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Grade 5 Teacher is a One-Woman Show - need ideas


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#101 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:44 PM

And yes, I agree that you should be able to see some of the completed work - but it might be a good idea to ask the teacher why she isn't sending it home.

 

Yes, I will be asking this AGAIN at the next parent/teacher interview coming up in another week or so.  Mainly she isn't because all of the work stays in duotangs until the end of the year - she likely doesn't want to have go through the hassle of taking everything out of the duotang that already HAS been marked and hand it out to each student  (and then putting the newer stuff back in - you know how duotangs work)- and likely doesn't trust the students to take it only the marked items out themselves..   I can think of no other reason why. 



#102 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:45 PM

The district may wait until 6th grade/middle school to teach note taking.  They do in my district.  

 

I suspect it is in middle school here... 



#103 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:49 PM

Thank you, Tanaqui. That's indeed what I meant - that lacking the teacher's perspective on what she's trying to accomplish, and with whom, IN her own classroom, you are not a co-mentor at all. You're a buttinsky.

 

You can't co-mentor with someone without their permission, and without access to the plan. ("The plan" is what I meant by her brain, objectives, and lesson plans.)

 

The teacher is flying solo without you.

 

You are flying solo without her.

 

You are both teaching and influencing your child, but you are not working together. You haven't been invited to work with this teacher, and your deliberate undermining of her work and methods has made her unlikely to allow you to work with her.

 

I think you've been shown the way the game is going to be played, for this school year.

 

 


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#104 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:57 PM

Thank you, Tanaqui. That's indeed what I meant - that lacking the teacher's perspective on what she's trying to accomplish, and with whom, IN her own classroom, you are not a co-mentor at all. You're a buttinsky.

 

You can't co-mentor with someone without their permission, and without access to the plan. ("The plan" is what I meant by her brain, objectives, and lesson plans.)

 

The teacher is flying solo without you.

 

You are flying solo without her.

 

You are both teaching and influencing your child, but you are not working together. You haven't been invited to work with this teacher, and your deliberate undermining of her work and methods has made her unlikely to allow you to work with her.

 

I think you've been shown the way the game is going to be played, for this school year.

 

 

Ah well, this has been a consistent theme here - that's for sure - that wanting to see your child's work is deemed being a control freak/buttinsky/insert your own phrase :D

 



#105 Heigh Ho

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 03:01 PM

Spelling isn't taught at our school. And perhaps there are some advanced students that are taking notes for themselves, but notetaking isn't taught whatsoever. At least it wasn't in grade 4 or 5. And there is definitely NO copying of notes that can be taken homeNow wouldn't that make sense??? I likely would not be having this issue if I could even see notes he's copied. These are part of the skillsets I'd like to work with him on. He does have an agenda - but it is used only as a tool for parents and teachers to communicate to each other in.


Are you in.the U.S? It doesn't sound like this school.uses common core. Or is.this a private school?

Edited by Heigh Ho, 02 February 2017 - 03:02 PM.

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#106 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 03:02 PM

Ah well, this has been a consistent theme here - that's for sure - that wanting to see your child's work is deemed being a control freak/buttinsky/insert your own phrase :D

 

 

No.

 

Many have said that they think greater access to your child's completed work is a reasonable request.

 

But what you've been doing -

 

1. constantly telling your child that his parents think the teacher is wrong for not wanting their help with his studies,

2. going into Google docs and helping him modify his work without permission,

3. going over the teacher's head to the principal,

4. repeatedly criticizing her and giving her instructions on how to change her methods just for your child, and

5. making plans to be obnoxious during the parent teacher meeting,

 

THAT is what we think is control freakish and buttinsky-like.

 

Homeschool. That's how to be the teacher. Or find a way to desire, or at least accept, middle ground with the next teacher, in the fall. Probably all of your ships have sailed for this year, and you're wisest just backing off entirely while the teacher is still able to treat your child without bias.


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#107 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 03:03 PM

Are you in.the U.S? It doesn't sound like this school.uses common core. Or is.this a private school?

 

I live in Canada.  We don't have a nationwide common core curriculum.  



#108 Tanaqui

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 03:17 PM

Ah well, this has been a consistent theme here - that's for sure - that wanting to see your child's work is deemed being a control freak/buttinsky/insert your own phrase :D

 

 

 

And you've repeatedly asserted that the only reason a teacher might want to keep work - including unfinished work - from leaving the classroom is because she is "insecure" or "fearful" (with the implication that parents really never do the work for their kids). You say she doesn't really care the same way you do, despite the fact that this is her life's work. (She's certainly not teaching for the lucrative income!) You've outright told your child that you think your teacher is wrong, and encouraged him to break her classroom rules, with your blessing.

 

I just can't imagine why she isn't eager to meet you halfway. 

 

You've also suggested that everybody who disagrees with you isn't "really" interested, doesn't "really" afterschool, that our concerns are "silly assumptions". You've asserted that your son is completely normal and even "advanced", despite the fact that he apparently requires quite a lot of extra help to move from a C grade to an A grade - and the fact that the teacher, who is an expert on this age range and who has seen more 10 year olds in the past three years than you will raise in a lifetime - is pretty sure he needs an IEP. Now, yes, you're going to get him evaluated - but given that it's halfway through the school year and you're still planning on this, if I were the teacher I'd be wondering if you'll take whatever the evaluation says seriously. (I'm wondering that now, given that you also said you agree with the suggestion that asking for an IEP is just a way to fob you off.)

