What do you think of this letter from DDs teacher?

Discussion in 'General' started by Overachiever, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Overachiever

    Overachiever Well-Known Member

    "Parent/Guardian Email Assignment due: Friday, Sept 7, 2007
    Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to provide the teacher with a parent/guardian contact and for the p/g to express thoughts, concerns, and other information to the teacher directly. Email is my preferred method of contact due to my availability.

    Assignment:
    *Send this assignment from your own email accnt as I will use your message to capture your email address. (If you don't have access to email, type out this assignment using a word processing program or write it out by hand.)
    *Address your message to ******* and type "Email Assignment Accelerated English 9" in the subject line.
    *In the body of your message, complete these sentences:
    --"[appropriate salutation] Mr. Elstone, You need to know..."
    -- "My hope for this school year, in regards to your class, is..."
    --"Some ways in which we can work together to ensure student success are..."
    -- "Here are some other things I would like you to know..." (Optional)
    *Finish by including your name, address, and phone number at the bottom of the message
    *Proofread carefully to make sure your spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation are correct, and THEN click "send."
    *Incomplete and/or superficial answers will be returned for more careful consideration. "


    :icon_eek: That's it verbatim, although I abbreviated a couple words. At first I though this was an assignment for the kids, but I really think he is meaning for me to do this. I have no problem with that, or his desire for parent involvement, but EXCUSE me I already graduated from both high school and university. His condesending tone is inappropriate in my opinion and I'm ticked. My DH and I got into a big argument over this tonight because he thought I was being b!+chy when I told him how I'd really like to answer these questions!!! for example, "[email protected] Mr. Elstone, you need to know that I think this so-called assignment is crap." :mad:

    ARRRG!! So is this totally weird to you too, or am I just being bitchy??
     
  2. TwinsItIs

    TwinsItIs Well-Known Member

    :eek: Whoa! What a weird weird assignment. And to say word for word what your assignment should be?! Gosh!
     
  3. valentinetwins

    valentinetwins Well-Known Member

    I probably would have reacted the same way you did. The overall tone of that letter is condesending. I feel sorry for his students.
     
  4. MSB1203

    MSB1203 Well-Known Member

    I think that is very strange, but perhaps he is evaluating the level of the parents, KWIM? That way he knows what to expect from students..IDK? Thats just my guess?!
     
  5. Melis

    Melis Well-Known Member

    That is weird, the ton is condesending.
     
  6. first_time_mommy_2_be_twins

    first_time_mommy_2_be_twins Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(Overachiever @ Sep 6 2007, 12:12 AM) [snapback]394809[/snapback]
    *Proofread carefully to make sure your spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation are correct, and THEN click "send."
    *Incomplete and/or superficial answers will be returned for more careful consideration. "


    This part that part would REALLY bug me. The rest of it was "okay" I guess aside from the fact that he is giving you an "Assignment" rather than emailing you an OPTIONAL questionaire.
     
  7. AWerner

    AWerner Well-Known Member

    I think the last two remarks are rather condescending. I guess maybe b/c he is an english teacher he thinks it is appropriate?

    you better use spell check before you send yours though, you did spell "condescending" wrong :p :rolleyes: :D

    Alyson
     
  8. Her Royal Jennyness

    Her Royal Jennyness Well-Known Member

    Holy moly! It does sound condescending, especially the "proofread carefully" part. Have you met him in person? (I assume not) What does the other parents/students say about him? So strange!
     
  9. PetiteFleur

    PetiteFleur Well-Known Member

    SUPER obnoxious, IMO.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jen620

    Jen620 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    As an elementary teacher I have had parents write out things that answered those question on a worksheet sort of thing. I have also received notes and such with poor spelling and grammar that I know immediately a whole lot more about the student and their enviroment.

    So until the end, I have no problem with the assignment. He knows what info he wants and the only way to get it is to be specific. I do think there are more tactful/subtle ways to say to proofread and such. He should have worded the letter and set its tone for adults, not students. But I will say that even with such specific directions he WILL get some who don't do what he wants. He has probably learned the hard way over the years to be specific and assume NOTHING!
     
  11. rheamay

    rheamay Well-Known Member

    He sounds like a jerk to me, too. What a rotten way to start off a parent/teacher relationship.

    And, if he is trying to guage the student based off the parents responses...that is crap. I know a lot of really smart kids that don't have college educated parents.

