parent meeting tomorrow...unsure how to approach it

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Shanoo, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 23, 2008

    I teach grade nine French. Because it's a language course, most of the work is to be done in class, where they have dictionaries, verb conjugation books, and me as a resource. If students miss a day, it is imperative that they come and see me, so that they can get the work they missed....I don't want them falling too far behind.

    We've been in school 7 weeks now. Almost immediately one student started missing classes. I spoke to him and he said he would start coming to class. He didn't. I called home and spoke to his mother who said that she'd speak to him and that she'd make sure he'd start coming to class. She did speak to him and he did start coming.

    Last week he came to me and said that he wasn't feeling well and that his mom was coming to get him. Fine. He left. Tuesday he tells me that he has a doctor's appointment and that his mom was coming to get him. I had a funny feeling about it, but let him go.

    As soon as school let out, I called him mom under the guise of a follow up call. Nearing the end of the conversation I said "I understand XXX is at a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I'll have the work he missed ready for him." Mom was silent and said "he doesn't have a doctor's appointment this afternoon." so I asked her about last week and it turns out he was lying about that too.

    His mom and I set up a meeting for tomorrow and I'm unsure as to how to approach it. If he doesn't start coming to class, he WILL fail. Attendance policies at our school are sort of up to the teacher...especially at the grade nine level. They won't remove a kid from the class in grade nine.

    Any advice would be appreciated...
     
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  3. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Oct 23, 2008

    If you don't already have an attendance policy I would get one together quick. At his age you shouldn't have to chase behind him to make sure he comes to class or gets his missed work. Since he did not have a legitimate excuse for missing school I would not let him make up the work. He should have to pay for the consequences of lying to you. If that means he fails, then so be it.
     
  4. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I agree with Cheery. I taught Grade 9 beginner French in a past position and it was the kind of class where students were either motivated to do well, or they failed or barely passed. There were no two ways around it.

    I would like to have the student in the meeting with the parent. Make it a three way conference if you can, so that all of you can come up with a solution and so that you can make the consequences of his choices clear to both him and his mother.

    Oh, as well, I would suggest that you check into your schools unexcused absences policies. Even if the consequences of absenteeism is up to the individual teacher, a certain number of "skips" should result in some discipline from the administration.
     
  5. trina

    trina Companion

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    I'm just wondering where in the world IS this kid if he's supposed to be in your class? I can't imagine a school where kids are unaccounted for. I guess because my school is so small. Don't kids who are not in class get asked "Where are you supposed to be?" and "Where is your hall pass?" Are there places to hide..like under a stairwell? Educate me.
     
  6. catsos2

    catsos2 Companion

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    I agree with Trina - how is this kid getting out of class? Have you reported this to the administration? Most schools have strict policy about truancy. Is he just leaving your class with no pass? Or is he forging a note to the office in the morning so he can leave the school early?

    As far as approaching it with the parent, I would bring a slew of documentation about every day and every assignment that he missed, tell mom that he will no longer be able to make up for unexcused absences, and that he will not be invited back next semester (if that is possible) if this behavior continues.
     
  7. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Oct 23, 2008

    Je commencerais par lui demandant si elle pense que si son fils meme devrait prendre francais. Vraiment, peut-etre il ne devrait pas le prendre. Surtout, si c'est pas possible pour arreter l'absensiesme, il n'y a pas raison pour sentir mal des choses comme ca.

    (Cetait-ce que comprehensible? J'ai echoue francais a lycee :) ).
     
  8. xmasqueen

    xmasqueen Rookie

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    Oct 23, 2008

    I don't teach that high of a level but I'm surprised that your school district doesn't have a policy. Of course I'm in the US and I think maybe there are stricter policies here. As a matter of fact if kids are not in school and the parents have all of the facts the parents can go to jail for not sending their kids to school. If the kid is icorrigible the truancy officer makes sure they are there and if that doesn't work juvie hall has a way of putting the scare into most of them. Of course different districts have different policies but our state has those laws in place to make sure kids are in school. Seems like you need to open this mom's eyes....she's missing something. I don't know where the kid is when he's missing but I do know it isn't for any useful purpose. Good luck.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Do you have a truancy officer available for a pre-conference meeting? If I had a student who was found to be skipping on a regular basis, I would not get the choice. There would be a conference with the teacher/s, principal, parent, and truancy officer. In the initial "you better get your butt in gear" meeting, the officer pretty much takes over the meeting once the fact that the student has been skipping has been established. The officer explains to the student and the parent that not only is skipping unacceptable and usually leads to class failure, but it can land the student in juvie hall, and then details the sequence of events that will happen if the student continues to skip. This meeting goes on record as the "warning" and the paper trail is begun.
     
