How personal do you relationships get with your students and families?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by eyeteach, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. eyeteach

    eyeteach Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2010

    I really do have a reason for posting all of these questions. Anyway, do you keep it just professional. Do you hang out with them, go out for drinks, babysit, talk to on the phone? Are you friends with the parents of the kids you can for on Facebook? Do you email? I would like to know what kind of relationships you have and why. Thanks!
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 22, 2010

    I email my parents frequently to let them know I care about our communication and I care about their child. Sometimes the communication can seem close but it is still on a professional level. I may stop and chat for a minute if I see them outside of class but I keep it confined to small talk. My boundaries with the parents remains professional rather than personal.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2010

    This is the way I handle it. I exchange phone numbers with a rare few of my parents...usually only those whose child has a severe medical condition and I may need to contact the parent quickly. I don't socialize with my parents and I don't use social networking sites, so that would be out. I prefer to keep my private life as private as possible. I have a student who has been in my class for four years; they live right behind me. The only time I see them at my house is on Halloween.
     
  5. EDUK8_ME

    EDUK8_ME Cohort

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    Feb 22, 2010

    I have one family that I have kept in touch with through Christmas cards for many years. I had both the children when they were 4 years old. Now the oldest is a sophomore in college and the youngest is a senior in high school.
     
  6. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2010

    They have my email address so that they can contact me with questions, suggestions, concerns.

    No to all the other things.
     
  7. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Feb 22, 2010

    I will stop and engage in some small talk, nothing school related, if I see them outside of school. I don't go to B-day parties and I don't socialize with them. The only parent's that I ever "friend" on social networking sites are parents whose child is no longer at our school. The only exception to this is one parent whom I knew from outside of school as her sister was a teacher at our school who I became close friends with and I met her through her. They live down the street from me.
     
  8. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2010

    Definitely professional. I work in the same town that I live in and occasionally run into my students and their families, but we engage in small talk only. I don't use social networking sites either. The parents have my e-mail address in case they need to contact me outside of school. I think there is a fine line for a teacher between personal and professional when it comes to how we deal with families. I think that while the child is in your care, you need to remain professional. Once the child is no longer in your care, I don't think it matters as much.
     
  9. eyeteach

    eyeteach Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2010

    Does your center have a policy against personal relationships or you choose not to? Personally, I do socalize with some of them outside of work. We will hang out at a bar, at each others houses. I babysit the kids and even take the kids home for them so they do not have to come and get them from school sometimes. I will even take their kids out for a few hours on a weekend to give them a break.

    In my experience, the closer I get to the families, the better it is. You can tell them things like when their kid is "bad". I had one parent ask me how her son acts and not to give her the "Daycare PC bull_ _ _ _ answer". If we were not friends, I could not have told her that her son is a bully that the other kids do not really play with.

    We have a few parents who will bring us a bottle of wine or a case of beer (in a discreet bag of course) for the weekend. Parents are always bringing us coffee, breakfast, random cards with money in them and offer to bring us lunch.

    It just things easier IMO.
     
  10. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2010

    I teach in a public pre-k. Although it is not in my contract to not have personal relationships with my students and their families, it is definitely an unwritten rule. In fact, since I live in the same town, if there is a child coming into the program that I know, that child is put into another class. Personally, I can tell the parent of the bully what their child is doing in class regardless of my relationship with the parent because that is part of my job. Also, I question what message it sends to the children whose families you are not close to. I know if some of my kids talked about being with me over the weekend it would make the others feel bad or left out. Just my thoughts.
     
  11. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Feb 23, 2010

    When I taught preschool I had friendly relationships with two of the families. The first was a 3 year old boy. He invited me to his birthday party (which I don't go to kids b-day parties to be fair) but when I told him I couldn't go he looked absolutely crushed so I went against my policy and went. For a end of the year present, his mom gave me a cut and full highlights. It was a very thoughtful gift.
    The other mom was also a preschool mom. She sold Mary Kay and I went to a few of her parties.
     
