Feast or Famine/ Parents

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Raising3boys, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Raising3boys

    Raising3boys Companion

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    Oct 5, 2006

    I guess there is no in between when it comes to parental involvement. For the last two years, I have worked at a school where there was little to no involvement. Some of the parents wouldn't care if their child ever passed a test.

    This year, I transferred and parents are totally obsessed with their child's grades. If a child doesn't make an A on everything of course- I am doing something wrong. I have a classroom full of geniuses according to my parents.:rolleyes: Granted, I have very bright students, however... In my classroom, parents have told me upfront," My child has never made a B on anything!" I am getting emails left and right from parents who are questioning why their child is making B's on assessments.

    It bothers me because the parents keep telling me the same thing. They are telling me that their child is heartbroken. One particular parent( she is a math teacher) emailed me about her child struggling in math this year. The parent said that the child cried and said she was dumb. The parent wants me to tutor her because she doesn't want her to have a B! The child has a 94 average right now.

    I guess I just don't know what to do. Honestly, it is the parents that are devastated not the child! What would you do to help the parents understand that 5th grade is a challenging year. We are trying to get them ready for middle school. If a child is making all 100's then apparently they aren't being challenged in my opinion!
     
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  3. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Oct 5, 2006

    I agree with you. I am teaching 6th grade, the beginning of middle school here, and I have had a few parents that say that their child only gets A's.

    If you are not challenging your students, you are not doing your job, either. If the students are always getting A's, it is a good possibility that the material is too easy. Students should be working hard, and if they make mistakes, that is good for them too!! They need to know that it is NORMAL to make mistakes, and it is okay as long as they learn from them. I have students that start crying when they get a paper returned and it is a C. (I teach math, by the way).

    Stick to your guns, but be sure that you can always justify your grading and the assignments (as in, make sure that they meet your state/district objectives and that they are grade/age appropriate for the students that you have). If you do that, then you will be okay. It may still be tough to deal with the parents, but if you back down, it will be worse.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 5, 2006

    Just like myangel52 said, just be sure to have documentation of their performance and your tools for assessments. Any time you can use a rubric I would certainly do so, and of course give the students a copy or at least discuss it with them in advance.

    I have had parents come to me with the sad, sad story of their child never making a "B" before. First of all, this is sixth grade and the first year of middle school. Middle school is typically more challenging than K-5. Also, the kids are changing. Some will stop caring so much about school and develop other interests which could impact their grades. Finally, a "B" is good for heaven's sake! Be happy! :)
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 5, 2006

    Right at the beginning of the year - sometimes at open house - I make sure they know that I am a tough grader and that I have high expectations. At curriculum night I explained what A, B, C meant to me. A means you do everything required almost perfectly and you go above and beyond in terms of effort and initiative. So, they are aware. This year's group is pretty good about it (one parent said, "Yes! He's had an easy ride so far"), but I have had my share of obsessed parents, too. They're much harder to deal with than the kids.
     
  6. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2006

    Yes, I know all about the expectations of the "A" grade. "EVERYONE is supposed to get an 'A' in chorus".

    I make it VERY clear the first day of school that my class is NOT the world of the 'easy A' and if that's what they're expecting, they're in the wrong class. However, it never fails....progress reports come out full of B's & C's and the whining starts: "But I was in class" (you're SUPPOSED to be in class.....that's "average"), "But I was on time to class" (You're SUPPOSED to be on time....that's "average"), "But i had my folder, pencil, and music" (You're SUPPOSED to have all that......that's "average").

    It has amazed me at times that students....definitely nice kids, but obviously ones who've never EVER been challenged......complain that I gave them their first EVER 'B' in ANYTHING......and they're amazed when all they've been doing is relative "coasting." It HAS been interesting to see the ways in which they deal with it though.....some VERY maturely.....others "cop a 'tude" and sulk. Too bad......I'm not changing the grade....and if you KEEP sulking, it'll drop to a 'C'!!!
     
  7. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2006

    I haven't disagreed with Music Dude yet. Not this time, either.

    What you said, MD.
     
  8. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2006

    Mama.......you is definitely one big-time charmer! ;)
     
  9. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Oct 6, 2006

    I think REALITY for a child (getting less than an A) is probably one
    of the best things for some kids (and their parents). I think the more
    honest and reality based praise we give kids the better. But when ALL get a trophy, an A, Terrific Kid, attaboys for just showing up etc. we diminish the real accolades for everyone.
     
  10. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Today I passed out my midterm reports. I heard one boy say to the boy next to him that his mom was going to be mad about his grade. I leaned over and asked why. He said that a 94 is not high enough. He is supposed to get all A plusses! Argh. I wish I didn't have to give grades at all!
     
  11. Raising3boys

    Raising3boys Companion

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    Oct 7, 2006

    Thank you all for your responses.:) Honestly, I can see the parents' point of view to some degree. I know we all want the "perfect" child, because of the way society dictates to us. In reality though, isn't a child who is happy in a sense "perfect"?

    By all the incidents that have happened with me this year in school, I see how much pressure I put on my own sons. It just doesn't matter. I look in the faces of my "babies" at school and see that their parents are causing them so much undue stress over grades!

    We have spoken to parents and tried to tell them fifth grade is a more challenging year. In fifth grade, we must move them towards independence. Parents do not want to hear it! Can you imagine if a child didn't get a B until high school how devastating it would be then?


    I know I am going to be the "BAD" teacher this year because some of my straight A students are on the road to EARNING a B. I know I must stick to my beliefs. I can justify grades and the parents are aware because grades go home at least every other week.

    The math teacher's child is a whole other story. The child spoke up and class when we were doing homework and said," My mom said that you are wrong. That answer is_____. I remained calm and just did the problem over for the class to see. The child said again, " I don't think my mom would be wrong." I just told the child that maybe she misunderstood her mom and left it at that.

    The mom also told her child that she must come and see me in the morning before every test to get tutored because she must make an A!

    Mrs R- I agree with you. I wish we didn't have to deal with grades. I would love to have some type of check list like they have in younger grades. If you mastered the skill- a check. If the skill wasn't matter the child could earn a minus until the skill was mastered. Oh, the ideal world!

    Just Me- I use RUBRICS a lot in class, however on certain things you just can't. For most assessments, I tell the students upfront what will be on it. ( General)

    MyAngel- You are right about the state standards. We are required to follow that to a "T".The math parent teaches a higher grade and she questioned that one of the things I taught was a sixth grade standard. In reality it is one of our standards she just "thinks" she knows it all unfortunately.
     

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