Thursday, October 09, 2008

I need something explained to me, folks.

My son was sent home with a copy of Happy Birthday, Danny and the Dinosaur!, and all he told me was that he needed to read it for his enrichment class. No notes came home from his teachers along with the book on anything else that was being done in class with the book.

Shortly afterwards, the book bag, and the book within it, are lost. Can't find 'em to save our lives. I end up buying a new copy of the book to take back to the enrichment class. Still don't know what is going on other than that the book belongs to the school and needs to be replaced.

A week after the loss of the book, the enrichment class finally holds a parent information meeting telling us about the nifty Blackboard home connection to the activities the enrichment class is doing in school. We are shown this great YouTube video on the thoroughly sweet technology in the enrichment classroom concerning our kids' education for a 21st century world:

...which is all well and good. By God, yes, I'm all for it. Cooperation between parents and teachers and students through home computing and the internet. There's only one problem here.

I asked my son's enrichment teacher afterwards why I was only sent home with the book and no other notes on what was being done with it in the classroom. No notes on the fact that he was going to be tested on it after he read it, and that the only way he was going to be tested on it was if he brought the book back right away. They didn't tell his homeroom teachers anything about this fun fact, either.

Another mother in the meeting that night didn't even realize that the book that came home with her son that night was a library book, since all the other books that had come home with her son before then were meant to be kept by him.

Clearly there has been a communication breakdown.

"We wanted to see if the children would be responsible right off the bat," I was told. "We told them repeatedly to read the book, return it immediately, and on its return, there would be a test. There would be no test until the book was returned."

Ummm, didn't they realize that five-year-old boys are some of the least likely beings to retain this kind of information, much less share it with their parents???

I think they need to watch more Bill Cosby before trying to usher the kids into the 21st century:

Parents know these things - kids will blast any thoughts of the 21st century all to hell for them, unless it's thoughts of finally being able to relax and enjoy the century once the kids are outta the house.

And I think the teachers need to remember who exactly they are dealing with, is all.


Speaking of dealing...

Keep getting those public comments into the Facilities Master Plan files now that the deadline has been extended to October 17th. More information on the new timetable can be found here.

Glad to see that a group involving the kids is also getting their needs known. Thanks to Ian McNulty (p.32) for the heads up on the Rethinkers.

A more disheartening article is the one that takes a look at what is happening to teachers' pensions and retirement(pp. 46-47). More on this later... is Yom Kippur, and I must atone for my sins against God.

Which, since I am a mother in this crazy world, I desperately need to do.


Maitri said...

Read right away, return and there will be a test on it. This is some sort of experiment? Wait, isn't this a Montessori school where teachers and kids chillax a bit more?

Leigh C. said...

Actually, I think some of this is an intersection between the mostly widely divergent roads of hands-on Montessori education and the requirements of OPSD children in a "gifted program". The little guy got into the school as a gifted program three-year-old. The enrichment class is a maintenance of that status.

I think, if it were up to his homeroom teacher, there wouldn't be too much of this stuff.