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MrsFrazzled MrsFrazzled is offline
 
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What would you do?
Old 01-16-2018, 07:10 PM
 
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So letís say this is a ďhypotheticalĒ situation.

You teach high school and teach a core general class. Due to scheduling conflicts, you have an honor student in this general class and they are unhappy being in the class (itís not honors, they are the only upperclassman in a class of underclassmen, they will be ďboredĒ, etc).

Your school counselor asks you at the request of the parent, if you could teach this one student at a honors level while having the other class be general. Basically make the class honors for him only.

How would you respond to your counselor?

The student has been given other options but has refused them. For example, said student can drop an elective to pick up an honors class of this core subject that is required, take an online honors class, or simply suck it up and take the class as is. Obviously kid and parent arenít happy with the first two so theyíd like to make their own option at the expense of the teacher.

Iíd just like to know how might others of you respond to an absurd situation.


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Old 01-16-2018, 07:14 PM
 
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Nope. Student was given other options and refused them. Student can suck it up and deal with the class as is. You can always differentiate activities and projects as you would for anyone else.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:47 PM
 
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Greyhound Girl. I told the counselor I would think about it because I was so flabbergasted that they would suggest this. And after thinking about it, I do believe you are right. An issue I have now is that I will be the bad guy for saying no, not the counselor. Itís ridiculous that the counselor would even entertain the idea for the kid/parent.

I am in my tenure year and I just hope that me saying ďnoĒ wonít be held against me as a reason to let me go. I donít think it will but you never know.
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Say No Thank You
Old 01-16-2018, 08:12 PM
 
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Just that, nothing else. Do not be a people pleaser. Teaching is hard enough as it is.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:53 PM
 
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I agree, the request is out of line, but if this were the deciding year for me to get tenure, I would honor the parent request. You never know how well connected or outspoken a particular parent may be, and sometimes it's best to play it safe. Keeping the parent from possibly bothering the principal would be the prudent course of action, meanwhile.


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Old 01-16-2018, 10:22 PM
 
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I would definitely not want to do that...at all.

I also wonder if it would put you in a awkward spot with other colleagues. For instance, a teacher I know offered something regarding conference times that no other teacher offered. The parents then expected this the next year, and they were super crabby with the current teacher for saying no.

If you agree to do this, could it become an expectation for others? And who wants to be the person who opened that can of worms? I am surprised the counselor would even offer something like that.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:40 PM
 
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My guess is the only option is an online honors class. Simply "dropping an elective" is not that easy. Band, foreign language, etc. are considered electives and are too important to simply drop IMO.

What this student is asking for is independent study. Whether I would agree to do it probably depends on the kid. Is it someone you can hand the syllabus from your honors class (I assume you teach it, or I would definitely refuse!) and let them go? If not, it won't work and the student should take the on line course or take the class as is. Taking a general ed credit to fulfill a requirement won't kill them.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:07 AM
 
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Does your school weight honors classes higher than general classes? When I was in HS, honors and AP classes carried a higher weight (so like an A in an honors class was a 5.0 vs a 4.0). Do they want that higher weight and the honors name on his transcript? So instead of US History it would be US History Honors?

I agree with a PP that it sounds like an independent study type option. IF the kid was motivated it maybe would be a good compromise.

If the added weight or added "honors" to the transcript isn't a factor, then it just seems like differentiation. Give the kid longer assignments (instead of a 5 page paper, it's a 7 page paper), more requirements (5 sources instead of 3 say for a paper), add on a couple higher level questions at the end of his test and grade harder. That wouldn't be much more work and would look like you're cooperating. But if it would be showing up on the transcripts as a separate class, then it needs to be an official independent study.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:29 AM
 
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If I taught the honors class, I would let the kid do the honors curriculum independent study. Sometimes scheduling just doesn't work out. But I would wonder--why not the online course? If I did not teach the honors class, I would refer the family to the teacher who does for the independent study.
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Yes
Old 01-17-2018, 03:17 AM
 
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If it is your tenure year I would say yes- and try to make it easy for yourself...


