Am I making a bigger deal then I need to? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 67 Old 09-06-2007, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD's school started 2 weeks ago. Yesterday her school sent hom a "Compact" that says "as a staff we pledge to" and "As a parent/guardian we pledge to" and "As a student I will" and lists things and has places for each of us to sign.

I don't want to sign it. I don't think my daughter should have to sign it. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's because I don't think the school has any right to tell me what I "will" do every night. Maybe I don't think my 7 year old should sign something saying how she will behave. One part even says "I will be a good citizen by doing what is right, not because I'm being watched by others, but because it is the right thing to do". ?????

So I told her to just tell the teacher that I don't want to sign it, and I probably should have just written a note saying we aren't going to sign it. but she came home almost in tears saying she was going to get in trouble if she didn't sign it.

Should I just attach a simple note saying I don't want to sign it and I don't want DD to sign it and leave it at that? Or should I just sign the stupid thing. I don't want to become the "problem parent who used to homeschool her kids".
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#2 of 67 Old 09-06-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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If you feel like making a stand by not signing it and have the energy to expend doing so, then that's your right as an American. I would deal directly with the school and leave my child out of it, though. Personally, I'd just sign the stupid thing because it's meaningless anyway.
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#3 of 67 Old 09-06-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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It would depend on exactly what it said.

In the kids' agendas there is a section for the parents & kid to sign saying:

Quote:
We acknowledge receiving, reading & agree to follow the rules & procedures outlined in the QEE Handbook. We understand the teacher, admini, & support staff will treat our child with respect & dignity and we in turn will do the same.
I have no problems signing it as the majority of it deals with start/end times, recesses, early dismissal, dress code, fresh air policy etc. Very little has to do with behaviour. They want the kids to sign it(after reading or being read it) so that the policies can be pointed out IF an issue ever comes about. The school follows a Positive Behaviour Plan. the majority of students never have to have it brought out. The first thing they do is remind the kids of the 4 keys the school follows(respect, safety, honesty, responsibility) & whether their behaviour follows that. If not the child is asked to come up with a solution & they do with no problems. It is only after repeated offenses(say running in the halls after being reminded not to) is the child talked to about it.
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#4 of 67 Old 09-06-2007, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AmandasMom View Post
Should I just attach a simple note saying I don't want to sign it and I don't want DD to sign it and leave it at that? Or should I just sign the stupid thing. I don't want to become the "problem parent who used to homeschool her kids".
Maybe you should talk to the teacher about it, the purpose of the compact and why the wording bothers you.
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#5 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 12:14 AM
 
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Do you have an actual problem with what they are asking? In the past I have crossed out parts, or changed them to be what I could agree with and it's never been a problem. I have also asked for clarification of parts of the rules we are agreeing to.

I would have the conversation myself, though, because most 7 year olds would not be ready to have that conversation. Additionally, if it is a homework assignment, you definately need to comunicate that you are not allowing her to do the work, not that she is simply not doing it.

That said, last year when DD was 7 her teachers homework policy was that parents signed off on their kids homework. DD found that "demeaning" and said if she was supposed to be responsible we should not be signing her homework. We made and appointment with the teacherm DP & I went for moral support but DD explained her issue and the teacher said that was fine with her if we didn't sign as long as DD was taking responsibility. If there were signs she could NOT handle that responsibility the issue would have been revisited, but there were no problems (as expected).

 

 

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#6 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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Well...I think you put your dd in a HORRIBLE position. Not to beat you up, but yes, you really SHOULD have handled this yourself, either by writing a note or talking to the teacher directly. Instead, you sent a child in to tell a teacher "My mom didn't want to do this" which must have put her in a REALLY hard place. Think about how hard it is for us as adults to "buck the system" and what it must have felt like for your daughter.
The teacher probably DID tell her she would be in trouble and that it was "required" she bring it back. For all the teacher knew, perhaps dd didn't even bring it home, and was just lying about you not wanting to sign it, etc. Without something from you, how was the teacher to know what was going on? I obviously can't know how the teacher handled it, but it seems likely not very well. Your dd is within a system where standing up to "authority" is not received well, and in this case, it sounds like it wasn't even your dd who felt strongly about making this stand, etc, but YOU, so she is probably confused on a number of levels. did you even sit down with her and discuss it, and explain to her why you felt like you did not want to sign it, and why you felt like she should not sign it? Did you talk about how she felt about signing/not signing it?

