Hmmmm, kids keep complaining to me about their teachers/class. Should I inform teache

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peachyness, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 17, 2010

    So, I don't know why, but the kids I work with complain to me about their teacher and their class. Some of their complaints I understand (this one teacher has never done any real work from their math textbook this whole year!! They JUST started chapter one. This was confirmed by her partner teacher; and the students are annoyed that they are SO far behind from the other class), others are silly, whining type complaints from lazy students (science is boring, etc).

    So, when students start to complain, I tell them to stop, I don't want to hear it.

    But, every now and then, I feel that I should let their teacher know what their kids are saying. Should I? Is it my place? I feel no. But then again, if my own kids were complaining to other teachers/staff, I would want to know so I can fix the issue.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2.  
  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    15

    Feb 17, 2010

    I don't let students complain about my coworkers in front of me. I tell them that if their concern is valid they should approach the teacher or the admin.

    I tell my students the same about me ... "if you think I am being unfair, unfocused, whatever, let's have a conversation so the situation can improve for both of us." I'm sure I sometimes do things that students don't like and they complain to others (e.g. set a due date) but I make decisions with the lead of "what is best for the students" and I'm confident in what I do in the classroom.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 17, 2010

    Students like to complain to me about one teacher in particular, and I've been known to literally plug my ears: "I don't hear you, I don't hear you." I've told them before that whining will get them no where. They need to truly consider the situation and if they determine it's a genuine problem, they need to speak to that teacher. Usually, though, they're just being big whiney-babies. :)

    I also know that students have complained about me. Funny how they're usually the ones who think any type of structure, rules, or expectations are just horrific.

    Should you let the other teachers know? Not necessarily, but I think it depends on what they're saying. Would I want another teacher coming to tell me that a few students think my project is too challenging? Not really. I think it may come across as you being concerned about my teaching or managment abilities, and that could be insulting.
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 17, 2010

    I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole, if you do you're asking for trouble. If there are legitmate complaints students should be making them to their parents and they should contact admin. or the students should make complaints themselves to admin. I just wouldn't give kids time to complain about a colleague.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 17, 2010

    :agreed:
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Feb 17, 2010

    I wouldn't say anything to the teacher and when a student starts complaining about a teacher, let them know if they have a concern for that teacher to talk to them directly.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 17, 2010

    Yeah, normally I cut them off. Today, I happened to ask one group what chapter they were on in their class, just to give me an idea, and they said they had just begun chapter one. Which led to the complaints, to which I replied, okay, well, then let's get a head start and we quickly got started. Other times, I'll dismiss a group early only to hear them say they don't wan to leave because they don't like science/whatever subject they are doing.

    I don't give them time to complain. It normally just comes up.

    Yeah, I figured I shouldn't say anything. I don't have a minute to spend on this nonsense as each group's time is short as it is. Man, I just can't believe how rude some of my students can be at times. Tsk.

    Thanks for your opinions.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 17, 2010

    OH, and I almost feel embarrassed for having posted this. It's just, I never had to deal with this before, and I was curious what others thought. My gut told me to obviously stay out and away, I was just curious what you guys thought.
     
  10. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    Let me throw this out to all of you....

    If you don't let a kid speak... how are they ever going to trust to come to adults when there are problems?

    I didn't like petty gossip from kids (and i too seem like i am a magnet for this stuff - but then i see it as a compliment. that i am approachable and that they see me as authentic and willing to help when possible)...but to listen and talk things out with them.. doesn't that help kids with problem-solving? If it's a problem they can handle - "huh, and what do you think you are going to do with that?"

    But let's say it's a real problem... they are telling you that they can't learn this way/it's not getting through (that they are FAKING it/cheating just to get by...ie: falling through the cracks). Or worse yet ... what if something is REALLY wrong (ex: bullying, abuse, etc.)

    Sorry to disagree so strongly... but I think that saying you won't listen to them or fingers in your ears is a really bad policy. I would prefer to have to tell a child "agree to disagree" with the petty stuff than be one more adult who they can't turn to.
     
