Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can Anyone Find a Parent?

We handed out report cards last Friday.  Unlike some buildings in the district who have gone all electronic, we still do the paper report card.  Seems only about 20% of our parents bother to sign on to PowerSchool so this is about the only way we can make sure they see their darling's grades.  Even then, it's a gamble that the report card will make it home, but at least they can see the staple holes in the agenda where it had originally been stapled.

Out of 125 kids, 30 of them earned an F in science, mainly because (all together now), they don't turn in work, don't study for tests.  (A good sign, however, is I have two special ed kids with B's because they do all their work.  It can be done.)

Along with the report cards we sent out a team newsletter (which probably won't be read), a full color booklet from the State about test scores and high standards and high expectations and how you need to be engaged with your child and make sure they study and do their homework, blah, blah, blah (which probably won't be read), and then a BRIGHT PINK form to use to sign up for parent conferences, which start on Thursday.  The form is pretty straighforward.  We schedule individual appointments, so it said to put the name of the teacher you wish to see by the time slot you prefer.

Any guess on how many parents sent back the parent conference form?

Better yet...any guess on how many parents sent it back filled out CORRECTLY and actually followed the directions and put in the names of the teachers they want to see at the time slot they preferred (unlike most who simply put their kid's name by a time slot, leaving us to wonder who, exactly, they want to visit with)?

How does twelve sound?

Yup.  Twelve.  125 kids, tons of F's in all subjects, and we get twelve parents who plan to visit.

Now granted, we may get a bunch of walk-ins, especially if the weather is good and not raining, but truth be told, we may just be sitting there all night with nothing to do.

And my ass is on the line if these kids don't pass the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Test...and every study on earth points to parent involvement as the key factor in academic achievement.

And my parents really don't want to be bothered.


Valerie said...

How frustrating! I'm in the same boat but I have had over 50% sign up for conferences. I don't even send any homework except to read every night and complete spelling activities because I KNOW the parents are not available to help with hw or even check that it has been done. It ends up being the kids who have a rough homelife who don't do the work, and get a double whammy by being punished in school just because their parents can't take 10 minutes to check a planner. Usually the lowest kids who can't afford to miss the practice, so I just make sure we get to it during school hours. Good luck with the conferences!

Kristen said...

It really makes our jobs hard when the parents don't care. I will start conferences in the next week and won't have them all come. I only have 20, but I bet the students who are doing well are the ones whose parents will show up. The others won't even try! I guess it's good to know they are all over the country, but scary to think what the world will be like in 20-30 years when these kids are in charge!

Dan Edwards said...

I am thinking of modifying my "teaching" so that the majority of the grade is for work they do in class. There seems to be a national malaise with young'uns NOT doing homework.....and parents who are too busy/too ignorant/no habla ingles/high/drunk/out who knows where.....

My honors classes do better, but the "regular" classes are just.....lazy, unmotivated, and lacking the attitude needed for academic success. YET, its my fault there are so many F's!!!!

Pray for Teachers.

Liz Ditz said...

Keep telling these stories! The current focus on teachers as the only variable in student achievement needs pushback such as stories like this.