Author Topic: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26, #56, #141 (mini), #151, #165  (Read 31789 times)

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mmswm

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2012, 12:05:26 AM »
Coley, would you mind if I posted the background information on the teacher discussion forum I referred to earlier?  It's an active enough board that one or more of them might have experience with this sort of system and could shed some light on expectations.  It could be that the teacher is misinterpreting the system in regards to grades.
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doodlemor

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2012, 12:50:58 AM »
All I have to say it that is an absurd amount of work for a 6th grader to do to get an A.   ABSURD.   A child shouldn't have to give up his whole life to do hours and hours and hours of extra work to get an A or a B.

I wouldn't definitely take this up with the principal - and whoever implemented the ridiculous A, B and C plan.

Podity, podity, pod!

I too wonder who came up with the plan.  It sounds like it could be the newest *bandwagon,* that everyone is supposed to be on.  When I was teaching it seemed like there was always a new miraculous plan that would solve everything.

When I first read the OP I wondered if the teacher were trying to make the new science curriculum more palatable for the students, that perhaps most students needed more time to perform the allotted tasks.  I wondered if that was why the deadlines were constantly being moved forward. 

If this science curriculum is radically different than the previous one there should have been training for the teachers using it over the summer, and periodic workshops during the year for teachers to work out the kinks.

The disorganization and ridiculous work load needs to be addressed.  The present situation seems like a good way to make kids hate science.  I don't think that 12 year old children should have such a workload for even a few weeks, much less the whole year!

I wonder if anyone else has already complained.  I wonder if any other grade levels are having problems with the new curriculum.  It would be interesting to know how the other science teachers in the building have handled the new curriculum.  It could be that the teacher is extremely disorganized, or that she has been handed an impossible situation.  It bothers me that she didn't answer the emails.

I think that going to the principal is wise.  He/she is ultimately in charge, and needs to remedy the situation.




PastryGoddess

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2012, 02:05:36 AM »

Please contact both the principal and possibly the school board.  I'm not a teacher, but it seems really really fishy that students cannot get anything higher than a C unless they come in and do extra work outside of class.


I went to a magnet school for 1 year in junior high and all four years of high school.  While I could come in early and stay late...if I chose. All students in my program would complete their projects in class.  In fact we were expected to do so in order to keep our teacher apprised on our progress.  If we did have a substitute, it didn't matter as we were expected to work on our projects and update progress on the class intranet.  Our teacher could still check on us, even if they weren't there.

Iris

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2012, 03:56:13 AM »
I am a teacher and I know it's a hard job and normally I'm ready to fight for any other teacher but this situation is waaaaaay off. Either this teacher is simply unable to manage things effectively or this is an unworkable program thrust on her by the district.

I would speak to the principal about this but the first thing I would do is find out whose idea this wretched program was. Some principals will thrust things like this onto teachers, ignoring all objections, and then happily scapegoat the teacher when it turns out to be unworkable.
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bonyk

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2012, 05:25:31 AM »
I suspect an unworkable program thrust upon her by the district or program that she has not been properly trained on.

The C, B, A levels make sense to me, and according the teacher workshops that I've been attending lately, are on par with the direction nation is going with education.  A "C" is on grade level, or meeting standards. "A" and "B" are above standard grades, so the work you do has to exceed grade level standards. 

I think a conversation with the principal is in order.  She/He needs to be aware of the frustrations on the parent/student side of this program.

Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2012, 06:09:35 AM »
Coley, would you mind if I posted the background information on the teacher discussion forum I referred to earlier?  It's an active enough board that one or more of them might have experience with this sort of system and could shed some light on expectations.  It could be that the teacher is misinterpreting the system in regards to grades.

No, I don't mind at all if you post the background info. It would be great to have more input about the expectations. Thank you!

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 07:48:29 AM »
This is ridiculous.  I don't think I had to do that much outside work for my International Baccalaureate classes in 11th and 12th grades, much less in 6th grade!  The expectation that, in order to earn an A, you not only have to complete your standard, basic layer of learning, but then have to complete two extra layers (in the time allotted for one layer) seems almost impossible.  I'm generally pretty good at picking things up quickly and getting them done, but this plan doesn't seem to allow for any issues, sick days, etc.  Not to mention other classes!  I definitely think a meeting with the teacher and the principal is in order.  If this is being forced by the school district, they really should know how it's affecting kid's lives.

secretrebel

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 08:21:39 AM »
Your chronology clearly explains the issues.

I don't think it's fair for a child at that age to need to do extra assignments out of usual class time to achieve a B or A grade. I also don't think it's fair that he's not being allowed to work on his A/B stream assignments in class because students in the C stream are using all the equipment. This child should be given work at his level in class time.

Definitely go to the principal. Not just because communication is poor but because this system seems genuinely unworkable and I'm sure the principal would want to encourage rather than discourage children who have ambitions for a grade higher than a C.

Sharnita

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 08:47:22 AM »
I can imagine that it is a program that somebody in the district misunderstood.  It might be a teacher or might be an adminitrator who thought that A/B/C level meant the grades needed to correspond.

weeblewobble

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 09:00:59 AM »
Moving target deadlines.  Inconsistency.  Missing her own deadlines for posting assignments.  This is ridiculous.

