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View Diary: In my son's 11th grade science class at public school (189 comments)

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  •  I'd like to know how effective parents can be (5+ / 0-)

    with ineffective teachers. That's an honest question, I don't know the answer. Do parents refrain from complaining to or about the teacher for fear of backlash against their child? Does anyone have examples to share of successful parental activism?

    Annecdote: The 1st or 2nd grade son of an acquaintance had a teacher who admitted that she "just didn't like" the child. The child struggled all through the school year with miserable grades and poor behavior reports. Parents met several times with teacher and principal. The following school year, the child has a new teacher and raises his grades, gets no poor behavior reports. The teacher loves him. But what did that child lose in a year with a teacher that "just didn't like" him. I spent some time with that child, can't imagine how anyone would not adore him.

    I thought the parents didn't try hard enough, weren't willing to fight the educational system. But I don't really know what they could have accomplished.

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:26:36 PM PDT

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    •  Parents do play a big part. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal

      Parents who feed their children well, make sure they get enough sleep, have a quiet safe space for  homework, and help the child/teacher as needed make a huge difference in how a kid does at school. There is no doubt about it.

      However, a kid could have all the above, and still not do well because they have a shitty teacher, or an unsafe school, or bullies scaring them, a curriculum that is not interesting to them, a lack of physcial activities available at school, etc, etc....

      It's not a one shot deal with education. But definitely the parent makes a huge difference. However, if you have a great kid, great parents and a shitty school environment, and teachers that don't really give a crap...that kid will have a difficult time realizing their potential like a kid in a good school.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:49:56 PM PDT

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      •  Reading to kids (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sd4david, Heiuan, Fonsia, SoCalSal, Lucy2009

        is very important.

        "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

        by MillieNeon on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:57:23 PM PDT

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        •  Start from the day you bring them home from (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MillieNeon, Lucy2009

          the hospital. Do it every single day.

          Really. They learn to read the same way they learn to talk.

          Oh, and parents also need to read for themselves. Kids notice what their parents value, and they value the same things.

          So long and thanks for all the fish--Douglas Adams

          by Fonsia on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:21:16 PM PDT

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      •  In the case of this child, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, Lucy2009

        the parents are very structured, and loving from what I observed. So what I do know is the children were well nourished and put to bed early. I don't know them well enough to know all the details of their parenting. This seems to be the case of a teacher who needed some remedial training, or maybe should not be teaching at all.

        Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

        by SoCalSal on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 04:04:43 PM PDT

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        •  It happens. My daughter has a degree in math. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew Lazarus, neroden, SoCalSal

          While she was still in college she worked for a Tutoring Center in Burbank, CA. (one of the best school districts in LA Cnty). The parents paid 50.00/hr for tutoring, so these were kids from high income families in good schools.

          Despite all that....she had jr high and high school students who couldn't do percentages, long division, etc....so of course they were flunking out in algebra. Or they knew the baiscs fine, but turns out the teacher was showing them how to do algebra problems incorrectly, and there was no way they would ever get the right answer! Wow....

          I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

          by Lucy2009 on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 04:32:50 PM PDT

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          •  There aren't enough math teachers. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lucy2009

            So long and thanks for all the fish--Douglas Adams

            by Fonsia on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:22:17 PM PDT

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            •  OOPS! To continue: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lucy2009

              There aren't enough math teachers. Most likely those kids had math teachers who were pulled from another subject and told to teach math.

              Happens all the time, because there aren't enough math, science, or history teachers out there. So the football coach teaches history, and the English teacher gets saddled with math.

              What's the principal gonna do? Leave the math classes out of the curriculum because he doesn't have a math teacher?

              Happens all the time.

              So long and thanks for all the fish--Douglas Adams

              by Fonsia on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:26:30 PM PDT

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              •  Yea, it's a real problem. After she got (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fonsia

                the degree in math and finished her pre-med req's, she took a break from going to school, and taught high school math for three years. She was just looking for substitute work part-time, but the district head was in the office when she was being interviewed and heard she had a math degree and came in and interviewed her on the spot himself! She was hired immediately.

                B4 she took over, they had her sit it and watch the current teacher and students, to get a feel for things. She sat there and watched the teacher doing an algebra problem on the chalk board incorrectly! No way the kids were ever going to get the right answer with the formula given!

                I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

                by Lucy2009 on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:17:00 PM PDT

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                •  that reminds me of the scene.. (0+ / 0-)

                  in the Wire.  The principal was skeptical of the new math teacher until she learned he was a former cop.  

                  the most important factor whether students succeed is not their skincolor or their ZIP code or their parents' income - it is the quality of their teacher

                  by princss6 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 09:35:02 AM PDT

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    •  I would have demanded my child be moved to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan, neroden, SoCalSal

      another classroom or even another school if necessary. I had to do that in a similar situation with one of my daughters.  If the teacher actually used those very words then your friend had all the ammunition in the world to use for a transfer of her child from a toxic situation.

      Parents are their child's best advocates.  No one knows your child as well as you do.

    •  That is HORRIBLE (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, Aquagranny911, SoCalSal

      Even if a teacher ever felt that way, they shouldn't say it. I care abut all of my students, even the ones with bad behavior.

      Bi-partisanship is a MEANS, not an ENDS.-Barney Frank Feb 2009

      by sd4david on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 04:47:20 PM PDT

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    •  It's not hard to switch kids to different teacher (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911, SoCalSal

      at least if there is more than one teacher for the class (or grade, in lower years) in that school.

      If there is only one, but there's some alternative class or nearby different school available, it's harder but still possible.

      Administrations pretend that it's impossible because they don't like to do work.  But it's not impossible, and sufficiently pushy parents can and will get kids switched to different teachers.

      Parents: be that pushy.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:20:11 PM PDT

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