Monday, November 30, 2009

Following Up

For those of you who tuned in two weeks ago I relayed a conversation my teen daughter and I had about some of the things that were happening in her high school. Turns out she watches a bit of television--okay a lot. In fact, if she probably deserves an honorary degree in broadcast and communications based on the number of school hours she's spent in front of a screen and judging from the amount of comments the post got I touched a nerve.

I hadn't exactly intended to, I was just frustrated with the situation and what can I do when I feel completely impotent but mouth off to the great and powerful Internet? But I thought you might be interested in what has happened since then.

First of all, the television thing is still going strong. In fact, her German teacher is probably the worst offender because she'll put in a DVD, switch it to the German language option and then let the machine run for days at a stretch and last week it happened again only this time they watched a German silent film.

Did you catch the irony? A silent film. They're not speaking English, they're not speaking German, they're not speaking at all. Seems like the perfect option for teaching German in the classrooom, ja wohl?

And then for the week of Thanksgiving her history teacher (if you remember the Shirtless Wonder I mentioned previously) spent Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday showing the class Glory as a wrap-up to their study of the Civil War.

This was the part that particularly interested me because I remembered the movie from the 80s and knew that it happened to be R-rated. We don't let our kids see R-rated movies and it was my understanding that the school district's policy was that no movie over PG was to be shown to students without parental consent.

So I sighed deeply and wondered if maybe it wasn't time to get involved.

The weird thing about me though is that I'm a complete wimp about confrontation. If the choice is fight or flight I'll take flight every time and though I tend to talk big I'm Jello when it comes down to addressing issues face to face. I might be angry or frustrated but as soon as I'm dealing with a human being with their own feelings and concerns I get rather nervous.

But I thought this time it was important so I wrote an email to the principal telling him I was concerned because it wasn't an approved movie and that they seemed to be watching an inordinate amount of television anyway. Then I might have mentioned somewhere in there that I also thought Mr. History Teacher was slightly creepy for his shirtless pictures and talking about his binging weekends (I think I might have left that part out of the previous post but yea, he likes to brag).

Well the principal wrote back and asked to speak with me. By that time my cowardice was kicking in and I seriously thought about dodging his call (how many times have I said we needed caller ID?) but I sucked it up and spoke with him.

He was nice enough and our conversation went something like this:

"I understand you're concerned about the movie Teacher X will be showing this week?"

"Yes, my daughter said it was a movie that I understood to be R rated."

"Well don't worry, it's actually an edited version of the movie that was put together especially by Pepsi for educational purposes." (and I'm quoting this line verbatim).

"Oh. Well if it's Pepsi . . . " (okay that part I didn't say though I wish I'd had the guts to deliver it with all the sarcasm it deserved).

While he was very nice and treated me politely I could tell that he saw absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of taking three days to watch a movie as the culminating activity for a study of the Civil War. While I'd concede grudgingly that showing a clip or two might be acceptable (or perhaps I should say it's at least not poisonous) I don't understand how watching Hollywood's shaky retelling of an historical event is better than reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, Andersonville or Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The class could spend the last days studying the works of Lincoln, creating a time line of events, studying the military figures or mapping the geography of the states. And if they had to watch something the Ken Burns' documentary on the Civil War is at least a better choice. There are so many other ways to have spent that three-day period and if the principal, a man trained in the field of education, couldn't see more profitable alternatives to Matthew Broderick sipping Pepsi for three days how was a conversation with a frustrated mother going to change any of that?

But the good news is that they're not showing R rated movies to the kids, if you want to look at it that way.

The principal assured me he'd speak to Teacher X about being more aware of propriety, not showing pictures of his tattoos, yada yada yada but to be honest it was a frustrating conversation. He was polite but seemingly without the same concerns, we were looking at the same picture but seeing two very different things.

However, ultimately I came away with an epiphany. She's going to have good teachers and she will also occasionally have duds but regardless of who is teaching her the responsibility for her education ultimately rests on me as her mother and on her as an individual. I've always believed that education begins in the home so it's up to me to make sure she's learning even if it means making up for what isn't happening in the classroom.

And now, I will leave you with one more thought:

It's not a real message but it's funny nonetheless, striking a blow for frustrated teachers everywhere.

Sponsored by Beau-Coup for unique baby shower favors.


Peruby said...

