Having another teacher's child in your class... Help!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by AsherDasher, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. AsherDasher

    AsherDasher Companion

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    Jul 17, 2011

    So this fall will be my first year teaching. Wahoo! :thumb: But...I found out that not only will I have my mentor teacher's child in my class (my mentor teaches the same grade level as I do), but the child also has an IEP (which IMO will make for uncomfortable meetings...) and I will have an aide in my room which happens to be one of the spec. ed teachers from the building.

    Is it me, or is this a lot of pressure to put on a first year teacher? What are some suggestions for making the best out of this situation? Luckily I have had experience with IEP meetings but not in the context that this situation will have... :help:
     
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  3. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Yikes! That sounds kinda intense. I will have our Kindergarten teacher's daughter... So I'm interested to hear everyone's input!
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    First, don't think of the spec. ed. teacher as an aide. She/he is a teacher!

    Second, keep the lines of communication open just like you would for any parent. While at school, you can stop to chat about the student (but only if this is what you would do if any other parent stopped by). Otherwise, schedule a meeting with the parent.
     
  5. AsherDasher

    AsherDasher Companion

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    I understand that the person assuming the aide role is a teacher. I think that she will actually be a great asset both for me and to the students to have her in the classroom. I am just nervous about how it will all play out.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I think if you lead every decision with "what is good for this child," instead of thoughts like, "what will my mentor think," you can't go wrong.

    I think it might be helpful to share your concerns of the extra pressure with your mentor.
     
  7. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Does your school call the special ed teacher an aide when they're in your room? If a teacher referred to me as an aide I think I would be slightly offended. I've had teachers ask me to make copies or do a "chore" for them and I was always taken aback.

    As for having this child in your room, I think it's best to treat them as you would any other student. Make sure there is a clear line drawn which may require that you have a conversation with your mentor teacher prior to the start of the year.

    The IEP meeting is generally led by the SPED teacher, you'll provide input as far as current levels. Don't stress too much about the IEP meeting.
     
  8. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    95% of my class were the kids of teachers. I have never had a problem. I have had several kids with learning problems that have done well that were also teacher's kids. Just take a breath and know that the "mom" is going to be supportive because she sits on both sides of that fence. :)

     
  9. AsherDasher

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    MissAnt- I don't know the answer pertaining to what the spec. ed teacher is referred to as this will be my first year here. The only reason I said what I did previously was that my mentor teacher said "FYI you will have an aide in your room for most of the day and I believe it will be Ms. _____ the spec ed teacher." I am planning on referring to her as Ms. _______, who is one of the many teachers in the building. Because this past year I assumed the role of an aide (was hired as one) at a different school, I understand a little about the respect that one would want if in a position as one. Certainly I am guessing that this teacher will take more the role of a support/resource teacher for the students in my class. I was told that she will be able to work with small groups or one on one as needed.

    SCTeach- That is a great point that my mentor will be able to see things from both sides of the fence, as a mom and a teacher. I like that! :)
     
  10. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    As the parent of children that went to the same school that I taught at, do not go to the teacher parent and tell them anything about their child that you would not call any parent about. We had a teacher that was so bad and would come and complain about my daughter's behavior (I admit that she can be a rebel child but is no worse than any other kid in the class) that the principal had to go to her and tell her that if she had any other problems with my daughter that she would have to call my husband. I was being approached by her everyday in the teacher's lounge.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    If the spec. ed. teacher is a teacher, then you need to treat her as such. Have her help with the planning, etc. Do not refer to the position as an aide (unless this is what her job title is).

    You can also ask the mom how she prefers to be contacted. Some parents want all contact with the parent who doesn't work in the school, some want you to use their cell or home number, some want a different email. Be sure to honor this request.
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I've had a lot of teachers' kids in my room, last year I had 2 teacher's kids, our supervisor's niece, one of the school nurse's daughters, and a teacher's grandson in my room. Only the grandmother gave me trouble. She's the only one to have ever given me trouble. Talk to your mentor early on about the fact that you will treat her child just like the others in the room (not letting him/her go to mom for homework or getting something signed that should have, etc. ) I work very hard to keep things equal for all the kids. Not for me, but for the kids. They are already behind an 8 ball because of having a family member working at the school. The other kids just naturally assume things will be easier for them. I'm not tougher on them, I just treat them the same. (That was part of the issue with the grandmother. Often the grandson would forget his signed, graded papers and would ask to go to her room so she could call his mom to bring them. I told both of them several times that I don't let other kids call home for them and I wouldn't let him. He needs to learn responsibility as well.) Often, the teachers' kids are the ones I love the most. Like one of my little girls this year. Her mom is a 1st grade teacher at my school. Anytime she thought I was giving any special treatment to her daughter (letting her retest, etc) she instantly told me not to, to treat her like all the others so that she wouldn't depend on mom. I assured her that H didn't get any chances the other didn't, but that I loved her to pieces. She was the best child in my room.
     
