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Hope I'm doing the right thing
Old 10-28-2020, 11:14 AM
  #1

I'm kinda kicking up a fuss on behalf of my DD at the moment. I know I've posted in the past about her struggles with math. She's not naturally great at it but she is the kinda kid that many teachers appreciate--she 's the one you can make a difference with. DD lives and dies by how well she relates to the teacher and how comfortable she feels asking the teacher questions and for clarification.
Fortunately, she's mostly had a lot of good math teachers. 10th grade was unpleasant but we survived.
Now senior year hit, we're virtual through January at best and she's in Algebra 2. Her teacher is pleasant in interactions with me and likely a good teacher. However, DD has completely shut down with her and in the virtual setting, does not feel comfortable asking her questions. Obviously this is not the teacher's fault but at least in part due to the virtual setting...there's no way for DD to kinda sidle up to the desk and say, "Hey, am I doing this right?" and get either encouragement or correction.
Not a big deal at first as she was doing okay in the class but last week she completely lost it in the middle of a timed test. Got to something she didn't know how to do, froze, panicked and didn't finish the test...which dropped her grade down from a C+ to an F.
Ackk...one more test to go in the hopes that if she does well on that it'll bring the grade up! So I'm trying to help her review. We're trying to watch the videos the teacher posted and Khan Academy. I arrange for her super math tutor to start working with her second quarter.
But....my kid's also completely shut down with this teacher. She had a great relationship with her teacher last year, sailed through with As and feels comfortable working with her and asking questions because they had a relationship before things went virtual (which she doesn't have with this teacher). Last year's teacher is actually meeting with DD now during her office hours to try to help her review the material. Last year teacher also teaches Algebra II during the same period.
I asked the guidance counselor if DD can be moved to last year's teacher's class. It's a lateral shift from one teacher to another so no other changes in the schedule. Teacher says she'd be glad to have Elizabeth although it'd put her at 31 for that class. I explain the importance of the previous relationship with the teacher, her success in the class the year before, and make a point to emphasize that it's not the current teacher's fault---it's mostly just the virtual setting.
Guidance counselor: no, we can't move her. Only reason given was numbers of students. She includes the math admin on it.
I reply back, more forcefully and ask again. I hope I'm doing the right thing as I hate to kick up a fuss. I've literally never asked for her to change teachers but I can see it's not working and it's not the current teacher's fault but it's also not working for DD.


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Old 10-28-2020, 11:23 AM
  #2

usually not up to the teachers if they want or can have a student in their class. The counselors work hard to maintain a balance of classes and in my school, that is their decision, it's not up to the teacher. We definitely don't do switches in the middle of a quarter. Word gets out and then lots of parents want their child moved. They are very strict about the reasons for a class switch. Now at the semester, that's a different story. They are more lenient if you ask about next semester.

Not saying that you don't have a valid reason, but it wouldn't happen at my school.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:26 AM
  #3

Good luck! I hope you get what you need to be happy.

I will say, in the guidance counselorís defense, that perhaps the thinking is that a Senior should be advocating for herself. So maybe if the request came from your DD?
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:51 AM
  #4

I personally would not want a class if 31. Yup just one more student, but as you know, one more is a lot of extra work.

IMO DD will encounter people in real life most likely college professor, that she doesn't jive with and need to learn to figure it out. Now is a great time for that learning to happen while she's under your wing.

I'm sure current teacher has an email or way for DD, not you, to reach out to her.

Think about you as a teacher... Your DD and/or you didn't go to her. Gotta follow chain of command. Didn't give the teacher the option to help.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:52 AM
  #5

The guidance counselor has already told you that they can't move her due to the numbers of students. That sounds reasonable.

I'll be honest- your reaction here sounds helicopter-ish. If this was a little child- first grade, for example- I'd see your point about the connection with the teacher being crucial. Your daughter is a senior in high school, though, nearly an adult. Your daughter will need to learn how to ask questions with this new teacher.

I'd keep working on tutoring and in encouraging your daughter to adapt to this new teacher. The freezing during a test, panicking, and not finishing would be a concern to me, though. This does not bode well for college and I don't think switching teachers would be the answer to it. I'd find out if more is going on there. Anxiety? Maybe a therapist would be the answer here.


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Old 10-28-2020, 11:53 AM
  #6

Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:57 AM
  #7

I'm sorry your dd is struggling. I know how hard it is to watch a child struggle. And you know I love you crux, but I'm sharing my honest opinion.

