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 Post subject: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:00 pm 
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My dd is in year 7 of our local grammar. Most of the teachers she has seem good but there is one that takes her for 2 subjects and often says odd things in class about her "feelings"! The other thing is she rarely returns or grades home work - my dd has put in a lot of effort with a few of these home work pieces and has been disappointed to not recieve the work back with a grade. She said today to my dd today about a presentation she had done - "if i was going to mark that it would be an A* but its not being markded". :evil:

The thing is dd is getting dispondent about these subjects :( and has already said that there is no point putting any effort into this teachers homework and that she dosnt intend to in the future! This is a real shame as she has been very motivated up till now.

Any advice? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:11 pm 
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That's totally unacceptable. That teacher shouldn't be teaching in a Grammar school with an attitude like that. That's the sort of thing teachers do in sink schools so that the kids don't feel like failures.

I would write a letter explaining that your daughter (as prob. most of her peers) works very hard to complete her homework and wants to do well, so you expect some feedback by way of marking! I would say what you have said in your post, and copy it to the Head of Year/Head Teacher - I'm furious on your behalf!


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:41 am 
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I agree. However, just in case you get nowhere and are stuck with no marking in these subjects for the remainder of the academic year, it might be good to have a way of enabling your daughter to find motivation in these subjects that does not rely on the teacher marking the work.

I'm not sure what specific ideas would work with your daughter to motivate her in these subjects. Maybe others will have some ideas - but it does in part depend on your daughter's true interests and motivations - so it is probably you and your daughter who will be best at working this one out.

It's an early life lesson she is receiving, too early really, particularly in two subjects. But it might be worth saying to her that although you feel cross with the teacher too, and the teacher should be marking, that as one gets older you have to develop self-motivation and a love of subjects which is independent of how good or bad the teacher is, or how much you like him or her. Otherwise you end up choosing at A' level the subjects that have been the best taught or had the teachers who in some way are the most interesting. Then when you get to university, where there is very little in the way of teaching and marking compared with school, you are overtaken by students who are genuinely interested and hardworking whether a teacher is good or bad, likeable or not.

One of the big things in teaching these days is children being aware of how they are doing, and to a degree, being able to judge this for themselves. Maybe you can do some digging around for these subjects and find national curriculum level criteria etc etc which will enable you and your daughter to establish what level her homeworks are and what she would need to do to move on to higher levels in these two subjects? You might find the TES forums useful - but whatever you do don't make it sound as though it's a complaint about a teacher or that you are a pushy parent - as you might get your head bitten off!

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:48 am 
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I think that if you feel this is something that a quiet word with the teacher will not sort - and it sounds to me as if this might be tricky - then your first contact should be with her Head of Dept who is her line manager. Go carefully and tactfully so that you do not put the HOD on the defensive and have evidence of unmarked work. It should be addressed then, but if not, then you can go to head of Faculty if there is one, then Head teacher. Marking of work is something within the teacher's control and unmarked work incredibly de-motivating. I am sympathetic to the idea that sometimes a teacher having problems with the job means you might suggest fortitude to your daughter, but I don't have sympathy with a teacher who doesn't mark work on a regular basis. It should be marked and, equally important, returned promptly if it is to have any effect on your child's learning.


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:57 am 
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Actually just want to add - is the work marked with comments but without a grade? If so then I feel differently (though if this does not happen in other lessons it suggests the school does not have a coherent marking policy, which it should, or that the teacher is not following the school policy, which she should.)

I say this because research suggests that giving grades at this age are not useful as children focus on them instead of the constructive comments about how to improve and indeed, fail to notice or act upon advice. Grades become more important when GCSE courses are started so that children may benchmark their performance against national standards. Might this be your child's teacher's approach?

In any case, none of this seems to have been said to you so you should contact the HOD, but perhaps ask about the departmental marking policy as you introduce your complaint.


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:25 pm 
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mystery wrote:
I agree. However, just in case you get nowhere and are stuck with no marking in these subjects for the remainder of the academic year, it might be good to have a way of enabling your daughter to find motivation in these subjects that does not rely on the teacher marking the work.

.


Good idea mystery - before secondary she had a natural curiosity about both theses subjects and i will put my thinking cap on and have a chat with dd about it over the weekend. She is still at that age where she loves doing stuff with me so maybe we can conbine time together with these topics. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:35 pm 
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phaedra wrote:
Actually just want to add - is the work marked with comments but without a grade? If so then I feel differently (though if this does not happen in other lessons it suggests the school does not have a coherent marking policy, which it should, or that the teacher is not following the school policy, which she should.)

.

Thanks for your reply phaedra - What really is annoying is the work isnt even returned! The school has sent home a copy of how work is marked and how to interpret grades - all other teachers have stuck to the school policy. My dd is beginning to anoy the teacher too as she has asked on several occasions when she will get her work back!

We have a grade sheet coming home next week and i will be interested to see what this teacher gives her. She has done two assesment pieces in class which have been marked so i am presuming that this work will be used to give dd a grade - The other anoying thing is that this teacher gives out quite a lot of homwork too! Dd always - up till now has completed it to at good standard. One of her friends already is not doing the work, i know the day dd dosnt that the teacher will actually mark it and ask dd where hers is :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Sounds quite calculated really. Teacher sets homework in line with school policy, done on sheets so that child / parent does not have unmarked work to wave at anyone. Assessments have been marked, so teacher could argue that she sets a mix of marked and unmarked homework, and that the proportion that is marked is appropriate.

But, if children are intended to learn from unmarked homework (and that is possible), it should be returned so that child can use it for revision etc.

My five year old has been telling me for some months now that her homework is fired up into space, as far as the moon, and a few other unspeakable things that happen to it. Perhaps it has joined up with your daughter's.


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Oops sorry got my daughter's age wrong - she's a little older than that, but not that much, so hopefully it's OK to have temporarily forgotten.


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 Post subject: Re: Homework not marked
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:50 pm 
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mystery wrote:
But, if children are intended to learn from unmarked homework (and that is possible), it should be returned so that child can use it for revision etc.

.


Good point- i will use it if i decide to contact head of year :)


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