The biggest problem with technology, in the boy’s eyes is that his parents have access to his grades–all quarter long. Our biggest problem with technology is pulling the boy away from it long enough to go outside and smell the roses. But seeing as we’re only on the cusp of Spring, I digress. We have been watching the boy’s math grade steadily decline in the last quarter and no matter what we’ve threatened to take away from him, his steady reply has been, “I’m working on it”. Well, apparently his idea of “working on it” is not the same as ours, so we hired him a math tutor, someone he knows and is familiar with; in hopes of turning his grade around. After one session with the tutor, he came home, hopeful that his grade would show improvement. Instead he received an F on the test.
I know, I know, Rome wasn’t built in a day., but…
“How about attending the Wednesday math labs, for help? Or seeing the teacher after school?” I encouraged. Instead he replied, “Mom you know what I need? A teacher who isn’t boring.” “Bay, you get out what you put in…” I tried. “Mom, seriously, he’s boring and I have a hard time keeping my eyes open in his class.” “Regardless, you need to talk with him about how to improve your grades. I mean there might be one little misstep that’s causing all of this. Why not talk with him, find your error…?” I tried.
Then predictably the boy played his Aspergers card.
“Mom, I don’t feel comfortable talking to him, or anyone else in my class, for that matter.” He explained.
The Aspergers card gets played when he’s grown tired of us (me) badgering him about his grades. He’ll also play the card in hopes of changing subjects or to elicit sympathy. “Fine, if you won’t approach your teacher you leave me no recorse, but to write a letter to him on your behalf.” I replied. He sighed heavily and then began trying to tune me out. “Bay, at the risk of sounding like Charlie Brown’s parents….” I began before he cut me off with a “Too late” reply; imploring me to stop. Ignoring him I pressed on, “You know, if you showed your teacher your willingness to learn, he might take that a good sign and give you some extra credit” I tried. “That doesn’t happen in High School mom” he replied. “Like you know this to be true how? You’ve never tried” I replied. “You know, if you would just once get out of your own way…” I said with frustration. Seeing as we we were at a standstill I reiterated “I’m writing him a letter Bay…” Before I exited his room.
Friday morning I wrote his teacher a nice email explaining how the boy’s uncomfortable with talking to him one on one and asked if he could give us a starting point; a place where the tutor would have an idea where to reinforce the math lesson. That evening he replied, offering an entirely different perspective than the boys…
I offer extra help to the class regularly. The boy is in my first period class, therefore it would be easy for him to come in 10 – 15 minutes early any day. Also, any day after school I offer help as well. Math Lab moved to Tuesday’s a while back and I would like to see him take advantage of that opportunity.
I read aloud to the boy who seemed as disinterested as usual.
The boy and I have a pretty good relationship where I believe that he would not be afraid to ask me questions. We sometimes have pretty good conversations.
“Mom he’s living in a world of delusion” the boy inserted. “Yes in your delusion bay!” I replied trying not to laugh, but failing. Then he got to the nitty gritty of the issue.
What I am noticing lately is the boy not paying full attention in class. He is often found on his i-pad or doing things not related to what I am teaching. He told me yesterday, that he is having trouble sleeping and that he is tired in school.
“I am falling asleep in his class…” The boy tried. “I think your teacher is rather clear here bay, you need to put in the effort. Starting next week, you’re meeting with him before school, until we see your grades improve”.
He shot me the evil eye and stomped off. My husband and I smiled, high fived each other and then said a quick prayer for this to work.
Crossing fingers and toes too.