 

Listen, I don't know what's going on with your school, your child, or your family - but I promise you, people aren't giving you these suggestions to insult you. They're trying to help.


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#109 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 03:51 PM

No.

 

Many have said that they think greater access to your child's completed work is a reasonable request.

 

But what you've been doing -

 

1. constantly telling your child that his parents think the teacher is wrong for not wanting their help with his studies,

2. going into Google docs and helping him modify his work without permission,

3. going over the teacher's head to the principal,

4. repeatedly criticizing her and giving her instructions on how to change her methods just for your child, and

5. making plans to be obnoxious during the parent teacher meeting,

 

THAT is what we think is control freakish and buttinsky-like.

 

Homeschool. That's how to be the teacher. Or find a way to desire, or at least accept, middle ground with the next teacher, in the fall. Probably all of your ships have sailed for this year, and you're wisest just backing off entirely while the teacher is still able to treat your child without bias.

 

 

Oh for the love of PETE!     You are basing your opinions on a very inaccurate list of assumptions (and I might add, purposely trying to assign very negative intent)  If you want to continue to assign intent here is a MUCH more accurate list of what we have been doing (AGAIN) for you to work from: 

1) Asked to see child's work (both uncompleted and completed) 
2) Discussed with family as to whether it is important for us to be able to have access to his work
3) We decide as a family that by golly yes - it would be MOST helpful for us to see his work and for him to have access to his own work for many, many logical reasons as outline in previous posts. 
4) Met with teacher and discussed with principal afterwards (and there was not an obnoxious word to be heard, I might add) 

5) Discussed with husband, then with family as a unit.  Frank discussion by all.  Respect for the teacher and school was emphasized even while we disagreed on this SINGLE issue.   Discussed intent going forward. 
6) Wrote letter to teacher and cc'd principal as a recap of issue (and to have documentation as to why we are requesting to see work).  
7) No answer.  
8) Opted to coach son through an ongoing project (teacher was aware as was principal) to hold him to a higher standard to which he was capable - but he STILL had plenty left to do in-class. 
9) Teacher complained that son had nothing to do during set aside time to work on projects. To which I find out that son wanted to draw instead of continuing on with his projects. 

10 ) we had talk with son about how he needs to use in-class time to do what the teacher wants him to do - even if it is just tweaking or reviewing project and not to draw.  Cleared up any confusion and reinforced respect for teacher
11) Wrote back to teacher apologizing for the in-class drawing and assured her that even though son worked on it at home, he was  was not done project (and should have continued working on it as she intended. )
12) Teacher had 2 more in-class project sessions for said project in which son continued to work on project in class
13) Son received A+ on project. 
14) Still not seeing any completed work

15) Come to online forum to seek additional suggestions before escalating issue. 

Steps not yet completed: 

16) Due to feedback here about "in progress" work - will be contemplating this issue and discussing with husband (and possibly with son afterwards)
17) Due to not seeing ANY completed work (except for 2 math tests) - will be asking teacher to have completed and graded work ready to view during parent/teacher interview.  And have decided ahead of time not to feel rushed in doing so.  (thank you for that idea - you know who you are :)

 

 

Nowhere do I continue to criticize the teacher.  Nor do I constantly tell my son that his teacher is wrong. Nor do I have plans to be obnoxious during parent/teacher interview.  Just plan on defending parental right to be a partner in my son's education - which would be satisfied simply by being able to see completed work! 

Sheeeesh..... hope that about covers it!!  

Once again - thank you everyone for your suggestions!  I had planned on updating everyone as to the parent teacher interview outcome.   But will have to rethink that due to the continued negativity shown here.  To those who are genuinely interested, please DO feel free to message me (as many of you already have).  

 


Edited by Momma2Luke, 02 February 2017 - 04:39 PM.

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#110 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:00 PM

And you've repeatedly asserted that the only reason a teacher might want to keep work - including unfinished work - from leaving the classroom is because she is "insecure" or "fearful" (with the implication that parents really never do the work for their kids). You say she doesn't really care the same way you do, despite the fact that this is her life's work. (She's certainly not teaching for the lucrative income!) You've outright told your child that you think your teacher is wrong, and encouraged him to break her classroom rules, with your blessing.

 

I just can't imagine why she isn't eager to meet you halfway. 

 

You've also suggested that everybody who disagrees with you isn't "really" interested, doesn't "really" afterschool, that our concerns are "silly assumptions". You've asserted that your son is completely normal and even "advanced", despite the fact that he apparently requires quite a lot of extra help to move from a C grade to an A grade - and the fact that the teacher, who is an expert on this age range and who has seen more 10 year olds in the past three years than you will raise in a lifetime - is pretty sure he needs an IEP. Now, yes, you're going to get him evaluated - but given that it's halfway through the school year and you're still planning on this, if I were the teacher I'd be wondering if you'll take whatever the evaluation says seriously. (I'm wondering that now, given that you also said you agree with the suggestion that asking for an IEP is just a way to fob you off.)

 

Listen, I don't know what's going on with your school, your child, or your family - but I promise you, people aren't giving you these suggestions to insult you. They're trying to help.


