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I don’t usually address principals directly in my blog, but today I am.
There is a MASSIVE problem for parents students, that causes consistent frustration and confusion, and as a leader, you can do something about it.
The problem: Lack of clarity regarding expectations: accessing the right online information is overwhelming, frustrating and confusing for families.
- Multiple sites to navigate
- Unclear about expectations with homework, reading assignments, written assignments, projects
- Not sure where to log in
- Don’t know HOW to log in
- Don’t know WHEN to log in
- When logged in don’t know where to look
- Logistical nightmare, takes a lot of time and energy that should be going to focused work on expectations
- Don’t check the right site at the right time, so due dates/times unknown
- Students who aren’t good with planners don’t remember the details
- Teachers passing out multiple copies of same things
- 0s, missings, incompletes, late work
- Lower grades
- Less learning
- Parents are baffled
- Kids are confused and overwhelmed
What you can do
Since you lead, opportunity to help a lot of people.
- Create a page on the school site and or make a document available
- List every website families might need to check
- List where/how to get login info
- List every teacher
- List sites students are responsible for, for each teacher with URL
- List what they should DO at those sites
- List how often they should check it, specifically when to check
- List how often the teacher updates THEIR grades, this is a huge problem too
- Teach teachers to be crystal clear online, sounds like more work but what will be saved in confusion will make up for it
- Have copies of notes, hw, rubrics, etc ONLINE so THEY can view/download/print
- Note to parents at top of the site: if you are not crystal clear on expectations, please email me here so we can figure out how to clarify systems, that way YOU will know where the problems are and you can support teachers to clarify.
Thank you for leading. — Seth Perler
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Hey, what’s going on? Everybody? This is Seth with Seth perler.com and generally speaking. I make videos YouTube videos for parents and teachers but today parents and teachers who are watching Another professionals. I am making this specifically for principals. So parents and teachers were watching this. I don’t know how many principles follow my blog but we have 10,000 people following the blog in general and I know there are some principles but you may want to forward this to your principles. If you are experiencing the problem. I am about to describe. So from here on out. I’m going to be speaking to generally the principles or other people who can do something about this problem. So hello principles. My name is executive function coach based out of Boulder, Colorado. And what I do is I help struggling students figure out how to navigate School. And there is a massive problem that that happens over and over and over for parents and students that causes consistent frustration. It causes tons of Confusion And this is a problem that you principals can do something about because you have chosen and thank you for choosing this. You have chosen a leadership position you get to lead your school community. And so I’m going to talk about the problem and what I think you can do about it. So the problem is a lack of clarity regarding the expectations for the students and what this means is that Parents and students and myself included and other professionals are working with these kids don’t understand the expectations don’t understand what students are supposed to be doing. So it basically what happens is that we are going to the websites and sometimes we are going to multiple websites. We might be going to Google Classroom. We might be going to school G. We might be going to Infinite Campus sometimes teachers have their own websites and we are trying to sift through this math, especially when it comes to middle and high school is when they might have seven different classes. They might have three or four different website that they’re supposed to go is so you might have one teacher where you’re supposed to go to Infinite Campus to check my grades schoology to check the grade details and teachers website to see a PowerPoint or something like this. Anyhow, we are trying to sift. Through this math of technology in order to get clarity again. The problem I’m referring to principles is Clarity. We’re trying to find Clarity regarding what is expected of a student. What is the word? What are they supposed to be reading? What are they supposed to be doing? How do we find this stuff? So this it is hard even for me and I’ve been doing this for years and I seen tons of students from tons of different I buy my own system where I keep all the passwords for all the different students that I work for and I still struggle to go to get the information I need so I want to talk a little bit about this problem in terms of the consequences that this is causing everybody printful. So first the consequences that parents and students are unclear about what it what’s going on. What are the expectations for homework for reading assignments for written assignments for projects? What are the extrication? That’s the number one consoling another consequence is that people are not sure where to login? What’s your L? Where is this place is so much to tell pay attention to people cannot even figure out where to start next to the you wouldn’t believe how many families that I work with that. They don’t even know. Sometimes they’ll find out Midway through the year that the site even exist in that. They’re even supposed to be checking it. So that’s another one. Where do we even log in next is? How do we log in? What what’s the username? What’s the password? How is there anything special going on with how to get logged into this particular system. The next thing is when to login is that the teacher expect that you might have a teacher in one class. I expect the student to be checking a daily. You might have another teacher expects that Weekly what when are they supposed to log into these different things? The next when they get logged in, where are they supposed to look sometimes this stuff is overwhelming. Sometimes it’s really difficult. If something’s if the click to read up a bunch of different pages to find the information. The next one is that this is the logistical nightmare. It takes a