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Holidays in Term time revisited!

(25 Posts)
hmb Mon 23-Feb-04 17:25:55

Well, sorry to bring this one back from the dead, but I want some advice.

As I posted on the last tread on this topic one of my year 11 kids took 3 weeks off school to go on holiday with her family. She wanted work before she went, so I spent a fair amount of time finding and copying the work that she would be missing.

She has returned from the holiday and has done?

You guessed it, None of the work. No that isn't quite fair. She has stuck the work sheets in her book, but done *no* work on it at all.

So I gave up my free time to prepare work for her and she (and her family) can't be bothered to work with it.

The question is this. Since she, and her parents, obviously don't care about her GCSEs (and she has a modular exam nect week), should I spend more of my free time forcing this child to work? Or should I let her do her own thing, ie nothing?

An honest question as I am at the end of my tether with this kid

dinosaur Mon 23-Feb-04 17:28:46

Can you get her and her parents in for one serious "talking-to", telling her and them in no uncertain terms that unless she pulls her finger out, she'll fail? And then after that leave it up to her and her parents?

mears Mon 23-Feb-04 17:29:18

hmb - as a parent I do not expect the teacher to prepare work for my children when on holiday. The policy at my children's school is that it is up to the child to catch up on work missed and it is up to then to do that.
I can appreciate how annoyed you must feel. The parents have the responsibility here - you have done more than enough IMO. I would devote no more of your time to her.

hmb Mon 23-Feb-04 17:36:38

It is the policy in my school too Mears

If I spend the time with her , it is *my* time. On the other hand, can I hang her out to dry without feeling guilty?

Parents don't attend, sadly. She missed module exams last year when they took her out of school for 3 weeks. Basically, they don't give a damn

sammac Mon 23-Feb-04 17:59:42

hmb- twins in my class have been on holiday since November 19th!! Finally their dad came into school and told us that they won't be back till March sometime as they can't get flights. They're not going to school, not speaking English and already are a year behind where they should be. Nothing can be done because it is seen as part of their culture to spend time with their family in Pakistan. I am now dreading their return as it will take such a huge amount of my time, obviously education comes way down their priorities. ps age9

hmb Mon 23-Feb-04 18:02:26

Oh no! That is *awful*! Make my 3 weeks look like nothing

It is just so galling, and I know that the kid will blame eveyone except herslf when she does badly in her GCSEs

Hulababy Mon 23-Feb-04 18:03:05

hmb; nightmare sitution where you are in a no win position. If you tried to make her catch up, would she? Do you have the time?

I think you need to send a letter home (maybe via head of year) stating her sitaution and the fact that the work not being done has made this worse. If you have the time (ha ) then offer certain catch up session(s) where you will be available for her to come and see/work with you. Maybe ask for a reply slip whwere the parents say they understand the letter and if their child does not chose to catch up they know the consequence.

Not sure if it'd help but at least they would know their position and can't blame you formally later on.

LadyCodworth Mon 23-Feb-04 18:49:12

no nothing.

she wont thank you. how long have you beeen teaching for hm?

coppertop Mon 23-Feb-04 18:49:44

I think that as a teacher all you can do is give her the opportunities to learn/catch up etc. If neither she or her parents are willing to do their bit then then there doesn't seem to be much you can do. Maybe some bad GCSE results will give her the kick up the backside that she needs and she will want to do re-sits at a later date. In your situation you can only really help those who are at least willing to help themselves. What a waste.

JJ Mon 23-Feb-04 18:56:48

I'm not a teacher but...
(not a very good start, but here goes)

I'd do kind of what HB suggests. Say the work is due by x date at the latest and that you will evaluate it at that point and assign more work as seems necessary to catch her up. Mention that you are very concerned about her modular exam and don't think she will do well without doing the work. And send it by registered mail (or some other way where you know the parents see it) and cc it to the Head (on the note as well, so the parents know she saw it).

You seem like a great teacher. (I'm taking my 6 yo out for a week in March. )

Blu Mon 23-Feb-04 19:02:11

Sammac: so parents can be prosecuted if their children spend time hanging round the precinct, but not if their children are hanging round outside the country? I understand that some understanding is required where relatives may be a long way away, but when push comes to shove, isn't the education of children protected by law?

sammac Mon 23-Feb-04 19:11:02

You'd think so Blu, the parents have other children in the school, but never even bothered coming to tell us until they got a letter sent. Can't get a flight my ****. 'scuse language, but when I think about the amount of work for everyone concerned....The mum said but 'they want to go, they've never been'
Here's my list of where I'd like to go and never been, and I'm slightly older than 9. ...anywhere with a tropical beach.
We've been whispered that they're are getting sorted out for arranged marriages, but I don't know if that's true or not. Makes a shiver run down my spine at the thought.

