Helping DD deal with difficult teacher

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Helping DD deal with difficult teacher
14
Tue, 10-12-2010 - 10:32am

We've been very fortunate with teachers all these years. She's always formed tight bonds and managed a very cooperative learning environment.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2010
Tue, 10-12-2010 - 3:19pm

Your DD was brave and talked to the teacher. Now it is your turn.This is Freshman English, so a parent stepping in after attempts have been made to resolve the issue isn't helicopter parenting.

If the teacher doesn't like DD's writing style, then ask her which style guide she is using. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Wed, 10-13-2010 - 6:50am

I agree with everything the pp has said.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Wed, 10-13-2010 - 10:18am

I am sorry your dd is going through this!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Wed, 10-13-2010 - 2:50pm
I'll concede that DD does have some writing issues in general. She does err on the side of over-dramatic at times and can focus too much on HOW she says things and not WHAT she says. Certainly she's been known to write some wordy passages that *I* would have nicked her on too. Her teacher's last year really worked on her with this and saw tremendous improvement. I can still see a few spots where DD got lost in the language. Those notes were fully warranted and DD fixed them but to no grade benefit.

Most of the notes are confusing though. For example, the paper that she read to the class and said she really liked was supposed to be a descriptive essay on another person in class. She actually wrote "too descriptive and too long" on the top of the paper. It was only 2 pages, double spaced and typed. Nowhere on the assignment did it give a max word count. I couldn't really see "too descriptive" at all considering she used the paper as an example of appropriate description. The final draft really just cleaned up the paper... no tremendous changes... certainly not MORE detail added. In fact, they were up at open house (without the grade on it thankfully) and the mom of the child DD described loved it so much she asked the teacher for a copy. DD re-wrote to 1 page and far less detail but the grade remained a "C" and noted that this was supposed to be a descriptive essay. Huh?

The "D" paper was initially deserved. It was a timed essay test on the summer reading. DD didn't budget her 20 minutes very well and didn't get past the introduction (but really, who gives highly gifted kids 20 minutes to write a paper on a novel lol.) The "D" was generous in my opinion. However, they were allowed to re-do the test for full credit. This time, DD wrote a rough draft at home so she knew she could get the info needed in the time frame. Her essay was not perfect but followed the rubric to a "T." Still, a "D." I just don't understand how a paper that didn't get past the introduction can have the same grade as a complete paper that addresses every point.

Ah well, I'll come back to this. Have a life to get too. Thanks for the comments to far. I don't feel quite so crazy now.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2009
Wed, 10-13-2010 - 4:11pm
Sounds like the teacher is not working with a set list of criteria to base her grading on. Which is puzzling to me, so no, I don't think you're crazy at all...
Suzanne
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2000
Wed, 10-13-2010 - 11:55pm

Ugh.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2000
Thu, 10-14-2010 - 7:55am

You really have no choice but to contact the guidance counselor on her behalf.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2000
Thu, 10-14-2010 - 8:33am

DH says, in his opinion, you should e-mail the teacher today.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Thu, 10-14-2010 - 11:55am

DD really wants another chance at handling it before I get involved which I can respect. I'm going in to get her online grade code (they won't give it by mail or call... I actually have to GO IN and show ID lol.) That should give us an idea of where she stands overall at least. This is the only teacher that didn't give parents a syllabus at parent night so we're not even sure how high a percentage the essays count for. If DD's next attempt fails, we'll have to go in.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Thu, 10-14-2010 - 1:46pm
Great approach! Learning to deal with teachers is an important lesson for High School. I would hope that the teacher would see how hard she is trying.

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