Either she wants the kids to work at their own pace or she doesn't.  She seems to be holding up your son so the other kids can catch up.  If she continues to jerk you around, I would go to the principal or department head with your timeline. 

Sharnita

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2012, 09:03:37 AM »
I don't have a problem with her moving deadlines because she was sick and not there to help the kids, explain or work with them. These assignments sound (too) complex and I wouldn't leave it up to a sub to explain or figure out.

Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 09:13:19 AM »
Update:

I took DS to school at 7 a.m. and walked him to the classroom. Another boy was ahead of us in the hallway, heading to the same classroom. When we arrived at the classroom, another student was already there. So that's three kids arriving at 7 a.m. to use the four available microscopes. A fourth kid showed up after we did.

The teacher saw DS and said, "Good morning." Then she saw me and said, "Can I help you?" I said, "Good morning. I'm (DS)'s mother, and I'm here to make sure he gets to do his experiment this morning." The teacher said, "Oh. Okay ..."

DS put his belongings down at a table with a microscope on it. He took a piece of paper out of his binder with the plan for his experiment and his data table. He approached the teacher and asked for salt. She said, "Salt? What kind of salt?" DS seemed confused. She then said, "Table salt?" DS said yes. She asked him why he wanted it. He explained that it was for the experiment. She asked to see his plan for the experiment. He got it from the table and read it to her. There was some back and forth between them about the nature of the experiment and DS's ideas about how it would work. She decided to give him the salt. This took about 10 minutes.

Getting out the salt involved opening a cabinet in the classroom, taking out a container, and giving DS a portion. He got the salt. The teacher had her back to me while she put some items back in the cabinet. I asked DS if he had what he needed. He said, yes, so I left without saying anything more.

Right now, his extra time before school has ended and he's now in his first period class. I'll have to wait until after school to find out whether he was able to do the whole experiment this morning.

I just want to say again how much I appreciate everyone's input on this. You guys are really great. Thank you.

Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 09:33:09 AM »
Moving target deadlines.  Inconsistency.  Missing her own deadlines for posting assignments.  This is ridiculous.

Either she wants the kids to work at their own pace or she doesn't.  She seems to be holding up your son so the other kids can catch up.  If she continues to jerk you around, I would go to the principal or department head with your timeline.

The bolded is precisely the thought that was going through my mind when I was driving back home this morning after dropping DS off. I completely support self-paced learning, and I do think it can be more motivating for kids. The faster-paced kids would get the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the concepts. But if she's holding up the faster-paced kids, then I'm afraid it will affect their motivation level.

The information provided by the teacher states that the kids can come in before school or during their study hall period if they believe they are falling behind or if they are having trouble understanding the material. DS was told he could come in early today to do his experiment, but he apparently is not behind and he isn't having trouble with the material. Instead, he had to come in early to do the work because he wasn't allowed to do it in class.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Teacher situation (long)
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2012, 09:47:04 AM »
That is a good question and districts can be a bit bipolar about what they ask of teachers.  I knew a teacher who was scolded for expecting kids to do stuff on the internet because his expectation that they either use the library or school resources was unfair, then they turned around and encouraged teachers to assign kids to do assignments using cell phones based on the assumption that "they all have cell phones".

Wow, every school district is different.  My own kid just this past Monday had to serve a day's out of school suspension for using his cell phone in his Mythology class.  He was using it to look up links he needed for a group project, as there was some issue with the classroom's computers that day.  (Note: I fully supported the punishment he received, as it clearly states in the student handbook that there is to be *no* use of cell phones in class, no exceptions.  He and I both signed off on the handbook at the beginning of the school year, and I am not and never will be *that* parent who thinks her kid can do no wrong.  In fact, he was disciplined further at home.  It just surprises me that there are some schools where it's actively encouraged for students to use smart phones, and even more ridiculous, that it's assumed everyone has one or has access to one.)

Coley, I admire your restraint in this situation.  Some of us have to work, and there would be great difficulty in getting the kid to school so early.  Students should have to opportunity to earn high grades in the allotted classroom time, not counting homework; that's what I'd have the biggest problem accepting, in your situation.  Do you think it would be useful to meet with the principal just for clarification of the policy?  I'd be curious if this is something instituted by the school district, or just the crazy plan of an incompetent teacher.  She sounds terrible. 
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Jones

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATE #26
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2012, 09:49:51 AM »
I have been reading this thread, absolutely stunned.

First, I don't believe I had that much outside-of-class work when I was in advanced biology and chemistry in high school. We partnered up and got it done in class.

Second, the run around the teacher is giving you is ridiculous. Changing up the due date schedule seemingly willy nilly (sorry WillyNilly) is unprofessional, at best. Not even posting an A-grade requirement, much less making materials available in the classroom until after the original due date, although asked about it numerous times? Good grief!

I also can't believe how she put your DS through a question and answer session over a spoon of table salt. The stuff is sold everywhere for <US$1/pound. 50 cents on sale. Almost as cheap as water. Yeesh.

I would almost definitely send your timeline to the principal, as to when projects were released and due dates changed. Ask him/her to speak with the teacher about having clear syllabuses (syllabi?) at the beginning of the quarter. I am certain you are not the only parent confused about all this, and it's not helping the children at all. We live in a scientific world and it will be a shame for the kids to be turned off to the subject at such a young age.