Friday, July 18, 2008

No Fucking Duh

I just took dropped my daughter off for her last day of school, and went in to talk to her summer school teacher.

I asked the teacher, how much progress my daughter had made and if she had any test scores, assuming that school used some sort of formal diagnostic assessment. I know, I am an idiot.

Her teacher told me that she had "done some stuff at the computer lab", had a few spelling tests, and done a lot of writing.

I asked if their was anything formal.

"It's all formal" she replied.

"So you have no way of measuring progress" I asked.

The teacher then went on to explain to me that six weeks just wasn't a lot of time, so they worked on some "reading strategies".

The teacher was obviously sensing my frustration and tried to placate me.

"You daughter is a good reader, she just has problems with her decoding"."

"No FUCKING duh", I thought to myself, "you're a fucking idiot."

"You do know what decoding is, don't you?" she asked, assuming my shock was lack of understanding.

I walked out.

13 comments:

tft (The Frustrated Teacher) said...

Since we teachers don't know how to measure the progress of your 1st grader in a six week summer school session, could you tell us how to do it? How much progress has she made with your help?

Parentalcation said...

She is going into 3rd grade.

I suppose her progress could be measured with a diagnostic reading test.

"How much progress has she made with your help?"

All of it???

tft (The Frustrated Teacher) said...

So, what are you doing wrong? If you are doing the teaching, and she is not quite where she needs to be, is that your fault? The teacher's fault? Surely it is not your child's fault.

Before you reach through the computer and try to kill me, I am just putting you in the position you seem to want, that of elementary school teacher (and I commend you!). If your daughter were, instead, one of many students on your future classroom not quite making it, and you were providing them what you now provide your own child, how would you answer the questions above?

tft (The Frustrated Teacher) said...

that should have been "IN your future classroom..."

Curmudgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parentalcation said...

curmudgeon,

Done

Bradley said...

Ok, I am a dumbass, and went to school in the 80's. what they hell is decoding?

Parentalcation said...

decoding is reading.

Words are a represented by squiggly lines on paper. When we learn to read, we translate (decode) these lines into representations of sounds.

Bradley said...

Ok, thanks, when did they stop calling reading, and start calling it decoding? Could this be part of the problem, that someone is spending too much time coming up with big words so that they can sound smart, and not really fix the issue?

Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

"I asked if their was anything formal.

"It's all formal" she replied."

Niiiiiiiice.

Anonymous said...

It certainly is refreshing to hear a teacher-person going through this kind of stuff as a parent. I'm "just a parent" (meaning that I don't teach in a classroom) and I go through these things all the time.

I have had several conversations with principals on school improvement planning (something that parents are supposed to be in on). I look at some of the weak areas according to the available data and ask what they are doing to improve them--especially where I believe it will impact my kid. The typical response I get is "we're working real hard on that."

At least they didn't pat me on the head!

cijohn@verizon.net said...

decoding is reading

lolllll

My discovery of the month is that performance based assessment = authentic assessment.

One of the edu-jargon tricks is to keep changing the jargon.

cijohn@verizon.net said...

Since we teachers don't know how to measure the progress of your 1st grader in a six week summer school session, could you tell us how to do it?

The fact that a teacher could ask this question is the problem.

A close relative of mine is a reading specialist in a public school. She can and does tell parents exactly how much progress their kids have made in X number of weeks or months.