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Do I look like a teletubby?
Old 02-22-2014, 02:32 PM
 
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Do I look like a teletubby? I will repeat the question, do I look like a teletubby? It is what I really would like to ask them. Out of the blue, a parent is upset because their child (high school) is not enjoying the class anymore, is not excited about it as in the beginning, and wants a conference. Is teaching a popularity contest? "Enjoying" are my students suppose to be in a constant state of amazement, holding hands, skipping and giggling around my classroom? Help please help. Help me predict what is it that the parent really wants. The child is already making good grades but receive a low mark recently.


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Old 02-22-2014, 03:13 PM
 
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If possible, have an on-level student's work copied with the name cut off so the parent can see what you expected. Have 2-3 key things that would have improved the grade as talking points (if it's possible to copy the other student's work, make sure you can point her toward concrete examples). That way the mother has exact things to talk to the student about and feels empowered. Of course, that other student's work can't leave the classroom.

She wants to hear what you're doing to engage her kid. Have a few examples ready (we read current events, we use math in real-life examples, whatever), but explain sympathetically that unfortunately like in real life there is a level of nose-to-the-grindstone work that must be done to meet requirements in between the fun stuff.

Wear your teletubby hat for the conference.
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What?
Old 02-22-2014, 03:39 PM
 
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You mean you don't stand on the desks and have a catchy song for each mini lesson and then have an engaging, interactive activity for them to do? I had a set of parents who HATED me because I taught social studies from a text. They wanted their daughter to be building wigwams and put on plays. Hmm...not sure where I would come up with those resources. Plus, the social studies books are the only text book they have so I used it as practice.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to hijack your post (sorry). Have the common core standards with you too so that you can show mom why you are working on certain things. And, you are right, it isn't about entertaining and sometimes I am not engaged at what I am teaching either. It is life.
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Wait a second!
Old 02-22-2014, 05:01 PM
 
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You mean a high school student isn't enjoying sitting in a class at school? I'm STUNNED! Be calm with this mom and focus on how well the kid's doing. Mom's in for a real hard time if she thinks her child's always going to be happy.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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the skipping and giggling made me laugh!! Hope the child isn't planning to go to college. What is the child doing to engage himself? Are they asking questions, participating in class discussions, participating in group work? If so, great. If not, that's what they need to do. Tell mom you understand her concerns. Unfortunately some things just aren't interesting nor are you able to make every aspect of quantum physics or whatever you are teaching exciting. Plus, time constraints don't allow you to do that. You have to teach everyone. Students find different teaching methods interesting. Let her know that in a 2-3week span there will be at least 1 activity they will love, 1 they will dislike, and the rest will just be okay. I teach 5th and that's what I tell them. That's life.


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I'm amazed!
Old 02-22-2014, 05:45 PM
 
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As the mother of a high school student I am amazed that a parent is requesting a conference for this! My DD handles her own school issues. Sure I would be available to help her if she was unable to settle a situation with a teacher and it was an important issue to her grade or well being. But that scenario never has happened in her four years of high school!

I can not imagine setting up a conference with one of her teachers because DD was not "enjoying" the class anymore! So strange! Will the parent be setting up conferences with her child's college professors as well????

***I kept thinking about this, and it made remember something. When my DD was in first grade, there was a boy that sat next to her that was annoying her. DD attended the elementary school that I taught at. I told her that she needed to talk to her teacher about what was going on. She and I discussed what she could say to her teacher, and I had her put her reasons for wanting to be moved in words for me. She went to see her teacher before school one morning. I asked her if she wanted me to come and she said no. Her teacher listened to her and moved the other child. The teacher later told me that she had placed him next to my DD because she was so tolerant, but she wasn't surprised that DD had grown frustrated. She was impressed that DD had come to her to talk about the situation. I feel like I helped empower her to handle her problems on her own. Isn't that what we are supposed to do as parents?

Last edited by bucket; 02-22-2014 at 06:47 PM.. Reason: had to add something
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To bucket
Old 02-23-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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Wow, I'm so impressed by your post! What a wise mother and teacher you are! And maybe I have your child's doppelgänger in my class. This 5th grader came to me before school the day after we'd begun book groups and said, "I read the chapters of the book I chose and I don't really like it. I'm wondering if I could switch groups. You could put me in any of the other 4 groups. I understand if I can't and it will be okay." I was so impressed by her polite appeal that I granted it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:29 PM
 
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<<Let her know that in a 2-3week span there will be at least 1 activity they will love, 1 they will dislike, and the rest will just be okay. I teach 5th and that's what I tell them. That's life.>>

If I only loved 1 day of my job every 3 weeks I'd find another job. What a sad philosophy.
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Everything worked out fine
Old 02-24-2014, 04:37 PM
 
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Thanks for all the support you guys.
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So sad
Old 02-28-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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I am thinking of the Saturday Night Live skit where the tech geeks have to tell the phone workers their complaints and the workers say "so sad for you." I would love to do that. I am so tired of parents who haven't a clue.


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