It Just Keeps Getting Worse.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Soccer Dad, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2010

    I teach the honors Global History classes for both 9th and 10th grade. This year, I am the sole teacher teaching both courses. This is a good thing because I know exactly where I get with my 9th graders for next year and blah blah blah.

    However, the problem with being the other teacher is that they scaled back the program by reducing each course by 1 period. Now, my classes are huge. However, I'm most mad because I had students in my class that do NOT fit the criteria to be in my class and students that I know should be in 10th grade class are not because of guidance.

    With my 9th graders, they had an 8th grade teacher that said "Whoever wants to be in Honors next year, just initial next to your name and I'll recommend you." She totally ignored my prerequisites!

    With my 10th graders, guidance took it upon themselves to bump the brightest students to the AP course so the school can look better because we've been getting a lot of negativity over our dwindling AP courses. Well, the students dropped out of AP and now can't get in my honors class because it's full--even though it's what they wanted and deserve!

    I went down to guidance and asked that everyone in my classes be examined: those that match the criteria, remain and those that don't, go to where they belong. This request was denied.

    I asked that my prep period be used to make a third section of my Global History II class. My request was denied.

    I'm fuming right now!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  3. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Sep 7, 2010

    Sorry

    :hugs::hugs:
     
  4. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2010

    I'm sorry you're frustrated and going through this. I hope it gets better for you.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :hugs: I'm sorry.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oh, those Mommas need to get involved!
     
  7. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I agree. Get the parents involved. I can't believe the adminstration is doing this.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 7, 2010

    :hugs: I'm actually NOT that surprised - the HS I worked at allowed to students to sign up for honors regardless of ability. If they decided they weren't being challenged enough in regular, they could sign-up for honors and the teacher's input or pre-reqs didn't matter.

    This resulted in my honors class being half-full of failing students who could not keep up with the pace and my reg classes having a large number of bored students who SHOULD have been in honors.
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Sep 7, 2010

    Be careful how you phrase that though. I had a similar situation one year (it was that they refused to weight the honors class - um, then why would you take it??) I totally disagreed with the admin, and when parents and students complained, I neutrally directed them to the AP in charge of guidance.

    He came to me and made it sound like I had stood in front of the class and told everyone to have their parents call him and complain. Which I would have loved to do but I knew better. And I STILL got scolded for it.
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2010

    What? I thought it was all about educating the children? They keep telling us that.

    School administrators and state legislators continue to amaze me by interfering and handing down decisions with only the tiniest regard for the students to get the best education for their level.

    I am sorry that you have to deal with such a mess at the beginning of the year, especially since you have a well developed program in place.

    Guidance and the rest of the administration needs to correct this problem and do the right thing. That is their job.
     
  11. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2010

    Okay, I created this document to help the kids that don't really belong realize they don't really belong in an Honors-level class. My only concern is that the students that actually do meet the criteria and would thrive in my class, will drop because of the seriousness of the document...

    http://hallowellhistoryny.wikispaces.com/file/view/Honors+vs.+Regents.pdf
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh I hear you on this one. Each of my classes is running at over 40. One of them is at 48 I think, and another is at 45. Many of them don't need to be there, as in they don't have the grades and study habits necessary to be totally successful.

    I fought that battle at my school the first couple of years I was there. After being told time and time again that they couldn't do anything about it, couldn't lower my class sizes, couldn't actually hold students to the prerequisites listed in our course catalog (C in English and/or foreign language the previous year, etc.), couldn't actually abide by the teacher recommendations I submitted....I gave up. Now I just smile and put students at my desk because it's the only available seat in the whole classroom.

    PS I love having so many students because it means that I'm introducing them to a subject that will change their lives! It just gets a little hectic in there sometimes....
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Sep 7, 2010

    I feel for you. I've had guidance counselors allow parents to show teachers and that's just as bad.
     
  14. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 7, 2010

    Soccer dad, I have had students in my AP classes with IEP stating I needed to modify test, students should be sent to resource room to have test read, word bank with test, notes cards on test, shortened assignments . . . . and like Ceasar, I have learned to just grin and bear it :) With the AP College Board encourging equal acess to AP classes, ANYONE can take AP classes in my school.

