District Deeds Sunday Reads – October 21, 2018: Counselors Try To “Stay Afloat”; Engage (Not Replace) Parents; Sticky Note Math Art

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Here are some interesting articles we received and discovered this past week…

ENJOY!

 

With Hundreds Of Students, School Counselors Just Try To ‘Stay Afloat’

 

Quote from Article:

Yuridia Nava, a counselor at Riverside Polytechnic High School in Riverside, Calif., has been getting to work at 7 a.m. lately. It’s class registration time, so she wants to be available before school for parents and students to come in with questions as they plan for the next year of courses, SAT tests, and college preparation.

Poly — as her school is known — employs six counselors for its 2,700 students, so Nava and her colleagues each work with about 500 teens. That’s just above average. According to the most recent data, school counselors across the country manage caseloads of about 482 students each. In California, where Nava works, that average ratio is 760 students per counselor — the second highest in the nation. She says counselors there are just trying to “stay afloat” and get through each day. The American School Counselor Association recommends that counselors work with 250 students each, but just three states follow that advice.

Each time a school shooting occurs, the nation collectively asks: who is responsible for students’ safety? Is it teachers? Parents? Lawmakers?

District Deeds Synopsis:

District Deeds has spoken to many SDUSD Counselors and this article is very accurate…it provides some real insights into their extensive workloads and wide ranging duties,

We have not been able to determine through research exactly what the average ratio of SDUSD Students to Counselors is this year.  We do know that there are many fewer counselors than there were just a few years ago.

When our kids attended elementary school there was a full time, 5 day a week counselor available to Students and Staff.

This year that same school, with MORE students, has a Counselor on campus only 2 days per week.  We have heard very similar situations in many SDUSD Elementary and Middle Schools.  Our sources report that these cutback have put many Students at risk including a backlog of federally mandated IEP and 504 plan meetings.

Unfortunately, given the recent SDUSD budget fiasco,  it is highly unlikely we will see a dramatic increase in Counselors in our schools in the near future.

We have talked to our readers about similar issues (like custodial cutbacks) that create a physically dangerous school environment.  Now we know that, with many fewer Counselors, the danger to our Students also extends to their mental health and wellness.

Just another example of Student and Family casualties caused by the SDUSD Budget mismanagement of the incompetent Cindy Marten regime.

So Sad!

Educators Should Engage Parents, Not Try to Replace Them

Quote from Article:

Within the last month three different mothers have shared harmful encounters they have had with teachers and school staff. These incidences are examples of how some educators feel and act as though they know what is best for children, even more so than their parents and in one case a student’s physician. As an educator, I know that the actions educators take are vastly well intentioned even when misdirected.  I share these examples and tell you that I, as a teacher and administrator, have witnessed years of the same behavior-educators stepping in as parents, as opposed to engaging them as lead partners in their child’s educational experience.

And…

My friend was angry and in despair. She told me, “I know my sons not an angel but who is she to tell me how to discipline my son? Who is she to assume that my son does not have consequences? I’ll be damned if some lady is going to tell me my son needs a psychologist.”

My friend wanted to talk through her response and was clear that she did not want to come across as a mother in denial. Very fortunately, the principal of the school responded as I would hope any principal who cares about students and staff would. She acknowledged how the message could be perceived as inappropriate and assured my friend that she was working with the teacher on, “…establishing a classroom climate that is positive for all.”

District Deeds Synopsis:

A fascinating article written by a Teacher/Administrator that touches on a subject that we would guess is very familiar to virtually every Teacher, Administrator and Parent in the SDUSD.

We have experienced this issue with our own kids and their Teachers.

In some cases it was very well-meaning and helpful, in other cases it was way off base and was more of an intrusion and a reflection of the Teachers’ idiosyncrasies than a parenting or behavior problem.

This thought-provoking subject is well worth a discussion within families and with a trusted Teacher or Administrator.  Hopefully, using those discussions, both Parents and Teachers can engage each other as “lead partners”.

Pennywise in Post-Its. Teacher uses 5,982 notes to create spooky art, impart lessons.

Quote from Article:

Tyler Watts, a teacher at Letcher Elementary School, asked his math students a question recently.

How many Post-It notes would it take him to finish his latest and biggest ever art project for a widow display at the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library in downtown Whitesburg?

5,982 notes, the children answered

By Saturday, Watts had created Halloween Post-It note portraits of Pennywise from the movie ‘It’, of Jack and Sally from the movie ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ and Jason from the ‘Friday the 13th’ movie in the library windows.

“They could figure out how many Post-It Notes I needed by using multiplication and division,” said Watts, who has created such art projects across Kentucky.

District Deeds Synopsis:

A creative teacher using a creative way to engage his math students…how refreshing!

We are absolutely sure that many SDUSD Teachers use similar strategies to engage Students and we hope that many more begin to do the same.

District Deeds thanks those creative Teachers for all they do to make classrooms engaging for all Students!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. – Maya Angelou

Have a great week!!!

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