Just venting...teacher frustration - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

So my son gets assigned to read Go Ask Alice.  It's not a book for our family so my son tells her he would like an alternative.  In passing, I mentioned to her that it disturbed me a bit that the class was being told the book was non-fiction.  It would have made me feel a bit better knowing the class had been told about the mystery surrounding the book's authorship (personally, I don't think it's real).  I wasn't trying to make an issue out of it but she emailed me later to tell me that I was wrong, the book was actual fact, and asked if it changed our minds to know that the book was not fictional.

 

So I sent her links to wikipedia and snopes, thinking for sure she would tear my sources apart.  I even joked about how unreliable the internet was and asked her for better sources that might prove the book was a real diary.  I was truly totally open to having my opinion changed.

 

Well, she wrote back and told me that she had a college degree in adolescent literature and "just knew" the book was real.

 

It's ok, it gave me an opportunity to have a nice chat with ds about not believing everything you're told just because the person telling you is in "authority".  LOL

 

 


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Chamomile Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West of the Sierras East of the Sea
Posts: 2,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

So my son gets assigned to read Go Ask Alice.  It's not a book for our family so my son tells her he would like an alternative.  In passing, I mentioned to her that it disturbed me a bit that the class was being told the book was non-fiction.  It would have made me feel a bit better knowing the class had been told about the mystery surrounding the book's authorship (personally, I don't think it's real).  I wasn't trying to make an issue out of it but she emailed me later to tell me that I was wrong, the book was actual fact, and asked if it changed our minds to know that the book was not fictional.

 

So I sent her links to wikipedia and snopes, thinking for sure she would tear my sources apart.  I even joked about how unreliable the internet was and asked her for better sources that might prove the book was a real diary.  I was truly totally open to having my opinion changed.

 

Well, she wrote back and told me that she had a college degree in adolescent literature and "just knew" the book was real.

 

It's ok, it gave me an opportunity to have a nice chat with ds about not believing everything you're told just because the person telling you is in "authority".  LOL

 

 


Wow! Takes herself pretty seriously, eh? Yikes.

ETA: Here is another good article.

I hope to goodness that she is going to at least put the book into historical context.
Chamomile Girl is offline  
#3 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 02:40 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm quite confident she won't.  She's got a racy book that she considers a work of non-fiction that contains a "moral message" that probably fits in with some school administrator's notions of character-building.  There is no way she will be considering the actual historical context of the novel's creation.  To her, the historical context is the context described in the novel, according to which the 1970s were a scary dangerous time full of scary dangerous drugs during which ironing your hair and wearing fringed vests would attract attention from the "wrong crowd" and then some nefarious hippie would inevitably spike your drink with LSD.  

 

The teacher probably has to include some non-fiction in her curriculum, and what with the blow jobs in the "runaway" entries, this one is easy to get students to read.  There is no way she can admit that it's fictional.  Re-writing her semester and lesson plans for a new book would create an unbelievable amount of extra work for her at an already busy time of year, and all that work would go to waste because it's a rare school district that has money for an emergency purchase of a couple class sets of books that are actually non-fiction at this point in April.  

 

Which is not to say that it's peachy-keen for anyone to present this particular book as if it were not fictional, just that there are powerful, powerful forces that will prevent this teacher from treating the book appropriately.  

stik is offline  
#4 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

Yes, I've seen the Curiouser essay.  I deliberately chose wikipedia and snopes bc it's been my experience that teachers hate those sites and jump at a chance to discredit them.  :)

 

Oh, and she's re-writing her lesson plans anyway because my ds isn't reading the Alice book!  haha  But we have to buy the books ourselves so it won't cost the school money, just a few minutes of the teacher's time to make a separate set of copies, and I have offered to come in to do all that for her anyway.

 

 

 

Here's what she wrote: "As I stated earlier, I majored in college in English with a focus on Adolescent Literature; it’s my main field of research. Simply know this for a fact……the book has been around for years."

 

 

 

And here's my reply, edited to remove identifying details: 

 

"This is giving me a perfect opportunity to fine tune (ds's) critical thinking skills!

 

I appreciate the education you have and research you have done.  Can you offer citations that back up your opinion on the origin of the book? 

 

At first, whether the book was fiction or non-fiction didn't matter one bit, but I don't want to let pass this chance to allow (ds) to look at an issue and weigh both sides on their individual merits.  This has developed into a lively conversation and wonderful teaching moment about not taking every claim at face value.

