Non-compliant...parents!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, May 23, 2020.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We've got about 30 families that are non-compliant: we gave them a device, told them how to connect to the hotspot, explained how to log into the iPad or Chromebook, went through how to access assignments in SeeSaw or Google Classroom, and answered any questions. Despite all of that, these students have done nothing. Zero assigments have been submitted since March. They're all families with lower grade (K-2) students in the house who need a little assistance with assignments, but not a ton of guidance because they're well-versed in SeeSaw.

    Initially, when teachers would call to find out why students weren't getting logged in, most families would come up with similar excuses. Once teachers called a 2nd or 3rd time, though, parents blocked our # or sent us straight to voicemail because they no longer wanted us to hold them accountable.

    Through the course of this pandemic, I'm truly realizing how much parents expect us to do for their child(ren). It's mind-boggling to me.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    What are their similar excuses?
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I’ve had one student (out of 18) like this. His mom requested a district-provided device. Twice, I gave her login info and even walked her through how to login, but he has not completed one single assignment. Sadly, he’s one of the lowest performing students in my class. I do understand that he is not her only child and that she has been working this whole time, but I don’t understand why she bothered to get a school device if they weren’t going to use it. Maybe she is using it for things other than the intended purpose. That’s my best guess.
     
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  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    That is possible, but the other possibility is it ended up being more difficult than they thought. The fact you had to give her information multiple times and had to walk her through it indicates it isn't easy for her.

    Another possibility is that she had good intentions but it ended up being more overwhelming than she thought.

    An aside: I knew a teacher years ago that four years into the "new" email system, the well-educated teacher still couldn't figure out how to use email independently and had to have help every time. For four years!
     
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  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That’s entirely possible and maybe partially true. I was also taking other background knowledge about this particular parent into consideration as I formed my judgment. Using only what I stated in my previous post leaves it very much open to interpretation, but, as is often the case, there is more to the story.
     
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  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    There’s one of these in every class at my school. A few classes have 2.

    Breaks my heart because they’re all low!
     
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  8. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Their excuses (when they were answering our calls and returning our messages) were that they’ve been busy working or that they forgot how to log in. When we offered to help, they never got back to us.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I had six of my 85 students who did ZERO work between March 16 and May 8. These kids are 14 and 15 years old and have used Google Classroom on school-provided devices the entire year.

    Some of them really didn’t do work at school unless they were forced, so I wasn’t surprised about them. Three were A or B kids who just wouldn’t work at home. They failed for the nine weeks, but passed with a D for the year. Two of them were removed from the honors classes for next year because of it.

    You can lead a horse to water . . .
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    While I do think that sometimes it is just laziness and apathy, that’s not always the case. These are strange times. Especially for an otherwise good student to just completely fall down to zero at-home activities, to me that’s a signal that something is wrong. It could be the executive dysfunction that comes with depression and anxiety, where kids and parents have every good intention and even plans about how to accomplish tasks but just can’t. It could also be that the kids are now responsible for a lot more things at home, such as caring for younger siblings and cleaning, perhaps because a parent is out of the home working. There could be neglect or abuse going on at home as well, with not even the small reprieve that kids get when they are able to leave those environments and go to school for a few hours. Without being absolutely certain about the whys, it’s so hard for me to be upset about any of this. I hate that otherwise good students would find themselves kicked off the honor roll because of it, when I know that there’s a very good chance they’re not doing their work because they don’t have internet access, are cooking for their younger siblings, had their school devices commandeered by their parents, or live in such chaos at home that they can’t get any peace and quiet to focus on school work. The whole thing just makes me feel sad.
     
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  11. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I want to make it clear that I’m not blaming students for any of this (because, like I said, they’re all ages 5-8). I work in an elementary school. That’s why I made certain to call my thread “Non-complaint Parents”.
     
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  12. urban teacher

    urban teacher Rookie

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    Welcome to my world. Special education seems to have these parents rampart in it. And yes, most parents are doing the best they can. But even before the pandemic, I've had parents not giving phone numbers, not coming in and generally refusing to work with me with their students.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Why is that surprising? A good number of special education students with various sorts of learning disabilities have parents who have learning disabilities. So, kids with executive function deficits tend to have parents with the same.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    ...but you can’t make it think.
     
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  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    So age 9 is when you can start holding the students accountable?
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oh no. That’s not what I meant, really. I just meant that that’s the age (3rd grade) where they’re more independent and can log into their device and get assignments done with not a ton of assistance. At that point, they’ve had the same usernames and passwords since kindergarten (so for over 3 years).

    In fact, I was really proud of many of my kids for reading the directions for connecting to the hotspot on their own and not needing any assistance.

    On a very positive note, we’ve had many students complete 100% of their assignments. It’s just these 30 or so families! :(
     
  17. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Now imagine a whole school year with it........
     
