Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Parental Involvement"

Over at Kitchen Table Math, the Sequel there is a post about parental involvement. People are posting in the comments section about ways that parents can get involved. Some of the comments are pretty snarky (but I think they are said somewhat in jest and probably out of frustration) as is par for the course from people who have complaints against public education.

So, I propose that teachers make your own comments. What say you about parental involvement? I will update your comments as they are received.

From Redkudu
1. Please understand that my schedule is set in stone, and is very structured. I cannot leave thirty students in a classroom to call you on your time. I cannot receive phone calls during class. I do not have a private area to make phonecalls, so the only time I can do so is when my classroom is empty, which means my conference period or before or after school, if I'm not tutoring.

2. If my scheduling is a problem, communicate with me by email. Although I will rarely email during class time, I might be able to between classes or over lunch or in the morning, or in the evening. It is always quicker to email me.

3. Come to a meeting with questions. Make those questions your own, not your student's. The student's question will always be "Why am I failing?" and my answer will always be "Becuase you're not doing your work" or "Because you're not coming to class" or something similar. As a teacher, I always greatly appreciate when parents come with this single question: "What does child-o-mine need to do differently?" Because then we can get somewhere and really work together.

3. Keep in mind this little ditty: I promise not to believe everything they say happens at home, if you'll promise not to believe everything they say happens at school. And know that teenagers will work it both ways if they can. Yes, even yours. :)

From Cassie
4. I'd love for you to help out in the classroom, under one condition. Please understand that what happens here is confidential. You may not tell other parents about the struggling reader that you sat with or the student who can't add 2+2. Would you like other parents talking about your child's behavior during the Valentine's Day party?

From Proverbs16three
5. I wish that parents would simply encourage their kids to do their school work and to be more responsible.
6. Also, because I have 150 students and 10 other school duties, I can not call everytime your child misses a homework assignment or fails a test.
7. Be more proactive, ask to see their notebook & progress reports. Check the online system regularly. Send me emails.

From Dewey
8. I really want to echo the emailing one. It's so frustrating when parents call on the phone, because I won't see my messages til my planning period, which may be tomorrow, and when I return the call, they almost never answer. Phone tag is such a time waster. PLEASE EMAIL.

12 comments:

Law and Order Teacher said...

Ah, parental involvement. A good topic indeed. Most teachers, I think, encourage parental involvement of the positive variety. I have had both, as have most of us. I always love when a parent takes their "oxygen processor" student to task for their laxity. Unfortunately, all too often they take us to task. When I was a cop it was not unusual when a parent was called-in to pick-up their criminal child they would say "My son said he didn't do it." I always said "Boy, I'm glad we cleared that up." Parents, gotta love 'em.

Redkudu said...

1. Please understand that my schedule is set in stone, and is very structured. I cannot leave thirty students in a classroom to call you on your time. I cannot receive phone calls during class. I do not have a private area to make phonecalls, so the only time I can do so is when my classroom is empty, which means my conference period or before or after school, if I'm not tutoring.

2. If my scheduling is a problem, communicate with me by email. Although I will rarely email during class time, I might be able to between classes or over lunch or in the morning, or in the evening. It is always quicker to email me.

3. Come to a meeting with questions. Make those questions your own, not your student's. The student's question will always be "Why am I failing?" and my answer will always be "Becuase you're not doing your work" or "Because you're not coming to class" or something similar. As a teacher, I always greatly appreciate when parents come with this single question: "What does child-o-mine need to do differently?" Because then we can get somewhere and really work together.

3. Keep in mind this little ditty: I promise not to believe everything they say happens at home, if you'll promise not to believe everything they say happens at school. And know that teenagers will work it both ways if they can. Yes, even yours. :)

Cassy said...

Dear Parent,
I'd love for you to help out in the classroom, under one condition. Please understand that what happens here is confidential. You may not tell other parents about the struggling reader that you sat with or the student who can't add 2+2. Would you like other parents talking about your child's behavior during the Valentine's Day party?

Proverbs16three said...

Parental Involvement at the high school level is different. I wish that parents would simply encourage their kids to do their school work and to be more responsible. Also, because I have 150 students and 10 other school duties, I can not call everytime your child misses a homework assignment or fails a test. Be more proactive, ask to see their notebook & progress reports. Check the online system regularly. Send me emails.

PaulaV said...

Can parents comment here? Or is it just for teachers?

Dewey said...

I really want to echo the emailing one. It's so frustrating when parents call on the phone, because I won't see my messages til my planning period, which may be tomorrow, and when I return the call, they almost never answer. Phone tag is such a time waster. PLEASE EMAIL.

ms-teacher said...

Hello Paula V.

You can post your own when I do one from parents. I am a parent as well, so I'll do it from a parenting perspective as well.

Jane said...

Please understand that when I call your home or work to discuss your student's behavior, I have spent time reflecting on the situation and I have decided that it warented your time and attention. Chances are good that there have been several other situations that preceeded this call. Also know that discipline is most painful part of my job. I detest having to call you. I take no pleasure in it. Often times in order to reach you, I have to call long after the school day is over, at a time when my own family needs me too. So, if I do call, please listen. Just listen to what I have to say before you jump to defend your child. I know that the instinct to protect your child is strong and I respect that. When I call, I am looking for your support and active participation in coming up with a solution. This is when I need your participation. Thanks!

The Science Goddess said...

This is off topic, but I wanted to let you know that my blog has a new URL: http://whatitslikeontheinside.com Blogger may not redirect nor blogrolls automatically update.

I hope you'll stop by soon.

Liz said...

It's Liz from I Speak of Dreams.

The KTM-2 posts are here

first one
http://kitchentablemath.blogspot.com/2007/05/nclb.html

continuation
http://kitchentablemath.blogspot.com/2007/05/get-involved-part-2.html

Liz said...

Same Liz.

As a parent of a child with a learning disability, I made a practice of telling (emailing, mostly) teachers when an assignment really worked.

I also had a practice (developed over 20 years ago, when one of my stepsons was a bit of a pill) of complimenting the teacher at least twice a week--along the lines of "thanks for your sensitive handling of XYZ issue today" or "With your influence, Son's attitude is really starting to turn around" and so on.

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