'Absent' parents that come out of the woodwork just days before The Big Test

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, May 11, 2011.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    May 11, 2011

    I just need to vent for a moment.

    I get so irritated by parents that aren't around all year (don't help with homework, check their child's agendas, return newsletters unread, ignore failing grades, etc) all year, then suddenly become Super Parent and want to know what they can do to help, just mere days before the high-stakes test. Either that, or they become irate that I haven't done more throughout the year to help their child....

    All those links I've sent home all year? Those are great for helping at home. All those failed papers I send home weekly? That means your child is struggling. I sent home 3 progress reports and 3 report cards, your child's struggles shouldn't be a shock.

    This has happened each year. My colleagues and I were talking about how frustrating it is today.

    :thanks:
     
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  3. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    May 11, 2011

    I understand and sympathize.

    I know that it helps to vent.

    It also may help to see things from another perspective.

    In a lot of cases, the parents of children who are failing have also experienced failure during their school careers. Many do not feel confident dealing with teachers and feel intimidated, overwhelmed with memories of their own childhood failures. They often feel helpless, unable to be effective in helping their child to succeed. But their greatest wish is for their child to succeed. They are often at a loss as to how to bring that about.

    It seems pretty straightforward to us, as teachers. Just do these certain things, stay on top of the situation, etc. But what seems simple to us is not so simple to many parents, who may not have the mental or emotional resources to deal with these issues.

    I have found it extremely helpful to think of parents as ALWAYS wanting the best for their children. They often do not know how to achieve that, and may out of frustration blame us for what is happening to their child. But they want the best for that child, and so do we. We are allies.

    Any attempt by a parent to reach out to a teacher and exchange ideas, information or concern is a very good thing, no matter what time of year it happens. You can build on that momentum by welcoming the concern, discussing ideas that will help the child succeed. A very positive approach can often change a parent's attitude about their child's school, make it seem like a less intimidating place. Turning around a parent's attitude can have a domino effect on the child, and make a huge difference in the child's life. I've personally seen this happen.

    I don't mean to downplay or discount your feelings, and I hope this post does not come across in that way. My aim is to help others see that we are really getting a package deal when we work in a classroom - children and their parents are heavily influenced by us. We can have a big impact on both, and by supporting both in every way we can, we are supporting ourselves as teachers.
     
  4. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    May 12, 2011

    I teach Seniors, and there's nothing worse than a parent who comes in three days before graduation and wants to know why their child isn't graduating, because they have relatives flying into town. I know some parents feel intimidated, but at the same time, it is very frustrating to have to explain that your child has been failing all year, why wasn't something done earlier.
     
  5. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    May 12, 2011

    We had a parent call today wanting to schedule a conference with a teacher. "My child feels like you don't like her and pick on her in class. We need to get together and talk about this."
    The reason this child thinks the teacher doesn't like her is she (the child) has been bullying another student and has been called out for it by the teacher.
    We have 7 days of school left and you want to address this now?
     
  6. AKPuffin

    AKPuffin Rookie

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    May 12, 2011

    We have a meeting after school today with parents who don't think the teachers have done enough for their kid!

    Our finals start on Tuesday and the last day of school is Thursday so it's a little late at this point in the year. Mind you we've been emailing and trying to do our best to help this student, but when the parents wait until the last minute to chip in it's really hard to place blame on the teachers.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 12, 2011

    Last quarter, one of my students refused to turn in anything until the last minute, saying she works best under pressure. Her mother suddenly went from shrugging her shoulders at this to calling me every 90 minutes on the last day of the quarter for an update on her daughter's grade. Last day of this quarter is in two weeks. She has a 5% with two assignments done. I'm not looking forward to the phone ringing off the hook again.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 12, 2011

  9. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 12, 2011

    Yep....that definitely sums it up.

    We have a 7th grader that has basically done the exact same thing. His LA teacher said he came to her today to see if he could do extra credit to improve his grade, even though he has spent most of the year sleeping in class and doing NO assignments when they were first given out. Now he has a 45 average and wants to know what he can do to bring it up.....uhm....NOTHING! If you won't do the "regular" credit assignments, why should the teacher think you will do any "extra" credit assignments. If you had done the regular assignments when they were due, you wouldn't have to ask for extra credit now.
     
  10. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    May 13, 2011

  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    May 13, 2011

    What a video!!!LOLOOLOLOLOL Yeah, Sparky, you're worried about your GRADE NOW hahahhahahahhahhha
     
  12. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    May 13, 2011

    Wonderfully stated and so very true!!



     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 13, 2011

    I sent that video out to my teaching team. Should be next week that the demand for extra credit starts. I allow late work with no penalty, but many of my reluctant students don't like that option.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 13, 2011

    I laughed out loud several times watching the video—too funny! And then I realized how pathetic it is. Such an accurate cartoon, unfortunately.

    As to the original topic, I've never had a parent suddenly care before state testing...
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    May 13, 2011

    When I was a LTS for a 7th grade English class, I told the parents at Open House that I would be responsible for ALL the grades for the first marking period. One particular parent (who was at open house) called 2 weeks before the marking period ended asking if it was true that since I was only a LTS that the grades wouldn't "really" count? Her daughter told her this. This student barely showed up for school at all. When she did, she did poorly in class. UMMM, if I didn't give grades, how would this girl get a grade for English? I seriously could not believe this parent.
     
  16. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    May 13, 2011

    Love the video...I just posted it to my facebook page:)
     

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