    I am kinda b!tchy like that, and I would probably reply back to him with a piece of my mind. But I would worry that my child would get punished for it - kwim?
     
  12. Overachiever

    Overachiever Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(rheamay @ Sep 6 2007, 04:32 AM) [snapback]394840[/snapback]
    I am kinda b!tchy like that, and I would probably reply back to him with a piece of my mind. But I would worry that my child would get punished for it - kwim?


    Yeah, that was one of my DH's arguments. My DD is a great kid and all her teachers love her, but I don't want this teacher to end up biased against her because I flipped my lid at the beginning of the school year.

    I knew I spelled that wrong ...dang it!! :blush:
     
  13. MSB1203

    MSB1203 Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(rheamay @ Sep 5 2007, 11:32 PM) [snapback]394840[/snapback]
    He sounds like a jerk to me, too. What a rotten way to start off a parent/teacher relationship.

    And, if he is trying to guage the student based off the parents responses...that is crap. I know a lot of really smart kids that don't have college educated parents.

    I am kinda b!tchy like that, and I would probably reply back to him with a piece of my mind. But I would worry that my child would get punished for it - kwim?


    i agree that alot of really smart kids have come from parents without college educations. but, and I'm not saying I agree with his tone or choice of wording, I'm sure this is his best method of evaluating the parents' grammatical skills.
     
  14. Laura in Alaska

    Laura in Alaska Well-Known Member

    QUOTE
    *Proofread carefully to make sure your spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation are correct, and THEN click "send."
    *Incomplete and/or superficial answers will be returned for more careful consideration.


    Holy Cow that is obnoxious! The whole idea of an "assignment" for the parents is a weird in itself. But I'd have to wonder, if he's that rude and uppity with the parents, how is he going to treat the kids? Is he assuming he's more educated than all of the parents? Because odds are that he is not. I'd probably send a smart-allecky reply too!
     
  15. BellaRissa

    BellaRissa Well-Known Member

    While I do think his assignment was high-handed & assumed that parents do need to be "corrected" & "graded", I applaud his effort to create a cooperative, teamwork approach with the parents of his students. I would send back the most perfect, clear, polite eMail that I could compose. He is probably going to get a bunch of junk from parents who don't know how to spell, punctuate or proper grammar & I would want to stand out from the crowd. Don't be such a prickly pear - be glad he cares enough to involve you.
     
  16. Annen

    Annen Well-Known Member

    He does sound like a jerk...

    but...

    Do you think that he was trying to be sarcastic at all?

    It definitely comes across as arrogant and obnoxious.

    I hope your daughter doesn't suffer too much in his class.
     
  17. meganguttman

    meganguttman Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(first_time_mommy_2_be_twins @ Sep 6 2007, 12:21 AM) [snapback]394823[/snapback]
    This part that part would REALLY bug me. The rest of it was "okay" I guess aside from the fact that he is giving you an "Assignment" rather than emailing you an OPTIONAL questionaire.


    ditto!
     
  18. jxnsmama

    jxnsmama Well-Known Member

    QUOTE
    As an elementary teacher I have had parents write out things that answered those question on a worksheet sort of thing.


    My 4th grader's teacher sent home something very similar the first week of school. She called it "homework for parents," and it was a two-sided worksheet with questions such as, "My child enjoys discussing..." "My child is proud of..." "My child gets worried when..." She attached a very nice note thanking parents for their time and politely saying that she would use the answers to the questions to help her determine the best way to teach to each child. She most certainly didn't ask us to proofread anything. Good grief!

    Your child's teacher could have gotten the information he wants in a far more effective and polite way. I think it was a stupid move -- he's starting the year off on the wrong foot with parents and probably won't get much participation. If he were my kid's teacher, I would answer the questions, but I'd also ask him about his wording next time I saw him and try to get my point across while remaining polite -- something he hasn't figured out how to do.
     
  19. Kendra

    Kendra Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think its weird but a question that crossed my mind is how old is this teacher? Perhaps this has been his style for years and hes not changing it for the sake of technology.
     
  20. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Actually, it sounds like something my high school English teacher would have written. I guess since I am a teacher myself, and I understand his point, trying to get info from the parents in a legible format. I would just do it, because it looks like he is concerned about his students, and really wants to be able to work with them.
     
  21. Rachel&Emily

    Rachel&Emily Well-Known Member

    Wow, sounds like a piece of work. I wonder, as well, how long he has been teaching and if that is the reason for the attitude. It certainly started out normal enough, but those last two sentences were a little harsh.

