So conferences were the other day. Sigh. I thought they had gone so well; at least, in comparison to last year when the parents yelled at me and the administration did not care to notice and therefore did not intervene. There was no yelling and it was quite slow, really, for being in a new building. I was thrilled.
I had been requested yesterday by my English department chair to meet with her for a few moments during my lunch today. No problem, she's a great lady, a wonderful teacher, and has always been helpful to me. Well, she asked me about what I had said to any parents about technology use. As I recalled, I had said some things about why I hadn't used the language lab for my foreign language teaching to a few parents who asked.
So, firstly, the wrong chairperson had been contacted by the administration to discuss this with me. Secondly, she was so embarrassed and apologetic to have to be talking with me about this. Thirdly, I knew which parents had talked with the administration about this and as it happens, they are members of elected positions for the district.
A few reasons I had told the parents when they asked me about the technology use --or lack thereof, really-- in my foreign language classroom, were that I am new to the building, I have never had access to language lab facilities for teaching foreign language before, and I really do not know what is available to do in there.
These parents went on to tell me, along with some other parents I saw, that their child was no longer having fun learning foreign language anymore. I informed them that I am not the teacher those students had the last two years and that she and I have different teaching styles, as well as this being new material to these students which is not as easily made fun. (Is there a way to make past perfect tense in any language fun? And can you make it fun when it is formed a different way in the foreign language than it is in English? Yeah, I didn't think so either.)
For the last two years these students made videos "using" the foreign language and played games. All of that is well and good, but that does not lead necessarily to actually learning the vocabularly, dealing with word order, and overall being able to continue on with the foreign language. So these kids are struggling. And in these parents eyes, it is my fault. Because, gosh darn it all to hell, I am not making it FUN for them.
I had just gotten to the point with this move that I had figured out the rules of the game, and then they are changed on me yet again. I am tired of bending over for these problems.
I am a good teacher. I have been told that by many other parents and former students. But of course, it is always the negative stuff that sticks out in your mind.