How to deal with a teacher who bullies my child?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by kass, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. kass

    kass Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2014

    Hello!

    Please, help me to deal with this problem. I've never had a situation like that.

    My child is a very good student. We have never had any problems with any teacher. However, this year my kid got into the new class in November ( the same school, 4th grade) and has a new teacher. Everything was fine until the day when I received a test where a teacher made several mistakes. I contacted the teacher and explained the situation. She refused at first to correct the test. I made a copy of the test and sent her a letter where I proved that she made a mistake. After that, she changed the grade from 25% to 85%. I thought that this was over. However, my kid has been mistreated since. There were several incidents, however the last one is outrageous. Yesterday the whole class had a holiday party and every kid received a goody bag and a book. There are 28 children. Only one! student did not received the book. Guess who it was?
    I am afraid that the teacher would lower the grades. Besides, my child feels very unsecure and excluded.

    What should I do? Go to the principal? What should I say? What proof would be necessary?
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 22, 2014

    You definitely have documentation of the incorrect quiz. If you're sure that your child is not only a reliable witness, but also one who can hold up under the pressure of explaining these problems to the principal, you might want to request a transfer to another teacher, if possible.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 22, 2014

    Take your concerns to the teacher first and allow her to try to explain why she is excluding your child.

    Then, you will go to the administration and explain that you did indeed meet with the teacher and you were not happy about the meeting. Lay it all on the table for the P, including this last incident. Bring documentation and ask for that transfer. Make sure you highlight the emotional damage that is being done to your child.

    If the worst scenario happens, and the P is not willing to help, can you change schools?
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 22, 2014

    This.

    Let the teacher know that if its unaccepable if she did indeed exclude your son from the holday treat and that you are trying to understand why she did that. Then request a meeting with P if needed.
     
  6. kass

    kass Rookie

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    That's my dilemma. Would it be better to talk to the teacher again or go straight to the P? It's all started after my talk with the teacher in the first place. She finally admitted that she was wrong, but what is happening after is my main concern.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I will give you my take as a 4th grade teacher, which every pricipal has disagreed with me with so far.

    If I was the teacher in question, I would 100% support the students transfer to another classroom. Having a parent who is uncomfortable with their child in your class brings so many negatives, that I will simply stand with the parent in supporting a move.
     
  8. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Definitely go to the teacher first.

    Though you may be absolutely sure that you've gotten the whole story, perhaps you haven't. Maybe your child forgot to bring his book home. Maybe it was a book exchange and you were supposed to provide a book. Maybe the teacher miscounted and told your son she'd have one for him when school resumes. As a parent, I would make sure I had the teacher's side of the story before going to the principal. As a teacher, I hope parents give me the courtesy of contacting me first.

    Also, my contract requires principals to refer parents back to the teacher when there's a problem. Hers may be the same.

    Out of curiosity, what was the test and what was the nature of the mistakes?
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 22, 2014

    You'd want a parent to come to you first if they thought you were bullying their child, right? It's the same thing here.

    The teacher may be completely wrong, and if so, I'd encourage you to go to the principal if things don't improve. It could be something with a simple explanation though. Maybe they bought the books on sale in October and forgot to get a new one when your child was added to the class (and mentioned in passing to the child that they would have one in January). Maybe it fell on the ground the night before and a custodian moved it to the teacher's desk. Maybe another kid took it. Maybe the original teacher was supposed to prepare a goody bag, and it just didn't get transferred in time. There are lots of possible scenarios here, and the majority of them would be considered a simple miscommunication, rather than something malicious.

    I would go to the teacher, ask about specific issues, verbalize the fact that it feels to you like bullying behavior, and see if you can come to a resolution. This wouldn't be acceptable, but maybe the teacher is resenting a child being moved into their class midyear and is inadvertently letting their feelings seep into their interactions with your child. If THAT is the case, then hopefully pointing it out to them would be enough to nip it in the bud.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 22, 2014

    All of this. I'm curious about the mistakes as well.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Dec 23, 2014

    Talk to the teacher again, if nothing changes go to the P.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Why did your child get moved in November?
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ICAM. I wouldn't want to deal with the parent either once they have come to the conclusion that I was bullying their child.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm curious as well--25% to 85% is quite a change. I assume that many other students must have had to have their scores changed as well.
     
  15. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I'm sorry your son feels bullied and/or excluded. I would strongly encourage you to talk to the teacher and keep an open mind before deciding to do anything else. You didn't mention the other incidents, but the book thing could be an honest mistake. Maybe she thought he got one. Maybe she ran out and will get him one at a later date. I think she probably should get the benefit of the doubt before deciding that she purposely tried to hurt him in some way.