  18. futuremathsprof

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    I totally understand now. I think that’s actually pretty good if only 30 didn’t do their work. If I recall, you work in a very large district?
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    My word. :(
     
  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My school has about 650 kids. I think there are 20 schools in my district.
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You are doing the best you can do and that is what matters. Think of it like this: 620/650 = 95.38% success rate in terms of participation and completion! You and your teachers rock! :D
     
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  22. waterfall

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    I had a few kids who did not participate at all. We offered a lot of support but there was just no interest on the family's part. I too work with younger students and at this age there is nothing the student can really do if the parent won't do something to get them going. The idea to keep our paras working during the pandemic was to offer zoom hours where they would work 1:1 with the student on getting their work finished. They were also instructed to help prioritize assignments if the student/family was overwhelmed. I thought this was a great idea, but literally no kids on my sped caseload used it. I'm not sure if any gen ed students did. This would have seriously solved at least 90% of "reasons" I got for not getting the work done (it's too hard, we don't understand the directions, it's too much , I don't know how to help with this, etc.). They staggered the office hours so that someone was available between 8 AM and 6 PM daily.

    Later, we got permission to use the after school club/tutoring grant we have to do online tutoring via zoom. I offered this to one of my kids who did tutoring after school but had done almost nothing online. Parent said it didn't work with their schedule. I told her I would work with him at any time in the evening- didn't matter how late. I said I could use the time to help him do his regular work rather than trying to do "extra lessons." I even offered to have her text me and tell me what time would be good that night if it wasn't able to be consistent (I figured I was sitting around with no plans at home all of the time anyway, and I would have been paid for the time). Nope. I really worry about the extra trauma some of our kids must be experiencing right now and the social/emotional issues we're going to go back to. With less resources and support due to budget cuts.
     
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  23. TeacherNY

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    Yes, it's pretty pathetic but it's actually not mind-boggling to me because I knew this all along LOL
    I have to take attendance in Google Classroom and email parents every day. In the emails I ask what the student worked on that day or how they are doing, etc. One parent answers, "ok" to every email. NEVER answers a single question that I ask. I know the kid isn't doing any work.
     
  24. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Personally, every day seems like overkill to me. We were checking in only once a week or so before school ended in my district. I can’t imagine being a parent and having to email my child’s teacher daily. I think I’d get frustrated by that very quickly, and my responses would probably end up being similar to the “ok” that you’re getting.
     
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  25. TeacherNY

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    Yes, but you would think once out of all the days since March I would get something like, "He worked on writing his name today". ANYTHING. I email saying I am checking in for attendance every day and then on Friday I ask what they worked on. That's only one day a week that requires a response.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I can see why bella thought you were asking every day based on what you wrote above.

    I know you are not responsible for your school's choices of procedures, but I'd be annoyed as a parent having to respond to an email every day saying my child is "in school". It is ridiculous if they are not required to log on every day to have to email every day. Really, what does responding do other than check a box for your administrator? Again, not your decision.
     
  27. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    What is the question you ask to determine attendance each day? I understand that this isn’t your decision. I just can’t imagine what point there is in emailing daily to ask if a student is “in attendance” when they are not actually going to school. What is the expected daily reply? I’m imagining something like:

    Teacher: Good morning! Is your child in attendance today?
    Parent: yes/no

    What’s the point? What difference does it make? I think I’d get annoyed as a parent. If I received only the Friday email, I think I’d be both more likely to read it and more likely to respond. I’d probably stop opening emails from the teacher if they seemed repetitive/unnecessary and were coming to my inbox daily.

    I also just don’t understand why students would be expected to log in to Google
    classroom or any other online system every day. This isn’t a normal situation, and it seems like some grace and flexibility is necessary for working, unemployed, unhealthy, or overwhelmed families. As a teacher, I did not want to see my students never do their work. But I was okay with the parents choosing just a few days per week, even if it was a weekend day, that worked best for them to have their children complete the work. It seems really unfair and inconsiderate to families to expect that parents will attempt to recreate the school day schedule at home on a daily basis over an extended period of time. Again, I know you don’t get to make this decision, so this isn’t really directed at you. I just don’t understand what some administrators in some districts were thinking.
     
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  28. TeacherNY

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    I have no idea. I just have to email them and tell them I am checking in for attendance. There is no point really. But, if someone emailed me asking a specific question once a week I sure as heck would answer out of common courtesy. The parent does not have to respond every day because it's really out of our hands if they do or not but I think it's really ridiculous that they can't tell me what the student did ALL week. That leads me to believe they did NOTHING and the parents really couldn't give a hoot.
     
  29. a2z

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    Doesn't the response 'ok' answer your question - "How they are doing?". It seems they do answer one of your questions.

    I have two coworkers you have to send each question in an individual email if you want it answered. One only answers the first question. The other only answers the last. Yep. Professional adults in work related emails can't even answer all of the questions in an email. The interesting part is that they get upset if you send to many emails.

    Well - answer all of the questions and I wouldn't have to send each question in an individual email.

    I do understand the frustration, but you may want to look at the structure of the email to this parent.
     