At no time did the teacher or principal even insinuate that my son needed an IEP - they said that they only ACCOMODATE those that do.  Our decision to get him evaluated was made well before grade 5 due to the 18-24 month waiting period here and had nothing to do with this issue.   

And I said that my son is normal (or on-track) in some areas and advanced in others.   As is the case for almost every child!  

You and a very small handful of others (and by no means do you represent the majority involved in my conversation here - only the most polarized in your stance and the most unwilling to assign positive intent) have repeatedly tried your best to turn a very reasonable and normal request to see my child's schoolwork into something very different.   You can run along now to create your next drama-filled argument.  

To the others - again - thank you for the support and advice! Wish me luck! :) 
 



#111 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:04 PM

Oh and one last thing - I do thank the people who PM'd me their support and ideas.   I now GET why you hesitated to do so within the thread!   :lol:

 

Edited to add:  

To all you true afterschoolers - even though this thread was bashed by a few not willing (or even ABLE) to look at it from an afterschooling parents point of view and thus was not as constructive as it truly could have been,  I hope that you don't automatically give up on your parental rights to work with your childrens school.  Don't let teachers or other parents paint a picture of you that is simply not accurate.   Being an involved parent does not mean that you are a control freak and that you have trust issues.  Questioning teachers and disagreeing with them does not mean that you are obnoxious or a pain in the butt.   Don't buy into that lie!  
 

And one last thing - I may have a low post count - but I have been a member of this group for a number of years now.  (many of the posters with low numbers have great wisdom and show great restraint and many of the best advice I've received is from you guys - you are true experts <3 ) - and I have noticed a number people who don't know how to disagree in a respectful manner.    As well - even if you disagree - try reminding yourself as to what the OP is ASKING.  Chances are you don't need to educate him/her on YOUR PoV.. . chances are the discussion would be a lot more fruitful - if you simply said something along the lines of "I respectfully disagree with what you are asking and here is why.... but in line with what you are asking and to help you brainstorm - have you tried this, or what about this?" 

Don't jump to negative conclusions based on what was said - I have had to go back in this thread multiple times to correct negative and false conclusions - giving this thread a more sour and less constructive flavor.   Assign positive intent - if you must jump to conclusions or read in between the lines (who wants to write a book when you are asking for help??!!) then jump to the highest and best possible conclusion!!   Or ask respectfully with an attitude of genuinely wanting to help.  

 

Oops - one more thing!  Even the negative posters helped me to realize that I need to reassess our intention on WIP's... and even though I resent the WAY you went about it - I do thank you for giving me things to think about.  

 

That is all.   Peace to you all.  


Edited by Momma2Luke, 02 February 2017 - 05:11 PM.

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#112 wendyroo

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 05:46 PM

Bottom line, I believe in transparency.  I think government agencies, including public schools, should be accountable to the citizenry that funds them.  I think this applies at a larger, budgetary level, but I also think it applies at the individual level.  Parents entrust their children to the schools, and I think it would be remiss to unquestioningly turn over all responsibility without requesting to see evidence periodically that their child is in fact being educated.

 

People, including teachers, are not infallible, and in the hustle bustle of a classroom it can be all too easy to overlook a particular child's weaknesses or announce that he is doing "fine" simply because there are much more pressing issues to deal with.  It can be very difficult for a parent to properly evaluate if the child is actually doing "fine" if all they have to work with is online grades and the child's account of how they are doing.

 

It'd be like paying for swimming lessons, but not being allowed to ever sit in and see how well your kid is actually swimming.  Obviously, it is in the swim teacher's best interest to say your kids is doing "Great!" and the child himself is not really in a position to accurately assess his progress.  The parent has no objective way of judging if the lessons are a good fit for the child, or if he would be better served by a different method of swim instruction.  The parent has no right to demand that teacher run her swim class differently, but it is definitely the parent's right to remove the child from the lessons if they are not up to the parent's standards.

 

I strongly support the OP in her requests to see her son's completed work.  I think she made a misstep when she "interfered" with her son's in-progress work, but I even sort of understand that since she was not being given any opportunity to assess the quality of his completed work.  If I had not seen any of my child's work for an entire marking period, had not been given an opportunity to see any of it at a parent teacher conference and had been dissuaded from even coming to the classroom to look at his graded work even after requesting that in writing, then I might have resorted to less than ideal tactics as well.

 

Wendy 


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#113 Momma2Luke

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 05:53 PM

Bottom line, I believe in transparency.  I think government agencies, including public schools, should be accountable to the citizenry that funds them.  I think this applies at a larger, budgetary level, but I also think it applies at the individual level.  Parents entrust their children to the schools, and I think it would be remiss to unquestioningly turn over all responsibility without requesting to see evidence periodically that their child is in fact being educated.

 

People, including teachers, are not infallible, and in the hustle bustle of a classroom it can be all too easy to overlook a particular child's weaknesses or announce that he is doing "fine" simply because there are much more pressing issues to deal with.  It can be very difficult for a parent to properly evaluate if the child is actually doing "fine" if all they have to work with is online grades and the child's account of how they are doing.

