Discussion in 'General Education' started by workingwithkids, Aug 27, 2016.
Sep 14, 2016
Lol.... probably a good idea.
It sounds a lot to me like the student doesn't really want the input of the mom. I just shudder to imagine the reaction of the mom and how she must have unloaded on the kid when she found out he opted not to resubmit for a regrade.
I have to tell you that I would clarify any and all policies about grading where the school/admin has direct input. Once I knew the rules that were above my pay-grade, I would craft fairly rigid rules for my classroom. I would send out a "for clarification" parent handout that would need to be returned signed for the 5 points of credit I would assign. If you have a class website, post the same document there. I, too, would grade once - only once. I don't believe in allowing redo's until the cows come home. Your job is to make sure that the students understand what the rules are to get the grade they desire. Their job is to figure out how to meet your requirements and earn the grades their parents expect. Where there is a big discrancy between what the student wants to do for a grade and what the parent wants the student to earn (not be given), well, that is a home problem between student and parent, and I would let them figure out what works that doesn't include you bending over backwards for any single student.
Your admin gave you a way out, and you threw it away. Just because it may be OK for a teacher to allow redo's for extra points, doesn't mean you have to provide that opportunity every time a parent asks. Admin threw the ball into your court when you were told to choose and you should have stood solid with "then I won't - precident, you know." I bet you would have been supported 100%, because admin can't be happy having the parent constantly challenging, since that does set a precident that the school will cave to the very squeaky wheel.
Resentment can build when you bend over backwards enough times needlessly, hardening your heart to times with merit. So this mom is making you feel bad and making things bad for students who come after. See her requests for the bullying that they are, be consistently "no, that isn't allowed in my class" and then stick to it. If you have covered yourself with the handbook and admin it all comes down to enforcing reasonable decisions.
I bet Ivy League won't allow redos after Mom reviews assignments...
Sounds like it could be a long year for you. I do see that you have a great and supportive principal except he keeps throwing it back to you. He should make a decision for you or this will just keep going back and fourth all year if someone with more authority than you doesn't stop this immediately. I am not being ugly to you I totally get were you are coming from but the "crazy" mom is on to you. All she has to do is email you, the principal, and pretty much she gets what she wants. Sorry but sometimes in life you have to take a few failures to make your self more successful. Now here is my grading story. It's kind of like yours. About 8 years ago, my first year here with this district I had the helicopter parent. Somehow she heard that I had 25 years experience and that I was the best teacher ever. At the time I had 2 years and I believe I sucked as a teacher but thats ok. I am better now. Anyway, the parent came to me and asked if she could help in my class, I said sure no problem. So she was there everyday helping my kids take AR test. Well let me rephrase that she was there to help her son take AR tests and find books, and pretty much anything she thought she could get away with. I suffered through this parent all year. I made it work. One day we did a paper that EVERYONE did horrible on because they didn't listen to the directions. So this student make a 50 on his paper. I knew if i sent this paper home there would be hell to pay. So i kept it until it was time for grades to be due. ( only about 3 days) Sent it home and well you can guess there was a problem. She wouldn't even show the kid his paper because he failed it. He had never failed anything in his life. She asked if I could change the grade so that it would bring down his average to a 99 and actually it didn't even change his grade so he still had a 100. She didn't want it on his permanent record that he failed a paper in the 1st grade. needless to say I did not change the grade. I never heard anything else about the grade and we ended the year. But I have never been so glad to have helicopter Mom gone.
I would not offer a redo if the student has a 97 in the class. Period.
This is why I never allow students to take work home if it will be graded. Although, I can see how that might be difficult in secondary.
I also probably wouldn't take a grade on an assignment such as this. I would consider it practice work - work that was required to be finished and would be checked but not work that would receive a grade in the gradebook. I only take actual grades on assignments that are meant as assessments. I've never worked at a school that required x number of grades per week though, so maybe that makes it tough.
Dont send home things that will be graded. Don't give in any more for extra points. Write up a class 'policies' document outlining expectations, grading, extra help and extra credit. Run it by your P. Then send home and have students and parents sign. And then stick to your policies this back and forth over points is RI.DI.CU.LOUS.
Sep 19, 2016
The parent probably knows quite well she's not being reasonable. I actually support parents not being reasonable with respect to their kids, but in this case her quest for points is not only unreasonable, it's pointless (hehe). No one cares if her little darling got a 100 or a 97 in sixth grade.
Everyone's given pretty good advice here, I'd just add a slightly different take: just try to keep in mind that this sort of parent is better than a parent that neglects or abuses her kids. Yes, she'll try to protect him from consequences too much, and she'll defend him from things she shouldn't, and she probably puts a lot of pressure on him to do well. It's still not the worst parent in the world.
Oh, also.... she'll probably be right in a technical sense on a lot of it, simply because she does care so much. It's true that if some kids got to have parents guide their work and others didn't, the point distribution won't be "fair". In this case it's a pretty silly thing to complain about since he lost a grand total of 3 points on one grade, but I've seen also seen teachers disregard things as unimportant simply because they were unimportant to them, regardless of the impact on the child (or parent).