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Frustrated beyond belief
Old 04-18-2019, 06:32 PM
 
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I am beyond frustrated right now. I have parents that want to do nothing but make excuses for their children. Advice needed: student has parents who want to know how to help their child, but they don't make any effort to then do it..or do the homework (which is just 4 math problems per night on the concept learned). He has NO sense of responsibility and accountability. Almost to the end of the year and he still can't remember to bring in his stuff in the morning; scratch that - he chooses not to because he wants an excuse to NOT do his morning work. In addition, his academic work in the school day is done maybe halfway so I started having him sit out at specials to complete it because I'm at my wits end about what to do. Classwork at MINIMUM should be completed and has been going home - but lo and behold, still not done. Anyway, not really sure WHAT to do. (this is 4th grade). Having him sit out at specials was my LAST resort but now..I am at a loss.

Other issues: disrespect all around, including parents. They seriously take for granted that they have email access to teachers now and think they can talk to teachers HOWEVER they like and I just don't know when we got to this. Treating teachers like this? Talking to your child's teacher like this? Zero appreciation for anything..it's complaint after complaint.

Top that with a parent telling me IN FRONT OF HER CHILD that he told her he doesn't like geometry..and she laughs and says "I told him how much I hated it it as a child too and that I really hate math!!!" WTF? Seriously? WHY.


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Old 04-18-2019, 07:33 PM
 
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Hello WHY111's, I am your mirror twin. You see we seem to be living the same lives. We have the same student and are dealing with the same nonsense.

Funnier thing? I was expressing some of this in my staff lounge yesterday at lunch and ...wow were have at least 2 more twinsies as well.

Seriously though, this is growing issue that I am hearing repeated by teachers in a variety of grades in several states and serving kids of all backgrounds.

I think that everyone, and I mean every single person from mom and child to the family dog, is on to the fact that teachers are powerless to impose any consequences or even give low grades even when they are earned-and even then getting all 1's on a report card doesnt mean anything. They are going to move up next year. And lord forbid we try hard to come up with someway to apply natural consequences, like using fun time for unfinished work or talking to the kids about their behavior choices - this is now "teachers bullying their students"

Last edited by Kinderkr4zy; 04-18-2019 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:33 PM
 
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Take a deep breath and breathe out. It's the end of the year. Unfortunately, no matter how we might try we can't change parents nor their behavior. You can only focus on the child. For students who intentionally don't bring their things, I always keep an extra set in the classroom so they have no excuses. I wouldn't keep him out of specials as that's more work for you and I firmly believe students need non academic subjects, especially struggling students.

Have you talked to the school counselor? or created a checklist or point system for him? Referred him to your academic team? Again, it's the end of the year. You aren't going to change his behavior at this point. Just do what you can. Whatever he doesn't finish during the week, I would send home on Friday with an email to his mother explaining. He either does it or doesn't.
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Some things can't be changed...
Old 04-19-2019, 01:13 AM
 
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Unfortunately, this seems to be very common in schools these days. The excuse making on the part of many parents really gets me. Some of them truly believe it is our fault, and they don't want to hear about anything their kids are doing at school that is in the least bit negative.

Last year, I had a kid who thought everything was a joke. He would disrupt lessons by making faces or laughing inappropriately, which would set the rest of my boys off. When i spoke with his mother about it, she made excuses for him. Nothing got better, and I was so glad to see him go out the door at the end of the year.

In my school, we would not be allowed to keep him out of specials. And it doesn't seem like this student cares. At this point, i would just grade him accordingly and continue to document his lack of turning in the work. If there is no support from home, there isn't much you can do at this point. I had a student who repeatedly didn't do his reading journal homework. I sat with him at recess till he did it. It would have been nice if his parents saw that he did it, as it was a regular weekly assignment, but they did not help him with it to see that it was done. They both worked, and it wasn't a priority to battle with him at home, I guess. So that job fell to me.

I am sorry that you are going through this. Been there, done that, and fortunately, I am retired. I don't miss going through this at all.
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Frustration
Old 04-19-2019, 01:13 AM
 
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I'm sorry that things are so hard with the child and the parent. It sounds like he may have attention issues. Addressing those would help him focus and complete work.

I'm not a fan of making kids miss specials to complete work. Art, music, and PE are important subjects, and often kids with issues excel in those areas.