  13. AsherDasher

    AsherDasher Companion

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    I think the bottom line is that I will have to find out more details regarding the additional teacher and what exactly her role is supposed to be while in the classroom with me. I am sure this can be done through a chat directly with her.

    The advice regarding how the mom wishes to be contacted is great. I didn't consider those tips until you just mentioned them. Thanks!
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We have several students whose mothers are teachers at our school. Our administrator has put into place a "policy" whereby if there are serious academic or behaviour concerns about one of the students, the parent who is not at our school be the first point of contact and be involved in all meetings.
     
  15. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I would ask an administrator what is the other persons title/ responsibilities in your classroom.

    We had a special ed teacher that due to a lack of space had to do her pull out in my class and most of the time she just monitored the students with IEP's at their desks and assisted them. However, she wasn't a co-teacher or an aide. There was no planning together, no copying papers, no grading, no collaborating. I had no idea how that was supposed to work so I talked with the principal who explained to me what was expected of her, me, and what she was 'willing' to do.
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    If she is a teacher in the school, she is a teacher. I think having a chat with her is important.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree with mopar; speak with the Special Ed teacher about her role in the room. This is not a situation where there should be any confusion, on the part of either of you, as to what you each expect of the other.
     
  18. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I have had several faculty members' children in my class. I have never had a problem. Like others suggested, don't report every single thing that happens to the teacher. Only discuss things that you would with any other parent. Also, don't make casual comments in the hallway about an issue-make sure to schedule a meeting if there is a problem or issue you need to talk about.

    As a first year teacher you will be expected to do everything the other teachers do, so don't necessarily think of it as extra pressure on a first-year teacher. They hired you because they know you can handle it! You will do fine!
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Excellent advice! Unfortunately, teaching isn't a job that you can "ease" into.
     
  20. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I've taught teachers' kids, and my kids go to my school, so I see it from both sides. Try very hard not to think of the kid as "a teacher's kid." Think of him/her as a student in your class. Don't give him/her any special treatment, but also don't have higher (or lower) expectations of him/her. That's what I hope for my own kids....

    I am guilty, however, of using the proximity and relationships to have a "quick chat" about issues rather than asking for a conference. If I have a big concern, I won't do it on the fly. I'll send an email stating my concern and asking for time to chat about it. But if my kid has had a hard time sleeping, or is complaining about not being able to see the board, I'm just as likely to mention it at lunch in the teachers' lounge as anything.

    Kim
     
  21. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    However, there is a difference between being a teacher in the school and being a co-teacher/teacher in your classroom. This really depends on the dynamic or role that the administrators set up by putting the other teacher in the classroom. If they put them in there to work with certain students then you cannot expect them to act as a co-teacher nor an aide.

    I think having a chat with an administrator, as a first year teacher, should be the first step and then having a chat with the other teacher. This is just from my personal experience but some tenured teachers do try to take advantage of new teachers who do not know the policies, administrators, etc.
     
  22. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I was more worried about the OP stating that an aide will be in the classroom that is a spec. ed. teacher in the school. If she is a special education teacher, she is not an aide.

    The special education teacher should be able to tell you why they are in your classroom (whether to co-teach, reteach, or pull out certain students). But having two teachers in a classroom can take a variety of roles and is something that the teachers need to problem solve and find what situation works best.
     
  23. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I think that having two teachers in the room who are willing and able to co-teach is the best outcome for the students. However, that is not a reality that I have experienced, seen, or heard about. I actually just read an article online not too long ago about how co-teaching is a buzzword in education but research had proven that it's not effective because one teacher never fully commits to it or the personalities/procedures/ideas clash.
     
  24. ami6880

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    My first year I had another teachers child in my class who also happened to struggle with math. I think you will find that she will be much more supportive than judgemental. Remember that she knows what it is like to be a new teacher and as your mentor she is there to support you.
     
