The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Opening Day Feelings

Each school year marks a rite of passage in the American child's experience. Signifying this is the popular picture frame you see on the parent's living room wall that shows all 12 years of school pictures in perfect order. Notice the blank spot ready for this year's school picture.

I hope we never forget the feelings that students and parents have at this time.

So full of full of anxiety...smiling nervously as they step off the school bus steps and walk tentatively through the doors.

They are wondering..."Will my teacher be nice? Will she be patient with me? Will he make school fun? Will she help me when I am confused? Am I ready for this grade? Will the older students be friendly to me?

Teachers wonder the same things..."Will my students be nice? Will they be patient with me? Will this be a fun year? Will they help me when I am having a bad day? Am I ready for another year?

May this be your best year yet!


Anonymous said...

Now the flip side of your view of the first day.

I had to sign a paper saying I went over a list of rules that included the fact that this English teacher at the high school has decided any student that needs to use the restroom during her class will be marked tardy and that after 3 tardies will be disciplined. I'd like to see these teachers go from a previous class to a locker and switch books, find a restroom, use the restroom (better hope you don't have to wait), wash your hands properly and then go to your next class. Sorry but we're talking about humans not robots!!!! I can understand them not wanting their classes disrupted for restroom use or for those that would abuse the use of a pass to the restroom but to hand out tardies is too extreme. Find a middle ground like Mr. Warren has for his class rules.
I really think each teacher should present their list of rules to that school's principal for approval.

This teacher also expects expects first and last names with the period number on the upper righthand corner. Forget once and you get a zero on the paper. I understand these teachers have many students but give them time to get into the habit. Here's another rule that is not fair; if a student is assigned any sort of project then misses school they still have to have that paper turned on in the day they return. Now tell me how many people when they are sick are going to feel like researching, writing a rough draft, typing a final copy, and entering it on some website in between trips to the bathroom to toss their cookies? Maybe they should do it at 2 in the morning when they finally can handle drinking water and eating a cracker?

I know I'll be watching for that particular teacher to make a mistake. So what do you think Dr. Stock? She makes 3 mistakes and she gets a day off work without pay? What sort of disclipline is in place for teachers that make simple little mistakes?

Anonymous said...

There are always two sides of every story. I suggest you contact the teacher to have a conference with him or her.

Seven minute passing periods allow ample time for students to use the restroom (at least once the new students have gotten used to the layout of the building). Tardies on the first days have been overlooked for new students who are still getting lost. This will soon take care of itself. Also, I'm sure any teacher will show a little compassion on an occasional emergency basis.

Students who are absent on the day a large paper is due that were told about it four or six weeks earlier have no excuse for not handing that paper in on their first day back from an absence. You would not believe the number of students who say their parents let them stay home to write their papers after the student has procrastinated the due date.

One of the exit goals for students at WHS is for them to be productive and responsible citizens. The teachers are far from perfect (they will admit that), but they are trying to help the students learn responsibility. It is one of our six pillars of character.

Please be a little considerate of teachers who have an overwhelming job to teach, mentor, and nurture up to 120 students each day!

Anonymous said...

First of all, we do allow all students some grace the first couple of days when it comes to tardies. After that we feel that 7 minutes (It was 3 and 5 minutes in years past) between classes is ample time for any student to get from anywhere to anywhere else. If a student is late due to conversations with a previous teacher, etc. they may also get a written pass from that person excusing their tardy. The reason we give 3 tardies is that we give them 2 others times for the unavoidable instances you refer to.
I would invite any parent to visit school and walk your students schedule along with an office staff person. I have never had this done when the parent didn't leave feeling satisfied with the rule.

Students know ahead when assignments are due. If they miss a day due to sickness, I would assume that they had their work finished and ready for that day they are ill. So, why would they not have it ready to turn in when they get back. It would be the day they are absent that they most certainly would not have ready. We then give them two days to make it up. This is explained on page 12 of the student handbook.

Requiring a student to put their full name and period number is not unreasonable. I bet your child will remember to do it and will not lose points.

I believe it is not the rules or consequences that are problems, but sometimes the attitudes of which they are communicated or received. If we respectfully communicate the rules and fairly administer the consequences there are few problems.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... nice to be back. It's easy to see why there is such tension among faculty & parents: lack of communication and understanding. If we ever want to better our schools, build community and work together, we need to LISTEN & DISCUSS what's going on. That may include compromise & empathy from both sides. Is this a reality in our school system? You decide.

Anonymous said...

Homework rule? So if the teacher assigns a report on Monday that is due Friday and the student misses school Wednesday and Thursday; the assignment is still due on Friday? That's the way I understand the rule. The student has missed 3 nights and 2 days of school time in which to work on the project. Why is that fair?
I've encountered similiar problems in the past and teachers seem to assume students become ill on the morning of the missed day and are cured by that evening. How I wish that was so! Why does this teacher need her own set of make-up work rules when there are rules school wide on the issue?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to schedule an apppointment with that teacher . . . why are you making a mountain out of a molehill? If it is an assignment with class time and only a few days to work on it, the homework policy is they get the number of days plus one to make it up. I wonder if the point on the syllabus wasn't talking about a long-term assignment.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you read the Student Handbook provided at registration. Excused absences are covered at the top of page 12.

No teacher has the right to create a policy that contradicts or negates the intent of the Student Handbook policy. Students are given the number of days absent, plus one day, for items due during any day of the absence except in the case of a 1 day absence. Those are the only ones due on the day the student returns. EXAMPLE: A student is present on a Monday and gets assignements for Tuesday. A student is absent on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They return on Friday. The homework that was due on Tuesday is due on Friday, the day of return. The work that was assigned on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday's (the days of absence) are due on Wednesday of the following week (3 school days plus 1 after the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday absence).

Sounds pretty fair to me. Short of wanting credit for nothing I think this is pretty fair.