 

It'd be like paying for swimming lessons, but not being allowed to ever sit in and see how well your kid is actually swimming.  Obviously, it is in the swim teacher's best interest to say your kids is doing "Great!" and the child himself is not really in a position to accurately assess his progress.  The parent has no objective way of judging if the lessons are a good fit for the child, or if he would be better served by a different method of swim instruction.  The parent has no right to demand that teacher run her swim class differently, but it is definitely the parent's right to remove the child from the lessons if they are not up to the parent's standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahhhh.... thank you for putting this so eloquently... in a way that I lacked the writing skills (or the brain power) to do!!   Your swimming class analogy is brilliant!  


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#114 Plink

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 07:53 PM

I'm not sure if this is true in Canada, but in our area the school is required to have copies of their scope and sequence available to the public, and often the texts are available too. In general, the reference librarian at the public libraries can point you to where these can be found (often simply on the shelf, or online).   Regardless of whether you end up being successful in getting more access to your son's records, it might be helpful to take a look at these materials so that you'll know what your son's teacher has been/will be covering.  Then you'll be able to ask your son more pointed questions at dinner, and help him study for exams.  


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#115 Earthmerlin

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:30 PM

I posted before & still think it odd the teacher doesn't return completed work. I understand the OP's frustration with this & hope she can make headway with it. I don't think it wise to discuss the teacher's shortcomings with the child in attendance--inappopriate, IMO. Also I think 5 revisions on a paper is overkill--perhaps 2 would have sufficed? Nonetheless, I believe it's a (reasonable) parental right to (politely) request some regular & specific feedback on the student's progress. Good luck!
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#116 JulieA97

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:17 PM

Hmm... by talking to your kid? Does he not tell you what they did in school??? Does he not draw and write at home?

We were on the other side of the spectrum - every little scrap of paper came home. I found looking at this completely useless because from conversations with my kids I already knew that they were bored out of their skull because the work was not the level they needed. Seeing the pile of papers just confirmed what they told me. And there was nothing I could do about it anyway, besides puling them out of school.

He is in Kindergarten. I ask what he did in school and have to pull details out. I do of course but its not as simple as we learned x, y and z today. I hear we played a game. Oh? What game? We played dice. And try to decipher what they were working on from the scant details he provides. As for drawing and writing at home, no not unless forced.

I don't think it is unreasonable or controlling or being a buttinsky to want to see ANY completed work. He will mention an art project they did in art class. This kid hates art so if he is excited about something he did, I want to see it! That's just being an interested parent wanting to see his art project- especially when they are few and far between. I have gotten less than 5 things he has done all year. 3 of those were from the first day of school. No emails about this is what we covered, no letters, no nothing.

Parent/ teacher conferences are not scheduled unless specifically requested by the parent. I will request one soon.

We are considering if we will pull him next year, send to private school or keep him in the same school. Part of that evaluation should be knowing more detail about what he is doing. Getting completed work before the end of the year is not unreasonable. Those that say OP or I are being over the top, would you really be ok with not getting a single piece of work yoir child has done all year? Not one?
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#117 Tanaqui

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:25 PM

Farrah explained already that her statement was not about wanting to see completed work. That is not an unreasonable request. She gave great details as to what she meant. Did you not see that comment?



#118 eternalsummer

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:27 PM

At the Waldorf charter my kids attended, they keep almost all work (99% of it) at school through the whole year, as they complete every lesson in a main book.  They put a lot of work into the book - Waldorf is pretty art focused, and the book is the child's work of art and writing and etc. for the year.  It stays at school, and I can see why.

 

That said, they have regular conferences (every quarter or so) for 1/2 hour where they show you the book, they have monthly parent meetings where you sit at your kid's desk and can look through their work, they do plays and festivals and open houses and encourage parent volunteering.

 

The work, though, stays in the classroom.  There is no homework, there are really no grades per se, and there are no exam-type tests.  Everything is done as a whole class and the finished work is the Main Lesson Book; it is owned by the child but really in the context of the classroom.



#119 SKL

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:54 AM

I don't remember getting papers back in KG, though my kids did have a little bit of "homework" (which they completed in aftercare) and a weekly word list.

 

My kids do have a lot of work I don't see.  It varies depending on the subject and the teacher.  I do see most of the work they are actually graded on, mostly after the fact.  Their "consumable textbooks" and workbooks only come home occasionally, if at all.  But in general, it's enough for me to develop trust that class time is being used productively.  :)

 

Funny thing, today my eldest told me that her teacher asked her "why is there so much difference between the work you do at home and what you do here?" and I think she answered "my mom helps me at home."  :p  Well luckily, I told him about her situation in our parent-teacher conference, so hopefully he remembers it.  :)  For context, the class just started a new unit (algebra), and my kid takes a while to understand new concepts.  So she went and asked the teacher for help on a pop quiz testing something she got correct on the homework.  After enough extra practice she will get it without help.  :)  She usually scores well on tests & quizzes toward the end of a unit.



#120 Heigh Ho

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:24 AM


We are considering if we will pull him next year, send to private school or keep him in the same school. Part of that evaluation should be knowing more detail about what he is doing. Getting completed work before the end of the year is not unreasonable. Those that say OP or I are being over the top, would you really be ok with not getting a single piece of work yoir child has done all year? Not one?


