Teacher vs Student Responsibilities

Discussion in 'General Education' started by msmullenjr, May 1, 2010.

  1. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    May 1, 2010

    Some of the other threads got me thinking... How often to do contact parents? What do you contact them about? What warrants a note/email/phone call?

    Someone mentioned that their son went 7 months of virtually no hw, and I completely agree with the whole Boot Camp year (loved it) I honestly thought why did the teacher wait so long to tell you?

    I think students, especially my grade level, should be responsible by now, but when do you step in?
     
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  3. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    May 1, 2010

    I struggle with this.. We are working on water contracts right now and there are days I do not assign any homework so they can work on their contract assignments. I still have kids not turning assignments in on time. I also let them work on assignments in class. I had to make a phone call this week and send a letter home.

    One parent I contacted asked her son if he had any homework..He said no even though he knew he was behind in his work. In this case, shouldn't the parent send an email to the teacher to verify this??
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 1, 2010

    I send home weekly homework packets which I check for completeness daily. There is a parent signature/comment box for each day on the cover sheet, so parents can let me know of any questions or concerns. I also send home all corrected work, school communications in 'Friday Folders'. The parents know to look for this folder on Fridays- this way paperwork doesn't end up crunched at the bottom of backpacks and never seen by parents. I'm also easily available via my school website/email. I rarely call home because I maintain a strong school-home connection through the above- phone calls are for urgent concerns or behavior/work issues that need to be addressed in a more timely fashion.
     
  5. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I have hw posted on my website that parents can access. For those parents who do not have internet st home, I have weekly hw logs. Students are responsible for filling it in. If there is no hw for a specific subjest or night, they are required to write "none". This way something is written each day for parents to check. To cut down on "fibs", they will get detention for writing none if there is in fact hw. I collect them each Monday.

    If a student goes more than a few days of no hw, I will contact parents. We have a hw room where the students go during recess to do their unfinished hw. They would much rather do it at home.
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 1, 2010

    Our local school systems use planners. The students are supposed to write down their homework assignments each day and the parents sign (or initial) the planner each night. This isn't a perfect system, by any means. Kids often "forget" to write their homework down and there is no real follow-up from the teachers. Some check each morning to make sure the planner was signed, but I've never gotten a call (or email) from a teacher saying "I saw that you signed Johnny's planner last night, but I felt you should know he had homework that he did not write down yesterday".

    Responsibility does go both ways. Last year, I had an incident with a teacher when my son's Reading grade went from an "A" to a "D" in one grading period. It turns out that, although he was doing plenty of reading, he did not take any of the AR (Accelerated Reading) tests on the books he read. These tests give the students AR points based on their test score and each teacher has specific "point requirements" in their class. My biggest concern was that the teacher NEVER contacted me or his mother to let us know he wasn't doing the work required. Our first indication he wasn't doing his work was the report card. Needless to say, I went to the teacher AND the principal over this. We eventually agreed on a resolution to the situation.

    On the flip side of that, I received an unexpected email from my son's current teacher (he's in a different school system this year) that he wasn't bringing his planner to class and also had not been turning in his hw. She also listed his current grades in each class. I sent her a reply thanking her for telling me about this situation and promised I would speak with my son about his hw assignments when he comes to my house.

    All it takes is a quick email to let the parents know their child is falling behind or not doing his/her work. After that, it's on the parent and the student to correct the situation.
     
  7. glen

    glen Companion

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    May 1, 2010

    I send a HW sheet home on Mondays outlining the HW for the week. My 8th grade students are responsible, so I only do it for their own use and to give them an idea of what the week will look like. My 7th graders, on the other hand, try to get away with everything possible. For them, I give them 2 copies- one to hang on to and one for their parents to sign and return. During the week, I note missing work and test grades on the sheet. The students get the sheet back on Friday to have their parents sign again over the weekend. For the most part, the system works. However, I do have parents that have admitted to not reading the HW sheet or the notations I've made. They say they just sign it without going over it.:mad:

    I'm hoping I don't have to do this again next year- most of the irresponsible kids are leaving (we're a private school), and the upcoming 7th graders seem to be much more responsible as a group.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I send a HW calendar home in the students' agenda book (each student has one-an agenda that is) every Monday. The agenda is the schools' means of communication between the teacher and students. Parents will write notes in them, if needed, and likewise. Any "missing HW report" or discipline report goes home in the agendas as well, are signed, and returned in the agendas. Personally, I really like this method because parents can see if something is missing from their student. If the students do not return missing hw reports signed, it turns into a discipline form in which they lose 1 pt. of conduct on their record (this policy is school wide).

    I agree that teachers need to inform the parents. During the last bimester, my daughter's Spanish teacher came up to me, on the day that grades were submitted, and told me she was concerned about my daughter's grade. There was missing work, etc. Ok, these are great things to know, so why was I being told that late in the game??? I was very upset because if I should have been notified much earlier so I could remedy the situation with my daughter.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Even after the 4th grade year fiasco of not being told for 7 months that my child was missing most of his homework for the year...

    In the 6th grade I was told my child was missing 14 assignments in one class THREE days before the reporting period. I feel I was only told this because I just happened to be in the building at the time for a volunteer thing (I was rarely in the building). Otherwise I might not have been told at all. This is what started the whole boot camp thing.

