How do I tell parents no?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 16, 2012

    I just received an email from a student's aunt. She asked if she could help out in the classroom, working with students. She said that last year she was fortunate enough to help out with reading centers.

    I do Daily 5 in my classroom. The students have been building stamina for independence for the past few weeks, and they are doing great! I love Daily 5, because students are working independently and vigorously at their own pace. I have no need for volunteers. As the Daily 5 book states, when adults are placed into the mix, independence can be lost. If I have students working with this student's aunt once a week during a Daily 5 choice, I am worried that their independence will dwindle, and all of the hard work they have been doing will need to be re-done. (I have seen this happen before with SPED aides...They help students during Daily 5, and then when they aren't there, students don't know how to work independently.)

    Plus, what would I have her do? For read to self they are reading independently. For listen to reading, they are at the mini laptops. For word work, they are practicing spelling words. For work on writing, they are writing independently. I guess I could come up with some sort of word work game for her to play with them. However, that is more work for me. Plus, because I have 5 SPED students in my classroom, the special ed teacher is in my classroom team teaching during math, during writing time, and during Daily 5.

    What do I do? :dizzy: It sounds like she wants to be working with students.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would tell her very kindly that you don't need help with students at this time due to thr structuring of the class, but you appreciate the offer so much! I would follow that with the option of working on other tasks that would help or keeping her in mind for future needs if she prefers working with students.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Is there another time of the day that you could use her?
     
  5. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Are there any students that could use some one-on-one assistance or practice in something? I know it's early in the year, but there are always students who could use some individual attention and reinforcement, especially in math. I think it's fine if you don't need her during reading. If not, maybe you could just explain that the students are practicing working independently but if she'd still like to come in, you could always use administrative help. She could grade, sort, cut things out, etc.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Let her know that although you're usually thrilled to have an extra set of helping hands, you're now using the Daily 5 in your classroom. Since she most likely won't know what Daily 5 is, tell her the things wrote above! :2cents:
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Wow, can I switch places with you? I know that I have so much work to do as a teacher, I would love any help I could get. Isn't there something she could do?

    I do agree with you that it is your classroom and you have to decide what she can do. Can't she help with preparing materials for a lesson or something like that?
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    It sounds like she really wants to work with students. Plus, no, I honestly can't think of any prep-type of things for her to do...

    As I mentioned I have 5 students who receive SPED services. I would rather leave the intervention up to myself and the SPED teacher. The other 16 are average/high average academically. Sure, they all have things to work on, but I feel that the structure of my classroom allows me to successfully confer (using CAFE, guided reading, and guided math) with students, and meet their individual needs.

    I'm probably jinxing myself here, but I feel like I really have things under control, plus I'm receiving a lot of assistance from the SPED teacher. Coming up with additional ideas would be more work for me. Selfishly, I don't want to do it.

    Also, I forgot to mention that I will be having a college student observe, work with students, and do any prep/clerical work for me for 4 hours/week.
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Not that I can think of...My day consists of math (team teaching with SPED teacher), Math intervention/enrichment using a special kit that requires training, writer's workshop (team teaching with SPED teacher), and Daily 5. All SS/Science/computer time is integrated. I honestly cannot think of how I would use her.

    I think helping out during centers is just peachy in preschool, kindergarten, and maybe 1st grade. I think 2nd grade tends to be more independent...???
     
  10. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Could she help with "read to someone"?
    It would still be a daily 5 activity, and you could let her know that you
    will be starting it later in the year(like near December:D), which will give you time with the class to build stamina and introduce the activity before she comes to help.
     
  11. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Maybe you can tell her that you have classroom helpers in the form of the SPED teacher as well as the college student. Tell her as much as you appreciate her offer, the college student must come first as they are preparing for their career as a teacher. But maybe I'm biased on that. :cool: I also like the idea of telling her that you'll keep her in mind for future needs as they arise. Even if they never do, you're not lying to her or brushing her off.

    :2cents:
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I feel like I should be honest...I appreciate the offer, but I already have a lot of help. However, I just feel like that is so...rude. But I just don't want to create extra work for myself! UGHHHHHH!
     
  13. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    I definitely understand! Is there a teacher at your school that does need help? Maybe you can refer her to them or have them contact her. There is definitely no reason to interrupt a schedule/curriculum that is working beautifully just to accommodate a family member no matter how good their intentions.