I checked and it seems there IS a PG-13 version of the movie. They could at least have sent home a notice of some sort saying that your children will be watching... but it is an edited version... blah, blah.

Sheesh! I hope your future school confrontations are few and far between. I know I have had my share. Groan.

Any normal, decent human being does not like to confront others. You are not alone.

Jennifer said...

While I agree it sounds as if the tv viewing is excessive at your daughter's school, let me stand up a little for teachers everywhere.

Typically, those last few days before break, the kids have mentally checked out. Whether this is from training by years of being in school with teachers who have also checked out or is just some innate trait, I don't know. But when you have a room full of ~20 unmotivated students, showing a generally related film is the only way to keep them quiet and in their seats. It is almost a reward for slogging through what might be boring for many of the students.

It's not really much of a defense I know... but that is how it is in many classrooms.

Mom24 said...

I LOVE that answering machine message. Too funny.

You are right about this issue. You definitely are. Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking you're the crazy one. It's happening everywhere, and it's wrong.

Jolanthe said...

That answering machine message is hilarious. And while I realize that the time before the holidays is hard when it comes to teaching kids, that really isn't an excuse for showing movies day after day.

Seriously? Perhaps it's time to focus a little more on how to make the stuff exciting for the students and engaging them a little more rather than checking out yourself {as a teacher}.

Patricia L said...

I love that answering machine message. Glad you worked up the nerve to contact the principal-- I'm like you with the fight or flight situations. The only time I got mad enough to contact our principal was when the kids collected money for jump rope for heart and then NO ONE jump roped. I got a response similar to yours, placating, but not really saying they'd do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

YIKES! Soo annoying! Of course you're responsible for your child's education, but so are the schools, indiv teachers, etc. Unbelievable. And then we wonder why America ranks lowest out of industrialized nations on math and science tests, and why no one can spell or find Iraq on a map. Sigh...

Flea said...

I don't do confrontation well either, but I'll drop teachers a friendly email at the drop of a hat. Always very positive and questioning. It works pretty well and the blow up is avoided. Sounds like the tattoo man could use a friendly email.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel like you're the crazy one in this situation. It just seems like things have changed in regards to how the school system treats parents. I can't even tell you how many times i've brought up serious issues and left feeling like I just got a pat on the head and an eye roll. It's extremely frustrating and at times i've felt like just giving up on the system and home schooling. I just hang in there because I feel like my son needs the social aspect of school and the help with math that I can't give him. haha. I think that in the past parents got together in person more and talked about issues and then would band together more to force change. Now, everybody is so busy with their own lives and more disconnected because of cell phones, texting, e-mail, etc etc that we may not even know what is going on with other parents with kids the same age as ours. I know I only talk with a few other parents and it's not on a day to day basis. After one particularly horrible year (5th grade), where I had multiple conferences(my request)with the teacher and also the principal, I was made to feel like I was the crazy parent who just wanted to cause trouble. After venting to multiple people in my circle of friends and family I discovered that 20 parents had made the same complaints that I had during the year. It was just covered up by the school. There are some really great teachers out there but I do wish they were in the majority not the minority. I'm probably really biased though because we've went through some doozies...the latest was recently suspended(should have been sacked)for doing drugs, drinking and passing out during one of his classes. Things like that tend to over shadow some of the more positive things that other teachers are doing. I do agree with what you mentioned about it being very important to teach your kids lessons at home. It definately wouldn't hurt for me to do more in that dept.

Allysha said...

When I was in 7th grade we had a sub for the end of the year in health class. He was a baseball player for a local university and we spent the time watching movies and eating junk. Lovely.

But in my High School history class we also watched the "educational" version of Glory as we studied the Civil War and it had a huge impact on me.

So I think there are moments when films can be used to great advantage (heh- I am married to a film teacher, though I watch very few movies) but it's the abuse of the movies that drives me crazy.

That story of a silent German film cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

I used to be pretty afraid of confrontation but my mom was a pro at situations like this. I try to channel her when the opportunity presents itself. :)

I agree about the crazy amount of movie-watching that goes on in schools nowadays. I do understand that many teachers do it before a holiday weekend and why they do it. But it seems like a really large amount of time is being spent staring at a tv screen. If a teacher wants them to do be silent and have time to do busy work, then make them read a book, ya know? I remember in school when any sort of Tv watching was a HUGE deal because it was such a rare thing!

