Need help wording an email to dd's school

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Posted 12/6/2012 by paigepea in NSBR Board
 

paigepea
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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:54:41 PM
I'm a teacher and I'm angry over an issue at dd's school, but I can't figure out who I should email and what questions I should ask because I'm too annoyed at the situation.

There are 4 grade 2 classes. There are 2 general studies teachers and 2 immersion teachers. The kids spend half day with a general teacher and half day with an immersion teacher, so each general studies teacher has 2 grade 2 classes.

One of these teachers, not dd's, runs knitting club every year for primary grades. This year, she offered it to her 2 grade 2 classes only. So dd has friends in it and wants to join but isn't allowed.

It seems to me that the kids could take turns in the club, like change every month or two, or if she can't find a way to be inclusive then she shouldn't offer the club at all. So now there is a 'club' that dd's friends are in and she can't join and she doesn't understand why. I get that we don't always get our way in life but this is a school club and it is presented that way. If the teacher wants to teach her own students to knit she should do it during class time or on the weekends.

I don't care if dd is in knitting club or not, I just don't like the 'why are my friends in the club but I can't be' issue.

Am i wrong with this? Am i totally off base? It just seems wrong on many different levels. A school club should be open to many classes/grades, if not all. And if a primary and intermediate day is necessary then so be it. Or take turns. I feel like an email is in order.

UPdate: I talked with dh about it and yes, I can agree that I'm blowing this out of proportion. I have absolutely no idea why this is bothering me so much. And I can see that I'm a bit too irate. I truly don't care if dd is in the club, and she knows I can teach her to knit so that isn't really the issue. I think it just goes against what I want her to learn about the world at school. Who knows. I think I'd be just as upset if the classes were reversed. I've decided to simply ask her classroom teacher what is up with knitting to get more info. If I'm still upset about it I think I'll just send a quick email to the primary principal stating that I don't agree with teachers having restricted clubs and moving on. No, I won't be getting my dd into the club. I think I'll feel better expressing my point of view knowing that others could have different points of view and not expecting any change.


Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:23:12 PM
If it is not a paid club position, I think she can restrict the group as she wishes. My guess is that she does not want too many young ladies needing help and being the only one to do the helping. Maybe she is doing it to get to know her own students better and build relationships between the students in the class.

Honestly, I think you are being unreasonable, and if I had a parent complain, I would be tempted to cancel the group altogether (don't know if I would, though, but it would definitely bother me). It's not worth the grief.

Do you know how to knit? Perhaps you can volunteer to help her so she can invite more students. If you want to hold a knitting club at your own home for your daughter and her friends (or some other club ) then do so.



paigepea
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:27:46 PM
She has almost 40 kids in the group, all of the boys and girls in her classes have opted to join.

I think it is fine if she wants extra time with her kids, but that it should be called fun extra time with teacher as opposed to knitting club.

I just don't need the girls from my daughter's class getting together to form a club that they won't let other kids from the other classes join because they want a restricted club too. The girls in her class want to be part of what their friends are part of. Considering there was no sign up, audition, skill requirement, they don't understand why they can't join considering they can join other clubs at school. And the kids in the club feel special because they're in it so they talk to the other kids about the cool things their doing.

I don't think that restricted clubs based on who your teacher is is appropriate. It isn't a school club then. What if all teachers started doing this? The kids would never mix.






pennyring
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:32:17 PM

'why are my friends in the club but I can't be'


"You are not in that class. The club is for kids in that class."

I don't understand the problem either. Everything is not for everyone. Maybe the teacher had to limit the size of the club and this is how she chooses to do it. Totally within her rights.




Basket1lady
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:32:36 PM
When my kids were in elementary school, there were several clubs that were grade specific or limited to a certain number of students. Often there is only one teacher and it would be impossible for one woman to teach 20 kids to knit.

I might email and ask if she plans another group, but I do think she has the right to limit her club size. If I knitted and knew there were kids who wanted to join, I would probably volunteer to help out.


