Classroom observation

Posted on: Thu, 10/21/2004 - 12:56am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

I have, on more than one occassion, formally requested to observe my child's participation in school. We would be available the to observe educational programming in its [i]entirety[/i] if allowed. Some reasons related to PA/other health needs, some to education in general. And some, [i]just because[/i].
We live in Il.

So far, no response. It has been a number of weeks.

Has anyone else done this?

Posted on: Thu, 10/21/2004 - 2:17am
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

We did something similar. Prior to start of K (last year) and 1st grade (this year), we scheduled time for DW to shadow a class for part of the day (i.e. "A Day in the life of...", if you will).
School was amenable to it, as we stated that purpose was to get grounded in routines, etc. [i]prior to formulation of 504 plan[/i] for that school year. It was exceedingly helpful, as we were able to put together punch list of potential risks, and then used that as input into developing 504 accommodations.
DW currently is able to observe occasionally since she volunteers in the classroom, so we haven't encountered the resistance you state in your situation. Nothing immediate comes to mind, except to continue documenting your requests in writing. Also, is there any provision for parents to volunteer in the classroom (e.g. assist w/reading, special activities, etc.)? That would be the back-door way to get in there and see what's going on....

Posted on: Thu, 10/21/2004 - 9:27am
Dana's picture
Joined: 12/26/1999 - 09:00

We have a PA, TNA,and Coconut allergic son in the 1st grade. We actually homeschool but he goes to the school 4 days a week for "specials", art, music, library, and gym. My self or a family member are always with him in the class I even bring our 6month old as I don't have a babysitter. They have a desk for our son where no food is eaten and the other children all wash hands before he comes in. We are very fortunate the school is very supportative of our son and they go out of their way to make him feel included. I don't know if legally they have to let you observe or not?

Posted on: Thu, 10/21/2004 - 11:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, right now I can't remember previous years - I'll think about it and if I did do classroom observance previously, I'll let you know (it's a tired thing right now).
At any rate, yes, I have been into my son's classroom already this year. He was having some difficulties in class that his teacher spoke with me about. Even though I knew that Jesse would be different with me in the class, I still wanted to see if I could get some feel for what was going on. I asked the teacher's permission to come into school for the whole day.
I ended up going in for the morning and watching how my guy was doing in his class.
I spoke with the teacher and told her that I felt I had seen enough so that I would be staying with him for lunch so I could sit at the BENCH with him, but then I would be going.
I took notes during my time observing which will be used if we have a meeting with the school (we are supposed to be having one).
So, yes, I was allowed to observe my child and I could have stayed the whole day. It was not PA related, except for the BENCH thing.
Previously, because in his written school plan I was the school monitor for the school (which really didn't mean anything, but did mean that on party days I could go in and check the food), I have stayed during class parties, removed food that was not okay with me, and just helped out with the party. So yes, even in previous years, PA related, I was allowed into the classroom on *special* days to both check the food and then watch.
Is this something that you can have written into a 504 Plan (remembering that I'm Canadian and don't know how extensive/comprehensive you can get with a 504)?
I hope all goes well. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 12:57am
mistey's picture
Joined: 01/18/2004 - 09:00

As you know, I work in a school. We allow parents to observe all the time. The days and times need to be arranged with the principal and the classroom teacher, but I know we have parents observe frequently. I even know that we as school personnel sometime REQUEST the parents to come in and observe. I don't know of our school ever having an issue with it (but of course I don't know EVERYTHING [img][/img] ).