lot of time and energy for people to figure out what they need to be doing and that energy I want my students to be spending their energy doing their work that contributes to their life and that contributes to their learning. So that’s the next one is it take a lot of time and energy to logistical nightmare. I want them focused on what they should be doing rather than looking for what they should be doing. The next one number seven is this is a consequence for people is that they don’t check this site at the right time for some time that they’re not try and I were alluded to this earlier, but it if they’re not checking it at the right time then they don’t know what the due dates are what time things are supposed to be turned in. And the next one is is that students who aren’t good with planners and who aren’t good with remembering the details. They’re not checking it or they don’t remember to check it. Another problem. That occurs is the teachers that causes a lot of any Renner extra energy expenditure for teachers when the students don’t know what’s going on in there asking for extra copies. For example, sometimes I look in a backpack and I might find three or four copies of the exact same assignment and I’m like, why do you have all these copies of the same thing? They’re like, oh cuz I lost it or I thought I lost it or I didn’t know where it is. So I asked my teacher for another copy. So that means that the teacher has to be making extra copies handing out extra copies having a conversation about the extra copies. It’s just again a lot of extra energy expenditure and then number 10 to 10 consequence of this stuff is that kids have more missing zeros and completes in late work which leads the number 11, which is lower grades which leads the number 12 that there is less. Learning and often times the zeros just remain zero. So the learning or The Learning Experience never took place they moved on to the next thing so that’s another consequence 13th consequences that there can be a lot of Shame where student feels like why am I such an idiot or parents? Like, where is this what’s going on or the student? I feel dumb or stupid. Like why can’t I figure this out? Why don’t I know her or maybe the teachers like will I explained it to you already? Why aren’t you checking this? And and so there can be shame associated with us next consequences that parents are just babbled. They do not know what to do or where to look and finally number 15 is is the consequence that I have listed here is that kids are confused and overwhelmed they cannot manage these details. It is a lot of juggling. They really legitimately do need time to have a life to enjoy themselves. They need time to focus on their school work, but they also need time to be doing all the sudden this spending so much time on this and they’re just overwhelmed. Trying to figure out the details now principles you are in a very unique position because you have chosen a position of leadership. So you can affect great change in this area. And the reason making this video it is one of the biggest solvable problem that I see repeated over and over and over and it’s something that we can do something about so that’s why I’m making this video for you. So here’s what you can do. Once once since you do lead you do have the opportunity to help all these people. So what you can do as you can create a page on your school website, or you can make a document if you can’t create an actual page on the site because you’re not technologically savvy or you don’t have access to that or whatever you can make a document that’s accessible to the community that that PDF for or that’s in the lobby or somehow that’s accessible on that document window information that we need that I need that my students need that the parents need the information we need you can Service documents. Here’s what we need from you. We need to you to First Lift Every website that anybody at the school might need to check. So if you know that teachers than your school use personal websites schoology Google Classroom textbook websites for certain textbooks and Infinite Campus Life. They then list those 5 websites and say sorry for the confusion, but here are all the sites that you may need to be using and then have a Ural link to those sites. So that’s the first thing we want to know is we want to know what are all the possibilities. Okay, just give it to us from one place so that we don’t have to be confused and and looking number to list where and how to get the login info. So if people are like well, I don’t know where to login. Should they be emailing a tech person at your school? Should they be asking the teacher where they giving a sheet of paper with login information? Should they be clicking lost and Reese? The password on the site itself tell us where to go to get the login information tell us how to login again. So there’s Clarity so we are not confused so we know what to do next list every single teacher in the entire school and next obviously you want to list the site that you’re the students are responsible for for that teacher with the URL. So if in one particular like I have one student right now for one teacher they have to go to this is true. They have to go to I see for the grades schoology for certain things Google classroom for certain things and the teacher’s personal website for certain things. So it would be nice if we had those all listed so that we could find that information easily. The next thing is list what they should do at the site. So for example, if they’re supposed to go to schoology then click on this then click on this to find this then click on this to print this like 10 and then Click on such-and-such to submit things whatever like tell us what we’re supposed to do. So we are not confused. The next thing is list. How often they should check it specifically when to check it. Should they be checking the teacher site every Friday every Monday Wednesday and Friday every day 5 days a week Sunday nights only. When do you want us to check it? We don’t know. It’s overwhelming. It’s too much rechecking all them and things are missed it. If there’s just a lot going on. This is just a problem that we have nowadays part of the curse of Technology. There is some good blessings and curses with the next thing to do is list how often the teachers update their grades because this is a huge problem to teachers you got some teachers that a wait until like a month-and-a-half into the semester. They haven’t listed anything the