Friday, March 14, 2008

Bet You Didn't Think They Could Get Worse

I have met with parents whose children were cutting their math class. I was told by some parents that some math teachers never bothered to contact them when their child was absent. Ladies and gentlemen, please make a phone call and make sure you speak to the parents of students who cut your class. It is unfair that we do not speak to parents when a student is cutting our class. It is not fair for a student to fail a math class only because s/he does not attend, either. Remember, you can not teach to the empty seat a student sits in. You can only teach the student in that seat.

The PTA will print a new letter and I will ask parents to contact you if their child is failing math and they have not heard from you. You might be better off to be pro-active and contact parents first.
Wow! So now I am responsible for making sure every parent knows every time their child is absent. Let's see. Thirty four kids in a class, five classes a day (actually six for me with the college now class in the morning) and no free periods except for lunch and prep. No available phones. No place to sit. Many parents cannot be reached during the school day. This sounds really like something I am really going to do! There is one teacher in my department who is outstanding when it comes to calling parents. They are always coming in to talk to him. He has not eaten lunch in weeks and many of the kids are still having problems.

Don't get me wrong. I contact parents all the time. Chronic cutting is not the teacher's responsibility. We have an attendance teacher in the school. We fill out scan sheets every day with daily attendance. It's not the teachers fault that the attendance teacher and the attendance office can't do it all. We can't do it all either. Besides, a kid that has chronically cut math and suddenly decides to return to class will be incapable of catching up since all new math depends on previous knowledge. Years ago, my AP told me I was too nice to the kids so they all came to my class. He said that was the reason I sometimes had discipline problems. Now he is telling me to get them all come to class.

I would like to insure that when math teachers retire, we are not in a "hole". Therefore, if you are interested in teaching a first period. College Now Course, please see me as soon as possible. We have to make sure you are approved by the college involved.

This last paragraph was meant for me. Instead of asking me about my plans, he makes a stupid announcement to everyone. If he would only have asked, I would have told him that I plan on continuing College Now after I retire and that when I am ready to give it up, I will give the school plenty of notice. I've already had this conversation with the College Now Liaison. I thought about telling him how obnoxious and insulting his memo was but then I figured, why bother? He hasn't gotten anything in the past and I am sure he will get nothing in the future. I'd rather bitch about him this was and get everything out of my system. By Monday, he will have a new agenda anyways.


17 (really 15) more years said...

Although it might be self-defeating, a memo like that is enough to make me NOT want to retire.

Anonymous said...


I agree that your boss was unprofessional in mentioning a possible 'hole' for college now. When your AP Security was my APO, he sent around lists to each Department asking 'older' teachers when they planned to abandon ship.

Please pass the ranch dressing.

Chaz said...

I agree with 17, you should not retire to spite him. Further, he can't hire two newbies if you stay. Think of the fun you can have knowing you screwed up his plans.

I think I know who anonymous is.

X said...

"It is not fair for a student to fail a math class only because s/he does not attend" needs to be in the Idiotic Administrator Quotes Hall of Fame.

Anonymous said...

Yes and anonymous knows who anonymous is also.

Anonymous said...

I was going to post a remark about it not being fair to fail an absent student but someone already has done that.

McMGrad89 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McMGrad89 said...

Just know that your principal is not the only one out there that sends blanket memos/emails referring to only one or two people.

Tell me this though, Do you have a librarian who loves to forward emails to the entire campus even when it was one that the entire campus received in the first place? It is getting to the point that none of us want to see this person's name in our inbox.