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Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:36:15 PM
She has almost 40 kids in the group,

====================================

That is a lot of kids to manage. Is she supposed to have 80? I understand your concern, but I would want numbers I can manage, as well. No matter what she calls the group, your daughter is one too many. As I said, perhaps you can volunteer to help and then she can take more kids? Or maybe you can offer to have another group in another room and perhaps your daughter's friends and 35 others will choose to join you?

If it is not violating any school policy, I think your e-mail will not help the situation. If being in THAT group is so important, perhaps you can ask for a teacher change (said a bit tongue in cheek, as I really think your position is a bit over the top already)

I think you will do well to wait a few days and really think about whether you want to send what may be seen as an unreasonable demand of the teacher.



*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:37:09 PM
I wouldn't email anyone about it.

To me, this falls in the "I know you really want to go, but that is something she does for her own students. Maybe we could find a knitting group at X store for you?" category.

I know its hard to explain stuff like that to your kids. It makes me sad when my kids have been/are in a situation like your dd is.



freecharlie
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:37:46 PM
Dear principal and 2nd grade teaching staff,
I am curious about this club that DD keeps talking about. Are all the 2nd grade teachers having clubs or is this just a special X teacher only deal? Are there plans for other clubs?
Thanks,
paigepea


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paigepea
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:38:23 PM
I think limited numbers are fine, as long as there is a sign up and all kids are offered.

Like I said, I don't care about knitting, I think the idea of a club based on who your teacher is too exclusionary.






***Kate***
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:39:33 PM
We have a lot of different clubs, as our PTG pays teachers to run enrichment clubs after school. Each has a limited number of participants... Not everyone can do everything. How is it being funded? Can you look into additional activities to offer? Can you create a club focusing on a skill you can teach?



Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:41:43 PM
I think limited numbers are fine, as long as there is a sign up and all kids are offered.

Like I said, I don't care about knitting, I think the idea of a club based on who your teacher is too exclusionary.


===============================================

I REALLY think you want to wait a few days before you send any sort of e-mail.



Belia
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:42:55 PM
No way would I email anyone. I would use this as a teachable moment with DD about how to manage disappointment in a healthy way. Sometimes life isn't fair and things don't get organized in a way that you like. Oh well. Let it go.

freecharlie
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:45:33 PM
Obviously I'd email since I posted a draft of one. I am a teacher and it would not bother me at all to get an email like that. I'd answer with whatever the truth was.

Tiptoeing around teachers isn't necessary. We aren't all evil monsters who want to take out something on a kid for what their parent did.



Tribbey: I believe, as long as Justice Dreifort is intolerant toward gays, lesbians, blacks, unions, women, poor people, and the first, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments, I will remain intolerant toward him! [to Ainsley] Nice meeting you

I-95
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:47:17 PM
This is when your DD learns that life is not fair, and you learn how to help her deal with it....rather than rushing in to make sure she's included in every club/group/clique that happens in life.

This won't be the last time she has to deal with disappointment, but this is where entitlement issues start.

luckywife
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:52:13 PM
This is off topic...but 40 second graders with knitting needles and one teacher trying to teach them to knit? That sounds dangerous!!


Mrs. Steven Rudy


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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:55:06 PM
I think you are being completely unreasonable, wrong, and totally off base in this situation as described. A group 40 second graders is a lot of kids, doing anything, let alone teaching knitting.

Your daughter will survive hearing, "This is an activity for that teacher's students only."

Angry? Annoyed? PeaLivid?

You're ANGRY that the teacher won't take kids from another class into her knitting club? And you're a teacher? You could handle 40-80 kids with knitting needles? Or have to deal with re-teaching every month or two due to switching the kids out? Sorting out discipline and learning another set of names and needs? If I were a teacher forced to do that, I would probably shut down my club to avoid the hassle.

You think this club should be forced to operate only during class time or on the weekends unless open to everyone? The teacher should be forced to offer a primary time and an intermediate time? Are you sure that this bothers you THAT much?



paigepea
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:54:41 PM
I'm a teacher and I'm angry over an issue at dd's school, but I can't figure out who I should email and what questions I should ask because I'm too annoyed at the situation.