  11. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 18, 2010

    I agree that telling the students to take it up with their teacher or the administration if they feel their accusations are serious enough is a good policy.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 18, 2010

    McKennaL, I'm certainly not changing my policy and will *playfully* stick my fingers in my ears if need be in the future. I know when to listen and I know when to ignore. I am one of the go-to teachers for students who are having problems with school, friends, family...whoever and whatever. I work with students and help them through their issues whether that be by setting up mediation sessions or having students who cannot seem to talk to their teacher face to face write a letter expressing their feelings. We've written the principal, I've (accidentally) inspired the students to start a petition...I listen and I care and help the students help themselves, so please trust that I know when it's okay to dismiss their pathetic whiny-baby tantrums and when to work with them.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 18, 2010

    I tell my kids:

    You most certainly don't have to like all your teachers. And feel free to vent at home or anywhere else where I'm not around. But I don't complain about YOUR friend in front of YOU. I expect the same courtesy. And, yes, everyone on the faculty is my friend. If there's a real issue, it's one thing. But please don't come to me to complain about little things.

    Talking about what happens in class is totally different from complaining about a teacher.

    As to telling the teacher in question: She knows she hasn't covered the material. I think that all it would accomplish is making this teacher either dislike you or become nasty to the kids.
     
  14. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    15

    Feb 18, 2010

    Yeah, what JustMe and Alice wrote.
     
  15. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    Sorry if you took offense.

    JMO
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 18, 2010

    I didn't take any offense. Thanks for sharing your opinion on this matter. As a former kinder teacher, I totally understand the difference between things to tell the teacher, and tattling. It took a while to teach my kids when it was appropriate to tell on each other.

    So, in this case, I have many things going on. One, I only have a group of kids for 20 minutes, and two, I have a TON to do in such a short amount of time. So, it's hard to have conversations with my kids. These complaints are not very often. The reason why I posted this in the first place was when my older kids complained about not having done any math this whole year in their class. They were embarrassed ad how far behind they were. I felt so bad for them. I told that I will do what I can to catch them up. But with only 20 minutes, it's tough.
     
  17. janlee

    janlee Devotee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    9

    Feb 18, 2010

    Rather than ask the students where they are in math could you get the pages from the teacher at the beginning of each week so you know what she plans on covering. At the end of the week you could approach the teacher and say you covered such and such as per her pages. This way she knows you are on target and this may keep her on target, too.
     
  18. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,507
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 18, 2010

    I generally don't say anything to the teacher who is being talked about unless its one of my close friends. However, I let them complain to a point and I feel that its important to let them talk about their feelings a bit.

    My best example is this- I was involuntarily switched from a classroom position to an in-class support position late last year (yes, after starting the year with my class). My former students, who are 6 and 7, didn't understand the move (I didn't really either) and constantly come up to me and tell me how much they miss me and that they don't like the teacher I was switched with because she's mean and yells at them all the time. I would never tell the teacher this, but I do let them complain to me at times because they need to get it out and talk about it. They feel they can come to me and share their feelings with me, which makes me feel like I am accomplishing something as a teacher. :)
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 18, 2010

    Well, I suppose I did take offense to that fact that you watered down my strategy to simply sticking fingers in the ears and then found that it's a "really bad policy", when I had already explained that I have taught the students to analyze their troubling situations and take action when they find it's necessary, and when I would hope that active members could have gathered enough information through various discussions over the years to know that I am using sound judgment based on my students, their age, our relationship, and my school's climate to handle such situations appropriately. So, sure, I was a little offended, but I'm certainly not mad. So we disagree...that's okay. :)
     
  20. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    I think you're right to trust your gut feelings. I have seen a teacher get caught up in a similar drama. Believe me, nothinggood came out of the situation.
     
  21. wrice

    wrice Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 18, 2010

    Yes, I would listen and make sure that the student has no pressing concern about the teacher (abuse, etc) then have the student talk with his parent.
     
  22. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 19, 2010

    I teach my students how they can take action about something they don't like instead of complaining. Then when students complain about something I remind them of the steps they need to take if they feel that strongly about it. I will help a student figure out how to take action about it. However I do not allow complaining out loud in my class. I want my students to feel empowered. This stops a great deal of complaining in my class.
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 19, 2010

    Well, apparently it got to the superintendent about this math thing. After talking to her partner teacher, the partner teacher decided to talk to the P, who then discussed this with the super. I'm still going to have to do everything I can to catch them up. But, it's going well, I think. :)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MissPolly,
  2. jgischools
Total: 174 (members: 3, guests: 150, robots: 21)
test