When kids leave early for sports

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm having an issue with parents regarding how "unfair" I am being with their children because the kids left early for a sports event.

    I have a system where students are able to earn extra points on an assignment if they work in a team towards that assignment. I monitor the team's work closely, making sure that everyone is participating and increasing the learning of the others.

    If students are not present for the activity, I mark them exempt for the assignment. The activity is time-sensitive and the point is to prepare for a bigger assignment, so there is no need to make it up after the fact.

    I had some students insist on completing the assignment earlier in the day of the larger one. They then expected the team boost of points even though they did not participate in the team activity. Parents are claiming that I am being unfair to their children now. It isn't their fault that they had to leave early. The parents have suggested that I rearrange my lesson plans so that the students do not miss anything important when they leave!

    I honestly thought that by marking such kids exempt from an assignment I was doing the best possible thing in the situation. I told one parent that since her son had an extra night to work on the material, he actually had an advantage that the other students in the class did not.

    I'm sure these parents will go to the administration and get their way eventually. @@

    What do you do for students that leave early in your classroom?
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I can't believe they think you shouldn't do anything important after they leave... What are you supposed to do? Twiddle your thumbs?

    My lesson plans are the same no matter what. Kids know they have to make up things they missed. I've also excluded kids from assignments. We take reading quizzes often so if they just miss one I don't make them take it when they get back. No one has ever complained...
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    If we're doing an activity in the classroom, then they do not get that daily grade for that day. They are exempt. They are required to turn in homework or other assignments the same as any other student.
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Are these school sports, are they leaving on a certain day every week? There is no way I would rearrange my schedule or "not do anything important" after they left.

    The only reason I can see for changing plans is when there is a school function that takes more than half of your class away.
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    As a parent of a child who participates in school activities that require him to leave school early (usually due to sports) I would not expect the teacher to stop class just because my son left for a sporting event.

    And yes, it's generally the same day for the duration of the season. He sometimes has extra homework, but oh well.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    How do you feel about the scenario I mentioned? If your child chose to not accept an exemption and did the assignment, would you expect him to get extra credit when he didn't participate in the activity that would earn it?
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Have you considered going to the coaches and getting their support on this issue?
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    That's a great idea. I'll try to speak to one on Monday.
     
  10. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    Though my kiddos are not in sports yet where they have to leave early, I was a dual-sport athlete in both high school and in college. NEVER would I have expected to receive "extra" points for something that I was not part of or had earned. If I am understanding it correctly, they are not being negatively affected by the system at all. In fact, they are getting a "free pass" for the activity in question. They should be thankful that they aren't getting docked for missing part of the "project". When I was an athlete, I had to make up ALL assignments BEFORE I left for my activity. For labs and such, I had to come to make arrangements with the instructor to come early in the morning. Often times, I was the only one in the room with a page of directions as the teacher was in their office across the hall from the classroom prepping. No special treatment and no bonus/extra points for those "appearances"... it was to maintain my grades. Extra-curricular activities are just that... extra! Your main focus/concern is on the curriculum and not accomodating everyone's special schedules.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    The problem now lies in that the students chose to do the assignment and didn't get the grade they normally do. So now they want the bonus points that they would have had if they had been there to do the activity. The grades they earned are lower than their averages, as it was for some others in the class, and they aren't happy.
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    How can he get extra credit when he didn't participate in the activity? So, if the extra credit was participating in an activity & he wasn't there, then he can't get the extra credit. It shouldn't matter if he missed the activity because of a school event, a dr. appt. or being home sick.

    Most of the extra credit that he receives are activities or worksheets or whatever that requires him to do something outside of class time.
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sure, they can have optional extra credit, in the form of a 3 page research paper that is offered to the entire class ;)

    There is no way I would give them extra credit points for a group activity they were not a part of. I really think they are just seeing how far they can push you and what you will do about it.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I hope that's the case, Tasha. I've stood my ground but there is no telling what admin is going to do about it. In the past they didn't have any problem with undermining teachers to make things easier on them.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Of course, you can always just eliminate the extra credit option for all students. I'm sure that's not what you want to do, but you might be left with no choice. If parents go to admin, and if admin tells you that you have to find a way to offer extra credit to students who weren't even present for the activity, then it might simply be easier to avoid having extra credit at all.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    How much of school do they miss? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? 1 hour? Is this high school or middle school? About how often do they have to leave early?

    The students at our school only have to leave early for sports on rare occasions when their game is very far away. They also never leave more than 15 minutes early, so teachers see they don't miss much.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I might have to. Which will be sad because the extra credit is to encourage collaboration. Students who effectively collaborate with one another and stay on task are given the option. It isn't guaranteed - it totally depends upon how effective that collaboration is. Students that are shy or who think they would do better by themselves do not have to participate in the collaboration.

    Basically, if you increase your partner's learning to a certain point, you will get a boost. If you don't work with a partner, you haven't been able to increase his learning, so you don't.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    It depends on the sport and the game/match/meet. Anywhere from 15 minutes early to two hours. Usually it is just 30 minutes.
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    If it is over 30 minutes, than I don't think it is reasonable to expect that their student won't miss much. In fairness to the other students, you must be able to do what is best for the non-student-athletes as well. If it is 15-30 minutes, consider bending a little, but it sounds to me like you already do and wouldn't need to change much. I'd listen to the parents concerns, carefully weigh them against the needs of your students, and then make the best choice as the teacher. I think the parents have a valid concern, but I think possibly they are overreacting as you really are doing a great job of seeing that the students don't miss much.

    I think there is a larger issue here. The student-athletes are being asked to miss too much school, and this is upsetting parents and rightfully so. I strongly believe in sports for students, but I think that too often those who make the schedules don't value the time students are missing in the classroom nearly enough. Maybe nothing can be done this year, but hopefully some scheduling changes can be made to see that students miss less class time next year.
     

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