There are 4 grade 2 classes. There are 2 general studies teachers and 2 immersion teachers. The kids spend half day with a general teacher and half day with an immersion teacher, so each general studies teacher has 2 grade 2 classes.

One of these teachers, not dd's, runs knitting club every year for primary grades. This year, she offered it to her 2 grade 2 classes only. So dd has friends in it and wants to join but isn't allowed.

It seems to me that the kids could take turns in the club, like change every month or two, or if she can't find a way to be inclusive then she shouldn't offer the club at all. So now there is a 'club' that dd's friends are in and she can't join and she doesn't understand why. I get that we don't always get our way in life but this is a school club and it is presented that way. If the teacher wants to teach her own students to knit she should do it during class time or on the weekends.

I don't care if dd is in knitting club or not, I just don't like the 'why are my friends in the club but I can't be' issue.

Am i wrong with this? Am i totally off base? It just seems wrong on many different levels. A school club should be open to many classes/grades, if not all. And if a primary and intermediate day is necessary then so be it. Or take turns. I feel like an email is in order.


ScrampingMomof3
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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:58:25 PM
I wouldn't email.

The teacher is offering a creative learning extension to her students... on her time... as a volunteer.

Life lesson is that we don't get invited to everything, no matter how much we want to be involved or how many of our friends are participating.

Exactly what do you hope to accomplish by sending the email? If she has to open it up to all of 2nd grade, how would she manage that may students? At least with the 40 that she has, they are her students who she is already familiar with and who already familiar with her teaching and class management style. She can integrate aspects of lessons from the day to the knitting club.

If she had to open it up to 40 more students, she would need to recruit volunteers who know how to knit (to be really helpful).

If she was forced to open it up to 40 more students, I would think her inclination would to close the knitting club altogether, so her existing 40 students would have this creative learning extension taken away.

If your DD is interested in a creative outlet, check out what other options you have.

SallyPA
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Posted: 12/6/2012 11:07:40 PM

This is when your DD learns that life is not fair, and you learn how to help her deal with it
ITA with this. This is not a battle I would fight. I would try and find a yarn shop with a kids class or something.



freecharlie
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Posted: 12/6/2012 11:09:50 PM

The teacher is offering a creative learning extension to her students... on her time... as a volunteer.
In some areas teachers who do after school clubs are compensated.


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paigepea
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Posted: 12/7/2012 12:00:30 AM

I guess everyone is allowed different opinions.

And I guess I wish that it was open to everyone and limited if necessary or rotated with terms if necessary. No, I don't think it is unreasonable for the teacher to have gr 1 for 2 months and then gr 2 for 2 months, etc.

As a teacher, I don't think that teachers should be offering extra curricular activities / crafts / etc. to only their students outside of class time but during the school day. I truly couldn't imagine doing it in any school I've worked in. Popular clubs have sign up sheets or rotate members through terms.

There is one girl from dd's class in the club because the mother complained. I'd complain about the club itself since I don't think a community school is a place for 'i can join but you can't' and in fact I probably wouldn't let dd join, letting her know that we don't approve of school clubs that aren't inclusive. And I don't think that allowing everyone doesn't mean you can't limit numbers.

My dd's not begging to join. She understands it is for that class. She doesn't understand why that teacher wouldn't want to meet other students. She knows that I can easily teach her to knit. This is just about her wanting to try everything, be social and have fun at school. She has other clubs she's in and she's fine without this. I wouldn't call her disappointed. And I wouldn't say I'm trying to get her in. I'm truly upset that the school we've chosen has a teacher who thinks that she should have a club that only allows her students in. She is the only teacher who has done this. Every other teacher who has a club has their clubs open to everyone.

Apparently next year it will be open to everyone in gr 1 and 2 again, it was only limited while my dd was in 1 and 2 because her year is so large. Too bad dd will be too old next year and too bad the teacher couldn't have figured out a way to include more kids instead of just having her kids for the whole year.

pjaye
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Posted: 12/7/2012 1:17:01 AM
You seem to be having a harder time with this than your daughter.
Think about what would happen if you do complain - potentially they won't let the teacher run the club at all and then there will be no knitting club for anyone, so everyone misses out.

