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No, I will not.
Old 05-16-2020, 03:31 PM
 
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There are 119 students enrolled in my classes this year. During this pandemic time, I've counted 27 who are completing the very simple assignments I've been posting online. I haven't heard from the others even though I sent out an email blast to all students reminding them to give the work their best shot. Our district officials have now encouraged us teachers to contact students who are not going online or completing work. 117 minus 27 = the number of emails and then phone calls I'm encouraged to make to get my students to complete work for the month we have left of this distance learning. Oh, and instead of teachers dividing up the multiple phone calls to students' families, we are told we each ought to call for each student. So, Mikey or Jessica is supposed to get seven or eight calls...one from each teacher.

No, I will not.

I don't plan to dump out a laundry list of why I've been away from contributing to here PT for a long time. After an email from my principal saying that I should move forward to calling every one of my students who are not participating, I knew I could come back here to The Vent board to respond and say

No, I will not.

This is a small, low economic town. I'm sure many families are facing job loss, heartache attached to possibly sick or lost loved ones due to the virus, etc. I'm much more concerned with my students' mental health and don't want to burden them with school work that may not be as important as the other stuff that's going on in their lives.


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Old 05-16-2020, 03:40 PM
 
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I would be tempted to send out an email blast saying

"I noticed that you have not been participating in online learning. If you need any support or assistance contact district official at xxxxx"
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Send another blast...
Old 05-16-2020, 03:56 PM
 
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Just say "wanted you to know I was thinking of you. Please let me know if there's anything you need". You fulfilled your mandate to contact students and still respected their difficult circumstances.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:30 PM
 
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Iím with Sonoma. I love that idea.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:14 PM
 
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No, I will not either. Iíll spend my time with the kids who are trying. I will send a group message to everyone letting them know to contact me if they need help or someone to talk to, but I will not make 100 individual phone calls to people who either are overwhelmed, or just do not care.

What Sonoma said! Yes!


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E-Mails
Old 05-16-2020, 07:38 PM
 
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We can send mass e-mails that go to all students in our classes and choose the bbc option. I usually choose that when I include parents. It goes only to each individual and seems a lot more personalized than it is. You can simply say: ďget, ive noticed you havenít submitted any work! I know thereís a lot going on right now, but I hope you find time to complete assignments over our last month of school! Remember, Iím happy to tell in anyway I can!Ē

My tagline us ďIím only an e-mail away.Ē It has paid off!
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How long have you been distance learning for?
Old 05-17-2020, 09:20 AM
 
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We have two weeks left. When it first started we were told to be patient the first two weeks to get everyone acclimated and then those student who had not been seen or had only done 1 assignment, to communicate to the student (mass email was fine) and to the parent. Then for those students who still had not done anything the next two weeks to call home again. By the 4th week we finally had parents and students on the same page with us and were able to determine whether to continue to communicate or to let it go. That way for those students we are giving Fs to, we have documentation. Also on the flip side it gives us insight as to whether we could give a No Grade too,instead.
Through communications by different teachers of similar students we were able to find out whoís grandparent was dying at that moment from covid and what child and siblings were removed from their home, and what child had just become homeless, and what children are just trying to survive in the own while parents or parent is working to provide food and a home.
Our school is in an affluent area of town but we pull from an area of lower socioeconomic status. These issues above are evident through both areas.

What Iíve also learned is that the students miss us and the semblance of school. Maybe you calling the students might be a good thing, as it was for us.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:47 AM
 
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None mod my students are doing any of my work that is posted. As a PAID employee I must still follow directions and try to make contact. I am thankful that they did not stop my pay check. We all must make some kinds of sacrifices in this time. A quick email, phone call, or a text is all you need.
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I'd approach it more like Emily
Old 05-17-2020, 12:45 PM
 
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Don't worry, though! Our school started with the same approach of call everyone. We had to have daily contact in some form.
Some parents here have up to 7 kids. Most have 2-4.
With every teacher calling for every kid, parents got pissed. They immediately complained to people in charge, and we were told to stop, divide up the kids, and now we have had our contacts required lowered majorly.

I think if you are required to call parents, you are getting paid to do a job. If you are concerned about the student, or family, call and ask how they are and if there is anything you or the school can do to help. ( Maybe get a list of social services available in case some do need help.)
On that initial call, many of my parents actually wanted to talk ( lonely, worried, or freaked out) and I was able to help a few out with things.

What happened next though was teachers were calling daily about kids need to get to work. That is what POed the parents. There will always be some teachers who care more about the work than the student. If the student is dealing with family illness, death, recent unemployment, it sometimes helps to just listen for a few minutes. Listen, help if you can, and document.
I do not think it is unreasonable to be asked to call a parent 1x.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:53 PM
 
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I do agree that I don't want to "burden" them with schoolwork if they are already struggling with other major life stressors. However I do think checking in with them is reasonable.

I always start my conversations asking how they are and reminding them I am here to support them.

I teach elementary but at the secondary level it seems that families could be divided among teachers so multiple, repetitive contacts aren't made. Then pertinent information could be shared with other teachers when applicable.



Last edited by sevenplus; 05-17-2020 at 02:24 PM..
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:47 PM
 
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We are expected to make weekly contact. So, if a student hasn't participated during at least one online session or submitted any work per week (either one is considered contact), then we give a call. I treat the call as a just checking in, I miss you kind of way, do you need help getting online. I don't pressure about completing the work.
It hasn't been a big deal, and I don't think the parents mind.
And it seems to have worked, because now I'm down to just 1 kid not participating in any way.
This is a primary grade, though.
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Home phones
Old 05-17-2020, 05:54 PM
 
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We're getting mixed signals about when we should or shouldn't be calling. I've documented all the e-mails and Google classroom communication. B.C. (before coronavirus) I never would have called students using my personal phone....still won't.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:20 PM
 
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I got a Google Voice number for calling and texting parents. So I'm still using my personal device but they don't have my number.
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Thanks
Old 05-17-2020, 06:34 PM
 
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Thanks. I wish someone at a staff dev.. Meeting would tell us less techy teachers that is a thing. I'm sure i can Google how to do it now I know.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:39 PM
 
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A wise colleague was famous for saying:
We do our best to bring our horses to the water. If they don't want to go or don't drink when they get there, there's not much more we can do than to keep encouraging them as best as we can.
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