I'm sorry if this seems harsh, but I used to be that kid, and I remember how embarassed, humiliated, scared, etc I felt when my parents would arbitrarily (at least to me, since they never really shared their reasoning with me) decide they didn't like how the school was doing something, and order me to do something I didn't understand which made me different from the others, and I often took the brunt of the teacher's unhappiness, the sting of being different, the fear of having to dissent - even though I was a shy, nervous child who could barely talk to the teachers, I had to tell them I didn't have some paper, or assignment, or whatever, because my parents refused to do it/let me do it..etc....it really REALLY sucked.

If you truly feel you don't want to sign the paper, then GREAT. Don't sign it. Discuss it with your childs teacher/principal about WHY you don't want to sign it and why you don't want dd to sign it, and they might get mad at you, but at least dd doesn't have to be the one taking the heat. Perhaps, like a pp suggested, you could work something out, discuss why you dislike the compact, and maybe cross out some of the parts you find offensive/objectionable, and rewrite some parts to better reflect your beliefs.

CPST
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#7 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for most of your replies. I realized I shouldn't have told DD to tell her teacher I didn't want to sign it. I realized it as soon as she got on the bus. So there's no need to cut me in half about it.

The paper isn't about school policy, it has nothing to do with dress code and behavior codes and all that. (already signed all that stuff! this isn't even an official public school wide system thing, its just her school and the 2nd graders

The parents part says:

As a parent/guardian I will: read to my child every day, show respect with my words and actions for my child, provide a place for homework and check to see that all work is completed, ask my child about schoolwork every day, see that my child attends school on time, communicate and work with the school to encourage my childs learning and positive behavior.

the childs pare says: I will be responsible for my actions and behavior each day, I will listen, do my work, and learn. I will respect the feeling, property and rights of others. I will be a good citizen by doing what is right, not because I am being watched by others, but because it is the right thing to do.


I don't know why I don't like it. Maybe because it sounds like they are telling me and DD how we are to think, and what we are to do. Maybe because I don't like my daughter signing something without thinking about what she is signing just so she 'won't get in trouble'. What is a 'good citizen' anyway? Maybe because I was raised in the late 60s and early 70s by hippie parents who 'questioned authority'. Maybe it's because I wish I could still homeschool her and hate the sheeple attitude of public school. Maybe I just have PMS. I dno't know! I just know I don't like the paper.

So my husband signed it. and DD said she didn't care what it said, she just signed it so she wouldn't get in trouble. *sigh*
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#8 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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I do understand your feelings on it. I HS'ed my dd for 2 years and put her back into PS and I think I resented being the only one who had say about her education.
I honestly would have signed it with the thinking, that those are things we already do at home and put into practice. That "good citizen" wording is very vague so you can interpet anyway you want.That is a plus on your side.
I would just try and see the positive side of the thing. It is just one thing that the school and I agree on, becuase like I said we already put into practice those things even before the school told me. So we are all at least on the same page about that.
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#9 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 09:53 AM
 
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I was reluctant when I signed ds's school compact because it said I would always support homework, which I many not. I decided that it wasn't exactly enforceable anyway.
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#10 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 10:05 AM
 
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I'm not sure why the school is trying to regulate your conduct outside of the classroom and in ways not related to homework (requiring you to read to your child every day, e.g.), but I'd probably sign it anyway because it's meaningless and I wouldn't want to cause trouble for my child in school.
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#11 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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As the wife of a teacher who desperately wishes that parents would be more involved with the school and their child's education I just thought I'd give a different perspective. I don't think the school is trying to regulate a parent's behaviour as much as pointing out that parents are as equally responsible if not more responsible for their child's success in school. I'm assuming you are involved in your child's education and probably don't see anything in the compact that you don't or won't already do, same with what you expect from your child and maybe that's why you resent having someone tell you this. I know I feel less like doing something when someone tells me to do it.

However, there could be a lot of parents in your district that see school as merely a babysitter until their child can finally go out and get a job. Or see education as something you buy, a commodity rather than a process for a child and something you develop. My dh has seen both kinds of parents. It didn't matter that their child was failing general music b/c they didn't need it to get into college. Or it didn't matter that their child was failing general music b/c it was more important that they skip school and go to their job and earn some money.

