Thursday, October 24, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

“Who do I talk to about having my daughter tested for a Learning Disability?”

            I looked up as a beautifully dressed woman sat down at my table.  A Michael Kors handbag was slung over her shoulder.  She looked like a walking jewelry store as she held out her hand.  On her wrist was an oversize Michael Kors watch.

“Hello," she said.  "Casandra’s math teacher, Mrs. Jenkins, said I should talk to you about Learning Disabilities.”

            My mind tumbled as I reached out and shook her decorated hand.  Casandra Talbot was on my caseload, and I had a scheduled conference with her mother today.

            “Uh, Casandra has been tested for a Learning Disability,” I carefully replied.

            Mrs. Talbot glanced around, leaned towards me, and whispered, “I think she has a math disability.” Her eyes widened. “It’s called decalculated.”

            “Dyscalculia,” I said helpfully.

            “Yes.  The math disability.  I think Casandra has it.”

            I slowly nodded my head.  “Casandra has an IEP.”

            Mrs. Talbot leaned in even closer.  “I think she has a Learning Disability too.”

            Now I leaned in and pulled in a long breath through my nose.  No alcohol.

            I slowly replied, “Mrs. Talbot, Casandra has been tested for a Learning Disability.  She has a disability in math, and she receives special education help in her math class.”

            Mrs. Talbot straightened back up and furrowed her brow. “If she can’t do math,” she tilted her head forward and raised her eyebrows, “Should she be taking a math class at all? That just doesn’t seem right.”


            I leaned back in my chair and frowned.  I squinted my eyes, tilted my head, and stared up left concentrating.  The solution circled, then landed.

“No,” I said firmly.  “Casandra probably shouldn’t take math.”
            Mrs. Talbot began nodding and smiled.  “So we can have her drop Mrs. Jenkins’ Algebra class?”
            I stared back counting to five.  “Sure.  I’ll send the registrar an email tonight.”
            Mrs. Talbot stood and smiled.  She held out her bejeweled hand.  “Thank you so much. These conferences are really helpful.”
            Yes they are!
            (I made up the last part.)  

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