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bolt.

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bolt. last won the day on July 7 2013

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About bolt.

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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  1. 1. A student-led conference was planned weeks earlier. No parent-teacher conference was planned whatsoever. Other than having students lead conferences that day, it was an ordinary school day, like every other day. If she isn’t conference-ready every day (at the drop of a hat) I don’t expect her to be particularly ready that day. 2. Her job was to plan, host, and coordinate a student-led discussion for each student to have with his/her own parents. That’s a quite a bit of work. It’s a tough day to add a spontaneous parent meeting into. 3. The student-led conferences were planned by the school. If the school doesn’t plan a parent-teacher conference, it doesn’t fall to the teacher to prepare for one anyways. 4. I know you were there anyways, for the student-led conference — but you weren’t invited to a teacher’s conference. There *wasn’t* a parent-teacher conference that day. From your perspective, you thought there was supposed to one, so you expected one: fair enough. From her perspective, you just sprung it on her that you were hoping to squeeze in a spontaneous parent-teacher conversation, and she wasn’t able to oblige you. She redirected your attention to the student and proceeded with the student-led conference as planned. 5. Meetings like the one you want require some lead time, do it makes sense that she couldn’t immediately meet your request during the student-led conference activity. Maybe send an email to request a meeting ‘sometime this week or next’ and add that you are hoping to see some work samples and would like her opinions about your student’s strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. To me, you walked into a pizza shop and were disappointed that they weren’t serving burgers. Definitely, they really should have done a better job of setting school-wide expectations about student led conferences. Expectation management is important. (Ours does. Your reaction certainly explains a bit about why my kid’s school is so firmly clear in the notification about what to expect from a student-led conference — and how set up an additional meeting with the teacher if you want one. I can see why someone might feel that this is a bait-and-switch from a parent-teacher conference.)
  2. I’m thinking you prepared these things for parent-teacher conferences? I wouldn’t expect a teacher to have those things ready at the drop of a hat for every student. Could parents just expect to have that type of conversation with you any day, without warning? This teacher was not giving a parent-teacher conference: she was hosting a student led conference. Otherwise, it was an ordinary day. Why would she have a work file or prepared comments ready? Obviously, it would be part of a teacher’s job to prepare comments and samples for conferences that were scheduled by her school and/or requested by a parent. It seems like a simple case of mismatched expectations. The parent saw that the teacher was handy, and wanted some services. The teacher was busy doing what she was assigned to do (by the school) and was unready to have that type of a meeting spontaneously. Not really a big deal. I’m sure you can have the kind of meeting you want just by asking for it.
  3. Teaching and leading parent conferences are completely different skills. If you are evaluating the teacher’s competence in the classroom, I encourage you to focus on any evidence you have that relates to those skills. I don’t think you can extrapolate much from the conference scenario to the classroom scenario. It probably isn’t her decision whether to have a student-led conference, and she probably isn’t free to do it differently. She didn’t have prepared comments because it wasn’t her job to do that right then. It also isn’t really in the ‘teaching’ job discription to report progress (or weaknesses) to parents apart from report cards — which are incredibly hard work, done off-hours for no pay. It’s not reasonable for her to be able to do that verbally, at the drop of a hat, for each and every student. It sounds like your son is doing fine, and he isn’t very distinctive in the classroom. I think maybe you found her manner dismissive and that you just wish there was a bit more parent-teacher partnership going on. You could probably initiate some of the communication that you are hoping to see. I don’t think she would resist it — I just think that your disappointment that it isn’t already happening might be misplaced.
  4. I wasn't aware that comprehensive sex ed was uncommon, so I was thinking in terms of 'adding free condoms' to schools that were already covering a normal curriculum. I think it's my different cultural context that led me to suppose that comprehensive sex ed was the norm. (America is so strange to me in a lot of ways: it's just so "normal" that it's totally familiar 99% of the time, and then, out of nowhere, there's a cultural difference that I totally wasn't expecting.) I agree that wherever schools aren't teaching genuine sex ed, that would definitely be a problem to solve first. I wouldn't expect free condoms to be terribly useful to students who lack the information to manage their own sexual decisions in the first place.
  5. As a Canadian, I don’t look for solutions that retain a maximum-practical level of personal responsibility for choices and “consequences” — especially not when one person’s “consequence” actually turns out to be another actual person and citizen. Instead, I’m in favour not only of comprehensive sex ed and free condoms with unobserved access in schools — but also access to condoms for everyone of all ages: in public health clinics, during / after (free) doctor visits, and at any other venues that make sense. I’m also in favour of complete, accessible and free women’s healthcare, parenting assistance, and other services for pregnancy, and the for the many needs of children who might experience unsteady scenarios through childhood. As citizens, I believe children should be entitled to that kind of family-based support: as much as is needed.
  6. bolt.

