Parent Problems!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Iris228, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Iris228

    Iris228 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2006

    I am a young new teacher and having problems with a difficult parent. How much HW is appropriate in Kindergarten and should the child be responsible for putting it in his/her take home folder?

    I am giving HW 3 times a week, not on Fridays and have the kids put it in their folder. One parent is complaining that there wasn't HW at all this week, but there was on Mon/Tue/Thurs.

    I found out that her child did not remember to put their HW in their folder on Thurs., it was in their bin outside of the folder and never made it home. As for Mon/Tues I know I got HW turned in from this child. I told her this and also promised to look into where his HW assignment was from Thurs. (thats when I discovered it never mad it home). She then turned away from me shook her head and sighed as she walked away. I felt embarassed and amazed at how rude she was to me. She then complained about this to my superior, who asked me to explain the situation and then told me she is notorioius for being difficult and rude and to not let her push me around.

    Suggestions?? Is there something I should change about what I am doing? How much HW do you give? Do you have your students record it somwhere? Am I wrong to trust kindergarteners to put it in their folders themselves?
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Don't worry. You are a new teacher doing your best. No matter how long you've been teaching you will ALWAYS encounter a parent who complains about something.

    These little guys need alot of modeling and help to do things. This is there first year in school for most of them. I think you have to guide them through the process and SHOW them what you mean. They are too little to just follow verbal directions. Take a few minutes and model for them what you want done. Have them do it. Then walk around the room and check to see if it's done and praise, praise, praise.
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Well, what I do to make homework easy is I put all assingments together into a pack with a cover sheet with big words on top saying Homework Pack. So, it goes home on Monday and then returned on Friday. A lot of them keep it in their folder for safe keeping. It really works. It just makes it easier then seding home work everyday and returning homework everday. But, that parent was very rude. It's so irratating how some don't seem to respect us, or they forget that we have 19 other little fellows that we need to watch and teach.
     
  5. Iris228

    Iris228 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Thanks. I am just feeling a little upset because of how rude she was. The way I had been doing it seemed to work for the previous teacher because I took over just this month. I had been keeping her routines because the children seem familiar with them. I meet in small groups, do today's assigments while the others meet in centers. Then I assign the homework and then ask them to put it in their folders right at the table. Parents know the folder should go home each night with the HW. This one child I have to watch because they don't follow directions. He constantly leaves the table when he is not done with work, or doesn't bring his folder to meet to begin with. I have to really be on top of him. He's the only one I have had this problem with so far. And your right it is hard keeping up with so many little ones who need you for everything! It is quite a difficult age.

    I like the idea of a homework packet though. You give the HW for the whole week on Monday? Do you note when each assignment is due or is it all due at the end of the week?
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Nov 18, 2006

    I would have the children put the homework in their folders as part of the routined before they go home. You can do this at the end of the day and make sure that you go around to chek it. also I would keep a log of any contact that you make to parents. you can do this by getting an organixzer and recoreding the time of the call, the parents and students name and writing a brief message of what you talked about. I do this and I show it to administrators. It help me recall information and I have it documented. Anyway all teachers have problem parents and it is good to show what strategies you have used. It seems like the administration is supporting you. Good luck! Terry G.
     
  7. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2006

    In the big scheme of things, missing an entire WEEK of HW would not end the world! I have finally realized that myself! I usually tell parents "with issues" that it is PRACTICE, an extension of classroom work. It is required, yes, but occasionally something goes awry at home or elsewhere, and DOING THEIR BEST to get it done is the important thing.

    We have our homework prepped and stuffed into students' Homework Folders, ready to go on Monday. The bright-colored, laminated folders are hard to overlook. The homework itself has a checkoff list for each day (Mon-Thur). Students are told to return it on Friday (I have a "Homework Tub" on the counter for deposits!).

    Before students actually walk out the door to go home on Monday, I quickly scan the cubbies where the folders were, and can see if someone missed picking it up.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 18, 2006

    My child recieved a notebook with a calendar in it. On the calendar is an assignment for each day of the week. They are told to return the journal, 4 assignments from that week, and the parents initials on which homeworks they did (doesn't matter what dates they picked, just that they were from that week). The kids like picking what they wanted to do. I liked having freedom to do it any time during the week or all week if I choose. It goes back on Friday.
     
  9. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Our students need to do the assignment on a certain day, since in many cases, they would otherwise be attempting work we hadn't introduced in class yet. Our homework is closely aligned with each week's lesson plans for direct reinforcement.

    One parent let her student do the entire week's homework one night, and the schedule we gave her made so much more sense after she realized why Thursday's homework was so difficult for her child to do on Monday night! :-D
     
  10. Iris228

    Iris228 Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Thank you guys for the great ideas and support.

    I think I am going to start sending home a weekly newsletter detailing the classroom events. I am also going to attatch a table detailing the HW assignments for the week, since as srh mentioned the HW directly relates to the learning taking place each day. Behind the table I will include any dworksheets, papers, etc. needed for the assignments.

