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#1341555 - 02/10/10 10:59 PM AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers!
East Texas Offline
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East Texas
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I used to want to be a teacher...then my sister became one and I saw the ugly side of being an educator. I have always been an advocate of letting the teacher be the authority in his/her classroom and either the student meets the standards or doesn't. Interference from parents who try to spare their children the consequences of bad choices is not healthy for the educational system in general and the student in particular....("Big BUT" warning!)

BUT!!!

My son's teacher gave him a flipping ZERO because he took his essay out of the spiral notebook it was supposed to be written in and stapled it together before turning it in to her......FOR REAL?!?!?!?

If he didn't follow instructions....make him do it over....penalize him a certain percentage....etc.....but, if he DID the work...don't give him zero credit!!!

HELP!!!!
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#1341562 - 02/10/10 11:09 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! East Texas
Bacon Boy Offline
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Dang! I'm guessing you've already called the school about this and offered your alternatives, which I think are fair? If so, write to the school board.

That's rather silly of this teacher.
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#1341571 - 02/10/10 11:21 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Bacon Boy
bOaty Offline
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That's going too far.

I'm amazed sometimes at the things that happen at my daughter's school. It's hard to find a good teacher who actually likes to teach. When they are miserable at their jobs I think they tend to make the kids miserable too.
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#1341603 - 02/11/10 12:47 AM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! bOaty
Truffle Royale Offline

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I'm willing to bet this is only part of the story. Unless you're there with your kid every minute of the school day to see the interaction, you really can't know what prompted this action.


Sometimes teaches will give assignments when the real object is to get the kids to listen to the directions. That's a lesson you want your child to learn, right?

My response if this had been my child? 'You could be right that it's not fair. But life isn't fair. You were given specific instructions and you didn't follow them. I'm sure next time you will.'

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#1341655 - 02/11/10 01:38 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! East Texas
HappyGilmore Offline
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Pulling people out of the ditc...
Originally Posted By: East Texas
I used to want to be a teacher...then my sister became one and I saw the ugly side of being an educator. I have always been an advocate of letting the teacher be the authority in his/her classroom and either the student meets the standards or doesn't. Interference from parents who try to spare their children the consequences of bad choices is not healthy for the educational system in general and the student in particular....("Big BUT" warning!)

BUT!!!

My son's teacher gave him a flipping ZERO because he took his essay out of the spiral notebook it was supposed to be written in and stapled it together before turning it in to her......FOR REAL?!?!?!?

If he didn't follow instructions....make him do it over....penalize him a certain percentage....etc.....but, if he DID the work...don't give him zero credit!!!

HELP!!!!


so in reality you're an advocate for the teacher having authority except when it comes to your child? School is about learning, and while he may have learned something from having to do the paper, he also learned that not following instructions has consequences. Tough lesson to learn, but those are the ones we remember best and rarely repeat.
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#1341667 - 02/11/10 01:51 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Truffle Royale
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ET- how old is the child in question?

I only ask because I know I had a similarly strict teacher when I was in the latter years in high school. If you turned in a paper that was papercliped instead of stapled or wasn't stapled at all, she would refuse to read it and credit you with a 0. I finally asked her about her requirement one day, and she said that she lost credit on a couple of great papers she wrote in college because she didn't follow instructions along those lines. She was preparing us for college- and rightly so. I had so many similarly inclined professor who were very specific about margins, spacing, fonts, etc. It was a way of getting us to pay attention to details for our own benefit.

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#1341672 - 02/11/10 01:57 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Buccs
HappyGilmore Offline
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Pulling people out of the ditc...
Had a teacher once that handed out a test and said "please read all the questions prior to beginning to answer." Last question said only put your name on the test and you'd get 100%, and don't answer any questions. Many people just started answering, all were given 0% grades for not following instructions.
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#1341679 - 02/11/10 02:08 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! HappyGilmore
lucyc Offline
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I understand the concept for trying to enforce instructions....but a ZERO? I think that's going way overboard.

East Texas, I'm not sure if you contacted the teacher but that's the first step I ususally take. If that's not successfully then I would get the guidance counselor involved.