    Ugh help

    I would skip a wedding if I thought it was immoral. I would go if I just thought it was unwise. I would decide for myself, but I would not be forceful in an attempt to influence a teen’s decision to attend or not. In this case, I’m leaning towards the “unwise” camp. For me, I think that there are some situations where a creepy older young adult targets a younger person to cultivate a power-based relationship. (The older person is motivated by the admiration of the younger one and enjoys their own power.) This situation doesn’t sound like that. Rather, the young man here seems to be avoiding all aspects of being grown up: he is immature. That immaturity seems genuine, and therefore I don’t see him as much more mature than the teenage young woman. I don’t see a power differential — I see two kids being stupid on a level playing field. Therefore: unwise, but not immoral. If invited, I’d go.
  7. bolt.

    High School paper dilemma

  8. bolt.

    High School paper dilemma

    I’ve found these kind of rules to be quite clear and sensible. Many children are having a much kinder and more welcoming school experience because of the protective stance our schools have taken. As for a need for “discussion” — Nobody in my real life seems confused as to why a tie of history, biology, family, or community is an important part of a claim based on ethnicity. Similarly nobody seems genuinely confused about why pretending to be Batman might be treated differently than having a transgender identity in a classroom. These things are fairly common sense
  9. bolt.

    High School paper dilemma

    I’m not sure what you mean here. In the thread’s context, I didn’t mean to imply literally any identity claim, I meant gender-based aspects identity. (Obviously if someone claims to be Batman, they might be ‘reprimanded’ rather than defended — but that’s not really what I’m trying to describe here. So no, it’s “not quite true” in that sense.)
  10. bolt.

    High School paper dilemma

    I think there is strong potential for this to become a problem in the classroom. I’m aware that regulations and regions vary, but in my local area it would be a violation of student rights for a teacher to allow a peer presentation that said (or in any way implied) that some people’s identity was a mental disorder. If it happened casually (ie chatting in a hallway) or spontaneously (ie during a classroom discussion) a student who said that would be reprimanded. There would be an explanation about bullying and instructions not to express that opinion again within the school community. It would not be considered free speech or freedom of opinion any more than a student would be “free” to speak an opinion that another student was fat or ugly or a ‘retard’... even if they genuinely thought it was the truth. Opinion does not license insult. If it happened as you discribed: in a planned classroom presentation, it might be the same, or it might be more serious. In any case, in my area students are protected from being told that their fellow students think of their identity as a form of insanity. They would never be subjected to a class presentation that held that opinion.
  11. bolt.

    Domestic violence and courts- general q

    I think that the reason legal custody isn't impacted by DV actions is because the legal system is designed to never punish someone for something they haven't done. When a person (in spite of being violent towards their partner) has never been violent (or otherwise inappropriate) towards a child -- they can't legally be prevented from having the ordinary rights of an ordinary parent. Even though the risk of a violent partner becoming a violent parent is seriously common sense: the law can't penalize or restrict a citizen based on what they will probably do. The law is only empowered to respond to past actions. When I worked (as an admin) at a DV shelter, I heard over and over again women given advice before going to court: "You need to focus on how he treats the kids. We care about what he did to you, but the Judge only cares about how he parents." -- the man could be a monster, but spending court time talking about how he torched your car with gasoline is simply wasting time. You need to talk about the one time he referred to the baby using a mild swear word. Sometimes (I've seen it reasonably often, actually) a Judge *wants* to reduce child custody for violent partners even though they legally can't do it for that reason. I've noticed Judges fixate on child-relevant details and try to guide the abused partner to direct their story to give the information that would allow a sensible custody decision, "And where was the child at that time? Did the children see him do that? And does he use that language towards the children?" That's spectacularly difficult advice to follow -- When you finally get a 'day in court' you need to almost completely ignore the truly terrifying aspects of an abuser's conduct? You need to talk about incidents so minor (in comparison) that they hardly matter? Apparently, because kids get to stay with parents that break a partner's bones, but not with parents who forget to feed them breakfast once in a while? It sounds insane, but it's (apparently) the best strategy for limiting custody: give the real reason (wow, he's a monster) but then give the Judge a legally sound 'excuse' to do the right thing (who isn't a good parent).
  12. Two questions: How long are you going to be outdoors? Do you find yourself legitimately any warmer when wearing hose? For me, if I was going to be outdoors for a while, I would wear pants or fleece lined tights, or both. (I'd wear them with dressy boots and a dress, tuinc or top that was heavier and warmer overall.) However, if I was simply walking through a quick parking lot and/or dealing with a cold car, I wouldn't add hose to an outfit in any effort to keep warm. I wouldn't really imagine they could do any good. I'd be cold anyway. I'd just walk quickly, or (if possible) ask my hubby to drop me off at the door, and warm the car before we left.
  13. bolt.