 

What are your thoughts on this?  And the copyright detail?

 

By the way, (ds) and his dad are on their way to (name of book store) now to look over (alternative book choice)."


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
#5 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Chamomile Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West of the Sierras East of the Sea
Posts: 2,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

Yes, I've seen the Curiouser essay.  I deliberately chose wikipedia and snopes bc it's been my experience that teachers hate those sites and jump at a chance to discredit them.  :)

 

Oh, and she's re-writing her lesson plans anyway because my ds isn't reading the Alice book!  haha  But we have to buy the books ourselves so it won't cost the school money, just a few minutes of the teacher's time to make a separate set of copies, and I have offered to come in to do all that for her anyway.

 

 

 

Here's what she wrote: "As I stated earlier, I majored in college in English with a focus on Adolescent Literature; it’s my main field of research. Simply know this for a fact……the book has been around for years."



*****eyesroll.gif Yeah, so has the controversy. Which she should know if her credentials are worth a damn. I mean seriously...even I knew it because I actually read the book and thought WTF and then went and looked it up. In highschool.******

 

 

 

And here's my reply, edited to remove identifying details: 

 

"This is giving me a perfect opportunity to fine tune (ds's) critical thinking skills!

 

I appreciate the education you have and research you have done.  Can you offer citations that back up your opinion on the origin of the book? 

 

At first, whether the book was fiction or non-fiction didn't matter one bit, but I don't want to let pass this chance to allow (ds) to look at an issue and weigh both sides on their individual merits.  This has developed into a lively conversation and wonderful teaching moment about not taking every claim at face value.

 

What are your thoughts on this?  And the copyright detail?

 

By the way, (ds) and his dad are on their way to (name of book store) now to look over (alternative book choice)."


Nice reply! Betcha she is going to see it as challenging and aggressive though. Because you are not simply agreeing with her and her lofty credentials.

On a side note, I HATE it when people wave their credentials. Especially when they are doing so to smokescreen the fact that they are WRONG.
Chamomile Girl is offline  
#6 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

Oh, so passive-agressive!  It's not like me at all, I'm usually what I call agressive-agressive.  haha

 

This teacher was so nasty to ex and me on meet-the-teacher night.  We just walked in the room and smiled at her and she right away made a snide comment about my son.  He's by nature a sarcastic person and she didn't feel he was quite her cup of tea, right from the first day of school.  Ex and I decided he needed to stay in her class to learn how to get along with her.  We both told him we disliked her personality but felt it would be a fabulous personal growth experience for him to get through the year being nice to her.

 

She emails constantly to complain about stuff he does which isn't so bad.  For example, she gave permission for the kids to listen to music while they waited their turn to work one on one with her.  Ds brought his PSP and listened to music while he did busy work at hsi desk.  When the work was done, he started playing a game.  She FLIPPED out on him.  We didn't think it was a big deal but told ds to bring his iPod instead of PSP from then on.  After a while, her nit-picking got so bad that I just nicely told her straight out "You don't click with ds and he doesn't click with you.  That's ok because I want him to learn now that in his adult working life he will contstantly have to deal with people that aren't his idea of BFF material.  The sooner he learns this lesson, the more successful he will be as a human being."

 

Ever since then, we have been in a cold war.  We pretend to be nice but I can't stand her and I imagine she doesn't care too much for me, either.  She's arrogant and self-important and I can't wait for the year to end, but strangely, I am SO glad he had her for a teacher. 


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
#7 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 04:09 PM
 
Chamomile Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West of the Sierras East of the Sea
Posts: 2,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
She sounds like a real piece of work. I wonder why some people decide on teaching as a career when they clearly do not enjoy kids. I was amazed when I became a teacher at how many people like this I ran into at district meetings. There is a very strong culture of hierarchy in most districts, where the teachers who have put in the most time are expect to be treated like kings and the students are way below on the bottom. New teachers and parents are expected to kowtow to the kings, and kids to sit and be quiet and follow directions.

Sooooo far removed from my reality (and I was not liked because I let this be known).

