Awesome kid with questionable parents

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MzsB, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 4, 2020

    You have no idea how many things have burned me up over the years. I couldn’t even start to make a list. Questionable parents are only one of the issues.

    You will have to learn what is and isn’t in your control. If you don’t learn the difference, you risk both burning yourself out and possible disciplinary action for overstepping your authority.
     
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  2. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    I know, that's why I don't plan on doing anything. It just stings particularly hard with these two because their side business back in high school was definitely damaging to myself and order students. I wasn't in class with either of them but I know for a fact that by selling papers they skewed the curve that my year's AP English and AP history was graded on. I personally ended up with a B in both classes when I would have had an A. It is dishartening to know that they not only still engage in this type of dishonesty but also train their daughter to do the same.
    You guys are right, maybe I do feel a bit of resentment to these parents, but if you really think about it can you really blame me? Forget about the high school thing for a second and consider this. We all have dealt with the helicopter parents who do not respect our judgement, who do not respect or decisions and we all know how that feels. Now these parents are something entirely different. They are not helicopter parents, that's for sure. But not because they respect us as teachers and educators. In fact they have so little respect for us and the school that they actively teach their child that school is just a hoop to jump through. At least with helicopter parents they value the school and educational system enough to want to, even if inappropriately, help their child succeed in it. With these parents they don't even have enough regard to snowplow us into catering to their child. I guess I am having a hard time conveying what I am trying to say.
    Like I have said before, this girl is smart. She is well above her grade level in reading, writing, arithmetic, and science. It is tempting to want to a tribute this to her excelling in her classes but the truth is at home she had private lessons from her engineer father and attorney mother. This by the way isn't speculation. This Leelee girl had told me and her earth science teacher that she had not learned a thing in either of our classes and that her mom and dad taught her all these things years ago. She is very polite about it but she made it very clear that she is only in school because the state makes her patents send her. This is something she certainly learned from mom and dad. I don't know part of me finds this even more upsetting then those students who just simply think school is boring.
     
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    So, her parents are bad because they tutored her at home? I wish more of my parents felt that strongly involved in their child's education.
     
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  4. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    The parents tutoring the child isn't the problem. However it is a problem when parents yeah their child that they don't need school. Sure, part of the reason we send children to school is to teach them their ABC'S or their multiplication tables or advanced calculus. And it is great that the parents are teaching these things to their child outside of school. However, school is also for teaching children other values too like respect for self and others, the social contract and other intangibles that are not scored with an A, B, C or F. So you may not agree but I feel there is something wrong when a child believes he or she doesn't need school or need to respect the institution of formalized education just because the parents have already covered the academics.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oh, my.
    I think her assessment is rather spot on. If she knows all of the materials and can perform years ahead of her grade level, she is 100% correct. There is no real reason for her to be in school each day except for the fact that by law she must attend.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Despite the fact that the parents, as teens, seemed to impact your grade, which obviously still bothers you, you have turned out all right, and learned the lesson that sometimes life isn't fair. I remember when my son railed against a perceived wrong because another student cheated. I will tell you what I told him - life isn't fair, there are few umpires making sure that everyone plays fair, and the only person that he absolutely has to make sure is honest and trying to do work to the best of his ability is himself. Life isn't always fair, but the only person you can police the actions of is yourself. Sometimes people appear to be getting away with stuff, but I never make the assumption that others are blind to what is actually going on. I believe in karma, and know that I am not the one to be handing out retribution. My son finally got the message and has come to understand that what he has earned honestly comes with a solid helping of self respect, and that is what I always hoped he would get out of our long talks and discussions. Maybe the parents have learned their lesson, but the daughter is still in the process of learning it for herself. No way to know that, so you will have fewer ulcers if you just do what is right for the situation with the daughter and let past history with the parents simply fade away. Good luck with that.
     
  7. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    Look at it this way. The law says she must attend the same as all the other students most of whom do not have the benefit of highly educated parents that take an active interest in academics. Like you said, you wish more parents would take more of an active interest. However you know this may not be possible in most cases. So again is great that this girl got that benefit, but most of her peers do not. It becomes a problem when this advanced child starts capitalizing on this benefit by selling assignments to her peers. It is a problem when the parents have so little regard for the school that they do nothing to discourage and quite possibly reward this type of behavior. She may not need the school for academic instruction but her peers do. By selling her peers completed assignments she is denying her peers the full benefit of their state mandated education.
    Also, what you said about no real reason for her to be in school save for the legal requirement is exactly why she should have to be in school. Remember part of schooling is learning good citizenship. Part of being in school is learning to live within and contribute to society. So I would disagree with your assertion that she is 100% correct that there is no real reason for her to be in school. This girl was caught running a business selling contraban yet sees no moral or ethical issues withher behavior . That right there should show she isn't ready to be excused from elementary education.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I'm reasonably certain that no one here is advocating that this student be excused from elementary education. However, perhaps the parents are actually pretty good at educating what seems to be a very bright child. It's even possible that instead of setting the child up in the cheating business, the child has figured this out on her own. The parent's attitude towards the school is something you can't fix, but unless there is a younger sibling following in the daughter's footsteps, this is a closed case. This child is now someone else's problem, and they will deal with whatever transpires. You had her for a year, and now you have new students to focus on. This former student may find that it is harder to be so brash in high school, or maybe not. Whatever the outcome, she is out of your hair. I am certain you will have a new bunch of munchkins any day now. Enjoy them.
     
