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Five on Friday...

1. The kiddos only have a half day today (spring break starts at 12:30), and boy, we are so ready for a break!

2. Things are pretty stressful right now with D's class. His teacher is a tough teacher (academically), and it's causing all kinds of problems. I'm kind of stressed out because I feel for both sides. I like D's teacher, but I would agree that he needs to relax his standards a bit (the kiddos are only 10/11, after all). At the same time, I think the moms who are freaking out are overreacting...and everyone is unhappy! D's poor teacher looks incredibly stressed out (I chatted with him this morning, trying to encourage him), and one of the moms who has been engaged in the 'war' looked on the verge of tears. We are all passionate about our kiddos -- and we should be -- but I also think we need to teach them how to be flexible and how to deal with these kinds of challenges with a little less emotion. Of course, I suppose it's easy for me to say, as D's not the one having problems (well, no more than usual, heh). The moms (there are three of them, as far as I know) have gone to the head of the GT program with their complaints, and it really is turning into some kind of witch hunt. :( They're blaming D's teacher for all kinds of things he has no control over (like when report cards come out and when the state testing occurs)...and things like their child getting a failing grade for missing work. Anyway, I'm glad we all get a break from it, and I'm soooo hoping that the break will calm things down a bit (reduce some of the emotion, if nothing else).

3. We're also thinking ahead to next year and middle school (which comes in 7th grade here). D is currently three years ahead in math...and we don't really want that. I mean, it's great that they're challenging him, but putting him that far ahead (which they determined through extensive testing at the beginning of this year -- which, I will admit, came about because we wanted to know why D wasn't getting extra math...yeesh) only means that every single year he will need special accommodations -- and that's a true PITA! I snagged the 6th grade teacher this morning while at school, and she and I chatted about possibilities. What DH and I would like to see is next year being used to fill in any gaps D has...and then any 'free' time being used to deepen his understanding of the math he's already studied. Then, in 7th grade, he'd only be two years ahead. One of the schools we're looking at will actually accommodate that. The other doesn't -- but by law, they have to find a way to do so. Of course, it's the latter which is the shoe-in -- the former is a choice school, which means we can put him on the list, but he won't necessarily get in (it's supposed to be a lottery). The good news in all this is that he will most likely get college credit in high school for math (yay), as most high schools in our district have college professors who come in and teach those who are that far ahead in math. He could get two years of math credit for free! :D

4. And (yes, there are many school issues right now), the 5th grade as a whole continues to struggle. The good news is that a group of dads just started a Watch Dogs program (it started this week). This is a national program which pulls dads into schools as a regular presence. Our principal already put out the word for parents (including moms) to sign up for recess duty for the 5th grade, but now, we'll also have dads there. More eyes is exactly what we need! I didn't have any problems during my day of duty (I've only been once, but I'm signed up for every Monday); however, I'm not likely to. Many of the trouble kiddos know me (they're on D's bball team, ironically enough), and they also know that I know their parents! Of course, there are also trouble girls, and those are the ones I targeted during my first experience (they weren't quite sure what to make of me trailing them around the playground, hehe...I wasn't at all stealthy).

5. And then there's my own students...I have a couple who are struggling in different ways. With one, the mom has gotten involved (and pulled in my boss) -- and part of what we all 'agreed' on was that the student would e-mail me each time he turned in an assignment. Well, he turned something in on Monday...and I still haven't gotten an e-mail. I'm trying to decide how long I should wait before grading and returning it -- do you think I should wait for him to do his part? Or am I just asking for trouble? (To clarify, I currently have seven classes which are 'in session.' I regularly click through all those classes, and only when I do so do I see the papers waiting for me. His class is not in session -- it technically ended weeks ago. On my page, I have a list of all the classes I've had since the beginning of the year -- the 12-13 year -- which means there are around 20 classes showing up. I never click on the classes which have closed because it takes so long to load...that's why I ask any students who are behind to e-mail me when they turn in past-due assignments.)

Anyway, I'm sooooo glad to have a break! Anyone doing anything fun this weekend and/or for a spring break? :)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
beachdog
Mar. 22nd, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
Shoveling snow and going to http://www.cotuitcenterforthearts.org/experience-art/the-great-gromboolian-plain-and-specter to see 2 one act plays.

5. What do you teach and how on earth do you find the time? I am in awe!

2. I would think the principal would mediate between the witch hunters and the teacher. Not much deflates a teacher more than a helicopter parent making ridiculous charges (like the schedule of state tests).

I cannot believe Friday came around so fast. 2013 is almost 25% shot.
robinellen
Mar. 22nd, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
It's shocking how fast this year is going!

Our principal is doing her best, but we've had issues in the past with the GT head trying to assert her authority where it doesn't belong (and she's gotten away with it)...:(

I teach writing -- and I can work on my own time :)
writertessa
Mar. 22nd, 2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh, that's a tough one re: your student. I know there have been times when someone sent me an e-mail and I didn't get it and times I've sent people e-mails which they never got.
I would go ahead and grade and return it BUT also let your boss know that you did that and that you didn't get an e-mail from the student.

As I was reading through your blog post, I thought all the drama would make a good novel ;)
robinellen
Mar. 22nd, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, there is a ton of drama :)

It's possible that this student is truly having issues with e-mail -- so, you're probably right, and I should go ahead and do it for him...I just hope I'm not 'enabling' his lack of responsibility.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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