Monthly Archives: November 2009

Parent Conferences (and other ravings)

I don’t understand parents sometime.  What makes them think that it is okay to request a time for a conference, confirm that time, and then not show up to that conference, without a note or a phone call?  Do they not care about their child’s education?  Do they not think it is rude to just not show up for a scheduled meeting?

I honestly think a large percent of these parents do not place much value on their child’s education.  Maybe they figure that they didn’t get one, and they’re doing alright.  So anything their kids do at school will be an improvement.  I don’t know.

But I keep reminding my students if they want the best chance to do something for work that they actually enjoy doing, they had better get an education.  If they want to avoid working every day doing something they don’t like, they need to get an education.

But I think most of the parents think they have no control over what their kids do at school, and how much the child learns.  They expect the teacher to do all the work, and I think most are too busy and too tired to really put much effort into their child’s education.  Let me say that again.  I think most of the parents feel they are too busy or too tired to put much effort into their child’s education.

And I think the parents just feel they cannot get their child to do what they want them to do.  Between the TV, the game system, and their busy schedule, they feel like if they ask their child to do something, when the child doesn’t, or says no, then there is nothing they can do about it.

Two things I know.  If my kid was as low as some of my students, I would be in communication with the teacher frequently, and asking for help, and working night and day with my student to get them up to grade level.  And the other thing:  I would hate to spend a week in some of these kids’s lives.

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Filed under activities, parents

A New Student, Part I

I got called into the office the other day.  They wanted to warn me that I was getting a new student, and his mom or dad was requesting testing and for him to be put into a Special Day Class.  Looking at his records, they didn’t see any glaring needs, and he scored high enough on one test to indicate that he wasn’t autistic.  They though his parents might have thought he had ADHD.

Later that morning the boy came to class.  We’ll call him Johnny.  Johnny did not seem ADHD, although he did seem to be a little odd, and he did have a rough morning.  He was crying in class, and students saw him hitting his forehead numerous times.  I had him go to the office with another boy to run and errand for me, and while they were out, I was able to talk with the class about the new boy, and how he was asking.  They all knew he was having a rough day, so they all agreed to be extra nice to him.

By the afternoon he perked up a bit.  While talking to him, he continued to be a bit odd, but nothing too radical.

That night, while chatting on line with our school psych, I mentioned that I did not think Johnny was ADHD, but that he did seem to be a bit on the spectrum of Autism.  She tentatively agreed.

It’s been about 10 days now.  I think Johnny definitely seems on the spectrum.  There is something familiarly odd about him.  He’s a really nice boy.  The way he talks, and some of the things he says, and they way he acts at time, make me think he’s spectrummy.  But I’m no expert.

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Filed under classroom, Students


Had my first few conferences yesterday.  It was a half day, so I had 6 in the afternnon.  Well, 6 were scheduled.  But two of them were with students who were absent that day, so I had my doubts.  And sure enough, those parents didn’t show.  I wish they would have called, but that is pretty wishful thinking for these parents.

The worst part was that my 5:30 didn’t show.  I left a message earlier in the afternoon, and even at around 5:40.  But no luck.  The student told me today that she was sorry she couldn’t come to the conference, but she had fallen down the stairs, and that’s why she couldn’t come to school.  Hmmmm, there were 9 hours between school starting and her conference.  She could have at least called.

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Planning Time

We have a half day today.  Well, it’s planning time in the morning for the Fourth Grade team.  So the four of us are in the conference room to do some planning.  Who knows what we’ll plan about, and what we’ll get accomplished.  Hopefully some science, and maybe some writing.  And math, too.

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Report Cards

It’s that time of year again.  We usually get one or two minimum days to get ready.  You know, get our grade books up to date, things like that.  That was last week.  Report cards are due Friday, and although it seems that I have more time to do them between minimum days and the actual due date, the report cards seem more difficult than ever to do.  I don’t know why.

I’m about 2 thirds of the way through, but I then have to do ALL of the comments.  That can be the tricky part.  It would help if I could have a wireless connection at home.  Maybe I could go to Starbucks and use their wifi (that is not a bad idea!).

Conferences are next week.  We have two minimum days, then no school on Wednesday (Veteran’s Day), and then no school on Thursday or Friday.  I wish I could get them all in on one or two days, but it isn’t going to work out that way this year.  They’re about evenly spaced between the 4 days.

I just need to get the report cards done by Friday so they can be checked and I can hand them out for my conferences on Monday.

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