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Amazing
Old 01-17-2018, 04:16 AM
 
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It always amazes me how counselors, principals, school psychologists, etc. come up with these brilliant ideas. I think they have no clue what it is like to be in the classroom juggling 30 balls at one time.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:19 AM
 
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Could you say yes, but basically just give him the honors homework, tests, quizzes, and projects?

So teach the same in the general class as you have been, and make the student responsible for learning extra material? And give them the honors version of tests, etc?

My concern would be the struggle that the counselor said "maybe" and now you're looking like you don't want to accommodate. Also, it's your tenure year, and if you're worried about job security, then that is important. But you can't make more work for yourself. So I would let the student know what the honors topics are that he will be responsible for understanding (that you don't cover in the general class), and just grade him like an honors student.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:41 AM
 
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I agree with some of the other PP, if the student is motivated or academically proficient, I would give them the "honors" projects, quizzes, and tests. I would differentiate for any student, but that would be it. I wouldn't completely rewrite everything for just one student.

On a side note, I think the labels are a little foolish and schools create issues when they get so hung up on them. I've taught special education/inclusion rooms and the work we did was more "honors level" than the "honors class" next door. The state came in for an unannounced observation and thought our inclusion room was the honors class until the principal corrected them.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:35 AM
 
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To all parties who need to hear, I (as a high school teacher having been put in this awkward/silly situation more than once or twice) say this:

"I'm sorry but I have many other commitments both during and outside of the school day. Any class I am assigned will be taught to all participants as it is stated in the description in our school's course catalog."

On a personal note, I understand that people want extra accommodations, people want to strive to get the best for honors students, but it still boils my blood. (Especially with the options I see were/are provided to your student.)
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:52 AM
 
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What a mess for all involved!

I agree that dropping an elective isn't always that easy or the best thing to do. I also see the problem with not taking honors because of the bump and the challenge. I also see a problem with on-line classes. Not everyone does well with them. If they did, wouldn't we be supporting more of them for students so they could go at their own pace? Instead we complain about schools that have academics as on-line classes and how terrible it is for the students.

I see why the parent may be angry and why you, OP, are angry. There is no good solution. Even if you do teach the honors material, it still won't be a great option for the student.

I see both sides. The options provided don't really meet the needs of the student which says the students needs aren't important if the student is forced into them. By making you teach both levels at once doesn't take you needs in mind. Maybe ask for a supplement in pay to cover the additional work. You really now have an additional prep for one student.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:52 AM
 
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I would consider it because it is the kind of thing that would happen in my school. The difference is that at my school I would just be told I needed to do It, not given a choice.

I think you need to run it by your department head or someone else in your department so you can determine if, in your school, this is an outrageous request or a not uncommon request.

If you don't want to do it I think you should explain that makings course honors is more than just harder tests and more work. It is that the approach to the course is more rigorous so the in-class teaching is different and the way the material is presented is different.

If the only difference between honors and regular is harder tests and more homework, then in reality it is not that outrageous to have a class with regular and honors students.
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No
Old 01-17-2018, 07:02 AM
 
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not unless parent is willing to pay you for your work let tutoring. Pay you for your time to individualize his work.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:10 AM
 
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Iíd do it in a minute if it were my tenure year. And Iíd smile.
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Wow!
Old 01-17-2018, 07:17 AM
 
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I canít believe some many of you responded you.

I have to say that I understand those of you that are saying do it especially in light of this being my tenure year. But Iíve never given them a reason otherwise to let me go and if saying no to this is it, so be it.

I ultimately agree with Ally. I did eventually ask my neighbor teacher who has been teaching at the school for over 20 years and she told me not to do it because then the counselor will do it again and then it might be more than just one student. And it could be expected of other teachers to do it. And like Ally said, I donít want to be the one that opens that can of worms. Iíd rather risk being let go.

I am a science teacher and am in high demand. We are supposed to have 2 science teachers retiring this year so really it wouldnít be wise for them to let go over saying no to this.