    My cat is a hair tie thief

    My cats are crazy for hair ties too. If I remove one, I try to put it straight in my pocket. I grab them if my girls leave them laying around. The cats still get their paws on a few of them somehow! (I put them through the laundry, and they seem to come out clean for me.)
  14. I think it's fantastic. I very much hope that they are made available in various unsupervised locations where they can be quickly grabbed without feeling noticed. STDs and unintentional pregnancy are clearly public health issues. Schools are frequently utilized as a point-of-delivery for public health services. I don't see this as a "state-as-parent" situation because the state delivers free condoms to all populations at high risk for STDs and unintentional pregnancy (or at least it should -- it would be within their mandate). The state is not acting as a "guardian" to the "children" of a school, it is acting as a health professional in contact with sexually active people of all ages. Cough drops and ibuprofen are not related to any public health issue. An individual having a cough or a headache who is unable to gain relief from the discomfort poses no risk to society at large. Therefore those services are not public health services. If a school is providing them at all (ours don't) they are providing them in a way that is merely adjacent to their educational goals. As such, it would obviously be done in cooperation with the parents (and require consent).
  15. Well, in the sense that if you could, "just learn some parkour, and VOILA! You can climb buildings bare handed!" I suppose it is theoretically true that there is (plausibly) some sort of elite-level of coping skills by which some emotional super-heroes welcome and process the full scope of their dark emotional turmoil under any and all circumstances. But, yeah, that's laughable in most adults and all teens. All I'm getting at is that people who (a) know that emotional processing *is* a learned skill, (b) gain some knowledge of what might be helpful when they are upset, and (c) experience some opportunities to practice applying various techniques... are better off than people who just think their reactions are just something that they have no ability to influence. Particularly for people who aren't often unhappy -- meaning that they don't get a lot of opportunities to practice coping with intense emotions -- the things that do knock them off kilter tend to quite surprise and alarm them. It sometimes turns out that they have fewer coping strategies than kids who have been crying over spilt milk since toddlerhood. What you are describing is that when pans with his gf get canceled, your son's disappointment (which is very normal) visibly effects him (also very normal) in the context of your family. Here are the possibilities I'm trying to identify.... 1. If you (not me) think his reactions are fine, and you are just sympathetic, that's lovely. (Or if you are sympathetic and irritated, that is also totally normal.) 2. If you (not me) are slightly concerned and looking for a way to help... that would be to teach him next-level emotional processing skills. I'm not saying this because I think his current emotional coping is particularly awful and/or because I think it's a magic skill that fixes everything. It's just that it's generally a good thing to learn, do, and practice when possible. It helps to level-up the skills when life levels-up the difficulty. (Even though it pretty much takes a lifetime.) 3. If you (not me) think he (or anyone) should be able to date without the rollercoaster, I think that's unreasonable. (Because the upsets are totally normal and human, and I don't think you really wish that he would respond with abnormal levels of 'chill'.) 4. If you (not me) think he shouldn't date (this girl, right now) because dating involves a rollercoaster, and you'd like to spare him the suffering -- I'm advising that you let it run: mostly because there is no reason not to, but also (secondarily) because it is a particularly relevant form of 'good practice' in dealing with emotional ups and downs: in general, and in all of his future relationships. (It's a particularly good opportunity to practice because... This relationship -- unlike many things -- actually *does* get to him, but: he is still safely at home, he still turns to you for emotional support, you (pretty much) think he is (largely) safe and well treated in the relationship, there is very little in his life that he could flush down the toilet if he makes unwise decisions, this is not a permanent relationship, and it's (very probably) not a sexual relationship. Almost any future relationship and/or future intense situations will be considerably less ideal.) 5. If you (not me) think he shouldn't date because the girl isn't good to him, or isn't good for him... that's a longer conversation for which most of what I have written is totally irrelevant. (If so, I'm sorry to have talked your ear off!)
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