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Teachers need more parents to do their part, if we want success in the classroom.

From a reader:

When Will Parents Be Held Accountable?

In an age when just about everything that has gone wrong is blamed on the teacher, when will we begin to hold parents accountable? Even though principals blame teachers for excessive failing grades, teachers cannot teach a student that is not there. Too many students are not only absent weekly, but are frequently brought to school late by their parent. In addition, they are not absent due to illness, but because the parent decided to take a vacation out of the country, or plan some other type activity that is not school-related. When this happens, it leaves teachers with the challenge of trying to provide make up work that is hardly ever returned or grading a ton of make- up work that was submitted just before grades are due.

Furthermore, too many parents are willing to believe that their perfect child did their work timely and the teacher did not want to accept it, when that is so far from the truth. Teachers frequently accept work that is one and two weeks late, and when they simply can't extend the deadline anymore, parents have the nerve to become upset and have no problem asking for even more time. One would think that maybe we should extend the class period pass the 90 minutes allowed.

In addition, the grade portal was implemented to inform students and parents of academic progress, but now is being used as a tool to bully and harass teachers into giving a better grade than the student actually deserves. They would rather demand a better grade than sit down with Johnny and review his homework or what he has learned for the day. Countless teachers are even being told when to post grades, and are asking for extra work so that the student can improve grades needed for anything from high school graduation to college admission no matter how late the work is, no matter how much work is due, no matter the burden to the teacher who has to grade the assignments.

What example are we showing our kids when parents are allowed to manipulate the grading system? Where is the user agreement that parents should be required to sign regarding grades? What's even more concerning is some parents are trespassing on school grounds and showing up in classrooms demanding impromptu conferences with teachers in the middle of class and tutoring sessions. Where is the regard for the teacher?
Moreover, when will parents be made to follow the chain of command when addressing concerns? What is wrong with talking with a teacher first and getting the other side of the story before you make up your mind? Judy doesn't always come to class when you send her to school, she really showed up with a sheer lace blouse that the parent purchased that created a dress code violation, and she failed to complete any work in class while sending text messages on the phone that the parent provided with the unlimited text plan.

Nevertheless, teachers know and work with a lot of good parents that care and are working with teachers. We could not do our jobs at all without them. We see the care in the behavior of the children, we see it in their grades, we see it when they visit us to show us their college degrees, and we see it as they start working in the community. All teachers are asking is that there be more accountability from all parents as we try everything we can, including losing sleep and time with our own families, to help educate our children.

Please stop blaming all teachers for the shortcomings in the classroom. If parents send a child to school, teachers will teach them. So, if you see a teacher thank them because they are not doing the job for the money because you can never pay enough – they do the job because they really do care. Teachers just need more parents to do their part, so that we can have more success in the classroom.

6 comments:

  1. Bravo! AND if administrators would support teachers (as they did once upon a time), parents would not have the "wiggle room" they currently use to push their child through the school year. AND if district administrators would support those principals who support teachers -- AND if school boards would support their appointed principals ... wow, accountability all around. Sweet dreams.

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  2. I agree with you about everything, except the part about teachers being told when to post grades. I have seen student progress reports with only 3 or 4 grades for an entire quarter, many times less. Can you imagine doing all of the work and not getting the credit for the work? Sure, some students just complete it without actually learning the material or doing a haphazard job at best; however, when teachers wait until the last minute and never provide daily or weekly feedback, how is a student supposed to improve or even know how he/she is doing? I usually post 2-3 grades per week. I just use my time wisely, and I have never had a parent complain about not posting grades. In fact, I rarely have parent-teacher conferences because students know every day how they are doing. I also hand out 3 progress reports/scholarship warnings per quarter, which students sign for. I am always shocked that teachers don't follow suit. It literally gives parents/students no excuse.

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  3. The parents have been treating me like I'm their personal servant ever since Vitti took office. He has really empowered them. I'm not a grade inflater, so the parents and students are irate. Whoever wrote this is definitely living my experience to the tee.

