Should I talk to the teacher about this?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by LilyGirl01, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    MY daughter is a sophomore in HS, and she is in Honors in English, History, and she qualifies for Science but cannot be in the Honors class because her Math grade is low. She is in Resource for her organization and low Math grades, and she has a new AS teacher this year. She is the department chair, 30+ years experienced, and NBC. My daughter likes her, even though she does not teach, but " sets students up with the right people to help them" She gave in exam to my daughter's class, and the exam asked: What disability do you have? (LD, ED, etc) How do you feel about your disability? Who told you about your disability? Where were you when you needed help? Overall, how do you feel about your disability?"

    She said she had to write two pages on it, and my daughter she basically wrote she did not feel she was at all disabled, and no one ever told her, though she has an IEP.

    I am hoping that she is not going to fail because she did not admit she had a disability, and I feel as though the exam is basically saying there is something wrong with her.

    What would you do in this situation? Should I talk to the teacher and ask her to give my daughter an alternate exam?
     
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  3. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    Just to add, this will count for 20 percent of her grade.
     
  4. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    I would contact the teacher and ask for a scoring rubric to find what criterion is being assessed.

    Any teacher in their right mind would not dock points because a student feels they do not have a disability, and rightfully so.
     
  5. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    Thanks so much, jwteacher!
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Can your daughter ask the teacher how the assignment will be graded? Your daughter sounds like a very bright girl who can speak for herself. As a sophomore, teachers are looking for students to take responsibility...this is a good opportunity for her to do so.
     
  7. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Wow - what a surprising thing for a teacher to ask. However, at the age of 14, children are encouraged to sit in on their own IEP meetings and participate. They also need to learn to advocate for themselves as they prepare for college and/or the workplace. So, I can see how having a child reflecting on the reason she has an IEP can be a good idea.

    For what it's worth, I have a hearing impairment and don't consider myself "disabled" either. However, I do sometimes have to advocate for myself and be aware of how I can and do utilize coping strategies.
     
  8. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    It sounds more like a reflection or an essay than an exam. In that case, there is no right or wrong answer. There's certainly nothing wrong with your daughter saying she does not consider herself disabled. I don't know what an "AS teacher" is in your state, but I am hoping that this is a special education teacher who asked these things. (It's not the business of a student's gen ed teacher to have students discuss this matter in such depth.)

    It is important for students to understand the language of special education, which unfortunately, still uses the word disability. I have high school students in special education who come to me not knowing what an IEP is, what special education means, and what a learning disability is. Since the point of special education is to help students learn to work around their challenges, it's important for them to understand the nature of their challenges and how special ed services can help them succeed.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It would have to be fully explained that it is a reflection essay and there are no right or wrong answers. Otherwise I can see myself being upset by this question, but from an adult point of view, I would be able to go into great detail to explain my answer. From a student's point of view, who often is still discovering themselves, it is an awkward question that would be best served by other means than a test question. I find the whole thing a bit kooky. It might have been well intentioned, but still kooky.

    While I think she could talk to the teacher herself, because it comes with a stiff grading penalty, I would also keep an eye on it and be ready to ask questions if necessary.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    What is AS? I would not expect any teacher to give this kind of test for a grade.
     
  11. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Sounds like the teacher is trying to get to know her students better! I respect teachers that ask students to reflect on their own experiences. The teacher is probably trying to learn more about her students needs in order to design curriculum to meet their individual needs. There can't be a right or wrong answer for this essay question, just reflections. You can always email the teacher and ask. Better to go right to the source and ask what the objective for the lesson was and how it will be scored.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I teach elementary so this is from a mom point of view...

    There are many chances to advocate for oneself in this realm but having to confront a teacher about whether something should be a grade or not, is not one of them. After more reflection, I think I would ask the teacher about the grading portion of it and the purpose. Let her explain.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm surprised regarding the writing prompt. The word disabled means that the person is not able in some ways, and that is not the case. A lot of people with disability feel that they are not any less "able" than anyone else, and rightfully so.
    A friend of mine is hearing impaired; he teaches high school (deaf students), he also taught college for 20 years, he gives lectures, etc. He does not let anyone do anything for him. I went out to dinner with him and his wife a couple of times, and he was the one who always made the reservations. I don't sign, but that doesn't stop him from communicating with me, and it doesn't stop me from understanding him. Of course his wife is right there to assist, but it's not like she has interpret everything.
    Would he say he has a disability? Absolutely not!

    In my opinion, as long as your daughter wrote her thoughts, according to the rubric (organization, format, content, etc) she should not loose any points, just because she has a different point of view.

    If I was the teacher,i would have added an alternate prompt, something to the effect of "If you do not believe you have a disability, explain your thoughts on that".
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It sounds like you are happy with the teacher and your daughter feels like the teacher is a great resource. Therefore, I say you should trust the teacher. Trust that she will be happy that her student doesn't consider herself disabled and would not penalize her for such a statement.

    If the grade comes back low, THEN you should ask some questions. But not now.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    If you wait until AFTER the grade comes back to find out what the grading rubric is or the purpose of the assignment AND the grade comes back low, you will look like a parent trying to get a higher grade for her child. However, if you ask the purpose and the grading rubric in advance, it shows you have questions about the assignment. Both can really irritate a teacher, but if you do it in advance you won't look like a grade sucker.

