Parent Situation: Advice Needed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, May 6, 2019.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 6, 2019

    On Friday, I saw a student with her paper turned around showing another student her test. Her privacy folder was down, when it was supposed to be up. I turned her test around and made her put her privacy folder up. However, I noticed that both students tests were identical (even in terms of the work written in the margins, etc.) and including wrong answers. The students sit diagonally from each other so there is no way this student would have been able to see her answers otherwise. I know that I should have taken tests in that moment but I didn't.

    Student denies sharing her answers with other students. I am 100% that if I retested the other student, he would fail. This is not the first time her answers ended up on other students' papers. I had another student who had the same answers as her for another test, but he had a different test version and failed. Again, they were sitting diagonally from each other so he should not have been able to see her test.

    This student has been rude/disrespectful to me and I have just emailed mom since she has been chatty in class. I emailed mom to let her know of the situation and that the test needs to be retaken for an 80%. Mom emailed back saying that she feels I am targeting her daughter and wants a meeting with the principal. She says that I should have handled this on Friday (which is true, but this class is difficult to manage behaviorally and I wasn't able to. I had two kids making noises, one banging his head against the wall, etc.)

    The one mistake that I did make (that I was going to 'undo') was assigning this girl a session. I asked all of the kids to take their hw packets and put it in their backpacks or binders. Most of the kids complied but she did not even after I asked her personally about 3 times. After it was still out, I did tell her that she had a detention. I wasn't sure if this was the right "move" but again, I asked her to put it away 3 times. I like for all the kids to have hw away so they aren't doing it during the lesson. I was going to speak with the student after and tell her that I was disappointed that she did not follow directions and she does not have a session, but to make sure that she is following directions but I didn't get a chance.

    This situation is making me VERY nervous...thoughts?? I emailed my VP about it as well.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  2.  
  3. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    101

    May 6, 2019

    Hopefully you have a supportive administration. This parent will air her concerns but you need to have her test and the person she's letting look at her paper's test with you. If you have other evidence or data collection bring it. It is annoying this parent isn't on your side but come with the FACTS and hopefully letting her vent will get her off your back.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 6, 2019

    My administration is generally supportive but I have never had to have a meeting like this. So I am not sure what will happen...
     
  5. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    209

    May 6, 2019

    First, don't be nervous.
    Second, be factual, not emotional.
    Third, isn't having the privacy folder down reason enough to have to redo the test? Has there been any other instance where you had to deal with something similar that you can cite as your precedent or procedure?
    Fourth, the time that you address it doesn't change the action. You can reasonably say that you were giving them the benefit of the doubt for having broken test protocol, but once you saw the two tests were identical, if confirmed that your benefit of the doubt was misplaced.
    Fifth, don't be nervous. :)
     
    Tired Teacher, MrTempest and rpan like this.
  6. Luigia Rizzo

    Luigia Rizzo New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 7, 2019

    Don't get nervous. Everything will be solved. Just open up
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    470

    May 7, 2019

    Perhaps something to think about if a situation like this happens again is not to email when you have to break out-of-the-norm bad news like cheating in a test. Sometimes parents can’t tell the tone of the teacher from an email and may feel like the tone is too harsh or seems like picking on her kid. But if you ring then you can answer any questions on the spot and it may not seem as much a personal attack as an email may seem.
     
    stephenpe likes this.
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    139

    May 7, 2019

    Also, gather any evidence/documentation from other teachers and her file that show a history of behavior. Sometimes parents will try to contend all the problems started when you became her teacher. More objective you are, citing evidence, better the chance meeting will be objective versus personal.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 7, 2019

    My VP said that she and my principal have my back on this. She said that the girl needs to retake the test and that is what mom needs to hear. We agreed that she can retake it for up to a 100 to avoid issues.
     
    stephenpe and Tired Teacher like this.
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,461
    Likes Received:
    1,340

    May 7, 2019

    At the very least, the next time this student takes an assessment, I'm sure you will find a secluded area in the room where she can't show anyone her answers.

    I agree with the advice about documentation to protect yourself.

    And, don't worry too much. You are experiencing things that all teachers have to deal with at some point. Your P recognizes, as a new teacher, that you may need some support. That's a good thing.
     
    stephenpe likes this.
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 7, 2019

    I can't because I don't have enough desks or room. But I will give her a different form of the test and monitor more closely. I think mom will be mad if I move her seat/desk and no one else's.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  12. JimG

    JimG Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    141

    May 7, 2019

    You could redo the entire seating chart.
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 7, 2019

    I did redo the seating chart but the same thing has happened before with different students. I saw her answers on another student’s paper and I thought it was strange. However, they had different versions and the student ended up failing. I told the kid that he had the same answers as her and he said “but she was helping us!” and I was like “during a test???” I didn’t follow up on this but maybe I should have.

