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Parent Teacher Conferences
Old 11-08-2018, 08:05 AM
 
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Just went to a 10 minute conference for my "troubled teen." That is what a teacher told me. Yes, he has MAJOR learning disabilities and behaviors. I know that.

With my son it is about building relationships and building him up. She refuses.

You tell me he is not cognitively able to access the material. Well, part of that is right. He can't access high school reading levels, but have you tried talking to the kid?

I know he is a challenge. I know lots of ways you could help (and so does his caseworker) you just refuse. And, you only give me 10 minutes. You tell me when your office hours are. Isn't that funny, they are in the middle of the day (when I am teaching). You tell me I could take a day off and then I could meet. Really? You could be accomodating for a fellow teacher too.

Grrr...just venting. It is the first time in 12 years I do not want to support the teacher.


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Old 11-08-2018, 02:09 PM
 
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She sounds like a pill. I hope things get better for you and your son.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:43 PM
 
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She sounds like a witch. At leaset you know you have to be after her to give DS supports.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:29 AM
 
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I am so sorry that you are dealing with that.

It was basically exactly the same for my son. The LD's were barrier and the attitude and behavior issues that came from his non academic dx's kinda made all of the teachers not want to bother with him (his dx's are SLD reading, sensory integration disorder, ADHD, OCD, Tourettes, anxiety and depression).

It seemed like once we hit high school there was a whole lot of, "we cant do that here, we dont have time for that here, now that he is in high school we need to move away from some of those accommodations, ect"

I wish I had an answer for you. My DS then suffered a trauma when his best friend committed suicide in 9th and then he spiraled so I put him in a self contained off site program at district expense. Now we have his meds adjusted, he is dealing with his trauma, the behavior is a side note (though his stubbornness and lack of flexibility remain a thorn in everyone side) I am keeping him there because the 1-4 teacher/aide to student ration is helping him make so much more academic progress.

I kind of feel very torn about LRE having been in this position since he has grown so much more in every way in a "more restrictive" setting and I no longer hear excuses and see people just trying to throw away that kids that are too much work. These teachers did sign up for this. These teachers do want to do what it takes even though its a lot more work and the set up and low numbers makes it possible and less frustrating for everyone involved.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:14 PM
 
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I'd certainly agree that this teacher is not doing an adequate job of teaching your son.

I assume that your son has an IEP, since you said he has major learning disabilities and behaviors. Is his IEP actually being followed? Is it time to request a meeting to review/change the IEP, since things are apparently not going well in this class.

Is this teacher a regular ed teacher? Does he/she understand that an IEP is a legal document to be followed, not a bunch of suggestions? You may need to play hardball. Oh, and a suggestion I have made to others--does your child have another involved parent who could take the lead in handling your son's school issues?


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Difficult
Old 11-09-2018, 09:04 PM
 
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I can see this from the parent perspective (I have three kids of my own).

I can also see it from the teacher perspective. Granted I don't know you, your son, his situation, or his school. So my experiences may not be helpful here.

With that said...

Our school (prep school, private) does 10-minute parent-teacher conferences. When I was a classroom teacher (I'm in a different role now), I had no control over how those appointments were apportioned. Parents logged in and booked their slots. I could "block" slots, but I wasn't really permitted to unless it was for designated break times. We had way more parents wanting slots (at least in my department) than slots available, so if I did "block off" a longer slot for one parent, it meant another parent wouldn't get a conference time at all. We also had to post our conference schedules on the classroom door, so parents would be able to see if there were any "blocked" spots. The long and short of it was that if I wanted to give someone "extra time" or "squeeze someone in" the only way to do it was to start early / end late / work through dinner or lunch breaks. Now when I say "start or early" or "end late" understand that we would teach a full day, and then start interviews at 4 p.m., get 40 minutes for dinner, and carry on until 9 p.m. (the last conference slot is 8:50). So it's a LONG day. I think we got a ten-minute break every two hours or so. In reality, this was a "catch up" break that meant correcting for conferences that went a couple of minutes long, so not really an actual break.

In my first couple of years, I was eager to please, so readily agreed to parent requests that I block off an extra ten minutes, thus reducing my 40-minute dinner break to 30 minutes or else starting 10 minutes before the actual conference times. I found myself scarfing down bites of a sandwich and gulping down water between appointments and basically giving up my breaks. At one point, I was staying until past 9:30 p.m. for conferences that were supposed to end at 9.

There was one conference day when a colleague offered me a ride home so I wouldn't have to take the "late train" and a parent with no appointment accosted me in the hallway and wanted to discuss her son while I had my coat on and said colleague was sitting outside with his engine running and texting me to ask if I was coming outside. The parent threw a fit when I said I really had to go and asked them to schedule a phone interview instead.

So I don't know your child, the student-teacher ratio, the nature of the IEP, the context, the supports the school is providing (or not) for the IEP. But I do know that I've had to say no to parents who want another piece of me after hours (and I'm NOT a guy who ever leaves at 3 p.m.). When I agreed to meet parents during my dinner "hour" (all 40 minutes of it), I was rewarded for my kindness by getting inundated in the next round of conferences by similar requests ("I couldn't get a conference time -- can I see you at 5:10 p.m.?" when dinner runs from 5 to 5:40).

Again... I don't know the specifics of this particular situation. I do know that when I taught high school classes, I had over 175 students, worked long days, and put in a lot of hours with parent contact. If I said no to the occasional parent (and yes, some were "teacher parents" who thought they were entitled to a little more of my time as a matter of professional courtesy), I'm sure more than one framed me as the bad guy.
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:32 AM
 
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I agree with Angelo on this one. I have 175 students, and can not possibly see everyone during conferences. If parents request to see me outside of regular conferences, I first try to share as much info as I can in a phone call or email and then schedule appointments for 20 minutes before school starts or the last 20 minutes of my prep. Students entering the room ends the conference.

Would you expect a professional in any other field to accommodate you and meet you after hours? I’d take personal time to have a conference about my child.

That said, if the teacher is not following the IEP, get in touch with the case manager.
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