Author Topic: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue  (Read 4538 times)

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joraemi

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the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« on: December 13, 2012, 12:46:20 AM »
Abbreviated version:

Two of my children are in the same high school level biology class.  They are covering a complicated topic right now and the teacher has been documenting on the board which students are "Clueless" on the board. They are in the same class period together but are in different grades - my son is younger. OH - and the list gets erased at the end of the class period and a new one started each period.  ::)

ie:  DD's friend was called on to answer a question (she did not volunteer but was chosen).  She answered incorrectly (because she doesn't understand the concept) and the teacher put her name on the board under the heading "Clueless". This was in a class period that my children are not in. (Friend shared with DD because she was really upset about this!)

 In *my* children's class period, there was a similar discussion of some students being clueless and some knowing what was going on because this is a hard concept.  He then stated, "I'm going to show you the difference between someone who knows exactly what's going on and someone who is clueless."  He then proceeded to call on my DS and ask him a question, which he answered correctly, then called on DS's friend to answer another question which he missed, thus deeming him the "clueless" one.  DS was upset by this for obvious reasons.

I just don't even know who to call first - teacher, principal, guidance counselor - or all three?  I just thought this was horrid.  According to the children, the point of this is supposed to be to identify the kids who have the conept well in hand so that they can help those that do not, but this just seems like a degrading and humiliating process. >:(  My DS was one of the kids who "gets it" and he was horrified to be singled out in that manner, I can only imagine how the other kids feel that are having difficulty.

The general consensus among the students was that this was really mean.

Thoughts?  Help?

Oh - my question is - I can't even begin to formulate a polite, e-hell approved response.  Most of my thoughts have centered around asking the teacher if HE is on the clueless list!

ETA: forgot to add my etiquette question!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 12:50:57 AM by joraemi »




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CakeEater

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 01:05:32 AM »
I was a teacher, and I often read these posts ready to defend the teacher in question, but wow.

Go straight to the principal, and let him/her deal with it. With any luck, (s)he will be horrified and the issue will be sorted out.

Iris

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 01:06:20 AM »
No. No. Nonononononono. Call everyone. Call them twice. Call them now. This is so far counter to best teaching practice that it could be used in an antimatter engine.

Okay, sensible answer. Call the principal. This is such deeply unacceptable teaching practice that I think you need to take this straight to the top. Use the words 'degrading' and 'humiliating' and also let him know that your DS, who 'gets it', was also made to feel uncomfortable. Honestly, the details you have typed out here are pretty much what you need to let him know.

I would also consider doing it via email in order to create a paper trail. 

Honestly, as a teacher, I can't even *believe* that someone in a westernised school system would think this was okay. It harks back to the days of dunce caps and caning for being slow to learn. If this teacher wants to designate students that can help others then they could call those students 'helpers' or 'experts' in that topic - though even that needs to be handled sensitively and I don't think this teacher would do that.
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pearls n purls

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 01:07:13 AM »
I would contact the principal or counselor.  This is a horrible method.

If the teacher wants to show who understands the concept, he should have a "clue-ful" or "science stars" list, not mock those who get a question wrong.  What a great way to discourage classroom participation.


gmatoy

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 01:13:17 AM »
As a teacher, I am shocked at his approach! Do call the principal.

artk2002

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 01:15:59 AM »
Completely inappropriate. What happened, he lost his "Dunce" cap recently?
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scotcat60

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 04:31:02 AM »
I can only imagine how the other kids feel that are having difficulty.

Shamed and humiliated. I know, because wehn I was in Primary School, we did Mental Arithmetic, books with sets of 10 questions each. We marked our own work, and then the teacher told us to stand on our chairs and all those who got 10 out of 10 were asked to sit down, then 9, 8 and so on, and guess who on most occasions was left on her chair. I was not alone, but I felt dreadful, and the sting is there 50 years later.

Teacher is there to teach biology, not humilialte the pupils.