kid has no grades on the online Grade Portal and then another teacher has 50 grades and their portal. And it and then it looks like the kids doing fine and then all of sudden boom, you see that 20 things are missing David F in this class is very confusing. Can you please tell us when your teachers each teacher puts up their grade so that we know and we don’t have to be wondering and we don’t have to be blindsided. The next thing that we would like is if you could teach teachers how to be Crystal Clear online in this may sound like a lot of work but trust me it will save everybody a lot of frustration a lot of teachers when they post stuff like they might say do the math assignment from this week and I as a as a coach don’t know where to go to get that. Is that something that’s in there book. Is it something that’s been printed and handed to them and it’s a photocopy of something we’re supposed to download or find online. What are you talking about? So please teach your teachers how to be Crystal Clear online with the expectation of teachers. To take another minute to just write I handed you a rubric look in your folder and it says this on the top this is due on this day, you know like you please teach them how to be clear because there’s so much confusion there and be greedy when I finally do find the information we’re looking for we don’t have enough details to know what to do with that. So please teach them how to be crystal clear. I don’t think that teachers know how hard it is for people. I don’t even know that principals know how hard this is for families unless you guys have adolescence yourself and you principles are trying to figure out what’s going on with their school. I’m at it’s very possible that you don’t even know how big of a problem this is it from my end of it when I’m working with multiple students for multiple schools. I see that this is a consistent solvable problem across the board. Then next thing you can do is have copies. Of the notes from the class or the homework so that the kids can download it or the Brew brexit cetera online so that they can print it or download it or view it. Okay, and it’s obviously would cut down on teachers having to give out multiple copies to but it also would give people Crystal Clarity on what the notes are the homework of the rubrics or what-have-you. Next thing that I think will be helpful is if there is a note to parents at the top of the site at the top of the web page that says if you are not crystal clear on the expectations, please email me the principal here and then click your email address so that we can figure out how to clarify systems that way. That way you will know you will know exactly you was the principal will know exactly where the confusion is coming in and you will know how you can support the teacher to communicate with needs to be communicated. It will help everybody. So that will help you and you can also have them because it have them email the teacher for that clarification or whatever you wanted to do. But if there was some way that said if you pay parents look, you know, we need to know if you’re unclear. We want to make these systems to you. We are trying to educate your child. We are trying to support your children we care please let us know so that we can figure out how to make the system is and I know it might seem like a lot of work. But again, I think this will save everybody so much time and confusion and frustration now finally principles what will be the effect if we can do this we can solve this one very solvable problem. What are we going to what’s going to happen? Well, first of all people are going to have Clarity regarding the expectation second of all your Going to eliminate confusion with parents and students. Next you’re going people are going to spend spending less time and energy or the teachers are going to be spending less time and energy repeating their expectations over and over making extra copies dealing with extra communication over and over something that they already said. It will be there. It will be clear will bypass miscommunication. We will eliminate ambiguity on there won’t be any excuse for anyone to not know what’s expected because it’s clear the clarity is there there will be better grades. There will be better learning which is the most important thing people feeling better about themselves and feeling like they’re learning in their able to be successful in the thing that they’re trying to learn tutors and parents can better support the students because they know exactly what’s going on and where to find information. They need less time will be wasted by anybody trying to locate the expectations and essentially a happier everyone. Now, of course what I’m the Driving now isn’t going to help in every situation. They were going to be people who don’t have access to technology people who aren’t great with tech. Anyway, it doesn’t address kids who have a tensional or processing issues or trauma or any other number of issues that complicate doing homework or or those types of things but it does saw one of the biggest problems that I deal with week in and week out with these students. So anyhow, that’s all I have to say. If you look on my website stuff perler.com. I will have a PDF print out for you that you the principal or whoever you are watching us. You can take this information and hopefully create a site or a document and I’ll give you the tips that I think should be included obviously use this. Anyway you want and finally for you principles out there. I don’t know if I’ve ever made a video for principles before But I do want to say thank you for leading. We need you. We need your leadership. We depend on you. I know that you guys have big shoes to fill you guys are doing a lot and we appreciate you and all the time and effort and love and kindness and compassion and thoughtfulness and everything that you put into your job into your work into what we don’t see a guy everything that you do behind the scenes that we are not aware of that helps make a school run smoothly and help serve the students so that they can get the education that they need so that they can have a great future. So thank you very much principles. Again. My name is Seth at Seth for.com. If you haven’t yet subscribed on my website go to the website. I sent out a weekly update can smash the like button on YouTube. If you’re watching me there and subscribe on YouTube. You can get alerts if you want and I appreciate. You have a fantastic day take her now.