So sorry you are dealing with this. I hope your DS comes through unscathed.
Chamomile Girl is offline  
#8 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 04:40 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It sounds like you've put this teacher in a tough spot. You outright told your son that you don't like her, which is a pretty undermining statement to make. And youve told him that you expect him to learn to go along to get along in this situation, and cleary this has not been an easy process. Your statement to the teacher about this sounds like it was unhelpful. She was probably hoping that you would talk to your de about the problem. Being informed that you view her classroom as a place where your son can work out a way to demonstrate an appropriate attitude has definitely not made her life any easier. And now you've informed her that your son is fully aware of this exchange in which you question her credentials. How is this helping your ds learn to get along with her?

While I think she's wrong about the book, I can understand her perspective on the video game. I had to ban video games in my classroom when I found that students were sharing the pornographic scenes in GTA. I can't monitor multiple devices in multiple parts of the classroom, so now I just sort of have to be an anti-game and video fascist. I never got in trouble with admin for it, but I know that in some districts, if an administrator walks into a room and sees any student playing any game at all, the teacher's job could be on the line because of concerns about what students could see or share.

This teacher probably deals with 150 students a day. Your son isn't making her work any easier. She's providing an alternate book and alternate assignments at your request and probably trying to minimize contact with both of you. Tell your son to contain his sarcasm during English class, thank her for being accommodating, and let Alice go.
One_Girl, Wild Lupine and claygirl like this.
stik is offline  
#9 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

There are a grand total of 50 high schoolers in our school.  She's not overworked like a teacher in a school with 2,000 kids (like the HS down the street).  We didn't ask for an alternative.  She sent home a note about Alice that stated it was a controversial book and we were free to refuse permission.  If we refused, she already had a list of other choices ready.

 

Trust me, it's not as bad as it sounds.  Really, if a school thinks a 16yo should be reading about rapes and blowjobs, why wouldn't that kid also be old enough to have a frank discussion with his parents about learning to get along with someone he doesn't particularly like?

 

We've always been supportive of her relative authority.  We forbid him to bring his PSP in again, even though she had orginally said it was ok.  We allowed him to stay late a few times for detensions when she reported that he was sarcastic with her.  It's not like we shared a beer with our kid and said "Can you believe that bitch?  She thinks she's better than us!  Let's hate her."

 

But we had to draw the line somewhere.  My son has a medical condition and the school is thus far refusing all of the doctor's recommended accommodations.  Ds's issue causes him to fall asleep at inopportune times.  We've tried repeatedly to explain to her that he's not trying to be rude but each time he dozes she tries to give him a detension.

 

I can understand that you're coming at it from a unique angle, but let's be real:  There are people in this world who are just nasty.  I see no harm in teaching ds that lesson, provided I add the addendum that he still needs to treat her with respect due to her position as his teacher.  He's learned the difference between truly feeling respect and just showing it out of a sense of duty.  I see no harm in the frank conversations I have had with him, and I only feel slightly bad that I gently let this person have it after dealing with her crap for the better part of the year.


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
#10 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 05:20 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK, so what is your goal in this interaction? It sounds like you would like her to admit to you (and by extension, to your ds, since you have brought him in on this) that she is wrong and you are right. Do you think you are likely to get that? Do you think it will help you accomplish your larger goal of her responding more compassionately to your son's health issues?
stik is offline  
#11 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 05:43 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)

At 16 your son is moving towards an age where he really does need to learn to contain his sarcasm even if he absolutely despises someone if his goal is to hold down a job later on.  It is very hard to break the habit of sarcasm and it really does rub people the wrong way from day one.  Have you thought about sitting down with your son and asking him how he sees sarcasm working out for him as he moves into adulthood.  In my city there are so many people looking for work that kids straight out of high school don't get much of an opportunity for even the lowest paying jobs because there are steady adults with good work records also looking for work.  He may think he can contain his sarcasm, but it is really not that easy.  If it just isn't working for him then maybe he should try to switch teachers, but if he truly wants to move through his sarcasm then he may do that better if you are able to get him on board.  My dd isn't this age yet, but I remember a lot of heartfelt talks with her as I closed in on adulthood and they were often very helpful with issues like this.  Feeling like she was on my side really did help so I can see where you are coming from with empathizing with him, but this may be at a point where you need to put aside your anger at the way he is being treated in order to help him see how he is contributing to the problem.

One_Girl is offline  
#12 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

One_Girl, I pretty much said exactly what you are saying.  I have explained to ds that he can't be sarcastic with his teachers because it's rude and disrespectful.  I absolutely acknowledged that I can't control how he feels, but I let him know that I have certain expectations toward his behavior.  Did that not come across in my previous posts? 


