Retention Bonus!

Woohoo! I'm doing a happy dance right now - recommended another kiddo for retention! That means my bonus is going to be HUGE this year! Can't wait to spend it all on a trip to Hawaii or maybe I will put it towards a ski trip to Vale!

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!


Lisa R. said...

Sounds like summer vacation can't come fast enough! It truly saddens me that some parents can't do what's best for their child and push so hard to pass them on when they are not succeeding. It only hurts the child in the long run. :(

Learning Is Something to Treasure

Holly said...


You've gotta watch this:

Hope that link works if you copy/paste it. Let me know if it doesn't because it's sure to brighten your day!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Cupcake said...

::Double sigh:: Parents can refuse retention in first?? For me, it's only K retention that they can refuse!
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Elizabeth said...

This had me rolling...and then, Holly, your video had me in tears. Made my day.



Fun in Room 4B

Tricia said...

I know how hard it s to make that decision as the teacher. I have been teaching kindergarten for the past 8 years and had to recommend a student be retained this year. I have lost so much sleep over this. I have had multiple conferences with the parents and mom was in agreement but dad was holding out. After our last conference mom assured me that dad would give in and eventually he did. This will be my first kindergarten retention ever. Since we only offer half day kindergarten I usually believe first grade is better. But this little guy is so young and immature I think another year in kindergarten is what he needs. Thanks for listening to me ramble. I just want you to know that I understand that this was a difficult decision for you.

Amber @ Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher said...

Hahaha! Your post had me rolling.

More kids should be retained earlier. It's hard to retain once they get to me in third grade.

Thank goodness we had field day in the Fall. I'm glad it's out of the way! hahaha!

I hope you can make it through the rest of the year!

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Miss Squirrels said...

Oooooo Field Day made someone grouchy today:)

I am cracking up!
I say- retain them all and we'll backpack around Europe next year!!!


Going Nutty!

Deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah said...

Yep, I'm putting my hand up with Amber, "More kids should be retained earlier".

Jessica Ann Stanford said...

Totally had me going on that first part... i was like where in the world does she teach?? lol


Jessica Stanford
Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog
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Cindy Foreman said...

Oh my word this post had me laughing out loud!!! I have been there myself - 8 of my 12 years teaching have been spent in kinder. Gotta love these parents LOL

Just found and started following your blog! I am super excited to be returning to teaching kindergarten after 2 years of teaching 4th grade and I am super excited that I found your blog!

Jennifer K. said...

Holly, that video was hilarious! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Jennifer K. said...

Teri, in our district they can refuse retention in any grade level, although I understand that will change in 2014 with full adoption of Common Core. One parent who refused retention for K said "It's only kindergarten." Ummm.....yeah, that's where they learn to read now , it's not all making mus pies and finger painting any more!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Jennifer K. said...

Hi Tricia, yes it is a tough decision to retain or not. In my case I truly believe he just needs one more year to come out of his shell and get a firm foundation. Mama promised that they'd work on reading over the summer but as she doesn't speak any English I don't see how that's going to happen. I wish parents understood how much we take these kinds of decisions to heart!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Jennifer K. said...

Heck if we retain them all I'm not backpacking around Europe, it'll be Bed & Breakfasts and chateau stays all the way! A week in the Wine Valley in France sounds lovely!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Jennifer K. said...

Wouldn't it be nice if they were retained when the problem first started rather than wait 3 years for it to snowball? If they don't learn what they need to in 1st than what in the world are they going to do in 2nd? Parents assure teachers that they will "work with" their kids over the summer - if it's that easy why didn't they do it all year long so we wouldn't have this problem?

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten? The social aspect of retention is also less of a big deal in the lower grades I think.

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