Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Contacting Parents, BEWARE!

Within a month of starting my new teaching job last year, I was contacted, via e-mail, by a parent of one of my students who was failing. Her complaint was that the previous year with the other instructor, her son had a 100 average in this class - Broadcast Video Production I. Now that he is in BVP II, he's failing. She wanted to know why. The mistake I made was responding to her, via e-mail, by saying that I actually teach in this class. Well, boy, did that open up a can of pychopathic, vicious, deranged worms. She blasted back with how compassionate the former teacher was, how much he understood her son, and that the former teacher and his wife were friends of hers, they attended church together. Next thing I know, I'm visited by one of the Special Ed teachers explaining the situation with this parent. First of all, I didn't even know this student had an IEP because I had not been given access to it yet. Secondly, I should not have mentioned the skills, or lack thereof, of the former teacher, but rather informed her of the curriculum I was teaching and the lack of participation (and consciousness for that matter) on her son's part. Thirdly, I should have done it via phone. Our school policy is to try at all costs to have conversations with parents on the phone rather than by e-mail -- as this can, and will, be held against you in a court of law. E-mail content can be -- and often is -- misinterpretted.

I usually make it a habit to first contact a parent via e-mail that I would like to speak to them on the phone about their child. It's worked for me so far.


Joe Westbrook said...

I feel your pain. Sometimes parents can vent with email when they don't have the facts. I limit my email contact with parents to just two sentences. Anything more and i make a phone call. parents complain that I have not posted their child's grade that day like the other teachers. Well Hello There! I do more that just sit at my desk and answer emails. Good Luck! Stick to own teaching style. The parent conference is still good with me.

Keio said...

WOW!!! I like the face to face contact or phone calls. You are so right when you say that emails can be misinterpreted. I always keep my emails short and sweet, closing with letting them know the best time to come in for a conference or to call my office. Sometimes this work and sometimes it does not but I just make sure I keep documentation.

Ken Blackwell said...

I took Dr. Burns advice this summer to heart. She stated on at least two occasions this very problem. I will E-Mail, but only to make contact.Sometimes it seems everyone is looking for a scapegoat. Try not to make it you. I love how the parents see fault only in others. Our students are forty something in the nation and the press blames the teachers. They are looking for more accountabilty on us, yet tie our hands with paperwork, excuses for the student and no accountability for the student or parent. And we face classroom management problems daily with little recourse for the problem student. Somethings broken, it starts at home.