Try to look at the compact as just an affirmation of what you're already doing. It's not really for parents like you. It's for the parents who don't realize that education is a team effort.
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#12 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AmandasMom View Post
The parents part says:

As a parent/guardian I will: read to my child every day, show respect with my words and actions for my child, provide a place for homework and check to see that all work is completed, ask my child about schoolwork every day, see that my child attends school on time, communicate and work with the school to encourage my childs learning and positive behavior.

the childs pare says: I will be responsible for my actions and behavior each day, I will listen, do my work, and learn. I will respect the feeling, property and rights of others. I will be a good citizen by doing what is right, not because I am being watched by others, but because it is the right thing to do.


I don't know why I don't like it. Maybe because it sounds like they are telling me and DD how we are to think, and what we are to do. Maybe because I don't like my daughter signing something without thinking about what she is signing just so she 'won't get in trouble'. What is a 'good citizen' anyway? Maybe because I was raised in the late 60s and early 70s by hippie parents who 'questioned authority'. Maybe it's because I wish I could still homeschool her and hate the sheeple attitude of public school. Maybe I just have PMS. I dno't know! I just know I don't like the paper.

So my husband signed it. and DD said she didn't care what it said, she just signed it so she wouldn't get in trouble. *sigh*

I'm not sure why you didn't like it. It almost sounds like you were just trying to prove a point and be defiant. I think what they wrote is good and very reasonable. If your dd didn't know what she was signing and what it means to be a good citizen, then this was your opportunity to discuss it with her. Instead, she signed it to not get in trouble. You really did put her in the middle and not just by having her tell the teacher.

I think what they wrote are things that ALL parents should be doing anyway. I do all of those things. I would be thrilled if my son's school sent something home like that. I would hope that it would inspire other parents to help their children be successful in school as well. Their paragraph was simply what a parent can do to support their child. Sadly, many parents don't do half of those things.

As far as what your dd had to sign, there is is nothing wrong with that either. My son's school does have a student pledge that the students recite daily. It's just a few short statements about doing their best and not disturbing others who are doing their work.

One of my parenting techiniques is to talk with my children before issues arise, like before school starts every year. We talk about homework, the morning routine and things like that. We put what we talk about in writing (i.e. - the list of tasks to do in the morning to get ready for school). I think putting expectations in writing is very effective and helpful. It is recommended in How to Talk so Kids will Listen. So, I fully understand why your school sent those letters home and even applaud it.
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#13 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 11:26 AM
 
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I do not like the parent part. I do not like signing stuff that is common sense. I think it would have made more sense, and been less intrusive, to say:

"Hints for helping your child succeed at school:
-read daily
-provide homework space
-ask about school and schoolwork daily, etc"

Even though DH signed it, I might still write a little note that I found being asked to sign something that told me how I will behave at home intrusive.

Ok. Naughty kathy had an idea (just for laughs - this is a joke everybody)

why don't you send in a compact saying you expect teachers to :
" listen to children. Ask questions. Be respectful. Provide variety challenge and fun in assignment, et cetera"

Bet they do not sign it (and I bet they get peeved that you even dared to question their behaviour at school) while it is Ok for them to do it to you....

kathy
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#14 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This just maybe part of a whole bigger issue with me that I need to work out. That's why I started this thread, so I could dig deeper into myself to find out why I dislike the school (or anyone) telling me what I should do for my daughter.

I put her into public school in the middle of 1st grade last year for various reasons. I put up with corporate "sponsorship" and advertising. I've put up with every single week another request sent home for money. They even took DD's artwork tried to sell it to me in the form of magnets and flags. And don't get me started on homework.

Now this year I have to deal with letter grades. I've never seen her so deflated as she was when she brought home an F because she missed 2 periods an 2 capitol letters. I just wanted to pull her out of school right then and there.

But she does not know any of this! (Except for me bitching about them trying to sell me her artwork last year).

She doesnt' see the things I do, and she loves school, and it is one of the best elementary schools in Nashville. And the teachers are great and they are involved. They've never given me a problem about no vaxing. (the lunch lady used to tell me every time she saw me how "well adjusted to public school" dd is). We go to all of her school functions, go to parent-teacher conferences and all that.

so it's ME with the problems.
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#15 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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"so it's ME with the problems."

Me too. (((HUGS))).

