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Is Schoolloop's Grade Dashboard stressing kids and teachers out?

I would like to hear other's thoughts on this topic.

HMBHS is now using Schoolloop's Grade Dashboard to show an up to date grade for your kid's classes. It's great in theory but the reality is that the teachers hardly have time to keep it updated. What happens then is that parents see a bad grade, punish or put kids on restriction, hire tutors (at $50/hour) and generally worry. Then a bewildered teen stresses about a grade that's posted that could very well be updated but not posted.

It puts pressure on our teachers to provide "up to the minute" grades. Yes, it's easy to email a teacher to find out where your child is exactly but those hours between when you send the email and when they respond can keep a household up at night. Maybe it would be better to just take the dashboard off and go back to basic one on one communication between students, teachers and schools?

Anyone with experiences or opinions?


Comments

One on one communication, when a kid is struggling, isn't black and white. That's usually when a kid least wants to talk about "what's going on". I think you'll find response from the teachers to be mixed. Some are very attentive and responsive to parents; some will ignore you. AT least something is being posted. I'd like to see it in action. Try finding out two weeks before the end of a quarter that your previous honor student was failing a class and that nothing could be done about it, mid quarter the kid and the parent told it was a C-, and no progress warning in between. All I can advise is to try and talk to your kid in a caring fashion, and keep on the teacher for an update, if something looks troubling to you.


This would be a good tool if used properly. It's kind of like the "GRF" that the math and science teachers use at Cunha.

My daughter has an English teacher at Cunha that has not returned papers to the class the entire year! No one ever knows where they stand. Yes, we have all complained about it to the school but it's still going on.


My opinion is that it's just not that hard to enter a student's grades. Perhaps there can be a 1 week lag so there's a buffer, but it's essential to have insight into how our children are doing so we can inquire, understand, observe, and do that thing... I think it's called "PARENTING".

As far as being a burden to the teachers, let's ask some to chime in. How hard can it be to update the grades with whatever projects a teacher may have graded already? I believe that they are already recording grades in an electronic system anyway.

The value of this information as a parent is HUGE. The more we know the better we can coach and guide our children through the paces of school.

Look at the alternative... what if 150 parents emailed the teacher asking for a grade update each week? Makes schooloop seem pretty efficient in that perspective.

It's one piece of the puzzle that we have to look at. I would bet $1,000 that there are two camps among the teachers... those that embrace it and those that won't take on anything new. The teachers that embrace it, I'm sure, are the go getters and the ones that I want my children to learn from. Our kids get enough examples of doing the minimum every day from elsewhere in their lives and they don't need more.

I enthusiastically endorse Schooloop as a tool and would definitely appreciate having accurate grade information available about my children.


Cunha Parent... which teacher? You know... some times a little public pressure can go a LONG way. I'd sure like to know.


Obviously none of you are teachers, or know any of them personally. If you did, you would see that most are overworked and underpaid. Parents have the opinion that teachers deserve little respect for what they do, and that rubs off on their children who then bring that idea with them to class. As a teacher, I found it very difficult and frustrating to do my job. I had students that didn't want to learn, and parents who avoided parenting and would blame a student's bad grades on the teacher.

The last thing most teachers need is more work.


I won't publicly name a teacher. It's pretty well known. Also received one of those form letters from the district that my child's English teacher is not qualified to teach the subjet. Love it.

The school is well aware of it. If you want to know which teacher is not qualified to teach a subject you can call the district or the principal (this applies to math and english).


My sons over the hill middle school has an entire class of kids studying geometry in the 8th grade !!! Cunha has 3 kids!!! THE CUNHA MATH PROGRAM SUCKS!!!


Math counts:

What gives you the authority to make such a childish claim? The local schools must be able to support ALL students, not just the ones whose parents can afford to pay thousands of dollars a year for education. A student's success starts with parenting. Many students have bad role models, therefore they have bad habits. Don't take it all out on the school, the responsibility lies with others as well.


As a teacher outside of the district, I see both sides of this argument. I definitely see the benefits of using a program like Schoolloop and having grades available online. Yes, it keeps the parents in the loop, but most importantly, it gives the student an idea of where he or she stands. Then it is up to the student to take the responsiblity and fix any problems that occur. However, how the parents deal with the "bad" grade is up to the parents.

