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  #1  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:26 PM
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pwhatley pwhatley is offline
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3rd Grade Teacher
What does it take?

Every other week, I send home "graded papers." Attached to the graded papers is a printed copy of that child's grades. Parents also have online availability to their children's grades, plus, the system calls them (if the number is still good) any time the kid is absent or receives an F. Mid-9-weeks, we all send home progress reports. I take the time to write a note on each report (ours went home today). I am a very communicative teacher - I send home weekly newsletters, daily conduct reports, call home for each student at least once per quarter, etc.

Anyway, the note I sent home for 6 students was basically: "I am concerned about your child's progress. Please call me at 555-5555 (my personal cell number) before 6pm to schedule a conference so we can discuss some solutions." I have received 0 calls. ZERO. Zip. Nada. Basically, I'm pi$$ed. These are, of course, parents who change their cell numbers every other week, don't show up for SBLC (our SPED testing process) conferences, provide zero supplies, and never return a call or sign a conduct form. The only signature I have seen from one parent is on a field trip permission slip. Waddya want to bet they'll show up (with $$) on field day.

As a parent, grandparent, and teacher, I'm offended. I'm disgusted. I hurt for my kiddos who have no support at home. I'm sick and tired of bending over backward for people who don't care. I spend tons of time and $$ on my classroom, both in supplies, technology, and materials, but can't get a bottle of hand sanitizer or a box of kleenex. One of the few kids I have with behavioral issues was told by his mom that he "don't have to listen to that white woman." Really????

We have no water fountain in our classroom or on our wing, so we have bottled water for my kiddos. Guess who has purchased all but one case of water? (And we keep and refill the water for several weeks, changing them out occasionally for health reasons.)

Argh! It's a good thing I have extremely short hair, because I would be pulling it all out!

Whew, that feels better - thanks for letting me vent!
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:45 PM
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TamiJ TamiJ is offline
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You are such an amazing teacher and those kids are so lucky to have you. I am sad for them to not have parent support, but how lucky to have an adult in their life who is fighting for them.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:57 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Unfortunately this phenomenon isn't contained to just elementary students and parents. I see it every day at the high school level.

I tend to believe that this sort of behavior (or non-behavior) is a byproduct of our education system (and probably of society in general). We teachers do so much for our students, to the point where I think students and parents believe that we will just handle everything. The school takes care of a lot of things for students, too: basic medical care, preventative health screenings, food, clothing, and much more. I think that we (teachers and schools) make it easy for students and parents to just figure that we will handle it. It's a self-perpetuating problem. I think that the only way to solve it is to stop doing for students and parents what they can do for themselves. No more buying supplies for students, no more making ourselves available at all hours of the day and night with access to our personal cell phone numbers and email addresses, no more correcting student errors so frequently that they are unable to correct their work themselves. It's not easy, and teachers always come up with a million reasons why they need to do whatever it is that they're doing. Unfortunately, along with all those things that they're doing for their students, they're also turning into enablers, and that will ultimately hurt students in the long run.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:09 PM
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Mrs. K. Mrs. K. is online now
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Caesar, very well said. I see a steady decline in students' willingness to work or be responsible for their own learning.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2013, 08:12 PM
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pwhatley pwhatley is offline
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Unfortunately, in my district, we "encouraged" to do those things! I agree with you in theory, Caesar. We are constantly being told to "do more with less." There's only so much less that we can use! Ugh, I'm just frustrated and tired tonight. It doesn't help that I'm doing the planning & paperwork for 2 classes because my grade level cohort is "too tired." (She's also 20 years my junior.) I'm the type of person that can't stand to see things go undone. Not to mention that I don't wanna get in trouble because things aren't being done correctly!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:56 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
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I decided awhile ago, that I will budget a set amount of $$$ for the kiddos each month. It goes for prizes etc. When no Kleenex comes in, I remind them and say if we have no Kleenex and I have to buy it, it will come out of money we have for prizes and other things for you. Boy, we end up with plenty of Kleenex boxes! Even if we didn't, then the students would learn there is a cost to them not asking their parents.

I think you have a heart of gold. Make sure you set some limit on yourself. Parents often will do much more when they see we aren't going to buy everything that they choose not to purchase.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:10 PM
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Peachyness Peachyness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwhatley View Post
It doesn't help that I'm doing the planning & paperwork for 2 classes because my grade level cohort is "too tired."
What would happen if you just didn't plan her class? I mean, are you really going to get into trouble or your coworker. I have been trying to find a teaching job for two years so it irks me that people like her are getting a paycheck and not putting in the time or effort.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:20 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Oh, I feel you.

It's amazing how little interest some parents take in their children's lives.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2013, 03:13 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Kindergarten Teacher
You are doing an amazing job! Don't get down on yourself about a few parents not being involved. Enjoy the parents that are and do what you can for your students.

Some of your parents may be battling many other issues, some of which we can never understand. I know many families who change their cell phone number weekly. In my state, families who receive financial help with groceries or housing, can receive a cell phone with X number of minutes. But the state sends them a new phone with a new number every week, instead of just adding minutes to their phone.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2013, 03:19 PM
callmebob callmebob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readingrules12 View Post
I decided awhile ago, that I will budget a set amount of $$$ for the kiddos each month. It goes for prizes etc. When no Kleenex comes in, I remind them and say if we have no Kleenex and I have to buy it, it will come out of money we have for prizes and other things for you. Boy, we end up with plenty of Kleenex boxes! Even if we didn't, then the students would learn there is a cost to them not asking their parents.

I think you have a heart of gold. Make sure you set some limit on yourself. Parents often will do much more when they see we aren't going to buy everything that they choose not to purchase.
When it comes to Kleenex, we have paper towel dispensers in our classrooms, that rough brown paper that doesn't soak anything up. When we run out of Kleenex I tell them that is what they have to use. They don't want to use it, so more Kleenex comes in. There have been a few times that we didn't have any and students had to use the brown paper. Rest assured I had a box of Kleenex I brought from home on my desk, but they weren't using that.
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