The big question is how do we model our stance where appropriate (and let our kids know we prefer it if they do not turn into sheeplets) without ruining their school experience, or putting our issues on them. It is very hard, and I struggle. You are not alone (even though all the other mother sign things, and you probably feel like the "different" trouble making one - OK, I probalby transposed my own experience on that last sentence: )

kathy
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#16 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
"

The big question is how do we model our stance where appropriate (and let our kids know we prefer it if they do not turn into sheeplets) without ruining their school experience, or putting our issues on them.
*jumps up and down*

that's it exactly! that's it thats it!!! I love how these conversations start one way and turn into ways to improve ourselves.
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#17 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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Did the staff sign their part? Thinking about Kathy's comment, I think you can help make it less of sheeplet experience and a learning experience for your dd by sitting down with her and her teacher and all three of you go over your responsibilities. Make it empowering for all three of you that you are willingly entering into this rather than feeling like this is something forced upon you. Your dd would hopefully come away feeling like she knows what she needs to do to make her experience good and that she has 2 groups that are behind her to support her and help her. You come away reaffirming something you already believe in and knowing this is a team effort not one that's dictated to you. Why not take it and actually make it mean something for all of you rather than feel dictated to?
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#18 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
The parents part says:

As a parent/guardian I will: read to my child every day, show respect with my words and actions for my child, provide a place for homework and check to see that all work is completed, ask my child about schoolwork every day, see that my child attends school on time, communicate and work with the school to encourage my childs learning and positive behavior.

the childs pare says: I will be responsible for my actions and behavior each day, I will listen, do my work, and learn. I will respect the feeling, property and rights of others. I will be a good citizen by doing what is right, not because I am being watched by others, but because it is the right thing to do.
If it was me, I'd cross off certain things & send it back like this.

Quote:
The parents part says:

As a parent/guardian I will: see that my child attends school on time, communicate and work with the school to encourage my childs learning and positive behavior.

the childs pare says: I will be responsible for my actions and behavior each day. I will respect the feeling, property and rights of others.
The rest of it bugs me because it is telling me as an Adult what to do with my child. The child part is more of the 4 keys the school here follows.
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#19 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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I wouldn't sign it. I sure as heck wouldn't want to feel like I was reading to my child every day because I *promised the school that I would*! I wouldn't even be able to enjoy reading to her after signing such a thing because all of a sudden it has been turned into a duty instead of something I'm choosing to do. The school is *completely* out of line telling you that you have to sign such a thing.

I also would not agree to make sure homework is completed every day. I'm against homework. It's my child's choice whether or not to do it each day, keeping in mind what the consequences might be if it is not done.

Asking about schoolwork every day? That's not something you should be required to do either.

I'm not even going to make my child go to school every day. Again, that should be my child's choice, keeping in mind the consequences. If so many days were missed that there started being consequences for me, I would explain that to my child.

The part about working with the school to encourage your child's learning and positive behavior is worded extremely condescendingly. And again, the most offensive aspect is that they're making you sign a statement promising that you will do such a thing. If I use the school as a resource to help me encourage my child's learning and positive behavior, it is because I'm *choosing* to do so, not because I've signed a statement promising to work with them on my child's learning and positive behavior!

Requiring the child to sign a statement promising to do their work and learn is ridiculous. What work they choose to do (again, mindful of consequences) and whether or not they want to learn is their business. Talk about training people to be obedient sheep! Preparing them to be dutiful little workers who do everything they're told when they're adults. Blah! As far as doing what is right, they should be doing it because it's right, not because they've signed a statement promising to be good citizens. The irony of the statement being worded as "doing what is right... because it is the right thing to do" when the statement establishes *signing the promise* as the reason for doing what is right! The irony of implying that it shouldn't be "others" who make us do what is right, when it is "others" who are making the person sign a statement promising to do what is right!

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#20 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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#21 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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I think you have to pick your battles if you're going to send your kids to public school. If you're getting your panties in a wad over something like this, it's going to be a long, hard, painful road to graduation for you and your kids.
The compact sounds pretty great to me. It lays out what is expected from all parties. If you're going to send your kids to school for someone else to teach, it's within the teacher's right to expect things in return from you. You have to remember, like a previous poster pointed out, there are many many parents who couldn't care less what is going on at school. They don't read to their kids. They don't care if they had breakfast before school or if they're dressed properly. There are lots and lots of parents who don't want to be bothered at all with any of it. I think it's great that your teacher wants parents involved.
Anyway, hope you don't mind my opinion. You did ask.
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#22 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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"I think you have to pick your battles if you're going to send your kids to public school." Boobs.