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  4. While the proficiency of teachers lies in a broad spectrum, I believe teachers are being given a hard time unnecessarily, due to overcrowded classrooms, standardized testing and the low salaries paid to teachers here which discourages highly qualified ones to go to other states which pay salaries commensurate with other professions. While it is true some simply
    "love to teach" and are willing to take lower pay for the opportunity, that should not be the general expectation for all teachers. and when did the 90-minute class start? When I was in public school here in the 1930's and '1940's, class was one hour, and we were able to get a broad and balanced spectrum of learning, including the Arts. Also, class size was smaller, which helped both students and teachers.

    What we have now is a poor imitation of the curriculum of those days, with such a weighted emphasis on Science and Math, and near-absence of the Arts and Social Studies to any degree. Parents are turning to Charter Schools, which lack the resources of the public school systems, and therefore the children receive a limited education. To level the playing field, the School Board members here have eliminated librarians from public schools, so there's no one to seek out for answers to resource questions.

    All in all, this appears to be the first flank of the movement to eliminate the public school system, which has been one of the more shining examples of the greatness of the United States. Such a waste; so short-sighted.

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  5. Anonymous 10-13-13at 6:29 PM,

    It is great to know that you can post grades in peace. However, some of us in the trenches are being bombarded with just about every grade we are posting. Imagine getting an email or a phone call to explain a grade when you are constantly posting the work as it comes in from students. Also, let's not forget the students that bomb rush you just before grades are due that are trying to turn in all of those late assignments. How frustrating it is to have to deal with that foolishness when you know you stayed after school to tutor the empty desks and gave the makeup time in class to cover attendance, discipline, and other absence issues. May I add that many teachers are forced to take the work that is two or three weeks late to improve their grade book and keep their jobs. I have even had some parents to tell me that I need to round grades even though the kid is clearly not deserving of it. Anonymous 10-14-13 at 4:12 PM, your point is spot on and I believe parents are just trying to bully you into giving the students grades the student simply did not earn. This is another reason I document student activity even in the grade portal.
    Why should I allow a kid to make up an assignment when he or she slept in class because the parent let them stay out too late at church, the teen club, etc., or are too busy trying to be the kid’s friend. I don't understand a parent who allows a child to work and get pissed off with me when they child fails to keep his head off the desk and is failing. Johnny is not sick. He just can't function on 5 hours of sleep. School started at 7:10 and he put his head on the desk at 7:15! I have seen it all, including kids who have played in a band in a night club until two in the morning and it is my fault when the kid fails my class. While I am at it, let's talk about the kid with the unlimited texting plan that makes texting the last thing they do before falling asleep at two in the morning. If you ask some of the kids how many texts they are sending in a month, many of them will tell you 10,000 and more. You would also be surprised at where some of them are texting. Where are the parents when all of this is going on and why are the kids allowed to keep the phone with them at night when it is clearly presenting a problem with classroom learning. Moreover, I have seen the flip side where a parent will not ask you about a grade and is not willing to discuss it, but if you confiscate a cell phone, they will visit the school on two wheels using a four-wheel car. Finally, let’s not forget the parent who is paying for the student to get the 14-hour hair style that costs hundreds of dollars, but who insists that the kid can’t afford school supplies.


    Listen folks, there are some of us that can do better about posting grades and communicating with parents; I agree with that point. However, my grade portal has comments for each and every student, I am updating it frequently, I am proactive with phone calls, e-mails, and letters, but there are just not enough hours in the day to chase some of these dead beat situations. I love my kids and will bend over backwards to help them, but the one thing we all run out of is time and then the final posting date for grades is here. I then get the irate kid and parent that have not done a thing to help me in this process, and they want to know why I wrote the kid up for cheating on an exam. Why is the parent asking me why I wrote Judy up for cheating and put a zero in the portal, when she has never seen her study or crack a book after school?
    In closing, I have taken the time to get the degrees, the training (ongoing), and I am prepared to deliver a quality education. All I am asking is can we get more parents to step up to the plate? They need us, we need them, and the students need all of us working together.

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  6. Vitti talks out of both sides of his mouth. He spends money like it grows on trees and taxpayers have no clue what he is really doing. All you hear is lip service - better known as rhetoric.

    His over inflated ego will be his demise.

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