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  #1  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:51 PM
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Cobalt_Waves Cobalt_Waves is offline
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Middle School Teacher
Teacher from previous year hardly taught subject

I am a French teacher. Where I live, it is the law that students must begin French instruction in grade 4 for a minimum of 30 minutes on a daily basis. Students must continue to take French for at least this amount of time up until grade 9.

Well. My grade 7 class informed me today that they received a grand total of 1 hour of French instruction last year in grade 6. That's it. One hour for a whole academic year. They said their teacher ran out of time at the end of the school day and had no time to teach them French!

I am rather irate. It is hard enough to have students meet curriculum expectations if they receive the legal minimum of instruction, let alone if they receive virtually no instruction at all.

No wonder students have a hard time taking French seriously if teachers and admin do not take it seriously.

Math teachers: can you imagine if your students informed you of the same thing? That their teacher just ran out of time at the end of the school today and had no time to teach math? Just 1 year of lost instruction...no biggie! Oh, and now you are expected to catch all the students up and have them meet grade level expectations.

Very frustrated!!

What would you do? Have you ever experienced something similar?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:53 PM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
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Math teacher
Well, for starters, I would take it with a grain of salt.

Give them a baseline assessment... something along the lines of last year's final exam.

Then take the results, along with what they've told you, to your department chair, AP, or Principal.

They'll show growth, but may not make it to where they should be. But make sure that administration knows where you're starting.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:01 PM
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HistTchr HistTchr is offline
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Social Studies Director, 6-12
That's great advice, Alice!
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:22 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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I once had a teacher call me (while with her students) to say:

"So, Mrs. JustMe, I'm here with your students from last year who are telling me they only wrote one piece last year. I told them that sounded hard to believe, so I wanted to give you a call." --I assume, by the way, she called me to make a point to her students to not fib and NOT because she actually believed them.

Of course I rattled off all of the pieces we did which she repeated back to the class.

Point is, it's possible they are not being truthful or just confused. My former students only remembered the piece they did right before dismissing for summer. Not a single student, even my best ones, spoke up about having finished more than one. Somehow our other projects slipped from their minds after a few months (I suppose), but when their teacher mentioned this piece and that piece, they were all, "Aw, yeah...forgot about that."

So, you may want to look into this more. Of course, it's entirely possible it's true. But be sure before getting too upset.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:26 PM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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California
8th Grade Science Teacher
I find it funny that last year at the end of the year, when I asked students which was their favorite lab, they couldn't name a single one except the one we had JUST done and didn't remember doing any others, even though we did 1-2 labs a week the entire year.

They have very short memory spans, especially once the school year starts to wrap up.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:29 PM
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Cobalt_Waves Cobalt_Waves is offline
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Middle School Teacher
I agree that students can have very short memories, which is why I would never report something like this.... But honestly in this case I do believe the students as I heard the same story from two separate sources.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:32 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt_Waves View Post
I agree that students can have very short memories, which is why I would never report something like this.... But honestly in this case I do believe the students as I heard the same story from two separate sources.
An ENTIRE CLASS assured their new teacher we only wrote one piece the year previously. Kids.

But again, crazier things have happened. I hate that you'll have to work overtime to get them up to speed!
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:35 PM
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czacza czacza is online now
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Grade 3
Ditto whatAlice said
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:39 PM
a2z a2z is offline
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Ditto what Alice said.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2013, 04:36 PM
Elocin Elocin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
I once had a teacher call me (while with her students) to say:

"So, Mrs. JustMe, I'm here with your students from last year who are telling me they only wrote one piece last year. I told them that sounded hard to believe, so I wanted to give you a call." --I assume, by the way, she called me to make a point to her students to not fib and NOT because she actually believed them.

Of course I rattled off all of the pieces we did which she repeated back to the class.

Point is, it's possible they are not being truthful or just confused. My former students only remembered the piece they did right before dismissing for summer. Not a single student, even my best ones, spoke up about having finished more than one. Somehow our other projects slipped from their minds after a few months (I suppose), but when their teacher mentioned this piece and that piece, they were all, "Aw, yeah...forgot about that."

So, you may want to look into this more. Of course, it's entirely possible it's true. But be sure before getting too upset.
I have been that calling teacher and yes, it was to make a point to the kids.
"So....Ms. K, the kids are telling me you NEVER made them write 5 paragraph essays and they have no idea what an elaboration is .....oh really? Do you mind if I put you on speaker?" *cue squirmy kids and a lot of "Oh yeaaaaahhhhh"s.
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