In grade five, I do not need the daily work. I need the summative assessments. If the kid isn't working up to ability, I schedule a conference. At that point I may review the portfolio, if the teacher isn't able to tell me what the problem is. My district holds an open house in every grade level during the first two weeks of school so parents can meet the teacher and get the plan for the year. I maintain good communication with my children, so if they have difficulty that the teacher can't clear up, I can tutor.

My older boy's grade five was a disaster, but I knew that in week two due to his tutoring requests and anger and began afterschooling math. He simply does not learn math using special ed techniques, which here feature rote memorization. The school used the feedback to get a math coach involved in helping the teacher develop professionally, and eventually reassigned her to a middle school department that worked for her competencies. The way the system is set up here with the union, she simply couldn't move when it became clear that she didn't have the education to do the job...she had always taught remedial and this was the first year the state insisted on grade level. Getting daily work told me nothing, as i knew from open house that the district had moved to core basic and no section was getting more than basic. My child telling me that math consisted of copying notes off the board and doing a worksheet, while getting detention for asking a why question, told me what I needed to know, With a conference confirming my suspicions, we moved on. I didn't need daily work to know what unit the class was on, as my kid just told me and in my state the state publishes the grade level standards, so I know what he is expected to learn.


Please note afterschooling is not tutoring the student in material assigned in the classroom. That is called tutoring and if you hit the public library here you will see plenty of teachers engaged in tutoring. Afterschooling is enrichment. It may involve hiring someone, but it doesn't involve reteach. Think of it like private music lessons...your child has the ability and desire for more than what is taught in the group lesson in the classroom, and you meet that need yourself or find someone who can.
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#121 Bluegoat

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:32 PM

I doubt this teacher is inclined to trust your motives, OP, about just wanting to see the work.  That isn't what you've been doing up until now - you've been having him do work at home, "suggesting" that he revise things that were meant to be completed in school, and coaching him to produce As instead of Cs. 

 

You are saying this is his "true" level and what he wants to be producing, and at the same time he tells her he has finished and has no project to work on, and you say YOU told him he had to work on it more.  There is a real gap there.

 

This does not sound like you wanting to just see his work, or that your son is really pushing this.

 

If you feel he needs some afterschooling in order to get used to the idea of working to his highest capability, you can do any useful work at home.  If he's getting it, it will transfer to his school work.  If it isn't it suggests a lack of motivation/care on his part.  And that is the kind of reason there is a real advantage to letting the school work be at school - he'll get a crappy mark, or whatever, and maybe he will "own" the result if he doesn't like it.  He cannot own work that you are directing at home.

 

But the teacher isn't going to let him take home his work at this point.  And she may be less inclined than she would have been to extend courtesies in having you come into the class as well at this point. 


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#122 Have kids -- will travel

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 07:43 AM

Op, please keep updating and commenting here. Yes, plenty of posters have disagreed with you, but opposing viewpoints are part of what makes a community stronger.

For your parent teacher conference, I think you'll be more successful if you try to see the teacher as someone who is playing on your team as well. How can you help your child at home? How can she help your child at school? What issues can you address? What things can you celebrate?

If after a constructive chat, you ask to come in a time convenient for her to review your child's work once a month, I am quite sure she will be happy to let you.

It isn't the same as homeschooling, and I suspect it will get easier with time. Good luck!
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#123 myfantasticfour

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 03:30 PM

You really need to visit the classroom. Fifth grade has plenty of down time, and you will see advanced students using it wisely, especially when they finish before the time allotted, or are waiting for the class to settle.

Students that want to study their spelling words usually write them in their planner. It goes home nightly..and they use their own choice of methods to study. Many students choose not to bother.

Study guides from memory are fine, but using notes are helpful too. Is your child not taking notes at all? I didn't see what country you are in, but here note taking is taught in fourth grade and its up to the student to continue using this method or remembering what was taught, although in fully included classes the teacher will insist that her notes be copied.

 

Visiting the classroom, if the teacher/school will permit it, sounds like a good idea in any case.

 

As for fifth grade having a lot of downtime, that is absolutely not true in our area. Recess in 5th grade is 20 minutes (as is lunch) and stops being offered after 5th grade.

 

Then in 6th grade, a friend of my daughter's, came to an extracurricular activity they both attend, starving, one evening, because she had not eaten any lunch. Why? Because the school had cut lunch down to 13 minutes, most of which got used up in getting to the lunchroom and through the line, so the poor girl had no chance to eat lest she be late getting back to class. Maybe she could have crammed some food in her mouth if she hadn't also had to use the restroom before heading to the lunchline...but 13 minutes is not enough to go to the bathroom (first chance since leaving home that morning), get to through the lunchline, and eat.

 

Happily, enough parents seem to have complained, that the school increased the lunch period to either 18 or 20 minutes. But that's certainly not enough to both eat, and have a conversation, and it's not enough downtime in a day.

 

So practices vary widely, apparently.



#124 Tanaqui

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 03:48 PM

Myfantasticfour, that's horrific. And entirely counterproductive - we know that both children and adults focus better when they have plenty of breaks!