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
#13 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 10:38 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Showing your ds your antagonistic correspondence here undermines the notion that you expect his behavior to meet certain standards.  

 

I completely agree with you that the teacher is wrong.  She's very, very wrong.  You know it.  She's not going to whip out a newly published account from Anonymous's parents explaining that every word in the book is actually completely verifiable and unembellished.  She will remain wrong unless she follows up on your sources and changes her mind.  

 

She has no reason to do that.  You're asking the teacher to demonstrate the depth of her wrongness so your son can benefit from an exercise in critical thinking which is, somewhat unusually for the higher order thinking skills, based on material that you prefer he not view and evaluate for himself.  That's not a good use of her time.  

 

If you can make yourself do it, write her a nice note apologizing for getting carried away and tell your son that you over-stepped.  I realize that might be impossible for a variety of reasons, but it would be the polite thing.  

stik is offline  
#14 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 11:28 PM
 
Chamomile Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West of the Sierras East of the Sea
Posts: 2,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

Showing your ds your antagonistic correspondence here undermines the notion that you expect his behavior to meet certain standards.  

 

I completely agree with you that the teacher is wrong.  She's very, very wrong.  You know it.  She's not going to whip out a newly published account from Anonymous's parents explaining that every word in the book is actually completely verifiable and unembellished.  She will remain wrong unless she follows up on your sources and changes her mind.  

 

She has no reason to do that.  You're asking the teacher to demonstrate the depth of her wrongness so your son can benefit from an exercise in critical thinking which is, somewhat unusually for the higher order thinking skills, based on material that you prefer he not view and evaluate for himself.  That's not a good use of her time.  

 

If you can make yourself do it, write her a nice note apologizing for getting carried away and tell your son that you over-stepped.  I realize that might be impossible for a variety of reasons, but it would be the polite thing.  


Are you serious? How about establishing an iota of professionalism as being a reason she should admit she was wrong. She is asking things of her students she refuses to do herself. Her authority has already been undermined by her own behavior, NOT the behavior of the OP.
Chamomile Girl is offline  
#15 of 37 Old 04-09-2011, 12:40 AM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

What is the teacher asking of the student here?  I haven't seen anything in the OP's posts about the teacher asking her son to do anything at all in re. Go Ask Alice.  

 

I understand that there are other conflicts between the OP's family and the teacher.  But in this case, the teacher sent home a permission slip about a controversial book, the family opted out, the parent mentioned a specific concern about the way the book was being taught, and the teacher defended the book.  The OP doesn't agree with the teacher's defense.  I don't either.  But that's all beside the point.  

 

- The book is controversial, and there are some critics who consider it reasonably authentic.

- As the teacher must motivate her students to read the book, it makes sense for her to defend its educational value.

- The OP's son won't be studying the book, which typically means he will be excluded from all classroom discussions of the book.  He won't be participating in discussions where his mom's opposition to presenting the book as non-fiction could create conflict for the entire class.  

- The teacher's job is to teach the students.  There's nothing in this exchange that indicates that the teacher isn't doing exactly that.  

 

The email the OP sent is clearly antagonistic.  

 

From my perspective, it looks like this issue has become a proxy war for other issues.  Some of those other issues sound serious and probably bear further discussion with the teacher and administration.  However, sending an email announcing that a student has been made privy to a disagreement between parent and teacher, and that said disagreement is being used to teach the student that the teacher is wrong (teaching critical thinking isn't happening here, because the student isn't reading the material in question and therefore can't evaluate its veracity for himself) escalates the conflict without any possibility of a constructive outcome.  

 

That's really a sticking point for me.  This student will not be reading the material that his mom and the teacher are arguing over.  He will not be participating in class discussions of that material.  So why does this matter?  Why is this teacher being informed that the conversation has been used to encourage a student (who already has difficulty with expectations for respectful behavior in her class) to question her expertise?  It won't help the teacher with the challenges of teaching the OP's son.  It won't help the OP's ds with the challenges he is facing in dealing respectfully with this teacher.  The OP's ds can't learn critical thinking skills from something he hasn't read.  There is no point to continuing debate on this matter.  

