Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fuzzy Expectations

We met on Wednesday afternoon with Snow Day Mom, who, thankfully, didn't have Snow Day Dad along with her. It became pretty obvious that mom is a bit relaxed on things and dad is the one with the combative personality.

It actually was a pretty interesting meeting. We had Mr. Enforcer there (we always ask for an admin to be at parent meetings if we think there may be an issue with a parent). I love having Mr. Enforcer at a meeting because he lays it all on the line and he always, always, has our back. So yesterday he looks at Snow Day Mom and asks, "So, what are your expectations for Snow Day Girl?"

Mom blinks and says, "Well, Dad would like for her to have all A's, but I'd be happy with a high D."

What on Earth? No wonder the kid is just kind of sitting there. The parents can't even agree on what they think she should do!

I always bring a copy of the study guide with me to parent meetings because my parents should be reading it. I send a copy home with every kid and on the back it has a study log that needs to be signed by the parent every night when the little cherub has studied his or her vocabulary cards. Most of my kids can't seem to pry a parent signature out of their parents or, better yet, the parents have never seen this form.

Even though I email a copy to all the parents on my email list and talk about it constantly in my weekly emails.

BTW, I borrowed this study guide format from Elementary History Teacher when she posted it on her blog a few years ago. It is awesome. UPDATE: I've had people ask for a link to Elementary History Teacher's study guide. It is found in her archives from September 2008. Go there, and you should find it. She does a much better job of explaining her study guide than I ever could.

In any case, Snow Day Mom had seen the study guide. But she admitted that she "never really remembers to get it signed", and then she asks a bombshell of a question. "Do you do other tests, or just vocabulary?"

At this point our jaws about his the floor. Why? Because there's a section on the study guide that says, "The UNIT and VOCABULARY tests (note, plural) will be given on...". It also has all the questions that students should be able to answer so they will do well on the UNIT test, the standards, the page numbers in the book the information is found on, and about a zillion other references to a UNIT test on it. It was obvious that mom sort of just skimmed the whole thing and keyed in for some reason on the vocabulary.

And then, of course, was the fact that she missed all the "UNIT test" grades on the progress reports.

"I guess I should check PowerSchool a bit more," she admitted.


1 comment:

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow - that's frustrating. I never understand how parents can be so blase. What exactly do they want for their children's future?

At least if the students know that you care, that can go a long way.