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#125 toawh

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:04 PM

As a former homeschooler:

 

The first year I put my kid in school I had a similarly frustrating incident. I was told the reading curriculum would cover pre-reading concepts and the alphabet. After a month, ds who was already reading, was bored and distracting others. I tried asking for this to be acknowledged and was repeatedly told that Kindergarten students could not be tested for gifted-ness, but that I could talk to the principal. I did and was met with the same reply. I wore out my welcome. I didn't realize at the time that I needed to ask the teacher to "differentiate" the lesson. In the spring, a student teacher arrived and decided to test his reading level (grade 4) and he got different work during the reading period. Turns out the school was super accommodating. The formerly "difficult" teacher was very behind him to make sure he was progressing in his reading even if he had a different level than the class average. Turns out we'd just had a communication error. There was educational jargon that I was not aware of and my word choices meant other things to her than they did to me. May you be as lucky!

 

As a current teacher:

 

There are numerous reasons why my students do not take work home. I feel that once a student has put in eight hours of work they need to step back from it and take a break which can definitely include implementing the things they've learned in school. I'm concerned with the weight of kids' backpacks. I have parents who redo the students work or help to the point of dishonesty. I have kids who never bring the work back resulting in an incomplete portfolio and difficulty reviewing material during class time. I have parents come in and tell me how I should be doing my job. It is the school policy which I must uphold according to my contract.

 

Parent teacher conference days are many teachers' nightmare. It often feels like a day of being tossed to and fro at sea. Each parent, however well-meaning, pulls in a different direction with his specific desires or teaching suggestions or explanations of why his child should be an exception. It is the most exhausting day of each semester for me. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm definitely more of my better self at the beginning of the day than at the end. You might try seeing if you can schedule a morning slot. I think looking at the finished work should be a natural part of the meeting. Unfortunately time slots can be mitigating. If you ask in advance the teacher should be able to accommodate you. 

 

Hope this gets resolved quickly for everyone involved. :)

 

 

 

 


Edited by toawh, 19 February 2017 - 04:06 PM.

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#126 Caviar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:38 AM

Was just pondering EndofOrdinary's post above.  Maybe it was not her intent - but it seems to me as though she believes homeschooling has to be all or nothing.  Either you homeschool completely or you relinquish ALL mentoring rights to your child.   Is this what most of you think?  Do any of you believe that you can share mentoring rights with school teachers?    Perhaps this might need to spin off into its own thread - but I am surprised that there are mainly fulltime homeschoolers answering my questions and they all seem to distrustful of the idea of actually working WITH school teachers (and not relinquishing all teaching aspects to them) in mentoring your child.   In your mind - does it have to be all or nothing?  That what goes on in school has to stay in school?   That you are undermining a teacher if you choose to deepen their teaching?  

I've been fascinated today by all of the responses.  And thankful too... there have been a couple of good suggestions in keeping with what my husband and I are trying to achieve.  Thank you! 

I agree with you - that you should have full access to ALL of your child's work whenever you want to see it!!!!  Yes, you can and should be sharing mentoring rights with school teachers, for goodness sakes, their job is to teach and your job is to make sure that they're teaching your child!  No, it doesn't have to be all or nothing!  If my dd's school held back as much as the teacher you're talking about, I would be VERY worried, and you bet I would be showing up unannounced in school, regardless of whether or not they have a so-called open door policy!  I'd be emailing the teacher and asking questions, and making sure that the teacher is answering via email so that you have a hard copy of it, just in case.  I'd also copy the principal on those emails!  And, setting up an appointment to speak with the principal.  There's absolutely no reason why this teacher should be unwilling to do what you have asked. 



#127 Tanaqui

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 11:38 AM

I can think of one big reason right now not to let the parents see ALL the work WHENEVER they like - plain logistics. Sending work back and forth means things will get lost and damaged, and then how can the kid work on the stuff in school? Should Mom come in during the school day and interrupt class to look at the work? Should the teacher stay after or come in early so Mom can come in?


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#128 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 01:46 PM

I agree with you - that you should have full access to ALL of your child's work whenever you want to see it!!!!  Yes, you can and should be sharing mentoring rights with school teachers, for goodness sakes, their job is to teach and your job is to make sure that they're teaching your child!  No, it doesn't have to be all or nothing!  If my dd's school held back as much as the teacher you're talking about, I would be VERY worried, and you bet I would be showing up unannounced in school, regardless of whether or not they have a so-called open door policy!  I'd be emailing the teacher and asking questions, and making sure that the teacher is answering via email so that you have a hard copy of it, just in case.  I'd also copy the principal on those emails!  And, setting up an appointment to speak with the principal.  There's absolutely no reason why this teacher should be unwilling to do what you have asked. 

 

 

I can think of one big reason right now not to let the parents see ALL the work WHENEVER they like - plain logistics. Sending work back and forth means things will get lost and damaged, and then how can the kid work on the stuff in school? Should Mom come in during the school day and interrupt class to look at the work? Should the teacher stay after or come in early so Mom can come in?

 

 

Perhaps if the teacher worked for the parent, and was accountable to the parent, and was paid by the parent, the teacher would be more willing and able to accommodate demands.

 

But teachers don't work for parents. At all.

 

Now, naturally, parents want to know how their children are doing, and teachers do communicate whether children are doing well in school. That's what parent-teacher conferences and report cards are for. And, of course, parents may ask their own children what they are learning. But that's not the same as descending upon the school, regardless of policy or lack of invitation, making demands to see every assignment and to help teach after school.