    Personally, I don't think it's rude to tell her no, but it is definitely important how you word it! :lol:
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I just came up with an idea. Let me know how this sounds!

    I was going to send home a volunteering letter this week, because I still need a room parent to plan classroom celebrations. I was going to mention in the letter that there is not a need for volunteers in the classroom, but that I do need a room parent. I also always ask who would be willing to prep materials (it's very rare that I even have anything to prep, though...), and who would be willing to work on things at home (just in case they would like to help out, but cannot make it to school during the day).

    Perhaps I could reply to the aunt's email, and attach the letter. That way, she would have the same options as any of the parents. I could say something like, "Here is the volunteer letter I sent home today. Let me know how you would like to help."

    Does that sound ok?
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That's a great way to put it. Funny you mention other teachers-I just remembered that this student has a twin in another classroom. Maybe the aunt would be ok with just helping her teacher out? Or would the student in my room be upset that her aunt is only helping in her sister's classroom? Or maybe I'm just thinking about it too much! ;)
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sometimes three adults is a crowd...
     
  17. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    That sounds great! Fair's fair :lol:
     
  18. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I have a grandma who volunteers during Daily 5 time once a week--she pulls students when they are doing Read to Self and has them read to her a bit. She does a great job guiding them to ask questions, etc. as they read, and I haven't seen it affect their stamina or independence at all. While I think you're fine with your letter, that's just another thought.
     
  19. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Maybe provide her with alternative volunteer opportunities. I always love extra hands and eyes during special projects or math games.
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2012

    Sounds like a lot of good ideas here - what about seeing if any other classrooms might need a volunteer?
     
  21. cindy lou

    cindy lou Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2012

    not rude

    Great ideas above. Remember, you are not being rude, you are doing what is best for your students.

    As children get older, the same amount of parent involvement is not always appropriate. Make sure she knows that her offer is appreciated but not necessary at this stage of the game. Her future teachers will appreciate it:).
     
  22. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I am in the same boat each year because I too use Daily 5 and insist on the kids becoming independent with their own learning.

    Most of the time, a solid, polite no thank works. When it doesn't, I have found that insistant parent something to do in the school. One year the library was doing an overhaul and used her. Another year I got her in charge of our Box Top program....and 3 years later she still is :) Another year we were painting our PBIS words around the school with childrens' handprints and she LOVED that job.
     
  23. gebakat

    gebakat Rookie

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    What about volunteering to help in the library? I know ours is always looking for extra help.
     
  24. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think you have your answer right there. You really appreciate for her offering to help. You have been blessed with a college student who will be helping you out with working with students and prep/clerical work. At this time you don't need the help, but you will keep her informed if the situation changes in a few months.
     
  25. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 19, 2012

    As a parent who likes to volunteer in the school, I would not want a job that was just busy work. I want to take the pressure off the teacher. (I really don't want to work in the classroom.) I would be honest with her about your needs, but steer her in another direction.

    I love to volunteer to write grants for the school. It is a skill that most volunteers don't have, and it is a big help.
     
  26. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I just sent her a nice, honest email, saying that there currently is not a need for volunteers in the classroom (I didn't get into details about my SPED assistance, the college volunteer, or Daily 5). I also attached the volunteer letter that was sent home to parents, and told her to let me know if she would like to help. I'll definitely keep her in mind, though, if I ever feel there is a need for some extra help!

    We had a parent who wrote grants for our school a few years back. It was definitely a very helpful skill to have. I would love a "grant writer" volunteer. ;)
     
  27. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    Sep 21, 2012

    Do you read to your class daily? A different story a day or a chapter a day? Maybe she could come in and read a story or part of a story once a week or a couple of times per week. It would almost be like another special just a little different. If she could do this then maybe you could also have her do some light grading, filing, or something that is tedious but has to get done.
    My only suggestion is try to find something for her to do, but it is your classroom and if the students are doing well in the current structure then that is great as well.
     
  28. WarmWillow

    WarmWillow Rookie

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Could she volunteer for another teacher?

    One of my fellow teachers who had been teaching at the school for 20+ had so many volunteers in her room that she didn't need anymore. I, on the other hand, couldn't wait to get more volunteers in my room. She passed her volunteer on to me, and I was so thankful. If the aunt isn't too stuck on working in her relative's classroom, maybe another teacher would love to have her. She's had experience and she might be a real gift, especially working in a grade level she's had experience with.
     

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