In our school, your request wouldn't fly. If she had an IEP or 504 plan, assigning to a specific teacher might be an accommodation. But not for a child with no identified disability. I am surprised to hear of this type of push from a parent for a senior who is not receiving special services. I'm not sure how you framed the original or more forceful request with the guidance counselor, but it reminds me a little of Angelo's parents.

As a parent, it sounds like you've received your answer already. I agree it seems like anxiety may be an issue. I assume you started your conversation with her current teacher, and didn't go straight to the guidance counselor (I may have missed that). Ideally, your dd should be advocating for herself with her teacher. But we know that isn't easy for everyone. What strategies worked well with her last year once the move was made to remote learning? That's the type of conversation to open up with her current teacher. As she moves into college, she'll have to reach out and make those connections purposefully with her professors, so this is a time to practice that.

Last edited by GraceKrispy; 10-28-2020 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:02 PM
  #8

I'm thinking the "solution" is to help your DD develop a positive relationship with her new teacher. Does her teacher have some tutoring hours or drop in times? If the two of them were able to work together a few times and get to know each other, that should help.

Could your daughter email questions to her teacher? Is there a private chat function on the platform they are using?

The former teacher is helping in the short term, but not in the long term. She should be encouraging DD to work with her current teacher.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:15 PM
  #9

Thanks all. We can agree to disagree. My two cents? Amiga, maybe it does need to come from her, not a bad idea.
And I did ask the teacher, not because itís her call but because I donít want to overload her. Weíre all working hard and if DD was the straw that broke the camels back, then Iíd understand and wanted to know before I talked to the counselors
And no, no one wants a class of 31. Or 30 for that matter. Or 32 or 33 like I had in middle school. But thatís about the size of the classes anyway and in our school district the class limit is 35 so Iím not pushing her over the edge.
Helicopterish? Maybe. Iím not doing the work for her, making excuses or asking for a grade change. Sheís spending almost a quarter of her high school learning at home since we closed March 13th and arenít scheduled to return until February. Having a teacher you feel comfortable asking questions of in the virtual setting is important it youíre struggling . TBH personality wise not everyone meshes perfectly and in most cases itís fine. Sometimes you need a change. Iíve changed jobs when I havenít liked my admin and Iím sure others have too.
Collegeó-if she hits a math class with a professor she doesnít like, she can always change sections of the class, right? So Iím not too worried
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:23 PM
  #10

You know your child better than anyone in the world. If you are not an advocate for her who will be? Your request sounds reasonable to me. Good luck!


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Old 10-28-2020, 01:47 PM
  #11

Wishing her the best in figuring out how to handle this situation on her own as it will be a learning opportunity as how to cope in future situations similar to this one.

I also wish her good luck in college, in her career, and in adult life if/when she encounters the same situation.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:37 PM
  #12

Oops - didn't realize my deletion would show! I simply deleted because I realized what I said had already been addressed above.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:15 PM
  #13

Quote:
Collegeó-if she hits a math class with a professor she doesnít like, she can always change sections of the class, right? So Iím not too worried
I can answer this one. I have kids in college right now, at multiple universities. The answer is "not usually". Most college classes also have limits on numbers, just like your high school does, so you can't always just switch from one to another just because you don't like one teacher. Also, most college classes don't have multiple offerings at the same time, and schedules can be complicated, so it's often not possible even if the numbers allow it. Also, many college classes are only offered once, by one teacher, that semester.

I'm not totally convinced this is limited to only math classes. It sounds like a larger issue with your daughter not wanting to deal with changes and with teachers she doesn't know.

And good grief, changing jobs because you don't like your boss? I mean, yes, that certainly can be done if a boss is completely awful. But, it often isn't an easy thing to do, and seriously, it doesn't sound like there is anything really wrong with the math teacher your daughter has right now. Your daughter just doesn't know her well.

Your daughter needs to get herself together and learn to work with the teacher she has. This is a part of growing up, and she's already nearly an adult. Let her handle this.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:28 PM
  #14

I get it. However, can I ask how being in last year's teacher's class instead of this year's class will be different if last year's teacher is already helping your daughter? If last year's teacher is willing to meet with her and help her, then would it matter that your daughter's not comfortable/shutting down with the new one? She's not shutting down for last year's teacher, so she should be able to answer your daughter's questions, help her, etc. I can see where it would be nice to have the teacher full time, but if she can't, isn't the helping enough?
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:28 PM
  #15

I'm with you Cruxian. I hated math and have never gotten over my fear of math. I think I would pursue getting your DD changed to the old teacher. It wasn't until my senior year in college that my math professor, who I had the previous year, realized I probably had a phobia. She saw her DD go through what I went through in her classes and gave me help with math including allowing me to test at different times to give me a longer period to work. It was as if I had an IEP.

