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#1 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I homeschool through the school district where I live and am required to submit samples of my child's work on a regular basis. Often I find the teacher comments offensive. I don't think they are meant to be, and wonder if I am just too sensitive. I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem, and how you handle it.
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#2 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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I use Columbia Virtual Academy. We do not have to submit samples, but we do have to have regular contact. She is way nice. Not sure what you mean in your case. Perhaps an example, real or hypothetical would help? My immediate reaction was that if she is a public school teacher, employed by the state, perhaps she is bitter because the funding provided for us homeschoolers by the state is taken from the schools? not sure how it all works, but the ladies at our school district were sure snippy when we went to file our letter of intent to use CVA and they sai9d they faxed it but the school did not receive it, so I had to call and ask to resend which they seemed reluctant to do.... but they did and like I said, CVA is great.

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#3 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is an example.

My daughter wrote the following paragraph (she is in Gr.3).

My New Dog

We just got a new dog. We got him at Mission Animal Control, he was a stray. He is tall and thin. He is a Doberman, his color is black and tan. He has long legs and runs fast. So far he's been quiet. I love Zeus!

This was the teachers reply:

Lily wrote a simple easy-to-follow paragraph about her new dog, Zeus,
telling about his size, color, and running ability. Zeus must be
very special! Lily could develop the paragraph more by including
additional sensory details (hear, feel, smell). Watch for run-on
sentences. Can Lily tell what makes her dog loveable?
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#4 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I dont think the teacher meant it to be rude at all Sometimes its hard to hear a critique but in this case I think it was done very tastefully
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#5 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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I don't have to report but what she says sounds just like what I've read off my own old reports cards I've found. Probably pretty typical teacher speak.

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#6 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find it hard to be objective, even when I know that what the teacher is saying is true. I hate the feeling of being judged, part of the reason why I homeschool, I suppose it would be worse if my daughter was in a classroom.
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#7 of 18 Old 03-31-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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for what it is worth, i am not a teacher but worked with children incare for years and years and had to write observation on their behvior, they skills and so on ... you learn to be very "removed" and state only what can be proven or diminstarted.

IMO the teacher's PP sounds just like that -- there is no bias in it other than the attempt to appear objective and removed.

but i know even with my 4 yo who just went though more testing for him IEP -- I felt sensitive to have he can (and can not do) compared to his peers -- somehoe HS makes it all more personal ... good or bad

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#8 of 18 Old 03-31-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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This seems like a normal teacher comment, though many teachers also include an I liked the way you _____ part. Perhaps she is into Alfie Kohn stuff and her comment about your dd liking her dog was the praise (meaning your dd wrote so clearly that the teacher could tell how much the dog is loved). Her comment looks like one that states facts and gives some information about how to improve the writing in the future. Everyone starts out at a certain level and needs feedback to improve, even really good writers.
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#9 of 18 Old 03-31-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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We report, but to a very different sort of program, one that is built around a child-led philosophy of learning. The comments we get back are not judgmental in nature. They do not point out shortcomings or suggest improvements. The comments we get back are observations about significant progress and validation concerning the engagement, creativity and growth that is in evidence. Sometimes there are offers of assistance in locating resources in a new area of interest.

So I know that teacher comments do not need to be judgmental like what you've described. However, I think it requires a real paradigm shift to get teachers to abandon their usual role as critics and judges. Without that big shift in educational philosophy they're likely to give feedback to a parent just the way they would on any report card in the school system. What you describe is probably the norm. I think I would have a hard time dealing with comments like that too.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#10 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I report to a teacher, and I often take things she says too personally, as more judgmental then she truly means them. I have to often take a deep breath, and talk to someone else about what was said so I can see it from another view point, KWIM?

Recently she mentioned that DD wasn't as far along in math as she'd like. I was almost in tears in my car, because in three years we've never been behind in ANYTHING! But after talking to a friend, I was able to see that yeah, I guess there is a set place that one should be in the math book by a certain date, and she was just letting me know that.