The class the student doesnít want to teach is a physical science ( itís a tenth grade class). The way we set up our science course is: all 9th graders take biology (generals or honors). Then general 10th takes physical science and honors takes chemistry. Then in 11th and 12th grade they can chose from several like hon. Physics, gen earth & space, hon/gen anatomy and gen. Forensics.

So somehow the student got put in gen physics science even though they had taken honors chem the previous year. The counselor did it to accommodate the other classes the student wanted to teach. It just so happens that in the block of phy sci there is NO honors science class being taught.

The student could take an online physics class but the counselor thinks the student is worried it will be hard or isnít motivated to do it. Well, that isnít my fault. He had been given other options and refused them. Then I say, end of discussion. They stay in the general class and takes it as is.

If I honor this one request, what is to stop it from happening again?
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:17 AM
 
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Daffodils brought up a good point. Will the student get honors credit? That's totally different than just differentiating for him because it will change his QPA.

Why won't he drop the elective class? Is it something he's using for a scholarship, like band?

I would talk to the counselor and ask these questions and make sure she's not going to throw you under the bus. If you're just being asked to differentiate, that's no different than you should be doing anyway. If she's asking you to "create" an honors class with higher credit, that's a whole different ballgame and will require more time on your part but more independent work on his part.

If there's a teacher already teaching an honors class, why can't he/she give the student the work to do at home? It's not like he needs to physically be in your class if you're giving him a different curriculum, which it is if it's a true honors class.

The counselor should be aware that she's setting up a precedence, however.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:43 AM
 
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I just figured out how to save the district a ton of money, eliminate teachers in honors and AP classes because all students need is the syllabus!
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I agree
Old 01-17-2018, 07:49 AM
 
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You are right, SusanTeach. That thought did cross my mind, too. If they were going to give the student honors credit for doing that.

So The situation about the ďelective.Ē My school is on five block semesters. He have now started over on a new semester. The student already took a math class first semester. They are only required to take 1 math a year so they meet that requirement. The student then elected to take another math this semester which they do not have to do.

the students have to take their 4 core classes and then they have to choose 6 electives. 6! So many 11th graders have chosen to double up on math or science so that they wonít have to take them their senior year. And that is what this student has done. They could drop this extra math that they donít have to take this year but they wonít. And obviously we canít make them.

I forgot to add in my earlier reply that physical science is no longer an honors class at my school. They last offered it as honors the year before I got hired. So Iíve never taught it as honors and the last time it was taught as honors they were using different textbooks.

So even if I did this and get stuff from the teacher who last taught it as honors. We no longer have or use those textbooks. So Iíd have to make an entire honors curriculum just for him from our new books.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:03 AM
 
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Quote:
... forgot to add in my earlier reply that physical science is no longer an honors class at my school. They last offered it as honors the year before I got hired.
If it wasn’t offered to the student as an option, in my opinion, the counselor is way out of line asking you to teach it. Counselor just doesn’t want to tell the parents no.
If it’s not offered, it is not offered.

If you agree to this, and I don’t think you should, what’s to stop the counselor from trying to move another student to your class next week as he wants to be in honors too? Or other students in your class from asking for this option too?
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:04 AM
 
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I'm a previous poster on this thread. In the past, teachers who have accepted to do this for a student have opened a gigantic can of worms with the union.
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You are so right,
Old 01-17-2018, 08:27 AM
 
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Marguerite2. The counselor basically said that this was suggested by the parent. So I guess the counselorís response was something like, ďsure, Iíll ask the teacher if she can do this.Ē When she should have said, ďno, thatís not possible.Ē

They were give other options and said no to them. So to me, I would think he counselor should have said ďwell Iím sorry. Thatís the only options we have for your child.Ē

Because as you and a few others have pointed out, it will happen again. Becuase what parent/student is going to keep their mouth shut about that? They will feel as if they won in the situation and I know they will blab to friends/family about it. Then, because I said yes, the counselor will pretty much be forced to do it again if another parent asks.

I wonít do that to myself or open that door for it to happen to another teacher.

