Does this teacher hate my child?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Blue, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    We had teacher conferences tonight. My GS is 13 and in 8th grade. He has ADHD and is a handful. His 1st period teacher was very clear that he acts like a jerk in her room. I believe her. What gave me concern was her attitude toward him. I don't think she wants him in the classroom as he is not a model student. He seemed rather cool about her interest in solving his behavior problems.

    Are there students who drive you so crazy that you can't tolerate them? My GS got Bs in all his other classes. All his other teachers love him.
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Are his meds (if he's on any) kicking in by first period?

    Does he enjoy the subject that is taught first period?

    Perhaps he has a friend or two in the class, so he talks more than in the other classes?
     
  4. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Nov 26, 2013

    There are students who make learning difficult or impossible for the students who are also in my classroom. They are also disinterested in shaping up.

    Yes, I dislike having them in the classroom. I don't dislike the child themselves, but students are there to learn. I am there to teach, not to be a security guard or guidance counselor or one on one aide to a difficult child.
     
  5. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Also, as a parent to two teenagers myself, if they act up in school, they are punished at home. I back the teachers up, and if one of my kids didn't want to improve their behavior, then they would lose all privileges at home until they did.

    No, they don't have ADHD, but even if they did, I would still hold them accountable for their behavior because these teen and high school years go by very quickly. I wouldn't want them facing legal problems or be failing college a few years from now due to their behaviors.
     
  6. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Great question about meds kicking in.

    I think a teacher should be professional and put personal preferences aside, but the reality is that some kids will get along better with some teachers than others - regardless of disability. Doesn't make it right for a teacher to try any less hard, but again - it's a reality. What that would mean, to me, would be working more specifically with that teacher in terms of exact expectations to receive the desired goals (e.g., grade of B). If the teacher isn't naturally interested in working with the child, being more specific so you can minimize the likelihood of teacher bias is probably a better thing.

    GemStone, I appreciate your honesty in terms of not liking them in your classroom. I think that's a very honest and realistic reaction many teachers have, but it should be followed up with, "But I try my best to work as effectively with that student as all others, regardless of my personal preference." I'm sure you feel that way, but thought I'd point that out for sake of OP's discussion.

    In terms of punishment and accountability at home, that's generally not effective with kids with ADHD, as impulsivity - by definition - is something that happens in the moment without consideration of future consequences. The only reason for punishment at home would be to increase the likelihood that the child would think twice before misbehaving the next morning because of impending punishment that afternoon. If the child isn't going to think twice because of lack of neurological ability to do so, it's not likely to work. That being said, I'm not against punishment, but it should probably be delivered more immediately (i.e., in the classroom) and more sparingly/strategically with kids with ADHD.

    In other words, accountability via punishment at home for kids with ADHD is probably not as big of a deal.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 26, 2013

    I am a mother of a 20 year old son with ADD. We never medicated him because he was able to keep his grades up and stay on task. I did hold him accountable at home for his actions at school. A judge is going to hold him accountable for his actions in public and private when he is older.

    I have had children that I just couldn't stand. I had to work hard to make sure that I treated them fairly. I would sit in their chair each morning and pray for them and my attitude toward them. With that said, there were days that they would try to push my buttons.

    As for your grandson, I am sure that the teacher is frustrated with his attitude. Eighth graders are known for being pains when they think they can get away with it. Blue, I have read your post before and know that you are very aware of the problems your GS has. I think reaching out to the teacher and letting them know that you support them will go a long way. I have found that my attitude toward different children have changed because I saw the dedication that their families had to give them a great education. Good luck.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I won't say there are students I CAN'T tolerate because they are not going anywhere so I have to tolerate them all year long. But, I have taught (currently teach) some students who drive me so crazy that I really wish I did not have to interact with them. These are the kids that are over-the-top disrespectful, do not feel that they should have to follow any rules, and want to run the show. Since there is no parental support when I call home, no discipline/consequence method that works; it is very frustrating to deal with this on a daily basis.

    And, I doubt the teacher hates your GS.
     
