Welcome back to school night

Last night was "Welcome Back to School Open House"-- which means that our school tried desperately to get parents into the building-- but had little luck. I had one parent show up... and I didn't think that was going to happen, but in the last 10 min she came with Tay.

It is strange to think that I am the person that a kid goes home from school talking about, and complaining about-- and I can't immagine what parents must hear about me... but most of them NEVER even see me, so who knows what they picture.

Most of my students are returning to me from last year because I am self contained and teach 4th-6th grades, so they just rotate through me. This makes a very strange setting for my new 4th graders though, because they are moving to me from a 1st-3rd grade setting where they've had their previous teacher for 3 years. This situation also makes my 4th graders seem really young. I think that being in a setting with 1st graders has made them less mature for their age... Tay is one of my new kids, and his mom feels very uneasy about having a new teacher.

Multi-grade classrooms are a strange concept to me, but parents don't seem to be bothered as much as I would have suspected. Tay's mom didn't mind it when the kids were "smaller" but she said that she worries now because the kids are mostly bigger than Tay in his new class, and "he doesn't know how to control his temper, and I don't want the other kids bothering him." Yeah, yeah--

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Blogger molly_g said...

Hi. Molly here from Soapy Water. As a parent of a child moving into an SIED classroom, I think it's perfectly legitimate for a parent to worry that behaviors will be learned from an older child. One of the schools I have to choose from to put him in the self contained classroom has 6 third graders, and my son is in 1st grade. They are bigger, they are meaner, they've been in the self contained class room longer (and are more severe because they've not yet been reintegrated into general ed), and I'm scared to death. Please don't discount parents. You sound pretty jaded for a second year teacher to already be discounting the concerns of parents! It sounds like you are in a rough area, but if a parent shows up to Back to School Night, they care. Give it a chance.

9/30/2006 8:02 PM  
Blogger liquidwafflegirl said...

I think that you misunderstood my "yeah yeah" at the end of this comment... that was for the fact that every child in my class "doesn't know how to control his temper", etc-- that is why they are placed in a BD program. I am actually really glad that Tay's mom DID show up, and I think that the fact that she did make that effore is the reason that he is already doing well in my classroom.

As for the struggles that I have with muli-grade classrooms... my jadedness comes less from parents than anything else-- I was trying to convey that I think that they should be MORE concerned... if it were up to me I don't think I would have multi-grade BD classes. I am worried that my young kids are to young to be with my older kids, and vice versa, and I worry that they hold eachother back from important information and experiences. Of course I try my best to make sure that every kid gets all that they can out of each school day, but I am frustrated at the way the special ed department runs in my district (and in general as well).

I would like to just say that I by no means meant to discredit the concerns of parents-- If anything I wish that the parents of my students worried more, and showed more concern. The only advocates kids have are their parents and their teachers- I worry that too often my students don't have even that.

10/01/2006 11:04 PM  

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