Author Topic: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26, #56, #141 (mini), #151, #165  (Read 32795 times)

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Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #120 on: October 29, 2012, 09:28:39 AM »
Corey said:
Quote
At the beginning, I will present my concerns in the bigger picture (my paragraph just above regarding equal educational opportunity) and the possible effects on students who are of lower socioeconomic status as well as those with parents who have a lower level of involvement. I then plan to narrow my focus specifically to DS and his/our experience with the work in this unit.

This is a good idea. I would end by saying that, since DS has turned in his last assignment and has 99% so far, thus will probably get an A, this isn't an issue for you, but have they considered that this has opened the district to a possible lawsuit?* This should be said with a concern for the schools, not as a threat.

No student should have to settle for a C because they canít get to the school for extra time, and/or canít get the equipment needed. (To do Power Point, you have to buy some nice expensive software. And, if the school wants them to learn power point, they should darn well give a class in it.) Nor because they aren't allowed to start the higher level work until everyone has met the C requirements. One slow student, and...

*Note: this is not legal advice. It is just an eye-opener for them; a motivator, if you will.

And, please keep us updated!

Wasn't that 99% on the C level work though?  I think he has to get good results on the B level work and then the A level work to actually get the A, but if he never gets the opportunity to do the A level work, the highest he can get is a B?  Or am I missing how this works?  As someone who has been a student for almost 20 years (wow  :o), grading scales and expectations can make or break a class.  I've never minded a harder class as long as those things were clear - but "easy" classes were my grade was up in the air or out of my control? Not so much. 

I really hope things get cleared up to your satisfaction soon & also hope that the school is not already aware and content with the way things are running.

You're right that his grade presently is for the C work, and in looking at this more closely the other day, I noticed that his C-layer quiz grade has not been entered yet. He took that quiz more than two weeks ago. His B-layer grades also have not been entered, and that work was completed on the 16th. I think I mentioned in another post that his grades haven't been updated online since 9/27. Progress reports were released Friday, and this teacher was not prepared to release grades. She is evidently sending a separate grade sheet home on 11/5. Since the last work day for this unit is Wednesday, it seems that she will have a lot of grading to do between then and 11/5.

I am happy to say that DS finished his A-layer homework this weekend. He spent several hours Saturday and yesterday writing the research paper for the experiment he completed Friday. He will turn that in today, so all that will remain is his A-layer quiz. Then he can put this unit behind him.

In the car this morning on the way to school, he asked me if all the science units are going to be like this. I told him that he should probably expect these layered assignments for the duration because that's what the teacher said she is planning. His response: "Man, this is going to be a hard year!" I told him that he has proven that he can do the work, and that says a lot. We can't control what the teacher assigns, so it's important for us to focus on what we can control. I asked him if he learned any lessons from his experience thus far. He said that from now on he's going to plan ahead and finish the C-layer work within the first few days of the unit so he has more time to focus on the B- and A-layer assignments. That is a good lesson for him to learn, and it is within his control.

Sharnita

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #121 on: October 29, 2012, 09:38:11 AM »
The thing I don't get is that if the C level work is what everyone should/must do and the other stuff is more optional (?) then it seems like there should be some new C level introduced all unit long or there will be a kid or two who are content with Cs and realize that they can coast once they get the C work done in the first week or two.

Jones

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #122 on: October 29, 2012, 09:51:02 AM »
The thing I don't get is that if the C level work is what everyone should/must do and the other stuff is more optional (?) then it seems like there should be some new C level introduced all unit long or there will be a kid or two who are content with Cs and realize that they can coast once they get the C work done in the first week or two.

It actually sounds like this is what the teacher is promoting, via cartoons during class time; I don't understand why.

Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #123 on: October 29, 2012, 10:36:23 AM »
The thing I don't get is that if the C level work is what everyone should/must do and the other stuff is more optional (?) then it seems like there should be some new C level introduced all unit long or there will be a kid or two who are content with Cs and realize that they can coast once they get the C work done in the first week or two.

It actually sounds like this is what the teacher is promoting, via cartoons during class time; I don't understand why.