Your DD needs to be comfortable with her teacher and feel she can ask and have answered her questions. If she can't get that from her teacher, she should be able to get a teacher she can feel comfortable with. I had teachers I was comfortable with and others that were not very nice. I think in order for DD to gain from her class that she does need a teacher she is comfortable with. I'm not saying this for every class but math is important and she needs to feel secure. For whatever reason her teacher this year doesn't give her security. It isn't the teacher's fault nor your DD.

So, I think what you are doing for your DD is something that she needs especially since she is virtual learning and needs to feel she can access her teacher without calling attention to herself.

I hope this makes sense.
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Cruxianís dd and math
Old 10-28-2020, 06:35 PM
  #16

Ok...Iím going out on a limb here....

I was a straight A student all my life. And then .....algebra. I flunked it all three years. I felt bad, a teacher recommended a student to student tutor. She was a friend and even she finally said ďyou just donít get this.Ē

I failed.

But...I can drive a car, own a home, have children, worked really good jobs, got accolades as a teacher.

Math is not the be all and end all. Tell your Dd to do the best she can, push her to reach out to the teacher, and then step back and let life continue itís course.
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:49 AM
  #17

I was going to say something similar as TeenyTiny...

And as far as “just switching a section in college.” This will majorly depend on your college but that would never have been an option at my college. Also, if connecting with her professors is going to be a “make it or break it” thing next year I really hope she’s looking at extremely small colleges. My colleges was one of the largest in the country and for my first two years there were 100s of students in my classes... some mostly taught by a TA. You didn’t “connect” with your professors, you did what you needed to do to learn the material and pass the class.


There are many people who have been on my grade level team or on the admin team at my school that I didn’t particularly mesh with...I certainly didn’t leave my job due to that. We are talking about a senior in high school, not a 5 year old. She’s not gong to connect with everybody she has to work or interact with.

As far as the teacher from last year, of course she told you yes to having her again. Think about the position you put her in...
31 students may not be the most she can have but it’s all a numbers game, if she has 31 and current teacher is at say 25, how is that okay?

(It does sound as though she may be struggling with some anxiety. She will need coping skills and just changing a teacher isn’t developing coping skills for an almost adult.)
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Old 10-29-2020, 04:26 AM
  #18

From a parent perspective, I understand your concern completely. You have a struggling child and a school that knows this isn't new. She has struggled her entire school career when it comes to math. You want what is best for your child. You are looking for anything that will help your daughter adapt and circumvent where her personality gets in the way of her being more successful. I get it completely.

From a school perspective, I understand their position. It isn't fair to overload another teacher because your child isn't adapting to the teacher (all teachers are qualified and competent).

Your post shows the daily struggle between school and home and how perspectives are very different between the parent role and the school role.

Another option might be to have a discussion with the current teacher and ask kindly if she will reach out to your daughter privately a bit more to help grow the relationship. If your daughter feels the teacher cares, you can work with her at home to encourage her to engage.
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Old 10-29-2020, 04:32 AM
  #19

"Collegeó-if she hits a math class with a professor she doesnít like, she can always change sections of the class, right?"

Um, that is not a guarantee. Many classes are full. Usually the only ones that have openings are ones with professors you do not want. Sure, you can drop a class and hope that next semester you can pick it up with a professor you want, but what if what you hear about the professor is great but it still isn't a good fit for you.

I think you are reaching thinking that avoiding the issue is the saving grace in college. It really isn't.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:15 AM
  #20

I didnít get a chance to read all of the responses so hopefully this was not said earlier. In a virtual setting if she wants to ask for help, but does not want to do it in front of everyone, writing a personal message in the chat feature would be an option. She could also email the teacher as well. Explaining what she is struggling with in writing will make it easier for the teacher to get a clear idea of what she is struggling with and will be able to help her better.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:20 AM
  #21

I see only the need to get your daughter some help in math. A female struggling in math needs to look around for extra help . Your daughter is in high school and old enough to say she is uncomfortable with the teacher. Ask her why and then get her help with the subject matter. My son had a tutor in high school..a college kid. It was the best solution. He learned not to back out of tough situations,express what is bothering him and built the solution with his tutor and himself. Parents must give their kids the gift of self advocacy.
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