As someone who is "homeschooling friendly", yet has kids (2 now! 1 is homeschooled) at school I know I have to pick my battles. It is better for your child, and ultimately better for you (if you come across as "that mother", they may be less inclined to listen to you when there is a real problem) to let some stuff go.

Now, as to whether I would let this issue go -probably not.

I would (depending on energy level)
-cross out words and insert my own(such as "read daily" to read regualrly).
or
-do what lisalou suggested (nice post!).

Lisalou's is nice becuase it allows you to talk to the teacher about your concerns right off the bat. School is more a marathon than a race, and this issue will come up again. It may solve you some angst to be upfront right from the get-go.

Kathy
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#23 of 67 Old 09-07-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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Most likely this is a title I thing. If your schools 80% or more kids getting Free or Reduced Lunch ( I think) then the school is required by the federal government to have parents, students, and teachers sign these. I have not taught at a school yet that actually looks at them after they are signed. They put them in a folder and wait until someone comes to audit the school. they show them that whatever percentage of their parents signed them and that is the end of it. I personally would just sign it but only because I work at these schools and know that no one cares what they say or who signs them.
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#24 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 03:37 AM
 
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Amanda'sMom: I completely agree with you. I would feel exactly the way you do. We are homeschooling, but I am contemplating putting my older son in school simply because he is craving the social interaction so much.

But these are exactly the types of problems I envision. Everything you mentioned would bother me too. In addition, the whole "just sign it to not get in trouble" - oh man, what a dangerous path to start kids on. The whole blind obedience just to avoid too much hassle. I hate to think we are teaching young kids that you just go along to get along. Don't make a fuss, don't have any individual ideas, opinions, or thoughts. Just sign it.

I was raised by the same type of parents you were, and they did take stands with my schools over the years. Times were a bit different back then, and they were able to get away with more. And there were plenty of things they just signed and ignored. But gah, it bugs me the same way it bugs you.
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#25 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 06:01 AM
 
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That would bother me too. I would not sign it. I don't believe in pledging or swearing because pledges and oaths are too easy to break. They mean something! And I wouldn't want to teach a seven-year-old about it with a phony contract from the school, either.

"parent/guardian I will: read to my child every day, show respect with my words and actions for my child, provide a place for homework and check to see that all work is completed, ask my child about schoolwork every day, see that my child attends school on time, communicate and work with the school to encourage my childs learning and positive behavior."

I hate this because it's all absolutes. It's also vague. Absolute vagueness, my pet peeve. What does the school mean by "place for homework"? What if one day we decide to play baseball instead? What if one day, I decide my child can be late because another child is sick and I have to take her to the clinic IMMEDIATELY? Argh. I can't deal with stuff like that. I would re-write mine, with a lot more about encouragement, teaching the values of being prompt and respectful of others' time, and so on.

"I will be responsible for my actions and behavior each day, I will listen, do my work, and learn. I will respect the feeling, property and rights of others. I will be a good citizen by doing what is right, not because I am being watched by others, but because it is the right thing to do."

I don't believe in rights. I believe in obligations. Our whole moral framework is different from theirs. I also think that it's more about being a good person, not a good citizen.

I don't know what I would do in your place (homeschool is looking better and better) but I feel for you. It bugs me a lot and you are not making too big of a deal.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#26 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 08:12 AM
 
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As a teacher I think that the idea about the compact is great. I realize that the mothers and fathers on this board are already going to be doing involved in their children's lives and education and thus already doing all of the things the compact states. I realize that as a parent that was involved and such it would be insulting but I think you would be surprised at the number of parents who do not take any interest in their child's education and will not read to them at any time or pay attention to their homework unless they are told to do it. As a teacher I think regularly is probably 5-6 times a week- what if a parent thinks it is once a week, once a month? Also there are parents who need to be told to check their child's homework. I field calls all the time about how they did not know their child was not doing well that if they had followed the homework and my notes they would have seen how much help their child needed. There are many parents that need to be told to read daily and I realize that they probably **** aren't and that is their choice and they have to make the best decisions for their family. Most of these things are not written for the parents who are involved it is for the ones who are not but I can't say- Janey you don't have to have this since your parents are involved. Now if you approached me about it I would listen and say if you really didn't want to sign it- no big deal. Also I find it interesting that there are people who feel that teachers would not sign a compact about listening and providing interesting lessons. I strive to listen to my students and give interesting lessons everyday and I know many teachers who do also- along with many teachers who do not do that and I would have no problem signing that part of the compact.

