Blog Challenge "100 posts in 100 days" Post #20
I live in the same house I was born and raised in, I attended Catoosa Public Schools for all 13 years. The one thing that I was sure of when I found out that I was pregnant with Chandler was that he would also go to Catoosa. My roots run deep within our small community. My mom retired from the school system after many years of service and my sister taught 3rd grade at JW Sam Elementary so there was no question in my mind where Chandler would attend.
My sister hand-picked Chandler's teachers through 3rd grade and while we did struggle through those years, it wasn't more than what I expected it to be. My sister passed away unexpectedly Chandler's 3rd-grade year. He happened to be in the class right across the hall from where her room was. Let me tell you. It was hell on us the rest of the year to have to walk by there. I didn't have to do it nearly as much as Chandler did and I can't possibly try to put myself in his shoes nor would I want to.
We sought out counseling. I tried to stay as engaged as I could with Chan's teachers and classes. 4th grade is a bit of a blur for me, I don't remember it being terrible, but there were so many other terrible things we were going through at the time that maybe it was awful but all things relative, it didn't make the priority list.
For me, 5th grade was the pivot point. That was when everything started progressing in the wrong direction, and I no longer felt I had any control or ability to course correct. I started getting conflicting messages from school and Chan's teachers. One day, they would tell me he needed to be on an IEP because his impulse control and ADHD was limiting him and would have negative consequences on him in the future without one. The next day, I would get a note that said they would like to recommend him for advanced classes. A week or two later I would get a progress report that said he was failing a subject.
Chandler was getting in trouble more often, being sent to the office to finish his school work because he was disruptive in class. I would visit the school and walk down to his classroom and find him alone at a desk in the hallway left to fend for himself while listening to his teacher interact with the rest of the class on the other side of the closed classroom door.
I was reaching my breaking point around the end of Chandler's 5th-grade year, so my goal was to get through the end of the year. Just make it to the summer reevaluate and before the start of 6th grade have a new plan in place.
At the time, I didn't know that 6th grade would be the year that would break me, but it would, in fact, break me. More to come on that next time.