Author Topic: Go with the flow or protest?  (Read 11275 times)

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CakeEater

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2013, 12:17:25 AM »
In my first year of teaching, all staff's home phone numbers were provided to all families. Another young teacher and I complained about that and had them removed for the next year, but all the existing staff had put up with phone calls to their homes for a few years prior to that. Why they hadn't complained about that is a mystery to me.

OP, I think you have a right to have your DD's info removed from any website you like. That's fine.

I get the impression, though, that you think that your DD's teacher is sitting around all day with all the time in the world to work out the personal communication preferences ofthe parent of every student in her class, and write personal notes to some, call others etc. Teachers just don't have that time and that memory. It really is a much bigger drama to write notes in homework diaries than to write an email often. I can type much faster than I can handwrite a note. I can edit when I reread it if I think I've been too harsh, or not given enough information.

You seem to feel that the school should be doing things on your schedule:

Our teachers call before school , altho they do not get in officially til 8 30 at DD's school, or when the kids are at their 'special' (gym, library art, music).  Again, with the load of work my DD brings home, I realize the teachers have a lot to do, but the teachers expect the parents to come to the school for conferences and school events during their work day and they really push for parental involvement when things are scheduled 9-5 so it is a balance of trying to accommodate everyone's schedule.  Last year my DD's teacher would send emails during the day about an issue with DD (not behavior but important) but as I was not allowed to check personal e mails at work, I didn't get these until evening, usually after DD went to bed. I finally said she had to call me if it was imperative because if not, I wouldn't know until I checked my emails after the kids went to bed.   If not, write a note in her homework folder and I would see it right when I got home. 

Other parents' schedules aren't the same as yours, so these might work fine for them. I, as teacher, can't remember the best schedule for 30 kids and their parents (many more for other teachers): which can read emails during the day, and which prefer a phone call after 6, but not during dinnertime, which is  between 7 and 7.30, which are available for daytime events, but only every second week when they're on afternoon shift. Schools operate between 9 and 5 - when else would you like events to be scheduled?

And it's great that you read your child's homework diary as soon as you get home, but that's not going to be the case for many parents: they'll get an email when they're on the bus home in the afternoon, and won't see the homework diary until the next morning.

bonyk

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2013, 11:51:42 AM »
Anytime I've given my home phone number to a parent, I've ended up regretting it.  11 pm phone calls to tell me that Sally wrote down the wrong assignment?  2:57 pm (dismissal is at 3) phone calls to tell me that you don't want Johnny going home on the bus? 6am phone call to tell me that Freddy had a bad night last night and is going to be in a bad mood all day?  None of those are appropriate.

blarg314

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2013, 09:30:39 PM »

Look at the responses about how and when phone callls are made, I'd say that it's unreasonable to expect phone calls to be the main form of  communication for anything except emergencies or serious issues.

Teachers can't the phone in front of students. They need to use the phones at school, or go through the effort and expense of making sure they have an unlisted landline at home.  And most of the work day is taken up with teaching, supervising recess/lunch/detention, extracurricular activities and meetings, both with parents and the school. And if the teacher has to leave a message - the parent can't phone them back after 5pm, and during the day there's a high chance the teacher can't come to the phone because they're supervising.

And as an aside - I don't like the idea of constant uploading of minor notes via iPad/website from a pedagogical   or parenting perspective. But I can see how an iPad makes this level of monitoring efficient. I suspect that the software has a list of kids, and a list of pre-generated notes that just need a single tick to add an entry to the site, or mark the kid as well behaved or disruptive.  It would be relatively easy to program in automatic warnings to a site like this as well - monitor for sudden or gradual drops in marks for example, and automatically post a message to the site, or the same if they are improving in a subject over the term.

They could even program in a search for correlations that a teacher might miss, which strikes me as actually a fairly useful tool - things like a kid who always does worse on Mondays (what's going on on the weekends) for example.

GSNW

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2013, 11:17:06 PM »
I think there are two separate issues here - one, that OP doesn't appreciate enrollment in this site/program without her consent, and two, the communication expectation.

OP, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that you are of the opinion that if issues are so minor they don't warrant a note/phone call, they also don't warrant inclusion in this type of program.  That's kind of what I'm seeing.

I have to agree that parents should be advised of this stuff ahead of time, and that the nagging little details are a waste of everyone's time.  I don't teach at the elementary level so I'm guessing it's different there, but this would be the equivalent of me making a notation every time I saw a kid running in the hall and said, "heyo, slow down."

I'll reiterate that OP is not impolite or "that" parent to make her concerns known, provided that they are directed to the administration/district who are likely the ones who heart this program the most. 

CluelessBride

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2013, 11:41:54 PM »

I have to agree that parents should be advised of this stuff ahead of time, and that the nagging little details are a waste of everyone's time.  I don't teach at the elementary level so I'm guessing it's different there, but this would be the equivalent of me making a notation every time I saw a kid running in the hall and said, "heyo, slow down."


I suspect the issue is that there are enough parents that respond to disciplinary action (once the student has done something that requires more than a verbal reprimand or the student's cumulative behavior is bad enough to warrant it) by claiming that their child is an angel, has never done anything wrong before, and if there were any issues why weren't they notified immediately.

By documenting every stupid little infraction and putting it where the parents can see it (if they want to check), the teachers and administration have the ammunition they need to uphold punishments.

*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2013, 09:06:14 AM »
I think there are two separate issues here - one, that OP doesn't appreciate enrollment in this site/program without her consent, and two, the communication expectation.

OP, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that you are of the opinion that if issues are so minor they don't warrant a note/phone call, they also don't warrant inclusion in this type of program.  That's kind of what I'm seeing.