    Is AS teacher, academic support teacher - like a resource teacher? If so, this assignment may be to get an understanding regarding how your child views herself and her challenges she faces because she needs to approach learning and possibly other things differently than the majority of people.

    Has this teacher been working with them on being able to advocate for themselves by understanding how their deficit areas impact learning and life skills, and this "exam" is supposed to assess how well the student is able to explain the impact of the docuemented disability? Just a thought since we aren't sure what AS teacher means for sure.
     
  17. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    Sorry for not being clear:whistle: AS is Academic Support.

    I asked her if there was a rubric, and she said no. A friend of mine's daughter is also in that class, and is physically disabled, and said her daughter did not have to do it, only freshmen/sophomores/juniors.

    I think I might ask.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sometimes teachers have rubrics for grading but the students do not.
     
  19. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I used to work with high school students. Each term, several high needs students were placed with me. None of them identified that they were "special" in any way.
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    What would the honors science consist of? Would it be a math-heavy science course?

    If not, there is no reason to deny access based on a math grade, provided that the low math grades are a result of disability
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    You have received a variety of opinions here as well as understanding that the teacher's reasonings could be a variety of things. That suggests that if you do talk to her, you should ask her her side and then decide from there. Other than that... whether you should now or later or not all all...


    What does your mommy gut tell you?
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Bros, all of our honors science courses, except Biology (first level), have pre-requisite math courses associated with them because of the math required to succeed in the course . Chemistry, physics, and other science courses are math heavy which is why when we talk about science we also talk about successful math students. Math is key to almost every science job.

    The difference between our Honors and non-honors level science courses is concepts vs application. The honors courses are heavy in application. Thus, if a student's disability impacts math in such a way that they aren't being successful, the pre-requisite disallows them from taking the honors level course. The student isn't being kept out because of the disability but the failure to may sufficient progress in the math course. The why the student isn't making enough progress can be dealt with in an IEP meeting, but since the rule applies to both special education students and regular education students, it is not a disability issue.

    However, our school used to deny special education support to students that qualified to be in the Honors science and upper level math courses when they needed that support for other areas of functioning (organization, behavioral, language, etc). That is a violation. But failing Algebra 1 so they can not take Honors Chem is not a violation based on disability.
     
  23. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    This I would definetly advise against. I take offense when parents ask these types of questions for elementary, unless it is a project the parent is helping the student with. For high school, the students need to be responsible on their own.
     
  24. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I suggest you get over that offense, and let the parent be the parent.
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Let me do my job and don't worry about the details of it. Unless there is a significant issue at hand, you are on a need to know basis. For the most part, the parent does not need to know.
     
  26. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I think you may be using sarcasm here? But I must respond, just in case. Callmebob, you may not know this, but when an IEP is involved, the parent is legally mandated to be part of the team that makes educational decisions for their child. It's that parent's legal right to be informed when it comes to their child's education. This could entail observing classes and asking their child's teachers questions about their child's classes and assignments.
     
  27. MissJill

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    callmebob, you would find it offensive if a parent asked for a scoring rubric? Don't you hand them out before an assignment?
     
  28. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    WOW - as a parent, I have every right to be involved in the education of my children and if I would like to know how an essay will be graded, I should have that right. As a teacher, I would have no issues with allowing parents access to my rubrics and/or grading process.
     
  29. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I was not reffering to students with IEP's, I was speaking about students and the class in general.
     
  30. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I don't have scoring rubrics for every single assignment I do. If there is a big assignment or project, then yes there is quite often a rubric for the students.
    INteacher- as I said, most big assignments have basic rubrics, detailed at this age, no. But not all of our writing assignments have them either, it just depends on how big it is.
     
  31. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I would hope that even if an assignement doesn't have a formal scoring rubric that the teacher would give me the basic guidelines he/she were using to score a paper. My feeling is that the assignment is more for the teacher to get to know the students and the teacher probably needs to change the wording of the assignment for next year. I would bet that it is more of a completion grade and possibly a general writing assessment for the class so the teacher can decide what to teach to benefit the kids the most.
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Ahhh

    In my HS, around 90% of the honors science courses couldn't be taken unless you got advanced proficient on a test in 5th grade. So the people who weren't geniuses in fifth grade could only take honors biology and then more interesting science courses like Marine Science.

    Denying because the student failed a course is perfectly reasonable. Denying because they think the student wouldn't be able to do it because of the disability is unreasonable (which is what the school almost took my parents to due process over in HS, me and my parents wanted me in honors history, the teachers wanted me in honors history, but the case manager didn't believe anyone on an IEP could be in an honors course because they are disabled).
     
  33. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    Thank you so much for all of the advice! Unfortunately, I think I may need to go to the teacher with this.

    In all honesty, I do not know WHY my daughter needs to attend that class. Last year, she had an awesome teacher who helped her with Math, but this teacher repeatedly says she does not know how to do the Math. If my daughter needs help with a question, she says " Hold on, I need to check my email," and then goes about sitting at her desk and sending students to get supplies out of her box, sends them to library to work on recovering content, etc She makes them write Journals everyday, and that is the only grade they have.
     
  34. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    I sent an email to the teacher. Thank you so much for the advice!
     
  35. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I hope you hear something back soon. Is there a way that your daughter could take this class with a math teacher?
     
  36. LilyGirl01

    LilyGirl01 Rookie

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    No, but I wish!
     

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