Mama to two loqacious and bouncy boys.
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#27 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 08:48 AM
 
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. I realize that as a parent that was involved and such it would be insulting but I think you would be surprised at the number of parents who do not take any interest in their child's education and will not read to them at any time or pay attention to their homework unless they are told to do it. .
I think this is really probably the key on why they are sending something like this home. There are a lot of parents that think that if there is a problem with their children it's the school's problem to work it out. I remember last year overhearing a conversation about a little girl who's backpack was never emptied out, and all the school notes, homework, etc. just stayed in her backpack. Apparently, her parents never bothered to check.

OP - you have lots of good suggestions on how to handle this situation. I do not like signing "Codes of Conduct" - ever. And I agree, it would have been nice to have had the teacher/school include what they were agreeing to in addition to what they were expecting of the parents and students.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#28 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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" I realize that as a parent that was involved and such it would be insulting but I think you would be surprised at the number of parents who do not take any interest in their child's education and will not read to them at any time or pay attention to their homework unless they are told to do it."

You know...these pledges mean nothing. A parent who does not read to her child regularly is not going to suddenly start because they signed some paper saying they would....and a person who does read regularly doesn't need to sign it.

I still think sending home a tips sheet (in case you literally came from another planet and need a reminder that children should be read to) is the way to go.

I also detest having to read and put up with a bunch of bull-crap (like the compact, sorry) because some parents do not do their job.


If a child has a reading, or behaviour, etc issue - addressing them directly with the family is best. Blanket statements are rarely necessary. Like a previous poster, the stipulations bug me. I see reading as a total package thing....not a daily prescription (and I have two readers ahead of grade level). It involves going to the library regularly, watching parents read for fun and information and being read to (which I do not do nightly, shock oh shock - but pretty darn often )

Mamatowill: I suuspect many teachers (of the easy going variety) would sign a compact, but some would not (not because they object to the contents of the compact, but more because they object to the existance of the compact and parents telling them what to do, and the assumption, by the existance of the compact that they are not doing their job)

I think the best kind of compact, and the only one I would sign is thus:

Parents, children, and teachers get together and brainstorm a list of rights and responsabilities for everyone involved. Everyone comes to a consensus and signs. Much better, and more empowering for everyone than the compact in the Op which is very much a top down thing.

Kathy
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#29 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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" You know...these pledges mean nothing. A parent who does not read to her child regularly is not going to suddenly start because they signed some paper saying they would....and a person who does read regularly doesn't need to sign it.

I still think sending home a tips sheet (in case you literally came from another planet and need a reminder that children should be read to) is the way to go.

I also detest having to read and put up with a bunch of bull-crap (like the compact, sorry) because some parents do not do their job.


If a child has a reading, or behaviour, etc issue - addressing them directly with the family is best. Blanket statements are rarely necessary.
I could not agree more with this.

I would probably (will probably, if this comes up) just sign the thing and send it back, without any fanfare, because I would want to choose my battles.

But, I am already - and my son isn't even in public school yet! - so tired of being asked to do things because some parents don't do them. I find it totally patronizing and stupid for teachers to behave as if they have to regulate what happens in everyone's home - and tiring for the teachers, too, because they do NOT have that control and trying to do it is a waste of effort.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#30 of 67 Old 09-08-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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I just pulled out the newsletter for this past week which is the first piece of paper that has come home in my ds' backpack since we started school.

The newsletter had "pledges" from the principal:
It is our pledge to keep your children safe while they are in our care. We promised to honor them and respect them as individuals and as children. We will begin in earnest to make their potential and capabilities visible so you can share in their experiences while they are away from you. It is also your right to join in as much as possible. This means participation in the classroom, conversations with teachers, attendance at events and certainly dialogue with me.

There were also highlights on two specialty teachers (Sound and Movement teacher and the Art Studio teacher) who also gave their pledges to what they would provide/foster/encourage etc.

This is a charter school - not private. I haven't been asked to sign a dang thing other than the emergency medical forms - which I have no problem with BTW! Last year at ds' other school, I had to sign something very similar to what the OP described. It's amazing to me how much better I feel about his new school when even the communication sent home is so collaborative and positive. It sets the mood, ya know?

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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