The creepy teacher situation totally gives me the willies. Are there any other moms aware of his inappropriateness? I'd find a mom (you know -one of THOSE moms) who would raise a ruckus with anyone who'll listen. That guy has some serious issues and unless others are made aware of it, he's going to continue on like it's no big deal. :(

Edi said...

I guess I don't have a problem showing movies if they are directly related to a topic we are studying...I use a lot of DVDs for homeschooling...and they are especially good to pop in a science video as an alternative to book reading especially on a busy day or one of the kids is kind of sick or whatever.

But a silent German movie doesn't cut it! Watching a foreign language movie in a foreign language class is relevant...

I'd be more concerned with the teacher showing off his tatooes and bragging about his binges!! And dreadful how the principal didn't sound too concerned. I remember a science teacher we had in 7-9th grade and he was always doing goofy stunts to impress the students (eating a raw chicken heart)...he ended up having a relationship with a student and if I remember correctly they ended up getting married!!

Headless Mom said...

How aggravating! The phone message is great, especially "if you need this message in another language move to that country"! Ha!

Marcy said...

When I think back on my own HS experience, I remember having the worst French teacher - ever (what is it about language teachers?). She would listen to Rush Limbaugh on her headphones and give us worksheets to do OR she would have us watch The Wizard of Oz that was dubbed in Spanish, not French. Her class was a joke. (This was 15-20 years ago, mind you.)

To balance it out, I had some incredible teachers, namely in the subjects that counted most -- English, biology, and math.

It's frustrating. My kids aren't in HS yet, but I'm sure they will have their share of bad teachers. It's sad that I expect it.

Anonymous said...

You were right to bring this up and it sounds like you handled it very well. Kuddos to you for doing this; I think if more parents were made aware of situations like this; they would jump on it in a minute. And, as a result there would be less bad teachers and more of the fabulous ones.


Miche said...

I am really shocked the principal wasn't more concerned about the shirtless pictures...that is CREEPY!! And how very frustrating for you. I have so many friends annoyed with the school system right now; I almost can't stand the thought of sending AJ there in 2 years. Sigh. Teachers are paid to TEACH-if they check out before the holidays and have to show movies, then they shouldn't have become teachers. It isn't like teachers don't get entire summers free and a thousand half day/work days/teacher "enrichment" days. My sister in law has had a day off from her teaching job one day a week for the past month for such items-and while she teaches math and is a very dedicated teacher-I'm sure a lot of video watching is happening in the other classes. ON TOP OF the already numerous days the kids have half days or get off completely. It almost seems like the kids could be out of school in half the year time if they actually just WENT to school and DID work. Huge Sigh.

Patricia L said...

Doing some cyber monday shopping and found this discussion on Amazon:

(the subject is "teachers showing movies instead of teaching"). At first I wondered if you were the original poster ;), turns out you're not alone by a LONG shot-- there are currently 788 posts in that discussion!

Lisa said...

I read your previous post and your school is showing way more tv/movies than I think should be considered normal.

I also recently (the beginning of the school year) had a huge problem with a teacher suggesting the students go see an R rated movie in order to receive extra credit. One thing led to another and my short and nice email asking for an alternative choice was read to students in another class. I was so angry. My daughter never went back to that class.

Our school is very liberal and I felt your unease with talking with the principal because I have been there. It is ultimately up to us to teach our children, but there has to be limits, we are the parents and our parental guidelines shouldn't be dismissed.

I'll stop here because I could go on and on!!

Littlemummy said...

Its certainly not ideal, but you're right about education at home.

Hopefully the situation improves.

Anonymous said...

When I taught at my daughter's school and spoke up about dubious practices on the parts of teachers and administrators, I was told I was "too much a parent and not enough an employee" and that I needed to "drink the Kool-aid." (exact words, I kid you not)

My take on it:
I am not there to be anyone's friend. Rather we should all be there to benefit the children. It's tough to confront people in authority about problems, but if you really see a need and express it respectfully, you should stand up. Children are vulnerable.


J at said...

I guess that since you went to the top and got no real satisfaction, if I were you I would bring it up with the PTA. They usually carry some weight with the administration, and perhaps they could start a survey to be sent to all teachers about what movies/tv shows they plan to show for the school year, and what options they have on hold if someone is ill. If nothing else, maybe they'll pick more appropriate movies for the subs to show.

I think if the administration were to see how much of this is actually going on, they might get a bit involved. Maybe.

