Sunday, November 23, 2014

Family Values



























During last week's cold snap an eighth grade child, I will call her Clara, did not show up to school or attend her after school program. Later that night, the coldest night of the new school year, with temperatures dropping into the low 20's and windchills in the single digits, the teacher was giving out free turkeys for Thanksgiving at the school and who shows up?  Clara, with her mother and little sister in tow.  The teacher asked Clara's mother why Clara was not in school that day, the mother responded in a calm voice "because it was too cold and I kept Clara home".

Here is the problem,  Clara is a struggling student and is in danger of not moving up to high school as she is academically behind her peers.  The teacher told me that Clara has learning difficulties and instructions must be kept simple and short.  Clara has difficulty in completing tasks and cannot do complicated learning assignments.  As you might expect, she gets frustrated and exhibits behavioral issues due to her inability to complete or fully understand her assignments.

Clara lives with her grandmother and her mother has given most of the responsibility of raising Clara to the grandmother..  To the teacher's knowledge there is no father or male authority figure in her family.  Worse, when the weather is bad, Clara fails to show up to school.  What is going to happen when winter is here to stay?

That brings me back to Clara's mother.  How can a parent allow their child to miss school simply because its cold?  More importantly, why doesn't the City hold this parent responsible for educational neglect?   Yet, this parent, when offered a free turkey, took Clara and her little sister on the coldest night of the school year to school so that she can get the turkey.  What kind of message is that sending to Clara and her younger sister?

Education reformers like to blame poor student academic achievement on bad teachers and schools.  However, when these children are raised by dysfunctional families that lack parental supports and role models, they end up coming to school educationally, emotionally, and physically damaged.  Moreover, many of these children experience deep poverty feel unsafe and food insecure, yet that are deliberately ignored by the education reformers. That's why the ex-Chancellor Joel Klein's statement that   "poverty is no excuse" rings hallow when faced with the damaging reality of how poverty and the dysfunctional family affects student academic achievement.

No matter how one looks at it, getting families back together and providing them support is the most important factor in improving student academic achievement.

33 comments:

ReadyToRetireNow said...

I've seen this sort of chicanery often over the 25 years that I've been teaching and agree that there is "something wrong with the situation". I also agree that a stable family is key to a child's success in school, but I disagree that the solution lies in "providing them support". These folks get plenty of support from city, state and federal agencies. They offer many programs of assistance that are not necessarily monetary in nature. The problem is with priorities. "Clara's" mom cared more about copping a free turkey than for sending her child to school. How about the parent whose priority is to purchase the latest, outrageously priced pair of sneakers instead of paying the phone bill? How do you change that kind of mentality? Oh, you can talk to them about the importance that school has on a child's future and offer them counseling and all, but that doesn't necessarily translate into the correct action on the part of those whose main priority is to get that "free turkey".

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

You need a license to teach, marry, drive, have a dog, own a gun. Any 2 schmucks can have a child without the responsibilty of caring for that child.

What is worse is that Clara is learning that a free turkey and not education is a priority. I wonder how Clara will raise her kids with this learned behavior.

The cycle never ends

Anonymous said...

Amen!!!!! We are all suckers!!! Can't wait to get the hell out of this horrible city. Sneakers and phones are more important to many parents. Education and teaching responsibility is not a priority to many. You know who they are. But if I say it people will call me a racist. And now our ratings are based on Clara's grades. What a joke!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I could care less about Clara, her mom, or her living situation....Danielson is like fantasy football...as long as I get enough points to get effective then it is all good. I cant save them all and it is not my responsibility to raise someone else's child. My days of worrying about a kid once they leave my class are over.

Anonymous said...

Anon 412

That is very short sighted. Keep in mind these are the people that steal our tax dollars with their hand outs. These are the people that vote in idiots into office. They are parasites that keep sucking the blood of this nation........and they are growing exponentially.

Anonymous said...

Get ready once amnesty becomes official we will have more stories like these CHAZ..
Social Services of America is replacing the US Department of Education
We have to accept every culture that comes into this nation but you better not tell them they have to speak english..WE HAVE ESL free lunch free school free after school free free free everything is free...what a joke and when I ask for help paying my student loans I get rejected
I am trying to hang on for another 9 years...hang in there folks ...hang in there

Jerome'smom said...

Dear Anon(s),
Some of you sound very bitter and I can understand what you're going through. No one comes into the school setting to raise anyone's child. But sometimes it pays best to keep some thoughts to yourself because if I were your principal and I knew that you thought that way, I'd fire you.

Anonymous said...

Clara's teacher here. 4:12 and 1:13 your comments are disgusting. If you don't care about girls like Clara get the fuck out of the classroom and join the KKK.

Anonymous said...

Didn't say I didn't care about clara, In fact I do care about clara that's why she needs to be taught responsibility. Not for me but for her own well being. We are raising a generation of irresponsible children. We are all Clara's teachers and we need to speak the truth. as others have wrote in other articles. Some groups of americans are teaching there children a work ethic, responsibility and the value of education while others are falling behind in that regard. Spend some time in far rock. campus magnet. august martin and springfield gardens and you will see what I mean. Was wondering how long it would take to use the race card. You win my friend ann 5:28. I am ann 1:13

Anonymous said...