    Does HW 3x's a week seem appropriate? Thats what the previous teacher was doing, and it seemed good to me. I think parents are putting too much empahasis on this and too much pressure on their kids!
     
  11. bicycle teach

    bicycle teach Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Dear Iris,
    Looks like everyone took good care of you. I found that the little one's who don't follow direction etc. oftentimes have a parent such as you've described. Her behavior was uncalled for and she probably does like to "stir things up." She may never be happy. You've taken on something big if you just stepped in for previous teacher. I think you made good judgements by going with what previous teacher had lined out. Later on, you can change what you feel like. 2 noncommittal answers someone gave me were , "I'm sorry you feel that way." and "I'll take that into consideration." Rest assured you are not the only person she treats rudely. Focus on your positive parents and do the best you can. You'll do great!
     
  12. Ann2006

    Ann2006 Cohort

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I have middle schoolers who still need to stop, copy assignments into their agendas, and be told which books should go home. Don't be so hard on yourself. Homework is practice and that parent was rude still it's irritating when we go over the homework in class and the same students don't have it so they are lost when we move long to the next lesson. What can you do? The best we can and hope for the best.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I don't think homework 3 nights a week is too much. It's good for them to get into the routine of sitting down and doing homework each night. These kids also have to learn responsibility. I only have one student who continually forgets their homework folder, all the others know it is their job to bring it to school. I don't think it's too much to ask that they put their own homework in their folders in the afternoon. And you're right, she was rude. But it sounded like you handled it really well.
     
  14. MsAnn

    MsAnn Companion

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    Nov 19, 2006

    What you decided to do is exactly what I was going to recommend. My son actually even did this in 1st grade (which I thought he should have been responsible for himself really) but it's completely acceptable in Kindergarten. Just be sure to be clear what sheet is what, we had a bit of an issue trying to figure out what the teacher was talking about on certain assignments.

    Three times a week is fine for Kindergarten. If parents want more they can supplement at home. If you choose to add something else you could always implement a homework craft. I wouldn't overload them at this age though because you don't want them to hate school. :)
     
  15. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Well, guess I'm old fashioned because I think hw three times a week in kinder is too much. I'm sure I'm not in the majority here, but I don't believe in HW for homework's sake in K. I do send 1 handwriting sheet home a week to learn our D'Nealian style. I may ask for a family project once in awhile, but that is basically it. In my class, learning is hands on. I teach all day K, and by the time they go home, they have used a lot of brain power in one day. I don't think they need to go home and do tedious work. I reinforce what they learned in center activities throughout the week. I send a newsletter home on Fridays letting parents know exactly what our highlights were.....(new word wall words, math activities, etc.). They can discuss this at home if they choose, and that should be in casual conversation. If a particular student is struggling, then I will send home supplemental activities for them to do.
     
  16. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Even if we didn't require homework already, parents would be asking. Our school is accelerated, and if they're not in the swing of things by the end of Kinder (homework, personal responsibility, etc.), they are going to have a much harder time in first grade and beyond. We don't overload on the actual homework, but we do know it helps get them into the right frame of mind for responsibility and continuity of learning. Besides that, many parents would have no other reason to ever get involved in Kindergarten school life!!

    Iris--it sounds like you've got it figured out. And just so parents will always know you're "on top of things," you can choose one standard a week and add it in your newsletter. I do that so that parents get an idea of all the things we are required to cover during the year. To go with that, I wrote up (in kid language) short versions of each standard, i.e., "We know about people in history." I put these laminated strips at the top of the name chart (where they turn their name around every day) and they take turns reading it while they check in. It is the same one I put in the newsletter. The kids love reading "big words" (I go over it with them on Monday first), and when parents are in the room, it all makes sense! Good luck!
     
  17. Iris228

    Iris228 Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2006

    Thanks for all the kind words and advice everyone. It is much appreciated.
     
  18. toystory365

    toystory365 New Member

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    Nov 21, 2006

    I'm a parent, not a teachher but thought I might be able to help. At the beginning of the school yr, my son recieved his homework book. It is a yellow duotang that has ALL the homework from Sept - Dec in it. Each week, we are responsible for completing the appropriate worksheets. She also hands out a calander at the beginning of each month to let us know what the letter of the week is, so you can tell what is this weeks work is assuming you are on top of things!. We hand it in at the end of the end of the week, the teacher reviews it & returns it back to kids at the beginning of the next week. They have a mailbag for all communication so they are resposible for putting the duotang in their own bag & brining the bag to the teacher each morning.
     
  19. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Nov 27, 2006

    We did the packet for the whole week, after getting parent input. It was Monday-take home, Friday-return.

    Our administration was really involved in the K HW policies. ;)
     
  20. Iris228

    Iris228 Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2006

    I've started doing a weekly newsletter with the weeks sight words and homework attatched. There is also a spot for parent comments. I have gotten a great response from this from several parents. So it seems to be working for me!
     