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  30. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I understand and don’t disagree. Under most circumstances, I would think that a parent could reply to an email once per week. I just wonder if you would have received a better response had you only sent that one email each week, rather than sending a daily attendance email.
     
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  31. TeacherNY

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    I have no idea but it's out of my hands. They were told in a phone conference that this would be happening and they said they understood. Apparently they aren't reading the emails and do not even see the questions. I don't get penalized for the work they aren't doing but it would be nice to find out what the kid is actually doing every day. I'm genuinely curious how he's spending his days!
     
  32. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    Well I do think the "busy working" may be true and not just an excuse. Not everyone has been able to work from home, and even if they are, they are still working during the day. Plus many, many professions still had to work outside the home and possibly longer hours. None of us asked for this, and I imagine it would be a lot for a parent to work a long shift, get home at night, have to make a meal for the family, possibly bathe kids, pick up around the house, etc. And now they also have to go and spend hours trying to teach their kids - sometimes multiple kids? I really have empathy for people in that situation. I don't know that I could do it either.
     
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  33. TeacherNY

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    That's all very true. But whatever time they were previously spending on homework (say half an hour a night) should still be able to be carried out at least at some point during the week. If they had time to do something before this happened why not do at least something now? There's no way I would expect my students (who have special needs) to be doing a full day of regular school work even if I had sent home that much. Our school sent packets, not me personally, so after the first few weeks so I don't even know what's in the new packets. I know some tasks are "practice washing hands". "Practice asking for a cup of water appropriately". So when I get a response saying "ok" then I know the parent is NOT compliant (like the title of the thread says) and it's not due to them not being able to find time but just not wanting to be bothered. It's pathetic and sad and I can't wait for these students to get back in school because from what I can tell they are going to be regressing big time.
     
  34. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    A lot of places feel that best practice for kids age 5-8 or lower elementary is to not assign any homework. If any is sent home normally, I would imagine/hope it would be very, very little. In my district, if anything is sent home for grades 1-3, it may just be suggested reading. I do think full-time distance learning is a much bigger time commitment than no/little homework for such young kids had previously been.
     
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  35. TeacherNY

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    My students are older than that but from what I have heard most younger kids have to at least have to read for XX number of minutes per night. The district where I live (not teach in) does give homework maybe starting in first grade but any younger than that they call it "practice" not homework. Anything is better than nothing at this point but I think many will agree doing NOTHING is unacceptable. Unless there are special circumstances, it becomes a matter of "can't do it" vs. "want to do it". That is meant by non-compliance. You can give them all the excuses you want. I call it as I see it.
     
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  36. MntnHiker

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    We are also asking parents who are not trained as teachers in any way, shape, or form, to take on this huge task out of nowhere. Reading with your kid every night is not the same as what is being asked of them during distance learning. It is frustrating, and I am frustrated as a teacher. And there might be some parents that just say "I don't care and I'm not doing this," but my comment was more to the comment that them saying they are busy with work is just an excuse. Maybe for some, probably not for all. We have no idea what is going on in their households during a global pandemic and I think it doesn't hurt to extend some empathy.
     
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  37. bella84

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    I'm not sure that's true for everyone... Some families have had their world turned upside and are dealing with mental health issues, chaos, stress, or worse. In homes where there is little to no struggle, yes, I'd hope that parents can help kids accomplish some learning tasks. But I agree with MntnHiker that empathy, understanding, and forgiveness is necessary in these circumstances.
     
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  38. Tired Teacher

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    There will always be parents who do not value education. I was given a list of kids to contact daily in 1 way or another. We did Zoom, Canvas, Google Classroom, paper packets, emails and phone calls/texts. Amazingly enough,
    I think 1 blocked me. :) I had 2 younger kids who did very little. 1 very close to nothing.. ( That's the 1 who ignored all contacts after week 1.) It was definitely the parents who were not in compliance because these 2 kids still did not know how to read despite their GL. Knowing the parents ahead of time, we all knew they did not value education at all.
    However, I was absolutely blown away by how a group of parents actually went above and beyond using their own talents.
    They'd find different extensions for some skills that I liked so much! 1 showed me something that I want to learn how to do, but I need to be there to see it done step by step to get it! :) Some were artistic and others just using their own skills.
    Then we had a group who did the basics or a bit less.. A few of the parents, I knew would be cooperative, but was really blown away by a couple of others too. It is interesting because this will be the year I have really gotten to know a lot of parents very well. With a group, I often felt like their personal counselor. I think because of my age, some parents saw me as a mom ( or grandma) that wouldn't judge them....lol
    Some really good kids were very naughty at home too which surprised me. I had figured their parents were a bit different. They could be very disrespectful to their parents and I had never seen that side of them.
    Our area is different in the sense that none of the families were experiencing illness and over 90% do not work in the winters. Most of the parents did not socially distance, and I was shocked by how many sleep overs, parties, and playdates occurred with many.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020

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