As far as updating the grades- please know that there are a number of factors that go into why we do not have them right after the students turn assignments in. We do not just work from 8am to 3pm. We have to plan lessons, advise students and clubs, coach, create worksheets, and juggle our personal lives. This profession does not end at the final bell. Grading takes time- especially if you're grading essays, projects, or tests. Not to mention, absenteeism also delays the process. I know that I like to get assignments back to my students within a week, depending on the assignment. Again, this is up to each individual teacher and how he or she conducts his or her class. And yes, there are teachers who embrace programs like Schoolloop (and technology in general) and those who don't. I would say keep in contact with those teachers by phone, and most importantly stay in contact with your student!! They are the one's doing, or not doing the work.


For the record my child is in public school and he is one of advanced math students.


Math counts:

Then be proud of your child for being gifted in math, don't criticize teachers not for having gifted students. As teachers, they can't control the hand they are dealt, only what they do with it given the resources they have.


Math Counts, your child is probably not in a school or school district with as many English Language Learners or children of migrant workers.

Teachers, I'm sorry. I've been involved with the school system through 3 kids, all of whom now have bachelors and advanced degrees. Some work longer hours, but many, many fly out of the parking lot as soon as their stipulated contract hours are over. And you work 9-1/2 momths. There's no excuse for the teachers that don't give back work, or progress grades, either in the classroom or online. If college professors can post grades on line, so can you. They may not teach as many classes per day, but their number of students is much higher. It's high time juior and high school teachers join the 21st century of technology.


I am disappointed how off track this discussion has become. I believe we should treat our teachers with the utmost respect and I am not bashing anyone for not keeping records updated on schoolloop. This was a discussion regarding whether or not this system makes sense when there might be grades posted that are not updated. Is it or is it not a useful tool or is it making our kids, parents and teachers stressed by having to use this technology and relying on it too much.


OK, reread...it's not that off track. Very interesting feedback though. I thank you all for taking the time to give me your opinion.


In the 5th grade my son was constantly getting in trouble for "goofing-off", my suggestion to the teacher was "why don't you challenge him more?" her responce "my job is to teach to the state minimum standard". Stil wondering why I'm frustrated?


Freshman Mom,

The teachers that are wonderful, many have become friends. Those that are less than wonderful, well, 'nuff said. I don't mean to be dissing them. I have a daughter in law that is a teacher.

The grades technology is what your kids will experience in college. There's always reason to call and ask if its current or not. Its our right to question any teacher, respectfully. Your kid will also need to learn to do this for him/herself in college too.


Math counts:

Your reply to the teacher who said your kid was "goofing off" is typical of today's problems with students. Your immediate comeback was to attack the teacher, not question your child. Your kid will have to take responsibility for his actions at some point. The idea that he can never be wrong isn't what you should be teaching.

My question to you is this: Why teach more than the state minimum? Teachers don't get paid extra to work extra. I guarantee you don't work for free, why should they? There is no incentive, therefore there is very little motivation to do more than the minimum.


Dear Freshman Parent:

You asked for experiences and opinions...so, although not many people will agree with me, here are mine...

I was lucky enough to have a very wise woman in my life who gave me the following advice when my child was in elementary school: The more you take on your child's homework as your job, the more it becomes your job. So I completely backed off and let the homework issue be between my child and the teacher; in other words, homework is the child's job, not the parent's.

It was very difficult to stand back and allow my child to have some failures in life; however this very wise woman also impressed upon me the importance of allowing my child to have failures, the importance of resisting the urge to jump in and rescue him/her and the importance of letting my child learn from his/her failures. It's important children experience failure and learn from it while they are still living at home and have us parents for support (as opposed to the "wonder kids" who get to college or out on their own and aren't making the grade -- which can have much more serious consequences).

