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Mrs. M called me yesterday and we had a nice chat. I had emailed her and asked how she'd handle this as a mom and not a teacher. So basically we sat and had a heart to heart. She knows I'm not the kind of mom who thinks her kid can do no wrong. She says that Cady is a very emotional person and wears her heart on her sleeve.(especially when men are involved) Which I totally agree with. I can scream at Cady for something and she blows it off. SU even raises his voice and she's a basket case. Mr. T is a very strict and straightforward teacher. There is no gray area. He tells you to do something and how and if it's not done exactly to his specifications and he takes points off for it or lets you know. Case in point: she didn't get her agenda signed the other night which is basically homework assignments so parents can see, so Cady spent her recess walking 25 laps. Cady isn't used to this. (although at this point in the school year you'd think she's have adjusted by now) So I sat down with Cady last night and went thru all of this. Like agility mom's daughter Cady is protesting Mr. T by not doing work. I also found out there are 4 other girls having the same problem with him. I finally made her realize that she's not hurting him. He has the highest amount of straight A students in the 4th grade. So her not studying and flunking her spelling test isn't doing squat to him. I then reminded her that she better get over this and try harder the last 4 weeks seeing as how summer is here soon and she may be getting rid of Mr. T but she'd still have me to deal with. 8) I did ask if I should be worried about her possibly getting held back though and Mrs M seemed surprised I'd asked that. She said she couldn't see that happening at all. So I'm more relieved now. Thanks for all of the kind words. And please keep your fingers crossed that the next 4.5 weeks goes by smoothly.....and quickly. :-\

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My middle child is in the 4th grade. She's not in the gifted classes like her older sister but she's always been on the A-B honor roll from 1st grade. This year is the first year that they have had to have 2 teachers. They split 2 classrooms. One stays with one teacher for Science, Math, and Social Studies. The other goes to the other teacher for Language Arts and REading. Then they switch.
Now I don't know if it's the fact that the Language Art/Reading teacher is a very large male of color. (She's never had a male teacher at all let alone one who can be kind of intimidating looking....he is to me so I'm sure he is to her. Let me add that I'm by no means a racist. I was one of 5 white kids in my whole elementary school in Augusta Ga. I never had white friends till I moved to Indiana at 10.) But she has gotten D's and F's all year. We'll be lucky if she passes. He's very strict. I mean I consider myself strict but to me this guy is Mommie Dearest. They have to walk in formation to lunch. Looking straight ahead at all times. If they don't then they go in and sit down and start over. There has been many a time when they dont even get to go to lunch because of this. I didn't believe this story till I went to have lunch with her and saw it for myself. He reads the lessons straight from the book and doesn't make it fun. I know that's the only way I ever learned anything. Granted I know my child is no angel. I really don't. Far from it by any means. She talks back, doesn't listen, total slob, steals from me and friends occasionally, but she's always loved to read and has never minded school work. Till this year. And now it's only his classes she hates. The part that gets me is that the MAPS tests in Language Arts (some standardized tests) that they gave to the 4th grade this year...she scored the highest in the 4th grade at her school! How can she be doing that good on those and so badly in her classes? I'm totally blown away by this. I emailed her teacher today to discuss this with her. (The science, social studies, math teacher) But my best friend (who is also a teacher) doens't think that she (above mentioned teacher) will be able to discuss it with me due to personal issues. I just don't know what to do. I mean school is over in 5 weeks here so do I go to the principal? If it IS my daughter I don't want to look like a total moron. Do I talk to the "mean" teacher and possibly make things worse on my daughter? Or do I just let it blow over and pray for the best? I'm so confused. I don't want to screw up my daughter's school carreer. I had a teacher like this in the 5th grade. He was nicest person in the world when an adult was around. Even when the other kids were around. But he hated me with a passion and would even hit the back of my hand with a ruler when I annoyed him. My mom never believed me because she had dated this guy in high school.(She cheated on him) I don't want to let my daughter down but I don't want to get a guy fired either if possible. Advice?
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th grade)

I am not a teacher but my opinion is it is really to late in the school year to do anything. Unless you truly feel she might not pass to 5th grade I would let it be. I know here in AZ that they have to notify parents long before now if that is a possibility.

I had a teacher like that in 3rd grade and not to blow my own horn but I was one of the brightest kids in the class. I couldn't pass Miss Black's test and my grades plummeted. But within a month my parents knew it wasn't working and requested I be transferred to another class. It was denied my parents found out due to numerous other request and they didn't want to start a trend. So my folks just went in to withdraw me and moved me to another school. Suddenly they decided to do it.

I think you should have acted much earlier. I don't think anything can be done this late in the year unless you want to try and get them not to renew his contract if he does not have tenure. If that is the case then you may want to ask the principal to compare grades of students from last year to this year. But I suspect if numerous kids were suddenly failing the administration would be wondering why themself. It may be his teaching style works for most children but not your daughter.
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th grade)

I agree that it may be late to make any significant changes, but it's never too late to have a conference with the teacher. It would at least show the teacher that you DO INDEED CARE and are taking notice.

The fact is, your child is not doing well in a class. You need to find out why so that this is not repeated in the future. I have had, at my request, the principal attend some parent/teacher conferences.

You need to be informed as the parent, the principal does as the supervisor and the teacher does.

I cannot tell you how many meetings I have been in... and how much information I have gathered on my child to redirect her, the teacher and myself. I am surely no stranger to education woes and have many friends here on the board that have followed the continuing saga for years now.

