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Old 06-03-2010, 04:17 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,744,701 times
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As a teacher I think my expectations for parents are different than what some of the parents expectations are. I expect parents to reinforce the idea that school is important first and foremost and to keep us informed of issues as we do the same.

For example, I got my first contact from a particular parent today all year. It was in response to the child's progress report and the almost universal comment on it about the child's lack of homework in every class.

I was glad to hear from the parent but I would like to see if people get the same feeling from it I do.

"Everyone,
I apologize for just getting this out but I did speak with XXXXX the day we received this in the mail. He assured me that he was addressing this with his individual teachers. If this is not accurate, I would be interested in knowing. I can attest to knowing that XXXXX was falling asleep while doing his homework on numerous occasions. He had taken on the responsibility of being the Senior Patrol Leader for his scout troop which required him to go to every meeting and prep for the meeting. He was also running track meets. Now that there has been a lull in his running, I am hoping he is keeping up with his studies.

I know that we have spoken on numerous occasions of the importance in balancing his assignment schedules. My husband has spoken to various parents and they have said that their kids stay up late to complete assignments. I am aware of his lack of organizational skills. There are times that I give him a list of the things that he needs to accomplish for the evening so that he can see a list.
My husband and I appreciate all of your efforts in molding XXXXX into a responsible, capable young man. If you have not seen any improvement in his work, please let us know so that we are on the same page.

XXXXX XXXXXXX"

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Old 06-03-2010, 04:27 PM
 
Location: OCEAN BREEZES AND VIEWS SAN CLEMENTE
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I feel that Most Parents are not involved with their children's teacher's or in the classroom, as i was when my children were in school, many many moons ago. Unless your active within your child's classroom, you really do not know, how your child intermingles with other children, or their weaknesses, and their strengths. Mother's who do not work, please get involved with your child in the classroom.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:05 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,744,701 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by california-jewel View Post
I feel that Most Parents are not involved with their children's teacher's or in the classroom, as i was when my children were in school, many many moons ago. Unless your active within your child's classroom, you really do not know, how your child intermingles with other children, or their weaknesses, and their strengths. Mother's who do not work, please get involved with your child in the classroom.
Maybe at the elementary school level. There is not a place IN the classroom for parents in high school.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:12 PM
 
3,422 posts, read 10,908,105 times
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OP: are you getting the feeling that school is considered lower priority than some of the more "urgent" responsibilities like SPL duties and track?

If that were my kid and his schoolwork were suffering b/c of his extras, I would have him step down from SPL duties (which can be a lot) and just be a scout for a while, and same with track, have him share some of the responsibility with someone else (running track meet meant managing the meet right? - or is he just in track practice a lot?)

Regardless, those extras are valuable for his development but not at the expense of his education. There does not seem to be a good balance there.

And it must be the end of the year? How much more time does he have left to make up for missed work?
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:46 PM
 
1,428 posts, read 3,163,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
As a teacher I think my expectations for parents are different than what some of the parents expectations are. I expect parents to reinforce the idea that school is important first and foremost and to keep us informed of issues as we do the same.

For example, I got my first contact from a particular parent today all year. It was in response to the child's progress report and the almost universal comment on it about the child's lack of homework in every class.

I was glad to hear from the parent but I would like to see if people get the same feeling from it I do.

"Everyone,
I apologize for just getting this out but I did speak with XXXXX the day we received this in the mail. He assured me that he was addressing this with his individual teachers. If this is not accurate, I would be interested in knowing. I can attest to knowing that XXXXX was falling asleep while doing his homework on numerous occasions. He had taken on the responsibility of being the Senior Patrol Leader for his scout troop which required him to go to every meeting and prep for the meeting. He was also running track meets. Now that there has been a lull in his running, I am hoping he is keeping up with his studies.

I know that we have spoken on numerous occasions of the importance in balancing his assignment schedules. My husband has spoken to various parents and they have said that their kids stay up late to complete assignments. I am aware of his lack of organizational skills. There are times that I give him a list of the things that he needs to accomplish for the evening so that he can see a list.
My husband and I appreciate all of your efforts in molding XXXXX into a responsible, capable young man. If you have not seen any improvement in his work, please let us know so that we are on the same page.

