Saturday, June 30, 2012

Unfair Science Fair


I wrote this post during the school year, but decided to wait until summer to add it to my blog.  So, here it is, and I hope you enjoy!

I recently posted a blog detailing how to deal with angry parents (find it here if you missed it).  And wouldn’t you know it, I had to deal with a very upset mommy the next day.  (Isn’t it funny how that works sometimes?)

The kids are in the middle of completing their Science Fair projects.  This is the first year they are doing these, so I’ve broken down the project into 4 chunks.  That way the students can get their work checked by me as they’re completing the project, and I can make any corrections along the way if needed.

Well one of my students (let’s call her Jane) was completely unclear about her experiment and left out a lot of detail and I was confused about what her whole experiment was trying to prove.  Another area she missed points on was the section requiring the students to keep a journal of their experiment.  Jane only completed 3 out of the 5 entries required.

So I get this angry email from a mommy telling me that Jane’s father was furious with her, the school, and myself for giving her a bad grade.  She proceeded to tell me that they spent $85 on plants and supplies for the experiment, and it was all for nothing since she got a bad grade (really?  $85 on plants?  What did they buy, palm trees?).  So it was the parents’ understanding that I didn’t give Jane a good grade because they didn’t spend enough money on the Science Fair project.

Really?  I mean come on.  Really?  If that were the case then I would’ve required the parents turn in receipts.  Come on now.

It always amazes me when people expect the worst of me as their child’s teacher.  Like I’m teaching because I enjoy the huge paycheck (I have mentioned before how much I love shopping at the DOLLAR store, right?).

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3 comments:

  1. It's crazy, I know. The documentation we have to keep to "prove" grades is unreasonable. . .since when did we have to become so defensive of our jobs and our education? Would you *ever* think to question your medical professional on a diagnosis?

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  2. I know... you should see what this woman posted on my main blog site page - she basically ripped me a new one and told me how horrible of a teacher I am.

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  3. I always have the same issue. The head of our department in a previous school actually decided to get rid of Science Fair just so she didn't have to deal with the headache from the parents. Now I am the head of the department and I keep such unbelievable paper work for everything. Science Fair is still the headache because we have outside judges at the event and parents will always tell me that the judges don't know enough to be judges. It is unbelievable!
    If we have in house judges then it isn't fair. There is no winning. I still don't think I would would get away from Science Fair though, the kids learn so much!

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