Friday, October 17, 2008

the bearer of bad news

A couple of weeks ago I sent home midterm grades. Along with the grades, we put each students' reading level in the comments. I have 4 kids in my class who are reading dramatically below grade level. One of these moms wanted a conference.

Today we were able to meet. In discussing the reading, I said, "Well, you know Squirmy is reading below grade level." I expected to move on to what we could do to help him move along. Afterall, that's why we are meeting, right. Well, yes. But when she told me she didn't know that until I told her I was flabbergasted. His first grade teacher did not tell her! It's not like he's reading just a little lower than expected. He's reading at an ending kindergarten level and this is the first she's heard of it? I do not like being the bearer of this kind of bad news. 

I know who his first grade teacher was and I really should not have been surprised by the mom's comment. But still, it shocks me that a teacher cannot be kind enough to clue the mom in to what is happening. Not telling is not doing anyone any favors. Not telling is hurting the kid even more. Many parents are willing to put in extra time at home if only they knew the truth. This woman is a joke of a teacher with no classroom management skills and who knows what teaching really goes on in that room. Am I being unprofessional? Yes. And I just don't care right now. She doesn't read this blog. If she ever found out what I said, maybe I'd finally be brave enough to say to her face that I think she's horrible and we all dread getting students from her room. I said maybe. 

The moral of this story? Be honest with the parents, first grade teachers. Don't make me be the one to break the bad news to a parent!

1 comment:

Danny and Paulette said...

I had similar problems with Tony. His teacher would send him home with RED marks all over his page for this-and-that, then would put a big smiley face on it. I confronted the teacher with my opinion that "The student should know he's doing something wrong, not be encouraged for bad work by seeing a smiley face." Maybe it's just me.