If your child is a freshman, I realize it would be difficult to do an about face and step completely away from overseeing homework, grades, etc. However, freshman year is a transition year and a great time to start taking some steps to allow your child more independence and control -- and a great time for mistakes, failure, and learning experiences! I believe there are some steps you can take...you might start with a discussion with your child about how much he/she wants you involved and how much responsibility he/she is willing to assume (you might be surprised!). Additionally, I'd suggest the two of you decide just how often you, the parent, will be checking grades on school loop; perhaps you'll want to limit it to once a month. If you are not checking constantly, then one missing grade shouldn't make that much difference in the overall grade - and, hopefully, this would elminate some stress in our life. (and, as the HS teacher above stated, it is up the student to take responsibility and fix the problem.)

I bet you if you and your child sit down and really listen to each other, you can come up with some other ideas.

I'm sure I'll be flamed for shirking my parental responsibilities so let me alleviate those concerens - my child is an honor roll student and I am very involved in his/her life but I'm not a helicopter parent. I also realize there are some children who absolutely need more supervision and assistance...but at some point they must learn to work independently so easing into that freshman year may be easier in the long run. So, unless you're prepared to help with the calculus homework (which I'm not!), my suggestion is to start now.


Dear Been There:

Let's not forget college professors have TA's (teaching assistants who are normally graduate sutdents)...and I'll bet the TA's, not the professors, are the ones posting the grades.


Greetings All:

I am a teacher at one of our local coastside public schools and I have a child attending HMB High. I humbly admit, I have never looked at the "grade dashboard". I didn't realize it was available. However, according to her latest transcript, my child is in the top sixth of her class. Therefore, I guess I don't need to check her grades every week and I trust her teachers are doing a reasonable job. She also knows her mother works long hours and that she needs to be self-reliant with regard to her school responsibilities. And she knows I will not micromanage her.

That said, the typical high school teacher sees up to 150 students per day (if they teach 5 periods) and most do not have assistants. Paper management and record keeping for that many students requires a great deal of time and by necessity must be streamlined. It impresses me that anyone could keep up not just on checking and grading papers, but also inputting updated grades into a computer system on a weekly basis. This is in addition to planning instruction, meeting with students individually, attending meetings, extracurricular responsibilities, and hopefully having (maybe enjoying) a personal life.

I agree with HMBHS Parent, high school kids must develop self-responsibility and must learn to weather disappointment and maybe even an occasional failure. Having access to their grades on an ongoing basis should be helpful toward that end. But, most kids probably have a general idea of their standing if they have been conscientious about attending classes and completing assignments (or not) and the online grades should supply mostly confirmation of their efforts, not surprises.

I must take issue with the later comments of "Been There". In my experience, few teachers "fly out of the parking lot" with the dismissal bell. And we are laid off in the summers. Our contracts are for 10 months, and that is what we are paid for. Many of us teach summer school or take on a second job in the summertime. However, I do agree with you that important assignments should be returned to students in a timely manner, but am not suprised that some teachers struggle to keep up. It is very easy to become overwhelmed, especially when one is new to the profession.

Respectfully,


Elementary teacher,

I may know who you are, and so many of the elementary teachers are wonderful. They also aren't the problems referred to above. It is particularly at the high school that I see teachers reluctant to attend post 3 pm staff meetings and taking off out of the parking lot. I've sat in on meetings and heard it said many times, "my contracts only calls for....." It is all too common that middle and high school teachers aren't handing back work to the students, very common in fact. More of the better teachers are using computers and at least excel or access to monitor grades, this is not a quantum leap. I continue to have teachers at the community college level, they don't have TA's and they keep students posted. The world has changed, the local schools need to move with it.

was a teacher, I cannot be respectful about your comment about only teaching to the state minimum because you aren't paid to work extra. I'm glad you're not in a teaching position anymore. You don't sound like a teacher. That's someone trying to ask for the best of their students, or trying to interest and excite them in learning. You sound like someone going through the ropes. In private industry, those are the people who get laid off, the minimal contributors.


Been there:

You have got to be kidding me. You are going to criticize teaching the state standard? The problem with trying to be that great teacher that you think all teachers should be is that is costs money to do extra things. Money that, as we all know, the state, especially the CUSD, does not have. What do you suggest? Should teachers spend their OWN money from their already laughable salaries in order to go the extra mile? I never did, and you know what, my students never suffered. They got the education that public schools can afford.

