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Dear Teacher: Is This Productive?

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The treacherous winter of 2014 is creating delays in school curriculum. Because of this, schools are sending home classwork ahead of time in case of cancellation. But, is this actually productive?

While I don’t know to what extent teachers are affected by school delays and closings, I’m pretty certain that sending home lessons for parents to teach their children could easily undermine productivity. In fact, as a mother of a first grader, I know for certain that what I’m doing at home is completely counterproductive. After the last school cancellation, I feel as if I should apologize to the teacher for the fact that, despite my efforts, I royally confused my son. If I sent in an apology letter it would probably go something like this:

Dear Teacher,

This winter has brought unexpected delays, so I appreciate all you’re doing to keep my child’s education on track. That being said, I was unsure as to the teaching techniques utilized in your classroom so I apologize if my son’s classwork is incorrect.

When I showed my son the way to solve his addition facts he looked awfully confused. He told me that he learns it differently in school. I hope you don’t mind, but I went ahead and taught him my way as I didn’t know how else to show him. I apologize especially because, since turning in his work, I found out that my husband also showed him another way of solving addition. At this point, I honestly have no idea which technique he is using in the classroom!

While completing the spelling homework I noticed my son misspelled a few words. When I tried to help fix them he said he’s supposed to sound out words on his own. I attempted to have him resound out the words, but inevitably allowed the mistakes to remain on the paper. This doesn’t seem right, but I didn’t want to upset the way you run the lessons.

The science packet you sent home said to make a list of solids vs. liquids; however, there was a section that asked him to write down all their properties. He told me this was not covered in the classroom yet, and since his text book was not sent home, we were unsure of how to move forward. This section is not complete.

I’m afraid he’s a bit confused about the lessons covered. Will you review his work and assist him in understanding the content better? My sincerest apologies if this creates an even bigger delay.


Ashley Lee

This scenario brings about two concerns. For one, I’ve created a big mess for my son’s teacher. Now she will have to determine what work needs to be retaught and redone. And that’s just for my son. You have to wonder how many other students had incorrect and/or incomplete work. This fact alone hinders productivity, but even more concerning is the second part. With the additional time spent reviewing and correcting make-up work, the only way now for the teacher to catch up and get back on schedule is to speed through future lesson plans. That or skip over content altogether. I’m not sure which is worse.

Given these concerns, is sending home classwork ahead of time doing more harm than good? I suppose only a teacher can answer that question accurately, but I’d venture to guess the answer is yes.


© Flickr user woodleywonderworks

Whether in our homes, careers or the classroom, staying productive is a goal we all share. When we get off track, panic sets in and immediately we seek a solution. Unfortunately, rushing into a remedy without considering all essential factors first may actually put us farther behind. Prevent losing more ground. Create productive workflow through careful evaluation first before implementing a solution.

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Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Ashley has been working with the AccelaWork team since 2008. She is a communications expert with a background in corporate work, and a graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Public Relations. She lives in the greater Indianapolis area with her husband and four children. Ashley enjoys jewelry, fashion, and coffee.
Ashley Lee

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