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#31 of 40 Old 03-13-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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i teach first in a childrens center . it is basically after school care with an academic slant. yes, i do send home notes and a weekly math challenge that i want back signed. how hard is it to sign a paper? i don't understand why this is a major issue? aren't there bigger issues within the public school that your (the general "your) energy is more worthy of? have i seen grades improve? not necessarily, but i've seen packets signed and that is my goal... i want parents to have to do something, not just send their children to school each day.If it is not signed I don't accept it. i feel sorry for parents who want their children to only be exposed to people or adults they approve of. i guess if you homeschooled and lived in la- la land it would work, but i believe it is a losing battle.
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#32 of 40 Old 03-13-2005, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Britishmum, I hope you don't feel that I am down on teachers. I do think they have a thankless job most days and I do think the original intent of this thread was to vent here about something stupid that bothers me. It still bothers me, I have found some ways to handle it, I haven't talked to the teacher about it.

But I also think that I can be supportive of teachers without being required to agree with everything they say and do. And a discussion like this can be useful for both sides.
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#33 of 40 Old 03-13-2005, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannan
have i seen grades improve? not necessarily, but i've seen packets signed and that is my goal... i want parents to have to do something, not just send their children to school each day.
Okay what purpose does this attitude serve? I truely do not understand. Seems to just put a wedge between parents and teachers when we should be working together to educate our children.
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#34 of 40 Old 03-13-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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Gentle reminder to speak respectfully to one another.....

 
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#35 of 40 Old 03-13-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannan
i teach first in a childrens center . it is basically after school care with an academic slant. yes, i do send home notes and a weekly math challenge that i want back signed. how hard is it to sign a paper? i don't understand why this is a major issue? aren't there bigger issues within the public school that your (the general "your) energy is more worthy of? have i seen grades improve? not necessarily, but i've seen packets signed and that is my goal... i want parents to have to do something, not just send their children to school each day.If it is not signed I don't accept it. i feel sorry for parents who want their children to only be exposed to people or adults they approve of. i guess if you homeschooled and lived in la- la land it would work, but i believe it is a losing battle.
I am completely bewildered.

First, I would be mad as heck if my child's classroom teacher blatantly admitted that the goal was simply to "give parents something to do". In this case, I would bet that these parents have PLENTY to do at the end of the day. I've had the misfortune of working in child care centers and, by the time parents are able to pick their kids up, they need time together to do things like read and cuddle and talk. They don't need a useless assignment that has nothing to do with improving their child's academic performance, even if it is just signing a piece of paper. When my special ed. documents, required by law and necessary for a child's education, weren't returned, I didn't take it out on the child. I talked with the parent. I made the effort to go to their houses and meet with them--because it was in the best interest of their child. Frankly, sometimes there was so much crap going on in their lives, they couldn't even take the time to think about that signature unless I was right there talking with them. I would never have forced "busy work" on them.

Secondly, there are far bigger issues in school. And that's where the parents' energy should be focused. Not on an admittedly useless piece of paper.

Third, even my kids, who are now homeschooled, have to deal with people I don't necessarily like or approve of. However, I would never let my child's education fall dependant on someone I don't trust or approve of. That would be a big part of why they're homeschooled. I taught in the public school system. I don't trust it.

Missy
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#36 of 40 Old 03-14-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannan
i feel sorry for parents who want their children to only be exposed to people or adults they approve of. i guess if you homeschooled and lived in la- la land it would work, but i believe it is a losing battle.
This is a very tricky question that you raise. In my first semester teaching in the university, I taught a class in Jewish ethics. Not long into the semester, one of the students told me that in her Jewish day school, a teacher humiliated a student for not bringing the right lunch. The context of her anecdote was a discussion of the Jewish ethics around speech, and we had been talking about how the rabbis considered embarassing someone to be as bad as murder. My student had completely rejected Judaism because she saw this teacher punish a student by making her sit on a special chair because her mom packed the wrong lunch.

(Which is, you must admit, not all that different from making a student sit on a special bench because her mom didn't sign her homework. Though I assume that the students on your bench aren't alone, and they aren't sitting there in full view of the other students. I hope.)

If this is a problem in a religious school setting, it's a much bigger problem in a public school setting. What children learn in a Catholic school where the nuns beat them is that they don't like Catholicism. What they learn in a public school where they are punished unfairly is that they don't like school, because there is no brand name to assign to the teacher's behavior.

Further: absolutely, I would not want my child to be taught by someone who didn't behave ethically in front of them. I could live with a teacher whose personal ethics were shaky but whose professional ethics were impeccable. This isn't only about approval though, but about what my child would learn from this person. A teacher isn't only teaching a textbook, they are modelling behavior.

Further than that: As you must know by now, many people on MDC do live in la-la land.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#37 of 40 Old 03-14-2005, 08:19 PM
 
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All I can say is pick your battles!

OK, anyone who has read my long-winded posts before knows I've never kept it to one line....

I have read all the posts in this thread and am still shaking my head. It is five seconds once a week, right? No one is asking for your social security number or for you to run around the block naked or pledge allegiance to George W (now that would be worth picking as a battle!)

My dd1 is in third grade and has a homework binder that comes home on Mondays and is due on Fridays. Thursday night or Friday morning, I sign where it asks for my signature. Teacher knows I've seen it.

If you (OP and/or generic you) are so into fighting "the man" that you want to buck the system at something so trivial as five seconds of your time - and in regards to something that makes your child feel stress for your own want to be a free spirit - I just don't understand that. If you don't want to sign your driver's license or mortgage application or whatever, that is up to you and the consequences are yours. This is your child. Asking for a signature once a week on homework is not unreasonable. I think it is great that you (OP) are involved in school by volunteering, being room mom, etc. But isn't part of being a parent modeling to our kids how to pick our battles? How to get along with others and be reasonable and compromise? Sure, some things are worth drawing a line in the sand for - but this?
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#38 of 40 Old 03-14-2005, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy
However, I would never penalize a student for his parents' lack of involvement.
I agree with this.
Jannan i can't imagine taking recess away from a child, especially for something they have no control over!
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#39 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kirsten, perhaps you didn't see this post.

Quote:
To update, I am signing my son's homework packet when we first sit down together to work on it. I have also found out that it is just a 'thing' with this first grade teacher, none of the other first grade teachers ask a parent to sign off on homework, just the weekly folder that comes home. I haven't asked her about it because I have had tougher issues to work out with her.
I think I have great perspective on this problem. It isn't a biggie, it is a small peeve and I am treating it as such IMO. My son is somewhat aware of how I feel. I think I am modeling that it is ok to question authority and have your own opinions as long as you do it respectfully.

My comments about my signature being my own property and such are simply looking at the broader picture, the authority a teacher has over the parents of his/her students. We have also spent a good amount of effort discussing whether the child should be punished for the parent's actions or inactions. Sometimes little things are indicative of bigger problems, yk?

The discussion on this thread leads me to believe that it would be easier on teachers, students and parents if teachers did not request or demand signatures on homework to be turned in. I haven't seen a strong arguement that it adds value to parent/teacher communication, IMO. If it wasn't asked for, none of us would have to worry about doing it, tracking it, whatever. I do agree and have always agreed with parental signoff for behavior reports.
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#40 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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jannan, you seem passionate about involving parents in their child's education. I think the method you have hit upon, mandating parent signed homework with consequences for the child, might meet your immediate goal of making parents do something more than just send their kids to school but will hurt your cause in the long run.
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