By Ann Doss Helmsahelms@charlotteobserver.com
A teacher’s e-mailed photo of a snoozing student provides a glimpse of the latest intersection of technology, teaching and parent communication.
On Thursday, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg high school teacher used his i-Phone to photograph a student sleeping at his desk. The teacher e-mailed it to the student’s father, with a note saying the student “did not work in class today. He slept.”
The father, outraged, promptly forwarded it to the Observer. More about that to come; first, a little background.
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Teachers across the country are under pressure to find ways to keep all students on the academic track.
Leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and local agencies that work on dropout prevention say it’s crucial to get parents involved, especially if students are missing school, showing up late or not paying attention in class. Teachers are encouraged to make calls and use e-mail to communicate with parents.
According to the father, the student in question “has had issues in this class” all year. He commutes to a magnet school and sometimes arrives late when traffic is bad, the father says. The teacher gives “tardy quizzes” first thing, with students receiving a zero if they’re not there to answer the question on the board. The father calls that “ludicrous,” saying it discourages students who are already struggling.
The father says his son has been sick all week, and he’s outraged that the teacher would photograph him sleeping.
“Maybe if (the teacher) had taken the time to wake him up, and keep him on track, instead of using that time to snap a photo of him and send it to me, then my son may have been able to finish the assignment, and the e-mail would not have been necessary!” he wrote. “Shouldn’t (teachers) be more accountable for the education our children receive?”
Neither the father nor the teacher have responded today to queries seeking more details about the situation, such how they had been communicating before this week’s incident and how the father dealt with the son.
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