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June 12, 2009


I couldn't fit this in the post without messing up the flow, but let me say this now: I believe that Rebekah has been unbelievably unlucky to get three such teachers in one year. I would far prefer to believe that teachers are truly interested in education, and that more would be able to see the opportunities in this trip of hers than would see it as a failing.

But this has been our experience this year, and it's been a mind-blower!

Good for you! I'd have done it too. And am APPALLED at these idiots standing in front of her classroom.

I now understand all those years of homeschooling if you have to deal with crap like this.

They should feel really bad for what they done. It's not like she's a delinquent or anything. They should be more helpful. What blows me away is the time frame. You've been trying to get ahold of them forever and you couldn't. That's bad and the fact their email address weren't on the website, uncalled for. I'm glad you did her homework, I would have too. Tell her to have a good time.

Wow. Three teachers blow you off, forget to be responsible to their student, and then try to punish HER for their mistakes? The nerve of them all! They sound jealous - in my experience, both as a student and as a teacher, any time students take extended holidays from school there's always at least one jaded, burnt-out teacher who gets pissed because their summer vacation hasn't started yet. It's too bad Rebekah doesn't have the teachers I had in (public) high school - almost all of whom would have been absolutely excited for a student to travel to France, and all of whom would have come up with reasonable assignments that fit with the travel. The only thing they would have done was make the student visit them when he or she got back to tell them all about it. Here's hoping Rebekah's next teachers are like that!!

The teacher in me is trying to reconcile those negative attitudes. Sad. I like to give kids a journal for their travels, one that helps them incorporate the trip experiences into their writing.
She'll see the Louvre? That's fantastic!


Hey, sometimes what seems like the wrong thing is definitely the right thing. Good for you.

Kimberly: After three of my own, and my husband's horde this is the FIRST time I've ever run across anything of this nature. Sure, there has been the odd teacher who was obvious in desperate need of a sabbatical, but this was systemic. Bizarre.

Mrs. C: I was a little stunned not to find email addresses on the website. Every other school I've been involved with has provided them. Given that teachers can't be reached while they're teaching (much of the day), it only makes sense.

Kiera: Jealous, huh? I hadn't considered that, but now that I look at my conversation with her, and the things Rebekah relayed to me throug that lens, I think you may well be right about the art teacher, at any rate. (I think the history teacher's just inert, myself.)

Daisy: As I said in my first comment, I don't believe this is typical of teachers at all, and I can't believe Rebekah's bad luck at landing three in one term!

Katie: Thank you. :)

Maureen: Thanks. According to the letter of the law, it's wrong. But I think the spirit of the law is more forgiving.

I think that kids who are going to miss a significant amount of school (three weeks is pretty significant), especially in high school, do have the responsibility to get the assignments they won't be there for. Clearly, Rebekah made a conscientious effort to do so, and you only stepped in when she wasn't getting anywhere. The way I see it, you only ended up doing this assignment for her (and KUDOS for staying out of your kids' homework for all this time!) because of an unfortunate combination of circumstances. It's not like she created an emergency by leaving it till the last minute and then dropping it on you (and yes, I do know some kids who've done that, why do you ask?).

I think this one falls more on the teachers, and if they couldn't see the educational value of this trip, that's just sad.

Okay, several hours later I'm still laughing (I laugh when I'm ticked off) at your post. Un-freaking-believable! Then I realized, not so much. Way too common in our educational system. My daughter, in 9th grade, was instructed to write a 2 page paper about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and suggest a resolution. After a two paragraph mention in her textbook. Now I admit, born in the 70s, I don't know much except that it's been ugly and complicated. So a 9th grader is supposed to figure it out and suggest a resolution? I mean, really?! It's that simple? Maybe it is, actually, but with the complexities of international relations tossed in, a box of crayolas and a ream of paper and drawing pictures of our 'good thoughts, fellow diplomats' isn't going to solve it, though maybe it should. (I'm really not, in my ignorance, trying to offend anyone here! Please forgive me if I do -- as a Christian I'm on the Israel side of this but am admiting I don't know the history/background/complexities as the Jewish and Israeli population of the world knows it.) So anyway, this paper is supposed to take 45 minutes. Including research. Ever googled "Israeli/palestinian conflict"? Yeah. Now imagine a child with ADD/OCD trying to wrap her brain around this entire conflict.

Guess who did the research.

And wrote the paper.

Gave her the cliff notes version and called it a day. After letting her teacher know what an assinine assignment it was.

If anyone has a good website for history and TRUTH please let me know!!!

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I'm not. This is EXACTLY what my daughter's education has been like from first grade on. That kid has had the bad luck to have every crappy teacher in the school system. EVERY ONE. Her spanish teacher this year? Worst one ever. I sat in on a class because I was so appalled by what I was hearing from my daughter. In a full year of Spanish, they never got beyond chapter 3 in the book. They should have FINISHED 14 chapters.

The teacher held on to all the tests/quizzes until last week. Every single one my daughter took the full year was in the high 90's gradewise. She obviously earned an A. But she's getting a C-. Why? Because the damn teacher went to Prague for a couple of weeks that coincided with when my kid was sick, left no sub (we don't have subs in high school...really), left assignments that my sick kid didn't ever get that were due when my sick daughter was still sick, and so she passed them in late. Yup. The teacher told me so herself.

So I went to the dept head who never answered one phone call or email. So I went to our worthless, almost out the door thank god, good luck Swampscott, principal who of course ignored me. What am I supposed to do? Take it to the school committee?

And that is why (ducking) I am opposed to tenure. This teacher needs to be fired. She's HORRIBLE. she has no control of her class. The kids are wild and no learning is going on, and yet she's been there for years.


People look at me like I am nuts when they hear that my husband is trying to get a gov't job that would send us oversea's eventually, say 2 to 3 years, and that I think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I mean really, is there a better education, give me a break. Don't worry about it, you know as well as I do that there is so much to be learned by traveling, you've made that plain here, we had a little squabble at our school this over a family trip and my kid is just in kindergarten. They threatened to turn me over to the truancy department, ugh.

And, from someone who worked in the public schools system, I can only wonder what in the world these teachers and admins were thinking

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