  10. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 23, 2008

    Sheba - Je suis d'accord avec vous. Clairement cet étudiant n'aime pas le cours de français, et peut-être ce n'est pas le propre option pour lui. Est-ce qu'il y a des autres options pour des cours qu'il peut prendre à ce temps?

    Cela a dit, je pense toujours qu'il devrait être prèsent à la conférence.
     
  11. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Sorry it took so long to get back.

    I live in a medium sized city. Students at my school are on a credit system. They need a certain amount of credits to graduate. Students at the 11 and 12 grade levels have the opportunity for spares, where they have a free period. At this time they are supposed to be in the library, the cafeteria or they can leave school property. At the same time, we are a 2 building school, therefore kids leaving one building and going to another frequently. Therefore, if he leaves the building during break, he can easily say that his class is in the other building and get away with leaving. Our school has 1100 students. There is no way that every teacher can know every student as well as their schedule.

    The attendance policy is that after a teacher determined number of absences, the student can be removed from a class, however I was told by the administration that that usually only applies to upper level students - to remove a grade 9 or 10 student from a class would result in a spare...something they don't want.

    On top of everything else, he's on the football team and is going away tomorrow, so he won't be in class, nor will he be available to attend the conference. I am going to speak to his mother about that, although I'm not sure how much good it'll do...the season is almost over.

    Sheba - ce n'est pas une probleme de francais...quand il est en classe, il fait tres bien...meme quand il n'a pas recu l'explication. Je ne veux pas que ca soit une dialogue de langue. J'enseigne aussi l'immersion et je pense que trop d'enseignants/es pensent que si un etudiant a une probleme, c'est immediatement un probleme de langue.

    Canadian Gal - c'est peut-etre qu'il n'aime pas le francais, et si c'est le cas je ne sais pas pourquoi il l'a choisi. A son age le francais est un option. Mais, au meme temps, ca fait 7 semaines maintenant qu'on est a l'ecole. Il avait sa chance de changer de cours les premiers deux semaines.

    Je m'excuse que je n'ai pas d'accents...mon ordinateur ne fonctionne pas proprement....
     
  12. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Oct 23, 2008


    C'est specialement vrai avec des langues. Chaque edudient a son propre programme interne et il apprendra par cette programme sans tenir compte des avis des autres. Pour moi, quand j'etais son age, c'etais pas le vrai temps pour apprendre dedans une classe avec les livres nous avons etudie. Aujourd'hui, je voudrais se reunir mon professeur francias de niveau neuf (qui etais vraiment un professeur d'etude sociales) et voir si je peu parler plus francias que lui.
     
  13. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Au meme temps, il est maintenant a l'ecole secondaire. Pensez-vous que ce n'est pas le temps d'enseigner a nos eleves d'agir plus comme des adultes? Comme j'ai dit, le francais est un option, alors il a choisi de prendre le francais. Il a fait sa choix et je pense que, meme il le trouve plat, meme si il n'est pas interesse dans le francais, il devrait completer ce qu'il a commence. Je n'aime pas toujours ce que je dois faire, mais je le complete parce que je dois le completer.
     
  14. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Oui, c'est vrai quelquefois. Malheureusement, quelquefois quand ils sont a l'age quand on peu apprendre une nouvelle langue le plus rapide, on a le moindre interet.
     
  15. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Peut-etre il a pense que il aurait un temp facile avec une professeure que ne peut pas arreter absenteisme?
     
  16. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    sheba, je suis d'accord. C'est probable qu'il n'a pas d'interest...mais c'est trop tard de changer de cours maintenant. Je vais parler avec sa mere pour voir si il a choisi de prendre le francais ou si elle l'a choisi pour lui. De ce que je vois, je pense qu'il l'a choisi. J'ai entendu qu'il va prendre l'alemagne l'annee prochaine, alors je pense qu'il veux apprendre des langues, mais il ne veux pas faire le travail necessaire...

    Vraiment, c'est dommage. Il est extremement capable...
     