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  9. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    Yeah, you are right, most of the kids I get are great. This one wasn't half bad either.
    I guess another thing I found so upsetting about these parents is how they were completely unconcerned that their child was suspend for such a serious transgression. I have had parents that would insist that their child child do no wrong. I have had parents that would deny that their child did something even when confronted with a mountain of evidence. This is the first time I had a parent have so little regard for the school rules that they didn't even make an attempt to deflect. They acknowledged that their daughter was guilty but were completely unconcerned. It was almost like they thought it was a big joke (dad kept calling me Chairman Mao when I told him it was against school rules for students to sell anything at school).
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Maybe they remember you fondly from high school, too? Shake it off.
     
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  11. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    Funny thing is I really don't think do. I wasn't directly in any classes with either of them and I was a bit of a wall flower. We ran in different crowds. I just remembered them because of their drama. In all honesty, after the parent teacher meeting I dug up my old year book to confirm that it was really them (both of them are in their 30's but they both look exactly like they did in high school.... you are right life is very unfair) . If it wasn't for their extra curriculars I would say that they are an adorable couple. From what I understand and from a friend of mine who is face book friends with mom, they both went to the college that they were both accepted to, stayed together all through college and got married when they graduated. I know I may seem overly concerned with them but I live in a small suburban community which is in proximity to a large metropolis so a lot of us who went to high school together are still around. This couple was certainly among the more memorable of all of our peer group.
    Also to be fair to them, asides from the dad calling me chairman Mao they were actually very nice and very friendly. They are charmers always have been from what I remember.
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Sorry, but I know way too many families that have homeschooled children who are more civilized and are better citizens than those attending the government's version of "learning good citizenship". And yes, I said civilized because there are many kids who have been in school for years and act just like animals.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Buying papers or homework isn't a one sided deal as you are trying to make it out to be. Having someone in school doing selling it (which I agree is wrong and according to you it was reported) just makes it a bit easier. Seems those buying don't want their education. Why just blame the girl? Cheating is a two sided issue.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I would be ok with highly advanced students to be able to have a special program designed so they can skip the content they already know and move on to harder material. I'm not saying no school at all, but I couldn't imagine having to sit in school 180 days/year when I know everything that is being taught.
    According to OP's assessment of this child's academic knowledge and skills, the school isn't serving her well.
     
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Just a word here about being advanced: I spent years learning absolutely nothing in schools because I had already taught myself the material. For reference here, as a first grader, I sat down with a calculator and played around until I was able to figure out the pattern behind division. Spending seven hours bored to literal tears in a classroom sucks. It is absolutely soul-crushing. I actually appreciated the teachers who told me at the beginning of the year that I wasn't going to learn anything in their class because I had already mastered their curriculum. And even then, I didn't have any "peers," because I fit all the stereotypes of a nerd in a school where that wasn't tolerated. My choices were to help other kids cheat or get beaten up regularly in a school where even raising my arms to try and protect my face was seen as "fighting back." Sometimes you just... kind of do what you have to do to get by.
     
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  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I didn't see the part about changing schools.
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I'm assuming you didn't report them while you were in school.
     
