Home > School and Learning > Parental Involvement > Relating to the Teacher > Seeking Provisions for an Average Student

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Seeking Provisions for an Average Student

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: When I tell school administrators and counselors that my daughter is having trouble adjusting, the first thing out of their mouths is "Have you taken her to see a doctor?" They have a zero-tolerance policy and my daughter has lost time at school as a result of her nervous stomach. It seems as though everything is slanted towards the TAG students (talented and gifted) and there are no provisions for the average student who is struggling.

One of my daughter's teachers reluctantly says she is available after school, but makes it clear that she does not live close by and has two children that she needs to get home to.

How do I proceed so that I am within my rights as a parent? I feel as if my daughter is in a military institution. She is changing and becoming more and more frustrated every day and does not enjoy school.

A: "Have you seen a doctor?" is not what I would ask, but you might rob them of that defense from them by taking her and being able to say, "Yes I have -- but that is not the issue here."

You do not mention what grade or how old your daughter is or whether this has happened before. I am supposing she is in her first year of middle school. Is she struggling with homework, classwork, or peer relationships? Is the "zero tolerance" you mention for absenteeism, weapons, what?

Your rights as a parent are many. You can require your daughter to be tested; you have a right to see all of her records; you have a right to request progress reports. You have a right to be there requesting help for your daughter. As you have already determined, that doesn't mean that some teachers, counselors, or administrators will care.

Keep trying to find that one teacher, counselor, or aide who will assist you. Are there parenting groups in your area? Most people find them a wonderful source.

Contact me again with any details that might help me advise you better.

More on: Expert Advice

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.