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Old 05-29-2013, 06:45 PM   #41
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I would need a little more info before I would declare my verdict...but yep, you seem fit into my definition of Helicopter parent.
1. email teacher? Yes, this is often the best way to get/send info back and forth. For something that was obviously as important as this was to you.....face to face. email is notoriously misinterpreted on people's meanings. Something that could be solved in just a few minutes face to face could take forever (and possibly never) to iron out. If you expect the teacher to take time for you and your kid.....take the time to get in for a face to face.
2. How many students were in the first teachers class compared to what you moved to? If the teacher has 20 or less kids.....then no excuse on the differentiated classwork. If they had 40.....whole different story and the teacher was likely just trying to survive. There is everything inbetween of course.....and the teacher could have just not been very good.
3. Yes, it does sound like you are trying to modify teacher/school behavior.
4. Quite often, part of the Math teachers required teaching methods make them have the kids prove they know how to do the math skills....in writing. Unless something has changed in the last couple of years........ Did you check with the teacher/principal?
5. Could just be a crappy teacher. I have seen plenty.....and I was slowly joining them towards the end of my career and was one of the reasons I took an early retirement. Just didn't have the ooomph like I used to have.

I had some years in the middle of my career where I was teaching 3 different preps, coaching 2-3 sports and was athletic director. All I did was go to school and go home and sleep. I had NO time for anything extra. This teacher "could" have been in the same situation (or not).....sometimes this stuff gets dumped on teachers. I did it willingly for a number of years.....but as I got older, time NOT working became more important
1) We had several meetings with her (less than productive). We switched to email since that seemed to be her preferred method. I would also talk to her in the morning prior to class, when she didn't seem to stressed/busy.
2) first class had 30 students, 2nd class had 31 students. Big difference is second class was entirely high testing gifted kids. That said - several were also english language learners, had multiple special ed needs (lots and LOTS of asbergers, adhd, spectrum).
3) I wasn't trying to change the grade... just trying to understand the justification of the grade. If he gets perfect scores on the benchmarks (district required tests) and perfect scores in math on the CSTs (NCLB required state testing), and is getting below proficient... I want to know what the grade is based on.
4) I get that method can and should be tested. But since he was given UNRELATED homework because he passed the pre-test, he had NO CHANCE to learn the preferred method. So yes - I was trying to get THAT changed. I don't like setting up kids for failure.
5) Unfortunately, this school had several crappy teachers. The school looks magnificent on paper because we're close to a university and high tech center so there are more PhD parents than blue collar types... and the teachers seem to think they're exceptional teachers rather than winning the demographic lottery.

I'm ok with what I did. His bad grades stand. I still don't fully understand why she would tell me he was doing fine and one of the brightest kids in the class and then give him less than proficient grades...

I don't do his work for him. If he fails to turn in work, I don't argue with the teacher.... So in that respect I'm not a helicopter parent.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:45 PM   #42
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I agree....but if you mentioned anything like this in a faculty meeting you risked death.....I at times had up to 8 SPED students in a class, several that had their own monitors with them, I was the only one who didn't throw a hissy fit....so I got them and damn with the majority. Same with my comments about the push for everybody to go to University....... No plans for anybody who didn't want to go to University.......had to duck the death stares.....
I don't know if magnet, test protected schools that can't be defeated by various special interests and affirmative action directives can still exist in today's climate, but if so, send your kids to one. And if not, put off retirement a few years and send them to good private schools.

In 11th grade I transferred from a "good suburban school", to a flat out super school where things moved so fast that essentially no one could coast. The difference was night and day, in the teachers who all battled to get those jobs, the students who weren't messing around, and the overall atmosphere. And talk about helicopter parents! These parents would make their kids work, but they had to be secure that the teacher knew his/her stuff, and was fair. My parents were kind of hands off, and at first I thought some of these families were a bit over-the-top. But later I realized that was one reason why the school was so good. These parents cared, a lot, and many of them were influential in the city.

Ha
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:03 PM   #43
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1) We had several meetings with her (less than productive). We switched to email since that seemed to be her preferred method. I would also talk to her in the morning prior to class, when she didn't seem to stressed/busy.
2) first class had 30 students, 2nd class had 31 students. Big difference is second class was entirely high testing gifted kids. That said - several were also english language learners, had multiple special ed needs (lots and LOTS of asbergers, adhd, spectrum).
3) I wasn't trying to change the grade... just trying to understand the justification of the grade. If he gets perfect scores on the benchmarks (district required tests) and perfect scores in math on the CSTs (NCLB required state testing), and is getting below proficient... I want to know what the grade is based on.
4) I get that method can and should be tested. But since he was given UNRELATED homework because he passed the pre-test, he had NO CHANCE to learn the preferred method. So yes - I was trying to get THAT changed. I don't like setting up kids for failure.
5) Unfortunately, this school had several crappy teachers. The school looks magnificent on paper because we're close to a university and high tech center so there are more PhD parents than blue collar types... and the teachers seem to think they're exceptional teachers rather than winning the demographic lottery.