 

I'd be all for questioning the teacher's expertise if the disagreement concerned a matter of settled fact like the value of Pi or the density of water or possibly Darwin's theory of evolution, but this is not a matter of settled fact.  While I feel strongly that all the evidence in the debate over Go Ask Alice points to a fictional narrative, it is a matter on which reasonable people disagree.  And again, the OP's ds won't be reading the book.  

 

Owen'nZoe and One_Girl like this.
stik is offline  
#16 of 37 Old 04-09-2011, 10:26 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

One_Girl, I pretty much said exactly what you are saying.  I have explained to ds that he can't be sarcastic with his teachers because it's rude and disrespectful.  I absolutely acknowledged that I can't control how he feels, but I let him know that I have certain expectations toward his behavior.  Did that not come across in my previous posts? 



Not really.  Your other posts seem very disjointed in your opinion on how this teacher should be treated and in how you are encouraging your son to treat the teacher.  It sounds like you have the empathizing down but haven't done much beyond telling him not to bring the video game player that she would have probably banned anyways if it showed up again because he used it for a purpose that wasn't allowed in the classroom.  It sounds like you have done little to address his class behavior and you openly encourage him to see her as inept and undeserving of respect by looking for more and more things to point out as bad.  I think you may be going overboard on empathizing because it sounds like it may be getting confused by him as encouragement to see her as ridiculous and inept.  Your son knows you better than a stranger on the internet so he may get it even though it seems confusing the way you word your interactions and conversations online, but since there isn't an improvement in his behavior I would guess that he is just as confused about whether you think he should respect this teacher or not as I was. 

 

It really sounds like you had a hard time hearing that he wasn't doing well behavior wise in the class and you got defensive from the start, you decided that the problem was the teacher but that you would let your son use this as a learning experience.  The teacher has tried to engage you in conversations about the problem and you have become defensive and cut her down.  I don't know that there is an easy answer or that I am even seeing the situation accurately because I am not in it, but I don't think that it is teaching your son the lesson you think it is about getting along with people in authority even when that is hard (which is a good life skill no matter what age you are).

One_Girl is offline  
#17 of 37 Old 04-09-2011, 11:00 AM
 
mtiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Getting back to the book... Why is Go Ask Alice not a book for your family? I'm curious, as I don't censor my kids' reading material.

mtiger is offline  
#18 of 37 Old 04-09-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Annie Mac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I was curious about this too. I read Go Ask Alice many years ago, when I was, oh 12 or so. Certainly no one suggested it was educational, or anything at all, for that matter. Is it the drug use? 

Annie Mac is offline  
#19 of 37 Old 04-10-2011, 12:16 AM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)

Now I want to read 'Go Ask Alice'. (again for the who knows many'eth time) -


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
#20 of 37 Old 04-10-2011, 01:02 PM
 
ecoteat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

OP, your son is reading the alternate book, right? Why are you expecting the teacher to take the time to defend how she's teaching something to a group of kids that your son isn't even a part of? If your son was reading Go Ask Alice and you had questions about how it was being taught to him, than I was think the teacher should be willing to take the time to discuss it with you. But he's not reading it. Drop it--how she's teaching it to the other kids is not relevant to you.

 

(I'm scanning through this thread and I hope you aren't feeling like everyone is jumping on you. I hate when threads start to take on that tone. But I think there are a lot of legitimate questions here from other MDCers.)

ecoteat is offline  
#21 of 37 Old 04-11-2011, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

Showing your ds your antagonistic correspondence here undermines the notion that you expect his behavior to meet certain standards.  

 

I completely agree with you that the teacher is wrong.  She's very, very wrong.  You know it.  She's not going to whip out a newly published account from Anonymous's parents explaining that every word in the book is actually completely verifiable and unembellished.  She will remain wrong unless she follows up on your sources and changes her mind.  

 

She has no reason to do that.  You're asking the teacher to demonstrate the depth of her wrongness so your son can benefit from an exercise in critical thinking which is, somewhat unusually for the higher order thinking skills, based on material that you prefer he not view and evaluate for himself.  That's not a good use of her time.  

 

If you can make yourself do it, write her a nice note apologizing for getting carried away and tell your son that you over-stepped.  I realize that might be impossible for a variety of reasons, but it would be the polite thing.  




Are you serious? How about establishing an iota of professionalism as being a reason she should admit she was wrong. She is asking things of her students she refuses to do herself. Her authority has already been undermined by her own behavior, NOT the behavior of the OP.


Thank you Chamomile Girl!
 

