Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by GR8TCHR, Nov 19, 2005.
Nov 19, 2005
What are your strategies to deal with difficult parents?
I always try to validate their feelings. If a parent is upset about something (even if I may think it's something minor) I always try to make them feel like I understand. The last thing you want to do is make them think you don't care....that will just make them more confrontational.
I think my strategy changes depending upon what they are being difficult about. Please explain your situation........we may be of more help.
A parent of mine comes into the classroom about 3-4 mornings a week. And stays anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. She corrects her child in front of the class, tells her to raise her hand (when we are in large group meetings), defies expectations for her child that I have made the parent aware of (restroom procedure and materials procedures), talks with other children who are obviously intimidated of her when they are all working independently, tries to talk to me while I am teaching (in fact last week she yelled a question from across the room). These are some just to name a few. When she is in my classroom, I feel as if I have another student (actually it feels like an extra 10). I am constantly worried about what she will do next. It affects my teaching and she undermines my authority. Obviously, I am tired of it. Does this help? I have several other diffucult parents for different reasons I just wanted to know your strategies for dealing with them.
Is this in a regular classroom - public school? What grade level?
Having been a parent in the classroom, I am embarrassed on the parent's behalf and highly sympathetic to you. What grade is this?
Does this parent need to be in your classroom? If it isn't working out, could you get the principal on your side, and come in and observe.........and take further action?
This is a K-1 classroom in a public school. I have enlisted the principal's help. She was supportive to me in a meeting and said she would have a meeting with this parent. I talked with the principal a week ago and have yet to hear if she has spoken with her. Thanks SOOOOOOOOOOO much for the supportive responses! It helps hearing others' views of your situation.
It sounds like you need to remind the principal - follow up and ask her what is going on (from her end) with this situation.
Hawkfan - Are you the one that said you have heard of Kingsley, Iowa - my hometown? Not too many Hawkeyes on AtoZ!
I wasn't the one who said that but I have....
So, what part of Iowa are you from?
I agree Glenda. I would put it in a way that shows how concerned you are for the kiddos in your classroom. This behavior certainly is disruptive, at the least. I feel for you!!! Why is she in there so much and nearly every day? If she is a volunteer, perhaps the principal could find a more fitting place for her in the school, that doesn't involve your classroom at all!!! I think this is an awful situation for her child to be put in. Poor kid!!! If she is like that in public, I can only imagine how over-bearing she must be at home!!!
She isn't a volunteer, she just observes. I have told my principal that the parent is affecting the learning of my other students. It is so hard to be nice to her (the parent)...I am just at my wits end!!!! I am going to email my principal tomorrow night and let her know that I want to follow up with our conversation, but suppose this parent comes in Monday and I haven't talked with her yet. My principal is also in charge of another school and isn't always at my school or available. That is why I asked for strategies to handle her. THanks again for your replies.
why is she observing everyday and for that long? I think that is absolutely ridiculous!!! Poor you!!!! I've had parents observe, but it was on a once or twice basis. Having someone in there who isn't doing work in the classroom is very disruptive and throws the whole class out of whack!!! YIKES!! Can you tell this parent enough of the observation period already? But of course in a tactful way. Keep trying to get a hold of your principal............this sounds like an awful situation!!!!!!
OUr school is open to parent observation and "drop ins". So I can't tell her that she can't be in the classroom. I SOOOOOOOO wish I could. I actually asked that she not be in classroom at all in the a.m. except for right before recess and lunch or during recess and lunch. I hope to talk with my principal soon!
Sounds like someone needs to get a life. Could your PTA help, maybe? - if moms do stuff in the school office, maybe the PTA could invite this mom to help out there?
I can't believe there isn't a clause in there to avoid just this situation. Is there a higher up or a teacher parent liaison you could have mediate? Hang in there.........someone has to see how disruptive this is to your class. Especially this rude person's daughter. SHe is hurting her own daughters education...........unbelievable some people can be so bold and rude!!! I'm so sorry you have to go through that!!!
Have you got any kind of assessment coming up for which you could tell her (without entirely fibbing) that her presence could screw up the results for the child and the other students?
However, from what you have said - this woman is not observing. She is disrupting your classroom by her words and actions. THAT should NOT be allowed at all!!! If I were a parent of another child in that room, I'd be furious that this parent was allowed to upset the learning process.
I know...that is why I am furious!!!!!! Believe me there have been nights I have come home so furious and frustrated. It is hard to stay positive. Like I said before, it is very hard for me to concentrate while she is in the classroom and after she leaves. I voiced that to my principal saying that she is affecting my teaching and therefore my students. I also told my principal that I didn't want her to be in the classroom except for right before recess/lunch or during recess/lunch. Do you think she is doing these things to protect her child or to control me or why?
I don't know why she would be doing that, but I do think She is rude, obnoxious, and totally out of line!! Is there a reason she feels the need to protect her child? Has there been an incident with the child? I just can't imagine what reason this mom has to be in your classroom, doing nothing but observing for THAT LONG!
Have you asked the mother why she feels the need to be in your classroom like this?
The child has been late (or extremely late like 11:00 a.m. about 6-7 days this school year) about 75% of the time. The mom is recently unemployed.
No I haven't...I don't even want to get into it with her...I am afraid as to how she will handle herself. One day she comes in and gives me a compliment and the next she is coming in with a scowl and telling her child to do something that I said she couldn't.
So, she doesn't have anything better to do with her time than to bother a teacher and her students?!
She needs to get another job!
The mom told me that her mother told her she needs to stay home to be able to take care of her kids. She is in her late 30s.
Then tell her to STAY AT HOME - and stop bothering you!!!
Hopefully, your principal can help you get through to this thick one!
Yup, definitely needs to get a life.
Nov 20, 2005
I would be tempted to meet her at the door and tell her that before she comes back in the room the principal wants to speak to her. If you have parents that you know you can speak to, talk to them and have them speak to the principal about their concerns for their children being disturbed. Good luck!!
What an awful situation! Definitely keep after your principal; who is in charge when the principal is gone? Perhaps your counselor could help?
In the meantime, I would meet her at the door with a pile of "busy work" in my hands and ask her if she could possibly help with -cutting, gluing, copying, tracing, laminating, whatever- and point her in the direction of the workroom.
Jul 5, 2006
this an very good intellect answer
Thank you ,
Jul 6, 2006
Could you have something for the mom to do when she comes until this is resolved with your principal? For example, when she comes in tell her you have some important things that need to be done this week and you are not going to have a chance to get to them and need her to do it? for example, cut out lamination, busy work, etc. This may keep her out of your hair, her sons hair and maybe she won't come back because she doesn't want to do any work or unti the principal gets it together. just a suggestion . . .
This thread is old it was started in Nov. 2005. Great suggestions though for teachers who may experience a similar issue with parents.