I'm ok with what I did. His bad grades stand. I still don't fully understand why she would tell me he was doing fine and one of the brightest kids in the class and then give him less than proficient grades...

I don't do his work for him. If he fails to turn in work, I don't argue with the teacher.... So in that respect I'm not a helicopter parent.
*Any teacher who can't explain the way they grade......is scary. Same with unrelated homework. I have been retired 2 years now.....but there were still teachers I knew who just gave homework/busywork because they thought they were supposed to.
*Face to face....yep, that's the way to go. The confusing emails have happened to me a number of times...when I caused the problem....it was usually because I was in a hurry and cranked out a quick email and the parent took the bluntness/brevity of the email as being a bit grouchy. Same thing could happen the other way.
*I sure don't know what the right answer is for having too many SPED kids in a class is......it's the law so the school has to follow that....but it sure slowed the 90% of the other kids in the class down.

haha- Wish I had taught in a school that had super motivated teachers all the way around. Problem is.....most schools have 90+% good teachers....then they get a hard class load.....then they stuck with being on a bunch of committee's......then stuck with coaching something.....then.....then......then they can't do a good job because they just don't have the time. I quit just before I turned 54, I was tired and started saying no to a lot of the extra stuff, that doesn't go down very well.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #44
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particularly with respect to the integration of kids with special needs into the classroom. I'm sure it is better for those kids with special needs, but it really takes a toll on the time she has for the rest of the kids, particularly the brighter kids.
Just to make a point. "Special needs" does not mean that a child is not one of the "brighter kids."

Way back when my son was in public school, he was classified as having disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD) and was considered a special education student.

However, he was also highly gifted, and ultimately graduated high school at 15.

He did need some help at school. In first grade he had an individual daily pull out in reading for a dyslexia program. Now - at age 19 - he reads extremely well.

He needed to have accommodations to allow him to type due to his dysgraphia. He is in college now and still receives accommodations that allow him to type his tests and papers, for example.

Far too many people feel that having a disability means that a student is stupid and can't be gifted. That is simply not true. (It is unfortunate that DS did have a few GT teachers who thought this. I still remember the teacher who wanted DS out of her GT history class because he couldn't color between the lines on class projects. Even though she agreed he was making an A on the class content, she wanted him a resource room class on the ground that his arm couldn't keep up with his mind so - of course - he needed to be in a class taught at below grade level).

For more about bright kids who also have disabilities look up the term "Twice Exceptional."
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #45
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Just to make a point. "Special needs" does not mean that a child is not one of the "brighter kids."
.......
Totally agree. I was referring to the time taken per student.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #46
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Turns out he was getting all the right answers on the tests - but doing the math problems in his own methods, not the method she was teaching. And he never learned the preferred method since he pre-tested out of the modules and had entirely different homework.
Ha ha. I think the teaching whizzes of the 60s cut the parents off at the pass on this one! My parents never could even figure out what methods for us to use, or figure out what methods were in vogue.

Me in 6th grade: "Mom! Look what we learned. 4+3=12. Isn't that great!"
Mom: "No Joe, it is 7."
Me: "No Mom, it is 12. Teacher said to use base 5."
Mom: "Have your sister help you with your homework, I need a cigarette."

The helicopters were shot down by "New Math."
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:37 PM   #47
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Ha ha. I think the teaching whizzes of the 60s cut the parents off at the pass on this one! My parents never could even figure out what methods for us to use, or figure out what methods were in vogue.

Me in 6th grade: "Mom! Look what we learned. 4+3=12. Isn't that great!"
Mom: "No Joe, it is 7."
Me: "No Mom, it is 12. Teacher said to use base 5."
Mom: "Have your sister help you with your homework, I need a cigarette."

The helicopters were shot down by "New Math."
Ahhhh....another damn "study". Kind of like "statistics". Or.....you could put "politics" in here in place of education. You can prove anything you want....by asking only the type of questions you want answers(in favor) to.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #48
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Totally agree. I was referring to the time taken per student.
When DS was in public school (that was 10 years or so ago), if there were a lot of kids in the class with IEPs, there was often a special ed co-teacher also present to assist and, in some instances, kids with a lot of special needs would also have an individual aide. I do agree that expecting a classroom teacher, who is alone, to handle all the needs of all students can be daunting in the extreme.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #49
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Far too many people feel that having a disability means that a student is stupid and can't be gifted. That is simply not true.
I'm with you here. In my gifted classes growing up, we had special needs kids, and not a single one of us had a problem with it. They needed some extra help, but people are always going to need extra help in life. It's something we all knew and supported at the time.