Oh, and yeah, I know I need to not take things so personally, and I am working on it

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#11 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 01:43 AM
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We have to notify the Superintendent of Schools for our district. Each district's Superintendent can choose how he or she wants to handle progress reports (state law allows the Super to ask for progress reports, but doesn't require them to). The city in which I live asks for proof of progress annually.

It might sound nice to have relatively "hands-off" educrats, but the downside is that there is no public option for homeschooling. K-12, Connections Academy....all that stuff is private here and costs a bundle.

As for what the teacher wrote on your daughter's work, I don't see anything offensive about it. I can understand being annoyed that you have to report, in general, though.
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#12 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusfloatus View Post
Here is an example.


Lily wrote a simple easy-to-follow paragraph about her new dog, Zeus,
telling about his size, color, and running ability. Zeus must be
very special! Lily could develop the paragraph more by including
additional sensory details (hear, feel, smell). Watch for run-on
sentences. Can Lily tell what makes her dog loveable?
If the teacher told Lily that her dog probably sucked and was infested with fleas...I'd be worried. As a writer, this is DEFINITELY a form of (really nice) constructive criticism...which we all need.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#13 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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Do you have any other options for homeschooling, rather than going through the district and being overseen like that? Perhaps you'd be happier with less oversight (I know I would), no matter how objective and carefully worded the critiques.

Unschooling mama to DD1, 11/2001
and DD2, 11/2004
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#14 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
We have to notify the Superintendent of Schools for our district. Each district's Superintendent can choose how he or she wants to handle progress reports (state law allows the Super to ask for progress reports, but doesn't require them to). The city in which I live asks for proof of progress annually.

It might sound nice to have relatively "hands-off" educrats, but the downside is that there is no public option for homeschooling. K-12, Connections Academy....all that stuff is private here and costs a bundle.
As for what the teacher wrote on your daughter's work, I don't see anything offensive about it. I can understand being annoyed that you have to report, in general, though.
I totally agree -- i would trade more over-sight than we have for more options and support too

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#15 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 12:53 PM
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Wouldn't it be great, though, if we could have more options AND be left alone?
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#16 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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It isn't offensive but it would still annoy the crap out of me. If I wanted a public school teacher to judge my kids' stuff, I'd have my kids in school. Here we have to hand in a portfolio to the SD, but they really don't get to judge it or anything, unless they can prove than an appropriate education isn't taking place.

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#17 of 18 Old 04-01-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Wouldn't it be great, though, if we could have more options AND be left alone?


While I would be annoyed at having send in samples, I think that you received great feedback on her writing. Writing will always have room to grow and improve. She could have just said, meets 3rd grade standards, and left it at that. Instead she left the positive impression that your daughter did an excellent job communicating how well she liked her new dog and gave some tips on how she could grow her writing further.
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#18 of 18 Old 04-02-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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Hi, I hear you. I was also a bit taken aback when my reviewer did not seem to "get" our approach, which I had cultivated with great love and pride.

Then I realized that is not important. And not going to happen either.

fwiw, I dont think the teacher's comments were rude. In any case, from the teachers' point of view, s/he no doubt thought s/he was showing through her constructive feedback, that she cared, valued your child's writing, etc.

Still ... it hurts to have someone helping you when you didn't want help. However being a teacher, I guess they start from the premise that they are there to help. THey would give the same kind of comments to their students - to "help" them see what more / better they could do.

My reviewer told me that we shoudl work on lower case letters. I was not pleased. We will work on what we want, when we want, thank you. Later on though, I thought it was a useful suggestion. The key is not to take it personally, and just make the reviewer's work easier by having whatever you are supposed to have and showing appreciation for whatever advice they care to give. Later if you really think none of it was of any use, feel free to ignore it.

Same approach I use when dealing with pediatrician.

relaxed-unschooler mama to dd (2003). hoping for second one. love being a mama!!
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