When parents don't think you're challenging their student...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by DrivingPigeon, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Feb 27, 2009

    We had conferences last night, and I felt like I spent one entire conference just defending myself. This mom basically told me that her child is bored, the books he is reading are too easy, and that I need to do more. I found this incredibly frustrating because I put so much time and effort into differentiating to meet the needs of all of my students. Most of what I do in class leaves a lot of room and opportunity for children to take things to the next level if they are ready. I am constantly giving them options and challenging them with higher-level thinking questions.

    This boy is very wiggly and moves a lot during group time on the carpet. However, he isn't distruptive and doesn't have any behavior problems, which I told his mom. She thinks he is moving a lot because he is bored. I wish parents would realize that boredom is a choice in many cases.

    During our journal routine, for example, they can write as much as they would like. Some children are writing one sentence, while others are writing 4 pages. This boy writes one sentence and says he is done. Then, of course, he is "bored" the rest of the time. When I chellenge him to expand on his writing (I even give him examples of what else he could write), he tells me he doesn't want to and that he is done.

    During assessments last month he was at a guided reading level D. He is placed in a group with a child who is an F, and another who is a G (these are the 3 that don't fit into any other group). They are reading E and F level books during guided reading. The mom complained that these books are too easy, and that he is reading much more difficult books at home. I explained to her that these books are, in fact, ABOVE his instruction level, which I explained to be about 95% accuracy. I also explained that he is reading the books 3 times in our group before brining them home, so they should be easy for him at that point. She wasn't satisfied with that answer, and went on again about how he isn't being challenged.

    I honestly don't know what more I can do for this child. He is not, by any means, the "genious" of the class. He is a very bright boy, but there are other children in the class who are higher than him, and they don't seem bored at all. They have that self-motivation to take things to the next level when I challenge them. Maybe I felt the need to defend myself too much, but I don't know. Any advice?
     
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  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Wow, I should have just wrote a book! :lol: I didn't realize how much I wrote!

    Anyway, I talked to this boy's sister's teacher today, and I guess the mom said the same things to her. I guess she (the mom) was almost in tears because her daughter isn't being challenged enough! Yikes!

    Made me feel better, though.
     
  4. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    Feb 27, 2009

    I don't think this is about his academic abilities. There are just some kids who are always looking for the next thing to do. I have a boy this year who is bright and fun and appropriately energetic in the classroom. He is always the first to want to try a new center or activity. He'll do it pretty quickly and then be looking for the next thing.

    LOL Same thing with my student. He just only likes to spend a short time on each activity...not ADHD, though. Just a personality thing. He does have to learn to expand his writing, however, so it's necessary to keep encouraging that.

    I have tried to keep handy a couple of extra things for him to do....not that it is more "challenging". He just likes a wide variety, I guess.

    Good luck.
     
  5. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Feb 28, 2009

    I don't know if you'd want to do this or not, but could you sit down with the mom and the boy and have him read in front of both of you? It seems there's a disconnect between what she thinks is happening and what is actually happening.
     
  6. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Feb 28, 2009

    You know, I thought of that afterward, and I really wish I would have given her that option. I would love to have her with me when I do his next running records. I think that instead I will send a copy home with her, explaining his score and why he is at a certain level.

    In reality, I don't think she would be able to listen to him read to me, because she has two very young children and she's a homemaker without family in the area. I've never seen her without the two little kids-they're attached to her hips!
     

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