I'm not sure if it was because we were considered ahead of the curve, but that openness wasn't seen at the regular schools until I got into about high school, where an open, accepting society was promoted instead of squashed in some odd, hyper-competitive clone factory. I'm the same age as your son, and the other special needs kids in my class are also doing fantastic, the ones who went to college and the ones who went off to start their own businesses.

Especially now that society is back to forging your own path instead of churning you into college, special needs people aren't really so special needs as much as different needs. We, their peers, are used to a society where different people have all been able to work on their own talents instead of being judged on an arbitrary standard. It's led to more success for everyone around here, it seems, being able to do what they do best. Now we're all off being a productive as we can be for society as a whole. Further understanding of special needs people has done wonders as far as I've seen, and it's great to see people in the new world understanding what we all need as individuals. That could never happen if we just threw them all in some separate but equal container so we could feel more comfortable.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:49 AM   #50
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*Any teacher who can't explain the way they grade......is scary. Same with unrelated homework. I have been retired 2 years now.....but there were still teachers I knew who just gave homework/busywork because they thought they were supposed to.
*Face to face....yep, that's the way to go. The confusing emails have happened to me a number of times...when I caused the problem....it was usually because I was in a hurry and cranked out a quick email and the parent took the bluntness/brevity of the email as being a bit grouchy. Same thing could happen the other way.
*I sure don't know what the right answer is for having too many SPED kids in a class is......it's the law so the school has to follow that....but it sure slowed the 90% of the other kids in the class down.

haha- Wish I had taught in a school that had super motivated teachers all the way around. Problem is.....most schools have 90+% good teachers....then they get a hard class load.....then they stuck with being on a bunch of committee's......then stuck with coaching something.....then.....then......then they can't do a good job because they just don't have the time. I quit just before I turned 54, I was tired and started saying no to a lot of the extra stuff, that doesn't go down very well.

One of the other problems is one that my mom had when she taught...

She taught kindergarten.... the other teachers were bad... she was known in the area as the teacher to send your unruly boy.... (this was before ADHD was even talked about).... she also had 40 kids in a class... about 30 to 35 boys and the rest girls...

She did get burned out because the principal would not spread the pain out to all of the teachers...
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:52 AM   #51
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She did get burned out because the principal would not spread the pain out to all of the teachers...
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:06 AM   #52
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Just to make a point. "Special needs" does not mean that a child is not one of the "brighter kids."

Way back when my son was in public school, he was classified as having disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD) and was considered a special education student.

However, he was also highly gifted, and ultimately graduated high school at 15.

He did need some help at school. In first grade he had an individual daily pull out in reading for a dyslexia program. Now - at age 19 - he reads extremely well.

He needed to have accommodations to allow him to type due to his dysgraphia. He is in college now and still receives accommodations that allow him to type his tests and papers, for example.

Far too many people feel that having a disability means that a student is stupid and can't be gifted. That is simply not true. (It is unfortunate that DS did have a few GT teachers who thought this. I still remember the teacher who wanted DS out of her GT history class because he couldn't color between the lines on class projects. Even though she agreed he was making an A on the class content, she wanted him a resource room class on the ground that his arm couldn't keep up with his mind so - of course - he needed to be in a class taught at below grade level).

For more about bright kids who also have disabilities look up the term "Twice Exceptional."

I don't think people are saying that at all.. some students get behind and need a bit of help to catch back up... my sister was a reading specialist at the end of her career... the kids would get some one on one time (like your son)... most would catch back up and be just fine...

But, if someone is in need of a person following them around the whole day because they cannot do whatever.... that is someone who should not be mainstreamed....

Or, if someone is so extreme in their 'special needs' where they continue to disrupt the class all the time... they should not be mainstreamed...

I do not have any problem with putting students in a class as long as the time that the teacher takes to teach is similar to all students... IOW, that person should not be getting any special treatment.... as that takes away from the other 90% of the students...
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #53
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No good deed goes unpunished...
That's exactly it. Especially for younger more energetic teachers. The principal will just keep adding more jobs to their work. You finally have to say no or the admin will keep adding more and more. For re-certification, it looks good to have more and more "extra's" in school. Extra sports, extra clubs, etc etc so the push is always on for teachers to take up these jobs outside what should be their main job. I understand why the admin have to push for all these extra duties.....but it is one of the main reasons you burn out teachers. If you want a teacher to do a great job....you can't add too many extra jobs......but.....the schools are required to add all these "extra's".
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