XXXXX XXXXXXX"

Dear Parents,
1. Cut back on the scouts.
2. Cut back on the running.
3. Make HIM make a list, NOT YOU.
4. How about YOU ask the teacher; don't make the teacher get back in touch with you -- you have one kid; she has 150.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:27 AM
 
10,624 posts, read 26,749,122 times
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I'm not a teacher, so this is coming from an outside perspective. I wouldn't be too quick to judge the parent here; I think she's trying to apologize for her kid, provide some sort of context, and send a message that the parents do, in fact, care. It sounds like she thought he was doing his homework, although does realize that he's not totally on top of it. It could also be possible that she's trying to give him the room to work things out on his own, rather than rushing straight to the teachers herself (which I think is a good thing at the high school level, within reason).

I would reserve judgement and see what happens next. My impression is that this is a parent who wants her kid to do well and to learn how to balance his obligations. I can see how the wording could send the message that school doesn't come first, but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet. For now it could be that she really did think that her son was balancing things. In any case, while the wording itself could be interpreted to suggest that school was equal to all those other activities, I don't think it's necessarily the case; she might just be trying to give an explanation for where things wrong. If things don't change in the future now that the parents are fully aware of the issue, then yes, I'd say the family might not have their priorities straight. But for now, give them the benefit of the doubt.

All that said, I agree with Charles Wallace's four points, and hope that the parents in question are taking action. (although as far as asking the teacher, the parent here seems to be doing her best to be polite and respectful; it could be that she thought it was more of an imposition to go around to all the teachers asking for feedback on her one kid.)
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:41 AM
 
13,254 posts, read 33,545,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I'm not a teacher, so this is coming from an outside perspective. I wouldn't be too quick to judge the parent here; I think she's trying to apologize for her kid, provide some sort of context, and send a message that the parents do, in fact, care. It sounds like she thought he was doing his homework, although does realize that he's not totally on top of it. It could also be possible that she's trying to give him the room to work things out on his own, rather than rushing straight to the teachers herself (which I think is a good thing at the high school level, within reason).

I would reserve judgement and see what happens next. My impression is that this is a parent who wants her kid to do well and to learn how to balance his obligations. I can see how the wording could send the message that school doesn't come first, but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet. For now it could be that she really did think that her son was balancing things. In any case, while the wording itself could be interpreted to suggest that school was equal to all those other activities, I don't think it's necessarily the case; she might just be trying to give an explanation for where things wrong. If things don't change in the future now that the parents are fully aware of the issue, then yes, I'd say the family might not have their priorities straight. But for now, give them the benefit of the doubt.

All that said, I agree with Charles Wallace's four points, and hope that the parents in question are taking action. (although as far as asking the teacher, the parent here seems to be doing her best to be polite and respectful; it could be that she thought it was more of an imposition to go around to all the teachers asking for feedback on her one kid.)
I agree with this ^. The parent is being honest about what's going on. Learning how to prioritize and balance what we want to do is not something one learns overnight. We had a similar situation with my middle child when he was in HS and going for his Eagle Scout rank. To make Eagle he HAD to do certain leadership activities plus the actual work and he had made a commitment to himself and the troop to do that. He was also in the HS band, which was another commitment and one he couldn't stop doing mid-stream. Although I had warned him that Junior year was going to be hard with honors and AP classes and the above commitments, it wasn't until mid-year that he realized that he was in over his head.

As a parent you can nag and be involved but until the kids themselves internalize their problems and commit to a solution, nothing is going to happen. I think the quoted letter from the parent was a good one.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:55 AM
 
613 posts, read 992,270 times
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Default I am assuming this is high school?

My impression is the parent sounds like an educated person who is probably overwhelmed with responsibilities (i.e. work, house, husband, younger kids), and has not been on top of her child's school work. She probably also feels her son should be a well rounded student, and so encourages extra curricular activities. As we all know, these extra curricular activities are very important when comes to college entrance.

