As a parent

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by WaProvider, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 20, 2012

    I visit your board, as a parent. I am a preschool teacher, and every once in a while I need perspective about my own children....as the ones in my room are so tiny.

    My question is ............

    Will my 6th grader ever learn how to operate a locker, planner and backpack so that we can use our time effectively?:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:



    ;)

    Ok, thanks....I feel better. Just needed to get that out. Feel free to let me know if I am totally off base, or if you have a wonder tip that will fix everything.

    Here's hoping............:blush:
     
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  3. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2012

    As a 6th grade teacher, I have one question for YOU! :)

    Is your student a 6th grade BOY?
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    How did you know! Yes, a very sweet, dancy....imaginitive boy that is going to make me crazy.
     
  5. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2012

    Haha! 6th grade boys and girls are entirely different creatures....

    I don't have any magic tips or tricks to share, but rest assured that you are not alone....I have countless students, boys especially, who just cannot get it together in terms of organization, time management etc. Even when the parents are involved and try to help, it is usually a year-long battle. I'm assuming this is his first year in middle school, so keep in mind that going from one teacher to 4-5 is a huge adjustment!

    If it helps, think of it as a skill that needs to be learned. Every day when he gets home, empty out his backpack with him and show him how to put his notes and assignments back in his binder. A good rule for the binder is to get one with NO POCKETS! All of his papers should go in the RINGS, not stashed in the side. Keep everything minimal....3-4 pencils, a hand-held pencil sharpener, maybe a pen if he uses one, are the only things that he really needs.

    Ask his teacher(s) if they mind signing his planner once a week, to show that he is filling it out correctly for their class. I do this for a handful of students and it helps keep the lines of communication open, so if the student is missing an assignment or is coming to class unprepared, I can let them know.

    Eventually, (usually by 8th grade) they figure it out.....just be patient and keep checking in.....show him that it is better to nip things in the bud instead of letting them pile up get overwhelming

    :)
     
  6. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 20, 2012

    :spitwater: 8th grade!

    I guess....I am glad that I am not alone....


    I was starting to feel like I was talking into the wind.

    But......8th grade!
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Apr 20, 2012

    My 6th grade boy is particularly fond of doing his math homework and then never actually turning it in. Considering how long it sometimes takes him to do the assignment it baffles me that somehow he can't manage to get it from home to school to his teacher. And last term he got a 4/30 on a project due to points off for lateness as well as not following the directions given.

    He and I might not both live to see him in 8th grade :).
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2012

    They always seem to figure it out!

    I have my students use folders for dividers in their binder so that they can at least get the papers in the right place and parents or myself can help them move papers to rings as needed.

    As a teacher, I spot check lockers and backpacks weekly for any loose papers. Maybe you can spot check the backpack.

    It's not uncommon to find old food and clothes in backpacks and lockers (and I check them weekly). I had one student fill an entire locker with clothes in under two weeks.
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 20, 2012

    I had to go back & reread. I just assumed that it was a boy, so I was wondering why the question if this was a boy. :dizzy::dizzy:

    As a Mom to a sopmore in high school, I wonder if he will ever get it together. Every morning, we go through the same things. . . him running around trying to find everything, because no matter how many times I've told him everything does not go back into the backpack. This morning, he couldn't find the earplugs to his ipod. Or he can't understand why I threw his shorts into the laundry. . .he needs them for track, he can wear them more then once before being washed is what he tells me. :whistle::whistle:


    With him, I give him a time to be out of the house about 10 min. before I want to leave. Friday mornings are better because we don't pick anyone else up so if he can get ready on time/early he gets to drive to school. :D

    I really can't complain. .. he's working on an Eagle Scout project and he's in the National Honor Society. But he's just so disorganized. It would be so simple to put things in his backpack at night. Bring up his gatorade from the basement the night before. gr.. . . .So frustrating some mornings, especially when he has to wear his ROTC uniform, quarenteed to put him in a bad mood.

    :beatdeadhorse: Please tell me this gets better!
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 21, 2012

    It's funny.

    Graduation is approaching in about 6 weeks, and I'm thinking about this year's Senior class. I'm very close to this group of kids. I taught 180 of them as 7th graders my first year back to teaching. I had some in my 8th grade study hall, then taught 5 freshman classes (plus a frosh homeroom) the next year. The following year I had 4 sophomore classes, and last year I had 6 Junior SAT classes. So I'm in a unique position to have seen these kids grow from awkward 12 year olds to semi-adults.

    And, just as with my own kids, I'm amazed at some of the changes I've seen. Some have not been good-- the kid I would have put money on 4 years ago to be Valedictorian has been out since Christmas, reportedly because of some sort of breakdwon. But some have grown more than I would have believed. One who was sort of goofy as a 12 year old told me yesterday that he has a 99% average in Calculus, and would love to come back in 4 years as a math teacher. At yesterday's spring pep rally, I saw another who was very shy and introverted as a 12 year old on the floor, doing a dance routine with what can only be described as "reckless abandon."