 

Where did this idea come from, that parents are in charge of how the teacher conducts her classroom? As Tanaqui wonders, what if all of the children's parents behaved like this?


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#129 SarahW

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 02:48 PM

Hmm... by talking to your kid? Does he not tell you what they did in school??? Does he not draw and write at home?
 

 

 

 

NO.

 

Seriously, NO.

 

I ask. Duh. I even ask specific questions. What did you do for math today? What did you do in assembly? Did you sing a song? What game did you play in gym?

 

I don't know. I don't remember. It wasn't interesting. Oh yeah, I pooped.

 

Sometimes it would be really good if he said something, like the day he refused to write a story for his teacher, but (seemingly randomly) wrote me a story that evening.

 

 

Frankly, the way you said it, implying that the OP was too stupid to think to ask "what did you do in school today?" is incredibly rude.


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#130 SarahW

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 02:52 PM

Perhaps if the teacher worked for the parent, and was accountable to the parent, and was paid by the parent, the teacher would be more willing and able to accommodate demands.

 

But teachers don't work for parents. At all.

 

Now, naturally, parents want to know how their children are doing, and teachers do communicate whether children are doing well in school. That's what parent-teacher conferences and report cards are for. And, of course, parents may ask their own children what they are learning. But that's not the same as descending upon the school, regardless of policy or lack of invitation, making demands to see every assignment and to help teach after school.

 

Where did this idea come from, that parents are in charge of how the teacher conducts her classroom? As Tanaqui wonders, what if all of the children's parents behaved like this?

 

 

I've read through this thread twice, and I did not see the OP or any other afterschoolers say this.

 

 

Numerous people in this thread really are reading things into things that aren't even there. It's coming across as incredibly insulting to afterschoolers. Cut it out. Please.


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#131 EKS

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 02:57 PM

Coming in very late here...

 

Graded work should come home or there should be some other means for parents to view it.  My son has a teacher who never even hands back work.  This is in high school.  How is he supposed to improve if he never gets any feedback other than a grade (which is usually posted several weeks after the due date, so half of the time my son is fuzzy on the particulars of the assignment).  Also, especially in high school, the student should be able to maintain his own record of graded assignments, just in case there is ever a discrepancy.

 

As for the purpose of afterschooling and whether it is appropriate to provide instruction at home that supports what is being taught in school...it's called tutoring!  That's what tutoring is, and for the life of me, I can't understand why so many folks on here are so against it.  I've found that piggybacking my afterschooling efforts onto my son's homework when possible is the most efficient way to afterschool.   

 

For example, when my son went to a private middle school, he had the same English teacher for two years.  This man did not teach writing.  So when my son would bring a writing assignment home (which was rare), we would have writing lessons together.  Then I would make him work on the assignment until it was done properly.  How else was he going to learn how to write?  (And BTW, that teacher was eventually fired, so it wasn't just me thinking he was inadequate.)  Even now, with my son in high school, I need to tutor him every night in math because his math teacher doesn't teach.  And again, it's not just me or my kid that thinks this--if you look at this teacher's Rate My Teachers comments, the biggest complaint is that he doesn't explain anything.  When I explain it, my son gets it in 5 minutes.  It isn't my kid.  There are bad teachers out there.  

 

I applaud the OP for trying to help her son learn.  Yes, eventually, she will need to hand the job of monitoring his work over to her son, but how will he know what a job well done looks like if he has never been challenged to do a job well?


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#132 SarahW

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:13 PM

Coming in very late here...

 

Graded work should come home or there should be some other means for parents to view it.  My son has a teacher who never even hands back work.  This is in high school.  How is he supposed to improve if he never gets any feedback other than a grade (which is usually posted several weeks after the due date, so half of the time my son is fuzzy on the particulars of the assignment).  Also, especially in high school, the student should be able to maintain his own record of graded assignments, just in case there is ever a discrepancy.

 

As for the purpose of afterschooling and whether it is appropriate to provide instruction at home that supports what is being taught in school...it's called tutoring!  That's what tutoring is, and for the life of me, I can't understand why so many folks on here are so against it.  I've found that piggybacking my afterschooling efforts onto my son's homework when possible is the most efficient way to afterschool.   

 

For example, when my son went to a private middle school, he had the same English teacher for two years.  This man did not teach writing.  So when my son would bring a writing assignment home (which was rare), we would have writing lessons together.  Then I would make him work on the assignment until it was done properly.  How else was he going to learn how to write?  (And BTW, that teacher was eventually fired, so it wasn't just me thinking he was inadequate.)  Even now, with my son in high school, I need to tutor him every night in math because his math teacher doesn't teach.  And again, it's not just me or my kid that thinks this--if you look at this teacher's Rate My Teachers comments, the biggest complaint is that he doesn't explain anything.  When I explain it, my son gets it in 5 minutes.  It isn't my kid.  There are bad teachers out there.  

 

I applaud the OP for trying to help her son learn.  Yes, eventually, she will need to hand the job of monitoring his work over to her son, but how will he know what a job well done looks like if he has never been challenged to do a job well?

 

Yes.

 

 

But apparently tutoring is only appropriately done by (paid) tutors in libraries. Not mommies. As it was declared upthread.  :huh:

 

 

I had no idea that some people here thought so little of afterschoolers. Wow. This thread has been....interesting.


