First parent complaint....how do you deal?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bewlove, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 13, 2015

    Hey, everyone. Sorry for all the bummed posts lately. I just am having a rough time. Here's the background:

    I am a first year teacher. I teach at an elementary school. Our school offers free tutoring on Mondays. Another teacher has been in charge of it all year, but right before Thanksgiving, he asked if I could do it with him due to the number of students. I said I would.

    Due to Christmas break, and him cancelling for various reasons (etc. flat tire, sick), we have only gotten to have tutoring 4 times. The first time, I asked him if there was something I needed to prepare. He said no. The first week, all the kids did the whole time was play on an educational website. I wasn't sure how I felt about this, and I kept asking, is this all we do? We don't actually do any work with them? And he said no. I didn't really want to step on toes, so I just went with the flow. He said that this is what they have been doing since it started at the beginning of the year. We have done this four times now. Turns out, he won't be able to do it anymore starting in February. I will be taking it over. I already had plans to revamp the whole thing and start doing small groups, games, etc. Because I've always felt this was wrong. I mean, we're getting paid for this! We shouldn't be grading papers while they play on a computer. Maybe I should have spoken up.

    Anyway, yesterday one of my team teacher's students was in tutoring. She asked what types of computer games to play and I said ELA, because I know she struggles in it. I only teach her ELA and social studies. Apparently, she made an F in math on her report card. I didn't realize this, or I would have had her work on math.

    Today, her mother calls my team teacher with two (legitimate) complaints:
    1. She wanted student to work on math. She didn't understand why her daughter was working on ELA the whole time and not math.
    2. She was angry that all the students did was play on the computer.

    Here's my issue with this: I don't blame her at all for being upset about the tutoring situation, but I just hate that my name is tied into it. I have only done it a handful of times and I was just taking his lead. I already have plans to really transform it once it's just me, but now I look bad.

    Second, she said other parents have been talking about it as well. PLURAL. That means I have several parents who are angry with me about this. Once again, I hate that my name is even involved in this.

    Anyway, I called her. I apologized for having her work on ELA, and I explained that I hadn't seen her report card and that from now on I will surely have her work on math. This launched her into a whole speech about how the old tutoring teachers used to go to the students' teacher and find areas for refinement. I assured the mother that I was completely planning on doing that, and short of throwing the teacher I tutor with under the bus, I tried to assure her that I have some fresh new ideas for the kids to do when I take over everything.

    Anyway.....it was just a rough situation. I feel bad because I didn't want to basically blame him, but at the same time, that isn't my impression of tutoring either! I should have said something to him or to admin I guess. I don't know.

    I just am really bummed about having a parent angry with me. :crosseyed
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2015

    I would blame him if you didn't get the correct information. Find out exactly what you're supposed to do and tell the parents that is what will happen from now on since you now have the correct information. Hey, it's free tutoring! The kids are out of the parents' hair for a bit!
     
  4. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Jan 14, 2015

    She will get over it. She voiced her concerns, and you listened. That alone makes a big difference.
     

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