The Doe is the kkk!!!!!!!!!!
Everybody is entitled to there opinion Clara's teacher! And if you don't like it you know what you can do with yourself.
In my opinion a teacher who uses curse words when making a point should not be anywhere near children. Especially Clara!!!!
Right back at you!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:05 screams: "Everybody is entitled to there opinion Clara's teacher! And if you don't like it you know what you can do with yourself."

And Anon 6:26 chortles: "Some groups of americans are teaching there children a work ethic, responsibility and the value of education while others are falling behind in that regard."

THERE opinion? THERE children? Did you guys get past third grade education? To echo a line you two probably use all the time, this is America, speak proper English!

Anonymous said...

that's all you have is that I used the wrong, there, their. wow expected more from you

Anonymous said...

Ok more then:

" Some groups of americans are teaching there children a work ethic, responsibility and the value of education while others are falling behind in that regard. Spend some time in far rock. campus magnet. august martin and springfield gardens and you will see what I mean."

Let me rewrite this for you in proper English:

"Some groups of Americans* are teaching their children work ethic, responsibility, and the value of education while others are falling behind in that regard. Spend some time in Far Rock, Campus Magnet, August Martin and Springfield Gardens and you will see what I mean."

*I don't know what the fuck you mean by "some groups of Americans." I assume you mean "white Americans" as that's your general tone. And I hope you aren't teaching your kids grammar, spelling, or punctuation, as yours is horrendous. You're** an ignorant piece of shit.

**This was in case you didn't recognize the difference between "your" and "you're"

Anonymous said...

God loves you my friend. please send corrections when u get the chance

Anonymous said...

we don't teach grammar any more or is it any longer or is it do not or something else

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:12 here....I am not bitter...I am realistic. I cannot exert energy towards people, places, and things I have no control over. To try to do so is insane....especially in the NYCDOE. I work in an extremely THANKLESS job, but it is an extremely EASY job ....with lots of vacation....so I will keep it. Oh and I am AA by the way....

Anonymous said...

Not sure who you guys are but lets get back to the real problems

Anonymous said...

Read the blogs people, we all share the same thoughts as we see this crap every day. I mean from the bronx, brooklyn, staten island to queens its much of the same crap....jordan sneakers, phones and pants that have no belts aka rikers.....its rampant throughout the city, families do not care about education... and.... we all know who the kids are and where they come from. The stats tell it all...1 percent white, 50 percent hispanic, 45 percent black...trickle in some asian and other.....

Anonymous said...

Agree anonymous 9:02 but if you say it they will call you a racist or join the kkk. People are more worried about grammar. What a tool that person must be

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm such a tool for believing that people banging on and on about proper culture should also not write like a third grader.

It's crazy how ignorant people always show their ignorance. Always.

Anonymous said...

Jeromes mom....

Per your post: If you were my principal, and knew how I felt, you'd fire me? What ever happened to freedom of speech?

Fascist

Anonymous said...

Understand jackass, that when people write this stuff on a blog they typing it fast from an I phone or pad or I pod, while traveling on a train or on there way to work or some other place. They are not handing in an English essay or paper. Get a life. The man is making an important point. Clara's teacher is an ass. Enough said

Anonymous said...

I'm an ass? Because I have enough respect for Clara not to make racist assumptions? Because I spend time with Clara every day trying to improve her academics? Yeah, such an ass. And what "important point" were you making? Fuck off and hopefully, die.

- Clara's teacher

Anonymous said...

Good job tool you win but clara is still not learning. God Bless

Jerome'smom said...

The Chancellor should mandate a dress code. Some of the students (pants hanging down etc.) "act" the way that they dress. Some parents could care less but my son was not allowed to embarrass himself or me. We had a conversation okay. I won. A dress code and real consequences for behavior needs to happen.

Anonymous said...

Clara's teacher, you are the reason why the reformers are pointing fingers at our profession = simply because of bozos like you. Really, I know you mean well but like a brain washed kid you do not see the entire picture. Keep on doing what you do, drive your Kia and bring your brown bag lunch - I'm sure I'm right - and teach those kids about life in the big city - and you have thousands more coming your way just ask obama..

Anonymous said...

Clara learned that if its cold we don't need to go to school but we can go out and get something for free. That was the original point. Lets get back to the original point of the post. Hope my grammar is ok or is it well or is it good lol

Anonymous said...

Wow, and you losers whine about being 3020'ed. Ever wonder why? You're racist and can barely speak or write English. I wouldn't want you working at any school, period.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech gives you a right to sound like a racist asshole. It gives you no job protections if your boss finds out that you're a racist asshole.

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves the word racism. You tools are not helping identify the problems facing many people we teach. Its not about culture or skin color its about behavior. Sorry you guys are so mad but remember God loves you all.

Anonymous said...

1. I don't drive
2. What do my lunch habits have to do with anything?
3. Oh gotcha. You assume I'm a certain ethnicity.
4. Keep it classy.

Chaz said...

Let's stop the bickering. The fact is the mother didn't care about Clara's education and that's the problem not what race, religion, or culture the family comes from.