Hello Carlos, and welcome back to Just Answer.
My apologies that you did not receive an earlier answer.
I am a former NYC school teacher and also a parent. I understand your concerns completely and I believe your first step should be to ask for a meeting with the school's Guidance Counselor or the Guidance Counselor for your son's grade or class. Explain your concerns about his grades not being based on performance, but on his behavior and if he does have a behavior problem in school, it is/was the teacher's obligation to report it to her supervisor and request a meeting with you and your wife when the problem first became apparent.
I would also request a meeting with the Principal alone first, to discuss this individual teacher, her teaching style, and the fact that she doesn't seem to give the students a chance to learn the new material before moving on to something else. You must choose your words carefully, though, because a Principal will almost always take the teacher's side; however, if she is a new teacher, the Principal (or an Assistant Principal) is obligated to do classroom observations of her teaching, throughout the year and give her 'evaluations'. If this is her first year teaching, she may be put on 'probation' if her rating by the Principal is 'unsatisfactory' at the end of the school year. They may already be aware that she is not a great teacher, and if this is her first year teaching, she needs to learn more, herself, about how best to get through to the students so they can understand the material and maintain good grades.
If you know any parents of your son's friends who are in this same class, speak to them and see if they feel the same way. Even if their child is doing well, ask if they feel that the teacher is moving too quickly or that she is not a competent teacher because of her teaching style. Try to find some parents in the class who are not content with the way this teacher is doing her job. There's power in numbers, and although you don't have to name names at this time, you can mention that other parents have also voiced their complaints about this teacher to you, as well. You can also mention that the speech therapist agrees with your concerns and that the teacher is going too quickly for the students.
Then, yes, your thought of requesting a meeting between you, the teacher, the Principal and also the Guidance Counselor and Speech Therapist would be a good next step, to get to the bottom of this problem. I know it's rather late in the school year, but you might request that your son is transferred to another first grade class with a more experienced teacher (who had taught first grade for many years) and see if his grades improve, in a different atmosphere with a different teacher.
You can also request that your son is tested for any learning disabilities or behavioral issues at no cost, by the school or the District. If it is found that he may have some slight learning disabilities, he will learn in a different way than other kids, and if this is discovered, he will be entitled to free tutoring or other services offered by the school, to help him learn in the best way for him.
The main focus now, is that you are questioning why your son is receiving poor grades based on 'behavior' and not his school work, and also the teacher's competence. In addition, if your son's work and grades were declining, it was the teacher's obligation to call and let you know, way before this time, towards the end of the school year.
If they are aware that you are going through a divorce, they may try to 'blame' that, regarding your son's grades and behavior (IF there is a behavior problem, which you were never informed about in the past, either, correct?), but if you and your wife are trying your best to keep your son out of the separation/divorce situation and keep his life as normal as possible, that's very admirable, however, as you know, he knows something is 'different', especially if you are not living together(?) and it might be subconsciously bothering him. I'm just mentioning this so the school Administrators cannot use it as an 'excuse' for the grades your son is getting.
You should definitely request an evaluation of the teacher and possible testing for your son, if anyone else, like the Speech Therapist or Guidance Counselor feel that's necessary.
I know it will be dififcult, but try to remain calm when you speak to people at the school, and it would be to your advantage to have both you and your wife at the meetings. One more thing, and I say this with the utmost respect--if English is not your native language and you feel more comfortable conversing in your native language, you can ask for a translator to be present at your meetings, enabling you to express yourself in the best way possible.
I hope things will improve for Steven in school, and you will be able to accomplish what you set out to do.
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