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How do I react to this teacher?


Replies to: How do I react to this teacher?

  • sorghumsorghum Registered User Posts: 3,312 Senior Member
    My son began to take this language class(basic level) with 0% prior knowledge of the language and has no family members who speak it at home. Understandably, it takes fundamental effort and support with the very basics of the language for him to reach the level to understand the teacher’s instructional presentation in the language.

    The purpose of a Spanish class is help a student to learn Spanish. Most of the actual learning should take place between classes. Your son has problems in the class because he doesn't know enough to make it interesting to participate. There are ENDLESS high quality learning resources for Spanish. Make him do 20-30 minutes a day from Pimsleur audio language lessons, and his life in the class will improve dramatically.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    What motivation does the teacher have to lie? Very little.

    Some possibilities from having experienced a few crappy middle/HS teachers:

    Attempting to cover up one's own personal shortcomings/bureaucratic diktats.*

    Attempting to cover up one's own shortcomings with technology.

    Developing personal animus for certain students because they prefer marching to the beat of their own drum and are not "easy" conforming "people pleasers".

    Developing personal animus for students who don't take to the subject naturally to the point they're in the top 10-20% of the class. Had a few teachers like this in HS including one 9th/10th grade teacher who also....

    Got off on power tripping over one's K-12 students. Unfortunately, there are folks who choose to go into K-12 teaching because it gives them an easy route for this pathological vice. Had a 9th/10th grade teacher who had this issue in spades....and it was a major reason for our personality conflicts, why several HS classmates broke down in tears in class, and why one HS classmate from my year who is now a tenure-track Prof at an elite U nearly dropped out.

    * I.e.: Preferring to blame the bullying problems on the victims rather than the bullies despite ample evidence from the local cops because it was the path of least resistance and the middle school educrats felt those bullies were "misunderstood". Interesting how all those bullies are still serving prison time for felonies committed later during our HS years.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 642 Member
    maybe, @cobrat. But there are far more unmotivated and lazy high school boys, which is likely the problem here.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,938 Senior Member
    Do your kids turn in paper copies of papers? They don't here...it's all done online....and therefore it's time stamped.

    For anything that was done as a paper copy, our kids still,had it in their documents...and if they didn't get it back graded when everyone else did...they took another copy to the teacher.

    It's possible the teacher lost one paper...that happened to my kids. But this sounds like it has happened more than once.
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 8,183 Senior Member
    Another option is to talk to your child's guidance counselor... say that Son says he is handing things in but teacher is not finding them...say that you realize it very well could be your son not doing the work but that you don't want to dismiss that the teacher is having an issuew ith your son out of hand...in any case, he may need some additional support from the teacher on handing in assignments
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,180 Senior Member
    I'm all for being supportive of my kid, but did not find the teacher's email to be overly defensive. She cannot find the assignment. In her opinion, that means it as not turned in. If this was a "one off" and he was a good, attentive student she would be more likely to decide this was a mistake and believe him. If this was classwork and all of it was placed in a bin or folder, it seems unlikely that she lost it. Since he is choosing to sit in the back and talk in English with his friends, she is less forgiving. I am not sure that is a case of her picking on him but weighing the evidence.

    However, it also sounds like this teacher is not very supportive of kids that are behind. It is hard to determine if she is dismissive of kids that don't "get it" or if she is trying to keep the class on track to finish the curriculum so can't go back to re-explain material the students are expected to have already mastered. If your son has not gone in for extra help, the GC or administrator would likely fault him on that point. If he has and she still doesn't answer the question, then she is not doing her job. In that case, you could go up a level but you would have to have more than your son's word for her not doing her job (especially if she is correct in saying he is not listening in class).

    In most districts, the first step is to meet with the teacher. I would go in with an open mind and believe what the teacher has to say, while being supportive of your son. Not every teacher is going to be good or teach in a way that plays to a student's strengths and they have to learn to deal with that. By HS kids are expected to do some of the learning outside of class. As someone said above, perhaps the teacher has the assignment with no name on it?

    Your other option, and possibly one to discuss with the teacher, is to get a tutor if he has to take Spanish 2 next year. If he doesn't get the material from this year, next year will be worse. It could even be an advanced Spanish student which would not be that costly.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 642 Member
    Perhaps it is time to start weaning student from expecting additional support from the teacher on handing in his assignments. Absent a disability, he is capable of doing this, and will have to do it on his own in the near future. So tell him to give a paper copy of his homework to the teacher and email it as well, and he can assume ownership of the issue. The other students in the class are managing this and so can he.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,641 Senior Member
    As someone who routinely got marked down in "habits of cooperation" by grade-school teachers who didn't like my talking and wise-cracking in class, I'm sympathetic to the OP's kid. Some teachers are very controlling. Some are intolerant. At the same time, the kid appears not to be doing what's reasonable: don't make waves or be disruptive in the classroom (especially this one).

