Good parents have super-smart grade-rushing kids

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2020

    Yes, this is an incredibly snarky title, but it's not dissimilar from a conversation had in a team meeting and someone at a far higher paygrade than me said it with a sauce of sarcasm.

    Here's the situation: Last month at my online school, a student finished their first semester courses quite early. Since there has been precedence about moving them to the next stage of the curriculum, Admin hemmed and hawed and allowed the student to continue.

    A month later (today) Student is finished with the entire grade.

    Admin isn't pleased. I'm kind of with Admin. Right now, I'm looking for some good assessments to properly determine if Student has truly mastered the grade (the assessment we WOULD use isn't available until the end of the school year)... or if Mom helped a little too much. This is not the only kid in this family to do this at this school. When Mom talks about it, she talks about her kids "working at their own pace" and "being so excited to finish."

    And I'm thinking, their pace or yours, lady?

    To oversimplify the description, my job could be more or less described as helping families homeschool. Having a number of friends in the homeschooling community, I've heard tale of metaphorical gold stars given to homeschooling parents who are the best and brightest and go to college at the age of 10 or whatever.

    I'm trying to be as diplomatic as I can while scoping for the family's intentions this school year and Admin has already offered to be the bad guy should it come to that.

    But, golly, how do you politely say that we suspect you of doing your students' work for them in order to make yourself look good?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    What proof do you have that the student is not learning the standards and not doing the work? I assume your program has assessments built in. If you can't prove mom is doing the work now, ow will you prove that mom or someone else isn't doing the assessment you provide if you find one?

    I'm not sure this is a situation I would want to open my mouth about regardless of the fact that there are some home-school parents who want to look good by having accelerated children.

    Did they come to your school with poor grades? If not, I'd be very careful if I were you are the admin.
     
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  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    There are assessments built in, but they're merely for one lesson at a time and not intended to show mastery. Hence wanting to try some other assessments.

    And yeah, student was fairly low coming in.
     
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  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nov 12, 2020

    I mean, it’s possible the kid is working to that ability level. I was the only kid in my grade to score into the gifted program in elementary school, and I was always a grade ahead in reading class.

    I was not some kind of genius, but I was a teacher pleaser kid who enjoyed learning.
     
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  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    To add more, we can do formal assessments with them synchronously, which is what I would like to do. Is it too crazy to look for greater proof of mastery especially in a case where a student is wanting to move grades after only a couple of months? For example, when I work synchronously with this kid, they're still learning letter sounds. We had some discrepancy between a synchronous formal assessment where we could monitor the kid and an assessment where we couldn't.
     
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    What do you think would be the better way to handle it? Would it be too awful to say we need to assess skills before granting the request?
     
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  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Nov 12, 2020

    I would be using this as the reason that you need more assessments before moving along, but it must be done in a manner where the parent can't interfere.

    Given this information, it is surprising that the admin let the child accelerate.
     
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  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    I think this is exactly what you need to say. I have had kids WAY above grade lvl b4 who could whip through stuff asap especially if their parents/teacher encouraged it. It does not sound like this kid is like that b/c he entered low. Plus, he is just learning letter sounds. If I had to, I'd look for an online assessment. If I couldn't find 1, I seriously think I'd make my own.
     
  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Nov 18, 2020

    We had this happen once.
    We asked the child to read aloud us, write some prompted sentences, do some math.
    It was not a formal assessment. Just show us what you are capable of. The child acted all confident and proud but produced right on grade level at best.

    A question to ask the parents is...What is the ultimate goal of advancement? If they truly believe and want a 16 year old graduating and heading off into the real world, well then maybe? Are they sports competitive? Age plays into this. One would rather the child be oldest in class than the youngest.

    IMO...There are stages to growing up that we cannot simply pass.
    I have an advanced son. He LOVED the challenge but disliked being with older peers in MS and HS. He earned many college credits in HS and could have graduated early, and I was THRILLED at the time. But now, he's once again in college with peers who are older than him. He wants the normal college experience. I guess I'm telling you this because advancement is soooooo much more than material. Again...There are stages to growing up that we cannot simply pass.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2020

    So we're still in the middle of this, administration holds the reins, and I'm just kind of twiddling my thumbs. I had the child do some things. I'd say they're a fairly typical bright kindergartener. Could probably do 1st grade with a supportive parent.

    But I'm also starting to panic. There's literally no curriculum for them to do if admin decides not to advance. Like, yikes... how would I individualize instruction for the rest of the year for one kid?
     
  12. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    We do this all of the time at our school: Ask the teacher above you to enter this student in their math/ reading class. If the P approves it, the kid will stay w/ you for everything else, but get pulled for the subjects they are advanced in, so he could Zoom or do assignments from the teacher who does 1st. Parents will have to help catch the kid up though.
     
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  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I like the idea, but it wouldn't work for our school model. To oversimplify things, I'm basically helping families homeschool. There is an online curriculum they go through... and, well, the kid has finished it. The next choice would be to enroll them in the next grade, but administration has to approve it.
     
  14. Tired Teacher

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    Bummer! If the kid has completed everything, can you find a way to test his proficiency?
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    We are doing a few things, the kid is very average. I'm not exactly opposed to moving them ahead, but it seems the big picture plan is for them to do two grade levels each year. I'm not sure this kid could handle acceleration for so long.
     
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  16. Tired Teacher

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    OMGoodness! 2 grade levels per year for an average kid? That is crazy! Maybe just suggest they do a year at a time and reevaluate. That is really 1 I have never dealt with!
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Update: We did some more official assessments on the kid. They are... pretty average. A good student, but there's a lot of kindergarten skills that have yet to be mastered. Sigh. Officially it's now in admin's hands. Again, kid is smart enough, but I am thinking that with this rush to complete grades, not enough practice is getting in.
     
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  18. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    It’s hard with it being online. If you were in a physical classroom, it would be easier to see who was doing the work. I don’t understand why parents would do work for their child. It’s such a short term fix that actually harms them in the long term. But I’ve had parents do the same. It’s funny when assignments are handwritten and it’s clearly the parent’s writing.
     
  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    With online kindergarten, I actually encourage parents working with the kid. Hell, I'm still cool with dictating.

    But that's a very kindergarten thing and doesn't lead me to think they're ready for 1st grade, where I'd have different expectations.

    If this acceleration continues, this kid would theoretically reach a grade they don't have the skills to tackle.
     
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Well, another teacher was able to pick the parents' brains for an answer as to why the insistance on grace acceleration (there are multiple kids in the school all trying to rush grades).

    The parents were bored when they were in school. They wished they had the opportunity to move through courses at their own pace. They graduated high school with associates degrees. They want their kids to do the same.
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The admin should have never allowed skipping ahead. What did they think would happen???
     
  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    In their defense, it's completely new admin from last year.
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Well, I never met them and I figured out what they were going to do after I read the few few sentences of your post LOL
     
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