Blu Mon 23-Feb-04 19:16:56

sammac: as I assume these children are British Citizens, could you not call social services? I saw a thing in the paper over the w/e saying that margaret Hodge etc are now taking this seriously.

tigermoth Mon 23-Feb-04 19:28:41

not being a teacher either, I think hulababy's advice is great - get it all down in writing, state that 'xyz' is needed for this girl to pass her exams. And include a reply slip. As jj says, send it registered delivery so you can be sure it gets to the right home and copy the head in all correspondence if you think this will help. And if you feel charitable, and really want to dot the i's and cross the t's, put in writing the times you are available for catch up sessions, so no one can blame you for not offering. The latter does go beyond the call of duty at this stage, IMO, but at least it gives the parents and girl no get out clause (teacher didn't offer to help me!) if things go wrong.

I can well understand your frustration. All those hours of your time wasted, not to mention the girl not realising her potential.

I remember people I was at school with who did very badly in exams, didn't work at them, but then changed track, got their their heads down and passed the exams they needed to pass a few years later. Youy just have to hope this girl will do the same.

Sammac, I just don't know what you do in a stiuation like yours. It must mean so much more work for you when these twins return.

sammac Mon 23-Feb-04 19:45:43

I know, I feel as if I'm banging my head against a wall with this. I'll look into what to be done further. Or just stop caring!!

suedonim Mon 23-Feb-04 20:55:18

I think something along the lines of Hulababy's suggestion is good. By making yourself available (but not too available!) you are doing as much as can be reasonably expected and they need to put in a bit of effort as well.

I'm disappointed that any younster should be throwing away their life like that, really sad.

hmb Mon 23-Feb-04 21:23:44

Lady Codders, I haven't been teaching that long, which is why I'm still beating myself up about this. I keep repeating the manta, I can teach, but they want to have to learn.

Tempted by theletter idea. I'll run it past the HOD tomorrow.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

Clarinet60 Mon 23-Feb-04 22:24:20

You can lead a horse to water, hmb.........

I think you've done your best already. What kind of girl is she? Academic or not?

hmb Tue 24-Feb-04 06:30:49

Not, predicted two Fs at GCSE, and a pain in the a*** to boot. She is capable of Cs but does no work, and misses a lot of school. I know that I shouldn't beat myself up.....

Luckymum Tue 24-Feb-04 09:23:13

hmb...I think you have tried your best here (and more)and would go with hulababy's suggestions and then put it out of your mind. She sounds like a lost cause and if the parents don't care either even your most sterling efforts won't turn it around. There are loads of kids who want to work and who would be eternally grateful for the extra help.

Clarinet60 Tue 24-Feb-04 10:26:30

I agree. It doesn't sound as if she's interested at this stage of her life, and may never be. Have you tried discussing careers with her? Sometimes it's hard for them to see where education is leading. It would be interesting to see what she wants to do when she leaves, then point out to her which parts of that ambition tally with the work she is doing now (or lack of it). I think you'll feel satisfied if you've pointed these things out, then leave it at that. (You probably already have, in which case, forget it - you've done your bit).

Clarinet60 Tue 24-Feb-04 10:36:47

This brings back memories, as the majority of my peer group at secondary school were like this girl. The 'halfway bright' ones (you say she can get a C if she tries) always end up more frustrated in the long run. It's interesting to look at them today - you can see it in their faces that they know what they could have been capable of and they sit in some dead end job year after year. Some of them admit that they frittered it all away, some, inexplicably, blame their teachers for not pushing them enough, some are bitter and blame the 'establishment' and the 'haves'..... interesting stuff. Some get down to business and take their exams later, in their twenties, but I think there is a particular type that doesn't seem to be able to go back to it. I wonder which type your girl will turn out to be, hmb.

Empress Thu 26-Feb-04 20:02:00

I'm so naive! I came into this thinking it would be about people taking kids out of school for odd days/a week in june, say. What an eyeopener! I don't feel nearly so guilty now for harbouring thoughts of taking my 6y.o out of school for a long weekend away!!!

Clarinet60 Thu 04-Mar-04 10:42:37

hmb, I've held my breath till I've gone blue.
What does she want to do with her life and do you feel any better about the whole thing now?

hmb Thu 04-Mar-04 20:25:03

Goodness knows! Some sort of beauty training at a college, I think.In the end the probelem resloved itself when she told another child to F Off in my lesson, so I gave her a lunchtime detention. That turned into a catch up session! So I still ended up spending my time. I just hope that it helped!

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