Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Yesterday I attended my oldest daughter's parent/teacher conferences. (My youngest daughter's school has not returned any of my correspondence despite the fact that I am entitled to my children's school records per the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act) I found out that she is doing very well in school and the teachers enjoy having her as a student. I met with her regular teacher as well as her gym, art, music, and computer teachers.

I'm not sure how much of my situation they are aware of, but this year's conferences were much different than last year. Last year the school tried to obstruct my access to my daughter's educational activities. I can understand how there could be some concern as my ex-wife is fairly convincing in her stories of how she thinks that I "may" be dangerous, but the school's policy states that they will provide the student's records to both parents unless there is a protective order stating otherwise. There was, and still is, no protective order so I continued to be persistent in staying engaged in my daughter's scholastic life. It was only after I mentioned consulting a lawyer that the school began to provide me with some of my daughter's records. Last year, the parent/teacher conferences had a heavy fog of tension in the air. This year was much different.

Yesterday's conferences went very well. Last year the school principal kind of gave the impression that she felt that I was some kind of diabolical madman who was on a lifelong quest to terrorized the mother of my children. This year I was treated like a parent. I guess the principal figured out that I wasn't attending parent/teacher conferences to further an evil plot to take over the world; I was just there to check on my daughter's progress like any other parent. I don't know what she told the other teachers about my situation but they were very calm and relaxed. They obviously didn't appear threatened by my presences and they didn't contact the police as my ex-wife instructed them to do. I don't know if the principal told them that I wasn't able to see the children. Maybe the principal told them that I am not the madman that my ex-wife continues to portray me to be. Maybe the school has figured out the tragic reality that my daughter was deprived of a father out of the spiteful and vindictive actions of others. I do know that the mood definitely changed.

My daughter is doing great in school. Her gym teacher said she was fearless. When I told him about some of the more extreme activities that we did, he smiled and said that he figured that had probably been the case. He said my daughter sometimes finds the gym activities to be boring. He thought that she may have been exposed to a higher level of physical challenge. In fact all the teachers said she welcomed a challenge. That's we always worked on. We competed in almost every aspect of life. Running to the car, video games, playing soccer, dance contests... you name it. We also focused on how we shouldn't blame other people for problems; because it's easier just to fix them and move on.

The most bittersweet moment of the conference was when her computer teacher said she was way ahead of the other children. The teacher said my daughter finished her work early that day and was helping other classmates with their computers. She said my daughter even knew how to do basic tasks on Microsoft Word like changing fonts. Of course she does. I taught her how to do that when she printed out name tags for her pre-school class nearly two years ago. My daughters were taken from me when they were 3 and 5 years of age and they already had their own laptops and knew how to navigate between some web pages. The depressing thing about my daughter's advanced computer skills is that I was punished for teaching my daughters how to use computers. Page 6 of the final decree states that I was "even instructing the children on how to use computers and to access the internet." Rather than assume that I was teaching my children the skills necessary to excel in life, they just assumed that it was part of my diabolical scheme to teach the children how to use computers and read at a high level so they would be able to read my internet content in a few years. Why would I want to waste time teaching my daughters how to read the websites that I have created when I could be teaching them how to design their own websites? Whatever the case is, not only is my daughter ahead of the other kids in her computer class, she understands her responsibility to help others along.

Things are definitely moving forward. I would hate to waste the time of my daughter's teachers but if my ex continues to claim that I present any emotional or physical danger to my children, I'll have to subpoena the teachers to testify as to how my daughter is confident, caring, and fearless, and demonstrate how many of our old activities helped my daughter excel in the things that she is doing now. Obviously I contributed something to the development of my daughters as it is evident that my oldest daughter is benefitting from the things that she learned from her father before he was taken away over a year ago. That's why I have to continue to work to get back into their lives so I can continue to contribute. Don't worry girls, daddy is still working hard to be your dad.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like your children are doing well in school. That is great - always great to hear kids are doing well in school and activities. It also sounds like you take all the credit! Who is working with them on their homework,etc., now? You sound like the angry, vindictive one. Give their Mom some credit - it sounds like she is doing a great job with the everyday/school stuff. You even give the teachers, school credit - everyone, esp. you get the credit - what about their Mom who is with them day in and day out helping them understand "things". Helping them with homework, taking care of their physical, and financial needs, all while she holds down a full time job. You claim your "x" is vindictive - what do you think you are? Maybe you could have been a major person in their lives but you choose to keep slamming everyone, like your "x", the judges, the lawyers, the doctors. You say you are doing this for your girls and kids/fathers everywhere. Does it ever occur to you that your girls would rather you work on getting your life together so you are in their lives? Are you not at fault for any of this? Come on Dan - really?? All you ever do, it sounds like to me, is "toot your own horn". WOW you could be parent of the year. Running to the car with them? Showing them your work on the computer - your web designs. By the way how is that work doing? Are you making enough to send your girls any extra $$ to help them out now? Or are you so nuts that you think your "x' would use it for her needs. Do you ever send them gift cards so they can get new clothes/books/a computer? I'll bet your were ordered to pay a certain $$ amount to support them - I don't have a clue what that would be but I can tell you from others I know that are going through this - it is probably not even close to cover what they need for their daily support. I know that my grocery bill keeps going up and my paycheck does not - do you pay any extra at all - ever? WOW running to the car with them - WOW - You still haven't learned much have you? Working on helping all the children/fathers everywhere, or helping your own children! Why not do a study Dan? Find out how many kids would have rather their estranged Dads, court ordered or not, been involved in caring about THEM and not the world. Yes, they may say one day my Dad did this for all those kids, but I'll bet they would rather say "My Dad was their for ME!". My Dad was at my game, at my practice, at my whatever . . .
    I find you amazing and not is a great way - It's in more of a crying, whining, little boy way. LOOK AT ME - SEE WHAT I CAN DO - LOOK AT ME!