Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Ask For Help

Did you forget to go to gym for the last four years? Is your graduation in danger because of this?

Did you fail history and not bother to spend a week in credit recovery?

Are you five credits short of graduation?

Don't despair. Help is here for you. Just come on down and see me. I can arrange for you to take as many gym classes as you need to make that June graduation. I can arrange for you to attend late afternoon classes to make up the history credit you never went to credit recovery before. I can program you for as many classes as you need so you can make that June date and make your parents proud.

Don't worry about time. We'll squeeze more classes into a day than anyone has ever imagined possible. Don't worry about studying, seat time is all you need. Besides, there is no time being allotted for studying and we all know that cramming this amount of material into you in such a short time will produce no real learning anyways.

You spent your first four years of high school partying. It is not going to be a problem. Help is on the way.


Anonymous said...

so I take it that you didn't like today's faculty conference. :(

I was thinking, with an 80% graduation rate... some of those things said today only applied to 20% of those kids. Nonetheless, kids need to be reminded going down the back stretch to stay on point. What is a school to do? Let these kids fail? Let them miss graduation because of Phys. Ed?

Failure is not an option.

Pissedoffteacher said...

If kids are missing four terms of physical education, maybe they don't deserve to graduate.

Giving kids credit for breathing should not be done. I have come to realize that my standards can be as low as the states, but giving kids who are failing 13 classes makes no sense to me. How can they ever study and learn anything?

Graduating students who have not earned the right to graduate should not be an option. Maybe an extra term in high school would be a better option. It is only teh emphasis on statistics that is pushing them out in four years.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that students are given meaningful work to complete to earn the credits. Part of life is adapting and overcoming obstacles in order to achieve success. As educators we are faced with that challenge everyday, out in the business world that is daily life. But yet we want to stay in this rigid antiquated system that will keep a kid from moving on because of 3 hours of daily exercise. C'mon girl... Kid still has to pass Regents exams & earn the 44 credits... If he/she does that, even if they had to scramble down the stretch... why shouldn't they be able to walk with their classmates. In addition, Packemin is far too crowded to keep any student longer than 4 years.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I've seen the work students are given. I know how it is done. If you want to call it meaningful, knock yourself out.

All I know is I see these kids when they get to college. They are not prepared.

If space is the only problem, maybe we can give all the students the 44 credits in one semester and get them out all at once. It will also save the system tons of money.

I'm betting that anonymous is an administrator or a city official.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain Seat Credit to me?

All I know is that a student's responsibility should fall into this rubric. Being able to attend class w/o having to do the work should never be a viable option.

What does this say to the students who had to endure gym?? SUCKER!!!


Anonymous said...

It's about responsibility. Many schools are geared and catering to the students who do little or nothing. I truly believe if Bloomberg, Klein, administrators, and some teachers treated the public schools as if their own children went to that particular school, standards would honestly be high. "Keep `em moving" is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

the issue is here that the kid STILL takes the 4 credits, still has to complete the required number of credits to graduate. You don't think those students who did what they had to do feel like they have been cheated? Absolutely not... they are looking at those other kids and saying sucker! I am in A.P. classes, I am out by 6th period, etc.

This is about a student who for whatever reason fell behind. What if the student has serious family problems, etc. we don't give that child the opportunity to make up those credits.

Remember, the student still does not graduate unless he completes the required 44 credits and minimum of 5 regents. Those other students they are working on their advance regents diploma.

And if it were my kid, I sure as hell hope that the school would provide the opportunity to make up credits... not give them away but earn them.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I am the last person in the world who is against giving kids an opportunity to make up classes but taking so many at once makes no sense.

There is absolutely no physical way for any child (or adult) to do that much work in such a short period of time.

Two days a week I teach 2.5 hours at night in addition to my 6 classes during the day. I'm exhausted and good for nothing when I get home. How can we expect children to function under these conditions? How can we expect them to learn anything.

If it were my child, I would prefer the extra term in high school where they can get a real education. They will survive missing out on the graduation ceremony. What they need for the rest of their lives is much more important than the ceremony at the moment.

Many of the other students are not working on advanced diplomas. Many are just glad to be getting a diploma by doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

there is no way you would want your child to stay an extra term for phys. ed.! Let's be serious!

I still love your Blog... I just respectfully disagree with you on this point.

I don't believe in failure. I also don't believe in seeing a kid take 13 classes to graduate, however, I do believe in doing what needs to get done in order to get what you want. And if that means working harder in your young life in order to be able to graduate then that is what it means! That is more important then 4 phys. ed credits or any other credit one has to make up.

Pissedoffteacher said...

If my child failed four terms of phys ed, I would probably be in jail for child abuse. I can understand one term, but 4? That is two years of not going to class or not changing. If there was a good reason, it should have been cleared up earlier.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Pissed Off..If this child "missed" so many years of Phys Ed, the fault lies in the admin's failure to do something after the first year.

The "family problems" doesn't play out so well here. Seems like the school dropped the PE ball and the student fell through the cracks.

Summer school would make better sense to me.


Pissedoffteacher said...

Schoolgal--I was wondering the same thing about why the guidance counselor or parent never picked up on this problem earlier.

The Bus Driver said...

phys ed is a cakewalk. the fact that the child did not pass phys ed is his/her own fault, he/she should not be allowed to "make it up" in the last term of their senior year, they should have gone to phys ed in the first place... only exceptions to that are if the child either A. had a doctors excuse for the 4 terms he/she missed.. or B. substituted playing sports (football, soccer, baseball) for his/her phys ed requirement.

