Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parents (obviously) Know Best

I will start on the positive -- school is going great! I have fantastic .... let me repeat ... FANTASTIC classes!! There are a couple (2) 7th graders in my 3rd period that are tough -- but other than that ... my life is a dream! Okay ... now with the post.

Yesterday in my geometry class we had to give a placement test to make sure that the students know Algebra proficiently enough to move on. Geometry is a whole different language and there isn't much time for an Algebra Review. Since the State recently changed the high school graduation requirements to say that all students need 3 years of math ... these kids don't have time to fail -- or repeat a class. You might be thinking ... you teach middle school ... you don't have to worry about high school graduation. WELL we try really hard to place our students correctly so that when they get into the ninth grade they will be on a successful course that will prevent them from failing or needing to repeat a course.

Now I have never been a parent, and I certainly don't know how it feels to think that my child is the smartest in the whole school. The problem in the community that I teach in is that if a neighbor has a 7th grader in Algebra ... they need to be in Algebra too! (like can we keep up with the Jones'?) Sometimes it is necessary for an 8th grader to repeat algebra in the ninth grade so that they are more successful in the future. This repeat is alright because technically the 8th grade ... "doesn't count". BUT when this recommendation is made ... parents know best and just push their kids on. Who cares if the kid struggles and struggles in Geometry ... they didn't like it either right? What the parent's didn't think of is that if the kid struggles in Algebra ... what is going to happen when they get to Algebra 2? It will be worse ... and now they have no where to go since there is a credit issue. Again ... I don't know what it is like to be a parent ... but I do know math AND I know how teenager's brain's develop. I have seen it time and time again when the kid was pushed up into the higher class against teacher recommendation and the students just sink. It is too bad ...

I have 15 out of 100 Geometry students that shouldn't be there. Hopefully I can scare them into repeating Algebra today ... because that is really what needs to happen for them.

Thanks for listening to my venting ... and if I ever become an "all knowing parent" humble me please!

6 comments:

Jeni said...

I TOTALLY agree with you 100%. As a parent I want my kids to feel like they can succeed and if you put them in a class that is too overwhelming for them, they'll collapse. I'm excited thatyour classes are going great and that you love the kids you have!

Kirsten said...

You're a teacher which means you're practically a parent. You're HIGHLY valued, by the way. And, I like you a lot.

Lynsey said...

AMEN! I hope that your students listen to your recommendation. It is so hard when a kid is in the wrong class. I hope that my students will be placed correctly.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

ROUGH! Very rough. Parents are always like that, I had one who just defended their kid even thoug he was making life awful for everybody at school. They blame it on everybody but they just need to realize that 9/10 of the time we know what we're talking about...and we just want the kid happy and safe. Very rough...hang in there sis!

stephanie stohel said...

jen dont you know that the only person in the world that knows anything is Jesse..(ian is always like jesse told me) haha remember that??? good times! and i can come over to your house on friday after the football game and sleepover and clean on saturday..if you feel up to it!! go out to lunch??? or din din with EFJO!

Joanie said...

No, no, bite your tongue!!! Never! I repeat, NEVER ask to be humbled (or pray for patience for that matter) You may very well get just what you asked for.
Case in point... me 18 teaching 3-year-olds in Sunday School. Beast child... I say if his parents would just discipline him he wouldn't behave that way. Fast-forward 18 months, now I have the "high-maintenance child" and NOTHING I do changes that...
hmmm, sad story!! :(