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I need to vent
After 2 years off from public school teaching, I took a teaching position this year. This meant that my kids were placed in this district's schools. The oldest we have just agreed with to quit because he is in high school doing 5th grade math and language arts (The classes are on this level because of the poor academics. My son is above grade level in most areas). He will be getting a GED and then working with an organic farmer next year to learn agriculture. In addition we are setting him up with a lawn care business. I feel that this is better than jumping through the college hoops (which he doesn't want to do anyway).

The next son is in 8th grade. This is where my venting begins....

We are a strict religious family (sorta like Conservative Mennonites). After school our children all have work items to do at home. In addition they study singing (hymns), religious texts, and read traditional literature while learning to get along with each other. To us the work and related acts are all part of our religious practices. After the children get done we always sit around the table for dinner together where we discuss our faith, practices, our day, etc. This is the central part of our church's teaching on the family. Earlier this year a teacher (1st year here. No one knows him) started pushing for students to stay after school. We expressed to him and the principal that we have a routine at home for our children and we would not break that routine for my son to stay after hours. They agreed. We made sure we let them know that this was tied into our religious teachings. Understand, my son is an A student and tests out as one of their top performing students. So, it is not like he is lazy and not doing work. So, one day he comes home and tells me that he needs to email this teacher his math test. This was strange, especially because he finished in class and then tried to hand it in. As a former middle school teacher I knew this was not a normal request. Plus, part of our church agreement states that we do not have internet at home except for work (Yes, I am breaking a rule by being on this board, but my church knows about our usage at this time...). It has ALWAYS been OUR policy that our children not have email addresses, social media, or open access to the internet in ANY form. Because of that rule our children all read 3-4 grade levels above their own grade, are polite and courteous with elders, and are not glued to some kind of screen... ever. My son knew this and I told him I would email it this time and let his teacher know that he would not be able to turn in assignments by email. Well, the assignment was that my son would have to take a picture of his test and email it to the teacher's private gmail account... NO WAY!!!!!! Why was an unmarried male teacher teaching my son how to take a digital photo and subsequently send it to his PRIVATE email account???? Of course I responded and the teacher became pushy. I sent an email to the principal and the superintendent and they decided that anything like that had to be done within school server emails and that my son could do the task at school where there was accountability... Ok... until today.

Today my son was working on a standardized test. Several of the students did not get finished and were told that they HAD to stay after school to finish the test. (My son ended up being the only one who stayed). During the day my son asked the principal if he could take the test during PE. The principal responded, "no, you need your PE. That isn't going to cause a problem is it?" Of course he already knew that it was a problem. So, my son called me and I told him I would be at the school right after school. I showed up and the math teacher (of personal email fame), told me it would only be about 15 mins. I said that that's fine but that I wanted to speak to him. I told him "Noah cannot stay after school anymore." He said that he could be flexible. I responded, "Well, we have religious and moral activities for Noah after school and we are not going to be flexible. He got a smirk on his face and said, "yeah, I've already heard that three times." I try to be peaceable, but that bothered me. I responded that he would hear it a fourth time if necessary. It kinda went downhill from there. I felt horrible, but I also felt setup. Sigh... We have decided to transfer him to the school where my wife teaches in AZ (30mins away). The academics are MUCH better and the teachers are all respectful... So, there is my vent. This will definitely be my last year teaching. I only went back because I was having so many health issues that I needed an "easier" physical job. I've found that many of my problems are related to my apnea and a hernia that I got fixed this summer... My wife is only teaching because we needed the money (our 7yr old needed his 8th total surgery this summer and that is the reason we are in NM and not with our church in GA)... Next year I will go back to woodworking and other work and my wife will be homeschooling all of my children. SO thank you for letting me vent... I hope I didn't overreact to this but, sigh Sad
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I hear you, LJ... There are a lot of spokes on the wheel all leading to the same spiritual path. You have your chosen ways, you are entitled to that, and they are working well for you and your family. That my ways may be different, maybe even dramatically so, does not diminish the "rightness" of you ways. So good job that, to you and your family.

That said, the educational system is and has for a very long time been about "conformity." If you cannot conform to their idea of how things should work, then it must be you with the problem, not the education system. I remember when my son came home from school in the 4th grade and asked me if I could teach him how to read "stupid," because his teacher got on him for reading too well.

