Author Topic: Go with the flow or protest?  (Read 11798 times)

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Cami

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2013, 11:07:09 PM »
I can see your concerns. I can also see the teacher's pov -- which in part may be a CYA situation. One of my coworkers was a teacher and one reason she left the profession was because of the parents, particularly the parents of the problem kids who would deny that they received notes, that they got phone calls, that there were extensive and long phone conversations or in-person conversations...  This system allows the teacher to "prove" that the parents was notified of their child's behavior issues early, regularly, and often.

Promise

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2013, 11:15:38 PM »
I teach in a university setting in education and have visited many different districts' rooms. I've also taught in public education.  This is a difficult thing because of the balance between the individual parent's wants and the teachers' time.You as the parent want the one-on-one communication with a teacher, which is the best thing for your child. I too was that parent. These are the ones who push their children to do their best and listen to the teacher. We like parents who support us and back us up in there's a problem with their child.

But then there is the teacher who has more and more poured on her, expected of her, unexpected pop-in principal visits to do a "snapshot" no matter what was scheduled for that day (like district tests) and then scoring her down because she's not working on an objective. She has no aide with an evergrowing number of children; all this without much support from the other parents. Parents now just complain, complain, complain without providing encouragement or a solution that works well for the teacher and student. I'm not saying this is you...only what I've observed over the years.

What is a solution that you have that will not cause the teacher to have spend extra time just on you? She's probably found a system that gets the information out in the fastest way possible. If it doesn't work well and you can think of something better, I'm SURE she would love to talk with you about it.

jedikaiti

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 11:19:29 PM »
I think it would be reasonable for a parent to contact the principal of the school requesting  that parents be informed of all databases and websites that their student's information will be posted on. And for the non-school system ones, the degree of security of that information.

If you frame it as a request for information, and a request that all parents, every year, be informed of how and where their students' information is being posted,  you will come across as someone who is concerned about her child's privacy, but not so over the top that she's demanding all internet info be removed.

And it might just make the staff realize that they need to keep parents informed of these things.

Yea, I would frame it more as a request to be informed BEFORE your kid's personal info is shared with third parties. Because unless the whole thing is hosted on the school district's servers, it is being shared with third parties. And nothing is 100% secure.

I don't have kids, but I think that would annoy me, too. Parents have quite enough to do - checking the school website for school news, the class website for lesson plans, logging in somewhere else for grade info, and yet another site for behavior? Centralization, people!
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CookieChica

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 11:24:56 PM »
I think it would be reasonable for a parent to contact the principal of the school requesting  that parents be informed of all databases and websites that their student's information will be posted on. And for the non-school system ones, the degree of security of that information.

If you frame it as a request for information, and a request that all parents, every year, be informed of how and where their students' information is being posted,  you will come across as someone who is concerned about her child's privacy, but not so over the top that she's demanding all internet info be removed.

And it might just make the staff realize that they need to keep parents informed of these things.

Yea, I would frame it more as a request to be informed BEFORE your kid's personal info is shared with third parties. Because unless the whole thing is hosted on the school district's servers, it is being shared with third parties. And nothing is 100% secure.

I don't have kids, but I think that would annoy me, too. Parents have quite enough to do - checking the school website for school news, the class website for lesson plans, logging in somewhere else for grade info, and yet another site for behavior? Centralization, people!

When did all this start? Parents need to see lesson plans? For what purpose? And didn't parents get grades like twice a quarter before but now there's real time updates?

No wonder my teacher friends are so stressed out! I'm bringing them a bottle of wine!

GSNW

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2013, 11:30:35 PM »
- checking the school website for school news, the class website for lesson plans, logging in somewhere else for grade info, and yet another site for behavior? Centralization, people!

I asked our new super this same question at our last town hall-style meeting.  Why do I have to put my lesson plans three separate places (hard copy, parent website, website for my bosses) every time I write a new lesson?  Why can't we just give parents access to the same website our admin looks at?

