Saturday, November 12, 2011

Totally Absurd!!

At this moment, I'm melancholy about the things which happened on Friday. I know the reason why kids music did not go to higher level. Its because of me. The email which I sent to my sons teacher regarding science fair, have been purposely magnified to portray that I'm some kind of obsessed/crazy person who wanted to be competitive in every fun event the school is involved in.

It all started when I told my daughter to pick up an old math test paper from a boy who was in higher grade. My son who got qualified for Math competition on his own merits was in math practice class. My daughter took permission to get those papers and when she returned, the teacher asked what are those papers and she honestly told what it was.

After I picked up kids and when I reached home, my phone rang and it was none other than the principal of the school. She started talking about the old math paper and about how the system got breached by me having access to that paper and how seriously she is thinking of not allowing my son to compete in the competition. I had to explain her about what I heard from the other parent about how some kids who are having older siblings, have access to old test papers and how serious they were about the competition and how she had so many questions about the competition. Then I told them that I did not have any knowledge as there was nil information about the whole competition. I did not bother to dwell on it as I was busy with other things in my life and I was confident about my sons ability. But three days before the competition, I wanted to give assurance to myself that my son knows each and every topic, covered in the competition. So, I called the other parent for the old test paper so that I can have understanding about what kind of questions, how tough it is and whether my son lacks in any area. I asked the principal, how is it wrong to see some old mock test papers when that is not the real test paper for Saturday's competition. How is it not wrong if a kid who got siblings can see and still be able to participate in the competition? She blamed me that I'm playing with the system and spoiling the fun for kids by training my son and giving him undue advantage over others and in this way, taking away the spirit of the competition. She said, she will discuss with higher authorities and will let me know whether he will be ejected out. I told her that my son is not involved in this in anyway. Later, she asked about the email which I sent to my son's teacher regarding how to use science fair work which is done by kids as a learning opportunity rather than just make them go through the process and not even spend, enough time to discuss in the class. In that email, I shared my disappointment of how they did not use the opportunity and requested her, this time to discuss about every project - the difficulties, the learning experience and the unanswered questions. I asked her if she cannot find time due to too many things to work on, she can just allocate some time for kids to discuss with their classmates about their experience and in that way, many beautiful thoughts which are holding up in their tiny brains will surface out and will lead to curiosity and inclination to learn more.

A personal request to you about science fair project. At the end of the science fair
project, I would like to request you to spend some time discussing each and every child's
project, in that way they can learn and appreciate others work and at the same time learn
valuable science lessons. Last year, I was so disappointed that no one gave an opportunity
for kids to go through others work and discuss about every project - the results,
the reasons, the doubts and the issues which they faced.

I understand about you having a lot of work, too less time to achieve too many things
but just give kids an opportunity to discuss. You never know what brilliant ideas each
kid is holding up in their tiny brains.

The principal started saying over the phone that how I insulted the other teacher by talking about her teaching methodology. She said that her school/system doesn't work in the way. So, I kindly asked them to excuse me as I did not mean to insult or put her down.

Anyway, after the phone call, I sent email to teachers to apologize and requested them not to take it personally and informed them about my availability if they want to talk about this matter further. Again my phone rang, this time the principal informed me about the meeting with Math competition directors, which I had to attend to sort out whether my kid will participate in the upcoming Math competition or not.

I had lengthy discussion about how foolish the whole thing looks. Borrowing an old test paper is objectionable, I never heard that before. Do you know, even NFL uses old tapes to make their guys aware of their opponents and let them know what they are up against? From time to time, students always relied on old material to learn and correct their short comings. The whole thing started looking fishy to me. I was okay if they did not allow him as this was not the first time, injustice has done to him. There are the ones who allowed him to attend higher grade math class from kindergarten to first grade but beginning of second grade, they decided not do that anymore so even though he always got 100's in his math, he repeated the 2nd grade math. She did not have decency to talk with parents and say sorry for not able to provide that kind of feature anymore. I did not make any issue. I just let it go.