    I also saw her giving her geography work to another student in my class. I took it and emailed the geography teacher who told them they’re both losing points. This isn’t the first time this has happened.
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,461
    Likes Received:
    1,340

    May 8, 2019

    In my classroom, that student would be moved to a front row seat as far away from her friends as possible and monitored very carefully during tests. Who cares what mom says...this is your classroom to run as you see fit.
    I have even tested cheaters at my teacher desk where they have no access to other students. This child seems to have developed habits that no one is dealing with until you.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 8, 2019

    I try to monitor during tests as best I can but I have kids with behavior problems (noises, yelling, banging their heads, etc.) This is why I can't always monitor all of the kids as well as I want to.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,325
    Likes Received:
    557

    May 8, 2019

    FYI, her retest does not have to be the same test or even the same format. Just the same content. It isn't fair that she has the opportunity to study more than other students and get a 100. Especially after she has already seen the test questions. You need to develop a new test for her.
     
  17. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 9, 2019

    I do have a different "form" of a test w/ different numbers but I can change up some of the questions.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,325
    Likes Received:
    557

    May 9, 2019

    I would change a lot more than some. I would change the format, making some of the multiple choice questions short answer, changing the number of questions, etc. Not to be punitive, although I'd like to be, lol, but for a sense of fairness. Regardless if she cheated or not, she has already seen all of the questions. How is that fair to the students that were honest from the start?
     
  19. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 10, 2019

    Apparently the daughter says I call administration when kids sharpen their pencils in my class and sneeze too loudly. Completely ridiculous.
     
  20. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    209

    May 11, 2019

    You can't expect honesty in comments like that from a student that is cheating on a test. They need to discredit you to take the heat off of themselves. Hope it is working out.
     
  21. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    586

    May 11, 2019

    The thing is that I have had tons of management issues in this class. I have four students that are really difficult to handle. Behaviors include yelling + throwing things. I was told to call admin if the student is throwing things again, which is what I have had to do. i have also been told to call the social worker if another student is acting out. The last time I had to call, a student had thrown 2 objects around the room and sprayed another kid with a water bottle. I have never called because a kid was out of their seat or sharpening their pencil.

    The mom kept asking whether the students were allowed to talk during classwork, which is a yes, but only to their group. Her daughter likes to talk to a student outside of their group and wasn’t getting work done. In the meeting, the student said that she was trying to help them with the math (not true).
     
  22. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    101

    May 13, 2019

    Isn't it sad we have to teach in this type of environment? It saddens me that our kids have to live through this and that there are no true consequences for behaviors anymore!
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  23. westernira

    westernira New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 16, 2019

    You are right joyful. We can't trust but ultimately we didn't have any option.
     
  24. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    181

    Aug 25, 2019

    Oh, my! I am so sorry you have head bangers! I have had a couple of those types in the last few years. I had never seen that behavior before about 5 yrs ago. It sounds like you have your hands full!
    Several people have pretty much summed up what I'd do to the cheater child too. She'd be taking the test from now on at my desk. I never use it myself anyways.
    I know nowadays some teachers do not take cheating seriously. It is good you are willing to address it. I had a teacher who told me a few yrs ago, " Oh, he just uses his resources wisely!" (When talking about a boy who copied constantly.)
    I hope it all worked out for you. Some parents can be a pain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  25. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    155

    Sep 3, 2019

    I think you handled this about as well as you could have.

    Do you know of any other reason (even one that's not justifiable) the parent might think you're targeting her daughter? Punishments earlier in the year, any particular difference about your daughter, etc.? If there's nothing else, then perhaps the daughter had been going home for weeks saying you're targeting her for some reason, or are somehow unfair. If that's the case, this meeting could be a really good thing, a chance to show mom you're not crazy.

    As far as how to handle cheating students generally, maybe consider that the student giving it answers isn't so concerned about their grade, it's the ones asking for answers who are. The motivation of the student giving answers is probably her friendships. Isolating her (not just during the test) might be more effective.
     
  26. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    155

    Sep 11, 2019

    I do wonder about this one thing, though -- if she was giving out answers, clearly she felt she knew the material and other kids also felt like she did. So how does making her retake the test make sense except as a punitive measure? And how punitive can it really be? I mean, she seems to value her friends more than grades anyway.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,291
    Likes Received:
    937

    Sep 11, 2019

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, huh?
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ally06,
  2. waterfall,
  3. William VRiley,
  4. Backroads
Total: 515 (members: 4, guests: 490, robots: 21)
test