And now that I've got the bus post out of the way, I thought I'd give you all an update on the kids and how they are doing in their new school.
My youngest child who went through heck and back at their previous TPS school is doing very well. For all of last school year (05-06) and the part of this school year that they went to TPS I kept hearing over and over again that it was my childs fault this was happening and that was happening, it was my childs fault they were doing so poorly in school grade wise, even though in thier prior school that had received almost all straight A's.
Since changing schools I am VERY happy to say that this child is once again getting awesome grades and is back to loving going to school every day. I get great reports from all of their teachers and on the mid quarter report that came home last week I read things like "actively participates in class", "good study and work habits", "pleasant and hard working", "self motivation is excellent", "consistant worker". Now tell me, if my child was such a "difficult" child at their last TPS school, why wouldn't I be hearing the same things in their new school? Instead, I'm hearing what I heard at the TPS school they last attended in the 2004-2005 school year.
I still will not say that my child was in no way at fault in their prior school, but I would love to walk into that school and show them the papers and reports that I have now and have them tell me that it was all my childs fault as they were saying. I see it more as a teaching problem and the fact that the teacher from last school year was a jerk, and then went to the teacher my child had this year and filled them with all of the negativity they felt towards my child last year. I witnessed it the night of open house, there was the teacher from last year talking to the teacher from this year, last years teacher looked up and seen me and my child walking down the hall, looked at this years teacher, put their hand up to their mouth so that I could not see what was being said, then this years teacher looked up at me and my child, said something to last years teacher, then they both walked into their respective classrooms. As soon as we walked into my childs classroom and seen their teacher you could literally feel the attitude.
My other child is also doing better, but not as good as I would like to see them doing. But as with the youngest child, school is no longer a hassle, they actually enjoy it. They are involved in a few different activities and feel as if they "fit in", which is a big change. They feel they are treated fairly by the administration and staff, which is a HUGE change.
What I feel is the big difference in their new school is the fact that this school literally takes the extra steps to assure a child understands what they are being taught. There is a period at the end of EVERY day, a full 45 minute class, where the students can use the time to work on homework, make sure they have everything they need to take home that day with them, and even go back to a teacher to get help with something they don't understand from that days class. At the very beginning of this class period they are asked and have to correctly answer one question from last years proficiency testing BEFORE they can move on to what it is they want to do. This type of environment supports learning and harbors the feeling that the staff cares about the students education. The teachers are in constant contact with the parents if there is something going on that requires their attention, they don't wait until a child is so far gone that the situation is virtually impossible to rectify, they are on top of it from the get go!
So, my suggestion to TPS would be to start changing the environment in the schools. Make it an environment of learning, make it an environment of support, make it an environment where the kids feel like they WANT to be there. Deal with the bullying, not only from their peers, but also from their teachers and staff. If kids see a teacher or staff member being a bully, they will take the attitude that "If a teacher can bully, then it's ok for me to". Yes, I know that kids will be kids, there are certain things that are simply going to happen, it's just part of life. But you need to know that we as parents KNOW our children, and if we see something just isn't quite right and we bring it to your attention, we're not doing it to cause problems, we're doing it to help our children and other children. Stop shutting us out and start listening!