M said...

The most heartening thing that an educator ever said to me (while I was in her office with a concern) was that it was my job to advocate for my child whether or not we were in agreement. Keep up the good parenting and hopefully if we all do our part we can make a difference.

Erin said...

I guess my question is this and it is concerning the remark you made in your last post when you used the public school system as a means to question a federally funded health care system (I'm totally paraphrasing).

You mention very specific books and ideas for classrooms but where does the school get the money to SUPPLY those books and learning materials? Who pays for the materials needed for chemistry experiments? Who buys the 120 copies of a single book to hand out to the kids because the teacher has 4 classes of 30 students all reading the same book at the same time? (Books especially, have a tendency to "walk away" from schools and are easily damaged so every couple of years the books would have to be replaced). Who pays for lab equipment or for the animals to be dissected in the lab (or the computer program that duplicates the dissection)? Why pays for up to date textbooks so that the kids don't have to use books written in the 70s? Heck, who buys the copy paper needed for all of those tests?

I agree that schools are starting to kind of "fall down" especially since so many teachers are forced to teach to a test to keep the funding coming in to a school (a test that, I've heard so don't tar and feather me here, values Stephen King's "It" over "The Cherry Orchard" because "It" has more pages to read).

I think its dangerous when legislators who do not have a lick of experience in a real school setting set the rules over what should or should not be taught in school systems but I also think it isn't the most enlightened thing ever to complain about a lack of teaching in a poorly funded program. Your teachers might be some of the highest paid but what about the rest of the system? Do those teachers truly have the materials they need to do the teaching you want them to do?

And if they don't, and you are so against a federal health care option, does that mean that you are against putting more funding into the public school system that your children use? That sounds really pointed but I'm honestly curious. :) (see a smiley to show I'm trying not to be as "in your face" as these words sound)

Scribbit said...

Erin--thanks for the question. I'll try to make an intelligent answer here.

I have never thought that the No Child Left Behind legislation was good. Now I'll say here that I don't have much experience with it myself, not being in education, but everything I've heard says that it's a sloppy piece of work that is ambiguous, difficult to enforce, irritating to educators and does nothing to really improve education.

So I don't agree with it.

I do tend to be conservative in my voting habits and views but I was not impressed when that went into play.

Do I think that funding schools more is the answer? Nope. Actually, Alaska teachers are some of the highest paid in the nation and if you saw Anchorage schools you'd generally think they'd be up to date and in good shape. Giving money for the latest computer lab or for more field trips or for fancier books really doesn't address the process of learning at all.

For what my total outsiders' opinion is worth (and this is just an opinion here) if I were to try and change education I'd consider things like going to a year-long school year, having more traditional things such as school uniforms become policy, and I would definitely support school vouchers. I would even say that privatizing the whole educational system would get my vote, turn it out into the market and let our freemarket economy do its thing.

Why shouldn't the K-12 system be like the university system? Private schools, some state schools. I had some interesting whacked out teachers in college but they weren't lazy. They might have been way out there with their beliefs but they worked hard to teach.

So there, I've said it.

Apparently I'm a closet libertarian or something :)

Lori said...

The only way I've ever seen Glory is through school. I saw it once in seventh grade and once in high school. That made me laugh, especially imagining scenes with Pepsi logos superimposed in the backgrounds.

dieMutti said...

As an ex-HS German teacher, I would have to say that I'm a bit jealous of all those movies. I have a ton of German DVDs, but the times the students watched anything were few and far between. I have a friend (also a German teacher) who has the students watch a few DVDs - but for each one, she's created a unit plan to go with it. So they have grammar worksheets, writing assignments, role-plays, etc that go along with the movie. Not a bad idea...

Which brings up another beef I have - the HS kids here ALL just got Netbooks and they are planning to distribute them to all the middle school students next year! Call me old school, but I'm not a fan of an entirely computer based education and hate that all the girls in my church's youth group talk about hacking the school's wireless network/filters and getting on the internet whenever they want with their school-issued laptops!!

As an educator, I understand the limitations. It can be a thankless job and I understand that students are lazy and disrespectful enough to make you cry. But I feel like the kids get enough technology thrown at them everywhere, they don't need to have laptops and movies all day at school...

I wanted to comment on your last post too. I'm with you on this. So there's my two cents (well, more like thirty cents...)

Scribbit said...