The answer?

"We don't believe the way lesson plans are written for your bosses would be interpreted well by parents."

What in the HEEHAW?

I realize not all parents share the same education level, but I'd be willing to bet most parents could understand the objective, activities, and homework for the day.  And if they want to see the state standard those things correlate to, well, who cares?  I'd bet they can understand those, too!

Sharnita

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2013, 11:34:16 PM »
Don't forget - a lot of times those things go on the board for the kids, too.

*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2013, 11:58:23 PM »
This is not a website that is part of the school district..I am ok with the school site (altho it has more glitches than we parents like but they are trying to fix them) altho it is a pain to constantly be flitting from section to section to get daily messages, notes, grades, assignments.  I am not ok with the district deciding to sign my child up on a random website to track something that the teacher is tracking already on their monthly behavior cards in the classroom.  I realize that the collection of information has gotten to a level than almost does seem intrusive, but as the parents, we are responsible for our kids so anything they want to set our kids up for that is outside of a district website run by our own people should have been run by the parents and an opt in, not an opt out.  The letter that came home has my DD already signed up with a user name and pass word under neath the student code.  And yes, I would prefer if there is a behavior issue the teacher address me.  Yes, I use email but not much and for some reason last year, my DD's teacher was not getting my emails..found out they were going into spam so I was advised to 'make another email address'  >:( .  I try not to call unless it is a health/safety issue, so if I have any other  concerns, I send a note in the morning in her homework folder or in her homework assignment book.  When my older DD was going through some serious issues at the high school, no matter how many voice mails I would leave for her guidance counselor/school psychologist they never called me back, they sent emails that said 'Heard you have a concern, email us with any questions."   >:( >:( >:(  My main problem is, while I appreciate the demands put on teachers, the parents, who are held responsible for their children's every action, should be given the information and ability to say whether they want their child to participate or not in some random website, that seems to me to be silly.

And I agree about centralization.  It seems like there should be one place for notes, assignments, news..but I can spend up to an hour going through the main page for district information (and don't get me started on the robo calls for every.last.thing. in the district, including the call the night before school started with a 5 minute message from the superintendent! ), then my schools page, then the class page for any special events (like telling us the night before that they had to all wear white today for their grade and she has no plain white shirts!), then I have to sign into DD's account to check assignments, upcoming tests, grades, see if they are marking her late because we have Yurtle the Turtle for the morning bus driver..), then I can start her on her homework, studying.  I do it because I am that involved parent who wants my child to get the most of her education, but it is getting ridiculous because now I have another web site to see our schools equivalent of Santa's naughty or nice list !

*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2013, 12:24:37 AM »
I just heard from my friend who has kids in the district but different schools and she said "CRUD MONKEYS!, we have to sign a paper allowing our child to have their picture taken, we have to list who is allowed to pick our kids up and those people have to show ID, but they can sign our kids up for a website we have never heard of and assign user names and passwords??"  I think that about sums up how I feel..they are extremely cautious when it comes to our kids physical safety (and I am impressed at how well it is done without it seeming like it is a prison) but they don't think about how parents would feel about their kids being signed up for a website we didn't even get a chance to look over ahead of time.  And no, we don't go sign them up, it is already done for us.  Yes, I would like a little more personal service from the teachers but I will grit my teeth and deal with it,  but I think they made an interesting assumption on the behavioral website.  I am sure they can track behavior electronically for data collecting without using names of the children, just make them a statistic by age or gender.