    In fact, I have NEVER YET been told when my child is MANY assignments late. Yes, it ticks me off. Now we have an online way but even then, I would hope that the parent would be notified if the child is really behind in something.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    That's pretty much the way it happened with me. My daughter's Spanish teacher told me her concern about my daughter, again on the day we teachers had to submit grades, just because I ran into her while getting coffee on campus. So, if I had never been getting coffee at the same time as she, it would have been a surprise when I saw the report card. Oh, to top it all off, she was showing me my daughter's assignments in the gradebook, and it turned out that she had given my daughter a 0 on a project because my daughter had done the project late and the teacher forgot to change the grade. We only discovered it because I questioned why my daughter had a 0. It's pretty hard to get a 0 unless you just don't do it, right? When I questioned her, she apologized and said my daughter actually had a 100% on that at which point she changed the grade, and it brought my daughter's overall grade up by one whole grade. Sheesh. Talk about frustrating.
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    May 2, 2010

    We use an online grade book. I post all assignments Monday morning for the week (HW, CW, quizzes, tests). During Open House, I inform parents that their child has 15 minutes of HW M-TH, no exceptions. Quiz every Friday. I also send home a letter with all of this info and request a parent signature for acknowledgment. I sign planners if requested.

    My school is very big on phone calls - phone contact must be made for each issue. Parents can email me if they want - but if it's a sensitive topic, I will call them back instead. I'll call home for behavior issues/refusing to complete work in class. I'll call home if a tricky kid had a really great day or someone just did something totally awesome in class. But I'll be honest - I'm tired of making phone calls. Especially when there's only one phone for 50 teachers to use and I end up calling from home. Plus, conferences can be set up anytime after school during the year.

    All in all though - it's a pretty good system and we don't really have any complaints about parents not being informed. I think their biggest issue is our stance on student responsibility. As in "Kids are responsible for their work - not the teachers." :lol:
     
  12. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    May 2, 2010

    I'm in the high school this year, but I think a weekly newsletter at the elementary level to let parents know general info about the classroom is a must.

    As far as what constitutes a phone call home, well, I struggle with this. After last year, I realized I needed to set up some criteria for myself as to what gets a note or a phone call. I also needed to decide how many incidents of each behavior merited a parent contact. For example, one night of forgotten homework does not merit a contact, two does. A kid who has one rough day, depending on the kid and the circumstances might not get a parent contact, unless it's completely out of character, but two days does. For kids who are struggling with the material, I usually send a note home with some ideas for things they can do to practice these skills. If the student does poorly on a test, I call home to touch base with the parent and then usually try to set up times such as recess 1-2 days a week or after school to work with the student 1:1. These are just general examples though and I think it's important to play everything by ear depending on the student.

    Last year, I had a student whose mom was undergoing a kidney transplant. When he came in missing homework during the times mom was in the hospital, I would have him eat his lunch with me and we would do the homework together and then send him to recess. He loved it because I would play music and he could just relax. In this situation, I never would have called home. They had enough going on. But I have found that establishing some general guidelines is very helpful.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 2, 2010

    Perhaps this is an individual teacher thing, but I send a note home for each HW assignmnet not done. This is simply to inform the parents that it wasn't turned in and should be turned in the following day. If not, the student has a 0, and might never turn it in. So for my 1st graders, it takes mom and dad to ask, "Where is ____?" Usually, if I do not send a note home, I do not get the HW.
     
  14. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    As a parent I'd like to say :thanks:. It seems like you are teaching responsibility, yet at the same time keeping the child's education foremost. Yes they should be responsible and that is what we need to work toward, but they are not grown yet. Yes they should receive consequences for not doing what they are supposed to, but we shouldn't wait until they fail to contact parent.
     
  15. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    I wasn't clear. We use a district provided planner which I check and initial each day. This way I know that all my students have filled out their planner. This is the first thing they do in the morning and is a part of our routine so it's all done before morning announcements. If they come in the next day without the homework, I circle the missing assignment in the planner, write missing, and initial. I guess that would be my first contact. I would only call home if it wasn't turned in the next day.
     
  16. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    May 2, 2010

    Your system sounds great! Unfortunately, some of the teachers ran into problems with recess detentions with parents and admin. So my question would be what recourse would you use if a parent refused to let their child stay in for recess?
     
  17. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    wow - in our school staying in from recess isn't a parent issue. We decide.
     
  18. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    Yup, it was quite the big to-do last year. So many parents complained about it, that the principal said we couldn't keep the students in for recess :rolleyes:
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    now that is ridiculous! We have no consequences left. My old school wouldn't let us keep in from P.E. but we have always been able to keep in from recess. I do this at kinder level - not for homework, but behavior. Recess is not part of the curriculum.

    I heard a news story last week here about parents being furious about kids having silent lunch when they didn't bring homework. How insane???? Good lord, if my kinders don't do their job, they can have silent lunch and yet some parents were worried about their 5th graders sitting by themselves.

    I definitely believe in consequences for not doing what you are supposed to do, but I do believe parents need to be kept informed.
     
  20. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    May 2, 2010

    Well, let me clarify two things...
    1. We have a hw room at recess (the 5 teachers in my building volunteer to take one day a week) which gives the child a chance to complete the assignment. This is so I don't have to give a zero for the hw. Hopefully they can finish it, or at least get partial credit. If they finish quickly, they are free to head out to recess.

    2. Recess Detention is for behavior issues. If they lie to their parents on the hw log, I make the decision to keep them in. Their parents don't have to like it, but discipline at school is not up to them.

    On a side note, the only real complaints we've had all come from parents of one teacher. She gives what parents (and many teachers) consider an excessive amount of hw. The students have a hard time finishing it if they are involved in any extra curricular activities.
     
  21. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    May 2, 2010

    Oh and I explain at the beginning of the year (in a very positive way) that this system really keeps the kids focused and prepares them for middle school. I also show them what typical hw looks like in my class, which compared to the above mentioned 5th grade teacher seems reasonable.
     

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