Thursday, June 20, 2013

She Gon' Learn Today!

An email I sent to N's principal, vice principal and the parent coordinator of N's middle school, along with the text of the email I sent N's science teacher. Both speak for themselves. Names were removed because I felt like it.


Below is the text of an email I sent to Ms. _______, N's science teacher, this morning, regarding an incident that occurred in the science classroom yesterday. I rarely try to interfere with another teacher's classroom tactics and discipline methods unless I see that it's not constructive. This is one of those instances and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Thank you,
Raquel Penzo

Ms. ________

I hope this note finds you well.

N spoke with me about what happened yesterday in your class, and I found it very upsetting. While I understand that she was disruptive in your class, and she's been told to apologize for that, you handled it poorly first by shaming her instead of disciplining her, and then by speaking to her in a dismissive and rather catty manner.

Making N sit apart from the class and not allowing her to take notes because she tried to be funny in class seems excessive and unnecessary. All you manage to do with punishments of that nature is shame a child. This is NOT what I send N to school for. But I would have overlooked it had you not then gone a step further and made a snippy comment about being surprised that N didn't raise her hand when you asked that class who'd still take up smoking even after seeing the side effects. What was the purpose of this, besides hurting N's feelings and making her cry?

What you didn't realize with your carelessness, and what I can only assume was a desire to get one more dig in to the student who disrupted your class, is that N's paternal grandmother, whom she was very close to, died last spring from cancer that was caused in part by smoking. She was very upset about what happened in your class when she came home.

I expect that you'll make this right with N today and apologize for being mean. There's no need for that. I've been an educator and have had to run a classroom full of students with learning and attention challenges, and I know that getting them focused takes hard work. But it never calls for shaming.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss this further if you'd like.

Raquel Penzo

*smooches...telling bitches off in the King's English*
she's lucky I didn't just roll up on her and act a fool; my momma raised me better than that.