I now ask you, would you work overtime for free? You would have to be a fool to say yes. Let me fill you in on something, teachers do it every week when they grade papers, plan lessons, and go to meetings.


Said earlier in this Blog: My daughter has an English teacher at Cunha that has not returned papers to the class the entire year! No one ever knows where they stand. Yes, we have all complained about it to the school but it's still going on.

My son had the same problem 13 years ago, and it had been going on about ten years prior.

The Principal will act like it is the first time he has heard the complaint; they keep it private and know you will be gone in a few years, they can out last you.

I use to work for change in the public school system. Now I know better, and advocate private schools and the total overhaul of the public school system.

Ben Franklin worked for public schools, but he never envisioned working for the lowest common denominator, or unions keeping incompetence in place.

Tomorrow I will be giving a scholarship over the hill to some bright kids; it kills me that HMB is typically out of the list.

It is out of the list because CSUD does not fear your leaving. They know the hardship of getting your child to a better school is too much for most. Belmont can take their kids to San Carlos and Visa versa, so competition keeps them on their toes. But CUSD doesn’t worry about competition, but rather about state dollars for illegal aliens.

The illegal alien parents have the same problems we do; if CUSD worried about competition rather than state dollars, their kids would rise on the same wave.

My organization gives many types of school funding, but most of our members are so feed up with the public school system (concentrating on social programming instead of basic learning) that membership prefers to help other learning institutions; where the bureaucracy steps out of the way, to let the income help the students instead of some current fad program, which will be replaced in three years cause it did not work.


was a teacher, at one time:

"I now ask you, would you work overtime for free? You would have to be a fool to say yes."

PROFESSIONALS do it all the time! We don't punch a clock.

You are the Poster Child for what is wrong with our schools!


Real professionals are paid a real salary that allows them to earn a real living. Money motivates, and if you are paid like a waiter, how do expect to attract or retain quality personnel? There are many problems with public schools, and adequate resources are the first thing that needs to be addressed. Public schools not too long ago used to provide kids with a well-rounded education. I feel sorry for the kids who excel in areas that are no longer even taught, like art, music and science.

Hopefully in the next few years we will scrap NCLB, a bill designed to force public schools into failure, and get back to motivating our kids into wanting to learn rather than alienating them from learning with tests that do nothing but destroy the love of learning.


El Granada Elementary school has become a pressure cooker for children, teachers, and parents thanks to ECRW, NCLB and Prop 13. The pressure to succeed on all these tests has ruined teachers and a whole generation of children. Kindergarten students are expected to read and write at, what a few years ago, was the end of the year for first grade!

As a society, we will pay heavily for stealing the childhoods of our children, for not fostering art and music, for drilling them so hard that No Child Becomes a Reader or Writer.


Real Professional:

As someone mentioned earlier, you give better salaries and better resources to these teachers and schools, you will get better results. I appreciate you taking my comment out of context. It has more significance when I mentioned teachers spending their own money because there are no resources given to them. Go back and reread, it makes sense.

Until you have tried to make a living on a teacher's joke of a salary, don't criticize for not being motivated and not willing to go the extra mile.


WAs a teacher,

I agree with Real Professional, completely. I work extra and overtime all the time, for free. I'm self employed. Somedays, all my work is for free, in slow years or slow months. YOu'll get zero sympathy from me too. You draw a regular paycheck. Many months of the year I do not. Do I do minimum work when times are tough ? No, I work harder and I perservere. You couldn't handle my hours, and I wouldn't survive in this economy year in and year out, if I didn't go the extra mile. My daughter in law is a school teacher, and she does special ed with critically ill children. Think she teaches just to the minimum ? And my own daughter is in her early 20's, works a lab job with a teaching hospital and makes less money than she would as a starting teacher. I know because we looked into it. She never leaves work on time, and knowing her, she never does a "minimum job". Plenty of people are willing to line up for her job, paying less than a rookie teacher's salary.

It is teachers like you who will never inspire or make a difference in a kid's life. Yet my husband, who coached kids for 15 years for zero pay, has had a positive impact on dozens of kids, by his attitude and examples. I could name quite a few volunteer coaches like him on the coast. AGain, no pay, and I don't hear them complaining.


