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Do you check backpacks?
Old 09-25-2018, 09:04 PM
 
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I've always made students responsible for unpacking their own backpacks in the morning. I give several whole-class reminders to go get homework, library books, permission slips, etc., but ultimately it's on the kid to do it.

This year I've gotten so many parent emails, etc about how I need to remind Johnny to hand in his homework, and why is Suzie's permission slip still in her backpack, that I'm starting to second guess myself on that. Am I asking too much of these kids? Or have their parents trained them to do way too little for themselves?

How do you all manage this?


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Old 09-25-2018, 09:18 PM
 
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As an older grade teacher, all I can say is please, please keep on handing responsibility back to the children! Someone needs to develop it in them, and parents are falling down on the job.

The inability of my students to do the littlest thing is mindboggling, and I can only attribute it to "lawnmower parenting" in their early years.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:31 PM
 
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My last five years was in second grade. I tried to establish a routine where all necessary items went in the morning. However, there where always those few students where you found crumpled permission slips, etc. in their backpack. Yes, I did check a few at the beginning of the year until the student became more independent.
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Backpacks
Old 09-26-2018, 04:40 AM
 
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I never check backpacks. Itís not my job. That is the student's and parent's job. They need to place paperwork and items in the homework folder. I suggest students get a portfolio so at least they can stuff their things into something that has their folder.

My rule is: Once I close my door, you will not go out to your backpack to retrieve anything until you go to recess. Yea, sometimes, Iíll allow it, but not often. The students learn this rule quickly. Itís fun to watch them get ready for class and remember they forgot something outside so they hurry out to retrieve it before I close my door.

It's called student responsibility. I have enough jobs to do. I canít do the work of 28 students and parents.
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Backpacks
Old 09-26-2018, 08:35 AM
 
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I also firmly believe it is child's responsibility. That said, once I knew who couldn't remember things, I would purposely remind them to go check, then, go check again. If the thing wasn't there, I would say, if I go through your backpack and find the thing, you owe my 5 minutes of recess. 90% of the time, the thing miraculously appeared.

If it truly wasn't there, I would email parent.


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Old 09-26-2018, 10:19 AM
 
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I have never checked student backpacks. I didn't even do it when I taught first grade. You are definitely not asking too much. If the emails continue, perhaps you can include a brief message in your classroom newsletter. Explain how you are trying to teach the students responsibility in the classroom and would appreciate it if this was reinforced at home.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:13 PM
 
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Thanks all. That's what I thought, but this group (both generations of them) has me second-guessing everything!

Quote:
.If the emails continue, perhaps you can include a brief message in your classroom newsletter. Explain how you are trying to teach the students responsibility in the classroom and would appreciate it if this was reinforced at home.
I said more or less exactly that at Back to School Night, but repeating it in the newsletter probably wouldn't hurt. I'm not sure it would help, either, though. Sigh.
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Independence & Responsibility
Old 09-26-2018, 03:26 PM
 
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As a second grade teacher, I never checked backpacks. As part of our morning ďhousekeeping,Ē I did always ask for notes or anything parents me have sent from home. But I didnít chase it down; they had to give it to me.

I was never questioned, but I think my response would gave been something like: I appreciate your concern and desire for your studentís success. However, a second grade expectation for students to care for their own backpacks, homework, and correspondence from home is a reflection of our studentsí need to practice independence and responsibility. This will begin good learning habits and set students on a path to success.
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We aren't allowed to get into their backpacks
Old 09-26-2018, 05:54 PM
 
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It's considered an invasion of their privacy.
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Old 10-02-2018, 04:46 PM
 
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We are not allowed to check backpacks or lockers for the same reason linda2671 stated. Even looking in a student desk is questionable, so I choose not to do it. However, I will ask the student to look in their desk for what ever is missing and then be near enough to assist when all the extra papers spill onto the floor.


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Old 10-02-2018, 05:38 PM
 
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I only did it in special circumstances in 1st grade (something important that student is not getting taken care of after multiple tries with parent and my encouragement.). In 3rd, I won't do it.

Today though, for picture day, the office made an all call while kids were there for "teachers, check your students' backpacks and ensure all picture forms are turned in at this time." No way. Not happening. I know why they did it, but uh uh. It annoys me that the announcement was even phrased that way.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:04 PM
 
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We arenít allowed to open backpacks. I always remind also several times... on Thursdays they have to leave take home folders out so we can stuff with fliers that go home- I use this time to check for any papers that should have went home ... also we have agendas and the students earn a ticket for getting them signed each nightó so if I havenít seen something get turned in I can write a note . I tell all parents and students it is their job and responsibility to turn things in . I also remind parents that Part of our job is teaching responsibility so itís up to them to do their part with turning things in
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:24 AM
 
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I am a K-3 resource teacher. I will ask my kids if they brought my pink folder back, allow them time to check. Sometimes I will ask them if I can check their backpacks. I donít feel itís an invasion of privacy at all. There should be nothing private in their bag.
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Responsibility
Old 10-13-2018, 06:08 PM
 
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I'm having this same problem. In fact just this week a parent complained to my administrator that I didn't check her child's backpack for paperwork she sent in. I had a few notes from other parents prior to this. Some parents don't think their kids are capable of responsibility. They're too young...I'm going to keep keeping on and insist that the students handle their things.
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backpacks
Old 10-18-2018, 04:56 PM
 
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I don't check mine.

I have a simple poster on the wall that says what to do in the mornings (give teacher any notes, put homework on desk, hang up book bag, take AR test, morning work, read), and we went over that many times the first few weeks of school. Now they can read it and do it themselves. I have another poster for what to do at the end of the day to pack up.

I call kids up to check homework one at a time while they're doing morning work, so if they have it in their book bag, they'd just go get it. Same with field trip forms, etc... I verbally remind them and they check. Typically their school-to-home folder has everything in the "return" side. If it doesn't at the beginning, it does after a few weeks of practicing it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:05 PM
 
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What are they wanting you to check FOR?

Every student at my school and most schools I know of has a take home folder. My students bring it to me every morning as part of their routine. I look to see if they did homework, emptied it out from the day before, and collect any notes or money from parents. If mom and dad can't get the note into the folder, then I don't know what to tell them. That's the simple system I use, and if they can't follow along with that it's likely that I won't be getting their notes, and they won't be getting mine. I've also never stuffed folders. I pass out the papers to go home and kids put them in the folder. If they get lost at that point, well... you get to practice your problem solving skills.
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Backpacks
Old 10-26-2018, 06:23 PM
 
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Their backpacks are their responsibility in my opinion!
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