Saturday, November 21, 2015

Progress Reports

I send home progress reports at least once a month.  I teach in an inclusion classroom, which means there is usually a special education teacher in the room with me during core subjects of reading, writing, and math. 

Students get lots of time to ask questions and work with each other.

Students are allowed to retake any summative assessment before or after school.  Summatives are end of unit summaries that make up 90% of their grades.  The other 10% comes from formative quizzes throughout the unit.  I use these quick checks, exit tickets, and quizzes to pull small groups and reteach.

Progress reports are meant to serve as a check in point to show parents where their students are at.

But...then there are the replies, the emails, and the phone calls.

Some responses say "I'm worried, how can I help at home?"  which are wonderful! I post review videos and stay after to work with students.  Those families acknowledge that it's a partnership between home and school.  

But then...there are other types of responses.

"Please help ___". 
"Can you explain what ___ is doing wrong?" 
"Why don't you work with ___ in class?"
"What extra credit can ___ do?"
"Why is ____ getting a C in ____? The last test was an A. Are you grading right?" (The first two tests were Fs, so the A brought the overall grade up to a C.  That wasn't a sufficient response.)

One, I do my best to help every student. Every day. I do my best to work with them in small groups and individually, every day. I pull small groups.  Other teachers pull small groups. They have extra review opportunities online available at any point.

It's frustrating (and a bit insulting) when parents don't realize I'm doing everything possible to help their students.

But when students don't read or follow directions? When they don't ask questions? When they skip entire pages on the test? When they zone out during an entire lesson, draw pictures, talk to their neighbor, then complain they don't get's frustrating.  

At what point do students start owning their grades?  At what point do I stop becoming the bad guy?

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