  12. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2010

    The center I previously worked at did have a policy on relationships with families. We were to maintain professional with them. It was written right in our handbook that babysitting for an enrolled family is NOT allowed. I saw a coworker get fired over this issue (assistant teacher). Being a younger college student I had families ask me all the time if I could babysit for them, but I always had to decline if I wanted to keep my job at the center (which I did!).
     
  13. maebowler

    maebowler Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2010

    I was a nanny for a family after I finished my long-term sub assignment. I watched their youngest (2 months-9 months) and sometimes the older ones. I checked to make sure it was ethical. Technically I wasn't working there anymore and they were a family from church.
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Feb 23, 2010

    I NEVER get involved in their personal lives.Some teachers do and I feel it is just wrong. I talk with parents and listen, but don't encourage them to tell me about their significant others...such as a divorce situation, etc.
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Feb 23, 2010

    My two best friends have kids in my school. Therefore, I see a lot of parents outside of school - not only these friends, but other parents when they host events at their house. My kids also attend my school, so I see a lot of parents socially via our kids. I love being on the personal side of things...but there are limitations, too. Hang out in a bar? Not my style. See a movie? Sure.
    Kim
     
  16. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Feb 23, 2010

    I chat with parents when they drop off and pick up their kids. I'm a parent too so we are mostly sharing stories about the children. I keep it friendly, but don't get overly personal. I think it's a fine line.

    I don't understand why a preschool wouldn't let teachers babysit. For me, my son's day care teacher was the only person I felt comfortable leaving him with. He loved her and I knew she would take good care of him. I think it's perfectly acceptable.

    As for doing things with families outside of school, I'm not one to cross boundaries by going out with the parents, however, since my kids will be in my preschool I will probably have to so they can do those things with their friends.

    Going to a bar though.... I really think that's crossing the line.
     
  17. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2010

    My e-mail is on my newsletters as a contact for parents. But I never socialize, and never would socialize with parents of my preschoolers.
     
  18. eyeteach

    eyeteach Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2010

    Funny you bring up talking about divorce. I had a mom tell me about her sister who left her husband for another woman!

    The thing about babysitting sounds crazy to me. Why not just have parents sign a waiver of liability if they are worried. A lot of teachers need that supplemental income.

    Just today I had a parent ask me to go to the Bahamas with them and help with the kids so they could have some alone time and have an actual vacation. They did not have to ask me twice!

    I do know that Primrose teachers are not supposed to babysit the kids at the center, but all of the ones that I know still do it anyway on the DL.
     
  19. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Feb 24, 2010

    I do not usually get personal with my families. I am nice to them and make small talk. I also have families that I know better then others. I don't think that I would hang out with them or go for drinks, that seems like crossing a line. I would not ask my children's elementary teacher to go to the bar and I do not think they would accept. Nor would my doctor or dentist. We have a working professional relationship and I think that is how it should be.
     
  20. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Feb 24, 2010

    Well, I am definately the minority here. I teach in a small town. I have had most of my neighbor's children, my friends' and co workers' kids, and my own kids' friends. I enjoy knowing my families so well. I have been to many get togethers with friends with students there. I actually don't think I could go to a party or event without seeing some of my families there. I spend the summer at the local amusement/water park with my own kids and usually end up talking with many students and their families. I really don't see it as unprofessional. If I didn't spend time talking/socializing with my families it would make me look really bad. Just last weekend, I had a pampered chef party and invited my daughter's best friend's mom. She came and brought her 3 year old who I have in class this year. He spent most of the afternoon here. I just think the area you are in really determines this. In a town like mine it would be impossible to avoid contact with families outside of school.
     
  21. educ8or

    educ8or Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2010

    Part of our job as professionals is to establish relationships with familes. We should be privy and know some personal information as it relates to thier development. I would be careful in drawing that line though between friendships and working relationships. Things that you do outside of the school reflect on the kind of person you are. If you want to be taken as a serious professional you should keep that in mind. I would also be careful as to labeling any child as "bad" or "bully" without substantial documentation to back it up. You could be the best of friends, but start labeling their child and you may find that they instantly feel differently.
     

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