How do you handle parents that do not seem to care?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Arky, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2008

    I work in a low socioeconomic elementary school. Before NCLB I don't think I noticed lack of parent envolvement. Now because of test scores being printed by my name and administration looking at the test scores I feel I need the parents to help if their child is not catching on to the concepts. I am amazedat their lack of concern. They do not come to conferences nor do many of them seem to care that they did not get their child's report card. I have on that still has not gotten a report card and it is almost Jan. I cannot get over the homework they return which shows no one looked at it and I make a homework schedule for the parent and the child to see what the assignments will be for the week. the parents have to sign it saying they helped their child. There is no way they did. How do you handle the lack of concern????
     
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  3. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Dec 30, 2008

    I try to give the student attention that he/she doesn't get at home. If no one looks at the report card or progress report, I will call the kid to my desk and pull up the entire report card and talk about what and where the problems are.

    So many of these kids lack that parental concern, so I do my best to do it at school. You can't force a parent look at the work and/or report cards. Many of them don't understand the work themselves; how can they help with it or know if it is done correctly?

    I am sure others have many other ideas that work, too.
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 30, 2008

    You call them on the phone, treat them like your family, make sure they know you care, and encourage them to help their kids at home. Many low income family members had less than desirable experiences in school making it a place they don't want to return. Most of the time it's a sinking ship but we have to try.
     
  5. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Dec 30, 2008

    It may not be a lack of concern at all.

    Don't forget -- they may be working when you have conference periods. They may work at night and not be there to supervise the child (child may be in someone else's care at night). They may just be ignorant of the fact their input and help is needed.

    Unless you are familiar with all the ramifications of being in a low socioeconomic situation, it might be hard to learn to deal with it. I highly recommend that you read Ruby Payne's works, including A Framework for Understanding Poverty.
     
  6. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2008

    You took the words right out of my mouth (err....hands??).

    Another thing to think about is that the parent may not know how to help. You may need to help the child understand that it does not need to be a parent to look over the homework. Also consider some more flexability in the homework schedule to allow families with a different schedule than a 9-5 work day to provide supervision and input.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 30, 2008

    Also by the 7th grade parents may be assuming kids are handling their own thing. I helped my son all throughout 6th grade but I turned him loose in the 7th grade. In 7th grade I do not necessarily look at my child's homework. I do a spot checks here and there to make sure he is actually DOING his homework but otherwise, it is up to him to ask for my help. He has to learn self-responsibility. I do check his report cards. If a teacher contacts me, I do act on it. I can be a rather strict parent but if there is no news I assume that is good news.

    I also do not necessarily pay attention to WHEN the report cards come out. If one of my children bring me a report card then I know to expect the other one. Otherwise I don't have this feeling it has been a while and it is about that time.

    As far as signing something....

    I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, I totally agree with it. I forced all the teachers last year to sign my child's agenda book because he wasn't doing his part and I wanted to make sure the communication was CLEAR. 2/3 through the year, he had his stuff down. This year I told him I was turning him loose with the understanding that if he messes up, I go back to doing it the "boot camp" way. I was pretty strict with him last year trying to get him organized and responsible with his things. He is doing pretty good this year but he is not perfect. He is more willing to admit his mistakes because I'm still guiding but not on him about it. I'm not sure I would WANT to oversee him this year to the point of looking at all of his homework. I want him to develop some responsibility. He does come to us when he needs to.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 30, 2008

    You definitely got the title of the thread right with the word seem. Many of them care, it just doesn't seem that way. Other posters have mentioned the main issues, including work-related conflicts, lack of personal knowledge and fear of schools.

    There's one other thing I see regularly and that is embarassment. I have several parents who are ashamed to show up at school because they're poorly dressed or have missing teeth or other cosmetic issues. I've also had parents too embarrased to come to school because they were illiterate of barely literate and were too ashamed to admit it, and a whole slew of other reasons.

    Sometimes, your battle isn't getting parents to care, it's in convincing them that their support is 100% necesary for the full academic development of their child, regardless of the parent's knowledge level.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  9. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Dec 30, 2008

    :lol: at edit! :)

    Honestly, my parents seem to care, they just lack time and or knowledge. In my beginning of the year package, I included ways that parents can help, even busy parents. I also try to stress that during conferences. I had a conference at 9:00 one night, here at my house, because a parent worked till 8 every night. My hubby wouldn't let me go to her, so I invited her here.
    Parents today face so many challenges. We do what we can for the kids at school and then try our best to help with the parents.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 31, 2008

    By the time we see students in middle school, it does seem like the parents lack involvement. However, these parents were often very involved in elementary school, and often still have students in elementary as well. They feel that the older kids can fend for themselves better. Some are also overwhelmed with SIX teachers instead of ONE teacher. They don't know where to start. Plenty admit to being intimidated by middle and high school.

    I work in a low-income area. Many parents are unable to help their children with their work. Many had bad experiences with their own education, especially in the upper grades. The often come from one parent households or households where both parents work long hours.

    We rarely enounter parents who honestly don't care about the child's education.
     

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