Common Core, Social Media and a Teacher’s Displeasure with Parents.
Text of letter:
Please remember that homework is given to benefit your child with extra practice on skills we are scaffolding in class. If you feel uncomfortable with a homework assignment given, please email me at ********* and I will respond to you as quickly as I can.
If you do not feel comfortable having your child complete the assignment, please do not show frustration or irritation in front of your child. Promoting a positive attitude towards school enhances your child’s willingness to learn. If I am unable to get back to you at a reasonable time that evening, please hold off on the assignment.
Last Thursday’s math homework led to social media posts, and students coming to school using words like, “My mom was angry and mad about my homework.” Please know that our class average on the Math Test Friday was a B! We are asking your children to think deeper than you may believe they are capable of but we are scaffolding the lessons in a way that promotes their thinking skills. The time and effort put into these assignments are never made to hinder your child. It is purely to push them to better thinkers and overall students. Again, homework is meant to give your child extra practice with skills we are scaffolding in class. If you do not feel comfortable with an assignment given, please email me before completing the assignment and before “polling” Facebook and Instagram about your child’s readiness.
The letter above was sent to Louisiana school parents (1st grade) by a teacher. She was telling these parents to cease and desist publishing childrens’ common core worksheets on social media and discussing their feelings/questions about Common Core. The parent who shared this letter via Facebook writes:
When school administration replaces parents’ voices with those of the Federal Government and special interests groups, parents have no other choice but to rise up and seek Facebook to bring awareness and solutions to fix the problems. It was and will always be the parents who bring up their children and decide on the educational goals for their children. The school works for us, not the other way around. Has this school forgotten our freedom of speech? They need to be reminded.
Someone needs to write back a similar formatted letter using the word “dismantle” in bold, referring to the parents’ rights to guide their children’s education and have input at the school. And the “deteriorating” relationship with the teachers and school administration as a result.
I’ve asked questions about Common Core because I had no clue about it until this school year, I asked questions about the once a month Counseling sessions that take place in my son’s school during enrichment class because I had no clue this was being done (neither did any other parents – I opted him out recently) and there have been a few other concerns I have brought to their attention. But you know what, that is my job as my son’s parent to question and get answers. I will not be hushed or told who I can speak to or what I can speak about. Again, in both meetings I’ve had with the school it has been told to me that they feel we parents should not be on FB discussing these issues with other parents.
Someone needs to send them a letter explaining the First Amendment to them and ask them who gave them the right to deny parents the right to the First Amendment.
Another mom had an issue with the teacher’s use of “scaffolding” in this letter and her teaching via “scaffolding”. Her comment:
Six Scaffolding strategies, as outlined by the Common Core itself, are exactly what the parents are demonstrating for their kids. When presented with something new, that they don’t understand the reasoning behind, the parents are using strategy 1) Show & Tell. They are showing their friends and family on Facebook, telling them about their experience and receiving feedback and new information. This is where the second principle comes in 2) Tapping into Prior Knowledge as friends share their academic experiences they are examining trends that both did and did not work in their own educational experiences. The third principle of scaffolding is (3) Give time to talk, the very thing we’re doing now. The fourth (4) Pre-Teach Vocabulary, well we’re all actively discussing this wonderful new word ‘scaffolding’ now that this school was so kind to introduce us to. Now I will demonstrate principle 5) Use Visual Aids, see attached picture (teacher’s letter). And finally, I think we’ve all done an excellent job with the last one which is 6) Pause, Ask Questions, Pause, Review.
Give these moms a badge for doing their mom jobs! Moms all over America are seeing their kids struggle with assignments that they can’t even understand. Do parents have the right to share with other moms their frustration and concern? In some districts (like Paris, MO) this social media sharing is their only conduit since their teachers, principal, superintendent refuse to address (and even prohibit) Common Core discussion.
If teachers don’t like the push back from parents, they can take it up with their governors and state board members who signed them on to this untested education “reform” and put them in the position to be questioned by parents. It’s not the fault of the parents questioning teaching practices/curriculum, rather, it is their RESPONSIBILITY to do so. Parents are concerned primarily for their children, not the feelings of the teacher or to “fit” their children into “common” mandates.
If the teacher has issues with the sharing of this information, she should take it up with her union, principal, school board, superintendent, state board, Education Commissioner and State Board of Education and ask why she is teaching developmentally inappropriate material. She should question why she is teaching material that is not based on research/data or best educational practice.
She shouldn’t be taking it out on parents by offering condescending instructions on how they should behave and what information they can share on social media.