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Author Topic: Parent-Teacher Conference Via Telephone From Deployed Locale  (Read 2539 times)

Gordianknot

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Okay...first and foremost...MixedBag, I'm back!!!

Getting off the sidebar conversation, let me introduce myself, once again, to the forum.  

I'm a non-residential, long-distance, custodial mother (50/50 legal custody) who is currently deployed right now in Kyrgyzstan for another two months.  Let me tell you, the father of my child has taken full advantage of my vulnerability being far from home despite all my efforts.  Lawsuits, besmirching my reputation as a parent, etc...

I've been fortunate enough to have a first-grade teacher that works with me since I've proven to be a non-residential parent that puts forth the extra effort of managing my parent-child relationship and actually BE a parent at a distance.  No, long-distance parenting is not an oxymoron!  LOL!

Recently her teacher e-mailed me to let me know that her father and stepmother had set-up a parent-teacher conference with her at 0800hrs. on 12 Feb...to which I requested to "present" via teleconference, if that doesn't cause any discomfort for her.  She has yet to e-mail me back...which alarms me because that isn't typical of her.  I'm 11 hours ahead of their time zone so I need enough notice and pre-planning with her help to make it work.  As I've done for past parent-teacher conferences I simply did not have the time to drive long-distances to attend, I've been present on speakerphone and conferences are held...but I'm wondering if her father can block my efforts and that is why the teacher hasn't responded back?

I would simply like to be as involved as I'm capable...I don't just want a report of the contents of the discussion after the fact.  Does anyone else feel as though they are missing some big piece of information if they aren't "present" whether physically or telephonically, for a parent-teacher conference?  Any ideas on how to appeal to a teacher that might have been placed in the middle by the CP?


MixedBag

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Hey girl!
« Reply #1 on: Feb 09, 2004, 06:25:46 AM »
SEPARATE parenting teacher conferences for starters.

That way the teacher isn't in the middle and what the teacher shares with you stays with you.

I know when my son's teacher's planning period is where she is free to speak to me.  Usually, I call and leave a message that I would like to try and reach the teacher with a specific subject on my mind on a specific day during the planning period.  Then a I call back on that day.

It has worked quite well.  

E-mail, huh?  Actually that's good too.  If it's hard due to the "wonderful phone lines" between her and there (and probably expensive), just stick to e-mail.

Actually, by law in our state, I am entitled to a separate conference with the teacher and our conversation must stay private between us.


bananas

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RE: Parent-Teacher Conference Via Telephone From Deployed Locale
« Reply #2 on: Feb 09, 2004, 08:09:54 AM »
We had major problems with this.  The CP besmirched (what a great word) DH to the point that the teachers and administrators wouldn't even talk to him.  Since she moved the kids about 1500 miles from him, there wasn't a lot he could do.

The great thing is, you already have a relationship with this teacher, so it would be difficult for the CP to block you, IMHO.  If you didn't already communicate with the teacher, you would be hosed.  Maybe write the teacher back and let her know about your concerns.  Explain that you're worried about the conflict and that it might negatively affect your ability to be involved.  She will probably understand.   I agree with MixedBag in that it might be better to have your own conference.  This way, the teacher won't have to deal with the tension between the parties and wonder if/when things will explode.

Maybe she's on a long weekend away or something.  Write her again, and let her know that it's important that you hear from her.  Hang in there, and be safe in Kyrgyzstan.

Gordianknot

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RE: Parent-Teacher Conference Via Telephone From Deployed Locale
« Reply #3 on: Feb 09, 2004, 04:19:52 PM »
Typically, I'd do a separate conference however since I'm right next to China and they are in Kansas...there is no need for a separate conference.  I'd simply listen to the information being officially disseminated to Dad, add my comments and suggestions and that would be that...thing is, I know I will get her grade report via e-mail and eventually the hard copy but my primary purpose for making a telephone "presence" is not so much information seeking (because I'll get the information), it's more for show of involvment and demonstration of going to extraordinary effort to be "present".  If that makes a lick of sense to anyone but me...LOL!

Her father is a big-time alienator and extremely controlling.  To the point that the school has our court order on file and he still INSISTS that teachers/speech therapists label him the primary decisionmaker...THAT which he is not...he doesn't have final say authority though he'd like everyone to think he does.  That's part of the reason I need to make a presence, to deter his soiling of my parenting activity and rights.

The teacher and I established a GREAT working relationship prior to my leaving for Kyrgyzstan...I drove 12 hours after being only notified 24-hours prior of a Open House.  When I entered the front office, and introduced myself...the principal almost fell out because she'd never seen a NCP go to such trouble for that type of school function.

Can you imagine her father walking into her classroom thinking he and his wife stonewalled me from making it, only to discover me sitting there in the classroom?  Boy did that kick a beehive...it shouldn't have, but with controlling parents it's a swift kick in the gut.  LOL!

Forthelittleones

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RE: Parent-Teacher Conference Via Telephone From Deployed Locale
« Reply #4 on: Feb 11, 2004, 07:35:55 PM »
Hey!  I have been thinking about you!  Sorry to hear that you are deployed but that is what I know you signed up for.  

We are running into the same issue right now with SD - Her teacher is supposed to call us for a conference but has yet to give us the report card - which was sent to BM 1 month ago.

I would call the school at that time and ask to be connected.  It will show that you tried and who knows what happened to her email reply.  But call anyway!!

PM me if you want to talk - OR if you want a goody bag!  The kids love to make them!!


Gordianknot

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Hey You!!!
« Reply #5 on: Feb 12, 2004, 02:46:19 AM »
I'll end up PMing ya.

Good news!  Her teacher e-mailed me and I'm set-up to call her tonight...7 p.m. my time for the 8 a.m. conference today!  I'll let you know how it goes but like I said, I have a great working relationship with the school so there's nothing her father and SM can do to obstruct it.  That is, as long as the school doesn't allow it.

Is there any way your SD's teacher can scan and then e-mail the report card to you?  Hopefully her school is willing to do it!

Forthelittleones

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RE: Hey You!!!
« Reply #6 on: Feb 12, 2004, 05:30:32 AM »
We asked her to and there has been no reply.  So tomorrow morning when DH calls, he will ask her to fax it then so that they have something to talk about.  

See it was the Principles idea to put off the parent teacher conference since DH would need time to get the report card.

Well see what happens, GOOD LUCK with your call!!


 

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