From My Mailbox

I am featuring this recent Comment, because it highlights how change can happen even when you think it won’t.

I wrote a note to my daughter’s teacher. A couple week’s ago she was not finished her homework (she gets a duo-tang with various worksheets to do that are all due at the end of the week). She had dictee (spelling lists) to study, a novel study they were working to also complete, and the homework. In my note I didn’t get into my perception that homework is a waste of time. I just simply said we needed a lighter load. Interestingly enough my daughter told me later that there was only one student in the class who finished the homework that week – so there were a few others that also felt they needed a lighter load! The teacher’s note back basically said, “Nope. They need to learn to handle it all and balance these requirements.” I didn’t respond back…..but this week the class didn’t get the duo-tang full of more worksheets because soon the novel study is due….so maybe my request did have an impact! I can only hope.

5 thoughts on “From My Mailbox

  1. I remember reading this comment and wondering the same thing as FedUpMom.

    I’m sorry your concerns were so brusquely dismissed but it does seem there was some small impact.

    Don’t give up. A knowledgeable mom, who does not back down, told me that if you complain and then recede into the woodwork, you get nowhere, you are not taken seriously. With finesse, diplomacy but firmness and authority (authority as in, well read, well researched), and confidence.


  2. I’m curious. Is this poster from another country? The terms were interesting. Duo-tang, dictee.

    I left a sentence dangling in my above post. I need more sleep!

    I’ll clarify the entire sentence:

    Approach school officials with finesse, diplomacy but firmness, authority (authority as in, well read, well researched) and confidence. Don’t back down. It doesn’t always work but as my friend wrote recently when I insisted nothing will change if I go in, “and will it change if you don’t?”


  3. I’m the person that wrote the comment in this post. I’m in Canada….interesting the things we say that we don’t realize are unique to our area! I always thought everyone called them duo-tangs since there’s even a brand by the same name. As wikpedia says: Duotangs are paper folders made of harder cardstock paper with flat metal teeth. They are used to bind multiple sheets of paper by bending the metal teeth through the holes of the paper and folding them down to keep them in place. Some models have three teeth, and some have 6 (two on the top, middle and bottom). They can be different colours such as blue, green, red, yellow and black. They are often used in elementary school as an organization tool for multiple pages of one subject

    As for dictee, my kids are in French Immersion and dictee is the French word for spelling list.

    As for my concerns being dismissed – the initial reaction of the teacher seems to be different than what is going on now. I might assume it did have some impact as the last two weeks we haven’t had a homework folder.

    We’ll see if that changes today now that the novel study due date has passed by a week! Kids come home soon…we’ll see!

    I’ve decided I’m going to write the teacher a letter and let her know how valuable I felt the novel study was. If they wanted to send home novel studies for homework I’d be quite supportive. I want my child to have more time to read….not have her time filled with worksheets that may or may not connect to classroom learning.


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