Let's not take this thread into the policy realm.
In San Mateo, a kid was removed from his honors English class for copying homework, a breach of an agreement signed by him and his mother. But Daddy, a lawyer, sues because the punishment is not perfectly even-handed.
Good luck with the suit, Dad, but your kid did breach his agreement. And the general public doesn't agree with you.
The kid sounds like a primo dope, anyway. He was supposed to write in a journal and he copied from others, a journal?!
Well, maybe it was a reading journal but geez, it doesn't sounds like he has much bouncing around inside his dome.
Education related - so I am posting this here as well as in it's own thread:
I would ask you to go to this link and vote for Adam White. Adam is a friend of mine who was recently accepted into a Duke certificate program to help non profit groups owners manage their charities. Adam's charity is the Vicky Honeycutt foundation. Vicky was the mother of Adam's good friend and a beloved teacher in the Concord, NC area who recently died of cancer. My wife had her in High School, and worked with her when she herself became a teacher in the school system. The charity is set up specifically to give financial assistance to teachers dealing with cancer related illnesses, either to themselves or in their immediate family. You can read about the foundation here:
The poll above is a charity drive where the winning foundation receives $1,000 and is featured on the Family Dollar website. Adam is currently either first or second in this poll, and it closes in just over a week. You are allowed to vote once per day and registration is required. However, you can opt out of any advertising or spam when you register.
Please take a few minutes to vote. It costs nothing, helps out someone with Duke ties, and is for a very worthy cause. Thanks!
"There can BE only one."
Well... another year, another set of frustrations.
First up is the girl who was home schooled up until fourth grade. She came to our school in fifth being totally unable to write. Literally. She has gotten zero correct on all of our spelling tests this year combined, and the handwriting is completely illegible. And on top of this, the parents are wackjobs. Other people in town talk about how EVERY light in the house is on 24/7. We've called and mailed and emailed the parents, and they refuse to respond. They will not attend any meetings, or anything like "Back to School" night. They straight up told the teachers they do not believe in homework and have told their daughter not to do it. So here I am with a student who has literally not done a lick of homework, and I cannot get even a call back from home... not that they care. What in the heck am I to do? We are contemplating calling the Family Services division, because clearly there is something going on here... there are rumors that the mother has a serious psychological issue, but that's just rumor right now. How do I grade this? How much do you hold a student responsible for their studies when facing something like this?
Then I have another boy who is doing none of his work. I come to hear from another parent that, after school, the kid wanders around, often sitting on their neighbors front stoop for hours. He isn't locked out or anything... he just doesn't go home. I have no idea what is going, except we know there was a real tragedy in the family a few years back involving the violent death of a parent that the kid discovered. Good lord. How on earth do we, as teachers, overcome this stuff? I've tried to do some work times for the kid because I think he gets little done at home, and I've talked with mom who says the right things... but it just seems like such a big hill to climb, and we have precious few resources if the family isn't interested.
Soo... that's the start of a new year. Lots of good kids, but the tough stories are the ones that stick out.
But--easy for me to say, because I don't face the kind of demands on my time and energy that a 5th grade teacher does, nor the kinds of conflicts that might arise when school and parents aren't working together for a common end (except when my students have to miss class to drive their parents to and from airports, which happens with such great regularity that I think there must be a desperate need for more taxis).
It probably doesn't help much for a random stranger to say that you are doing important work and that I admire the seriousness with which you are taking it--but I am saying it anyway.
It absolutely helps
Yeah, just as an update... had a sitdown with the girl. We talked for a bit, and I asked about certain elements of the homework that need parent help/interaction/signatures. I asked if they were hard to get. She said yes, and was pretty honest about it... said mom is very disorganized and not dependable, dad doesn't believe in signing things, grandmother is senile. I explained my own position; that part of me almost WANTS to fail her because she is not taking care of her responsibilities as most other students do, but at the same time I don't want to punish her if she is doing her best to get it done. So we agreed that, instead of getting "reading signatures" every night (where the kids record their reading and the parents sign that they know the reading was done) I would let her write just a single sentence about what she read as her own version of a signature. It actually seemed like a pretty good conversation; another teacher was there and listening and thought there was a good connection.
This morning? Still no homework. I called her over, told her "I'm extremely disappointed in you" with a very nasty look in my eye, and send her off. I am hoping it made an impact, and I'll talk to her again tomorrow. The lack of effort kills me, and definitely points me towards simply failing her.
That said, it was "Dress as your kids/teacher" day today. I wore my typical shirt/tie and snarled at anyone who asked why I didn't dress like a kid... usually saying something like "Because I am an adult at work." But another teacher organized that half the kids in the grade came in with khakis, shirts, ties, and lanyards studded with pens with IDs around their necks. They were very entertained. I just said I thought the classes looked very nice today, and wondered aloud if maybe they all got haircuts or something. Somehow I think they are almost MORE entertained when I snarl and complain, rather than be all sweet and nice
*laugh* Nope... that person got one right That is, however, some mighty interesting "sounding it out" spelling... kid might also not be studying
BTW... after another teacher sent home a fourth email (after repeated phone calls, notes, and the like) we just got an email back saying just "we homeschooled our daughter; if you want us to keep doing that, let us know. For now, she is in your hands; find a way to ID her issues and get her working."
That's the whole email. Keep in mind, the emails HOME included grades and websites for study aids and potential extra help times and...
Wonderful. Glad you are taking such an active role in your daughters education.