Not passing phys ed simply because a child "didnt feel like it" at the time is unnacceptable. My policy is... piss poor planning on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on my part. basically do your shit when you are supposed to do your shit.

In short... kudos Po'd i feel exactly the same way.

Lily of the Valley said...

I'm with The Bus Driver on this one.
I was one of those who tried to teach those undeserving graduates. They fare no better at the post secondary level.

The most creative thing they can manage is their excuses for being late, absent, or not completing their work.

I want to take your course but I will be 90 minutes late for every class because I have to have lunch with my parents.
I couldn't do my homework because of my fears over the Atomic Bomb. ( I got that excuse in the 1980's)
I missed 2 weeks because I was on vacation in the Bahamas, or skiing...whatever.
More than once I advised these types to quit school & stop wasting their parents' money.

The class schedule states the time & place where I shall drop my pearls of wisdom. It is the duty of the student to be there, not to count them, but catch them.


Anonymous said...

Isn't this what summer school is for?

At my place, when a kid is really, really close, and it is legal, we'll offer some sort of annoying, major project, if they had been somewhere in range on the original course. Won't do it for attendance issues. And, yes, even though it's never happened in my subject area I know they are big and annoying, because only about 30-40% of the kids actually go that route when offered - most just do summer school.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to comment on something one of the posters wrote. I'm sorry but I do feel that failure IS an option.

As an educator, I DO give my students the opportunity to get help and work on their weak areas. But ultimately the drive HAS to come from them. If they are not willing to put in the extra time, there isn't anything more I can do.

I think that we (as a society) are forgetting that failure is an option (not that I'm going out of my way to fail students...I'm not). This is the student's responsibility to learn. I can do my part, but they MUST do theirs. IF they don't...they fail. School is a safe place to fail, rather than the "real world."

Failing numerous gym classes is a tricky one...I can see both sides of the story, and you each have valid points. I'm not sure how I would handle this...

Anonymous said...

There are some great comments in the above post and I agree that ultimately the responsibility falls on the student to do what they have to get the credits they need. I agree that somewhere the ball was dropped by someone ( student, parent, administrator, and teacher ( who didn't call home to tell parent or advise anyone that the kid was cutting or not getting dressed, etc.).

This comes down to: do you give a student a chance to the very end to do what they have to do to graduate. Again, forget the more than ever important statistic graduation rate... Did you give students every opportunity to be successful. Ultimately, they still have to do the work.

Lily of the Valley said...

Failure in the real world is not only an option, but a guarantee. It WILL happen, sooner or later.

At the post secondary level, repeating a failed course requires the payment of a course fee a second time.
In the real world, I can cost them a job. An employer will gladly replace the employee who is habitually late, absent or whose work is incomplete or below standard.

Part of teaching, for me, has been to help to build individuals who can contribute positively to their society. If graduating is so important to the student, rather than the administration, the student has the opportunity to earn the privilege of graduation. To graduate without the work being done, diminishes the value of the diploma of those who have earned it.

What do we teach, if not the consequences of their poor choices.?

-Dawn said...

I just got done venting about the same thing on my blogspot and then did a search and found your site. OMG I SO related to what you are saying. Though I DO teach credit recovery, I think there are kids who should be held accountable for their poor choices to get their work done. They should fail. But just this morning, I swear my administrator just told me that my program (A+ Program) can't really be justified if students don't recover their credits... Sure sounded to me like I should be passing them no matter what. I am dumbfounded. There are kids who can be saved and there are kids who don't want to be saved. They could give a crap less about how hard you try to work with them.

We no longer hold kids accountable for their decisions. It's almost like we don't think they are old enough to really know what is best for them. "Oh, you don't really understand that GIVING this diploma to you will really help you... so even though your ass is lazy and disrespectful, we are going to go ahead and pass you."

Thanks for your site!! It is good to know that this isn't just happening in a small school in the middle of Kansas!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say this argument was never just about giving credits away... this was about giving kids the opporunity to make up credits. Kids are kids and they make mistakes. Ultimately, students are responsible to complete the work. Hasn't anyone here taken a large load of classes to get it done & over with?

School should never be about teaching failure. School should always be aout teaching success. And when a student is not successful the conversation should be about what needs to be done to be successful. I guess my argument will always be fundamentally flawed if you think some kids can't learn or you think that some kids NEED/Should Fail!

I don't ... if they do fail, you teach them how to get back up, address what they need to do to be successful and you teach them , HOW to be successful. Even if that means giving a student additional opportunities. I will never think differently - THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GRADUATION RATES This has everything with being an eternal optimisit, and idealist and always seeing the glass has half full and ready to fill the glass with more water if you are thirsty.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Wow, I had no idea the canof worms I was opening with this post.

I'm sorry to disagree with you anonymous, but a course load like the one yuo suggest is difficult for everyone to handle. When I decided to graduate college early and took 20 credits one semester, I almost died of work. There were courses where I just managed to squeak by and I know I learned nothing. And I won't even discuss the time I went to grad school full time and taught full time.

I'm not saying that I am brilliant, I am miles away from that, but I am much brighter than the kids in these recovery credit programs and the 10 -20 period days. I barely handled the work and they can't either. As it is, they don't spend enough time studying or doing homework. You know as well as I do that many hold part time jobs along with going to school. And, you also know that these kids are not willing to sacrifice a social life for school.

I believe kids deserve and are entitled to the second chance, just not the way it is being done now. This way, saves money, increases graduation rates and shortchanges our students.

These kids, for whatever reason, screwed up while in HS. Give them the chance to graduate, but let them graduate by doing real work. o matter what anyone says, credit recover programs are give aways.