I have my parent hat on right now. Bear with me.

My son has a math disability. We have suspected this for some time, and we have explained it to the teacher at the start of the school year, at parent conferences, and in our email exchanges. We have discussed how he needs a curriculum that meets him at his ability level. He doesn’t have number sense yet, even though he is in second grade. He is still learning to add and subtract single digit numbers, and it’s hard. We work with a specialist, because no matter how many kids I’ve worked with, it’s not the same when it’s your own child. We have even paid the specialist to go teach the teachers the techniques that work best with our boy. We have tried to show the school manipulatives, number lines, and strategies.

Last night, my son’s homework was a worksheet packet full of columns of decimals and fractions. I looked at it, then at him. “Son, how much is 4+2?” He put up four fingers on one hand and two on the other, then counted. “Seven!” he announced. I wrote a note on his homework to the teacher. “I will be giving him other work to do. This homework does not meet his needs.”

It makes me frustrated when this teacher tells me over and over and over: This is the curriculum I teach. I never thought of myself as teaching a curriculum before. I always thought of myself as teaching children. The curriculum was the tool, when I was in the classroom.