Monday, March 27, 2006

PT Conferences

Ugh. Parent-teacher conferences today. Noon to 8, so a long day.

These are how the conversations usually go, one of two ways:


Hi there! Your son or daughter is doing great! A pleasure to have in class!

This one happens the most because the good students usually have the caring parents that come in.


Hi there! If your son or daughter would turn in the two one-page essays that we do in class, he or she would be doing fine.

This one happens too often. Apparently, the mid-term progress report wasn't a red flag. Or, they expect a grade for not turning anything in.

I don't know what the answer is but I do know that if Morgan or Madison weren't cutting it that they would be sitting at the dining room table until it was done. We had to get on Morgan for her band grade. She's good in her other subjects but she was getting a C in band, simply because she wasn't turning in enough signed practice slips for the flute. She was doing it but not getting the slips signed and turned in. We made her sit down immediately after school everyday and get it done. We monitored it. And this was just for band. We are on her for her other homework too, but thankfully there is not a problem there.

That's my responsibility as a parent.

As a teacher, I have to give assignments. I have to give something to monitor and grade and assess and see that the student is meeting the grade level expectations. Those cannot be assessed from just watching a student sit there. I give class time for work. Two one-page essays last quarter? Cake walk! That's all I graded. The only reason you can't pass my class is if you don't turn them in. Period. End of story.

I have to rise to the other students that are doing quality work. I have to get them ready for high school and beyond. Sometimes, life is just meeting the requirements of whatever situation you happen to be in: school, college, work, turning in your tax form, etc. One teacher at school said the other day, "I'm not a motivational speaker." Neither am I. Some of the best teachers I ever had simply knew their shit and told it to us.

There is a possibility that I may move up to sophomore English next year. Possibility. That would be better. I at least am more used to that age range.

That will be my day. Luckily, I will have my laptop with me and can surf the net in between conferences. These are walk-in conferences too. I wish they would set up the student-led conferences like Bremerton School District had.


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