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 2:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, what happened with this request?
I think, especially after reading your other thread re the day when your cub was absent, this really has me concerned. In fact, simply reading your other thread would make me, as the parent, want to be in the classroom to observe (I don't want to mish mash the threads together so I'll post my thoughts about that whole thing in the proper thread).
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 4:57pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Momma Bear, what happened with this request?
Wouldn't ya know, yesterday, I verbally repeated the request. [img][/img] Maybe I should put my next written, repeated request in the form of a question, instead of a desire...............?
Certified mail, maybe? Email is just dandy, but those letters on linen paper are just as nifty. [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 10/24/2004 - 3:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, but pardon me, if they're going to be such !@#$%^&* I would put my request in writing, on paper.
I actually prefer to deal with the school via e-mail (my daughter's teacher gave us a Hotmail account we could contact her at) because physically it actually hurts me to write, although I now have printer ink so I can type out my written things to them now (side story, sorry).
No, I'd put it in writing, the good old fashioned way. And you know what? I think it is just outrageous that you have to do so when I walked into my son's class with such ease a few weeks ago to observe.
Was it in this thread that domesticgoddess "went off" about the cupcake *issue*? I had also wanted to respond to that. I remember Jesse's Christmas Party last year at the school and the teacher was actually going to allow me to take my son home rather than remove unsafe products from the classroom. I'm like WTF (pardon me), I don't think so lady.
So, I spoke with the principal (a substitute, thank heaven) and I did tell her that if my son had to leave that day so that a chocolate pizza pie with M&M's and something else could remain in the class, I would be filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission that day.
What I did do was take the offending food out of the classroom and used the teacher's kitchen (with principal permission) to cut everything into 26 pieces and handwrap it and the teacher was given instructions to hand it out to the children as they left school that day.
I tell you, I am so sick [img][/img] of this food stuff in schools. I just heard from my daughter this morning something about a Hallowe'en party on Friday and I said, okay, where's the paperwork so I know something/anything about it?
I'm not saying that I don't eat. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy great food. I'm not saying that I don't pack my children what I think (on a given day) are *proper* snacks and lunches (although again this year they're eating their snacks on the playground at recess - and we do have a serious wasp problem at the school because of it), but my soul, would the children shrivel up and die if food wasn't brought in for every birthday, for incentive, etc.? Would they?
I sure as heck didn't!
Sorry (I've had a helluva week-end and am in rant mode, but hope some of the ranting has shown that I do have some input re the different situations you have going on at the school which I find totally unacceptable IMHO).
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 10/28/2004 - 1:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, any response to your request to observe your cub's classroom yet?
And what about the Hallowe'en party tomorrow?
I am angry FOR you because, as I posted in Anna Marie's thread re her son's upcoming field trip, both my request to observe my son's class (really my son in his class and how his teacher deals with 34 students) and check the food for the Hallowe'en party were answered immediately (we write the request in their agenda, or any other concern we may have and we get an answer the next day, which I did in both cases) and also answered with not gratitude per se, but with much ease and appreciation on the part of the teacher.
So, I'm angry FOR you and the round around you're experiencing. I think it's pure and utter b/s.
Is it because cupcakes will suddenly appear that aren't supposed to be there? [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 10/28/2004 - 3:53pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Momma Bear, any response to your request to observe your cub's classroom yet?[/b]
As a matter of fact, [i]yes[/i]. (He's actually part of *[b]3[/b]* individual classes/classrooms, music, art, and phys ed aside. I've been offered some dates to observe *one* class subject in one particular classroom briefly.(Got the email this morning).
My oldest cub has probably as many *instructors* as students in his *own* classroom. We are interested in observing *all* the subjects he attends. (Well, maybe one less) And I have good reason. [img][/img] [i]all with good intention[/i].
I mean, there are 12 students in his class. He routinely sees 12 educational staff (that I know of), 2 of which are instructional aides, per week. If I am to be an effective advocate/support for my cub and work productively with the school......I need to know what the big picture [i]looks like[/i].
Something else prompting me to do this: PA aside, [i]I am not hearing what I *need* to hear. [/i] You know, that verbalizing understanding part. Not all the time, but it happens often enough. Maybe it's just a wavelength problem. I'm looking to tune in. I think it would benefit all involved.
(thanks for asking.)
BTW, as this is as good a place as any, any progress on the BENCH issue? You've got to know it still drives me crazy just thinking about it. Probably eats away at me as much as the idea of my cub sitting at a community desk in the midst (or placed against the back wall, now) of other children with *real* desks. I'm trusting there is good reason. I think it would help if I was able to observe his participation in *those* classrooms.

Posted on: Thu, 10/28/2004 - 4:01pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
And what about the Hallowe'en party tomorrow?
ah yes. *the* party. Despite some more recent requests on my part to *attend*, I currently do not yet have permission to attend. (I sound hopeful, don't I?) I was prompted by a newsletter home that indicated "room moms" were not allowed to bring their *other* children with them when attending class parties. (but allowed to attend parties?) KWIM? I was like: "no problem here, [i]I'm not allowed to attend[/i]". [img][/img]
I was informed that despite the newsletter, there was no policy regarding "room mom" attendance of parties, and it such is decided at will. (Not mine, tho. [img][/img] ) Hope that makes sense, since I am still trying to make sense of it. I keep trying to roll it over and find a *good* angle to view it from. You know, *the bright side*........I'm trying not to think the worst. Benefit of a doubt, *Good Reasons For It* type of thing.
I'll admit, as party day approaches, the sense of dread builds. [i]It's not supposed to be that way is it?[/i]
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited October 29, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 10/28/2004 - 8:14pm
synthia's picture
Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

I'll admit, as party day approaches, the sense of dread builds. It's not supposed to be that way is it?
[b]Thinking of your cubs today MommBear![/b]
Love this site

Posted on: Thu, 10/28/2004 - 11:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

{{{hugs}}} to you and the cubs.
No words of wisdom, or advice, just thinking about you.

Posted on: Fri, 10/29/2004 - 10:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, see, that's why I wanted to observe my guy in class that day - not for any negative reasons about the school at all (you worded it differently and better), but because I had spoken with his teacher already on a number of occasions (although he does have other teachers for different subjects) and I really wanted to see what was going on with my guy, even though I had a pretty good idea. [img][/img]
As far as the BENCH, because I'm now waiting for a team meeting for an IEP (I believe [img][/img] ) and that seems to be quite the big deal at the school for some reason (although I shouldn't say that because last year I was refused a meeting period), I haven't spoken with the principal again about the BENCH.
She is new to the school this year, I don't think I have seen the woman smile yet, she looks quite frazzled and overwhelmed and now she's being met with a Mother with a PA child (okay, there are more than one of us, but I am the only one that presented a written school plan) and also that same Mother is asking for an IEP for the same child.
I'm simply uncomfortable approaching her about something else when the team meeting is extremely important because aside from my son's initial complaints about the BENCH (and believe me the day I sat there with him, I can't even explain my feelings), he hasn't said anything negative about it.
I do have to say, I am feeling quite overwhelmed right now, wishing that it was simply PA that I was dealing with the school with, but am quite thankful that I have a wonderful teacher this year I'm dealing with (actually both children have great teachers).
Right now, I'm just not comfortable posting about what's going on with my guy, but it's a daily thing almost (or things) compounded by the fact that his cousin is in his class as well so I get to hear about it from the whole family [img][/img] and I'm barely keeping my head above water.
Even having said that, if things were going smoothly otherwise, or even relatively thereof, perhaps I'd be coping better, but I am one step away from a nervous breakdown. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

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