Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Dreaded Parent Phone Call

at 6:58 PM
Recently I changed my Consequence Chart. First check is a warning, second check is letter copying... Those stayed the same. Third check was originally phone call home, but has now become "Break Buddies" (owe me time at break) and fourth check changed from "Office" to "referral" (basically the same thing, but now I have the option to send them out or keep them in and write the referral later).

Why did I take phone call home off, you ask?

A couple reasons.

1. It didn't really feel like the next step after letter copying. The majority of junior high students are still wary of phone calls home, and we have this lovely program called Teleparent to facilitate calling home. It's an electronic system that allows you to choose which students and what it should say (good, bad, informative) and it will call home in their home language. It's great, too, because it logs whether it was answered or hung up on, and calls back at different times. So it's really too easy to call home. Students are used to getting notices. Break Buddies is more of a consequence for them. So originally I had put it up, assuming it was a personal phone call home. Which leads to the second reason...
2. I don't like calling strangers.

So I've decided that anything above a warning now precipitates a Teleparent call.

Student's don't realize that teachers dread the parent phone call as much as they do.

Today I checked my e-mail between periods and had one from the office asking me to call a student's parent. I had just had the class that student should have been in, and had noted that I hadn't seen the student in a few days.
Despite knowing that he was a good student, in yearbook, had been a TA, does all his work... I dreaded calling the mom.
The entire next period my stomach was roiling. I was fighting down waves of nausea through the Twilight Zone episode.

After class, I double check on his grade, missing assignments, and current behavior. I take a deep breath. I pick up the phone and call the mom.

Wait... wait... wait...

Oh, thank goodness. She just wants to know the assignments he missed, since he'd been out so long.

Yup. Teacher's are just as afraid of calling home as students are of teachers calling home.


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