Mama Bird style and I should totally try it too, I'm just going to smile and nod. Sure, mentally I'm composing a tweet about the fucking nutcase I met at the park today but I have enough self control to wait until I get home and in front of the computer to unleash my inner bitch.
People warned me that getting an IEP for my kid would be a headache and I expected that. It's a ton of paperwork and a ton of meetings. I didn't expect to have to fight with the school system, especially since my kid doesn't even have a particularly severe delay and her service needs are as standard as they come. If you read my post last week, you know that I was frustrated with bumps in the road caused by handing off Faith's IEP materials from the summer staff to the school year staff. I was hopeful that our meeting today would assuage my concerns and my husband and I would feel better after meeting the new team.
Well, for the most part things went fine. Faith got her placement to go to the preschool twice a week in the mornings and her IEP goals seemed to be squared away (they adjusted the missing potty training piece). We were excited that the speech therapist from the summer will continue on with Faith this school year. Faith really worked well with her and I think she'll be able to really help Faith a lot.
There's a "but" coming up here. We all knew it was coming.
One of the women in the meeting, the required general education teacher, obviously didn't want to be there. I get it. Really, I do. I used to actually be employed and even though it was over three years ago, I do remember meetings. Meetings suck. No one likes them and everyone is bored in them. Even Putin.
Here's the kicker though: I don't give a shit if you don't want to be there. Don't sit there all slouched in your seat like a sullen teenager with your arms crossed and your bangs in your eyes and expect me to think of you as a professional in any sense. If this was a work meeting, I'd be annoyed and embarrassed if one of my coworkers did that in a meeting. Jobs are full of shitty boring things that you don't want to do. That's why they pay you to be there and they call it "work" not "fun jolly good times galore!"
I was trying to ignore the BitchFace Teacher sitting all low in her seat and pay attention to the people who were actually interested in discussing my kid's education plan, but then I noticed the teacher's eyes starting to get heavy, with those slow blinks that I remember quite well from teaching at a community college. I had a mental flash of rage sitting across the table from this lady and I wanted to do something to let her know how I felt about her disinterest in my kid's meeting.
However, I looked over at my husband and knew he'd prefer if I just acted like a reasonable adult so I just maintained focus on reviewing the education plan and ignored the sleepy bored teacher. I didn't even say anything at the end of the meeting, even though a Dollhouse reference would have fit so nicely.
Instead I went home and sent an email to her bosses and Director of Special Education for our district.
This morning my husband and I attended the meeting for our daughter's draft IEP held at [the school]. Unfortunately we didn't walk away from this meeting entirely pleased with the professionalism of all the staff present. Even though we were not informed that legally a general education teacher was required to be at the meeting, [BitchFace McSleepy] made it quite clear with her attitude and demeanor that she certainly wasn't there by her own choice. From the beginning of the meeting, she was slouched in her chair with her arms folded over her chest and radiated the impression that she was bored with the proceedings. As the meeting went on, she even started to doze off. Due to our placement in the room, she was sitting directly across from my husband and me, so we had a clear view of her.
By the end of the meeting she did start to pay attention and talk, but it was clear that she didn't even know our daughter's name let alone any details of her case so no value was added. We understand that teachers and administrators have heavy workloads and no one will care about our daughter's case as much as her parents, yet as the parents we prefer to have people who can maintain a professional demeanor to be the ones who participate in our IEP meetings in the future. It was disappointing to have this experience today especially since the rest of the IEP team was engaged and highly professional. Working with [Lady I actually like] is a delight and we are so glad to see her transition from the summer assessment team to be part of Faith's school year IEP team.
In future IEP meetings for our daughter we hope that everyone will be completely professional and I trust that this issue will be handled and will not repeat itself in the future.
It was amazing how quickly someone called me to apologize and tell me that they would replace her on our IEP team so she won't be in future meetings. I'm betting that in our future meetings that everyone will be sitting up on their chairs and engaging in the discussions about Faith's education plans.
See, I can grow as a person. I'm such a reasonable adult now.
Have you ever fallen asleep at work or do have a funny story about someone else doing it? A few years ago my husband told me about a guy in the next building over who died at his desk and no one noticed for hours because it wasn't unusual for him to sleep at his desk. Gross, right?