Parent-Teacher Conferences

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Annie, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I know there are a few other teachers around here, I'm just guessing more than a few parents? Well today/tonight was ours. I'm glad over. Actually I didn't have any parents 'up in arms,' However it must be disconcerting to find that 84% of 13 year olds in US did better than your daughter/son?

    Highlights:

    I teach 6,7, 8th social studies. 6th language arts. 7th language arts, reading.

    6th grade overall, high-high average ability. 2 kids have CSQ scores below 122. Lowest, 112.

    7th low average-low. 2 kids score above 120. Lowest, 73. On average the class hugs the 35%.

    8th: really average. High of 120, low 108, most somewhere in between.

    What do you say to a parent of a 13 year old kid whose standardized scores hug the 15%? Can the parents really 'not know?'

    As a parent I didn't have a reality problem, as I knew there were learning problems for my daughter, as I knew that my two sons were 'bright'. Conferences and tests scores never blindsided me, though they seem to many.

    Perhaps some teachers can give me some ideas on 'what I should have said'? Perhaps some parents could give some guidance on what they would like to hear?
     
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  2. Kid Pickle
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    Kid Pickle KindOfABigDealAroundHere

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    Two questions:

    Do you think it is habitual reading is important for your child's mental development?
    --The answer will almost always be "Yes." If not, uhhh, pray, 'cause that kid ain't gonna make it without divine intervention.

    How often does your child see you read a book?

    I believe the single biggest problem with education today is illiteracy. Not in the sense that people cannot actually read, but that they DO NOT read anything of any significance. If parents don't read, how can the convey to their children that "reading is FUNdamental." An amazing amout of money and effort is wasted in the schools pushing the importance of reading because parents cannot be bothered to crack a book.

    If you have children and you do not read, you should start. By the time they start to learn to read, there outta be a bookshelf full of books somewhere, maybe not full of books you have actually read, but are at least planning to read. They should see you reading, if not daily, at least a few times a week. If you think reading's boring, don't complain when your kid's and idiot, too.
     
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  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Good points. Most of the parents in my school, which is expensive, are not college educated. They care deeply that their kids receive a 'quality' education. At the same time they have serious issues with middle school students doing more than an hour of homework per evening. Yet, they believe their 'privileged children' should qualify for top tier schools. They are for the most part, highly successful adults, albeit high school or lower on education rung. They are 'self-disciplined' regarding work, bills, etc. They are protecting their children from 'hard work' as they have done. They want them to have a 'better road', not realizing that getting there is a different type of 'hard road.'

    Tonight, the rubber met the road. Unfortunately over my back. Good news is, by the end of each conference, parents and myself were on the same page. Some thought the curriculum too difficult, still think so. They now realize that without the 'work', their kids will get 'C's' and not be attending Harvard. Others had blinders removed and are committed to setting down the rules that would make it possible. With the later, at least until next week, when they realize that their child will not spend several hours prepping for multi-exams.

    It's a process.

    BTW, it is more than possible for 'working class parents' to have kids go Ivy, I've had 3: 2 Yale, 1 Harvard. Had multiples at Northwestern, University of Chicago, 3 Stanford. 2 full scholarships to NYU, from Illinois schools.

    Considering our student body is around 200, when parents get on achievement, I'm able to say, "Do you know so and so? Ask them what was needed."

    Good place to be.
     
  4. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    One of the most-heard sentences in my house is, "Would you please put down that book and pay attention to me for five minutes?" My husband and son say it to me, and we say it to my son.

    My son did not like to read when he was younger, because his academic strengths were in math and science, not English. He struggled a great deal with gaining a "feel" for words and language, and had to focus so much on translating the combinations of letters into words that he really had no concept of the story the words were telling.

    The answer was audiobooks. We already owned all of the "Harry Potter" series up to that point in audio form, read by the incomparable Jim Dale (he won a Grammy for his work on those books), and we went out and bought the books as well. Nicky sat down with the first one and read along with the CD . . . very reluctantly. By the end of the week, he had gone through all five of the books that existed at that time, and had started over again. After he read through them a second time, he asked if we had any more audiobooks he could read with. He went through every audiobook I owned that was suitable for a child of his age, and then started asking me to take him to the bookstore to pick out books for himself without audio accompaniment.

    Now one of Nicky's favorite things to do is go to the bookstore - any bookstore - and pick out something new. He's also gone through much of the classic literature on my shelves, and we enjoy discussing books we've read together. I'm constantly amazed at the kinds of questions he asks and the philosophical concepts he considers while he reads.

    He's also taken up writing his own series of comic books for the entertainment of his friends.
     
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  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Thanks for that idea. Reading seems to be a dying pastime for too many. In our house it's not the case, but many of my students seem to think it's punishment to be told to pick up a book when they've completed their work before others. I remember it being a reward!

    In conferences last evening two parents said the same, they wished their children enjoyed reading for 'fun.' Interestingly enough, both were speaking of their daughters, not sons. I never thought of audio books, I did suggest that parent and child get two copies of the book and read together, some alone reading, some aloud reading. The same kids who do not 'enjoy' reading, love being read to. Yes, even in middle school. Heck even in high school!

    I'm sure because I'm severely hard of hearing, it never appealed to me. I love my ipod, but have never thought of using audio books, I'm totally a visual learner.
     
  6. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Just patiently explain to them that their children lack the intellectual horsepower to make it in America since the only people who really matter now, are those people qualified to be engineers, lawyers, Doctors or obsequious sociopathic toadies who will kill on command.

    Doesn't your school already have that No Child Left Behind brochure:

    "Now that You've Discoved that Your Child is only Useful to America as Cannon Fodder"

    I have very little doubt that they'll take great comfort in learning that their children will be eligible for a military funeral, and that they're get a meticulously folded American flag after their burial.

    Such generous compensation for their children's sacrifice to the continued war on whatever, will no doubt make them proud to be Americans.

    I know that I personally only regret that I have but one child's life to give for my country.
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I don't think they'd pass the test to enter even the army. :rolleyes: Private school and NCLB is not a problem for us. We do test special needs kids, if identified they are separated from the general class results. Which is what should be happening with public schools also.
     
  8. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    AMEN MY FRIEND!!!!

    Let's hope it changes after Jan. 2009!


    Anyway, I just want to say it's great to see those on here commenting about their love of reading, and passing it on to their children. I think I mentioned somewhere else that a week ago my 13 yo daughter asked me to take her to the public library so she could get "1984" and "Animal Farm."-I couldn't drive fast enough to get there!

    And Kathianne, you did the right thing by being honest with those parents, sometimes the truth hurts! Let's hope you got through to them with ideas that will STICK, and they can incorporate some life long study skills for their little angels.


    You say you could never teach special ed, I say I could never teach middle school.....:eek:


    Kudos to you Kathianne! ;)
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    For bedtime reading my son and I read aloud Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when he was about ten years old.

    Never underestimate you children's natural ability to get anti-authoritarian humor.

    Children are natural revolutionaries since they are an oppressed class forced to live in a land of authoritarian giants.
     
  10. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Why do American kids need to waste time getting an education?

    They have different goals and should be allowed to persue them.

    The boys want to be "Rappers" and the girls seek to be "Strippers" on the videos.

    Shouldn't they be allowed to follow their dreams????
     

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