Wait....what do you mean we don't get a bonus for retaining kids?! Are you sure???? Because the parents at my school are convinced that teachers earn some kind of bonus or kudos at least for retaining their kids. You know, their "briliant" kids, who are so far advanced at home, but are just too bored or not challenged enough at school to show off that "briliance". Oh, and all of those assessments are "subjective" or "vague" or "inaccurate".
I should qualify this by saying that I only recommend one kiddo for retention, his parents asked him if he wanted to repeat 1st grade, he said "no" (surprise!) and so they refused. No biggie, no hard feelings, sure I'll send home some stuff for him to work on this summer even though he didn't do any work all year. He'll sink or swim in 2nd grade but it's out of my hands now so it's whatever, I did my job, made my recommendations, let's move on. But some of my coworkers' parents have me rolling in the hallways lately.
One momma was very irate at a retention meeting and accused the teacher of having failed her child (they even questioned if she went to college!). To which my coworker politely replied "No disrespect ma'am, but there are only 4 more days of school left and this is the first time I've met you! You blew off every conference, never returned phone calls,didn't read the notes I sent home, never had your child complete homework, but I'm to blame?!"
But, the best parent response has to be this letter, which I have recreated to protect privacy, but I swear all of the other stuff is true:
Hmmm...she didn't circle yes or no. Wonder which it is?
Alright, this is kind of a snarky post isn't it? I'm going to blame it on Field Day. Which was just as awful as I predicted: hot and windy, kids complaining about being thirsty/itchy/sweaty/tired within 10 minutes of being outside etc. etc. As I said to another teacher: We need to make sure Field Day never happens again! Hey! That's an idea! Maybe if we retain enough kids we can use our bonus money to pay off the PE teacher to cancel Field Day! Quick...which child should I recommend for retention now? I know, I'll just draw names out of a hat!
Oh, speaking of Field Day, we got chastised by a parent for not having ribbons/awards like all the other schools. Since our Field Day consists of sack races, the parachute game, bouncy houses and dragging a tire by a rope around your waist etc I'm not sure what there is to get a ribbon for...but they should get something for having participated in a whole morning of fun and games darn it!