  21. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Awesome! Glad to hear that you found something that works for you! I used to do this monthly calendar that my partner teacher was doing. But, having to keep track of homework on a daily basis was not working for me. That's why I switched to weekly homework pack. I also made sure I had space on my homework pack for parent comments. I never thought, though, of attaching a weekly newsletter to the homework pack. I have a montly newsletter on my website, but I kind of like that idea too!! I could do all of the sight words, decodable book that we're reading that week, math concepts that we're leraning, letters/sounds, and so on, for that week, so parents see's how it corresponds to the hoemwork!! Hmmmmm....
    Thanks for the idea!
     
  22. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Nov 30, 2006

    Don't worry a parent contacted the Vice Principal and told her instead of me, that I wasn't giving grade appropriate homework. The principal came and told me. I got upset. I feel that if parents have a problem with something you're doing they should first address it with you and not go directly to the administration with their complaint.
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 30, 2006

    Gosh, I hate it when parents do that! I haven't had that happen to me, but I've heard it happen to many teachers. I don't understand why parents don't mention these things to the teacher's first.
     
  24. LoveKinder

    LoveKinder Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2006

    Mrs. Williams,
    I am a kindergarten teacher and we are really being pushed to give homework. I was wondering if you can maybe describe what activities you include for a week in the HW packs?



    Mudpie1598,
    I was wondering what you were giving for homework that the parent thought was not grade appropriate. Did you have to end up changing it after your vice principal talked with you? If you had to change it what did you change it to?

    Thank you Both
     
  25. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Nov 30, 2006

    Hi,

    I was giving 1-2 worksheets a day of:
    1. Name Practice writing
    2. Number writing
    3. Dot-to-dots *where kids had to connect A-Z*
    4. The Alphabet (gave them one sheet of this one day)
    5. Color a bird blue, copy the letter "P" over and over

    According to the parent (who wants her child out of my class because her daughter is advanced, etc.) this was seen as too easy for her child who is already reading, writing words, etc.

    I changed it to include 5 sight words for them to study a week, write the sight words, spot the sight words activity, more complex math which dealt with counting from 0-10. More "word" related worksheets like, words that begin with the Letter D or letters that we worked on throughout the week. etc.

    I do weekly homework packets. I'll include about 2 worksheets per day. One on language arts and the other one on math. They get about 10 pages a week including their sight words to study for the quick test that I give them on Fridays. During Workshop I pull them aside and verbally ask them to tell me what sight word I'm pointing to. This helps me know their progress. Any words that they don't know I send a note telling the parents that they need to go through them or I'll just drill them or play "Around The World" with the words.
     
  26. thebestoftimes

    thebestoftimes New Member

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    Dec 2, 2006

    Oooo...those kindergarten parents. Out of a large class of 26 I have two that need to have control over EVERYTHING! These children are the first through the school system and they just find it hard to let go. They want to micro-manage the whole program! Everyday one of them is at the door saying, "I just have one question..." Arggggh! I tried to be pleasant and diplomatic but enough is enough! They NEVER think any school rule applies to them AND yet if any change in routine comes their way they are the first to gripe. They have alienated other parents from themselves because of their very poor behavior. I've had it!!Comments...Suggestions...
     
  27. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Dec 2, 2006

    I usually ask the office not to let parents through until about 2-3 months into the school year. This helps me focus on the children. Also, you could simply tell them that any concerns they have can be addressed at the next conference meeting because you can't be taking school time to talk to them. Or talk to them after-school ask them to wait until them.
     
  28. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2006

    Well, we touched on many of the items mudpie posted.;)

    In addition:

    #1 HOMEWORK WAS:
    *Reading nightly--a parent logbook was signed, and we had a bookworm in our classroom that was made from circle segments that the parents filled out. The kinders loved our worm, and it circled 1 1/2 times around our room.

    * They practiced the word cards. The words were taken from
    our core reading program and the PP/Primer/Dolch lists for K-2 Literacy. They encouraged their child to read, spell, & write them....& looked for them in the stories they read together.
    They also used them in complete sentences, by taking a few each night..

    *Mini-books were sent home to read and enjoy.The books were theirs to keep; & could record them on the reading log too!

    *Guided reading books were sent home and returned in a Ziploc with a signed card after their child read the book to them.

    *Writing journals were returned each day- we asked them to please not write for their child but let them write or draw their own thoughts. For some children, we sent an individual page. This followed our classroom work.

    **We also considered our Borrower's Bag, Writing Suitcase, Mystery Box, Manipulative Check Outs, and Super Bear Journal to all be homework that was certainly voluntary, but any of the reading/writing/math connections involved could be documented for the week as homework. There was a box in the documentation for the child to write their "favorite thing" of the week. They could save these for their portfolios.

    Just some ideas. Our kiddos liked many of these...the answer, like all teaching, is to try to make learning fun. Homework not work...a partnership to demonstrate & reinforce school program at home.:love: ;)

    Good Luck!
     
  29. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2006

    I think the parent was rude. Personally I do not send home work home with my little kids (kindergarten to 3rd grade). My 4th grader usually has math homework because he never finishes it on time in class.
    And my second grader does have homework if he forgets to do his morning math (which for him is actually afternoon math).
     

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