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#1341682 - 02/11/10 02:15 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! lucyc
Truffle Royale Offline

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And this^^^ would be why it's so hard to get good teachers. This is not the type of situation where the teacher should be called out or worse yet, escalated to counselors or principals. If the child is a good student, this zero won't tank his grades. He may have to work harder on a project or two to not have the grade affected at all but hey, that's what school...and life ...is all about.

Sorry to sound harsh or uncaring. I've been in your position, especially with my own son. I just don't think it's a parent's place to step in on something that doesn't really warrant it.
Last edited by Truffle Royale; 02/11/10 02:16 PM.
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#1341683 - 02/11/10 02:16 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Truffle Royale
HappyGilmore Offline
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Pulling people out of the ditc...
this is how we arrived at giving trophies to anyone and everyone...no accountability for actions...
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#1341708 - 02/11/10 02:38 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! HappyGilmore
waldensouth Offline
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FINALLY ABOVE the gnat line
My daughter is in 7th grade. She was out sick with a terrible stomach virus for 3 days. Her language arts teacher has a rule about make up work - you come during homeroom and ask for it - don't disrupt the normal classroom. Kid Wonder got a 0 for her homework because she didn't do it and didn't ask for the make up assignment during the prescribed time. Do I think this is a reasonable rule? Nope. But I told my daughter that she had to follow the rules or suffer the consequences. She won't have this teacher forever.

One of my college professors counted off one of my papers because I used the WRONG EDITION of the rules book. I didn't think I had to buy a new one. The rules had changed. Is it petty, does it matter in the long run - no. But it is a survival skill.
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#1341749 - 02/11/10 03:21 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! waldensouth
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My cousin is having similar problems. Her 11 yo step daughter will not turn in her homework on time. The teacher is giving her a passing grade when she finally does turn in the homework. It would be weeks later and the child has yet to get a zero. My cousin in so upset that they are neglecting the accountability issue. She's next going to the principal. My cousin, after talking to the teacher, believes that it is to help the school's "No Child Left Behind" ratings.
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#1341953 - 02/11/10 05:48 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! HRH Okie Banker
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I'm glad you're interested in your child's education, EastTexas. Too few parents keep up with this stuff.

If you feel you need to speak with the teacher, do it. As long as you don't make a habit of it (over nothing!), I don't see why it would be an issue. I don't see anything wrong with expressing concerns, just keep in mind that if anything is changed, you will only be undermining his teacher's authority. This could give him the wrong impression about the respect he needs to give his teachers. Also, if you talk to the teacher DO NOT go into attack mode. That woman/man stands in a classroom all day with entirely too many whiney, screechy children, some who I'm sure have disciplinary problems & isn't able to leave her/his job at the door. Tread lightly.. don't make teaching more difficult.

On the flip side of meddling parents, I have a friend who is an elementary school teacher. NONE of the parents give a rat's hind end and would probably rather never know anything about grades, behavior, or curriculum.

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#1341972 - 02/11/10 06:01 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Ops
Becka Marr Offline
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In high school, I once got a D on a project because I didn't do it the way the teacher wanted me to. It wasn't a big deal, really. (I was an A student, aside from that)

I don't think these situations are worth making too much fuss over.
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#1341995 - 02/11/10 06:20 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Becka Marr
lucyc Offline
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Well said VolOps.

That's what I was trying to get across.

At the begining of each school year I introduce myself to my son's teachers to let them know they can contact me if they have any issues or concerns about him. They seem to appreciate this and are more receptive when I have concerns.

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#1342122 - 02/11/10 07:40 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! lucyc
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Son is a sophomore in high school and this is a Pre-AP class. I wrote an email to the teacher the evening I was informed of the situation. I asked what her side of the story was and if there was anything else I needed to know. Her reply had a set of classroom rules attached and an acknowledgement that except for this paper (which is the only test grade so far in the grading period) my son has a 99.57 average. The two together give him a failing grade. She indicated that she is unwilling to consider changing anything about the situation...but would still be happy to talk with me about it. confused

The classroom rules do indicate that all essays should be written in a dedicated spiral and turned in. However, the consequences for deviating from this are not spelled out. Earlier in the year she asked them to remove one of the essays and turn it in to her as a stapled packet. Son simply had a brain lapse back to this time and did it again.