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#133 Caviar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 09:09 PM

Perhaps if the teacher worked for the parent, and was accountable to the parent, and was paid by the parent, the teacher would be more willing and able to accommodate demands.

 

But teachers don't work for parents. At all.

 

Now, naturally, parents want to know how their children are doing, and teachers do communicate whether children are doing well in school. That's what parent-teacher conferences and report cards are for. And, of course, parents may ask their own children what they are learning. But that's not the same as descending upon the school, regardless of policy or lack of invitation, making demands to see every assignment and to help teach after school.

 

Where did this idea come from, that parents are in charge of how the teacher conducts her classroom? As Tanaqui wonders, what if all of the children's parents behaved like this?

I now understand how the OP feels!  Never did I suggest that parents are in charge of how the teacher conducts his/her classroom.  Teachers are to work with parents, and parents with teachers.  There have been plenty of times, outside of report cards or PT conferences, when I have contacted teachers in regards to various issues.  If I would have waited for the report card or PT conferences, it would have been too late.

Now, it is very unlikely that I would ever ask to see all of my children's assignments at once, and it's unlikely that I would visit the teacher inside or outside of the classroom without first arranging a meeting time; but, yes, should I ever need to do so, I will.  Public schools are taxpayer funded institutions.  This does not mean that we have relinquished our rights regarding the content of our children's educations to the government.  This thread has made me think that this is exactly what many people believe, and is a huge reason why so many choose to homeschool.

 

I can think of one big reason right now not to let the parents see ALL the work WHENEVER they like - plain logistics. Sending work back and forth means things will get lost and damaged, and then how can the kid work on the stuff in school? Should Mom come in during the school day and interrupt class to look at the work? Should the teacher stay after or come in early so Mom can come in?

Of the five different schools that my children have attended, each school has sent work back and forth, and to date, nothing has been lost or overly damaged.  In fact, in each school it was expected that the children would finish work, when needed, at home.  Part of them learning responsibility is to make sure that their work returns on time.  Yes, if there is a big enough issue, then Mom or Dad or guardian should visit the school.  Usually I would arrange a meeting ahead of time, but there are times when observing a class unscheduled can be very enlightening.  Should the teacher stay after or come in early so Mom can come in and discuss issues - YOU BET!!!!  This would be a prearranged time.


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#134 luuknam

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 11:47 PM

N/m.


 


Edited by luuknam, 02 March 2017 - 12:26 AM.

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#135 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:52 AM

Coming in late with just a couple of anecdotes as to why teachers are leery about unfinished work going home...

 

My daughter in second grade had a Magic Treehouse book report and made a castle to go along with the report. My husband helped her on it.  She at that time attended a struggling school with very low parental involvement. Just seeing the other kids' faces as they looked at the incredible castle my husband had "helped" my daughter build -- we realized immediately the different levels of work that come in from students WITH parental support vs the majority of kids there that did NOT have parental support. 

 

Then at a different school in fifth grade my daughter had to sign a contract saying that parents would NOT help with the project they were assigned.  I signed and forgot to tell my husband and came home to yet another masterpiece. She had to do it all over. If asked he would have said that it was her work -- it is hard sometimes when collaborating to tell how much you are actually helping.  The fourth grade teachers had actually scrapped the California Mission project entirely as they were tired of having the parents doing it for the kids -- or at least three fourths of the parents. The kids without help had projects that looked dismal in comparison and usually ended up feeling pretty discouraged.  It wasn't worth it to the teachers.

 

Agreeing with others -- completed work is actually a must I feel -- how else to make sure he is on track before report cards come?   


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#136 kiwik

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:45 AM

Coming in late with just a couple of anecdotes as to why teachers are leery about unfinished work going home...

 

My daughter in second grade had a Magic Treehouse book report and made a castle to go along with the report. My husband helped her on it.  She at that time attended a struggling school with very low parental involvement. Just seeing the other kids' faces as they looked at the incredible castle my husband had "helped" my daughter build -- we realized immediately the different levels of work that come in from students WITH parental support vs the majority of kids there that did NOT have parental support. 

 

Then at a different school in fifth grade my daughter had to sign a contract saying that parents would NOT help with the project they were assigned.  I signed and forgot to tell my husband and came home to yet another masterpiece. She had to do it all over. If asked he would have said that it was her work -- it is hard sometimes when collaborating to tell how much you are actually helping.  The fourth grade teachers had actually scrapped the California Mission project entirely as they were tired of having the parents doing it for the kids -- or at least three fourths of the parents. The kids without help had projects that looked dismal in comparison and usually ended up feeling pretty discouraged.  It wasn't worth it to the teachers.

 

Agreeing with others -- completed work is actually a must I feel -- how else to make sure he is on track before report cards come?

 

I rarely see work except when the portfolio comes home at the end of each term.  I do pop into the classroom so they can show me stuff and I can check in with the teacher a couple of times a week.  A teacher who has a problem with this is a red flag as far as I am concerned.  Most parents don't bother so it isn't really a problem for the teacher provided you are OK with her not having time that day.  Personally I think it is easier for the teacher and the parent if they work together. That doesn't mean me telling her how to do her job but it does mean her respecting me and accepting that there are things I know about my child that she/he hasn't learnt in the short time they have known the child.


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