What an eye opener :(

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, May 7, 2020.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 7, 2020

    No, distance learning will not work!!
    This past week I have gotten a real eye opener and I am very disappointed in most of my students.

    Our students are used to and well equipped for distance learning since they get packets every week, do it at home, and ring it back once a week so I thought coming in once every 3 weeks won't be that big of a difference and they will keep up.

    We have been closed since March 16th (we also had 1 week spring break). Students received 2 packets total before April 29th. We have been calling them twice a week the first few weeks and then once a week after that. I have been in contact with all my students regularly (except for one, I reached him only after a month). We have had many and long conversations, and I was told they did all their work, or most of their work or they were kinda behind a little. There was one student who was just not doing it and I talked to him 30 minutes at a time to convince him, and walk him through everything.

    So the big shocker came on April 29th. Students were supposed to drop off all the work they completed and pick up their new (final) packet. Out of 22 students only 12 dropped off their work. 4 came to pick up packets but didn't drop off.
    I was shocked. Out of the 10 that didn't drop off their work were 2 graduates, and 4 students who always get everything done and on time and they do very good work. I couldn't believe it.
    Out of the 12, only 2 did everything and 2 did most (which is the least I expected from everyone). There were two students who returned undone work (as in not even started) claiming I told them everything had to be returned. Everything they completed had to be returned! I talked to them twice about what to do and when and how, so I don't see how I was confusing.
    Paperwork that was supposed to be dropped off, that is super important as it relates to attendance and they're legal papers, were either not done right or not all was dropped off for more than half of the students (that did drop something off)

    The reasons I'm giving you all these details is to paint a picture of what is going on with students who are probably the most prepared for this type of learning. It is a fail overall. A lot of my student were doing great before, or doing ok, now are not doing their work (I assume that's why they didn't drop it off) because they're getting lazy or distracted and just lose focus. They can do the work because they were doing it before without me helping them, so it's simply not an intellectual problem.

    Students will need to go back to how things were. Sure some form of online learning and maybe some independent work can be incorporated as it can be beneficial to some students, but there is no way this will work.
    More than half of my students will not earn the credit they would have otherwise. We are lenient with grading (credit / no credit) but no credits will be given away. If the work is not done, or less than 50 % is done or less than 50% is accurate (this is otherwise 60%) no credit will be given These are high school students.
    1 of my students is in serious jeopardy of not graduating. He is turning 20 this month. Haven't talked to him for a few weeks and he barely needs 10 credits to graduate. Another graduate is seriously lagging (previously an excellent student) but I believe he'll pull through.

    Edited to add this: I understand this could work for a lot of students who have the proper background: higher socioeconomic status, supportive parents, etc.
    Our students are made up of students who
    - choose to come here for various reasons (anxiety, can't deal with large school or large class sizes, being afraid of gun violence, bullying, etc), otherwise they would do well in school. These are the kids that could do well
    - have been expelled for various reasons
    - have been dropped for being credit deficient, this is this biggest percentage.
    So overall for most of our students traditional school setting has not worked.
    A big factor is poverty: no internet or device to use for online learning, uneducated parents who are not pushing education, or simply parents are absent, or aren't around because they're working 203 jobs. They could be pushing education, but aren't there to supervise and support.

    What are your thoughts? How are your kids doing with their work? Do you think we can start the school year this way if we have to? In my opinion it will not be successful.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
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  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 7, 2020

    I'm getting slightly less return than when we were physically at school. All of their work in online and submitted electronically.

    Could it be that many families are uneasy about going out right now?
     
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  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I don't thin that's really the problem. They just need to get in their care, we are set up outside so they're not even going in a tiny office. And 4 students came and picked up their packets but didn't drop it off.

    We have quite a few students who are working on Google Classroom assignment. My students were doing it at home before so they had internet, so I now that is not the problem. I am seeing a lot less of that completed.
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    My students had a great completion rate until the district basically announced that work was optional. Since then, not so much. I would be happy to be all online or hybrid to start the year next year, as long as clear expectations are set up at the beginning.
     
