Parents who blame the teacher...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I am tired of calling home to parents who blame the teacher. I called home to speak with a mom about behavior and she said:

    -My son says that you yell at him and you don't like him.

    (Mom said that I yell at the student when he is supposed to be working with his partner. I do not yell at the student at all. I would also not yell at a student if he is talking about the math when it is time to talk. I just redirect him if he is off task or talking when he is not supposed to be.)

    -My son said that you didn't let him go to the bathroom.

    (Students have to wait in line to go to the bathroom and they should not call out and interrupt a lesson to ask. They ask during independent or partner work. Students can go if it's truly an emergency. I told mom she needs to talk to the nurse if her son needs bathroom privileges.)

    -My son says that you do not help him when he needs help.

    (Students have to ask their partner before they ask me. Unfortunately, this student was throwing paper balls at his partner. That's the expectation because I have 34 students in one class. This student talks while I go over the work and also calls out/disrupts the class. He is not focused when I go over the work. I would love to be able to sit with this student when he has a question but the class size and behavior of the other students makes this impossible.)

    I have extra help Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school. Mom said that he cannot attend either day and can only attend on Thursday. I am not available on Thursdays.

    I am tired of the same behavior issues from these kids whose parents do not seem to understand. I will not be calling this mom again because it doesn't seem to help. I feel that it just does a disservice to the kid. How do you respond to this?
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts. When parents aren't cooperative, I change my tone to one that is purely factual. If Mom keeps making excuses or starts the blame game I simply say "Ok, well I was just making you aware of the situation. The next time Johnny misbehaves in class he will receive an office referral and/or a detention after school. Goodbye."
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Good idea. This student hasn’t shown up to detention so I have to write him up. I did make mom aware and emphasize that she needs a nurse note if he needs to go to the bathroom whenever.

    I feel like these parents are just doing their kid a disservice.
     
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  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    One of the worst examples of a non-parent I have ever had was the one who told me I had to bring lunch for her child every day because parent worked and didn't have time to get groceries or make lunch for her snowflake and child did not like the school lunch. Parent also demanded that I send home copies of tests before I give them so child could study what will be on the test. The final kicker was parent demanding that I come to school on vacation days to watch her child because, again, parent had a job.
    Parent's demands went nowhere, but I did get the satisfaction of turning down parents requests.
     
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  6. whizkid

    whizkid Comrade

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    Ah, don't worry, in a couple of days they're all going to be someone else's problem.
     
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  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    You really don't seem to like this teaching thing very much, huh?

    Anyway, Holyoke, I wouldn't contact parents unless the situation is dire. I used to contact parents A LOT, but I've found that it creates more problems than it solves so I limit contact.
     
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  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 19, 2018

    So sorry, OP.

    I do want to point one thing out, in general. When people say "yell", they rarely mean "raise your voice" anymore. Common language now defines it as "correcting someone for something they are doing which you consider wrong".

    I see posters on all kinds of threads getting hung up on the word "yell" when it really means what you did.

    Please don't take my comment as you have done anything wrong and the mom is right. I just want to start clearing up the common language for the word "yell".
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2018

    In cases like this, I always try to arrange a meeting with parent(s) and the student to talk about the student's concerns. Often, when having to voice them in front of me, the story becomes more truthful. (Two years ago, one of my students went home and told his mother that I had stood in the doorway and watched while another student pushed him down under a table and punched him repeatedly in the head. The truth, when it came out during our meeting, was that the second student "may have" bumped into the first student when he walked by him on his way to line up).

    For students who accuse me of picking on them, and only calling them out on behaviours, I have them keep a tally chart of how many times I say their name vs how many times I say the names of others. They invariably discover that they are not the only student I speak to about their behaviour.

    I agree with a2z--in the minds of most students, "yelling" means "you told me to stop doing something and you may or may not have used a firm voice."
     
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  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2018

    I'm wondering if those are exact quotes?

    Starting with "My son said..." for each one suggests that the parent may not wholly believe their child. If you don't react defensively to these statements, but instead react calmly and rationally, then the parent may respond in a more positive manner.

    Don't outright accuse the kid of lying, even if he is. We all know kids aren't always strictly honest. We also know some parents are simply nuts, but most actually are not and recognize that their children are sometimes dishonest (after all, who are these kids most often dishonest to, do you think? It's not the teacher). Instead, suggest that the kid has a different perspective, or is misremembering. A reasonable parent will understand.

    Unfortunately, you cannot simply stop reaching out to parents. A reasonable parent WILL be upset if you don't tell them about issues. An unreasonable parent will be happy if you don't tell them about issues, not just because they don't have to deal with problems but also because they'll have something to accuse you of it ever becomes worse.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Dec 19, 2018

    Please tell me more about what this parent did when you said no. I am about ready to go pop some popcorn.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I go from a place of building a positive and proactive relationship with kids and families from day one. When I have to communicate concerns, parents then understand it’s from wanting to help and support their kiddo. I also don’t callwith every little infraction.
     
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  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    If a parent said this to me, I would stare incredulously at them, burst out laughing, and then exclaim, “Good one.” And in that order.

    If the parent then responds, “But I’m serious!” I would briefly stop laughing, stare incredulously like before, and then start laughing again.

    Ridiculous.
     
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  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think that parent was used to getting her way. She was quite active in the school...PTA, class parent, etc. She assumed the world revolved around them and their precious snowflake. I told her sorry and that I wouldn't be able to meet her demands. She blustered around, said she would go to the school board, yada, yada.
    What she didn't know was that I was personal friends with the president of the school board and had taught her children in previous years. I called up the school board friend, handed the phone to the parent, and told her to voice her concerns. The silence was deafening...crickets...
    Didn't have any severe problems with that parent after that.
     
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  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I like your response!
     
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  16. whizkid

    whizkid Comrade

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    Did you not read the OP? Seriously, who wants to constantly put up with lying, poor behavior children? We have to deal with it at our school every single day. My life doesn't revolve around education and children 24/7. If you hate having a break, by all means, open your doors and take them ALL in! Some of us have lives and choose to live them while NOT being around children every waking minute.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Beautiful! Wunderbar! Brava!
     
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  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Well obviously we need a break, but it seems like every chance you get, you are saying something negative about children or people who have them.
     
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  19. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Indeed, there is a difference between a gentle ribbing vent session and the tirades given here.
     
  20. whizkid

    whizkid Comrade

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    I'm fine as long as the parents and their little "angels" stay away from me on my time off......
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It shouldn’t matter who is friends with the board. What was being asked of you was ridiculously out of bounds and not in your contract.
     
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