How do you handle this?? LONG POST

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by bewlove, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Dec 8, 2014

    I need some guidance. I am a first year teacher and am teaching 4th grade. I am loving my school and having a great year so far, but an issue has risen and I just don't know how to handle it. One of my students is pulled for read aloud. We were doing our benchmark testing. During this time, the music teacher was having her class next door to the room that he was taking his test. When he was done having his test read to him, he came back to my room and said, "The lady that was giving me my test got really mad because the music teacher's class was so loud. She got out her phone and started filming the music class through a hole in the wall to show to the principal."

    I didn't really think much of it (except for wondering why she would do that). The next day, his SPED teacher came to me and said, "So did you hear what he pulled yesterday?" She retold his story to me and then said, "He made it up just to hurt music teacher's feelings. There needs to be a consequence for him for lying about this. The teacher was filming it, but just to use it to see if she needed to go to a different room for testing. The fact that he would lie about that shows maliciousness from him, and I haven't seen that from him before."

    Now, pardon me, but I'm calling BS on that little story! I think that the teacher who filmed it was just trying to cover her tail because she knew that she messed up! Anyway, I just said I'd talk to him. Which I did. I asked him to tell me again what had happened, and he stuck to his story without batting an eye. I mean, why would he make it up?

    The next day, we are walking in front of music teacher's room. This kid was making a smart remark, and I made a comment about being 'this close to clipping down.' Music teacher chimes in (in front of my whole class), "Yeah, he's about that close on my list, too!"

    You could tell he was really confused. I didn't say anything to him or her and just kept walking and took my kids to specials. Then, as I'm walking back, another teacher joins me. Music teacher is standing at her door and then just says, "Go ahead. Just go ahead and talk about me. I don't even care, just say what you want."

    I didn't say anything! She shuts her door, and before I can even react, opens it back up and says, "Please don't talk about me. I can't handle another person in this school talking about me. I will just quit if they do!" I tried to reassure her and told that I loved her and have never said anything bad. Two hours later I get an email from her thanking me for being her friend. :dizzy:

    Anyway, then this morning, my student comes to me and says, "Why did you tell music teacher that I lied to her? I was walking by her and she just started saying 'You lied to me.' And when I asked what she was talking about, she just said, 'Mrs. W told me that you lied to me.' Why did you tell her that?"

    This really bothered me and I wasn't sure how to handle it. I just said, "I didn't say that but I will try and find out what's going on. Let me know if it get's brought up again."

    This was the best response I could think of without giving him the whole story. I guess I'm just really bothered by this because I don't want my students to feel that they can't come to me, and because I also don't want other teachers singling out my student when he did nothing wrong.

    I also don't want him to go home and tell who he lives with that his teacher has accused him of lying. When in all reality I'm totally wanting to advocate for this kid and tell the other teachers to back off and drop it!!!!! Help :(

    ETA: I just wanted to add that I don't think that my student is lying for a couple of reasons.

    1. He has no reason to make it up.
    2. If the teacher was filming it, there was a reason behind it.

    He also didn't believe me when I said I didn't tell her that. Which bothers me because I want him to be able to come to me when needed. I don't want to undermine her authority, but I haven't even talked to her about that situation!!!!!! This has all been over the course of a week and it needs to be dropped.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 8, 2014

    My gut feeling here is that you should probably believe the adult colleague over a 4th grader.

    With that said... I'd say you should just make it clear that you have no way of knowing the real story, and let the people involved worry about it. You weren't in the room when the filming was done, and there's no way for you to get yourself involved that won't feel like a bull in a china shop.

    If anything, talk to the student, tell him that you really want to believe him, and you hope he's telling the truth, but you weren't there, you have to leave it to the people who were there.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    With all that said though... it's a music class. It's going to be loud sometimes. If it isn't loud sometimes, then it's a crappy music class. If the walls between the music class and the alt. testing room are thin/have openings, then it's not a good place for a read-aloud accommodation to be given, so you can always just take the view that you don't know what happened, but would like to find an alternate testing location.
     
  5. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Wow, I would just go and talk to administration. The music teacher sounds completely unstable--to say the least. Advocate for your student, the teachers are making him out to be something he is not and won't leave him alone. Completely unprofessional.

    Did the music teacher know there was testing? Music class can get loud (obviously). Why is she being so defensive about it? I would've just said "Whoops, they were loud. It won't happen again."

    Two sentences which result in everyone moving on.
     
  6. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I, too, would usually always believe the adult colleague. But the teacher admitted to having her phone out and filming them. That part fits with his story and all I can think it why would she have it out if not to try and use it in a mean way?

    If she were really concerned about finding a new place to test, why not just go find a different place or ask? Why would my student make up the part about her saying that she was gonna show P because they couldn't concentrate, you know????