Not everyone can join everything, your DD seems well on the path to accepting this, you should be praising her for her mature attitude and not creating a problem where one doesn't seem to exist.

There was a woman posting here a few months ago who wanted to join the 'chubby girls trying to lose weight dancing group' except she wasn't overweight, but she felt entitled to join this group because it sounded "fun". She was completely irrational about it and pretty much had a total meltdown...is that who you want your DD to turn into when she grows up?

Sukkii
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Posted: 12/7/2012 5:04:42 AM
Our Special Snowflakes need to learn that they will not be involved/the winner/the best at everything. If she wants to learn how to knit then you teach her, you said you can do that, I guarantee she will be better at knitting.
If you have time, why dont you help at the after hours knitting class or send some simple patterns.
Instead of worrying about what your child might not have try to think about what another child might have

PeaJaneRun
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Posted: 12/7/2012 5:24:21 AM
Another who thinks you're being unreasonable, although you clearly aren't going to listen to anybody and keep touting "difference of opinions."

I don't care if the teacher is compensated or not. This is not unfair to anybody. If she held an after-school study session for her own students only, that would be fine as well. If she decided to take them to a theme park on a Saturday and not include the other class, no problem.

You should let it go. You won't. But you should.

PerfectCircles
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Posted: 12/7/2012 5:49:37 AM
OK so you recognize that your anger is over the top. So bypassing that - why might you email the principal? Seriously? You're a teacher. You don't like what her teacher is doing but unless I missed it, you haven't spoken to the teacher. You don't have to complain. Tell her you don't want to have your daughter added in. And find out her reasons. As a teacher I don't understand why you feel the need to go over her head when you haven't talked to her first.

gritzi
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Posted: 12/7/2012 6:28:21 AM
Quite honestly, I think you're way overreacting! Instead of being angry because your daughter wasn't included, be thankful that there's a teacher who actually wants more time with her students and thought of a creative outlet to do so.

Would your complaint be just as strong and angered if your DD WAS included in this group even though others weren't invited? Somehow I don't think so.


There will always be exclusions no matter if a child is in 1st grade, 7th, college or adults. That's life!

During my younger son's 2nd grade year a high school senior proposed to the school board that she wanted an 8week program to teach Japanese to approx. 20 second graders. There were about 5-6 chosen from each school for this Saturday morning program. My son was one of them. This was a phenomenal program led by a young lady and supported by the high school Japanese teacher.

It would have been shameful had a parent complained that their Little Johnny or Susie weren't invited, causing the program to dissolve.

This is a life lesson that could be easily taught in a positive way for your DD to understand. It's up to you to decide if you want a positive or negative reaction and understanding from her.

Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 12/7/2012 6:28:47 AM
Your most recent post only underscores that you really need to think this through.

Even something as simple as fire code limiting the number of students in her room may have something to do with the decision. Perhaps her initial plan was to see how many of her students signed up then offer it to more if she did not reach whatever the limit is. It does not matter what the reason is. Your daughter is still one too many. She could let one in because she was at 39. I guess you missed your chance to have the rules bent for your daughter because the other mom asked first.

Now you post that your daughter seems fine with this, but you seem to be on an irrational campaign to use your daughter to prove some point about inclusion for all, etc. She is not a pawn. She is a child whose mom is making a big deal out of something she evidently does not care that much about.

If you are concerned about others having access to knitting club, volunteer to make it happen.

Yes, difference of opinion here. But you seem to be the only one with an opinion different from everyone else. You asked for pea opinion and you have it, but are still arguing your point against the majority by rationalizing it away.

Seriously, I really think you need to rethink this.



GrinningCat
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Posted: 12/7/2012 6:42:24 AM
You are way over thinking this. And an email to the teacher? Good way to ruin it for everyone. It's the teacher's club, she can do what she wants with it. If that's not the way you'd do, then run your own club and run it the way you want it run.

