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  #1  
Old 02-11-2013, 02:00 PM
oliviaik oliviaik is offline
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Lazy Student and Parent Causing Problems

Okay, so this is somewhat related to my earlier thread but somewhat different. One of my chemistry students, let's call him Bob, has an extremely low grade in class (between 20% and 30%). He turns in none of his homework at all. He fails his tests. When I do allow notecards on tests, he does not make one. He doesn't even turn in his lab reports. It is like he has completely checked out of my class. He is passing his other classes, though.

Well, he has told his mother that he doesn't get it and I refuse to help him. He says that I do not teach the material. I met with his mother and my principal last semester and all she did was tell me how everything was my fault. Her son had nothing to do with why he was doing poorly.

I have invited Bob to come see my during our built-in enrichment time during the day. He won't do it. When I have found him during enrichment and offered to help him, he won't talk to me or ask questions or anything. I have emailed his mother inviting him to come get help from me and for some reason that just makes her more mad.

Well, since my principal did not take their side, Bob and his mother have now been complaining to the superintendent about me and my teaching. The superintendent told me to reach out to him one more time and then it would be up to him. I have been having him come to me during enrichment, but he still won't work.

Well, today the student went to the superintendent again after our my blow up. I do not know what he said to her. I spoke to my principal about it and, while the principal is on my side, he is concerned about what the superintendent might think since she is not as close to the situation.

My principal has told me to seek him out and bring him to my room every day during enrichment time. He also wants me to brainstorm ways to differentiate the instruction more for him. He says that we need to document that we have done everything possible to keep him from failing.

So, I am extremely frustrated. I feel as though I have already been bending over backwards to help him and he won't even lift a finger. All he and his mother do is go to the superintendent and blame me for everything. Now, I have to do even more to help him.

So, what do you suggest I do? How on earth do I differentiate a chemistry class for him in a way that is fair to the other students but also keeps me from getting in trouble? Do I shorten assignments? Do I come up with some sort of performance contract? I really am at a loss.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2013, 02:36 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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What is his preferred learning mode? Is he a visual learner, auditory learner, or tactile learner? I would make sure that I am meeting his needs by matching my instruction to his preferred learning mode.

It's almost like with this student you need a start over. He doesn't care because he doesn't see anyway to pass. He thinks that you don't like him and has basically given up. Is there a way to sit down with mom and the student to detail what he needs to do to pass.

Maybe during enrichment time, you can find a Khan video or some online activity for the student to work on. This way you are removed from the situation but there if he needs help.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:26 PM
JandT JandT is offline
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I personally wouldn't differentiate any more than you already do for actual class time. During enrichment I would bring in other ways to reach him.

Honestly, I don't think either of your bosses really care if anything you try works. They just want you to cover your (and their) butt by trying one more thing. Try it, document it and let the chips fall where they may.

You should not have to work so much harder than the student does.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:37 PM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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Have you tried inviting the parent to come in and observe her student in class to let her see what the problem might be? My master teacher used to call parents every time there was a behavioral problem and asked the parents to come in and watch the student during the class period. I wouldn't do it nearly as often as she did, but in this case it might be good if the parent is insistent on going to the super.

Secondly, is there a way to simply pull the student out of a class or have them escorted to your room right before lunch starts so you can have a mandatory meeting with him? Our school allows us to have a student escorted to our room if we need them.

As for differentiating, I think your P is simply getting desperate and is looking for a way to get them out of both of your hair. (basically code for: pass him, so they'll leave us alone)

I don't think you should, or even can differentiate for him, unless he has an IEP. It's simply not legal.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:53 PM
JandT JandT is offline
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It is always legal to differentiate. It is expected.

What isn't right is to give one student an easy way out while holding others to a higher standard.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2013, 04:06 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Differentiation is about giving kids what they need. Fairness doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing. Make your peace with this.

It's clear from this post and your 'blow up' post that you are frustrated. You need to start documenting everything you are doing, take a deep breath, and go the extra mile for this kid...to cover your butt if nothing else...and just maybe it Itll make a difference for your student.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2013, 04:10 PM
callmebob callmebob is offline
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I don't get why the student would be going to the superintendent if the student doesn't even care enough to do the work. I know when I was a kid I never had a clue who the superintendent was. You have obviously given this student many chances to be successful in the classroom and he is not taking it upon himself to follow through. In high school it is a students responsibility to ensure that he/she is being successful.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:00 PM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czacza View Post
Differentiation is about giving kids what they need. Fairness doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing. Make your peace with this.
That's true. But it seems to me that the OP is giving the student what they need already (notecards to use on tests, time to meet about problems), and the student isn't taking advantage of that.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:16 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrin5 View Post
That's true. But it seems to me that the OP is giving the student what they need already (notecards to use on tests, time to meet about problems), and the student isn't taking advantage of that.
I was responding to this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviaik View Post
.


So, what do you suggest I do? How on earth do I differentiate a chemistry class for him in a way that is fair to the other students but also keeps me from getting in trouble? Do I shorten assignments? Do I come up with some sort of performance contract? I really am at a loss.
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2013, 07:29 PM
callmebob callmebob is offline
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How much differentiation needs to be done in high school? At this age, students should be expected to be responsible for their own learning. Teacher teaches, student does work, no questions asked.
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