    I'm the type of person that would have had no problem answering the questions, but if he thinks that he is going to send back something because he thinks I didn't consider something "carefully" enough...oy.

    I wonder if the school administration knows he is sending that out to the parents............?

    Alexis
     
  22. Shadyfeline

    Shadyfeline Well-Known Member

    Although it is a very weird assignment and not sure of the purpose, I don't think he is being mean maybe it's just the teacher in him by way of explaining things...Your DH is right, I wouldn't explode yet either you may really need to later about something more important and you definately don't want him to take a negative position with your child right off the bat. GL!
     
  23. Fay

    Fay Well-Known Member

    I think the entire thing is condescending and totally inappropriate. I 100% support a teacher in encouraging cooperation and participation from the parents, but I don't think this letter does a thing to encourage anybody! He's not asking for cooperation and participation, he's demanding that grown adults do what he says and how he says it.

    I would find that "assignment" more appropriate for a pain-in-the-butt college professor to assign to adult students! I had to re-read the title to be sure I hadn't misread who assigned it!

    I'd be the witchy mom who marched right up to that school to inquire exactly what that teacher had in mind for parents who simply chose not to indulge him with that BS and then I'd tell him what I really thought about it and I would return his letter to him "for more careful consideration!!!!"
     
  24. mandylouwho

    mandylouwho Well-Known Member

    Yeah um,, Im a grown adult. There are better ways to ask me do "Do an assignement"

    Yeah um,, Im a grown adult. There are better ways to ask me do "Do an assignement"
     
  25. berebunch31

    berebunch31 Well-Known Member

    As an English teacher myself (in my pre-twin life), I believe this letter is highly inappropriate. Yes, I have been asked to complete things like this before for my child, but it has always been approached in a much more friendly manner. While I applaud his efforts to build rapport with the parents of his students, I have to wonder if this "assignment" is something that was thrust upon him by his administration in an effort to increase parent-teacher communication at the high school level, and that's why he sounds so obnoxious. I have asked parents to tell me about their students before, but I would never insult parents in this manner. In my opinion, while the letter seems to be trying to build a rapport, I feel this type of condescending, arrogant communication only tears down the relationship between parents and teachers, as who would want to continue to communicate with such a blow-hard?

    If you feel that this was inappropriate, I believe you should say something to the teacher. I think something like: "Mr. ___________, I received your parent homework assignment, and was quite concerned by the tone with which it was written. Could you please call me at _________________ (phone number) to discuss the intent of the assignment? Open communication between myself and my daughter's teachers is important to me, so I want to make sure we start that off on the right foot for the year. Thank you in advance for getting back to me."

    Writing (or emailing) something like this sets an expectation that he should get back in touch with you. Then, if he does not contact you in a timely fashion, you need to go to the principal to express your concerns. Honestly, with an assignment written in this manner, I doubt you'd be the only parent who would go to the principal over this.
     
  26. moski

    moski Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    While I applaud his efforts to get to know his students, to work with the parents, etc., I think that there is probably a nicer way he could've gone about this.
     
  27. Amoe

    Amoe Well-Known Member

    I think it is the way the wording is. My oldest teacher is like this and he is only in first grade. She is very, not sure of the word here, um, well anyway, you get my point. I think he needs to pull the stick out of his back side and try to loosen up. The way it is written is very demeaning to me when I read it but there are parents out there who probley need to be talked to this way. You are not one of them. I would be a duck and let it roll of my back for now but if it continues, I would have a talk with him to see why he is so "stiff."
     
  28. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(MSB1203 @ Sep 6 2007, 12:40 AM) [snapback]394848[/snapback]
    i agree that alot of really smart kids have come from parents without college educations. but, and I'm not saying I agree with his tone or choice of wording, I'm sure this is his best method of evaluating the parents' grammatical skills.


    Yes but, the parents are NOT his students!! Who cares if the parents have poor grammar? It's not his place to educate the parents, he's there to educate the students.

    I thought the "assignment" was extremely condescending and I would have felt like telling him what he could do with it too! I know teachers have to deal with all kinds of parents and maybe explain things in detail, but the way this was worded really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt the same way, I've already been to high school and college, I don't need a homework assignment!
     