You are muchly overinvested in this. Move on. Contact of any kind to complain about this is not warranted. At all.

paigepea
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Posted: 12/7/2012 8:42:05 AM
I would love to start knitting or something else at school during that time. Other parents run clubs,like games room or chess club, but parents are not allowed to limit clubs by classes, only by age. I guess there is a double standard.

I have asked the teachers to do community building amongst the kids in dd's grade. There are 30-40 more children in their grade then in any other grade in the school. As a result, the classes are larger and the kids are constantly mixed up. They're having trouble finding friends, making friends, keeping friends. There is a mentality amongst the kids that you only play with kids in your class, of course ive tried to explain to dd thatthis isn't true but i have no control over her friends from last year saying that they can't play together anymore because they're in different classes. I just tell dd to move on from that but she keeps trying with the friends from last year too. Their teachers also regularly decide that the rules are different for them because their grade is so big and the growing school has to adjust. I thought if they did some group or team building all together this might help. I offered to help as did other parents but the teachers aren't interested.

I think I feel that this is another way for the grade to feel split. And some of dd's friends are using the club as another reason why they can't play together. Perhaps if I say something the teacher can lecture the students on how the club is meant to make them closer but that they still can play with the other kids in their grade on the playground.

gritzi
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Posted: 12/7/2012 8:57:34 AM
It's fine for kids to get along but not every child has to play with one another and sometimes, many times, friendships change. It's also okay that friendships change and if kids don't click with one another. They don't have to be rude or mean but it doesn't have to be a kumbaya 2nd grade class.

I think if you're this overly invested with your 2nd grade daughter and the dynamics of classmate interaction, she & you are both going to find the remainder of her school years very daunting & stressful!!




MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/7/2012 9:53:42 AM

I'll just send a quick email to the primary principal stating that I don't agree with teachers having restricted clubs and moving on.


Really? So I should have taken all of the 40 kids who auditioned for my after school instrumental group even though I only have instruments for 20? I should have allowed my choir to expand beyond the point that I could reasonably manage it? I should allow (as several parents have requested) 2nd and 3rd graders in my groups instead of limiting it to 4th and 5th graders so no one feels "restricted?"

At the end of the day, paid for the time or not, those of us who run after school activities do so out of the kindness of our hearts. At least in my school we're certainly not paid enough to make it worth our time. We don't do it to accommodate every kid in school, or to cause ourselves undue stress and strain. Why is it in every other aspect of life it's OK to to restrict numbers but teachers are supposed to take everyone who wants to sign up? Your kid's dance teacher, their karate instructor, their swim class instructor, even their girl scout leader - they can all place limitations on how many kids will be allowed to join. But the classroom teacher is just supposed to magically manage hordes of children after school because someone's precious snowflake might feel "restricted" if we don't.

You say in your update that you see that you're being unreasonable, but the quote above shows that you're not getting it at all. This is not a big deal. Teachers can't take every kid for after school activities and in cases where an audition isn't appropriate, some other arbitrary line has to be drawn. The teacher could say that it's first come, first serve, but then (I can tell you from experience) there would be parents saying that little Susie never got a form to sign up, or someone took her form, or some such nonsense, because they can't ever bear to see their child denied anything they want. There's always some parent like you mad that their kid wasn't included.

Get over it and move on. Life isn't fair, and sometimes we start learning that as early as the 2nd grade.



MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/7/2012 9:56:54 AM

I have asked the teachers to do community building amongst the kids in dd's grade. There are 30-40 more children in their grade then in any other grade in the school. As a result, the classes are larger and the kids are constantly mixed up. They're having trouble finding friends, making friends, keeping friends.


Oh FFS. You need to stop being so invested in your kid's social life. It's very normal for young kids to change friends frequently. Kids are generally able to work these things out for themselves without artificial "community building" activities or a lot of over-involvement from parents.

If you really must be involved, instead of putting the burden on the teachers to make sure your kid has access to her preferred friends, why not invite her friends over for some knitting on a Saturday?



IleneTell
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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:00:26 AM

Instead of being angry because your daughter wasn't included, be thankful that there's a teacher who actually wants more time with her students and thought of a creative outlet to do so.