Been there:

I feel that you, as well as real professional, are missing my point. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. You are self-employed. That is nowhere close to being comparable to teaching, so don't even start. Standards are high in the schools on what must be done in a classroom. Even a teacher that does the minimum is still doing quite a bit. Whether they like it or not, every teacher will have to work more than the contractual hours. It is impossible to get anything done if you don't. My argument is that there is no motivation to do anything EXTRA. If you read my previous postings, you will see that I mention lack of a good salary, which would keep many teachers in the field, and possibly in the CUSD; a lack of good resources, which would allow teachers to do that EXTRA that so many of you complain about teachers not giving.

Teaching is a thankless job in so many ways that I have encouraged other not to go into the field due to that thanklessness. First, the state slaps teachers with a salary that can't cover the costs of the education it took to become a teacher. Second, many students don't want to learn and fight every step of the way to avoid it. Third, then there are parents who have the audacity to criticize teacher for not doing anything extra or class not being fun, as I heard numerous times.

I could have ignored the fact that I was paid terribly for what I did as long as I felt I was making a difference doing what I wanted to do. But possibly the biggest reason why I left is because of the lack of respect shown to teachers at the high school level. And not just to me, but most, if not all, of them. Many parents haven't taught their kids to be respectful of teachers because the parents don't respect the teachers. Having a student call me names because I asked him to put away his cell phone or ipod is intolerable. Even more intolerable is when that parent blamed me for their student's in-class blow-up.

Go ahead and argue with me all you want, but until you have actually been a teacher, what you say really has no meaning. I wouldn't tell a chef how to cook, or a baseball player how to hit. Don't tell teachers how to teach.


Was a teacher makes so many good points. Teaching has got to be one of the hardest professions around...especially in this day and age.

I'm always amazed we are able to retain the many good teachers we have here on the coastside, particularly with the lower pay scales. I'm not sure of the numbers now, but about six to eight years ago a number of teachers left to earn at least $10,000 more per year teaching over the hill.


Was a teacher, I can easily walk a mile in your shoes because my daughter in law is not the only teacher in the family. My brother in law was a teacher and raised 6 kids on that salary. When his youngest wanted to become a teacher, and married another young teacher, we were glad. They teach in inner City LA schools, so I think they deal with issues more difficult than getting a kid to put away their iPod. I have another stepson who wants to teach in a few years. We don't discourage that either. I don't think you can walk in my shoes however. You think your job is tougher. Sorry, your job is tough, but so is mine and so are other peoples' professions. We con't complain about lack of respect, the salary, etc. You got a regular salary. You may have not liked it, but you got one whether you taught well, or just to the state standards.

I want to make it clear that CUSD is full of many, many wonderful teachers willing to do far more than just teach to the state standards. They give of themselves. Because of it, we have three kids who had teachers who inspired, encouraged and mentored them, PAST high school, after they were in college. Because of some dedicated people with a true talent for teaching, our kids were inspired to get degrees in science, math and english lit, to take far more than the minimum required of them in science and spanish. Two of the kids have advanced degrees, and the third a matter of time before entering a teaching cred. program. All because of some high school teachers - teachers who did more than just the minimum. I salute every one of these people - they made a difference in my kids, and they know it. Some of them are still teaching too.


Been there:

I didn't ask if you knew any teachers. I am sure most can say that they do. I asked about YOU. And to make it clear, I am not criticizing anybody else's job and how difficult it may be. The topic had to do with teachers, I can relate to the topic, so I put in what I had to say. This has nothing to do with your job being any better/worse than teaching. You are the one pointing out such things. Also, the biggest problem with the salary is that it is nowhere near the cost of living on the coastside.

If you want to talk about the profession of teaching and schools, let's talk. But I can't really say too much about other professions because of: 1. I don't know about them, and 2. This TalkAbout is about teachers and teaching. Let's keep it that way.


While this is a worthwhile thread, it certainly is riddled with whining.

I personally love the thoughts about it not being possible for teachers to do new things because they're already too busy.

Someone put it well in referencing the lack of incentives.Incentives would work great. Of course, then there'd be an uproar over evaluating teachers based on some set of performance exectations... LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD'S PROFESSIONALS USE.