So carry on my friend, their ignorance's need not be a negative visit for you or your family.
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Thanks. Yeah, we definitely do not push our beliefs on people in this community. This teacher is pushy, arrogant, and very much a company man when it comes to the federal mandates. I am a special education teacher and they pretty much leave me alone. Funny thing is that my students always seem to advance just by me treating them with the dignity that they deserve. If I followed all of the trends my students would be relegated to doing endless worksheets and feeling like losers. I believe that education must begin with giving a child the ability to explore work with dignity. We've made it some kind of sin to do physical work instead of going to college. How ridiculous! The next thing that children need is an appreciation for natural living. This includes all of the issues that surround our relationships. For my family the primary is God. Fortunately for my family we choose to serve a God that stated that loving our neighbors is the highest form of action between mankind. That's why it does not matter to me if a student has an IQ of 70 or 120... They all deserve to be treated with respect and included in an appropriate function in society. Common Core and the current trends of education celebrates uniformity... Defined uniformity... Defined by the government... Public education has become legislated insanity.
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(09-09-2014, 09:59 PM)LJones Wrote: Public education has become legislated insanity.

Distilled to a single sentence.

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I am 52yrs old...AND, left-handed. Does anyone remember what public school was like in the late 1960s? Being left-handed created many problems for me in school from not even learning how to write 'cursive' to ongoing problems in high school as much work had to either be typed or done in "long hand" - no printing allowed. I ended up getting my GED at age 16 - but school and I did not get along.

So I can only imagine what the OP and family must be going through! Tis very sad - a good family, raising children with values and skills, and being smacked for doing so. Welcome to the new world...
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional.  My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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If all you need is to vent then please proceed, but your post has disturbed me by what it left unsaid but hinted at rather strongly and that in my opinion needs to be made explicit -- so it can be addressed and avoided.

There is a strong implication in your post that you suspect (or at least your unconscious mind suspects) this teacher might be angling towards sexual abuse of your son or other students.

You have a right to your religeous views and practices but in my mind this is far more serious a problem than that.

Maybe it is nothing (in which case, you only have the other issues to contend with) but IF it is something you need to protect your son.

If concrete evidence is produced you need to help protect the other students.

It doesn't seem you expect something has already occurred but why does a straight A student need to stay after school, why does a teacher refuse to accept an test either today or in the morning, why does a teacher expect a student to "take a picture" of a test, and of course why should that picture be sent to the teachers private email (if a school email is available.)

It (at least) ruffles you the wrong way. And while no GREAT evidence of wrongdoing, it sets off my warning radar as well.

Maybe nothing -- but calm prudence and safety is the best course of action.

Sweet Dreams,

Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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You are very perceptive.

Unfortunately some of us have memories that take us all too close to the perverse side of human nature. I've been around education a long time now. I've seen and met many different types of people. It has caused me to demand that my children's caregivers prove themselves. None of the "facts" surrounding this makes sense to me.
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My rule is to never discuss a problem with the janitor. Go straight to the top and lay it in their laps. They are the people in charge of risk management and are well aware of the standard of care that you are entitled to. They will be most responsive to your complaint. If they aren't responsive, you aren't at the top yet.
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(09-10-2014, 09:09 PM)surferdude2 Wrote: My rule is to never discuss a problem with the janitor. Go straight to the top and lay it in their laps. They are the people in charge of risk management and are well aware of the standard of care that you are entitled to. They will be most responsive to your complaint. If they aren't responsive, you aren't at the top yet.

Yeah, the top has been cc'd on all of the emails regarding these issues. I intentionally sent emails to the immediate supervisor and included the top in them all. This also gives a record in case things do go bad. (I do work for the same system).

Good idea tho...
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LJones, I hear you too.

I was the "A" student in my class....and I was also the youngest by a sizable margin. It made for some interesting times and challenging social environments...and that was waaaaaay before social media, computers and cell phones barged into the classroom. Good on you for standing up for your son.

I agree with Herb too...if something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you don't treat it like a dog. I'm glad you've been cognizant of the oddities and unusual circumstances associated with that other teacher and have included those "up the food chain" in your dealings with him. Keep an eye on that one...

I also applaud you for keeping your faith and standards. Since my school days I have truly found my faith (and am ordained in my church). I know that such things are not "cool" by today's standards, but I hope to be an adequate enough dad to prepare my daughter for her school days, which are fast approaching. She will face many temptations and challenges that go beyond what I did...but I pray I have helped her onto a firm foundation that will help her throughout her life.

Cheers Smile
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