Coley

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 05:06:42 AM »
I had a high school math teacher who would call on students randomly. If they couldn't answer the question, he pointed at them, laughed, and told the class, "See, the wombats are circling over her head." When it happened to me, I already felt plenty stupid and embarrassed about not understanding the concepts. I really didn't need the extra humiliation he doled out, and it didn't inspire me to learn.

Please call the principal. I agree with Iris that all you have to do is explain what's happening and use the word "humiliating." I fail to see any sense in this teacher's approach.


kherbert05

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 05:39:51 AM »
This is deeming to students call the principal.
 
I've had an expert list posted before - but that was for kids who knew how to do certain tasks (how to publish a blog post to the class blog would be an example). The purpose was that students knew who to ask for help, while I was working with other students.
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CrochetFanatic

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 05:54:53 AM »
Go to the principal.  I can tell you from firsthand experience that this kind of thing can stay with someone for a lifetime.  Nobody deserves to be publicly embarrassed for not knowing the answer to something, especially not a child/teen. 

I won't go into detail about my experiences, except to say that it involved getting a zero every time we pronounced "Halloween" as "Holloween" (why punish students because you have a pet peeve?), and being forced to stand in the back of the room until caught up on homework assignments...which he knew I would never be able to do.  To this day, I don't attempt anything if the odds of failure are high enough.

I would go to the principal.  If he/she won't do anything, I would find some other way to create a stink.  This isn't right.

cicero

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 05:57:19 AM »
principal. now.

and a story from my childhood:

in the 60s when i was in 3rd grade and my brother was in 5th. i was an outstanding student and he was brilliant but problematic (he was diagnosed with ADHD but nobody dealt with it back then). his teacher called me into his class and in front of his.entire.class proceeded to ask me the times tables ("How much is this times that? and this times the other?"). i knew all the answers, brother didn't (or wouldn't say). she then made me promise to help him. i was so embarrassed for him. i am 50 something years old and i still remember how angry and frustrated i was (we weren't allowed to ever say anything bad a bout teachers in my house).

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YummyMummy66

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 06:16:14 AM »
Your children are in high school?

I would teach your children to speak up for themselves.

Every kid has phones.  First, I would so take a pic of that board.

Then, the next time this teacher did that to me in class, I would stand up and say, "Mr. Jones, I most certainly will not answer this question in the way you would like.  And if you do not take down the clueless board, I will be going to the school board and report you for bullying and demeaning your students.   I would think that as a teacher,  you could find more productive ways to help the kids that don't quite get it yet".
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 06:18:18 AM by YummyMummy66 »

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 06:28:28 AM »
Your children are in high school?

I would teach your children to speak up for themselves.

Every kid has phones.  First, I would so take a pic of that board.

Then, the next time this teacher did that to me in class, I would stand up and say, "Mr. Jones, I most certainly will not answer this question in the way you would like.  And if you do not take down the clueless board, I will be going to the school board and report you for bullying and demeaning your students.   I would think that as a teacher,  you could find more productive ways to help the kids that don't quite get it yet".

Just popping into say that some schools, (including the one my son attends), have a "zero tolerance" cell phone policy, and a kid could get in trouble for using a phone, depending on school rules.  (My own kid was suspended out of school for a day in October for using his smart phone to look up info for a group project in class.)  So, while the photographic evidence might not be an option, I agree with YM66's approach of standing up to this and politely confronting the teacher.  The direct approach is the best one here, IMO. 

This is outrageous, and it makes me sad.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 07:06:04 AM »
This is awful, awful, awful and you absolutely need to report this to the teacher!  As a kid who was rather slow in learning some subjects, I would have been humiliated to be labeled as clueless.   (Didn't help that some kids called me a "sped" and "retarded" when I struggled with math)  Kids don't need that kind of shame and it taints the whole learning process.

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rashea

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Re: the "Clueless List" - teacher issue
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 09:08:18 AM »
I think this is a time when it's best to go straight to the principal. If the kids are willing, ideally they should do it. If not, then this is a time for a parent to step in. Hopefully, the teacher just needs a bit of a wakeup call, but I would want the principal aware of this and keeping a close eye on the classroom for a bit.
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