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Topic: Can you believe some of the letters parents send?!?

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Subject: Can you believe some of the letters parents send?!?
Date Posted: 10/3/2008 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,269
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I've gotten some strange letters over the years, but this one may take top honors. It is typed exactly as written:

Dear; (my last name)

Please Don't send No MORE WoRK for (child) cause She don't ListeN to Me. I AM just the Grand MotheR I can't Help heR. so it is youR JOb as heR TeacheR

ThaNk you

Date Posted: 10/5/2008 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2006
Posts: 1,070
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I can sympathize with the poor woman!   I don't know what grade you teach, but my kids are in 3rd and 6th grade and I'm an involved parent, but the homework and projects get overwhelming for us!  I can't imagine what a tired grandma must think of it all.    I'm sure it's enough just for her to get through each day without having to help figure out how to do new math, etc.   Family life is non-existent once school starts.     Our routine is get home from school, greet the puppy, snack, begin homework, stop for dinner, finish homework, shower, snack, bed.   If we have a sport or other activity that night, we have to squeeze that in - adding more stress!   I'm thankful my kids do not typically  complain about the homework ~ I know many families that spend their time after school completely frustrated trying to get the kid to finish.

If the child is having difficulty in school, or just giving her a hardtime about doing the homework ~ I can imagine why she's so upset and stressed.

Does your school have a homework club - where she can stay after and do the work with the help of a teacher or aide?

Date Posted: 10/5/2008 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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I received two letters on the same day...one said that I was the worst teacher their child had ever had...the other said I was a gift from God!

My all time favorite was "Jimmy won't be here next month during the  week of _____.  We are planning a family emergency."

I can certainly understand your frustrattion as a teacher- between state, school, and gradelevel requirements,there is no way to get everything done.  Yes,parentsand grandparents are frustrated, don't they think we teachers are too?  We don't give homework just to entertain ourselves, there is a purpose.  Hopefully, she was having a frustrating day and needed to blow off steam - if not, then I feel for the child, because she isn't going to get help at home and may fall further and further behind in addition to hearing the message that school isn't important.

I think schools, districts, etc. need to communicate better - to set up more reasonable homework expectations, and to also set up a support system for overwhelmed parents and grandparents. 





Last Edited on: 10/5/08 5:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/6/2008 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,269
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We are required as a campus to send homework. I teach PreK. It is a simple packet that goes home on Monday and is due on Friday. It involves helping the  child write his name, practicing a skill (that week was shape recognition) and a simple worksheet (color the squares red, etc.). This is not hard or really involved because I have 3 kids (The oldest in high school) and I know how hard the hw can be. Most of the kids bring the completed work back on Tuesday, but some, like this grandma, do not even attempt to help the child. Of course, those are the children that desperately need the help.

Date Posted: 10/6/2008 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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I work with two other teachers.  We meet each week and decide what the homework will be so we don't overload the kids.  It is sent home on Monday and due on Friday.  The kids all know that if they need help, they can go ask the assigning teacher any time before 8:30.

Having said that - we still have kids that don't get it done.

Last Edited on: 10/7/08 12:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Can you believe some of the letters parents send?
Date Posted: 11/25/2008 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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My favorite note came in last year after our school instituted a form that parents had to fill in when bringing their child to school late.

The second grade had been assigned a habitat diorama project.  They were given three weeks notice before the due date.  On the day the project was due, "Johnny" was late.  When he arrived in my classroom, he handed me the "tardy" form.  Reason for being late - "We had to finish glueing his project"

2 points for honesty!!!!


Date Posted: 11/25/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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A father of a gifted, but extrememly unmotivated child, signed his son's "F" spelling paper and wrote on it that they hadn't had time to study because they always went to a meeting on Thursday night.  My question was, what happened to studying on Mon, Tues, or Wed? 

Subject: letters from parents
Date Posted: 12/8/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2008
Posts: 55
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My favorite note from a parent this year came on a federal impact card.  In my state, we have to send these cards home to find out if parents are federal employees for funding purposes.  As a teacher, I receive a lot of pressure to get the cards back as soon as possible.  I sent a note home with the cards that told the parents that if the kids brought it back the next day, they would get a treat.  I went on to say that if the students did not return it within the week they would get silent lunch.  (I teach 7th grade, sometimes we have to bribe them to get them to remember to give their parents stuff.)  I had a parent send the card back the next day with a note largely scribbled across it "I dare you give him silent lunch over this stupid card."  I carried the card directly to my principal.  The parent called her to complain about me and asked her what she was going to do with the card.  My principal simply smiled and said, "We turned it in to Central Office with the others."  I hope that lady was embarrassed.  The sad thing is, her kid is a really great kid.  He can't help it that his mother is a moron.