    I thought about talking with admin but I don't want to make a "mountain out of a molehill."

    Even if he was lying, I feel that she should address that in a professional way and just talk to him about the situation and Not make passive aggressive remarks when she sees him. I also don't think she was even doing anything wrong. She is a music teacher. She was just doing her job.
     
  7. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    I agree with the fact that I don't really want to get involved. But since I was told I needed to provide him with a "consequence" and also now that my name has been dropped by saying that I went and told her he lied, that I am now involved by default. Just because I'm his teacher.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Make the consequence telling his parents exactly what occurred, including the fact that the only two people on earth who know for sure what occurred are the child and the adult in the room with him.
     
  9. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Do I tell them about the fact that nothing has been proven on either end???? I guess what I'm trying to say is do I just keep it broad and just say that there is some confusion on what actually occurred??? They will probably want to know why I'm telling them. Do I say as a "consequence"? Just to make them aware?
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'm troubled by the music teacher's claim that you told her that the boy lied, when you didn't, and by the music teacher's comments in the hallway. Is it your experience so far that people on this staff gossip about one another?
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I think this sounds like a bunch of petty adults who are furthering infighting and snarky comments, at the expense of a child who doesn't have a clue or care what is going on.

    Everyone involved should be shamed for using a child to send messages back and forth. Everyone better get together and get on the same page, and quit all this speculating.
     
  12. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Thanks everyone. I agree that I would like to get on the same page. As a new teacher, I have been just trying to keep quiet about it. My kids have music today so I will just see how it goes. This school doesn't really have a history of having gossip. This is the first incident that I have been remotely involved in. I haven't said anything to anyone else about it and I was hoping to just let it drop. My fear is that these snide remarks to my student won't stop.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I disagree with this statement. I see no reason why you should not believe a student, who has proven to be trustworthy, over an adult. I have experienced many situations where the adult was the one who did wrong.

    I agree with the OP that she wants her students to feel that they can come to her. One way to break that bond is to go ahead and "believe the adult colleague over a 4th grader."
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    There are several imaginable scenarios where the adult is telling the truth that don't involve the child deliberately lying. Just as one example, the adult may have said something to the effect of, "I'm going to record this because someone needs to hear this." In the child's mind, that's easy to infer as "they're being too loud, this teacher is mad and is going to the principal." In the teacher's mind, they mean that they'll share it with the case manager to get a second opinion. For that matter, it's possible that the teacher doing the test didn't say a word about it, but just pulled out her phone, took a thirty second video, and then went back to the test. To the student, it would seem obvious that the teacher was angry, though it was never said... while to the teacher, the idea that they'd go to the principal seems like it would be a lie.

    Regardless though, the only people that know exactly what happened in the room are the fourth grader and the teacher doing the test, and in all likelihood, both of them had things going through their head that they didn't share with the other. If it's necessary, refer it to a guidance counselor for mediation, or refer it to an administrator, but taking a definitive side is just asking for trouble. It's possible to validate the child's concerns while still acknowledging that you don't know what actually occurred, and it's also possible that the child is wrong about what was happening, but wasn't actually lying.
     
  15. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Me? I am going to talk to an adm. and tell them all I know because it sounds like a bunch of lies and if it is the adult (who I think it is) it needs to be addressed. Clear the air. I know 1st year is keep your head down and shut up but the kid deserves justice either way.
     
  16. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Thanks everyone. I think I am going to ask admin for some guidance with the situation and see what they would like me to do. The comments were still continuing to him as soon as I dropped him off in class today.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, bewlove. Asking for guidance sounds like the right approach.
     
  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think I would have stood right there and spoke out in front of the class telling the teacher how inappropriately she was treating that child. (And I NEVER call a teacher out in front of children)
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I think either way you handle it someone will be mad/upset so it's a great idea to talk to admin about it. Things were probably just blown out of proportion but you weren't there to witness it and just have to go by what you were told (from all parties involved).
     
  20. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Glad you're going to admin. My two cents... even if the student lied, a teacher should not make that much of a scene in front of your class and repeatedly direct outbursts toward you and the student. She also went behind your back and told the student a lie. So many unprofessional events here.

    My guess is that the music teacher has other personal issues going on. Don't get caught up in the crazy. You did nothing wrong, and for all we know, your student may not have, either!
     
  21. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Dec 10, 2014

    Thanks so much everyone!!!!! I did talk with my P and I think we will get it all resolved. P is gonna talk with my student and get his version of the story. I asked if she wanted me to just mention to music teacher that I had handled it in the classroom, and she said not to because it would "get me on her bad side" and just come to her if the comments continue. She said that music teacher has been working with her for 20 years and this isn't totally out of the ordinary for her.

    I did leave out the part about her jumping down my throat in the hallway. Didn't really seem relevant to the rest of the issue.
     

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