Both of our counselors are people pleasers. They have no capability of saying no to outrageous requests by parents. So rather than them be the bad guys that said no, it falls on my shoulders. But I am going to refuse to honor this request.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:55 AM
 
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I didn't realize that this student is taking an entirely different course.

My reaction would be "no". You cannot possibly teach a different science class while another is going on. I assumed it was physical science vs. honors physical science.

And if your coteacher is recommending you to say no, then I would say it. What this student is asking is beyond expectations by a long way. And there are other options, so the student should make their choice, then be done with it. It isn't your responsibility to accommodate every unhappy parent.

And for you to have to MAKE A NEW curriculum?!!?!? No way in the world. Not worth the trouble, unless the parent/school is going to pay you for all the extra time and work.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:31 AM
 
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It is general physical science vs honors physical science. I might be a bit dramatic to say a whole new curriculum but it would require me to teach it to this student very differently to make the course honors.

The school no longer offers physical science as an honors class. The last time it was honors, it was taught with a different textbook that we no longer use and with the old non-common core standards. So I have no honors resources to do it honors for this one student since I nor any other teacher in the school has taught physical science as an honors class with the new textbooks and the new NGSS standards.

If I did it honors, Iíd want to do it right and teach them on an honors level. Iíd give different notes, go more in detail on some topics, give homework, do more advanced labs, etc. How can anyone justify doing all this for one student in a classroom of 20 other general students?

Sure, I could probably do some of the suggestions mentioned but I might very well be opening Pandoraís box.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:36 AM
 
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Sorry I am not able to quote correctly. But in your OP you said

"For example, said student can drop an elective to pick up an honors class of this core subject that is required"

Now you say "physical science is no longer an honors class at my school."

If the latter info is correct, that changes everything. If physical science is not an honors class, then it is absurd to make it honors for 1 student. Every student should have the opportunity to take it honors if it is an option for one student. In that case, offering it to him is subverting the decisions that were made by the principal and possibly the district office. I assume the thinking was that physical sci is the grade-level class and the honors option is chemistry.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:38 AM
 
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With the added info that you don't teach this subject as honors during a different period - NO! I can't believe they expect you to come up with a new curriculum for one student.
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Right
Old 01-17-2018, 09:50 AM
 
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Tyrex. What I meant is that the student needs to take a science class (a core subject) in order to move one to the 12th grade. They must take 4 sciences by the time they graduate.

They want it to be honors but due to I guess scheduling conflicts, the had to put the student in a physical science class which is the ONLY science class given on our campus at that time. All the other science teachers either have a planning period at this same time or they have a study hall class.

So I guess in order to give the student all the other classes they wanted, the counselor saw fit to put the student in my general science class (so he would at least get the science credit?) without ever discussing it with the student because when the student came to class the first day of this new semester and he asked to talk to the counselor about it.

So the way I see it is they made a scheduling mistake and and now want me to do this for the student to make up for it? I donít know. I really wish I knew what our counselorís thought processes are.
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If it is not the norm in your school,
Old 01-17-2018, 11:03 AM
 
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don't do it. The can of worms thing is right on.

If PhySci is no longer an honors course, don't do it.

The closest I'd offer (if I felt I needed to offer) is for him to do the online science class, doing portions of the online course in my room on headphones, while the regular class was learning the regular stuff. He would still be on the hook for all assignments and all the work. He would just be able to ask relevant questions at the appropriate time.

Or maybe not.

Does your school offer an alternate program or credit recovery room the kid could use?
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Wow
Old 01-17-2018, 11:04 AM
 
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I am sitting here reading these responses and all I can think about is that counselor who suggested this. Maybe there is something "extra" he or she could do to help this student, since they are the counselor.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:40 AM
 
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Poor kid is stuck in an ill-fitting box and unsuitable class...sounds like dropping a kid into pre-algebra because they couldnít fit trig into his schedule.

Kid should do the online course, because that is appropriate. If you feel any pity for the kid, you could be available to help him out once in awhile. In no way is this your problem...it is a failure of the school to provide an appropriate course.