DH and I were talking about that, and we're wondering if the insertion of the movie on Friday, today, and tomorrow as a class activity is to keep the kids who are done with the C work occupied during class time because they don't have anything to do. That's just a guess though. The kids can work through Wednesday on their projects, but if they want to work today or tomorrow, it will have to be during study hall. They can work Wednesday in class, which is the last day of class time she is allowing.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #124 on: October 29, 2012, 11:09:35 AM »
After reading the updates, and the thoughts of others, I keep coming back to the same question:

Is this teacher actually TEACHING anything?

Or is she only teaching the C-level work?

From your updates, OP, it seems as though your DS is/was doing all of the B and A level work as self-study.  And it was self-study to the point where it appeared that the teacher wasn't even familiar with the assignment or being very accommodating with the request (that whole salt thing still gets me). 

So I guess that comes back to the question of why he has to spend his class time watching a video which has a questionable educational benefit, and then spend his weekend/off time doing required work that seems waaaaaaay above what one would think would be expected from a sixth grader.

Again, I would insist on knowing the impact that the videos play in the unit, and specifically how they will help any of the children attain their target grades.  If the teacher is using that valuable class time for the videos, then I'd want to be shown why they are so beneficial.  (Especially when I've just watched my kid spend countless extra hours of his free time doing work that could have been tackled in class but was displaced by the showing of these videos.)

And then if you can't get straight answers as to how these videos impact his grade, formally request that he be allowed to work in the library or somewhere else so he can use that class time to work on something that actually WILL impact his grade.

Sharnita

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #125 on: October 29, 2012, 11:14:46 AM »
I think the video is more questionable since the C level work is apparently already done and graded.  So is there any assignment related to the video?  Will the kids be discussing it, answering questions about it, writing about it?  If they do will it count towards their grade?  If it doesn't count toward their grade what else is the teacher doing to motivate them to take it seriously?

Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #126 on: October 29, 2012, 12:01:31 PM »
I think the video is more questionable since the C level work is apparently already done and graded.  So is there any assignment related to the video?  Will the kids be discussing it, answering questions about it, writing about it?  If they do will it count towards their grade?  If it doesn't count toward their grade what else is the teacher doing to motivate them to take it seriously?

Some of the kids are done with the C work, but some may not be. DS has some grades for C work, but I'm not sure that all of them do. Students who are done with the C layer and who didn't choose to take on the B or A layer work wouldn't have any work to do now unless she requires them to do the higher-level work.

About the movie: The kids are answering questions from a worksheet while they watch the movie. DS told me Friday that they were doing both simultaneously. If the portions of the movie that provided the correct answers went by too quickly, she'd stop the movie and replay it several times so they could answer the questions. I don't know whether this counts toward their grade.

The movie seems slightly connected with the current science unit -- cell biology. The movie is about a white blood cell. However, the focus of the movie appears to be about the immune system, and they aren't covering the immune system right now. I asked DS if the next science unit is about human biology, and he doesn't know.

Jones

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #127 on: October 29, 2012, 12:05:07 PM »
Not that the movie is very scientifically accurate in any way, shape or form...

Deetee

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #128 on: October 29, 2012, 12:09:21 PM »

In the car this morning on the way to school, he asked me if all the science units are going to be like this. I told him that he should probably expect these layered assignments for the duration because that's what the teacher said she is planning. His response: "Man, this is going to be a hard year!" I told him that he has proven that he can do the work, and that says a lot. We can't control what the teacher assigns, so it's important for us to focus on what we can control. I asked him if he learned any lessons from his experience thus far. He said that from now on he's going to plan ahead and finish the C-layer work within the first few days of the unit so he has more time to focus on the B- and A-layer assignments. That is a good lesson for him to learn, and it is within his control.

See, not a helicopter.
I'm glad that despite the ridiculous job the teacher is doing, you are still encouraging your son to learn and follow the (mind-boggling stoopid) outline.

It is a good job because sometimes there simply just are ridiculous amounts of work to do (without someone else being at fault) and sometimes you do just have to do it and time management is a valuable skill.

And with that thought, I'm going to go write and essay due in two days.