Anyway, the meeting happened with four teachers and the principal and no director(I guess, it was a lie) but the whole thing was so weird. From the beginning, they started attacking me, even though I went along with my husband. One teacher was nice by showing me how to keep my son busy by teaching him higher grade math and science activities rather than waste his time by making him prepare for some just-for-fun related Math Competition. One teacher indirectly warned me that next year, they may not give my son a chance to participate in the competition as they want to give the opportunity to someone else. But do you know, you need to solve the questions within the time frame and he earned it by scoring highest and by being accurate. And I know it doesn't work like the way she was saying about giving opportunity to others but works based on how good you do to qualify to be in the team. My husband told them about how in India, parents try to resolve among themselves instead of going to principal for every minor to major issue. Then she told him that for any issue, we have to approach the teacher and if the issue is not resolved then contact the principal. My husband told about only for curiosity sake she(me) tried to get access to the paper not to train him in anyway and if at all, we had that intention we would have done long time ago. He said that his son is involved in piano and sports not just academics. The principal takes control by raising her voice asking what kind of sport, where....showing totally disrespect and displaying her doubts on what we are saying. When I tried to tell about what I heard from the other parent, she again barges in and interrupts my sentence by saying sarcastically...oh yeah, yeah...I heard a different story.....I was like what I'm saying you is a story, so, I ask her what do you mean by different story and she says....we came here to talk about the competition so let us talk about it. Really, how dare she is to portray me as a liar and walk over the surface and make a statement and not clear up in front of other teachers. Most humiliating moment of my life....but read further to know how she insulted me...

She gets the topic about my email. The teacher to whom I sent the email takes over and says that she did not like the way I was mentioned about other teachers work, so she approached the other teacher...and that teacher felt like she got insulted and felt uncomfortable and that made this teacher uncomfortable and that made her not to reply to my email.

Later the principal acts with me like as if I'm kid or like as if I'm a moron/illiterate/brute asks me to say it back of what I should do if I have any concerns or issues with any teacher. Of course, without being arrogant I said that I've to contact the teacher first and then if it is not resolved I need to approach her.

She did not stop her humiliation right then and there....but you know something so insulting which causes unbearable cheat pain whenever I think of. She said everybody is uncomfortable with me, right in front of other teachers whom I met for the first time. When I asked her who is uncomfortable.... she said, all of us are uncomfortable with you......She did not stop there. Threatened me not to talk with anybody or circulate emails about this issue and believe it or not, even said, not to blog about it.

I was so upset that my husband did not help me out. Did not feel a pinch when someone is humiliating right in front of him. I was like one against all. No one to ask her to apologize or to tell to take her words back. She is really a bully. I never thought that I'll be the victim of bullying. She really had pleasure by treating me like I'm piece of crap. What do they know about me to say "Uncomfortable"? Just my one email, can they perceive someone as uncomfortable. It has been three years and I never faced any complaint from any teacher, my record was clean so how can she be so rude...Why is she treating me like I'm a bad person. Just totally hard to one to provide answers.

I wanted to send email to her and rest of the teachers that how can she insult me like that. If I did wrong, why not give warning or something, instead of acting out like I did something awful.
Why to humiliate me in front of others? Why couldn't she tell me in a nice way about how school works and what she expects from parents? I wanted to inform about when I used the word "disappointment", it was nothing related to the ex-teacher as I was under assumption that the curriculum was laid out in such a way that it doesn't make it necessary for teachers to go in depth about each and every project but just kids have to merely participate in the whole process. That was the reason, I was requesting or merely suggesting to please time to go through each and every project.

But my husband somehow convinced me not to send email but just allow the time to heal. She will somehow repent one day for bullying and misusing her authority. This experience makes me clap for people who raise their voice and go up against all odds and fight for the right cause. Really speaks volume about their courage. This experience made me realize that I can easily be bullied and I've no courage to fight back.....totally coward person. I allowed myself to humiliate and did not raise my voice to make her stop.

Well, anyway after two days, I went to my American mom that's how she likes to call herself. I showed her whether the lyrics of my son's song was objectionable or my email. She said that my email was overbearing. Using words like "each and every child", "doubt" and "disappointment" were wrong. "Each and Ever child" usually used by Pope or someone who is in higher authority, Doubt should be replaced by 'questions' and instead of disappointment, use concern....

Anyway, something unknowingly I did wrong and for that to humiliate me in such a way is kind of shocking. It hurts if someone dislikes you. Wish they could have given me time to explain myself out rather than treat me like a crap.

I learned one thing, when someone says you are welcome to suggest. Its totally BS. I sent email to her as she came across as a friendly person. Believe it or not, I sent the same email to my daughter's teacher, her response was

I plan on having the kids present their projects the last week of school before the winter break. There's a lot of hard work that goes into these and the scientific method needs to be reinforced at every level. You are so right to give credit where credit is due. There will be many grades from the project as we progress through the whole thing. There will be a couple of days to do research at school next week, too. The students will need several references to get enough information to make an educated hypothesis. We will do our best to learn the optimum amount from this experience.


Well, readers you be the judge! The above message is the giving me some peace and understanding about the whole situation. They say, everything happens for good. In this case, it is true or else if she did not get a chance to take some kind of revenge, the teacher would have
shown it on my son, someway or the other. So, thank you GOD!

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