Countdown to Summer

I was told something today that really bothers me. The more I think about, the more it gets to me. I've mentioned before that I do not like GG's teacher. Other parents have some stories that would just blow you away. I took what they said with a grain of salt. Up until recently, we weren't really having any problems with GG in her class, so I never really thought she was all that bad of a teacher. Today I have changed my mind.

Backing up for a minute, GG's problems have been with talking during class. Her teacher and I discussed this during our conference earlier in the month. About a week after the conference I received an email saying that GG's talking was out of control. If it didn't stop, a discipline report would have to be written. Now I don't know exactly what that is, but I assume it's not good. I emailed the teacher back explaining that I would talk to GG and there would be consequences for her actions. I made sure to mention that there would be consequences because this teacher told another parent that kids these days do not have consequences for their poor behavior.

Anyway, in this email I also asked a question. I asked if she (the teacher) had any idea as to why GG was talking so much. Is she looking for attention? Or, on some level, does she realize that she can goof off and still get her work done on time and it is all correct? I know GG is a smart kid. She pulls out her homework and blows right through it. And its all correct 99.9% of the time. I was worried she was not being challenged enough. The reply I got was "Thank you." I thought maybe I had offended the teacher by criticizing her teaching abilities. That was not my intention. Or at least it wasn't until today.

I was talking to another parent and the subject of Accelerated Reading came up. This is where kids read books and take quizzes on them. Every student who participates gets a prize, but the kids with the most points get a little something extra. GG loves to read and I am a huge supporter of this program. The other parent had asked the teacher about these quizzes and why there doesn't seem to be a push for the kids to take them - especially the kids, like hers and mine, who also do some enrichment work for reading. The teacher's response - the class is a bunch of underachievers. Excuse me?!? If a teacher thinks that her students are not meeting their potential, isn't it his or her job to motivate the kids to do better? I went to school for elementary education, but maybe I was taught the wrong information.

I also have this theory as to why all the kids talk too much. Yes, it's a problem with the whole class. Their teacher is not a warm person at all. I get the impression that there is a huge lack in positive reinforcement in the classroom. For example, if the teacher tells Johnny that he is doing is really good job at writing today. And she says something similar on another occasion, then Johnny will want to continue to write well so he will get that praise from the teacher in the future. If these kids hear nothing but sit down, don't talk, do your work all day, then they will continue to do what they do. It may not be positive attention, but it is attention nonetheless.

I understand that a teacher cannot devote all of their time to one student. That task is virtually impossible, even with the small class sizes that we have here. But to group them all together as a bunch of dumb kids? That's just wrong!

What really bothers me now that I see the whole picture is that there's really nothing that can be done. It's April. Even if all the parents grouped together to try and change how things were done, it's late in the school year. Another thing to consider is that this teacher is retiring. Yes it has been confirmed and yes I am excited about this. Here's how I know...

A few parents were in the hall chit-chatting while waiting on the bus for a field trip last week. GG's teacher and the other 2nd grade teacher came out in the hall with the parents. The other teacher said the bus was late for a previous field trip. She began to explain what had happened for the previous trip and GG's teacher turned around and walked away. Mid-sentence!!! The parents were floored that she just walked away. The other teacher explained that she had 2 months to go so she just doesn't care. This teacher is obviously a problem when her peers are catching on to what she does. Or doesn't do.

For now, I guess I will continue to make sure GG does well in school and remind her to not talk so much. And be glad that Little Dude won't have to deal with her in a few years.

Until next time....


Unknown said...

NO it is not too late.. You can contact the principal and explain that these children are not getting that boost to read and it is seriously limiting their desire to learn. I really would have gone off on that teacher had I heard that. I would have said something like, 'Ya know not one of these kids had any academic issues until they came to your class, I find it hard to believe they all are underachievers. I don't have an issue saying the one thing they all have in common is YOU"..

Kmama said...

Wow. She sounds like a real piece of work. I don't care if the teacher is retiring, they have a job to do and dammit, they better do it!! Oooh...that makes me mad!!

Shell said...

Teachers like that were the reason that my favorite year of teaching was the year that we had a lot of kids and I ended up teaching out in a trailer- I could be away from everyone and just focus on my kids.

Thank goodness she's almost through the year!

Accelerated Reader makes my head want to explode. Because teachers now aren't trained in the right way to use it(Reading Renaissance). But, that's an entirely different issue.

Christy said...

This post really bothers me as well. I'm currently trying to deciede if I want to go to school to be an elementary or high school teacher. When I read posts like this it makes me want to go into elementary school so I can try to make a difference in one school, somewhere. There are certanily things the teacher can do, and I just know that from being a substitute. I hope everything works out for the best!

Miss. C said...

Not cool, not cool at all!!! I would be livid!!! Good luck to you, I hope you can make it to the end of the year!!