    Indiana has an academic track dip which I am assuming is similar to your honors classes. And ANY student can take those classes also. Again, I just grin and bear it
     
  15. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Sep 8, 2010

    I think that document you created is perfect. Yes, it does come across as tough, but students need to be forewarned or else you'll have an even bigger problem come mid-October.
     
  16. Soccer Dad

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    We have a four day weekend starting tomorrow. I assigned a huge project. Not hard at all, but very, very time consuming. I look forward to some empty seats on Monday... :)

    I also made a waiting list for my class since guidance refused to do so. Ergh, that will go over well....
     
  17. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Sep 8, 2010

    Well done!

    Your explanation of the honors program leaves no doubt about what the expectations are for the class. Let us know how many students and parents change their minds after learning what the workload will entail.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 8, 2010

    With accommodations for the IEP, you might want to ask the resource room teacher if they can help with modification of the tests, so your burden is lessened, at least during weeks when you are overwhelmed with grading (such as a large project or something is submitted)
     
  19. TiffanyL

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    Sep 8, 2010

    I'd like to give another perspective that may not be very popular.

    My son takes AP and honors courses, however, the letter that you are sending home is very thorough but would certainly discourage my son. He would read that and want to drop the class. I would have to continue to encourage him. There are many teens who would be excited over that amount of work (I know there are some out there but not all).

    Also, one of my past coworkers is one of the most passionate teachers I know. As a teen, she was mistakenly placed in an honors class. She was from a rough, disadvantaged background and she often tells the story of how being placed in that class changed her life. She rose to the occasion and surpassed everyone's expectations.
     
  20. Soccer Dad

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    I've always been of the belief that anyone that wants to take a course, should be allowed to take it. However, this isn't fair when seating is limited. I wish it was like years ago when our dept. had the resources to have 6 periods / day for 1 particular course taught by three teachers.

    Unfortunately, we're understaffed and the way I see it is the kids that deserve to be here based on the criteria my colleagues and I agreed on. However, they got bumped up to AP without their consent to make the school look good and some just got bounced out completely.

    I was talking to a parent the other day whose son met all the criteria and didn't get in because the class was full and they randomely selected students for it. But, after doing a first-day questionnaire, I found out I have a few students who just passed in middle school.

    That's not fair.
     
  21. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I agree with Soccerdad. How else can we better make sure our students understand the expectations of our class. In my syllabus, I always note the difference between Honors and CP.
     
  22. Soccer Dad

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    Sep 14, 2010

    Enough kids dropped that the kids that were original meant to be in my classes, can be in my classes! WOO HOO!
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2010

    YAY! :thumb:

    My team leader had a similar problem when her honors 12th grad class was overloaded by students who did NOT want the course but were placed by their 11th grade teachers or Guidance. A quarter of them dropped down to her academic level class within a week. She is very relieved.
     
  24. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Sep 14, 2010

    this might be horrible, but can you flunk them out? At my high school if you didn't maintain a C or higher in honors you were automatically put back into regulars,. Or assign some huge research/thesis paper and scare the living crap out of the kids to make them want to drop the clas. your admin is not going to help you, you know that. An honors kid who is usually type A would do the work, while a person who should not be there in the first place would usually balk at such an assignment. If they do it and pass, then they probably belong there. Or assign massive amount of work?? Work on making the kids drop the course.
     
  25. Soccer Dad

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    Sep 14, 2010

    Thankfully I didn't have to do anything extreme for the situation to be resolved. I did, however, make a handout that was true, but was strongly worded on purpose.

    I assign a lot of readings from magazines, document readers, etc. and the assignments/discussions that related to them scared the kids that didn't belong in my class to leave.

    It's really unfair to the students that were put in without meeting the criteria because a teacher / guidance counselor didn't care--their whole schedules had to be changed to go back to a Regents level class.
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 14, 2010

    I was talking to our Pre-AP English teacher today, and she said that once some of the students saw the requirements, they were out of there in a flash!
     

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