Tag Archives: homework

Overwhelmingly Low

Every now and then, and too often, for that matter, I am amazed at how low some of my students are.  I have two girls who almost always get all their homework wrong.  A’s homework is ALWAYS at least 90% incorrect, WITH HER PARENTS’ SIGNATURE.  So that means her parents either don’t care that she’s getting them wrong, or they don’t know.  Either is scary, but I’m not sure which is scarier.  Even her 2-digit by 2-digit subtraction was all wrong.  And I know she had to regroup in every one of the 8 problems, but you’d think (or at least, I would think) that her parents could at least use a calculator to check them.

And guess who didn’t return their note for conferences.

I get so frustrated.  Don’t these parents know their child’s future (and relative happiness) is at stake?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I used to think their parents want to help, and try to help, but can’t.  But now I think they just don’t want to.  They figure any education their kid gets is better than nothing.  And their life, their home, is chaos.  They probably feel overwhelmed.

But I’m sorry.  They need to do better, for their kids.  They need to do more, help more, give up more.  Their child needs them to.

I’ve got 4 students who are averaging at most 40% in spelling.  That’s not easy to do.  You have to spell a lot of fairly simple words incorrectly to average 40%.  Even if you didn’t study.

I’ve got 3 or 4 students who can’t add 2 numbers under 10 together without great difficulty.  I have a boy who can’t write a sentence with words all under 6 letters long without getting 95% of them spelled wrong.

It’s nuts, when you can’t get any help from home for these kids.  I was telling a teacher friend of mine that at least the parents want their kids to do better in life then they did.  But my friend didn’t think so.  She thinks they don’t want them to do better.

I end up thinking that the parents are just thinking of themselves.  They want what THEY want, and their kids’ education is up to their teacher, not them.  I think that is the truth.  Teaching their kid is my job, not theirs.

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Never Again

“Betty” came with her dad before school today to find me.  It turns out that Betty forgot part of her homework.  At least that is all that dad told me.  Apparently they were both hoping for something like, “Well, that’s okay!  As long as your dad came to tell me that, you don’t have to miss recess like the others who will forget theirs.”  But I held strong, and explained to dad that it was part of her homework, she will have to therefore miss recess, but it was ultimately not that big of a deal – everyone misses once in a while.

I could tell that wasn’t the expected response, but I had lots to do, so I explained that to them, and took off before they could try to get me to change my mind.

Fifteen minutes or so later, after I had made copies and got things done in the workroom, I am returning to my room when I dad finds me again, this time without Bettie.  He explains that Betty is upset and sorry for forgetting her homework.  I tell him that it’s too bad she’s upset, and I ask where she is so I can explain that it is really no big deal.  “She’s around the corner, crying.” he explains.  So I try not to roll my eyes, and tell him that I will let it go this time, and I’ll find time in class for her to do it (I’m such a wuss!).  He says thanks, and assures me this will be the last time.  Yah, I believe that.

So I go up to my room, do a couple things, and on my way to the restroom I find Betty with dad this time, looking for me again.  I can tell she’s been crying.  Dad explains that she really wants to do it at home.  I’m thinking, “Great, she wants to take responsibility and do it at home like she should.”

I tell her that she can, but she’ll miss recess if she does.  Or she can take door number 2 like I told her dad, but it’s her choice.  They say thanks, and I explain that I’ve got to use the restroom before the bell rings, so I take off again.  A few minutes later I go to pick up the class before school, AND BETTY ISN’T THERE.  She went home!  Way to go dad!  Way to not let her learn responsibility and that there are consequences for her actions.

This is the second time dad has come and said Betty was crying because she forgot her homework.  I guess she REALLY doesn’t want to miss recess.  I forgot that he had come way back during the first month of school and explained to me that she didn’t want to come to school because she had forgotten her homework in class the night before and therefore didn’t have it finished that day.  I let her off the hook then, just like I did today.

I will not let that mistake happen again.

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Detention

I kept more than half of my class in for recess today.  Most of them stayed in because they didn’t get their homework signed by their parents.  Now, I don’t mind if it isn’t signed and they get most of the homework right.  But these students didn’t get it signed, and they missed a lot.

It sounds unfair to me, at first.  But they need to have their parents check their homework.  I figure, if the parents check their homework, they won’t miss so many.  And if they do miss a lot even with it signed, at least the parents know about it.

So you have to get your homework signed.

Last year everyone in my building did detention together, for behavior problems and for those not turning in their homework.  This year we decided not to give detention for those who didn’t turn in their homework.  Instead we would reward those on Friday who turned in their homework all week.

It turns out I don’t like it.  Friday is too far away, and it just feels like those who didn’t turn in their homework are getting away with something.  There is no quick punishment.  So I think I’m going to try to rally some teachers and go back to the detention technique.  Homefuly I can get some other teachers to do it with me so that I don’t have to have detention in my room every day during recess.  So far I’ve had it 2 days in a row.

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