    You didn't mention the grade of your child. When my daughter was in 1st, she would come home and tell me no one in her class liked her including her teacher. She was always picked last for everything and everyone - teacher included - did their best to ignore her. I called the teacher to talk about it and she was genuinely confused. She didn't see it as my daughter did at all and told me that, as far as she could tell, my daughter had many friends. She also said that my daughter was very bright and sweet and she liked her a lot. Sometimes the teacher does not perceive things as our children do.

    Good luck.
     
  16. kass

    kass Rookie

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    Because of the class size. In Sept. there were 36-37 students in a classroom. Many parents complained and school hired an additional teacher. Then, in Nov. 28 students from 4 classes were transferred to this new teacher.
     
  17. kass

    kass Rookie

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    it's hard to believe that the teacher forgot. My kid asked her twice why there is no book, while all the other students had. She said she does not have any more. However, my kid sits in the middle, so there is no chance that the teacher missed the seat accidently.

    Today was the last day when she could give the book. She never did. It's winter break and this is the first time when my kid came from school so unhappy.

    What would you suggest I should write to the teacher? It sound ridiculous that I'm complaining about the book, but for a 4th grader it is really important not to be excluded, right?
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If school just let out today, it might be a while before you get a reply, but I would email her. I thought you were already out or I would have suggested emailing last week.

    Write the email in a word document, leave it alone for an hour or two and reread it. You don't want to sound snarky, even when it's deserved.
     
  19. kass

    kass Rookie

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    Math. I was shocked when I saw the grading. It was constructed response. There were correct answers marked as incomplete or wrong. After my letter the teacher admitted that she was wrong.
     
  20. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, but something is amiss if your child went from a 25% to an 85%. Is this possibly a 1st year teacher?
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I feel that this situation warrants a face-to-face conversation, not an email.
     
  22. kass

    kass Rookie

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    Yes. This is her first year, but she was a sub before.
     
  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I would talk to her, I suspect it may just be inexperience in dealing with certain things. Mis grading from 25 to 85, 1 missing book.

    I think an experienced teacher prolly would have had several back up books if students were short in a book exchange, a new teacher may not think it is thier responsibility to ensure that everyone gets one..etc.

    I tend to think it is more lack of experience than "bullying".
     
  24. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Are you sure it was intentional? I had a situation last year where I allowed a super reliable, sweet, sensitive student to pass out goody bags, and she accidentally missed a child. The mother called up the school, blasting out the admin claiming I was deliberately ostracizing her kid, when it was totally unintentional, the girl who passed it out wouldn't harm a fly! And he didn't ask where his was or approach me about it. Of course, this child had serious emotional problems so that incident totally fed into that situation.

    Fortunately, the admin was already well-acquainted with the mother and the student and his issues, so it was a non-issue for me. I called, apologized and explained the student who passed them out would never intentionally leave someone out, and that his goody bag would be waiting on him when he returned from break.

    Anyways, I digress. Talk to the teacher first--it may have been an oversight.
     
  25. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Ignore my previous post, I guess! If this is true, I would be fuming mad. I would request a parent conference.

    As a mother this infuriates me.

    I think there is still a chance this may be an accident. I hope it is.

    In today's day and age (um, it's not easy landing a teaching position), I find it hard to believe that a brand new teacher would jeopardize their career by bullying a student. Not likely, but still possible.

    Does she know YOU'RE a teacher???

    Parent Conference. Requested. FIRST WEEK BACK.

    Go ahead and email now requesting a parent conference.

    I would probably cc admin on it too.
     
  26. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    It seems kind of weird that she made that big of a mistake on your kid's test. Was it only on your kid's test?
     
  27. kass

    kass Rookie

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    She doesn't know that I'm also a teacher. :)
     
  28. kass

    kass Rookie

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    No, there were several complains from other parents about this test, but I don't know if they have the same problems as we do now.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Can you clarify more about this test and the questions that were incorrectly marked wrong? I am very confused about how there could be that many errors in scoring.
     
  30. kass

    kass Rookie

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    There were only 5 questions.

    Here is the one:
    A group of 140 tourists are going on a tour. The tour guide rents 15 vans. Each van holds 9 tourists. Did the tour guide rent enough vans? Explain.

    Students' answer: The tour guide did not rent enough vans. 150X9=135, but 140 people are going. The tour quide needs 1 more van.