I have to agree that parents should be advised of this stuff ahead of time, and that the nagging little details are a waste of everyone's time.  I don't teach at the elementary level so I'm guessing it's different there, but this would be the equivalent of me making a notation every time I saw a kid running in the hall and said, "heyo, slow down."

I'll reiterate that OP is not impolite or "that" parent to make her concerns known, provided that they are directed to the administration/district who are likely the ones who heart this program the most. 

Exactly..I do not need to know my child talked without raising her hand today, I will see those minor things if they happen on her behavior chart.  If it is a non stop thing for the week, just a quick note on her homework chart works for me (and again the teacher showed us where we can write notes to them and them to us).  But she is 7 so occasionally she has a brain freeze and forgets to raise her hand.  As long as it is a one time deal, I don't need to know.  I know she is extremely well behaved but strays once or twice a year.  But when she was having breakdowns in the class last year and crying, don't email me, call me!  (Her dad, my SO passed away 2 years ago and last year it really started to hit her).  If she is not turning in her homework or doing well on tests, that is a daily update on her online district grade book.  I just feel this extra site is overkill for everyone involved, and honestly, the majority of the kids that are the consistently misbehaved have parents who are not checking web sites or homework journals, or come to parent teacher conferences. 

*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2013, 06:12:11 PM »
OK, I will quit complaining now.  A FB friend just posted that her child's school told them they HAVE to buy their kids (9th grade) an iPad mini ASAP.  They can either buy it outright or send in 10 post dated checks for $30 each.  All their textbooks are on it and they have no choice.  Technology is a good thing, but this is ridiculous.  Our kids every move tracked on line, spending what may be a rent payment or groceries for the kids 'textbooks'...And the comments on that post are not complimentary to her school district! 

EllenS

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2013, 06:14:37 PM »
This is a public school?  What are they going to do if a parent doesn't send the money, expel the kid?

GSNW

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2013, 06:35:04 PM »
OK, I will quit complaining now.  A FB friend just posted that her child's school told them they HAVE to buy their kids (9th grade) an iPad mini ASAP.  They can either buy it outright or send in 10 post dated checks for $30 each.  All their textbooks are on it and they have no choice.  Technology is a good thing, but this is ridiculous.  Our kids every move tracked on line, spending what may be a rent payment or groceries for the kids 'textbooks'...And the comments on that post are not complimentary to her school district!

You know what... this makes me want to cry for some of those poor kids.  You know the kids are being told YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS!!!! and now they are stressed about making sure they get one.  USUALLY there are programs for families that cannot afford this stuff (for example, the kids at my school in band have to buy a $15 polo shirt, but if a family can't afford it, the school will just hand it over).  But every day the kid goes without the iPad, and every day more and more of their friends have one, and every day their teachers ask for it, the kid becomes more stressed about something beyond their control.

Not to mention, the HS we feed into tried something like this a few years ago and it was a disaster.  They gave all their algebra students iPads (GAVE them!) and the parents had to sign something saying they would replace it in the instance of bla bla bla... most of them wound up broken, banged up, or stolen.  And the district is now wasting time and money going after the parents. 

*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2013, 07:46:28 PM »
I feel for the parents that have to figure out where $300 is going to magically drop from, the kids who know their parents can't afford it but will fail without it, and the teachers who are beholden to these wonderful ideas set up by people who are not in the classrooms everyday.

miranova

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #70 on: September 16, 2013, 09:56:25 PM »
I think that is just flat out wrong.  Every child is entitled to a FREE public education.  I could afford to get my kid a $300 item if I absolutely had to, but if my district did this I'd be one of the loudest opponents because I just think it's wrong on principle.  I can't believe they are allowed to do that.

Sharnita

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2013, 10:02:02 PM »
I think that is just flat out wrong.  Every child is entitled to a FREE public education.  I could afford to get my kid a $300 item if I absolutely had to, but if my district did this I'd be one of the loudest opponents because I just think it's wrong on principle.  I can't believe they are allowed to do that.

Have we clarified that it is a public school?

Library Dragon

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #72 on: September 16, 2013, 10:24:11 PM »
An interesting piece:  http://gawker.com/why-does-it-cost-almost-600-to-attend-public-school-912311949

I obviously don't know if the system referred to by the OP does, but some public school systems "rent" textbooks to students.  A few decades ago when I lived in Arizona the major charity for the military Catholic parish was raising funds to pay for public school textbooks for low income families. I had hoped things had gotten better, but it seems to have gotten worse in some areas. 

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*inviteseller

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #73 on: September 16, 2013, 10:38:37 PM »
It is public school.  I haven't heard back from her as to how often those $30 checks have to be spread, but there is over 30 comments and each one is angrier than the next.  This woman said she can barely afford this but she doesn't want him to be singled out as the 'poor kid'.  She did say if they can't get it this week  :o, they can be signed out a loaner but only until they get one.  She is doing the payment plan.

EllenS

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Re: Go with the flow or protest?
« Reply #74 on: September 17, 2013, 01:33:14 PM »
That would make me so angry, I would probably do something ridiculous.

Our school system is starting to hand out Nooks to all the students in Grade 3 and up - but they say they are cutting the busses next year, because they can't afford it.  :o

The parents are livid.  We are in a very economically diverse district, with a lot of people who have no cars, and a lot more with all adults in the house working, and several kids who go to different campuses.

My cynical explanation: political theater to justify a property tax increase (which is stupid because most folks would gladly pay it anyhow)

Most cynical explanation I have heard: they are trying to force low income and minority students out of the schools by depriving them of transport. (which is also stupid, because funding is based on attendance).