  9. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I have had many students whose personality did not click with mine, making it hard to teach them. As Go Blue said, I had to work hard to treat them fairly. I also think that it was hard for the student to be in my room when our personalities did not click. However, in the "real" world, we may not always like who we are working with, and we have to remain professional.
    I think that your GS's teacher might fit into this category. I doubt that the teacher dislikes your GS, but the personalities may not mesh and it makes it difficult-on both sides.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

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    I have disliked two students. Out of the hundreds I've taught, only two have actually made that category. I can usually find something to like about every student and genuinely care about each one of them within weeks of meeting them. But with these students, each passing day just caused me to dislike them more. I did my job with those kids but I refused to let them suck away time and energy that could be spent on students who deserved it more.

    Some teachers cannot find good in their students. So it might be that your GS's teacher does dislike him. Those teachers' opinions aren't worth worrying about.
     
  11. JustMe

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    I assume you're also concerned about his behavior? You admit he's a handful and don't doubt he's being a jerk. So how do you respond to this news?

    It's interesting that all other teachers don't just tolerate him but "love him". If this is true, then either it's a med issue or personalities really clashing. Or maybe he struggles in the subject and shuts down?

    Have you talked to him?
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Bros has it summarized perfectly. His meds are just kicking in, he does not like the teacher, and he has 3 friends that he is a jerk with. My daughter and I were very supportive of the teacher. I told her that we understood what she was saying--she was struggling to find gentle words to tell us he is a behavior problem. In spite of that, she was very cold towards us. Of course we are concerned about his behavior--as I have shared in previous posts. That is why I am asking you about this situation.

    GS behavior is getting better, so we will work on this. He did get all Bs in his other classes, and a C in this class. These are his grades and he never does homework or studies. Thanks for listening. I feel it is a parent's responsibility to move heave and earth to help their children be successful. And I will.
     
  13. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Not all kids with ADHD are jerks. Kids who are allowed to get away with being jerks, are jerks.

    You need to support that teacher by refusing to allow your grandson to continue disrupting the classroom.

    He doesn't like the teacher? Too bad. Meds haven't kicked in? Give them to him earlier. He wants to be a jerk with his friends? Then he doesn't hang out with any friends until he can act like he cares about other people.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Is it possible to give the meds earlier so they'll be working in class? If so, then the behavior issues may cease, or at least, lessen.

    If you can't give him the meds earlier, could a short acting med be given first thing in the morning, something like Adderall or Ritalin, that might kick in in time for first period?

    If that isn't an option and meds can't be given earlier, let's out something that can be fixed: He doesn't like his teacher and he has friends in the class.

    One possible solution is that the teacher moves him to the front of the room to help with his early morning attention (This helped me a lot in MS and HS with my attention. I was and am still unmedicated for my ADHD, though). If simply moving him to the front of the room doesn't help, could something inconspicuous be given as a fidget for him to fidget with - maybe something in his pocket?
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Yep.
     
  16. EdEd

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    I'm really sensing that you have a particular, personalized view of this child that you haven't met. It sounds as though you're assuming that the issues he's having in class are singularly due to a very intentional decision to misbehave, as opposed to other (more likely) reasons such as lack of social skills, difficulty with impulse control, etc., all of which would be more appropriately addressed through means other than an attitude of "too bad" and punishment.

    Sorry to be on the offensive here, but my experience has been that constructing an accurate and helpful perspective of misbehavior is the first step to helping kids, and not all behavioral situations fit in the same box. I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong with your approach, but I'm not seeing where any of the evidence supports it either.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 27, 2013

    EdEd, you have not offended me at all. In fact, I am excited to have another approach to use on GS. Yes, much of his misbehavior is due to ADHD impulse control and lack of social skills. Many of his skills are at the preschool level. The school he is in is very poor. No programs are available to help with skill development. Also, GS is intelligent enough to work on skill development, but he chooses not to. I would love to hear more from you, EdEd. We are aware of our lack of knowledge and personal bias. We love him, and want to help him.

    Meds can be given a bit earlier, and we will do that. He has used props in the past, so we may initiate those. We discussed these with the teacher, and she will let us know if she wants them in the classroom. The new term is starting, so he will have this class later in the day. If he continues to disrupt the class, his mom will go to school to sit in the class with him--she threatens to go in her PJs.

    Thank you for support and suggestions.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Blue, I've read your posts over the years. That 13 year old boy is lucky to have you in his life. I've seen how many times you've reached out for help and for advice. And your willingness to hear unpleasant assumptions, if only it will help you help your grandson. And the support his teachers are getting in your home as you strive to do what's best for him. Those of us who have followed your posts over the years know he's not being "allowed to be a jerk" in your home or where you can prevent it.

