Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Rules Have Changed


Parents,

There are a few things that need to be cleared up about the game that is school as it relates to the experiences in my classroom. Yes, I know you were in school and so was I. However, things have changed and what your children will do in my class is probably not what you are used to. I am not making any assumptions of wrong or right, but simply offering a new way of doing things. With that in mind, here are a few “rule changes” you can expect this coming year.
  • Grades will not be a focus. They are simply something I am required to submit but do not necessarily indicate my thoughts on your child. I will use them as checkpoints on the journey of learning, not end points.
  • I am on your team. Teachers and parents should not be sitting on opposite sides of the table. With that in mind, I want to be on the same side of the table learning with and from you.
  • I do not assign homework on a nightly basis. Homework does not equal learning and often discourages it. When I do assign homework it might be to smell a flower or play with a dog.
  •  I am a teacher and you are a parent. When they are in school I will teach. When they are at home you can parent.
  • I will not give your children the answers but simply the means to find them.
  • I am not the expert in the room. I plan on learning for your child as much as they hopefully will learn from me.
  • Extra credit does not exist so please don’t ask for it. Please bring in the tissue boxes but know your child will not get any “credit” for it.
  • I will allow your child to redo or retake any piece of work  they do this year. If I don’t let them redo something they have failed at, they will never learn it.

I hope these changes are not too out there and uncomfortable for you. I truly try to provide the best learning experience possible for your child on a daily basis. Please don’t think I have all the answers because I don’t. The game that is school is constantly changing and so too must my approach as a teacher and yours as a parent. My door is always open and I welcome the conversation at any time as we are on this journey together.

Thanks!

Mr. Stumpenhorst
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