    Somehow, they grow into the people they're meant to be. And we push and we try and we hope and we pray that we've made the right choices, the right suggestions, the right little nudges. And for the most part, we find that we have.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 21, 2012

    It's so scary to be a parent! You're right Alice, we just hope and pray that we've pushed, pulled, nudged in the right direction.
     
  12. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Apr 21, 2012

    Some kids, maybe boys in particular, need chance after chance after chance to "get it." When they do, it often seems to come out of the blue, with no clear cause. It's typically a matter of patience, I think, and of conveying to them - screwup after screwup after screwup - that your affection and hopefulness for them are undiminished.
     
  13. anky2930

    anky2930 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2012

    In my opinion it's the duty of parents to help their child in any situation at any age and it all depends on them how they treat their kids.
     
  14. wcormode

    wcormode Rookie

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    The high school students that I teach are having the same problems so there are no guarantees that it will ever be better.
     
  15. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Having the teachers initial the assignment book really does work, by the way, and it takes like 0.5 seconds per day.

    Given that he's a boy, his locker might always look like (or even actually be) a composting facility, and he may always pack his backpack with the heel of his shoe. His locker-slamming technique will likely be excellent. Oh, and he will tend to walk in some direction other than the one in which he is looking, often actually backwards, fast. Why do they do that?!
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 26, 2012

    :lol:
    Teach On........that IS my child! Have you seen him? :rolleyes:

    Crack me up! We started the sign the planner plan in November...he checks in at home and returns to school for lost items.....often. The returning has reduced from daily.

    I take solace in the fact I am not alone.

    :thumb:
     
  17. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 26, 2012

    I am confused, what do you see as my role?
     
  18. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 26, 2012

    Wa---has he been taught how to use his planner? Not sure if it would help any...but have him use his planner to pack his backpack. Maybe some kind of reward or even just pointing out the extra play time when he doesn't need to return to school.

    Then using his planner to pack his bag at night to ensure he has everything he needs.
     
  19. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 26, 2012

    Yep...thanks mopar. That is exactly where we are. We have been in the same spot for a while...and when spring peeked it's head out he bobbled. Thanks to the comments here, I can see that we are within the realm of age appropriate.

    The extra time really has been the key. As with everyone I am sure, his life has had an up tick in activity since his arrival at middle school...and he enjoys the fact that he can have free time before an even if he works effectively at class time, packs well and studies effectively. It just doesn't all line up too often. I hope for more days to come!
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Apr 26, 2012

    Ah, 6th graders. I find they need numerous, repeated-until-you-are-sure-you'll-lose-it directions and reminders. It's a good thing they're such sweethearts that you don't mind 99% of the time.

    But wait until next year. I call 7th grade the "taller toddler" stage. They relearn the words "No" and Why" and use them excessively :)
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Apr 26, 2012

    I love teaching middle school. I have 7th graders. I love those crazy kids, and the boys are always my absolute favorites. In fact, whenever possible I will choose all-male classes. I can't imagine having to have one in my home. *shiver*

    Bless you. Please remember that your sweet, adorable boy is going to change. It won't necessarily be for the good. My best parent conversation ever was with the mother of a boy that I looped with for 7th/8th grades. His mother and I were on his case all the time. He was surly, disorganized, and uninterested in school work. Years later, long after he had graduated high school, I ran into his mother at the grocery. She stopped me because she wanted me to know that her son had turned into a decent guy and productive member of society. :lol: Apparently she had her doubts. :p

    Some of my 7th graders are still not able to organize themselves or open their lockers. A couple of my fellas have to have bottom lockers because they aren't tall enough to see the numbers on the dial of the top lockers.

    He'll make it, and so will you. I've been in middle school for 19 years, and I haven't lost one yet. ;)
     
  22. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Apr 26, 2012

    I hate to be Debbie Downer, but apparently it isn't gone by 8th grade. My 8th grade boy is driving me NUTS!!!!! WHY does he insist on wearing his backpack everywhere lately? Where has his memory gone--he can't make it from one roon to the other without forgetting what he should be doing. And don't get me started on the shaggy hair!!!! Holy cow! It's costing more in shampoo for him than all my makeup, shampoo, and deodorant combined!!!!!
     
  23. KatieShow

    KatieShow Rookie

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    May 24, 2012

    I teach 12th grade. Most of them are a hot mess when it comes to organization. Boys, mostly. girls tend to care about their appearances so much that even their binders are very neat.
    Now I'm worried about another thing my 6th month old will have issues with... lol
     
  24. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    May 26, 2012

    1. I have to disagree with the NO pockets part. I have told parents that there are many different ways to help with the organization. Have one pocket folder in the front of the zippered binder into which assignments ready to be handed in are put. Some kids are just too disorganized/rushed in class to put things back in the rings. Having a pocket folder in each section of the binder can help - BUT they have to be guided every day to put those pages in the rings as part of their homework. Since you sound like a consistent and involved parent, this should not be an issue for you. Some kids do better with a separate binder for each subject.