I want the grades to be posted. If your kid is charging ahead at the top you will have little need for this. If you're satisfied with mediocrity, you too will have little need for it. However, if you're an engaged parent that is working hard to raise his/her children then you/we clearly need this insight.

Was a Teacher... I find your comments the most compelling of all becaus of the underpinning view that it's the parents or the system or someone else who should push things to a higher level. The best teachers wouldn't say that. You pose, "Why teach more than the state minimum?" The answer is that if you're a professional, you strive to do your best and create the best product in your students. If you view yourself as an hourly worker, then of course, you will put in your time and call it a day. Even with that, the best hourly workers have more pride than you suggest by your questions. I give teachers more credit than that. I'm sure you're a good person, but I'm happy that you're a 'former' teacher.


Bang:

I never said that I never put forth my best effort. I always tried to get the most and the best out of my students. I simply didn't try to add all the bells and whistles that many parents think are necessary to learn. Here's news, they are not necessary. People 50 years ago learned with just a book. It worked fine then, and it still does now.

At the beginning of my career, I tried all those extra things that many of you criticize teachers for not doing. What ended up happening is I hard to work significantly harder for very little payback. What I mean is that I had to put more time and effort into something and the students didn't really get any more out of it than if I would have done simply what was required.

Lastly, I am happy that I am no longer a teacher as well. Now I get paid more for the work I do, I don't have to deal with the spoiled children that are making their way through the school system, and, most importantly, I don't have to deal with parents who are too busy concerning themselves with what I am doing than being good parents. I am not saying all students are spoiled or that all the parents are bad. But in HMB, the ratio was pretty hard to deal with.


As a teacher I have learned: Most students lie. Most parents lie. And everyone only cares about themselves.

I try to teach reading, writing, match, etc. etc. AND how to "be nice" to others, be respectful, be less selfish and have more empathy, how to tell the truth, again, etc. etc.

I spend more time with my student than their parents do. I make a crap salary at a private school, where, because it is private the parents are under the moronic assumption that it is "better." All private schools follow the state standards, all private schools generally use state approved or NCLB compliant programs.

I have come to believe that most kids are average, some very few are super smart, and some have "learning issues," yet most parents believe "their" child is special and a genius or some such nonsense. Most problems are because of the way the student is raised by the parent or family. Parents stop blaming your teacher and take some responsibility for your child!

I believe many of you will come to realize that you have normal average students when they get to high school and start doing the typical things high school kids do: drink, , party, care more about friends than school or family, and act like any other typical American teenagers.

I don’t agree with this but it will happen to your kid whether you like it or not. You have NO IDEA how many kids at the high school have been through programs such as diversion or one that meets at the community center.


I've seen less than desireable grades on school loop but when the grade does not seem to change (is not updated) inspite of my teens pleas that the bade grade is not current, I merely have my teen take a pink progress report form to the teacher and ask that the teacher provide an up to date approx. grade. You can find the pink forms across from the attendance office. It works great if there is an event, which one might require a c or above for their child to attend. Progress reports are not always in sync with extra curricular activities. Some of the teachers keep the grade on school loop up to date, some don't. they are busy. another option is to shoot an email to the teacher. Most, if not all teachers sre happy to ablige a parent who wants to to know the status of their kid's grades.


Having one child that graduated from a private high school and another one about to graduate I am so glad we made that choice. It was my oldest son who asked to attend a private high school, he had attended K-8 here on the coast. When I asked him why he said he was tired of some students not completing work, failing classes but passed on to the next grade year after year, pretty wise for a twelve year old. As my second child is about to graduate he has received scholarships that will equal or surpass the amount of tuition we spent over four years. The graduating class at this school receive about one million dollars in scholarships every year. It is a lot of hard work for the administrators, teachers, students and parents.


I had children go through CUSD, all got into good 4 year universities and all have graduated with honors. CUSD prepared them well. It's the real world...some lazy goof off students, some mediocre teachers...but in CUSD they had a high ratio of excellent teachers. It was before Schoolloop which would have been a great resource...and preparation for the way universities communicate information.