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  18. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    It is true that this girl is very nice and very polite and dare I say it, classy. So are the parents actually. This is actually one of the things I find ultra scary actually if you want my opinion. A child or adult that is wild and destructive is easy to spot and very relative easy to deal with. However a cunning child who appears well behaved can hide what she is doing and in the long run be much more difficult to manage. This is sort of like the difference between blue and white collar crime. So true white collar criminals are not violent so there is very little risk of physical danger but their damage could be just as problematic in other ways. Again this is just an opinion. I really enjoyed having that little girl in my class. She is definitely smart and in all honesty I would admit that I would hesitate to go toe to toe with her in mathematics test of knowledge. Still I think back to some of the things she had said in class (I am not talking about stories about her dad even because that can be chalked up to a child taking a situation out of context ) just surprises me because it's not how most teeny boppers think. One of the things that she said that really stuck out to me was when she presented to the class her favorite character from her favorite movie. Most every one else picked a super hero or something like that and the reasons were what you would expect from 13 year-olds (he's strong, he's brave, etc). For her she said that her favorite movie character was the intelligence officer who was in the opening train scene of Legend of the Drunken Master. (For all those like me who didn't know it is a B rated Jackie Chan Kung fu movie). Of course no one in class including my self knew what she was talking about so she played the clip for all of us. In this scene Jackie Chan's character and the character's father were boarding a train and they are stopped by what appeared to be customs inspectors. These inspectors were very rude and barking orders at everyone. Then a very handsome man with a very friendly demeanor interrupts the inspectors and gently suggests that the inspectors don't have any need to hassle Jackie Chan's character. Sort of like when Obi Wan tells the stormtroopers "these aren't the Droids you are looking for". Unlike in star wars the inspectors start barking at this man and giving him the business and demand to see his papers. The man gladly complied and handed them a passport with a white sun stamped on it. Both the inspectors mutter to each other that this gentleman is from counter intelligence and immediately change their demeanor towards him and Jackie Chan's character. They let them through and them immediately, without conducting the required baggage inspection and resume abusing other passengers.
    This little girl, who is 13, explained that the counter intelligence guy is her absolute favorite movie character because of how this guy pretty much made the "do you know who I am" threat without making it. She then broke down and analyzed that entire interaction for the class and I was truly impressed. She said that Jackie Chan's character had no power/authority in that situation and more over she postulated that he was use to having no authority so he was compliant and accommodating to the inspectors who were clearly abusing their authority. She moved on to the inspectors and postulated that they were use to having some authority and rather enjoyed it, she pointed to one of the lines of dialog (one inspector told the counter intelligence guy before he knew he was from counter intelligence "I don't give breaks I give orders"). She further postulated that the only authority these inspectors had was over the relatively poor peasants at the train station so their authority was very limited therefore they really relished and abused it. Finally she got to her favorite character the counter intelligence guy. She said that this guy clearly was in a position of great power as evidenced by how the inspectors changed their demeanor once they realized who he was. She then said that not only was this guy powerful but he was also very confident in his level of authority as evidenced by how he interacted with the inspectors. She pointed out that the guy didn't order the inspectors to stand down and that he didn't even identify himself as an agent of the government. He simply waited for the inspector to exercise his authority (that authority being demanding papers) to show the inspector who he was dealing with.
    My student said that this guy was her favorite because he was so powerful and confident of his power that he didn't even need to order the inspectors to break protocol (for going the inspection on Jackie Chan's character). The inspectors just got the hint and realized that they shouldn't cross this guy even if it meant a dereliction of duty (and yes the little girl used the words dereliction of duty). So basically little girl told the clad that this guy is her favorite movie character because rule of law doesn't apply to him. I asked her if this character did anything else in the plot of the movie, she said no and that he doesn't appear again.
    This is why I still say, she is an odd but highly intelligent little girl. For this assignment all her classmates presented for maybe 3 to 5 minutes tops. She talked 30 minutes straight breaking down that scene and explaining how power dynamics work in 1920's China. So this isn't bad in and of it self it is just now what you expect to come out of the mouth of a 13 year old girl.
     
  19. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    I didn't say is a one sided issue. You are correct if there was no market for it she wouldn't be providing a service. I am not saying she should be punished more but at least part of you should agree that what she is doing is a massive waste of potential. You know sort of like playing a strativarius in a tube station for quarters or an opera singer doing TV jingles.
     
  20. MzsB

    MzsB Rookie

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    No I didn't. I didn't have any real interactions with them when I was in school. I wasn't in any of their classes and I never bought anything from then. I knew of people who did as did most people in our graduating class. When the scandal happened I, along with almost every one else who were taking AP classes, was asked if I had bought anything from them or was ever approached to buy anything. I answered in the negative because I didn't.
     
  21. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I am concerned about the explicit details you are sharing, and the lack of confidentiality. If this child’s parents stumbled across this forum, I think they could cause you a great deal of trouble in your professional life.
     
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  22. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    To be blunt with no offense meant at all, you just seem very overly invested in this girl's parents and like you still hold a grudge against them from high school. I think you need to let that grudge go. High school is long over and whether or not they have changed (maybe not), it doesn't really matter. It just doesn't. I think it would be inappropriate to tell her teachers for this year about all of this stuff with her parents. I honestly feel like if you had this exact same situation but didn't have these high school experiences with the parents, you would probably not be considering doing this. Please let the high school stuff go.

    Since after her suspension, you didn't see any evidence of her selling homework or chips or what not, I would not mention that either. People can and do change. Is it possible she gets to HS and starts selling HW again? Sure, but it's also possible a teacher there catches her doing it just like you did and she (and hopefully the students buying the HW) get consequences for it. It's also possible she won't do it again since she got caught, and I think she should be given that chance without having teachers already suspicious of her for something she did last year.
     
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  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    How is she wasting her potential? Are you saying that she, as a child, should be designing her own curriculum instead and implementing it while trying to get the school on board with her own learning plan?

    Seems to me the school is wasting her potential.
     

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