Do you want to come and teach my daughter German? :)

I don't like the notebook thing either. What Grace has said too is that she's seen kids vandalizing the computers in the lab. They have so much and care so little for public property they'll rip out parts and cause all sorts of problems. They've finally installed video cameras in teh lab to catch them.

At least that's what she's said. What a waste of money.

Carrie said...

That video was hilarious - thanks for sharing. I'm still totally appalled by the amount of TV being shown in the school, and I know it's not just limited to your daughter's high school. There is entirely too much wasted time in public schools, and this is why I hope to homeschool my children - much more efficient, and actual learning can take place!

Anonymous said...

I teach. I show movies maybe 3 times a year: educational stuff that fits with the current unit of study and is no longer than 15-20 minutes, one for the day Winter Break starts, and one for the day Summer break starts. It is so hard to cater to all the parent's desires for what is/isn't appropriate for their child, but there are certainly school guidelines that I have to follow. I wish more parents would call me and express their beliefs. I often end up relying on the kids who suddenly say, "Oh, I'm not allowed to have/watch that!" I admire the child for speaking up, but we could have avoided the situation entirely if the parent had called me in September to say, "You know, I really object to my child seeing PG movies. We only allow G." Then, even though PG is allowed for students in my class (grades 3 and 4) I would avoid showing them that year.

Having taught with some less-than-stellar teachers, I wish more parents would call them on their bad teaching. The truth is, you might not be getting the whole story from you child (especially if they are in elementary school) and the teacher could clear it up. OR, you could be getting the whole story and your call might put the teacher on alert that he/she better straighten up.

Daisy said...

I'm glad you addressed the issue directly with the principal. I hope you feel a little better about Glory, in any case. Sometimes a movie is a good teaching tool, but too much of it isn't the best teaching technique.

Ginger said...

When I was in High School, my American History teacher showed us a ton of movies. BUT, instead of taking school time to do it, we had special movie nights on Thursday nights. It was neat and I remember learning a lot from that class (not just from the movies) This teacher was also a state legislator so this brought a neat view into all the history that he taught.....and he was the owner of the local ice cream shop, so he'd bring ice cream to the movie nights!

MommyK said...

My US History class watched Glory when I was in high school and I thought it was an interesting follow up to the material we had already learned, which was pretty intense anyway because it was an AP class. And we didn't watch it until after the AP test was over, but there was still some time left in the school year.

I'd be more concerned about the teacher showing off his tats and bragging about drinking. Perhaps he thinks it makes him cooler to his students, but it's NOT appropriate. And it reminds me of some of the inappropriate teachers I had in high school--one of whom was later busted for child pornography on his home computer.

Mrs. Organic said...

I think I'd probably take it a step further (at least on the shirtless wonder dude) and go to the district. Write up your concerns in a letter and ask for a response as well to have your letter them to placed in the teacher's file.

This way you are taken seriously and not swatted at like a pesky fly. But then I'm used to a more direct approach when dealing with the school system.

MixinMike said...

I'm totally disgusted after reading that. Scribbit, please, please, please, remember that you are you're best child's advocate. Don't EVER feel afraid about confronting the teachers and admin.. It's awful that they have your kids watch all that tv, r-rated or not. I'm sick to my stomach. And ps: including the you tube clip. You didn't need to do that to show teachers that you have no bad feelings towards them. We know they work hard and are underpaid, but not ALL teachers work hard. There are a lot of losers in that profession like all others. Keep doing what your doing, you have my support.

Wild Squirrel said...

Not sure if this makes you feel any better, but by the time my 4th child entered Kindergarten (I now have 3 children in the same elementary school and one in high school), the principal would see me walking down the hallway and ask, "Is something wrong? Do you need to see me?"

I don't like confrontation either, but if we don't speak up, who will? I don't mind having the reputation that if something doesn't feel right, I'm happy to address it with the proper "authority" whether that is the teacher or the principal. In fact, I had the very conversation last year that you have had recently re: tv watching in class. I was told all of the teachers were reminded at a faculty meeting about recommended television viewing for youngsters, etc., yet the very next day, I entered my daughter's classroom and saw that they were watching tv - again. For now, I scope out the best elementary teachers and request them for my children. So far, I haven't been turned down. You know what they say about the squeaky wheel. Unfortunately, it's not as easy with middle and high school teachers. I feel your pain.

ewe are here said...