Coley

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #129 on: October 29, 2012, 12:16:49 PM »

In the car this morning on the way to school, he asked me if all the science units are going to be like this. I told him that he should probably expect these layered assignments for the duration because that's what the teacher said she is planning. His response: "Man, this is going to be a hard year!" I told him that he has proven that he can do the work, and that says a lot. We can't control what the teacher assigns, so it's important for us to focus on what we can control. I asked him if he learned any lessons from his experience thus far. He said that from now on he's going to plan ahead and finish the C-layer work within the first few days of the unit so he has more time to focus on the B- and A-layer assignments. That is a good lesson for him to learn, and it is within his control.

See, not a helicopter.
I'm glad that despite the ridiculous job the teacher is doing, you are still encouraging your son to learn and follow the (mind-boggling stoopid) outline.

It is a good job because sometimes there simply just are ridiculous amounts of work to do (without someone else being at fault) and sometimes you do just have to do it and time management is a valuable skill.

And with that thought, I'm going to go write and essay due in two days.

Thank you. Good luck with your essay!  :)

MyFamily

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #130 on: October 29, 2012, 12:52:04 PM »
Not that the movie is very scientifically accurate in any way, shape or form...

That was my thought! 


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

gmatoy

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #131 on: October 29, 2012, 01:05:37 PM »
The thing I don't get is that if the C level work is what everyone should/must do and the other stuff is more optional (?) then it seems like there should be some new C level introduced all unit long or there will be a kid or two who are content with Cs and realize that they can coast once they get the C work done in the first week or two.

It actually sounds like this is what the teacher is promoting, via cartoons during class time; I don't understand why.

DH and I were talking about that, and we're wondering if the insertion of the movie on Friday, today, and tomorrow as a class activity is to keep the kids who are done with the C work occupied during class time because they don't have anything to do. That's just a guess though. The kids can work through Wednesday on their projects, but if they want to work today or tomorrow, it will have to be during study hall. They can work Wednesday in class, which is the last day of class time she is allowing.

As a teacher, the bolded made me wonder... what if the students have to do things for another class during study hall?

faithlessone

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #132 on: October 29, 2012, 01:25:02 PM »
The thing I don't get is that if the C level work is what everyone should/must do and the other stuff is more optional (?) then it seems like there should be some new C level introduced all unit long or there will be a kid or two who are content with Cs and realize that they can coast once they get the C work done in the first week or two.

It actually sounds like this is what the teacher is promoting, via cartoons during class time; I don't understand why.

DH and I were talking about that, and we're wondering if the insertion of the movie on Friday, today, and tomorrow as a class activity is to keep the kids who are done with the C work occupied during class time because they don't have anything to do. That's just a guess though. The kids can work through Wednesday on their projects, but if they want to work today or tomorrow, it will have to be during study hall. They can work Wednesday in class, which is the last day of class time she is allowing.

As a teacher, the bolded made me wonder... what if the students have to do things for another class during study hall?

This worried me as well. I had a teacher at secondary school who were convinced that her class was the only one that mattered, and she behaved in a similar way - giving us unfeasible amounts of homework, expecting us to come in at lunchtime or after school for "make up" work that she hadn't had time to teach us.

Several parents complained, and she was soon put in her place.

I really think you need to go on the offensive with this, Coley. *hugs*

doodlemor

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #133 on: October 29, 2012, 01:39:48 PM »

[/quote]

DH and I were talking about that, and we're wondering if the insertion of the movie on Friday, today, and tomorrow as a class activity is to keep the kids who are done with the C work occupied during class time because they don't have anything to do. That's just a guess though. The kids can work through Wednesday on their projects, but if they want to work today or tomorrow, it will have to be during study hall. They can work Wednesday in class, which is the last day of class time she is allowing.
[/quote]

I gather from your other post that the teacher seems to be behind in her paperwork.  I suspect that she is showing the movie so that she can work on this stuff during class.  I wonder if she is showing movies in other classes, too.  I think her use of this movie is thoroughly unprofessional.

bonyk

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Re: Teacher situation (long) -- UPDATES #26 and #56
« Reply #134 on: October 29, 2012, 01:50:46 PM »
This is the administration's fault as much as the teachers, IMO.  No one noticed that her teaching has stalled and her class has been watching a movie for days on end?  No one noticed that this new program is failing?  No one noticed that she has not updated the grades?  No one asked her how many kids are on track for each layer of teaching?  No one asked her how she's managing so that students have equal access to the limited materials?  No one asked her if going on the trip would adversely affect her students?