Frustrated

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mmath1212, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. mmath1212

    mmath1212 Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2008

    First of all I am not giving up on this profession, but I am starting to understand why there are a lot of people that leave teaching after 5 years. I'm also starting to understand why the first year is all about survival. I'm not sure I'm going to survive, but I'm going to try. I had a student's mother come to my principal and say that her child told me about another student harrassing her and I didn't do anything about it. I would never not do something if a student told me they were being harassed. This child is very quiet and so I wonder if I misunderstood what she was trying to tell me. The same allegation was made against our counselor and she says the same thing, that the child never mentioned being harrassed. This just really sucks that this is happening my first year of teaching. I know I'm a good teacher in a lot of ways, but then I wonder if I can handle all the "stuff" that comes with this profession. I won't give up. I just hope I'm not forced to give up my dream because of something I misunderstood or what may very well be a fabrication on the part of the parent.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 1, 2008

    I was told my first year by a father that I shouldn't have become a teacher and should have chosen a different field. I had to have someone watch my class because he did it first thing in the morning as the students were coming in, and I had to go cry to the principal. Luckily I had a very supportive admin. Then my second year teaching, I had a parent start in on me the first month of school and she didn't really ever let up. That put a mark on me as far as admin was concerned and they were not as supportive. As each year goes by, I find my skin grows thicker and thicker. Hang in there! Don't let a parent steer you from your dream.
     
  4. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Feb 1, 2008

    The incident you described will probably happen every year of your teaching career. It's a common occurance. Students are often looking for sympathy or attention from their parents and will elaborate once they've got their attention. She may have been harrassed and was too timid to approach you, or it was a very small incident that's been blown up.

    I can hear the discussion at home now. Mom: "That's horrible! Did you tell your teacher?" Child: (thinking "Well, lookee here...Mom's not upset with me and look at the sympathetic ear I'm getting" says back to her, "Well, I tried to but she didn't do anything."

    I always just say to the parent, "Well, I can't do anything about it if I don't know about it. It will be handled. Let me know if there's a future problem."

    It's frustrating, but very common. There's a lot of "stuff" involved with teaching, and you just want to scream, "Can I just teach here?" So figure out if the rewards are outweighing the annoyances, factor in whether your admin. and your colleagues are supportive or you should move to a school where the adults are sympathetic to you, then decide if you want to stay in teaching.

    Good luck.
     
  5. mmath1212

    mmath1212 Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2008

    I definitely want to stay in this profession. My reason for doing this is because I love kids and really feel I can help them so I just have to toughen up. It helps to know others have been through similar experiences.
     
  6. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Feb 1, 2008

    It took me several years to get that tough skin, and even now I can still get so annoyed or upset or whatever. But after twenty something years of teaching, I can say that there are certain parent behaviors that are repetitious and obnoxious. You just want to roll your eyes and give them that teacher look...

    ...or just say "Got it. Go away".
     
  7. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2008

    I'm always grateful for the parent with a clue who starts the conversation with "Here's what he told me... now what happened?" instead of the ones that take whatever their kid says as 100% true. I know they need to stick up for their kid.. but seriously, do they reeeeally think I wasted my time to give him a detention or a bad grade for absolutely no reason while he sat there like an angel and did all of his work carefully??? Yup, because we have nothing better to do than antagonize their perfect child... :lol:
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Feb 1, 2008

    Somebody said somewhere, but I'm not sure where, that they say something at the begining of the year to the effect of "we'll only believe half of what your kid says happens at home if you only believe half of what he says happens at school". I still remember that line and get a chuckle out of it.

    Kids will be kids and sometimes they tell their parents stuf, then their parents ask if they told the teacher and now the kid thinks, oh, no, my mom will be mad at me if she thinks I didn't do that, so they tell their parent then the parent goes off into a huff into the school...I swear I wish parents would realize that kids not telling the whole truth was NORMAL. I would never fully believe any kind of story like that out of my own kids till I confirmed it with another adult.

    Hang in there...the skin will get thicker, I promise.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 1, 2008

    Kids have a way of explaining things so that they look very innocent. Just hang in there; I know you'll do great!
     
  10. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    I love that! I think I'm going to have to add that to my open house presentation next year! :D
     
  11. iTeacher

    iTeacher Rookie

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    Feb 2, 2008

    Last year I had a little boy who keep telling his mom his version of the story and she would come in and yell at me. One time she brought her son in with her and started in on me. I turned to her son and said now did that really happen? Let's tell mom what really happened. Being put on the spot he told his mom the truth and then said he was only teasing her (the lie). Instead of the mom apologizing to me she told her kid in a very sweet voice, Oh don't tease me anymore! I was so angry.
     