Makes you wonder what teachers used to do before the days of dvds and videos in the classroom.... not to mention the days before everyone wants their 'reality fame' by sharing too much information (tattoos, really?!?).

Teach, perhaps?


bigguysmama said...

I am not surprised in the least at the response of this principal. Society has become so compliant as to what is and isn't acceptable. I think they send notes home or pretend like they care (when the could give a fig) only because they're required to.

I think in this day and age it's more rare to find a teacher who cares about a parents concerns. I think their thought is, "It's a rated 'R' movie, what's the big deal," because many parents feel the same way.

That doesn't mean it's ok, just another sign of the enemy. Our children are being desensitized on every front. It's very sad.

I have to admit, I'm one of those parents who calls in and tells them exactly how I feel, or send a pretty scathing email. I can get pretty ugly when I think something I believe is "wrong" is happening with one of my kids. I know I may not be a great example of Christ in those situations, but I try to be as humble as possible.

As for the Pepsi connection, that certainly wasn't encouraging to know they're the ones who decided what was appropriate or not for a teen to view! Sigh...

I loved that YouTube video!! Nice find.

Anonymous said...

My daughter started middle school this year, and has a teacher whose mentality matches that of her 13 year old students. She recently had some cosmetic surgery and now has "new boobies". That is now the big distraction in her class. When she returned to school after her recovery, she stood in front of the class, stuck out her "new" chest and exclaimed "Well, how do you like them?". Really? Are you serious?
My daughter, who almost always has A's and the occasional B, came home with a C in this class. Before I could panic too much, my daughter said, "Read the note on the back first". The teacher had written "She should not have a C in my class, I need to check, because I think I have entered some grades wrong". Well maybe if she weren't so worried about about her new boobies, she could keep everything straight. My daughter continues to do poorly in her class and I am very concerned. I don't like confrontations and often get the same reactions from school officials like the one you got. They seem very un-concerned about thier teachers, and assume everything they do is great. Well things are not so great and that's something I have to deal with before her grades tank this semester. Aaargh!!!

Cheri said...

LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From an ex-high school teacher, I Love The Recorded Message!!

Stephanie said...

My husband shows the version of "Glory" that was made especially for educators, and it actually is heavily censored, though students are still shocked when they hear racial slurs being used. Most of those edited-for-educator movies are sponsored by some big company because studios won't do it for free. I even showed a Romeo & Juliet version that was sponsored by Exxon (I have no idea why Big Oil is interested in Shakespeare, but whatever).

I think one reason why teachers resort to films (particularly of the Hollywood version) is because they have a lot of student learning levels to accommodate for. I'd like to watch the Ken Burns documentary, but plenty of students wouldn't stay awake for it.

That said, I'm not a huge fan of excessive movie watching in place of teaching. My husband usually goes the route of showing it after school for extra credit and most students show up.

The shirtless thing, however, is very creepy and someone in the teachers' union should be notified. That is totally inappropriate.

Most of all, though, I'm sorry your principal didn't seem to take you seriously. That's very frustrating.

Sonja said...

I can relate to being non-confrontational. It probably wasn't easy taking your concerns to the principal, but it probably made an impression on your daughter--speak out when you don't think something is right. That's a valuable lesson right there.

I think you are absolutely right on with your epiphany. Frightening and sobering, but has always been true.

adrian said...

It was good that you voiced your opinion, which I happen to agree with. 3 days for TV is a waste of time!

Unplanned Cooking said...

Just wondering... if Pepsi put it together, then does that mean they're also showing Pepsi advertising before it? Because that's an entirely different issue...

Candace April said...

One point I'd like to bring up as a former teacher is not just that it is tough to get kids to pay attention right before break (which it is, but heck--that's the teacher's *job*) but that it is actually impossible to have students pay attention who are not present.

If you teach when a large number are absent, then you get complaints about them missing vital learning and information. If you re-teach everything when they return, the kids who were there (often the kids who don't need the extra reinforcement) complain about that.

At any rate, teachers need to be more creative than just showing an entire movie for weeks on ends. So I agree with you there.

I used to show short clips, followed by discussions.

The silent film in German class? That's the one I would have been calling about.

2xmom10xgma said...

Blogrant. You go girl. I'm 100% behind you. Those are my grandchildren you're talkin' about. They deserve better than DVD's...they need to read and have discussions. Sounds like lazy teachers.!!!!