    Teacher writes: 140/9=15, R5, and marks this answer as a wrong one.
     
  31. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I would chalk that type of error up to inexperience. She probably wanted them to solve using division, but didn't specify that. The student's answer is a valid way to solve the problem, but as a first year teacher, she probably didn't anticipate students would solve it that way. Math is extremely complex to teach. Given that there were several students who had issues with this particular exam, I am more inclined to think it was an oversight on her part.

    I like to think the best of everybody, but I would ask about the book situation.
     
  32. kass

    kass Rookie

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    How about the next one? :)

    Q: Circus horses eat about 250 pounds of horse food per week. About how many pounds of food does a circus horse eat each day? Explain. Hint:1 week = 7 days.

    A: The horses will eat about 35 pounds. 250/7=35, R5
    7X35 = 245. 245+5 = 250.

    This answer was marked as incorrect, 0 points. A teacher writes:
    10X7( day)=70
    20X7=210
    40X7=280
    About 40 pounds.


    Can somebody explain me that?
     
  33. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't get the method she used, but anytime you see "about" in a math question, you should be thinking estimation. For me, I would expect my kiddos to think 250/7, and then find a mental math fact to help them. The closest mental math fact would be 280/7 (because 28/7=4), so it's about 40.
     
  34. kass

    kass Rookie

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    What is wrong with 250/7, if a kid can do it? The question never asked about any specific method to solve this problem.

    By the way, I still didn't get this part - 20x7=210. (?) This was written by a teacher.(!)

    The same situation was with other questions. I have a big concern about works that were completed in school. How can I be sure that other grades are fare?
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It sounds like that grading is a mess. I don't think that amounts to "bullying" though. I think that you need to be careful throwing around that term.
     
  36. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    The only thing I have to say about the grades is that sometimes I give my students verbal directions to solve the problem using a certain method. If that is the case, and the students don't solve it that way, they would not get full points.

    And, she may have simply made a mistake writing 2 x 70 = 210...gotten ahead of herself, or been copying it down and combined two lines accidentally.

    Are other graded papers not sent home? If not, and you are concerned about them, I would ask if they can be or if you could come in to look them over sometime. I would phrase this as wanting to see where your child is making mistakes or having difficulty, rather than wanting to check up on her grading.

    Either way, I would send a polite e-mail stating that your child did not receive a book and a goody bag, and ask if there was some sort of mix-up. If the response you get is not satisfactory to you, I would reply that you have a few other concerns and you would like to sit down for a conference.
     
  37. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It's estimation. It's the same as how if you were asked about how much $13.98 + 3.99 + $11.95 is, the "right" answer is going to be $30. The whole point with estimation is getting to mental math. As much as I dislike this line of reasoning... on your daughter's EOY test, if given that question, 35R5 would be one of the multiple choice options given. And the state would cheerfully mark her wrong if they chose it.

    Like I said, I don't understand the method the teacher chose (I suspect what they really meant was 7x10=70, 7x20=140, 7x30=210,7x40=280, 250 is closer to 280 than 250, 250/7 is about 40), but she was more than justified in expecting students to use estimation for that problem. About, closest to, nearest to, etc., are all trigger words for estimation, and students should expect to lose points if they don't estimate.

    Whether it's right or not is another story, but that's just how it goes.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The answer given was "The horse will eat about 35 pounds." I viewed the 35r5 as a justification of the estimate. I think that the kid's answer was correct and showed good estimation skills. I'm not an elementary teacher, though.
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It shows good math skills, and it's truthfully a better answer, but any time you're doing estimation for the standards, the expectation is mental math... and the expectation also is that you can't do 35x7 in your head, so if your estimation involves 35x7, it wasn't actually estimation. Fair? No, not really, especially since teachers constantly drill into kids' heads the idea that they need to show all their work, but that's the problem in general with estimation as a math concept.
     
  40. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    I agree. Because the question was based on estimation, I'm thinking that this teacher expected the student to round up to the nearest tens place, and Boeing the remainder is 5, she expected to student to estimate up to 40. But I think she missed the fact that the student understands the concept with his explanation and show of work. If his teacher wanted an exact answer she should not have asked for an estimate. Anything in the range of 35-40 I would accepted if the student had a good explanation and work shown.
     
  41. kass

    kass Rookie

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    I asked my kid if mental math was mentioned before this quiz. They just were asked to solve these problems as they can, using any method they choose. They had to explain though, and they did.
     

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