What was he thinking?

I just got a call from the teen boy’s Spanish teacher today. She informed me he hasn’t turned in any homework for the past 9 weeks.

She said he keeps saying he left it at home and he’ll bring it tomorrow. This, of course, is the same Spanish teacher who backed off from teaching an immersion style class because the parents complained it was “difficult” and their kids didn’t understand Spanish in the first place.

Ok…. on the one hand, the boy is lucky to have a pushover teacher, in this case. But I really wish she’d let me know something sooner. And yes, I’m glad his foreign language classes next year are taught “old school” – immersion style. And they won’t let the kids get away with this “no homework” BS when he gets to high school. They have a mandatory after-school study hall for the kids who forget to do their homework.

But really, 9 weeks? He hasn’t done his homework in this class for 9 weeks? You know, sometimes I really get tired of trying to help him succeed. We’ve been working with him, helping him bring the Algebra grade up, only to find this? What else? Now I need to email his other teachers and ask if he’s behind on other assignments in their classes, too? He’s 14. At what point do I draw the line and remove the net? Do I do it now or keep micro-managing him a couple more years, and see if he can do it by his Junior year of HS? He’s got to be able to do this on his own for college. :: headdesk ::


Things I will not miss about private school

My son attends private school. I placed him there in 5th grade, when we moved to the Houston area and I discovered the abysmal public education system. That, combined with the lack of reinforcement on the “zero-tolerance” policy on bullying; well, let’s just say my son lasted about a month in public school. When a fight broke out on school grounds, my kid was punched, and the teachers did nothing about it nor did they send a note home to notify me what happened, I was furious. When my kid was persecuted by his peers for not being Christian, I’d had it. All the while, his teachers did nothing.

What school, do you ask? Shadow Oaks Elementary. Spring Branch ISD.

I pulled him and put him into private school. When it came time to do the transfer work, his new school required his current teachers to write letters of recommendation and fax them over (these cannot be delivered by the parent). One of his teachers didn’t know the campus had a fax machine, much less how to use it.

These were the teachers we trusted to educate the children in that school? And we wonder what’s wrong with the kids, today?

Since the middle of 5th grade, my kid has had a wonderful experience. He’s had a challenging curriculum, smaller student-to-teacher ratios in class, and the benefit of a learning environment where teachers do not have their hands tied by district administration – they don’t have to teach to the lowest level of the classroom. They can adjust curriculum accordingly to fit student needs and learning styles.

This is the part of private school that I’m truly going to miss.

What will I not miss?

  • I won’t miss the tuition, that’s for sure.
  • On top of that monthly tuition, I won’t miss the plug for a fundraiser here, and a donation there.
    • (Why, dear God, WHY, did they have a fundraiser selling plants this year? After the summer we had last year when everything died, and the summer we’re expecting this year, do they think people are really going to reinvest in their flower gardens? Are they surprised this fundraiser was a complete flop?)
  • I won’t miss the unspoken expectation that the entire student body comes from parents who make an average income level of “X”
    • (If you can afford the tuition, surely you can afford the spring trip every year, and all these other activities…. why, 99.9% of the students live in this neighborhood, so everyone is in this income bracket)
  • I won’t miss the assumption that if you can’t afford to send your kid on the $1800+ spring trip, you have no problem sending your kid to the planned activities for that week for kids who are “left behind”. They cost $160 for the entire week. It’s one payment, whether or not your child participates.
    • What happened to studying for upcoming final exams?
  • Graduation Fee for all 8th graders is another $170 or $180 (at this point, I’ve chosen to erase that figure from my brain).
    • This includes cost of the graduation party, whether or not your child chooses to attend.

I’m thinking I need to open up a private school. They seem to be pulling in the big bucks.