  25. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    LUC---I'd love to see that article.

    In all my coursework, co-teaching could come in a variety of ways. It really depends on what works for the team.

    I would also be very careful about what I say to the other teacher in my classroom. Keep your comments about the kids positive or problem solving conversations. You never know what will get around the school.
     
  26. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I was new to my school last year and had several students in my classes of people who worked in the district (and my building). Because I teach band & choir in addition to all 6th grade music I have students who have parents and other relatives in the district. (The art teacher already let me know her son would be in my band playing drums next year.) You will have this a lot...especially in smaller districts where teachers actually live where they teach. This was new to me as I came from a larger city.

    It is a little intimidating being new & knowing that people talk. My advice is to be very positive. (Make sure you do not say negative things about their child...or any other child! You never know who is listening or who knows who!) If they are in the same building with you make small talk and get to know them. The son of the secretary in my school was in my band...and I made her my biggest fan. I would always chat with her about what we were doing in band or tell her something funny that happened. This year I also had...the niece of the lady who runs the cafeteria (which is next to my room), the secretary at another school, &a few teachers' children. I truly enjoyed working with all of them & their children! In fact one of my last classes my 5th grade presented a gift to me. It was a pictures from the concert with all 60 of the students signatures on it in a frame. It was the best thing I have ever received from my students! They had to send the picture to all 4 elementary schools to do this (I travel to teach band). I think the only reason this was done was BECAUSE the parent worked in my building. Good luck! :hugs:
     
  27. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I'll look for it. I may have saved it on my computer. It was forwarded to me in PDF format.

    I agree about being careful with what is shared/said to anyone else in your room.
     
  28. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    This year I taught a student whose father is my colleague. Her mother is also a tutor. It was a great experience - she's a delightful young person and her parents were a great resource.

    I agree that teaching is not something you can "ease into." Just do your absolute best. Some things will work well, others won't. But the details I stressed about in advance turned out to be no big deal, while things I never really anticipated proved challenging.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Try very hard not to let those feelings show. It's one of the quickest ways to lose the respect of your coworkers.

    You were hired as a full professional, not an intern. Every single teacher in your school will know some other professional who wasn't hired, who would love to have had the opportunity that was offered to you.

    You're a professional. You can and will handle anything that any other professional teacher can.

    As to the whole issue, don't sweat it. I've taught lots and lots of the kids of coworkers. (most recently this past year.) Do as others have advised-- treat the kid like any other kid. Don't feel obligated to tell mom anything that wouldn't be worth a phone call home for some other kid.
     
  30. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    RED FLAG!:help:
    Your main concern is the child SO Mama can just relax and take a number, like the rest of the parents.
    You will have to do a lot of log work and when you get to meet with Mama, let her know upfront what your agenda is. Just because she's there does not mean her child will be your fav. Mama will respect you MORE if you let her know right away that you don't play. Make sure you do not talk about her to other teachers, and the principal, 'CAUSE when that schet hits the fan, watch out! Who knows she might end up being one of your friends. Always try and see the positive in others. IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU and your way of life.
    Rebel1:D
     
  31. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    For me, I find it most effective if I don't deal with the teacher at school about their child. I always let them know at the beginning of the year (usually via phone call) how happy I am that their child will be in my class and that I'd like to set some ground rules to make things fair for their kids and for them and for me to be most effective. I tell them that I will always identify myself as Mrs. Teacher when I am wearing my teacher hat. I will always set up a time to meet, not just assume they have time for me when I see them in the halls. I tell them that I know they will afford me the same courtesy. I also do not answer business emails that come to my home email address. I forward them to the school email and answer them during school. I keep the lines drawn to protect everyone.

    As to being a lot of pressure, I don't think so. You are just nervous because you are not in that place yet. Don't be. When they are your mentor, they are your mentor. When you are the teacher and they are the parent, then those rules apply.
     
  32. optimist05

    optimist05 Rookie

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    Good Luck & I hope that it's more comfortable than you think...I have a potential job opportunity where the PRINCIPAL'S child will be starting kindergarten!!! (in my class aaaahhhh!!!)
     
