You think you are a good parent. You check I/C if not daily- weekly. You check the planners. You are told by your sweet, honest, charming and defensive child they don’t have any homework or they did it in homeroom, in class, after school, or at a friend’s house. They tell you they are using their calendar on their phone and all seems well. That is until one random Tuesday, where the teacher decides to grade dump…
What is grade dumping? It is where the teacher picks a random time to enter days, weeks and sometimes even months of assignments into I/C. Now, it is late in the game and your son or daughter is not only failing a class but hasn’t turned in more than two assignments all year, has failed three quizzes and never turned in the project worth a quarter of their grade.
“Okay, this is fixable.” You tell yourself. “We will spend all weekend getting caught up. It’s not too late. It’s time to focus. An ‘A’ is out of reach but we just need to pass.” So, you click over to the teacher’s webpage to print out the missing assignments to see that the only posting on their “teacher’s blog” is their welcome post from the very first week of school.
What now? You email the teacher to which you get a response your child has missed the cut off date for the majority of the missing assignments. Now, angry, that you only just found out what was going on AND that nothing can be done to fix it, you march into the school to yell, scream, and shout. Meeting after meeting, you hit wall after wall.
UGH! Sound familiar?
Who is to blame? You? Your child? The teacher? The school? The policies? The teacher says she is teaching your child to be “accountable.” Your kid says “The teacher hates me. Really! Ask anyone!” The principal says nothing and the counselor tells you your son should consider a trade school. You don’t know where to go from here. Tutor? Home school? Why is this so hard?
As an Interventionist, I met with parent after parent that went through a similar situation. It is a circular problem:
- The teacher is correct in saying the student needs to learn to be accountable.
- The student lacks the skills and the tools to be accountable and really does think her teachers hate her.
- You, as a parent, are doing your absolute best to juggle all the balls in the air. It makes it virtually impossible to keep your son or daughter on track when the teachers don’t communicate.
- The teacher has 100+ students and at 2-5 minutes for grading per essay, assignment or test that equates to roughly 200-500 minutes per assignment and that is just to grade. Don’t forget the teacher has to input the assignments into a sometimes feisty system, in addition to creating imaginative lessons, trying to learn the new state standards, attending nonsensical (kidding) meetings, taking care of their own families, all the while answering parental hate e-mail about a student they continue to try to encourage, motivate and inspire each and every single day!
I can’t fix the system, but I have created some tools that have been extremely effective in creating a system of accountability for the school, the parents and the students. To try and/or print these free worksheets click here: free accountability printables. These worksheets are intended to keep the student and the teacher on track. I also threw in a good one for all the homeschoolers out there. Please let me know what you think.
What tips do you have for struggling students?