Oh, btw.... although my daughter has not done so great in class, she too blazed through her state testing. It was a total shocker.
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th grade)

From a 5th grade teacher's point of view, we always look down on holding back a child in older grades only because they are not learning anything basic like they are learning in earlier grades and studies have shown there is no real benefit to it. we always push for and highly suggest summer school for these students through. our principals believe the same thing. I have seen more then one student squeak by in any subject area and by the time they did their state tests, they had excelled in those subject areas. I have to sit back and scratch my head and sometimes I ask the student why they perform so well on the test but can't do the same for classwork.

Also, if your school does not purchase these, I would get your child an agenda. All of our students K-12 in our district are given one at the beginning of the year. They are a life saver and a great way to communicate with the teacher on less then serious topics. They write down all the homework they have, regardless of whether it's done or not. Sometimes, it's the only way of getting messages to parents because of everyone's different work schedules. I can write a note in the agenda about a child's behavior/ missing homework/ any other pertinent information from that day. Or I constantly look for notes from parents on something i need to watch out for. It's a great record of these conversations as well if any of my superiors question me about talking with a parent. I run copies of the pages I have written notes on and it gives proof.

Good luck with your daughter. Hope all works out.
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th grade)

My daughter went through something similar in third grade. It all boiled down to her dislike of the teacher. She felt that she was punishing the teacher for her unfairness and harshness by not trying in school. After gaining a couple years of perspective on it my daughter says that she was not hurting the teacher but herself. At that time I wished I could've changed classess. Our school only has one teacher for each grade. Also, there are going to be many people in this world that my daughter will have to deal with. Not all will she like or get along with. She needs to know how to deal with these situations for the future.

Have a meeting with the teacher and the principal. I would also advise having the school counselor be present. Address your concerns. I found that in talking with the teachers that it pays to be very specific regarding their comments. We heard over and over again from this teacher, "Your child is disorganized". What does that mean in your classroom? What one thing can we work on until the end of the year that would make the most difference in her learning? How will we know it is achieved? Small steps and a small goal that is not a general statement.

I am a school counselor at an elementary school. If I can be of any help just PM me.

Lisa
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th gr

Thanks for all of the advice. I have done teacher conferences. I've had 5 throughout the whole year. Every time we went the teacher my daughter loves (Mrs M) did most of the talking. I thought that was odd seeing as how the classes she had the problems with were the ones Mr. T taught. He was there too it was just hard to get any info out of him. He kept telling me what she did wrong but when I asked what needed to be done to improve then Mrs M would answer. I scheduled another conference 3 weeks later (last week of March)to see if things had improved and it was just him at that one.(Only because Mrs M's son was having surgery on a broken arm) He actually spoke more and she was improving so I was fine with it. She got 100% on her spelling last week and I thought we were sailing now or at least treading water and not drowning. Then I got her interim report yesterday and she had a 75 in Language Arts. We've been studying our butts off for those tests every week so now I'm going to have to talk to him again. :-[ My daughter doesn't want me to bring the principal into it because she's afraid that would make his temper even worse.

At that time I wished I could've changed classes. Our school only has one teacher for each grade. Also, there are going to be many people in this world that my daughter will have to deal with. Not all will she like or get along with. She needs to know how to deal with these situations for the future.
This was my feeling as well about the whole situation. Up until this past interim report she was at least getting Cs on them and on report cards. At this point I'd be happy with that. In 6th grade she's going to be in middle school here and will have to deal more with multiple teachers. My 13 year old went through the same thing last year with one of her teachers as well but her grades never went this low.

Also, if your school does not purchase these, I would get your child an agenda.
The schools here issue these at the beginning of the year to all elementary school students. I love these things. I think I talk to Mrs M more than I do my own husband some days. :)
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th grade)

As a teacher if she passed the state reading test and they aren't talking about holding her back then I would let it go...if they want to hold her back go in gun blazing because at that age when you hold them back their chances of graduating are cut by 50%...
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th gr

At the conference before spring break that was alone with Mr T I actually asked him if I should worry about her being held back. He was actually surprised. I don't know if its because they dont do that alot anymore or if he's just scared he'd end up with her in his class again. ???

But I really dont think they'll hold her back. If they do I'm going to have to definitely raise some hell.
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th grade)

No kids here but I was wondering what other parents are saying. Do they have a problem with his teaching style? Are their kids coming home unhappy?

Has there been talk at after school activities about how Mr. T runs his class and how other kids are doing?

If your child is the only one who seems to be having this kind of problem then it could narrow down the issue for you.
 

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Re: Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out there? (4th gr

I haven't talked to the other kids parents in the class this year. Our school is so overpacked right now. It was built for 900 kids and currently has 2000. The neighborhood we live in is just growing at an astronomical rate. They've had to put in 40 trailers (they call them learning cottages but lets face it.....they're trailers) with one classroom on each end and a bathroom in the middle of each trailer. For safety reasons we don't pick the kids up at the classrooms. Some teachers walk the kids directly to the busses and the other teachers take the kids to the car rider lines. The parents stay in their cars and pull around the car rider loop....show a number that matches the number on their childs backpack and they are called out from inside over an intercom. It's very impersonal really and I don't like it much. Unless Cady gets invited to a birthday party I never even get to meet her friends from school. She usually just plays with the kids on our street who are either a year older or younger than her. She's having a birthday party here next week though and I do intend on talking to some of the parents about it.
 

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Re: UPDATE!!!!Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out ther

bumping for the update.....
 

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Re: UPDATE!!!!Advice Needed Desperately! Any elementary school teachers out ther

Hopefully she has a good 4.5weeks.

I think this is an important lesson for her, even if it is tough one. She isn't going to like everyone she meets, but she has to learn to get along with them. And that goes for teachers too.

Good luck to her!
 
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