  6. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    I think you have a very negative outlook. We knew from jump that this wasn’t a permanent solution, and that we had to do something in the intermittent. We also knew from jump that there wasn’t going to be the same level of student participation, and we also know that come the fall when things do go back to normal that we’re going to have a lot of work to catch students up. But everyone is starting from the same.

    But there has been a lot of positive, too. Personally? I think this whole thing was in some ways a good thing. It was like a reset button. Everyone needs to chill out and take it back sometimes.

    So why even stress about it?
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I don't think I'm being negative. I am being disappointed because I had high expectations, so I was being positive and then I saw reality - which is not what I expected along the way, talking to my students, they reassured me they were working.

    Why stress?? Because I care! because most of my students will not earn the credits they should have. It is 100 % their fault, but it's heartbreaking for me to see a student who is 2 grades behind and was going to catch up with an additional 15 credits on top of the 30, will now hardly get their 30. And they would have done it, because they were on schedule.
     
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  8. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    Question: how long have you been a teacher? Maybe they were. An assessment in the middle of something can have completely different results then the end result. A science teacher wouldn’t have an opinion either way but would ask what changed and why.

    How is your state handling advancement, credit awards, etc? If they’re like what I would guess most states, they’re taking a forgiving stance on the matter. Caring is a good thing, but stressing yourself out isn’t.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I have been teaching \for 8 years, it's my 7th year here. The only thing that changed was that kids were not held accountable weekly as they didn't have to come in once a week. They now had many many weeks, and if you procrastinate, weeks worth of work will pile up and then it's impossible to get it done in the last minute. But they all assured me that they were on track, at least for the most part. Remember these are kids who are behind on credits already most of them) because traditional schooling didn't work for them.

    As I explained in my original post, we are more lenient with grading (credit / no credit) but the work still needs to be done to earn the credit. We are not giving anything for free.
     
  10. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    So the reason I asked is because your experience is lying to you and telling you that this is all your fault and that you are personally responsible. Let yourself off the hook.

    That’s not exactly what I asked. I asked about grade advancement. Are students going to advance regardless of the work? How is it being decided hope students are going to advance to the next grade level? It’s reasonable to say that they’re not going to be as harsh with the pass/fail line. In truth, there’s a lot of gray area with all of this.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I'm a bit confused. Did your students only come to school once a week to pick up or drop off a packet? Did they never receive instruction or do the packet work in class?

    Things are different now in homes also. Very different for most families.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I am very confused. My experience is lying to me? What? and telling me that this is all my fault?? Where do you get that from. You are completely misunderstanding everything.
    None of this is my fault. I did say it is 100 % of the students' fault, but I am very disappointed because I was expecting more work, and this was such a let down. And yes I was stressing because they wouldn't earn all their credits and / or they will be bringing in all the work in the last minute, and it's going to be stressful to grade everything, instead of doing it now.
    So I'm not sure where you get all that.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I teach independent study. Kids come in once a week for an hour appointment. We assigned the work, explain it to them, they get started on it, take it home and complete it. Next week they come back, I do this again. I grade the work by then so I can go over things. If they need help with anything I help them. Typically thy only need help with math or English, here and there.
    This is how independent study works. Of course some schools might require them to come more often and have some other variations. We also offer classes they can take. They can come as many times as they want or stay as long as they want to do their work.
     
  14. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    Yup. Your experience is lying to you. For as long as teachers have been teaching, coaches have been coaching, and parents have been fussing, students have procrastinated. In some way, it’s telling you that you’ve failed as a teacher because they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. If there’s not a pang of guilt, why’re you taking this to heart so much?
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Many of my students have their school-issued device, but their parents have chosen to not work with them to complete their assignments (keep in mind that I work with TK-6th graders...they’re ages 4-12).

    Many of my upper grade teachers only have 6-8 (out of 32) students submitting their work. Breaks my heart and frustrates me, but I keep reminding myself (and my teachers, most importantly) that’s it out of our control.
     
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  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I understand.

    Most of my kids are working online and doing okay. I’ve had to modify assignments for some kids, and I’m grading more easily than I would if we were having more thorough instruction & interaction. We are still covering our regular content and taking grades.