Now, I can count on one hand the number of times that I have intervened on my child's behalf against a teacher and still have fingers left over. He knows better than to ask me to go to bat if he has done something that doesn't meet an acceptable standard. However, don't I also need to teach my child that when something is not right, some effort should be made to correct it? Teachers make mistakes too. (IMHO, the fact that the average grade on this paper in an advanced class is 67, may indicate room for improvement in instruction as well.)

Again, I agree that there may be grounds for a lower grade because he didn't turn it in specifically as requested--but I do not think it is appropriate to give zero credit. You don't have to agree...but please do not look at me as a parent who is interfering with the classroom and making the teacher's job harder than it should be. That is a completely unfair assessment of the situation.

(BTW, this is not specifically in response to lvc...just the thread in general.) smile
Last edited by East Texas; 02/11/10 07:41 PM.
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#1342145 - 02/11/10 08:00 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! East Texas
Ops Offline
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ET, I think you're handling things well.

I also think that if it's in the classroom rules, that's how the assignments should have remained. Perhaps both are at fault?? Teacher for deviating, and student for not making sure he was clear on the instructions.

Sure.. professors aren't lenient. But it's seems to me that your son is a good student and makes a real effort. Without consequences spelled out for him, how was he to know? If nothing else, the teacher could have spelled out for him what exactly would happen in college. Sophomore, pre-AP, 99? Yeeah.. seems to me a bit of overkill.

Funny, in all of my college classes, I don't remember the professor asking me & the other students to hand something in that didn't follow the syllabus.

Good luck to you and your son!

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#1342178 - 02/11/10 08:17 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! East Texas
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ET- I had a similar situation with a teacher once. It wasn't this bad, but we had a disagreement that turned into reflecting poorly on my grade. My parents talked with me and the teacher, and sided with me, but they told me that if I wanted the problem corrected I would have to sort it out with the teacher.

It ended up being an invaluable lesson in how to negotiate and come to compromise, even with those you dislike (and boy howdy I did dislike that teacher).

I suggest that you empower your son to take charge in this situation. Have him ask the teacher if she can meet after school to discuss the situation. If the teacher balks to the meeting or if it is unproductive, then I would intervene.

I'm not by any means suggesting you're this kind of parent or your son matches this situation, but in college I had a lot of classmates who were spoiled and called their parents whenever there was something their professor did and they didn't agree with. Mom or Dad usually made the call to the prof (which always enraged the professor), the son or daughter had no involvement. I felt like I was given the raw deal a couple of times in College and ended up taking it to the professor- I gained both respect and usually a positive outcome because I handled the situation instead of outsourcing it. And that whole attitude went back to how my parents addressed a similar situation when I was in high school.

Just my $0.02.

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#1342182 - 02/11/10 08:19 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Ops
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I am offering the following as a former teacher of 11th, 8th and 7th grade. Many of which were honors/advanced courses.

* A great number of parents fit into two categories: over protective or disinterested. East Texas (and several others that have offered their advice here) seems to be one of the rare parents that has struck a balance between letting the child take responsibility but also helping in difficult situations. Kudos to all parents that can do that - it is very difficult.

* No teacher should set rules so stringent that they cannot back down and review each situation individually.

* No teacher should allow so much leniency with rules that they lose effectiveness.

I always graded with a rubric that included points on several levels of what I was attempting to teach. Content, research experience, timely productivity, neatness, following directions, improvement, etc....

This may be a tough lick to take but I don't think the teacher will change her mind and forcing her to do so by pressuring administration may make the classroom a very hard place for your son to spend the rest of the year. I would accept this as a lesson in life isn't fair, file a complaint with the Pricipal that will go in her file and grumble here with us.

I will get off of my soap box now.