    2. Getting the planner signed by the teacher is great - but the child has to take that responsibility on himself. With 100+ students in and out of my class, I find it very difficult to remember which students need to be signed. I start the year off by stamping every planner every day for the first 2-3 weeks, and I teach 8th graders. I just like to reinforce the habit of copying the homework every day as part of their bellwork.

    3. I'd like to echo that they figure it out by 8th grade, but many don't. My own son had difficulties right through middle school. It wasn't until he was in high school that it got a bit better because he was on a block schedule, only had to keep three academic classes per semester organized, and used a separate binder for each class.

    I refuse to go crazy over whether the kids are using pockets, a single binder or separate binders. I feel the parents need to experiment to see what works best for their child. That eases the stress for the child and the adults who are trying to help that student succeed. Just communicate your preferences and experiments with the teachers so you are all on the same page.
     
  25. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    May 26, 2012


    1. I still stick with the NO POCKETS.....it's too easy to just jam papers in, and starts a downward spiral to binder chaos. I teach 6th grade, and have never EVER seen the use of binder pockets result in anything good at this age.

    2. I agree that planner signing needs to be initiated by the student.....I refuse to keep track of it for them, even in 6th grade.

    3. I said that they USUALLY figure it out by 8th grade....though even with the best of parent intentions, some do not.
    :)

    Sorry, I was just trying to generalize my own experiences in order to help this parent out.
     
  26. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    May 27, 2012

    Well I was that student - except I'm a girl! I could not keep organized for the life of me. In my case, 6th grade was the beginning of a downward spiral that ended my freshman year of college with a diagnosis of severe ADHD inattentive type. Looking back, it makes sense. I was the kid who didn't know how to use my planner, who's locker was disorganized and frequently left homework at school (only to realize it at 10 pm when the building was closed.) If for some crazy reason I completed my homework, I would forget it in my locker and be too embarrassed to ask my teacher to go get it.

    Sounds like a lot of people grow out of this, but for me it got worse. It wasn't until I was diagnosed and went to weekly counseling that things turned around. I would work with my psychologist to fill out my weekly planner. Then we would have "check-in's" where I would leave a voicemail to let her know I accomplished things during the week.

    Although my situation might be different, I will say that a big part of it was finding a planner that worked for me. The one's they used in school never worked. I've used a Moleskine weekly planner since 2006, the week is on the left page and the right page is blank for notes. I needed to be able to see a week at a time but still have a place to put in notes.
     
  27. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    May 27, 2012

    Well I was that student - except I'm a girl! I could not keep organized for the life of me. In my case, 6th grade was the beginning of a downward spiral that ended my freshman year of college with a diagnosis of severe ADHD inattentive type. Looking back, it makes sense. I was the kid who didn't know how to use my planner, who's locker was disorganized and frequently left homework at school (only to realize it at 10 pm when the building was closed.) If for some crazy reason I completed my homework, I would forget it in my locker and be too embarrassed to ask my teacher to go get it.

    Sounds like a lot of people grow out of this, but for me it got worse. It wasn't until I was diagnosed and went to weekly counseling that things turned around. I would work with my psychologist to fill out my weekly planner. Then we would have "check-in's" where I would leave a voicemail to let her know I accomplished things during the week.

    Although my situation might be different, I will say that a big part of it was finding a planner that worked for me. The one's they used in school never worked. I've used a Moleskine weekly planner since 2006, the week is on the left page and the right page is blank for notes. I needed to be able to see a week at a time but still have a place to put in notes.
     
  28. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    May 27, 2012

    This year, we have found the magic of an accordian folder! It has helped a lot of organizational issues. Not all... But a lot!
     
  29. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 28, 2012

    Thank you to all have responded. I do feel truely supported in my role as parent. I love this site for this reason. As a preschool teacher it is often hard for me to figure my own big kids out!

    Some of the issues as I see it.

    We go to a private and slightly authoritarian school....so we must use the organization tools that they require. I know deep down this is the root. He is a guy that has issues with authority already....so he will not make these tools work for him....even if they were a good fit. Just out of principle. He is a great kid....he can just smell a rule coming.

    We had already started the sign in and out plan...and I just relaxed and went with it....the issues have smoothed out slightly...but are not gone.

    2 wks left! This will be a challenge next year too I imagine!
     
  30. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    May 28, 2012

    Would he be allowed to color code his binders? That really helped a super disorganized student of mine to at least keep track of what he needed for each class. I also do the agenda thing for several students. In the beginning I remind them, but as the year progresses they are on their own. I do sticker charts if they remember to show me their agendas at the end of the day with all their teachers signatures which i know sounds babyish, but you'd be surprised how motivated some of my less mature students are by them.

    It sounds like you are doing just about as much as you can do. From a teacher perspective it's great when parents can keep on top of their kids and check their backpacks and agendas every night. That way there aren't any surprises.
     

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