    We started remote learning March 16. We email, text, call, video chat. I’ve got some kids who have done ZERO work. A few of them won’t respond to any communication.

    It’s not all lower or struggling kids not working. Some of my brightest kids aren’t doing it. Tomorrow is the last day of school. Work is due by midnight. Some kids JUST NOW started working. Two have just plain said they aren’t doing it. A few have had A’s all year, so they know this last grading period won’t kill them if they don’t do the work.

    Ah, well. I’m trying.
     
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  17. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Most of my students aren't learning anything during this time. Some are actually worse off, IMO, because they're practicing skills incorrectly at home. That said, I work with primary aged students and had no delusions that this was going to work for them. I desperately hope we are not doing online learning next year.
     
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  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    My kids have been 1:1 all year, so that has helped so much. At least they had the technology and were used to using it. I can’t imagine having to teach the kids to use unfamiliar technology remotely.
     
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  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Thank you for explaining. I never formed the whole picture based off of the comments I have read in the past.
     
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  20. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Without a vaccine, there will be some form of it.
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sounds very similar to my experience. My principal said all teachers are experiencing the same thing at our school.
     
  22. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I still don't understand what in the world you're trying to say with "my experience is lying to me" But I don't even care because according to you I failed as a teacher ?? Maybe you're not expressing yourself right or I'm misunderstanding you, but whatever.

    Why am I taking this to heart. Well, if you do not understand when I said that I care, that I don't want all their hard work to go to waste because now they're checking out, then you have never cared about a single student in your life, so you will never understand me.

    There's obviously a disconnect here so I'm done here, have a great weekend.
     
  23. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This post confuses me. Are you putting this teacher down because her kids aren't working up to expectations?
     
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  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was so incredibly confused that I couldn’t even comment! I think @Linguist92021 was dumbfounded, too!
     
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  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    In normal circumstances I might be more upset about the students not working but honestly you shouldn't take things right now personally. I know you expect a lot of your students but it could be the expectations from the other teachers aren't like yours and they feel like "checking out" is acceptable. Please do not beat yourself up over this. They are old enough to be accountable for themselves.
     
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  26. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    Maybe I’ll not expressing myself correctly. What I mean to say is that you’re not a failure or a bad teacher because of them not doing what you’re supposed to be doing. It sounds like you’re being hard on yourself
     
  27. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

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    I teach AP and DE, and I'm like the OP. Even my best and brightest are barely doing anything. And while I know that for some, there are internet issues--we are 1:1, and while I am in the classroom teaching on a daily basis with them, they are more than used to submitting assignments online, as well as budgeting time for long term assignment.

    I will say that a lot of it is my district's grading policy. Students cannot receive a lower grade for the 4th quarter than they received as of March 13, which was our last day in the building. So, if a student does nothing, they still receive their 3rd quarter grade. Also, they have an option of getting Pass/Fail, so even if they had a D at 3rd quarter, they could take a P instead, and not have it affect their GPA. 85% of my kids had As or Bs, so why bother? They've also asked us to go back to 3rd quarter, and even 1st semester and "find a way" to boost kids who were failing when we left. So, in other words, change the grade.

    The district also decided that AP students would do the district wide grade level unit plans. Not sure why, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there were some AP teachers who just didn't want to do any work, but I digress. My AP students went from analyzing poetry, creating comparative art, and analyzing film imagery, as well as having choice to their assignments, to completing a 10 sentence comma worksheet designed for junior high school students.

    My DE students are doing a little more than my AP students, but that is only because the college is expecting them to take a final, and is still expecting work to be turned in,
    although they do still have an option for Pass or Fail.

    I am totally onboard with making things work--giving kids allowances for issues, etc., but they are learning nothing. My son, who is in a different district, has maybe 30 minutes of work a week, and most of that is from his theatre teacher. He's in 9th grade. I've pretty much decided he's repeating Latin and Geometry because he's not learning anything.

    Distance learning takes a special kind of student and for students not in college, it requires a parent who is willing and able to guide them. And many of them can't, and some won't. I feel for the kids, because when they do go back, all those habits that they built up will be gone, and a whole new set of challenges will arise.
     
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