I was reading that a lot of virtual schools have been arriving on the scene lately and are geared towards students who cannot seem to function well in a structured classroom setting, or may have an attendance issue, and/or discipline problem. In these virtual schools, a teacher could have up to 400 students because statistically, all the students have not “shown up” for classes anyway; so it is believed the teacher should be able to handle his or her class-load. I know some colleagues who teach in virtual schools, and honestly most students are not learning but simply working on modules and getting a mark for completion. How can they truly learn in this setting when they are in a “virtual” classroom full of 400 students and one teacher? Not to mention the majority of virtual school have an F report card. Check out the following article when given a chance, but please continue reading. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/virtual-schools/
This type of school has a market because there are so many students no longer being able or willing to obey school rules. So after either being suspended, expelled or dropped for too many absences, their parents seek out a place their child can attend and this usually results in either alternative school or a virtual school.
This type of disruptive behavior has also been tied to the reason many of the public school teachers are no longer remaining in Education. One of the number one reasons teachers leave is because they do not receive adequate support from parents and/or administration when it comes to disciplining disruptive students. I personally have worked in schools that were super structured and implemented consistent discipline, and other schools, where the worst behaved students only got a slap on the wrist from administration and/or parents. So put yourself in the mindset of a school teacher; which should not be hard because most, if not all of us, have attended school before.
A teacher has the responsibility to give, share, explain knowledge (also known as curriculum/subject matter) to students. It is also their responsibility to uphold a certain code of ethics, while also being available to answer any questions the students may have in order to increase understanding.
A student has the responsibility to learn, obtain, take notes, study, review the material/knowledge that the teacher has taught. Why? So that they can learn different skills they can later utilize in the workplace. Skills such as working in groups, note-taking, presenting, writing, typing, listening, and obtaining new knowledge of different subject matter (while also being able to review prior material learned). The way the school measures whether the student “has learned” is by providing formative assessments (homework, asking and answering questions in class, poster board, presentations, etc…) and summative assessments (unit test, chapter test, benchmarks, end of course or end of grade exams).
A parent/guardian has the responsibility to ensure they are aware of what “The Teacher” is teaching and if their child appears to be learning the information or not. The sooner “learning or failing” is identified, the quicker the child’s lack of progress can be addressed. Don’t be like this parent:
It is also the parent/guardian’s responsibility to ensure the child is going to bed on time, and yes this applies to high school children as well because their is a direct link between academic performance and adequate sleep. Let’s be honest, this applies to adults as well.
The way to assess if your child needs to go to bed earlier is by asking the teacher if he or she sleeps in class. (Yes, it is ok for the parent to reach out to the teacher about their child, as a matter of fact, the teachers prefer it because when I was in the classroom, their were times when I had a total of 90 students to contend with, even though they were broken up into three classes.)
So, if the parent inquires if their child is sleeping in class and the answer is yes, then the child needs to go to sleep earlier and a bed time should be established for their own good.
It would also help your child if consistent disciplinary actions are utilized in the home. This is VERY important. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard students snicker and shrug their shoulders after they were told by a school official, “We are going to call your parents.”
If there is trouble establishing consistent consequences for negative behavior, all sorts of resources are available! Do not be ashamed to ask or look for them. I have access to some and would love to share. Just email me on my contact page or leave a comment below and maybe everyone can share what they do in their home that works.
In my dissertation, The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness and the Ill-Prepared Workforce: A Study of the Perceptions of Community College Administrators and Instructors; District High School Administrators, and Guidance Counselors, and CTE Department; and a Workforce Employer in North Carolina, every group named in my title, listed “parents and guardians” as the top influencer in their lives, and career or lack of career decisions made. This surprised me but explains why so many past students have become disengaged adults today. Parents, this proves just how much You and Your Presence, matters the most in your child’s life. And if you are not present, your child may experience some of the same behaviors that other abusive-type behaviors produce.
Students will usually reflect what have been projected on them. Think of a flower, if it is neglected and left to itself, it withers and eventually dies. If a child is neglected, which could included but is not limited too: lack of consistent discipline, rewarding negative behavior, leaving them alone for extended periods of time, not caring who they communicate with online or in person, allowing them over to homes in which you do not really know they parents lifestyle, not caring if they are failing, or not showing intentional “interest” in every aspect of their lives. They will produce an unruly OR uninterested student at school because no one from home will be making sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. This type of student will either be consistently disruptive or become invisible in their classrooms, never reaching their fullest potential. They will end up either dropping out, failing, repeating courses, hanging out with others like them and/or doing some type of virtual school/course in which they just complete a checklist of modules and are PASSED along without learning much, if anything at all. They could end up like the student below:
I know this is not what any parent would want for their child, and believe it or not, school personnel do not want to see it either but sometimes it just happens because the school can only do so much without the consistent support of the parent/guardian. So rise up parents, and take your rightful place as the super hero in your child’s life! FYI, Middle and High School students NEED you the most, so please do not slack off once your child reaches these grade levels. I cannot tell you how many high school and middle school students I have counseled from making life-altering decisions, even though some of them still chose to do the opposite because no one at home was monitoring them.
So parents I commend and support you, and am here if you need any resources whether it is for yourselves, a family member, friend or your students.
I recently spoke with a women who works in the North Carolina Attorney General’s office and she showed me all of the sneaky APPs available for any child with a smartphone and how deceptive they are. It was super scary. So the first thing I would do is educate yourselves on those, and consider giving your child a phone that does not allow these types of access to strangers. I will share a few TRUE/REAL life human trafficking stories on another blog if you need further convincing on why your teens and younger students should not have access to these APPs. Boys are not exempt either, they to have been victims. If you need me to send you more details about these APPs, email me.
Take an active role in your child’s life because even when they display an attitude, deep down they truly want your involvement and will develop resentment towards you when they don’t receive it.
Lastly, do not reward bad behavior EVER, period. This sets many students up to be lawless in school because they think they can do whatever they want without any consequences. This will usually lead to a life of imprisonment and self destruction. So never reward evil or bad behavior, with good. It just is not sustainable.
- Teachers, do not give up, the world needs you! If you are not getting the support you need, try transferring to another school or school district. They all can’t be bad. It would be worth it to be able to make a difference in a students’ life.
- Students, enjoy being a kid as long as you can and do not try to grow up so quickly. Watch out for bad influences! This could include but is not limited to: people, movies, music, books and games. You will reflect what and who you listen to.
- Parents, I hope this has been helpful, you truly have more influence and power than you realize, so make sure you are using your power for good.