Subject: 2 Sides
Date Posted: 12/10/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2006
Posts: 12
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I think in the frustration of trying to get everything doen we can forget that there is more than one perspective on any situation.  It probaby did seem like a bad idea to a parent that her child would have a 'silent lunch' if she didn't send in a card that really doesn't impact her in any way that she can see.  I also see that you are being pressured to get those things back and turned in to the office by a certain date.  You could both be fine people who just have different perspectives.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 405
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As a parent I would never complain about homework.  It is my responsibility to make sure my child is completing her homework and learning what she needs to at home.  Personally I'd like to thank you for all that you do!

Date Posted: 12/13/2008 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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As A parent, I have been known to complain about homework, although, not so much as a parent, but I have complained, as an Aunt, watching my neices and nephews. My children were required to bring home homework. If no homework came home, Mom provided homework for homework hour - and they knew that. On a few rare occasions, instead of giving me the 'we didn't have any homework today' spiel, they admitted they forgot the book - and we used a syblings book to find the nearest thing. They went to school the next day and turned in a page or two of work above grade level. Most mom created homework stayed home, though - the point was to learn and study during homework time, not to think that if you just claimed not to have homework you would get out of homework time. Plus, I always considered my children to be homeschooled kids who happened to attend school. I was very active in the school, but I never thought it was up to the school to teach my children what I wanted them to know.
Date Posted: 12/15/2008 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,269
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As a teacher, I can't help but wonder if I am truly making a differnce when I deal with this:

A parent sent Birthday party invitations to school with her child. One for each child in the class. It seems the kids are invited to this girl's BD at 1:30 Wednesday in my classroom - at least I think its my classroom, the parent put the wrong teacher on the invite. I had no idea, the parent never spoke to me and this goes against school policy. I called mom; who is furious with me and of course told the child that I would not let her have a party. I really don't care if this mom is upset - here's the clencher:

The invitation ended with: "Hope to see you there. Don't forget to bring me a present." How cheap and tacky can a person get?

Date Posted: 12/16/2008 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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Whoa!  Terry - I think that one wins the prize!  Wow...she probably considers you equally as important as the baby sitter!  Wow!

I stopped a parent on the sidewalk once to talk about summer school - I would be teaching her child, who had been in MY classroom all year.  She starts in on how "the teacher never let us know there was a problem..."  After introducing myself, again- after all, we had a conference the previous week, where she signed the summer school letter - I asked if she'd like to reread the correspondence between us that I had on file!

You still win, though!!!!

Last Edited on: 12/16/08 8:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/22/2008 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,030
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Oh Terry  LOL   That's one of the "best" stories I've heard yet. 

Date Posted: 12/28/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2006
Posts: 349
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I can understand both sides as a single mother who had it up to my ears with everything that got sent home with my son. And that was just him being in pre-k and kinder. He is now 8 yrs old, I taught him last yr in 1st grade and doing so again this yr in 2nd grade. My biggest reason for it was because his kinder teacher was telling him he was stupid and that just isn't going to fly with someone telling my son that. Then I also thought about the fact of...ok come on now, my son sits in this building until 3pm, then once he gets home he has so much homework to get done that we have absolutely no real time to spend together, not to mention, if I am going to have to teach him even after he's been with the teacher all day long, then why not just teach him myself without sending him off to another building and teacher all day long. So now, we do our schooling from 7am - 12pm at which time I go to work, he is with my mother while I'm at work and then when I get home we go over spelling words, reading and whatever else might need some studying done on it. And then we have the rest of the evening to spend together as he doesn't have much studying when I get home because he does alot of it with my mother. He also gets to do so much more activity outdoors and gets to do fun things to learn instead of just sitting behind a desk most of the day. I do think that so many of the teachers do a wonderful job and do what they can with what they are given. I just don't think that the children should have to sit through school all day long and then have to go home just to basically sit through more schooling for the rest of the evening instead of spending actual qaulity time with their family. When he was in public school, it was home from school, do homework, have about an hr play time, eat, bathe, I'd read a story to him then it was already time for him to get to bed. No sence in that at all if you ask me. And he learns just as well with the curriculum I shell out money for. Actually he is making A's with a few B's and is a whiz at Math.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2007
Posts: 1,820
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These crazy parent posts crack me up. No offense to the moms and/or homeschoolers commenting in here, but honestly, until you've walked in our shoes, it's just impossible to explain some of the crazy parents... (And keep in mind that I was a mom for 12 years before I started teaching! I'm telling you, it's a different world.)

I teach high school. 11th grade. EXPECT homework -- especially in honors and AP. I still get crap. As for planning a party during class, that one takes the proverbial birthday cake. That's amazing.

Welcome back to school, everyone! I'm spending an extra week off due to surgery complications. Blech.


Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/15/2008
Posts: 66
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AS a teacher and a mom, I can tell you all that HW is a painful necessity. Do we like to grade all those papers? No. DO we need to know whether the student truly understands? Yes. Often the only way that a teacher knows a student is struggling with a concept is when the HW gets turned in, or too late for everyone, on a TEST! It is a pain in the neck, it stinks, but it needs to be done.

Most schools have tutoring and extra time before or after school for students. It is the parent's responsiblity to make the time to get the student there. I know I am there for my students 30 minutes early in the morning and at least an hour after school. I have a handful of students stay.

I agree with most of you here, the parents need to quit griping and raise their children, quit making us do it.

The b-day invites- WOW, I think I would have let my principal handle that one, I would have been too ticked.


HS English teacher in TX

Laurie -
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2008
Posts: 4
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The funniest thing I heard a student say (lately, that is....)

"Of course I couldn't get it done on time; you changed the due date!"  Highly indignant 8th grader.

My reply....  "I don't undertsand what you are telling me.  I did change the due date; I gave you two extra days!"

Reply "I know, that's why I couldn't get it done!"

Still shaking my head over that one.



Date Posted: 1/8/2009 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/15/2008
Posts: 66
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LOL Laurie! I taught 8th grade for 2 years, some of the best and worst excuses I have ever heard came from that bunch! You gotta love em though, otherwise you'd beat them and lose your job! :)

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 5,377
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I assigned a long-term project for my 6th graders this Monday. Because I know my kids, I had several deadlines that they had to meet. The final project is due Feb. 2nd, but the first deadline was today. The project is to create a book that showcases Geometry and Measurement vocabulary and 2-5 mathematicians who studied Geometry. All that was due today was a draft of the Table of Contents (mostly to make sure the students understood the expectation for the assigment and that they had the appropriate number of vocabulary words and mathematicians).

I sent home the project description Monday. Yesterday, I handed out a sample of what I was expecting for the draft Table of Contents AND a list of possible vocabulary words AND a list of possible mathematicians to use AND another copy of the project description for anyone who lost it. AND I had it on the board as their homework for the whole week AND it was the only homework due today for Math. Thus, the draft Table of Contents should have taken no more than 20 minutes. (In fact, a few children came to the computer lab with me yesterday after school to type theirs up, even though that wasn't required. It took most of them about 10-15 minutes to complete.)

Well, of course, fewer than half of my students turned it in (which means a 5 point deduction to the final grade, which was explained on the project sheet). Here was the worst excuse:

"My Mom said I didn't have to do it because I'll just turn the Table of Contents in with the final project."

Uh, no, your parent doesn't get to tell you not to do my homework. She has my cell and home phone numbers and should have called me if there was a question about the purpose of the assignment (i.e. so that you don't spend the rest of the month doing the project wrong and thus get a bad grade on it).

I explained to the student why I was asking for it, so hopefully she'll turn it in Monday. If not, I'll call Mom and explain :)

Subject: parent notes on homework
Date Posted: 1/11/2009 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2008
Posts: 6
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I can't top the birthday story. I did, however, have a parent write a note saying, "Whatever happened to the No Homework on Weekends policy?!" Gee, mom, there is no such policy. Where did you get that idea?

Subject: Oh Thank You
Date Posted: 1/18/2009 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 1,579
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I have never laughed or cried and laughed so hard at the time in the recent past.  I have taught for 26 years and changed schools this past year.  I have heard many excuses and have seen the responsibility of students and parents shift to teachers over the years.  However, I had to share this story that happened years ago.

Gracie never had her homework for one reason or another.  One day Gracie came into the classroom and said "I don't have my homework today Ms. ------."  I asked why since she always came up with a very creative answer.  However on this particular day, Gracie said, "I couldn't do my homework because my mom used my book to kill a bat."  Gracie then proceeded to open her book and show me a very dead bat still in the book.  What could I say but throw that book away, Gracie.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 2,054
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Last Edited on: 6/17/09 3:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/25/2009 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,269
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I'm the BD Party teacher and got another one: Seems Dad is concerned because his son is not doing his homework because...(get this) nobody will help him!?!?  This is PreK - not high school math. Am I supposed to go to each child after school and give individual help? Obviously, his son is one of the trouble makers.

Subject: Back to the homework issue...
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2009
Posts: 3
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I used to be a teacher (taught 6 years and then decided to go to nursing school).  My school district implemented a "no homework" policy.  As teachers, we were not allowed to assign homework.  We were to encourage the children to read at night, but could not assign it.  Any thoughts on this?  I know people have busy schedules, but i didn't always know if the concept was understood or not.  I also thought it took away responsibility and reinforcement of the lesson taught at school (and parents had NO idea of what their child was learning).