  29. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(jxnsmama @ Sep 6 2007, 06:02 AM) [snapback]394897[/snapback]
    My 4th grader's teacher sent home something very similar the first week of school. She called it "homework for parents," and it was a two-sided worksheet with questions such as, "My child enjoys discussing..." "My child is proud of..." "My child gets worried when..." She attached a very nice note thanking parents for their time and politely saying that she would use the answers to the questions to help her determine the best way to teach to each child. She most certainly didn't ask us to proofread anything. Good grief!


    Something like that I would be more than happy to fill out and return. We had to fill out something similar before preschool and I had fun thinking of what my girls like to do, what is their favorite activity, things like that. It is totally the tone of that assignment and the whole it will be corrected and returned if not good enough thing that woud annoy me.
     
  30. Susanna+3

    Susanna+3 Well-Known Member

    Maybe your first email back to him should be to express how you resent being treated as a grade-school student and reminded to proof-read your work. Perhaps you should give him some specific instructions on how to write letters to parents in a respectful manner. I was a high school math teacher before I became a SAHM. I would never have written something like that to my parents. IMHO in order to remain respectful you have to first make the assumption that the parents are competent enough to proof read their own letter. Even if you know some of them will turn in letters that are really bad, you still don't make that assumption obvious to the parents. That's just rude. If you are going to be reading the letters or showing them to students then you could hint that in a more tactful manner to the parents. (ie. These letters will be shown to students so please make sure the content is appropriate and the letter is correct in grammar and spelling. )
     
  31. twindependent

    twindependent Well-Known Member

    I think the concept is fine, but the way it is written doesn't allow for him to get to know the parents. If he was smart, he would send out the basic instructions, and then he would be able to tell- which parents have thought about these things? Which ones are ready to just throw down a one-word answer and send it in? Which ones don't have access to a computer (hello, not everyone has the money or the knowledge to deal with email as a main form of communication!)? I think he is being incredibly insensitive to the families involved by the way it's being demanded.
     
  32. MSB1203

    MSB1203 Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(Snittens @ Sep 6 2007, 08:47 AM) [snapback]395081[/snapback]
    Yes but, the parents are NOT his students!! Who cares if the parents have poor grammar? It's not his place to educate the parents, he's there to educate the students.

    I thought the "assignment" was extremely condescending and I would have felt like telling him what he could do with it too! I know teachers have to deal with all kinds of parents and maybe explain things in detail, but the way this was worded really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt the same way, I've already been to high school and college, I don't need a homework assignment!


    Point taken :)
     
  33. first_time_mommy_2_be_twins

    first_time_mommy_2_be_twins Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(Fay @ Sep 6 2007, 08:49 AM) [snapback]395013[/snapback]
    I'd be the witchy mom who marched right up to that school to inquire exactly what that teacher had in mind for parents who simply chose not to indulge him with that BS and then I'd tell him what I really thought about it and I would return his letter to him "for more careful consideration!!!!"




    That would be my initial reaction too! However for the sake of my child I would probably just suck it up and do it. Hey maybe add a few extra commas and periods in the middle of sentences just to irritate him. Whats he gonna do send it back to you?
     
  34. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(first_time_mommy_2_be_twins @ Sep 6 2007, 08:17 AM) [snapback]395126[/snapback]
    That would be my initial reaction too! However for the sake of my child I would probably just suck it up and do it. Hey maybe add a few extra commas and periods in the middle of sentences just to irritate him. Whats he gonna do send it back to you?


    Actually, he does say if you don't proofread it well enough he will return it. That's what really gets me. I got my paper, and I am free. If I want more homework, I'll pursue another degree.

    ETA: Well, not for proofreading, but you will get it back if you don't do it right. I could see his having a personal policy of getting back in touch with parents who don't give complete information, but that should be the part of the assignment he gives to *himself,* not something he holds over everyone's head.

    I would probably go ahead and answer all the questions but in a paragraph of my own composition, not following his specific fill-in-the-blanks format.
     
  35. Overachiever

    Overachiever Well-Known Member

    I slept on it overnight and woke up still ticked. I think I'll let DH do the reply, but will also send an email myself (as that is his PREFERRED method of communication) politely explaining my concerns.

    What I think about is those parents who maybe aren't very articulate who don't complete this to his satisfaction. Is he really intending to insult and humiliate them by returning the assignment "for further consideration?" To what end?

    The best I can do right now is keep my feeling from DD because I really don't want my disgust to rub off on her. Why make the class any harder?
     
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