I agree that the wording seemed to imply that school was taking a back seat to the extra curricular activities, but I think the parent included this more as and explanation (excuse) for her son's missing assignments.

I think what happens at the high school age is BOTH parents and teachers feel the child should be more responsible for themselves and shouldn't need parents and teachers to constantly harp on them to complete their work and their studies. This is SOMEWHAT true. However, I think it is the responsibility of both parties to QUICKLY nip any problems in the bud.

The teachers are the first to know that there is a problem...after the 3rd missed assignment, why not contact the parent? In all likelihood, the child has been telling the parent that he is completing his assignments and she has taken his work for it. Maybe not the right thing to do, but I can understand that happening.

Everyone thinks that once kids become teenagers that parenting AND teaching should be easier and the kids should be on their own more. Having already raised one child to adulthood, and remembering back to my own teenage years, this is furthest from the truth.

For whatever reason, this kid needs more direction from both the school and parent, and I think both should be willing to put in the extra effort to be sure things are taken under control before too much time has passed.

After all, high school students ARE still kids and still have a lot to learn on their way to adulthood.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:44 AM
 
1,428 posts, read 3,163,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post

The teachers are the first to know that there is a problem...after the 3rd missed assignment, why not contact the parent? .
I know that on the surface of things, this sounds reasonable.
However, picture doing this:

Open your first period. Start with "Adams." Count up which of Mr. Adams' missing work is a major assignment, which is class participation, which can be made up, which can't.

This will probably take about two minutes.

Now, look up Mr. Adams' parents' email. Send the email.

This will probably take two minutes.

If Mr. Adams' parents do not have email, speak on the phone.

This will probably take five minutes.

Now...repeat 150-160 times.

Assuming that exactly half of 150 parents do not have email, this will take...

300 minutes emailing
525 minutes phoning

That's over twelve hours.


Sorry, but this is an unrealistic imposition on a teacher's time. That's why it makes more sense for the concerned parent to call or email him/herself, not rely on the teacher to do this. This is also why teachers have online grades, and if they're being professional and prompt, why they post them frequently -- so that parents themselves and students themselves can take responsibility for monitoring their own grades.

I understand why you suggested this, but please allow me to offer up the hypothesis that expecting teachers to be the watchdogs, monitors, and early warning systems for the grades of each and every one of their students is ultimately contributing its own little part to an increased lack of responsibility on the part of students -- and an increased opportunity for parents to blame teachers for their child's failure. Parents get to blame teachers: "They didn't CALL us!" (...despite the posting of grades, despite unsatisfactory notices, despite the fact that their child was in class on a daily basis and could/should have asked, and so on).

Again, with all due respect: the parent is justly and appropriately MORE concerned about the child than the teacher is, one devoutly hopes. Therefore, it should be the responsibility of the parent or the child to make that contact, not the teacher's.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:09 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 4,695,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Wallace View Post

Now...repeat 150-160 times.

Assuming that exactly half of 150 parents do not have email, this will take...

300 minutes emailing
525 minutes phoning

That's over twelve hours.

Sorry, but this is an unrealistic imposition on a teacher's time. That's why it makes more sense for the concerned parent to call or email him/herself, not rely on the teacher to do this. This is also why teachers have online grades, and if they're being professional and prompt, why they post them frequently -- so that parents themselves and students themselves can take responsibility for monitoring their own grades.
Turn that around and it will take just as much time, even more if all parents called or emailed the teacher for the same information. The teacher would have to look up the information since it wouldn't be right there in front of him/her. Field "150-160" calls or emails coming in at different times of the day.

Besides that, the teacher is who is first to see when a student is falling behind in homework.

Should ALL parents call in to the teacher wondering if their child is behind in homework, or should a teacher send a quick message via email or phone to only those who are actually behind, since ALL students wouldn't be?

In addition, since parents wouldn't know what and when, 150-160 parents could be calling the 7 or 8 teachers weekly to find out if Junior has turned in all his homework. If the teachers did it, they could make perhaps 30 emails or calls every couple weeks or so instead of fielding 150-160 a week.

After all, the teacher IS who knows first when a student falls behind.
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