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fredlish fredlish is offline
 
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Strange parent response
Old 10-31-2017, 02:19 AM
 
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Ok, so I have a student from a divorced family. The student did not turn in a book report. I had him call home. He had to leave a message on voice-mail about that. The book project never was turned in. The next week, the student did not turn in his narrative. I emailed the parent who is listed as his mother on our grading program. We were two days from grade cut-off when I emailed. The narrative was due a few days before I emailed.

The next day, I received an email from his mom that said he was not living with her that week, and that I needed to contact this other person at ..... Seriously, his mother wouldn't take care of this? What is wrong with parents?

I did not call anyone else. My principal agreed with me that the parents need to get their crap together and stop this petty crap.

If you don't want to parent, take your name off his record.


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Old 10-31-2017, 03:13 AM
 
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Children have two parents.

Unfortunately, they often are unable to communicate with one another. If parents are divorced, that may be the reason.

Sadly, kids sometimes live with custody arrangements where they are one week with mom and the next week with dad. For disorganized kids (especially middle school, where they are also learning to switch classes and teachers) this is just too much. The kids really suffer with these arrangements. Your student may well have done the work, but left it at the other parentís home accidentally. Or they did not bring the materials they needed for completion of the assignment to the other parentís house that week.

This is a real problem. It isnít all the kidís fault. And the parents may be unable to provide consistent structure and help to their child if they are not communicating. (Itís tough enough if they are able to communicate!)

If you can find it in your heart to help the kid out by offering some focused time with you to get organized and complete the work, they will not forget your kindness. Assume you do not have an ally in the parents, but do give the kid some help (and cut them a little slack on due dates, especially if they cooperate with your assistance). Maybe they can come in after school or during lunch or free time? Approach it as extra help rather than punishment.
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:31 AM
 
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I agree with lisa 100%. You can't make the parents get their crap together and stop this petty crap. But you can find a way to help the kid navigate his complicated world.
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:56 AM
 
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I totally disagree. It absolutely is the kidís fault. Regardless of who the kid is living with, the kid is still responsible for doing the work. It would be different if he said, ďI did it and left it at my momís/dadís houseĒ and the parents didnít get involved, but the kid didnít take responsibility for his learning.

Yes, the parent owns some blame for not stepping up and helping out. But the kid is old enough to get it done regardless of where heís living.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:00 AM
 
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Quote:
But the kid is old enough to get it done regardless of where heís living.
I guess it depends on how old he is. But if his life is disorganized and his parents won't co-parent...he has no support. I think the kind option is for the teacher to help provide some.


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Old 10-31-2017, 06:24 AM
 
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I agree with most of the responses here. Yes, it is the kids job to turn the work in, but it seems like you were willing to allow the child to turn the work in late. You contacted the parent to tell them that. In a perfect world parents could relay messages to one another even if they are divorced, but the world is not perfect. Why punish the child because the parents can't get it together? Sorry, it is your job to contact the parent, even if you did contact one the person you thought the child was with that week. It just seems petty and unkind to not take the extra step to contact the other parent. A little bit of empathy and kindness will go a long way, especially in the life of a child like the one you are describing.
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legal issue?
Old 10-31-2017, 08:17 AM
 
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Perhaps there is a restraining order and the parents cannot have contact? We have had that in our school where we had to call both in regards to grades
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:20 AM
 
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These parents are obviously not co-parenting. Mom's house is Mom's house and Dads house is Dads house.

If you visit a divorced parent board you will find lots of posts from people in a week on week off situation. Sometimes parents communicate, but often they don't. When they don't the major complaint (and it's usually from dads) is that the school only contacts one parent (usually the mom), and that the information is never relayed to them.

With divorced parents, I'd put both parents in the "to" line of every email. Then you don't have to find out who the child is with that week. It also lets the parent know that you are holding them and the child accountable.

Expecting one parent to communicate to the other is reasonable when the parents live together. When the parents don't live together it may never happen.

Last edited by marguerite2; 10-31-2017 at 09:16 AM..
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More info
Old 10-31-2017, 11:15 AM
 
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The student is in 7th grade. It is reasonable to expect that he do the work and turn it in on time. We do not assign homework. Students were given plenty of time to complete the assignment at school.

My main point was that it is the parent's job to parent, no matter which home the student is in at the moment. I understand that our world is not perfect, but it is reasonable to expect parents to communicate. Even if the mom would have just called the student herself (Yes, he has a phone.), that would have been okay.

We were at the end of the marking period, and after I received the email back, there would have been no time for the student to do anything.

I'm not sure how my original post became interpreted to mean that I do not help my students.
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I agree with you
Old 10-31-2017, 02:42 PM
 
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I think that you did what you had to do and I don't think that you need to spend any more time tracking down the parent-of-the-week. The kid knows what he had to do, he didn't do it, and you tried to alert his family. As his mother, she needed to communicate with *someone* - like you said, if not his father, then the kid himself. You can include both email addresses in future notices but I believe that the mother should have at least contacted the kid.


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Old 10-31-2017, 03:15 PM
 
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Iíve had this happen before. Sometimes due to the wording in the custody decree the noncustodial parent doesnít have access to the child. So mom may have wanted to help, but honestly couldnít until the following week when he returned to her home. My advice is to follow the suggestion from the PP, in the future use E-mail and put both E-mails in every to line.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:49 PM
 
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If the student is old enough to independently write a book report and a narrative, he is old enough to be responsible for his own assignments
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:54 PM
 
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The 7th grader knew when the work was due and did not turn it in.

Mom did not want take personal responsibility to assist her child in being more responsible. 2issues and only one you have a bit of leverage with at this time. I would give him the grade he earned and perhaps find time to connect with him to ask how I could help him get his work done on time. No adult in his life seems to care except you and that kid knows that.
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I get what mom is doing
Old 10-31-2017, 03:56 PM
 
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She's putting the responsibility where it lies, with dad and the kid. She's refusing to be the only responsible one. How old is the kid? If he's k-2, then they should let the school have a copy of their schedule, so you know who to call. Otherwise, the kid should know.
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:01 PM
 
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Quote:
With divorced parents, I'd put both parents in the "to" line of every email. Then you don't have to find out who the child is with that week. It also lets the parent know that you are holding them and the child accountable.
TOTALLY agree with this. I think it would save you stress (and possible issues for the kid) if you just emailed them both when you need to email them. I would assume (hope) that they both had their contact information in whatever database or list you are using.

Sounds frustrating.
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:47 PM
 
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Poster said that she had the student call home. He/she should know where they needed to call, too. 7th grade this student should be responsible for their work.

With my 3rd graders, I would talk through strategies (put your work in your folder, in your backpack - immediately - not waiting for morning type thing), and I tell the child that because they have more than one home, they have to learn to be more organized and responsible for taking care of their school tools. They may need help at my age getting that together, but ultimately it is the student's responsibility. Mom and dad aren't in charge of putting library books or folders or planners in their backpacks. Students are, and I remind them of that as I need to. I remind parents of it.

Divorce, 2 homes, 3 homes - it isn't an acceptable excuse.
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GraceKrispy. . .
Old 11-01-2017, 09:29 AM
 
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. . . had the perfect solution. I have noticed that she often does.
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