  17. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Mais ca c'est ma probleme...comment est-ce que je peux l'arreter???? J'ai parle avec sa mere, l'administration sait que j'ai une probleme avec cet eleve...je ne pas lui prendre par le main et lui marcher a classe...je lui trouverai jamais dans une ecole de 1100 eleves...

    Je ne sais pas quoi faire.
     
  18. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Shanoo - alt+130 = é, alt+131=â, alt+133=à, alt+135=ç, alt+136=ê, alt+138=è, alt+140=î, alt+144=É, alt+147=ô etc.

    Ça c'est comment je fais les accents lol. Si le français est un option, et il avait décider de prendre le cours de français, c'est nécessaire qu'il peut vivre avec les conséquences des décisions qu'il a décidé de prendre. Vous avez besoin d'expliqué cela à sa mère.
     
  19. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Je suis d'accord que cette une situation tres ridicule. A mon ecole en Coree s'il y a des edutiants absents je peu seulement parler avec la classe <<homeroom teacher>> et c'est tout. Tres rarement ce serait necessaire le fait encore un fois. Et mon coreen est plus, plus mauvaise que mon francais. C'est lamantable que vous parlez tous le deux langues officielles et vous etes impuissante fixer la. En cette situation je pense que vous devriez juste lui donner une disponible lecon.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 24, 2008

    Sorry if I repeat what others have posted; my French is pretty much nonexistant.

    In my school, cutting class is an administrative issue. I would check with administration as to their policy before this meeting.

    Done with this thread.
     
  21. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Alors, quand est la rencontre?

    (J'espere que c'etait correcte!)
     
  22. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2008

    Oy Vey! I hope there wasn't anything super educational in those posts for those of us who do not "Par-lay-voo Frahn-say" :lol:
     
  23. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Sorry, guys. I broke my own rule. I normally won't speak French around people who don't. I've been in that situation and it super sucks.

    For those of you who don't speak it, what Canadian Gal, Sheba and I were discussing was whether the student should be in French at all. Normally I am against moving students out of the French program when they are having difficulty. It has been my experience that too many teachers and parents believe that it is a language problem when it is not...students end up doing just as poorly in English.

    However, this student chose to take French as an elective. Therefore, if he isn't interested, he isn't required to take anymore. The problem is that we're halfway through the semester and he cannot transfer out of French now. He needs to see it through. I think it's a great lesson in following through with things even when you don't like them...cause everyone knows it happens all the time in the adult world.

    The meeting with Mom was yesterday and it went well. A few weeks ago concern letters went out to students. This students received letters from 3 out of his 4 teachers due to non attendance. Mom doesn't understand where this is coming from and is concerned that he has fallen in with the wrong crowd. I offered to get guidance involved, but she would rather see where this goes and give him the benefit of the doubt, so I'll let it go - for now.

    I did tell her that he is in danger of a failing grade on his progress report coming out next month. I gave her the assignments he is missing explaining that I'll be willing to mark them, however the assignments over a month late will only get half credit instead of full. I also told her that I would be willing to help him if he needed it and she is considering driving into school on a daily basis and walking him to my room at lunchtime for the extra help. So she says, anyway.

    All in all, I think it went well and we'll see how this changes. I am going to talk to the student next week and tell him that the gloves are off. I'm going to show him his marks and tell him that I've given him this one chance. Anymore and I'll get guidance and administration involved and he won't have opportunity to make up ANY of his assignments. Not done? Too bad. Wasn't here for it and you have no note from home? Too bad.

    Wish me luck....I think it's going to be a long few months
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Something I just thought of....

    When I was in high school, one of my classmates was really bad about skipping his academics. This was a boarding school for the performing arts, so we had a little bit more freedom, since there were 200 kids and 4 adults. Well, grade reports went home, and the mother called the teacher to see what was going on. She discovered attendence was bad, and decided that something drastic was in order. She flew into town, got a hotel room, and followed the kid EVERYWHERE...for 2 weeks. I don't think any of us skipped classes for those two weeks, and I know her son never skipped a class again.
     
  25. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2008

    I've thought of that as well, mmswm, and if his attendance doesn't improve, I'll definitely suggest it.

    On a similar note, I worked with a teacher last year who was having problems with a student being disrespectful in class and skipping. He called home and for the next week, she had a family member sitting right next to her in class. The teacher thought it was great and really taught her a lesson.
     

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