Pen^2

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2013, 12:58:10 AM »
I am a teacher, and at one school I worked at, we had a similar system pushed on us about four days before the school year began  :-\ It was very much a "you have no choice, worthless peons" kind of thing. Many parents were happy with it (modern! Must be good! More personalised!), most just didn't bother checking it (seriously, that much data is kind of irrelevant for most of the kids), and several were upset about it. It was hard to get across the fact that this wasn't optional for me--I had to use this system or I'd be out of a job, literally. I'd love to make individual phone calls to each parent who wanted it, but unfortunately there is more than one parent and it often isn't practical, especially if they want the play-by-play kind of level of detail, since that would require something like weekly phone calls. I taught six classes, with maybe 5-10 parents who were unhappy with the system per class. This worked out at over an hour each evening that I'd be spending on the phone, basically saying, "Your kid is doing fine. Let's go over a huge number of data points that say exactly that." On parent-teacher nights I'd be happy to talk to them, or send a very short note home once a month or something, but what was being asked, as reasonable as it was, just wasn't practical.

I can fully get behind this point of view. But as understandable as it is, it simply might not be possible to cater for. Maybe ask that if there is a problem, then the teacher contacts you directly, but otherwise leave things as they are, or see if she's able to find time to chat with you briefly once a month/term/etc. It needs to be understood that anything the teacher is able to do is probably going to be done in their own time, as well, so be thankful if they are able and willing to give up precious free time. Not that I think you're not grateful or anything, just that I had so many parents who were offended that I needed things like sleep.

And to be fair, although one could argue that it's just as easy to take the same amount of detailed data down on paper during a class, in truth that doesn't happen. Twenty or thirty years ago it was unthinkable, or at least incredibly rare, to take down that much information about an entire class of students throughout the lesson. A couple of trouble makers, sure, but not thirty kids at multiple times during the hour or however long each lesson is. I don't think this much information is very useful most of the time, to be honest, but the fact is that these systems do enable more data to be taken down, useful or not.

*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2013, 01:23:05 AM »
I don't want a teacher calling me at home at night-I'm too busy checking the website for all the daily information  ;D, but if there is a serious enough issue, I would prefer to be called than emailed because I have been in a 3 day email a thon over something for older DD that if the teacher would have taken 5 minutes to call it would have been settled.  My younger DD is NOT a behavior issue..the kid actually is nicknamed 'the police woman' because of her absolute love of rules and structure (part of her OCD issues), and really, if I write a quick note on the homework assignment page, I know she looks at it (part of the classroom behavior chart), just jot me a note there instead of sending me an email on it.  I don't really deal much in email so I can go days without checking it but because my DD, myself, and the teacher all use the homework assignment book, answer me there!!!  At meet the teacher she had us fill out a getting to know you sheet for the parents and one of the things asked was "best way to communicate"  I checked phone and notes sent home.  She then tells all of us she deals in emails..then why ask us???  I have decided though to opt out of the behavior website and will be asking that my DD's info be removed by the school. 

Pen^2

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2013, 01:41:52 AM »
I don't want a teacher calling me at home at night-I'm too busy checking the website for all the daily information  ;D, but if there is a serious enough issue, I would prefer to be called than emailed because I have been in a 3 day email a thon over something for older DD that if the teacher would have taken 5 minutes to call it would have been settled.  My younger DD is NOT a behavior issue..the kid actually is nicknamed 'the police woman' because of her absolute love of rules and structure (part of her OCD issues), and really, if I write a quick note on the homework assignment page, I know she looks at it (part of the classroom behavior chart), just jot me a note there instead of sending me an email on it.  I don't really deal much in email so I can go days without checking it but because my DD, myself, and the teacher all use the homework assignment book, answer me there!!!  At meet the teacher she had us fill out a getting to know you sheet for the parents and one of the things asked was "best way to communicate"  I checked phone and notes sent home.  She then tells all of us she deals in emails..then why ask us???  I have decided though to opt out of the behavior website and will be asking that my DD's info be removed by the school.

Fair enough in opting out. Your daughter sounds lovely and if it doesn't seem like there'll be any issue, then not bothering with it is a good way to go.

Maybe the "best way to communicate" thing was used kind of like a vote, and since most parents put email, then email it is? Maybe the teacher only uses the way you put down for if there is an emergency?

