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