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#1342205 - 02/11/10 08:35 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Ops
blvsinangels Offline
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My daughter is a sophmore in HS. She is taking AP courses. Her teachers spell out what is required and have the kids sign it and the parents sign it.....HOWEVER.....sometimes, like your son's teacher the teacher deviates from the set rules, like one time asking for the notebook and the next asking for the paper to be removed....the next time back to the notebook....

I too have 'gone to bat' for my child when I thought the rules that had been bent by the teacher....remained unbending for my child.

I would have done exactly what you did. Send an email to the teacher and find out if there was any discussion you were not aware of. I would still meet the teacher face to face to let her know you are not happy with how this particular situation was handled. If it affects his overall grade I would take it higher, if the teacher drops the lowest grade at the end of the year or your son has an opportunity to do extra credit to bring up the grade I would go with that....I think you son needs to see that you are standing up for him and did what you could to work something out with the teacher. I think if the teacher is unwilling to make an exception your son needs to know that he needs to get exact instructions on each assignment!

I know I have said to my daughter.....are you the ONLY one in the class that did not understand or were their others that did not understand.....I have also asked her if she wanted me to talk to the teacher about certain things...sometimes she does and sometimes she says no, she will handle it herself.

It is a learning lesson...however...again, in my opinion, your son needs to know your on his side and the teacher needs to know that you are not a parent that is afraid to speak up!
Last edited by blvsinangels; 02/11/10 08:35 PM.
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#1342256 - 02/11/10 09:12 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! blvsinangels
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IMHO.......I think this teacher is being completely unreasonable. If your son was a student that did not put forth the effort in any of his assignments, never followed directions and turned a paper in that did not conform to his/her instructions, I might understand the unwillingness to compromise in the situation.

But the fact that your son carried a 99.57 assignment grade, in an AP-class, BEFORE this essay was turned in shows that he does put forth effort and constitutes some compromise......like maybe taking 10% off the grade of the paper. But a ZERO??......that now results in a failing grade for an otherwise GOOD student?? I would call that teacher a freakin moron.......that probably wouldn't go over very well. whistle

This ISN'T college, it's high school...she's NOT a professor (although, she may wish to be, but whatever)...and I don't think that the punishment fits the crime in the least. I would definitely take this to school administration, at minimum.
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#1342519 - 02/12/10 02:02 AM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! BowlingQueen
Truffle Royale Offline

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If he were younger, East Texas, I could see you wanting to go to bat for him. He's a sophomore, that's 15 or 16, right? It's February and this was the first test grade of the period. He's got plenty of time to bring the grade back up. He needs to know you stand behind him, not that you fight his battles for him. Let him learn the lesson now rather than have it happen again in a year or two when it really counts.

But whatever you decide to do, know that we're here to listen and opine to whatever frustrations you feel. Obviously you'll get a plenty to think about from us. wink That's why the couch is here. Better you should get it out here then within earshot of your son. smirk

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#1342798 - 02/12/10 04:23 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Truffle Royale
East Texas Offline
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I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to vent here rather than carry it all inside...not healthy. I also appreciate the different points of view...they DO help. The teacher has not responded by email or phone to my last email to her....I am disappointed about that and I am trying to decide what to do next. The schools are closed today for inclement weather, so nothing can be done until next week anyway. So, thank you all for your interest and input. I'll keep you posted. smile
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#1342881 - 02/12/10 05:37 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! East Texas
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That teacher seems a little unreasonable to me.

My oldest is in Kindergarten. She brought home a worksheet the other day, where she looked to have only 2 of the 6 questions correct. There was a big smiley face from the teacher on top of the page. What are we to make of this? I wouldn't think 2 out of 6 would get you a smiley face. In Kindergarten, are they just happy you made it through the day without peeing your pants or what? My wife is ready to drop the hammer on her at the first sign she's slacking off. Do they grade on a curve in Kindergarten?

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#1342887 - 02/12/10 05:43 PM Re: AAARRGGHHH!!! Teachers! Bankster
Becka Marr Offline
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Originally Posted By: DSchrute
My wife is ready to drop the hammer on her at the first sign she's slacking off.


shocked On a kindergartener??

Your wife seems a little unreasonable to me.
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