At any rate, I think you're fine. As long as you keep being understanding that what seems easy and logical isn't always as easy for the teacher as one might think (e.g. she looks in the homework book, but writing in it isn't necessarily convenient or easy depending on how the class works and is run), then I don't think you can go far wrong.

blarg314

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2013, 04:37:20 AM »

When did all this start? Parents need to see lesson plans? For what purpose? And didn't parents get grades like twice a quarter before but now there's real time updates?

No wonder my teacher friends are so stressed out! I'm bringing them a bottle of wine!

I'd make it straight up vodka!

Personally, I think that the micro-information approach adds unneeded stress to teachers (adding the recording/reporting to everything else they are doing), students (every single thing they do is recorded and remembered and reported) and parents (keeping up with the flood of data). I'm a scientist, and I quite like data, but too much data too fast without analysis and interpretation can make things more confusing.

I don't blame teachers for preferring email to phone calls or written notes. It's more convenient, takes less time than a phone call (and doesn't involve playing phone tag), and it leaves a paper trail - when and what you sent, so when someone says "You never told me..." you can respond with "yes, I did - see".  Phone calls are nice for the parents, but when you multiple the number of kids the teacher sees by the number of phone calls, and factor in the headache of having parents phone you at random hours when you're, say, trying to spend time with your own kids, or sleep, or cook dinner, it can be a serious pain.

My worry about this sort of web site would be whether the same method of communication would be used for important communication as well as the flood of trivialities. John and Ahmed shoving each other in the line to the water fountain or Lin getting a 7/10 on  that day's spelling test is minor - I don't want that level of daily monitoring. But if there's a persistent conflict, or a major incident, I do want to know - bullying, changes in a kid's behavior over time, a decrease in performance or difficulty keeping up with the work.

As far as an internal vs external website - I've got to say, I don't have a particular optimistic view about security on an internally managed site being better than contracting out the process. A well run external site could beat a local setup run by amateurs. 

As an aside - one of my favourite random facts about web browsing is that you're much more likely to get a virus from a church website than from a p@rn site, because the latter is actively working on preventing viruses and hires the appropriate expertise, while the former tends to be run by people with little knowledge, who aren't setting it up safely.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 04:39:10 AM by blarg314 »

bonyk

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2013, 04:47:07 AM »
OP, the reason for the emails instead of notes is (most likely) that teacher needs "proof" she contacted you.  A note is not acceptable proof, but an email is.

Yes, you are getting way too much info. It is overwhelming for both you and the teacher. This is the current trend of education.  Please contact the principal and school board and tell them that you find this much communication and information off-putting.

kherbert05

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2013, 06:11:20 AM »
You don't have to do class dojo if you don't want to.

I use it and give the parents the option of signing up. I love it because it helps me focus on the positive. Those quiet good kids get noticed because they have all these green points. I use the random feature to make sure I'm calling on different students not the same 5 who are bouncing out of their seat to answer.

Last year I had a kid with behavior issues - ADHD on spectrum - convinced he was a horrible person. (Very supportive mom who was doing what she needed to find him help - but also wouldn't let him use his condition as an excuse you have to be civilized) The weekly reports that you can print let me show him that he was actually behaving the majority of the time (He would have 80 - 85% green).

My niece is well behaved, but very social. Sis got frustrated that things seemed to be going well then bang she was on red parent contact. Niece's teacher is using Class Dojo. Sis checks it several times a week and is able to reinforce the teacher's expectations.

I'm a teacher I don't have time to contact parents individually about every little thing I work 10 - 20 hours a week outside of school time.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2013, 06:51:05 AM »
My middle child's teacher used this website last year and well, I honestly wasn't too impressed with it and as his current teacher uses a color system for behavior, I don't think he'll be using it, thankfully. I'm definitely not one against technology but I just liked the thought of asking him when he got home "What color day was it?"
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