    Regarding the separate issue of whether the kid should be doing homework from other classes while sitting in this class, I say that since he knows the teacher dislikes this and wants his full attentiveness to the subject of this course, he should never be working on other class/homework while sitting in this class. Can he do that for an hour a day? If not, then he's got a problem that he's responsible for.

    Having said that, my son went through junior and senior high school constantly doing his homework from Class A during class B, or from class B during class C. His goal: to have most of his homework done before he left school, so he could spend time after school on his EC's and his hobbies. He survived this and went on to a great college and career. This was evidence of efficient time management! But if a particular teacher takes offense b/c the student isn't paying attention, or is disruptive, then DON'T do what my son did!

  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,463 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    Looks like your son needs to clean up his act. He needs to do the work to learn the material. This means spending more time at home if needed and choosing to pay attention in class. He should not expect to be "spoonfed" the material, ie he needs to do the work on his own as well as well as class time.

    I do not see any problems with the teacher from your post. I do see problems with your son's behavior. Some kids have an advantage in a class. Others are new to the material and need to spend more time learning it. The teen years are difficult for parenting. btw- getting 3 or 4 years of a foreign language in HS could mean meeting college degree requirements along with being eligible/more competitive for some colleges. Plus, it is a wonderful idea to study another language- it helps with understanding English and how our language is constructed.

    Mom- do your son a favor and make no excuses for him. He will do best if he learns to work with the system and not rely on parental intervention. HS is a process of parents pulling back and students taking more and more control of their lives.
  • MaryGJMaryGJ Registered User Posts: 805 Member
    I second what wis says here. I don't recall ever communicating with a teacher to discuss my kid's grades in highschool (with the exception of parent-teacher conferences, which in highschool, students were expected to attend with their parents).

    At some point, kids need to learn to negotiate their own learning snafus and grades with their teacher, and get their own help. You can hardly hold his hand in college, and that bridge is just a few years away. Encourage your son to take responsibility for his own progress in Spanish by scheduling his own meetings with the teacher and working with a tutor. I would stress the importance of giving his full undivided attention to class. He doesn't have to personally like the teacher, but he does have to play by her rules and give her his full attention.

    There are tons of cell phone apps that teach beginning Spanish for free. DuoLingo is a favorite, and really helped my kiddo.

    If it's any consolation, my daughter is a pre-med major in her junior year of college, and the subject that has given her the most difficulty....has been foreign language. This seems really comical to most people, given the high challenge of the math and science she's taking...but yeah, foreign language is her Achilles heel. She just finished up her four year Spanish proficiency test (which is required for pre-med majors at her college) and nearly wept, she was so relieved to be on the other side of it. She's had to work harder on Spanish than Organic Chemistry 2, Calculus 2, Virology, Genetics...and a stack of other classes considered extremely challenging.

    Some kids breeze through foreign languages.....for other kids, it's like trying to pound a rock through a metal pipe.

    Some kids need to make the most of every minute of instruction and get outside help to do well.
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 992 Member
    I agree that your son needs outside resource and most likely direct tutoring, from someone else.

    I have to add that I have experienced a teacher bullying one of my children. She clearly played favorites and my child and another classmate did not measure up for her. I had no idea at first and brought my child early for tutoring and eventually noticed that the teacher didn't even acknowledge her presence or help her. That teacher nearly pushed my child to the edge. The other girl was always crying. -- There is no reason to cry at school in third grade in a wonderful school.

    I had my daughter moved to a different room and she blossomed back to the happy child she had been. The bully teacher tried to keep verbally attacking my child in her new class until I again told the principal that I would go to the school board if it didn't stop immediately.
  • bestmom888bestmom888 Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    OP, it has been my experience that teachers tend to be more receptive to students v. to parents. Dd1's APUSH teacher thought she was cheating on a test. Dd1 was very worried but resolved the misunderstanding with the teacher herself. When she got a 60 on an AP Lang paper, she went to talk to her teacher and explained how she simply CANNOT have a D (I know!?). The teacher gave her the chance to rewrite it and she got an A on the rewrite.

    I think you should encourage your son to advocate for himself. He'll be learning a valuable skill and will also get better results.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    It's the kid's fault, students are expected to do their work.
  • YnotgoYnotgo Registered User Posts: 3,533 Senior Member
    What was the OP's topic?
  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Registered User Posts: 14,810 Senior Member
    So, OP, have you followed up with the teacher?
This discussion has been closed.