Year: 1997-1998
Month: October
Leader: Group C

Situation/Case Study:

Several teachers in the group are having difficulty with students who do not turn in their homework on time and who are achieving well below class expectations. In several of the situations, the student's parents are either not supportive of the teacher and/or not supportive of the student. In either situation, poor communication with parents seems to add to the problem.

A teacher in this situation might...feel frustrated because they know the student has the ability to complete the homework assignments but are making the poor choice not to do so. The teacherfeels the student is not performing to her ability level and thus should not pass if not putting forth great effort. The teacher is not looking at special education issues—modifications and different types of learners. Teacher feels frustrated because of the differences in parent and teacher expectations and student performance. Teacher feels frustrated because of the conflicting values brought to the situation. Teacher feels frustrated because s/he wants to work with parents for the child's success -- share some responsibilities. Teacher feels conflicted because she is trying to uphold certain criteria for performance and ability without sacrificing class content. Teacher feels conflicted over expectation issues-- grading issues--special needs students. Teacher feels frustrated because the students are not meeting the course expectations. Teacher feels frustrated because success could be accomplished through completion of work and higher test scores. Teacher feels frustrated because they are not accomplishing what they want to accomplish. Teacher feels angry because their expectations clash with those of the children's.

Theories behind practice:
Developmental psychology. Expectations. Learning styles. Parent/teacher/child expectations.

Impact on others:

The teacher should try to remember the developmental level of the children. The teacher should try to create an improved system for regular communication with parents.

This was the first time that the group went through the entire process. I think that it progressed very well. Rather than select one case to analyze, the group decided to discuss several that had a similar theme. This worked fine for the first time but we decided to select one case next time. For a time the discussion became rather heated. During the debriefing period, the group reviewed the RPG criteria that were presented at the first meeting in September--confidentiality, respect, candor, constructive discussion and debate. I think that the group (and I) felt more comfortable with the discussion about theory than last year's group. Maybe we are making progress in this area.