If I were in your shoes, I would offer to be support for the online plan, just because I am nice, and i would ask to be released from a duty in compensation for working with the kid.
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I agree.
Old 01-17-2018, 01:10 PM
 
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This is truly not my problem, but the counselorís. I should not have been put in this situation. And I told the counselor that I would be more than willing to help the student with the online class if they needed it.

In response to another post: I donít believe we do credit recovery or have an alternate program during the school year. We offer summer school for those who have failed a course Over the summer.

All I know is that the students can choose to take an ACCESS (online) class if there is a scheduling conflict. A girl did it 2 years ago. She couldnít take the physics class being offered on campus so she chose to take it online. She did great in the class. So I donít know what this students reservations are with taking the online class he is being offered.
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No!
Old 01-17-2018, 01:57 PM
 
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The student was given options and did not want to take the honors class enough. It would make much more work for you, just because the student does give up anything. Sorry, learn the lesson now. The world will not cater to them. Don't put more work on yourself. They will still find some reason to complain.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:49 PM
 
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HoHumBeacBum said it best.

I'd feel pressured to say yes because of where I am professionally and still considered a new teacher but ultimately I don't know if I could because of all other options that were presented to the student.
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:22 PM
 
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If someone in my building accepted to do this, he or she would certainly be shunned and would live out many days on a lonely island.
Add me to the list of people angry that you're being asked to do this.
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:55 PM
 
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Honestly, I think an online class is a poor second best for a science class that should include lab work. (Imagine taking a woodworking class online and using a virtual hammer and saw...same with a science lab! Just doesn’t cut it!)

However, it is the best solution available to the kid, since the school has failed to offer an appropriate class.

Not your fault. Not your responsibility.

If you help out (in a reasonable but limited way) you could be the hero to the parents & kid, but be the goat in the eyes of other teachers. And you may find yourself promising more than you can realistically deliver.
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Absurd
Old 01-18-2018, 10:55 AM
 
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I think that your counselor even asking this of you is absurd. I wouldn't do it. I think they're asking way too much of you. This student can take it online, or finish the general course. It isn't that big of a deal really, anyway.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:01 PM
 
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Maybe run it by your admin? My principal would definitely be on my side and see the request as ridiculous. It wouldn't affect tenure. I know though that some admin aren't as supportive.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:11 PM
 
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It's a ridiculous request, and I'd be pissed, but...

If you think there's even a tiny chance it could affect your tenure, just do it. After you get your tenure, let the counselor have it! Lol

And also, like another poster mentioned, whether you do it or not, this kid and/or his parent WILL find something else to complain about. Get ready.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:24 AM
 
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Now knowing the student is taking an extra math (not a foreign language or band) so he doesn't have to take it next year which would be the regular time, I would say that the student should drop the elective for the honors class. Some electives just can't be dropped and taken the next year. This math can.

I understand the desire to not have to take math senior year, but if the student is college bound, math every year instead of a year off is actually better for the student in the long run.
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Special advanced work
Old 02-03-2018, 05:26 PM
 
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My district offers dual enrollment classes. These are high schoolers that also get college credit for their class. It is a bit tougher, but the carrot is the college credit.

Maybe see if that kid can do something like that.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:30 PM
 
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Yes that is what I though. They will ask you to do it again.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:37 PM
 
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So I told the counselor no in an email she replied saying that she understood but get this: In the email she asked me to tell the student that I couldnít make the class honors for him. I wish I could get paid her salary, too, since I ended up doing practically her whole job in this situation.

She also wanted me to remind the kid of the other options if he wasnít happy with that. Again, she should have been the one to tell him that. I did though. The kid seemed fine with it. I really do not like our counselors. Every one at my school know last they are a laughingstock.

In response to AZsub, the students can only take certain dual enrollment classes. We partner with the local community college and have a few professors come to our campus and teach like our English, history or psychology classes. This year we added a college math class and music app. We donít have the option for them to take any science classes yet. This is mainly due to the labs those classes require. They would have to take those classes at the college which is about 30-45 minutes away. And this student needed a science.
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