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Should I?

NCteacher

Senior Member
My DS is in 7th grade at a private school. He started last year and has had an amazing experience. The middle school truly gets the adolescent brain and provides plenty of physical, creative and social outlets for the kids. This year, they have a new math teacher. He resigned from the district I work in to work at DS’s school. He was moved a few times from high school to high school- and now I think I see why.

DS has been in schooo 15 days. 13 of those days, he has had long homework assignments for Math. All on either Quizziz or Delta Math. The teacher sets it so the kids can try as many times as they like. The problem is, there is no teaching going on. 15 days of school and DS has 12 grades in Math already. Friday, I hit my limit. The teacher assigned a very long Quizziz assignment for this weekend , “since it’s a holiday and they have another day to do it”. DS worked for 2 hours on an assignment. He would get a question wrong, and start over again so he could get a good grade. After 4 attempts, I told him to stop and go to bed. I taught middle school math for 10 years and can help him. But I’m paying a lot of money for him to have a good education, and this isn’t it. I talked to DS about how he thinks it’s going. He is a really good math student and has a 98 average. He said the teacher puts a problem on the board, solves it, then assigns the work on the computer. I have bitten my tongue. I have composed a couple of emails and held off on sending them. DS can’t get any questions answered and he is learning things in math for the first time (binomial equations) and his frustration level is getting high.

What would you do?
 
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GreyhoundGirl

Senior Member
I’d send an email to the teacher and ask what his philosophy of education is and what his rationale is for assigning all that work. I’d explain that your DS is getting frustrated with all the work and it’s not in line with the philosophy of the school.

See what he says. I’m guessing he’s already heard from other parents.
 

ICrazyTeach

Senior Member
Speak up. Don't wait.
As a teacher I have held back as a parent several times and I shouldn't have.

since it’s a holiday and they have another day to do it
Oh hell no. Absolutely not. Research does not show any benefit from homework in the first place. And weekends and holidays should absolutely be homework free times. It's middle school, so my very strong feelings about homework waver a bit, but the holiday weekend is time for everyone to have a BREAK.
 

anna

Senior Member
I would begin by investigating the statement "there's no teaching going on." I take it this is your son's explanation. I would begin by requesting a meeting with both my son,the teacher and myself.
 

luvtulearn

Senior Member
It also sounds like he never taught middle school before. This is the type of "workload " my daughter had in AP math classes. (not comparing math level).

I would read up on the philosophy of the school and match it up with his. If he hasn't provided one with a class syllabus or outline I would inquire about that in an email. See if he is even using the curriculum.

Next I would set up an appointment with him like PP said. You might ask him what strategies/ methods he uses when students "don't " seem to understand the lesson/material. If things don't change meet with admin. and the teacher. I have a feeling other parents will be expressing the same experiences.
 

cruxian

Senior Member
I've been there as a mom, truly. I'd begin by assuming the best and making an appointment with the teacher to discuss what's going on in the best, non-accusatory way.
Forget, if possible, the fact that his teacher has gone from school to school. There can be a number of reasons for that and only one of them is that he's not a great teacher.
Come prepared with your observations of your son's struggles at home and your concerns.
Is there a school policy for the length of time students are to be spending on homework? Are the homework assignments the grades put into the gradebook? Honestly after a while, the grades will become almost meaningless if there are large numbers of them. Ask, if you think of a neutral way to do so, what a typical class looks like and think of what you're hoping it would look like in an ideal circumstances.
What would you like to see in an ideal world?
 
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NCteacher

Senior Member
Thank you for the input. I don’t want to be negative or accusatory, but I am holding middle school math class at my house every night. I do not see the purpose in giving a student multiple attempts on a assignment, when with this program, all it does is tell them the answer is correct/incorrect. For incorrect answers, it does not give an explanation of why it is incorrect. I thought about emailing the teacher to ask if DS is using his time wisely in class, because he seems to have an extreme amount of homework. Passive aggressive, I know.
 

anna

Senior Member
I've gone through this as a parent and a teacher. Be fair to the teacher and give your son a message that you will find out why there is the amount of work coming home. Don't fault the teacher with any statement doubting the teacher. Don't fault your son. Walk the fence. Both son and teacher most likely will figure out a solution.
 

ASAM

Senior Member
I like your passive aggressive solution. I would explain that while homework is expected it is taking your son hours to complete and he still doesn't understand what he's doing wrong or how to solve the problem and what does the teacher suggest. Seriously, 12 grades at this point is ridiculous. How much could they possibly have learned? Although, I taught first so I may be off base.
 

NCteacher

Senior Member
I think one of the things that bugs me most is that I taught middle school math for 10 years. My first year of teaching, I didn’t know what I was doing and assigned work willy nilly and then had to spend days straightening out the things the kids practiced incorrectly. I learned from it, but this teacher hasn’t. I have a good friend who had this guy his first year of teaching high school, then her son had him and she had to have a conference with him over similar issues.
 
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