I can't believe how much people tend to assume sometimes.  The year began with the teacher being unkind to my son because he fell asleep in her class.  She assumed it was rudeness.  I told him to just ignore the tone of her voice and do his best to get along with her.  Does someone really disagree with that?!  I sure hope not.  Eventually, the sleeping in school got so bad that we took him for a sleep study and found he has narcolepsy.  She still bitches at him for dozing off.  I certainyl could have run down to the school and whined and cried and had him pulled from her class, but I didn't.  I gave my almost-adult son ownership of the issue, and he's done surprisingly well in trying to get along with her.  He still snips, but that's just his personality.  I have one time made him write a note of apology after they clashed and he has apologized without prompting several other times.  He is a sarcastic person and she is not.  He is intellectually gifted and she is not.  She can't relate to him and he doesn't like her because he feels she didn't like him first.  I still mostly stayed out of it until one day I had had enough of her bullsh!t emails complaining about him acting spacy and sleepy.  Everyone has their breaking point and I certainly have mine.  I wrote her a very polite and eloquent email to let her know that it was obvious that she and ds were not exactly well-matched in personality and sense of humor, and that was ok, but I expected him to show her respect.  Beyond that, I couldn't force him to like or admire anyone and I couldn't force her to like or understand my son.  That's a problem?  Really?

 

I don't feel jumped on, but I do think it's ironically funny that in one thread I get both questioned for making him privy to an "adult" argument and questioned for "censoring" hsi reading material.  LOL

 

And FTR, he wasn't being censored.  We looked together to see what the books on the list were about and he didn't want to read about a 15 year old being brutally and sadistically raped.  We are a Christian family and that sort of stuff just isn't entertainment to us.  However, we are not prudish.  I talk to my kids about sex and drugs all the time.  But I want them inculcated with my principles, not the teachers, so sex education is taken care of at home.  He's 16, he knows what rape is and he chooses not to read a book about it.  Do other 16yo's really enjoy reading about rape?

 


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
#22 of 37 Old 04-11-2011, 12:12 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think you're wrong about the book or about the larger issue with the teacher, I just think there is nothing to gain (and possibly much to lose) by continuing to argue with her about Go Ask Alice.    

stik is offline  
#23 of 37 Old 04-11-2011, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

Nothing to gain except self-satisfaction.  LOL  And nothing to lose.  Ds will likely not be in regular school next year bc his sleepiness is so uncontrolled.  And teacher turn-over is unbelievable at our school so even if he stays she'll likely be gone.  Makes the self-satisfaction totally worth it to me!  :)


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
#24 of 37 Old 04-11-2011, 03:03 PM
 
ecoteat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

Nothing to gain except self-satisfaction.  LOL  And nothing to lose.  Ds will likely not be in regular school next year bc his sleepiness is so uncontrolled.  And teacher turn-over is unbelievable at our school so even if he stays she'll likely be gone.  Makes the self-satisfaction totally worth it to me!  :)


Fair enough.

 

And no, I don't think 16 year olds typically enjoy or are entertained by reading about rape (or other difficult subjects). But enjoyment is not the only reason to read a book, of course!

 

ecoteat is offline  
#25 of 37 Old 04-11-2011, 03:19 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

There are 16-year-olds who "enjoy" (not quite the right word, but they will seek it out and appreciate it) reading about rape, and not because they're sick little puppies.  There's sort of an unofficial genre within YA - publishers refer to it as "trauma porn."  Despite the hideous name, it serves an important purpose for a few audiences:

 

1 - Readers who have experienced trauma and are looking for models of how to deal with it.

2 - Readers who want to be reassured that their life isn't actually that bad.

3 - Readers who are trying to develop empathy for other people's problems.  

 

None of those are horrible things to get out of a book.  I tend to think that a lot of these books are still not great choices for classroom discussion, especially when they contain wildly sensational depictions of trauma.  But I can see a defense for educational value.  I haven't seen a good one made here, but I can see one.  

stik is offline  
#26 of 37 Old 04-11-2011, 03:22 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

If the teacher really wanted to defend the book, she would've come up with a better answer than "it's been around a long time".  Especially if she's really got a background in literature.