  33. juliechsa

    juliechsa Rookie

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    I second the above! Save the comments about the student for after school times, use email, or contact the other parent. I've been there and it can get uncomfortable. If it is the parent coming to you during the school day, ask to schedule a meeting when you are both free before or after school, not during lunch.
     
  34. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I think it all depends on the parent, but you don't necessarily need to be concerned. My son attends my school and I am very laid back about it. I write notes in the communication journal if I have a question or something to share just like any other parent would do. I've never asked, "How's he doing?" I treat her like his teacher as any parent outside the school would do in all aspects of that role and I treat her as a friend/colleague in meetings, the hall and teacher's room.

    It says you are a 5th grade teacher so by now she has had her child in school for a while. I don't think it will be a problem.
     
  35. Hitchcock fan

    Hitchcock fan Companion

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    For my first year of teaching, I was given all the classes no one else would take! When I say "thugs," I am not exaggerating. One tried to blow up the school by turning on all the Bunsen burners in the science lab and was found with matches; 20 of my students were arrested in a drug sting; and so on. I had SpEd students, too, with no support. So, while I am not unsympathetic, it could be much worse! I would express my concerns to the mentor/parent up front - she knows it's going to be awkward, too, and she'll be impressed that you recognize that. Once the concern is aired, I think that's half the battle. Good luck!
     
  36. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Over the years I've had more teacher's kids than I can count. Many were high needs. Someone must think you'll do great otherwise they wouldn't have put them in your room.

    Just remember, 'Mom' is before and after school. She's a teacher during the day.
     
  37. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    My first year i had another teacher's daughter. When I had her other daughter a couple years later, she was actually serving as the interim principal. I had another coworker's daughter htis last year. It never was a big deal, but it was intimidating at first! Actually, teaching at a small parochial school, we have a lot of kids whose parents teach at other schools. To me, it's more intimidating when I have a student whose parent also teaches third grade. But again, it's a testament to the great families we have here that it's never been a problem.
     
  38. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    First I'm going to start off by saying yes it will be awkward, interesting, rewarding while testing and pushing you to your limits all at the same time!

    I just came out of this situation this school year myself. BUT I had a child in my class whose both parents worked in very high places in the county. It can be frightening, but now looking back, I wouldnt have had it any other way. It pushed me to know my "stuff", practice them, be prepared for impromptu conferences, notes, phone calls, emails etc. But once you make it through you know you can handle all those difficult/awkward parent situations no matter what.

    And I can honestly say that I'm going to miss her daughter! She definetly became one of my favs!
     
  39. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    I had the assistant principals daughter in my class this past year (my first year full-time teaching), and I will have my principals daughter in my class this upcoming year! I was very intimidated at first, but everything turned out to be just fine. The AP acted like any other parent, and would only stop by in the morning if there was something happening at home (other parent going away for business or something like that), which may cause her daughter to feel upset. The only times I stopped her in the hallway was if her daughter was clearly upset (she definitely wasn't the type to get upset often) about what the she originally voiced as a potential concern to me. It was a great situation, and I can only hope next year will be great as well! Relax and don't worry! :)
     
  40. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I would be HIGHLY offended if my child were having problems that his/her teacher did not talk to me about it.

    I have had my kids in my school before and have had many teachers and principal's kids. Although I would talk about it in the middle of the day, I definitely would talk to them after school. It always worked out well except the one teacher who came to class and smacked her child 2 or 3 times right outside my room:eek: She was not a teacher at my school, but in the same district.

    One year my best friend and I both taught first grade and both our son's were first graders. She had mine and I had hers. It was perfectly fine and it was a cool year to be so close to my son (same fieldtrips, P.E., lunch). I wouldn't want to do it again, but it was a nice year that we both will always remember.
     
  41. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Last year I had the principal's little girl and her mother taught 4th grade in our school too. Right next door to my room no less! :) I was nervous, but I tell you it was wonderful! Her mom was not only a wonderful friend to me as my co-worker, but hugely supportive of me as her teacher. We openly talked about any concerns either of us ever had and it was not a problem at all. We worked through days where her child begged to go see her mom during class. (Her mom and I decided before school began that would not be an option unless a true emergency) The principal made it clear I was to treat her like every other child and gave her no special treatment. It actually helped that his child was in my room because he knew what went on in my room on a regular basis curriculum wise and how I ran my classroom. That came in handy for a few tough parent conferences!! as nervous as I was in the beginning, it was a GREAT experience. :thumb:
     

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