Monday, January 23, 2012

What "Extracurricular" Means

Last week when I was substituting for the day at Little Brother's school, I took the opportunity to tell his teachers that he'll be having some late nights this week.  It's Tech Week now for Pippin; the show opens Friday.

Basically, I wanted to let them know that he'd be up late--because I want to know if this is affecting his behavior and work at school.  But they thought I had something else up my sleeve.

"I can change the deadlines for some of his assignments," one teacher offered.  She seemed surprised when I turned that down.  I told her that we'd make sure the homework was done before we headed out for rehearsals.

He's been handling 3 rehearsals a week (some of them running until after 10 PM) for more than a month now.  But this week it's going to be every night, and I didn't know how that would play out in the classroom.

Apparently I am in the minority here.  These teachers seem to be accustomed to parents who expect that academic requirements be adjusted when extracurriculars get extra demanding.  Around here, it's homework first.  Sports, Scouts, or other non-academic pursuits, worthy though they may be, do not excuse any of the kids from their school obligations.


Aimee said...

I'm not surprised -- we run into that frequently with Fiver, although it's not because of extracurriculars. His teachers have always made suggestions that they can change what is required of him if he is having difficulty. Basically allowing him to opt out of assignments/work. I know they mean well and are trying to help him, but he needs to be able to do the work. So we tell them thank you, but he will complete the assignment. He may take a little longer, or it may be done on an "adaptive device" (as they now call computers for kids with learning difficulties), but he will get it done. I think the teachers are just used to being browbeaten over "special needs" - and that is coming form the mother of a special needs kid. Everything seems to be a special need.

nicole said...

We are the same. Although, I have occasionally allowed my girls to skip their 20 minutes of reading in order to do something with the family. Since both read and test well above grade level, I don't think their teachers mind if they miss a night here and there. The reading requirement is really there for students who need to strengthen their reading skills. Family time is sometimes more important. Otherwise, our kids know that school comes first. It is a matter of respect for the teachers.