January 9, 2007

The Most Popular Teacher

On Friday, in an effort to cover my ass, I sent out a stack for unsat notices. Technically, I didn't have to send out as many as I did because I reported the majority of those students as making unsatisfactory progress at the mid-term. I really only have to tell the parents once that their students are in danger of failing before I actually give the failing grade.

I was expecting my e-mail or voice-mail to be full yesterday, but that didn't happen until later in the today. Now parents want to talk to me, set up conferences with me--actually see me live in the flesh rather than e-mail some concerns. Time is ticking. The quarter ends next week, and we only have a few more days of classes before we go into final exams.

Included in the mix are parents two of the three students who ended up with a negative grade of their projects.

I hate to admit that I'm a little uneasy to meet with a few of these parents. Most parents I've met with or spoken to this year have not been crazy or demanding. We are in the 11th hour, though. We're talking about students who are are failing. It's likely we are also talking about students who'd like to continue on to a magnet high school next year, but with the grades they're getting, probably have little chance of doing so.

I have confidence in my own abilities, but I just have so many students who aren't doing well this year. It makes me take pause for a few moments. Where is their motivation? What can I do? Who is going to place blame on me?

However, I happen to know that this is the same group of students who did not do well last year, and there were parent/teacher meetings every day for months. I also happen to know that my expectations are the same as they were last year, and I had no problems. I also know that I am teaching students in a magnet program, and that should mean something. Finally, I also know that our counselor ROCKS and from some crazy situations this year, I have first-hand knowledge that the adminstration supports me and the other teachers on my team.

So, it is was what it. I'm the most popular teacher this week. I will get to sit face to face with some parents, pointing out their students' poor grades--information that they can see for themselves--and explain that there really isn't anything that can be done at this point. So sorry the students let us all down...

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