    I've also seen that there are some teachers out there who expect a class full of Stepford Students, and become very unpleasant when they don't get one. If this woman's dislike of your grandson was this obvious to you, I can only imagine how she reacts to this 13 year old when his mom and grandmother aren't present. And we all know that a 13 year old boy will do almost anything to save face in front of his peers-- when he feels backed in to a corner, he's not going to go down quietly.

    Does he have a guidance counselor, one who knows him? What does he/she say? Other than "she hates me" what does your grandson say? How does he explain the difference in his behavior in that period from the rest of the day? What time is the class? Is he hungry, perhaps his blood sugar is low? (I'm married to a diabetic; I've seen the difference that low blood sugar can make!) Most important, what's his plan for improving both his behavior in that class and his grade? Would it help if she moved his seat away from his buddies?

    At 13, he's old enough to be in on this conversation.
     
  19. Missy

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    Nov 27, 2013

    You said the teacher used gentle words, but was cold towards you. Is that her personality/style? It may not be personal towards you or the student, just the way she is.
     
  20. EdEd

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    Nov 27, 2013

    Hi Blue - just to clarify, that last post of mine wasn't directed toward you, so didn't want me to think I was disagreeing with your comments.

    I think giving meds a bit earlier and seeing how that works is a great place to start. If he behaves substantially better, that might - by itself - do the trick in terms of 1st period. I might let the teacher know, then possibly say you'd be very interested to hear about any changes she notices. She may hold on to an emotional view of the situation and not see positive changes for what they are, which is why some structured question-asking and checking-in might help prompt her.

    If you're still noticing issues even after that, I think additional strategies might be needed, but that's a good place to start.

    And I agree with Alice - definitely lucky to have you!
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 27, 2013

    Could totally be this. Upper middle school and definitely high school teachers tend to be perceived as more 'serious'...with classes changing every period there's less time to learn the ins and outs of kids and the focus is more on getting it all in within a 40 minute period. Behavior issues can disrupt teaching and learning.

    Could be the meds issue, but consider its 8th grade....it's time for kids to start being accountable for their own decisions and behaviors...even if they are on meds. You believe that he probably is being a jerk. It's hard to be jazzed about a kid who's being a 'jerk' whether you like him or not...it makes teaching hard, it makes the learning for others difficult. How do you see this as the teachers responsibility for solving his behavior problems? Next year is high school...how do you think HS teachers are going to manage disruptive behaviors? Just some things to think about, not an indictment of anyone...but it might be productive to think about earlier dosing, learning to self monitor, arranging schedule for later classes...
    At a minimum he should be doing his homework.
     
  22. gr3teacher

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    Nov 27, 2013

    As a teacher, I like all my kids, and if for some reason I didn't like one, I'd darn well do everything I could to make sure the kid didn't know it.

    With that said, some kids are a lot easier to like than others. Keep in mind that this teacher doesn't see your grandson with a big smile on his face after a sports event. She doesn't see him spend his allowance money to buy Christmas presents. She doesn't see him let his younger siblings beat him at a video game (all random examples, since I don't know anything about your family, but you get the idea). The teacher sees a 13 year old with a bad attitude that is constantly causing trouble, disrupting the class, and negatively impacting the learning of all other children in the classroom in a way that no other student is. What do you think the teacher will feel in that circumstance?
     
  23. Blue

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    Nov 28, 2013

    This is turning into a great discussion. It is all very helpful to me, as I need objective insight. I understand the issues this teacher has with my GS. That is my main objective for asking for your help. I will do my part, with meds earlier. I am impressing upon my GS that he has the ability to help her out by controlling his friends. A bit off the subject, but his school has changed the way they grade. I thought it was part of the new common core stuff. The students are graded upon mastering the material, and not on homework. They can choose to do it or not. That is why my GS was able to get almost all Bs. He can learn by listening, and prove it by testing.
     
  24. joeschmoe

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    Nov 28, 2013


    I don't think most teachers hate their problem students in the sense of the word hate. But teachers are human and anyone who says they like their problem students are lying. I have one student who comes to mind. I don't hate him on a personal level, but I also admit my life would be easier if he just transfers to another school or teacher.
     

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