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I too a not a fan of skipping specials
Old 04-19-2019, 03:02 AM
 
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Not only is he missing those classes, he is not accomplishing much even with your 1:1 attention.

Even worse, you are already frustrated and now you are not even getting a break from him...

I wouldn't fight it any longer at this point. You cannot control those parents and neither can a 10 yr old boy.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:39 AM
 
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Is the academic work that is half way done correct?

I had a neighbor who said, once the children got to 4th grade the spouse had to help with the math. When out of town, the older sibling, who luckily understood math, would help the younger sibling. Sadly, there are parents with little to no academic skills. Sending a child home without the skills to do the work results in the work not getting done and excuses being made to hide the problem.

I asked my question to see if this is laziness with ability or lack of ability and really harmful coping mechanisms.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:05 AM
 
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I once got some very sage advice from another teacher when I was in your position. She said “You can’t change their home life. So let them know you love/like them, try to stay positive with them, and lower your expectations of their work.”

Keep to only the facts with parents, stop telling them the negative stuff because they’re not interested in helping. If he doesn’t do the work, he doesn’t do the work and fails. Eventually, this will (hopefully) catch up to him and parents.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:03 AM
 
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You said the parents want to help the child- I started using Bloomz this year and each unit I post activities that correspond to the skills- this way, anytime a parent asks how they can help their child, I refer them there. Then when they see grades, or want to meet, the first thing I ask is what resources they’ve used at home. This way you can at least cover your ass when this parent says you’ve done nothing to help snowflake. I truly have had very few questions this year from parents, and I think it’s from doing this. But we all know, there’s going to be parents that just aren’t happy no matter what. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:52 PM
 
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Thank you all for the responses - I will not hold him from specials anymore (I guess I didn't really think about that because I'm a newer teacher oops). So it's the end of the year, I will let it be what it is and I guess at some point, parents will figure out they need to take accountability, as will the child. I do like the idea about that blooms thing so I will need to take a look at that for next school year.

He does okay in academics, he isn't below grade level. I've seen him complete work when he wanted to play (example, taking it out to lunch and then finishing it in record time) so I know he's fully capable. He just has no drive or motivation. The counselor has tried to motivate with everything from charts, to extra computer time..but nothing gives.

<i>I think that everyone, and I mean every single person from mom and child to the family dog, is on to the fact that teachers are powerless to impose any consequences or even give low grades even when they are earned-and even then getting all 1's on a report card doesnt mean anything. They are going to move up next year. And lord forbid we try hard to come up with someway to apply natural consequences, like using fun time for unfinished work or talking to the kids about their behavior choices - this is now "teachers bullying their students" </i>

Yes. yes. and yes.

Thank you guys, I don't feel alone - it just sucks that teaching has really changed so much in the years and years, where before - parents wouldn't dare question the teacher. But now, everything is the teacher's fault for not doing enough.


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Old 04-20-2019, 05:30 AM
 
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Quote:
I will not hold him from specials anymore (I guess I didn't really think about that because I'm a newer teacher oops)
But, you have already let your special area teachers know that you think their classes are unimportant, that their classes exist only to give you a break and are pretty much the same as recess. If this kid is really disruptive in class, they may be just as happy to get to teach their classes without his disruption but they probably don't appreciate your attitude. Personally, if a classroom teacher asks me if they can hold a student out of my class that day, I will usually accommodate them if I can. But I don't appreciate having them just high-handedly decide that my class isn't important - especially if I'm introducing a new concept/skill or doing an assessment that day. Special area teachers have a very finite time for instruction and, often, a very full schedule so making up instruction and assessments can be pretty difficult.

Of course, if it's your school culture that special classes aren't important, maybe they've already given up on trying to actually teach anything. I've seen that happen, too.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:24 AM
 
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Actually no, I’ve talked to the specials teacher and told her how much this student enjoys the specials class and therefore, it was trying to be used as time to earn back. She agreed and was on board with me, and talked to the student as well. Again in retrospect, I see that no child should be held out of specials. I made a mistake in doing so and owned up to it.
Multiple opportunities were given to complete and important assignment, and that’s why this was my last resort. And I saw this student really step up when it mattered. Anyway I came to this board to get advice, which I have and I appreciate it all.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:31 AM
 
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She agreed and was on board with me, and talked to the student as well.
Oh, then you're fine and good for you. You'd be surprised how many classroom teachers think it's okay to hold kids out of specials without asking or even notifying the teacher.
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