  12. blue-eyed mom

    blue-eyed mom Companion

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    Feb 2, 2008

    UUgg!:eek: Don't you want to scream??!! The longer I teach, the more kids I see that are doing this. And the more parents that react that way. Just this week I had a parent tell me that she knows "her daughter is always perfectly behaved." Where's my video camera??
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Feb 2, 2008

    Get out your cell phone...I had a parent like that so I took a few pics of her daughter sleeping through my class...one during a test even. She wasn't real happy, but I got my point across.
     
  14. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Feb 2, 2008

    The other posters are completely right. Your skin will grow thicker, and it will become much easier. In my first year of teaching, I had a problem student that cursed, hit students, refused to work, and just made my life miserable. One day, he went home and told his Mom I called him a "B****." The Mom came up the next morning with a bat and started yelling at me in the middle of the hallway, trying to provoke me. I calmly told her that I did no such thing, and that he constantly curses in class and is notorious for lying. The principal came and ordered the mother of school property. He backed me up completely. The mother was known for being crazy. I still spent the whole school year being harassed by her. It was mentally draining at times.

    It does get easier as years go by. :hugs:
     
  15. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Feb 2, 2008

    Something similar happening to me was the most infuriating day I've had teaching yet! A parent called and yelled at me on the phone, but wouldn't explain what her concern was and hung up. Her kid had never been an issue in class.. was turning in work... it was completely out of the blue. Then she called admin and requested a conference with all of her kid's teachers, the grade level counselor and the principal because she wanted her "position" on my classroom policies made very clear to anyone working with her son in case the same "nonsense" was going on in other classes. I am a first year teacher and was mortified and sooo worried about this meeting. I didn't even know what she was upset about! When I got into the meeting she called me a liar and asked me to explain to the group why I had held her son after school for tutorials and to do maintenance tasks for me in my room like he was my aide. She was angry he'd been missing the bus home because of my demands. I've never held her son after school! We called him out of the class into the meeting and he admitted he was missing the bus because he was jacking around with his friends and he'd lied about all of it figuring she wouldn't find out.

    And what did she say to him? "Did you feel like you couldn't tell me the truth, honey?"

    And to me? "Make sure this never happens again." Make sure WHAT never happens again?? That your son never lies again and that you never drag me into a mess like this with a new employer and stress me out beyond belief??? Grrr... I was sooo angry.

    Good news was that admin was absolutely great about it, but you always worry that the seed was even planted in their mind of something being wrong. At least they complimented my calm handling of her accusations- and I was proud I looked calm because I sure wasn't feeling calm. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 2, 2008

    I had a parent jump me this week for her child not being allowed to go to the bathroom. She informed me that her child had peed her pants and it was my fault. I calmly told her since I was on duty, I know that she never asked to go into the building. She then said, "She says she asked you and you did not hear her."
    I told her 1. I don't think she asked, 2. your child was busy playing chase with the boys, 3. she never told me that she wet her pants, 4. I allow every child to go into the building if they tell me it is an emergency, and 5. your child loves to tell stories that aren't true. She then looked at me and said, "Do you think she has a medical problem and that is why she wet her pants?" NO YOUR CHILD IS SIX YEARS OLD AND SHE WAS PLAYING. Plus she knows that when she lies she gets you all riled up and you jump the nearest adult.

    This is the same mother that told me that last year's teacher paddled her child on the playground. I know that was a lie. The child has brought it up several times this year. I told the child "B, we both know that you made that story up, and I am tired of hearing about it. Your mother might believe you, but I don't. The next time you say that I am going to march you down to Mrs. D's room and you can tell her that story."

    Needless to say I have not heard that story in over two months.
     
  17. blue-eyed mom

    blue-eyed mom Companion

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    Feb 2, 2008

    You know...our skin does grow a lot tougher over the years. Nevertheless, I don't think it ever stops being frustrating.

    It does make me appreciate all my wonderful supportive parents.
     
  18. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Feb 2, 2008

    It's really comforting to know so many of us (if not all) are in the same boat. I remember an allegation in my first year that I hit a child on the head. I was devastated that they could think that of me, and I felt like I had a big black mark on my file and my forehead - it was really soul destroying.

    Now, with quite a few more years under my belt, I call a conference with parent and child and get the child to tell both adults what the problem is. Funny how their stories change when both teacher and parents are sitting together!

    Mmath1212 it is a shame this happened in your first year - but something similar is likely to happen most years. If you do stuff up, accept it, apologise and learn from it. If you are being lied about, don't take it personally - you can't afford to, it will beat you down. You will toughen up to personal attacks in time, and meanwhile try to focus on all the good things you've achieved. It will get easier, but I do agree that it's still really unsettling.
     

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