A basic component of a teacher's job is to evaluate (grade) the students' mastery of the material. If teachers keep up on grades the students benefit from knowing what they know and don't know. Tests should serve to inform the teacher and the student about the level of teaching and learning. Posting grades on Schoolloop isn't an extra task..it's a necessary component of teaching. Schoolloop integrates the posting of assignments with the gradebook....some time saved balances with some time spent.

I think teachers have a really demanding job, too many students, (write the governor), not enough teaching resources (tell the governor that taxes are a necessary part to balance a budget). There's an attack on public education. Don't buy into the attack. Support democracy and a well-educated public by advocating for public education both philosophically and economically.


Thank the Review very much. They printed "some" of my initial post. They only printed the parts they wanted to stir the pot, not have a meaningful discussion. They didn't print the question at the top and they turned my question mark at the end into a period to make a statement rather than a question. This really ticks me off. This makes the whole post anti-Schoolloop and combative. This is the LAST time I will contribute to your paper.


Hey Freshman Mom,

I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. I have never -- ever -- edited any Talkabout posts for content. They are either allowed or disallowed, but I never edit them down for any reason. (Actually, I may have turned an all-cap headline into an up and down style headline somewhere back in the past. But I'm confident I didn't change the original post here.) Perhaps you mistyped. Another possibility is that we have an offsite technician working out a bug that is putting nonsensical characters in place of some punctuation. Perhaps he did something that changed punctuation in your post, though no on else has made a similar complaint.

In any event, I would be happy to talk to you about it if you want to call me at the paper or email me at clay@hmbreview.com


Hey all, I spoke with Freshman Parent and she is unhappy with the way the post was edited to fit in the newspaper. She is not suggesting that I edited the Talkabout post you see online. I did in fact take out the sentence "I would like to hear other's thoughts on this topic" for purposes of fitting the post in the hardcopy newspaper. And I changed the headline for the paper to "Should we get out of School loop?"

I didn't mean to change her meaning and if I did I'm sorry.


I would just like to let some of you know exactly how long it takes to grade and stay on top of things.

Yes, some things are quick and easy - no problem! BUT... an essay takes about 15-20 minutes to grade and provide feedback. With about 150 students, that's about 38-40 hours to grade ONE ROUND OF ESSAYS. That's not including making handouts, tests, worksheets, planning for all classes, etc...

Teachers are underpaid. Please stop insulting us with tales of bad teachers, past or present.


As a middle school English teacher, I tend to keep my grades posted regularly. We will be getting School Loop for the first time this upcoming school year. I think its a wonderful idea to be able to communicate with parents that are concerned. Those parents that are concerned email me and I am really good about responding to email rather than by phone because its so much quicker. I would have to wait until the end of the day to make a return call. I am really excited about school loop. But on the other side, there will be more than a handful of parents that are not in the loop because they still do not own a computer or choose not to be involved at all.

The posts have been great to read and relate to. As said before, quizzes, homework, etc are easy to grade and posts, but essays and projects are another story. I do not take any work home; I try to pace them out over my conference period or after school. But there are teachers who take box loads of assignments home or who come in over the weekend. We don't get paid for that. For me, I like to read an essay 2-3 times before I actually grade it. I am one of those teachers that love to give comments and feedback. But after a 24hr time period, I only get about less than a handful done.

Teaching is a difficult job in itself. The pay is okay but could be better. The reason why most of us teach is because we want to inspire life long learning. If we had the support from government (money), then maybe we can go that extra mile. When we cant supply the students with colored pencils, scissors and construction paper, how can we expect them to succeed past the minimum? If the classroom is disrupted by an attention seeking student regularly, how can we expect them to learn? If the administration doesn't hand down stern punishment for repeat offenders, how can we respect those above?

As a middle school teacher my only wish is that parents stay involved with their children: go to open house, meet the teachers, go to the games, call or email the teachers, be on the PTA. It means a lot to the student and teacher when you can call their parents by first name or know who they are from across the room or see them at the shopping market. Educating a child is a community effort.


+Math no authorities needed to do anything, idiot


+was a teacher, at one time, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on February 29, 2008 at 2:18 pm

no authorities needed to do anything, idiot


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