 

Your ds needs a diagnosis and a 504, yesterday. And then he needs his own copy of the 504 so he can just hold it up when the teacher starts nagging about a medical condition.

sapphire_chan is offline  
#27 of 37 Old 04-12-2011, 05:35 AM
 
mtiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

 

And FTR, he wasn't being censored.  We looked together to see what the books on the list were about and he didn't want to read about a 15 year old being brutally and sadistically raped.  We are a Christian family and that sort of stuff just isn't entertainment to us.  However, we are not prudish.  I talk to my kids about sex and drugs all the time.  But I want them inculcated with my principles, not the teachers, so sex education is taken care of at home.  He's 16, he knows what rape is and he chooses not to read a book about it.  Do other 16yo's really enjoy reading about rape?

 


Fair enough - I was just curious as I've never heard it phrased the way you did. And it did sound like censorship - my bad. As for "enjoying" a book about rape? That's as silly as asking if my daughter "enjoyed" reading about the Holocaust. One can read books for many reasons - enjoyment is only one of them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

Nothing to gain except self-satisfaction.  LOL  And nothing to lose.  Ds will likely not be in regular school next year bc his sleepiness is so uncontrolled.  And teacher turn-over is unbelievable at our school so even if he stays she'll likely be gone.  Makes the self-satisfaction totally worth it to me!  :)

And, see... to me this doesn't exactly paint an overly "Christian" attitude. <shrug>
 

 

mtiger is offline  
#28 of 37 Old 04-12-2011, 06:37 AM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

There are 16-year-olds who "enjoy" (not quite the right word, but they will seek it out and appreciate it) reading about rape, and not because they're sick little puppies.  There's sort of an unofficial genre within YA - publishers refer to it as "trauma porn."  Despite the hideous name, it serves an important purpose for a few audiences:

 

1 - Readers who have experienced trauma and are looking for models of how to deal with it.

2 - Readers who want to be reassured that their life isn't actually that bad.

3 - Readers who are trying to develop empathy for other people's problems.  

 

None of those are horrible things to get out of a book.  I tend to think that a lot of these books are still not great choices for classroom discussion, especially when they contain wildly sensational depictions of trauma.  But I can see a defense for educational value.  I haven't seen a good one made here, but I can see one.  


Agree. I think there is far, far too much emphasis in school curricula on using literature heavily laden with moral lessons to hammer values and virtue into children. I dislike seeing a syllabus with a lengthy list of "good-for-building-character" books. There is an important place, however, for providing a window into the wide experience of humanity and an opportunity to explore other lives. I've known 16 y.o.'s who were profoundly moved and touched by Laure Halse Anderson's Speak, an emotionally grueling book about the aftermath of rape, even though they didn't "enjoy" it. It may not be a book for every 16 y.o., but it is definitely an important book for some. 

 

It's been decades since I read Go Ask Alice. I suspect that in the past 40 years, much better books have become available about adolescents, drug use and sex, if that is the moralizing that this teacher wants to inflict on her class. 

 

 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
#29 of 37 Old 04-12-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Annie Mac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




Agree. I think there is far, far too much emphasis in school curricula on using literature heavily laden with moral lessons to hammer values and virtue into children. I dislike seeing a syllabus with a lengthy list of "good-for-building-character" books. There is an important place, however, for providing a window into the wide experience of humanity and an opportunity to explore other lives. I've known 16 y.o.'s who were profoundly moved and touched by Laure Halse Anderson's Speak, an emotionally grueling book about the aftermath of rape, even though they didn't "enjoy" it. It may not be a book for every 16 y.o., but it is definitely an important book for some. 

 

It's been decades since I read Go Ask Alice. I suspect that in the past 40 years, much better books have become available about adolescents, drug use and sex, if that is the moralizing that this teacher wants to inflict on her class. 

 

 



Totally agree! It is interesting though, that I don't remember a rape in that book at all. Apparently, I just glossed over it & forgot it in favour of the interesting aspects of living in San Fran in the 60s/70s (whenever it was set).  Now, Evelyn Lau's Runaway, that one I found a bit disturbing -- but I was an adult when I read it. Sorry! OT! Can't resist a book discussion :)

Annie Mac is offline  
#30 of 37 Old 04-12-2011, 09:50 AM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

If the teacher really wanted to defend the book, she would've come up with a better answer than "it's been around a long time".  Especially if she's really got a background in literature.

 

I completely agree, but I'd imagine the teacher has written off the OP and her son and figures there's no real need to continue to engage the OP about the book because her son's not even reading it.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off