Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Issue of Retention

It saddens me so much to handle this case of retaining two of my students in the level that I am teaching. After the interventions provided to them to help them cope with school work, it pains me to actually be the bearer of the sad news to the parents. Being the second parent to these kids, plus the fact that I am their teacher, I feel so responsible that I have begun to question my competence as a teacher.

The decision of retaining them came from me. As their teacher, I am after the welfare of my kids that I would not like to make them suffer academically in the long run if I just promote them because of circumstances such as the parents' possible reaction, or the fact that they have invested much money for the education of their children. The retention will make way for these kids to relearn the basic skills before embarking unto the elementary level.  This alone is my main objective.

However, this conviction of mine is being put into the test.

Should I spare myself from the confrontation that might lead to more complicated situations involving more parties including the school itself?

The thing about my situation is that the people you expect to enlightened these parents are the ones who would question a lot of things about what I did as a teacher. This is very natural, I know, but it seems that I can't help but be emotional about it. Hence, I ended up considering my decision.

I know that the right thing to do is to stand by my decision, however, this is very agonizing.

What do you think?


John said...

I feel for you and I'm in the same situation. I am also the chairperson of our school's student success team which means I spend a month breaking bad news to parents and it's never easy.
I think if you have examples and a clear retention plan, monitoring, special interventionn for retained students etc, should help ease the blow. Good luck.

Kimberly said...

I think you need to go with your gut on this one. I have a situation like this in my classroom this year, too. I ended up talking to the parents and they were much more receptive than I thought they would be. When it comes down to it, you're talking about what's in the best interest of the child, and sending them on to a grade when they don't have the tools to be successful is just never a good idea. Good luck!


thanks you guys... it is indeed hard to be in this situation. it is my first time. especially with preschool, since we dont use numerical grades to support our observation. so it's really the teacher's word plus letter grades plus remarks.. but yes, i should communicate the kind of intervention and recommendations clearly and face the blow.. :(

Gary said...


Thanks so much for stopping by FYB (my blog) and for commenting. It was fantastic to meet Todd Parr and the fact that he gave me a shout-out on his FB page is really thrilling.

About your post...

I see from the comments that you are talking about preschool. That is a tough call for the reasons you express in your comment. The fact that you are questioning your decision tells me that you are indeed passionate about teaching and a caring individual. There is nothing wrong with revisiting your stance on this but I am sure you did not arrive at your conclusions lightly. I taught preschool for two years and when something is off (perhaps a child's sensitivity to rhyme which is the entry point to phonological awareness or difficutly processing information, etc.) you know it. Experience and your intangible gut reaction must be paid heed. All you can do is express your concerns and remain humble. It is difficult indeed but you are a partner in the childs education and have a voice. Always with the child in mind.

Best to you. I'll be back to visit. :)


Hello Gary...

thanks for taking time to visit my site. it's a pleasure to have you. :)

your words are very comforting. thanks so much. :D