ITA. I wish more teachers wanted to do stuff like this! She's going above and beyond, so she gets to set the parameters for how she chooses to do it.

paigepea
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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:22:43 AM
I've said many time that limited numbers are fine, I think a sign up is a fairer way to go then offering only to a small group. What if every teacher decided to only run activities for their own classes? The kids who play lunchtime soccer and hockey take turns for intramurals, the kids who take lunchtime choir go in two shifts according to grade. What if those teachers decided it was too much and decided to only offer to their own students. The kids who sign up for paid activities are limited in numbers and they pay for their out of school instructor.

Also, teachers in our district have extra curricular supervision built into their contracts. It is part of the job, not on her own time. If she is running it at lunch she is getting other times to eat. Just to clarify that point. As a teacher, I have to run a certain number of extra curricular school activities per term to meet my contract requirements.






Really Red
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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:30:33 AM
My girls were in a 3rd grade sewing club. It was GREAT. But the teacher had all the 3rd graders together (she was a saint). She did ask for parental help.

Honestly, I don't get all the railing at you. I think you just need to approach the teacher differently. If you can't be there to help, I get it, but maybe you could suggest that she have parental help and then she can invite more students?

I'm sorry.


Andrea

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

ScrapnGranny
PeaFixture

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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:40:24 AM
If this is not about the knitting, it must be about your daughter not being included in an after school activity. This is time to teach her she won't always be included in every activity, no matter how much she wants to be. Life doesn't work this way. The teacher set up this program the way it worked best for her to donate her time. She can not please everyone. This time it didn't go your way.....move on. Maybe it's time you learn this lesson too


Janet

Granny's Score: Boys 5 ~ Girls 2

And yes, with my background, my opinion is worth more than that of a middle school teacher who can't get her facts straight.~ Batya

brab74
AncestralPea

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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:58:25 AM

What if every teacher decided to only run activities for their own classes?
Some activities are set up that way; I don't see it as a big deal.

AmeliaBloomer
BucketHead

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Posted: 12/7/2012 11:26:49 AM
I'm astonished at some of the screeds the OP is receiving in response to her request for opinions.

Plus, with some responses, it's hard to follow the logic. The OP has not said that EVERY student who signs up (or auditions) should be accepted; nor has she said that clubs should not be restricted to certain grade levels.

Instead, she objects that only HALF the second grade classes are eligible.

I'm both a parent and a teacher, and see both sides of this. (No, I'm not at work; I'm home sick.)






AmeliaBloomer
BucketHead

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Posted: 12/7/2012 11:29:32 AM
^ Also...who of us has not become a tad over-invested when a child of ours is floundering socially?

In hindsight, you might feel a tad foolish, but at the time, you look everywhere for possible explanations or solutions.






MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

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Posted: 12/7/2012 11:33:45 AM
So she is required to run an extracurricular club. Sounds like she is meeting the terms of her contract. I guess I'm not seeing how it is any less fair for her to limit it to her class than to say first come, first served. Either way, some kids are excluded. From your posts it really seems as if you're just unhappy that it was your child that was excluded. Would you be upset about this if your child's teacher was the one with a club for her class only?


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/7/2012 11:51:13 AM
If your daughter was not invited to a birthday party, would you call the host parent and ask if she can come anyway? Me thinks yes.

Sadly, we are going to have a whole generation of these children running the world one day. I'm actually happy to read most of the responses to this thread. It gives me hope that some parents get how the world works.


<< Teacher and Mom's 2 cents




gorgeouskid
You gots to access your uncrazy side.

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Posted: 12/7/2012 12:14:01 PM
If she changed the name of her knitting circle to "Fun Extra Time with Teacher" would you be satisfied? It bothers you that she calls it a club.


I think it is fine if she wants extra time with her kids, but that it should be called fun extra time with teacher as opposed to knitting club.




And the kids in the club feel special because they're in it so they talk to the other kids about the cool things their doing.


Wouldn't the kids feel special if they were allowed "Fun Extra Time with Teacher," and talk about the cool things their (sic) doing with classmates?

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