I managed to embarrass and upset a student in class last Friday. I simply called him on his whining about not being able to do an assignment. Because of his learning difficulties, and I do admit he has some - I haven't made him put pencil to paper all semester. He informed me in class that he couldn't memorize the short piece of Shakespeare I assigned him. "Oh, Bull", says I, "your piece is easy and fun, I'm sure you could if you tried." I told him it was his choice, but that he wouldn't get a completion certificate if he didn't.
The kids have known about this, and have had their assigned pieces for two months already, and two weeks ago I gave this kid a much easier selection than he had originally picked. I spent class time on two different days, including last week, teaching memorization skills. I could have helped a three year old memorize his piece simply by setting it to a tune and making it a clapping song. But, NOOOOoooo, he's incapable of memorizing it. It's too hard! His mother, a member of the co-op board red @ssed me both over the phone and in EMail today, and pulled her boy out of both of my classes. She is honked off because I swore at her kid. "My husband and I do NOT speak to our children that way!" She is honked off because she has tried to help him, and he just can't do it.
IMHO, this kid does have some learning and social difficulties. It is also my opinion that he has learned very adeptly how to play his mom and dad like violins.
I have always enjoyed teaching at co-op, even though I do not believe I have the gift of dealing with kids. I do not get paid enough to do this job. If this comes up again, or she takes this 'to the board'. they will swiftly find themselves minus a teacher. I have better things to do with approximately 10 hours each week.
Yeah. and other things went poorly today, also. ~M.E.