Thursday, June 12, 2008

T#@%?&r... Not a 4-Letter Word

I spent much of my time yesterday discussing a students grade with a parent. The student never turned in an assignment due a month ago. The student claimed to turn in the assignment, but I know he didn't. The parent wanted to know why the child had a "C" for his Science grade. I thought I explained it very well. I guess I didn't. I simply explained that his grade was not going to change and that was the end of it.

I was supposed to be straightening my classroom to get it ready for a long summer break. Needless to say, I didn't have much time to do this.

Too often I see parents that seem to side with their child rather than the teacher. I guess this is a natural bias. I question where this stems from. Does the parent really believe their child? Is the parent questioning the teachers motives? Has the parent had negative interactions with other teachers?

All of these questions are valid. I tend to think they all play a role. I don't necessarily blame the parent in this situation. This parent may have a negative view of teachers. Teachers are a big part of students lives... negative or positive. As teachers, we need to be as professional as possible, hold all bias thoughts and give every child a chance to learn in the best environment possible. This does include following through with our words. Students need to be held responsible for their actions and their work. If a student does not turn in an assignment, they need to be held responsible.

Responsibility seems to be a lost trait. The parent has the upper hand. They know they can walk into a school to get their child's grade changed. If we want to teach responsibility, we need to stick to our words, be fair, not give in and be professional.

Until next blog...