I always wanted my own helicopter squadron

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sarge, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    So a group of moms at our school have decided to gang up on one of my colleagues. They are accusing her of being a "bully teacher" and I don't think it's in a Theodore Roosevelt sort of way either. She is just very, very structured and very strict and an excellent teacher.

    Anyway, they made life miserable for her so The Boss allowed them to move their kids out of her room and into my room and another teachers.

    I don't really mind (at this point) because the kids I got are great in every sense, and so far I've charmed the moms enough that they are happy with their kids being in my class in spite of the fact that they've gone from a room that epitomizes order and structure to class of controlled chaos and random insanity (I have a real cast of characters this year)

    Anyway, these are uber-helicopter moms. And we're not talking little UH-1 hueys or even HH-60 rescue choppers. These are CH-47 gunships.

    The up side is that they want to help out a lot, have had all the fingerprinting clearances, and are willing work with other students in the class besides their own.

    The other thing is that I've always been really bad about having parents help in my class. I'm always afraid that if a lot of parents are in my room, I might be found out for the Fraud That I Really Am (c'mon, every teacher's nightmare, now isn't it). This has sort of forced me into that role.

    So, then. Any advice for the situation? Many have told me to try to keep these moms out of my room. So far they've been helpful and not critical. In other words, can I make the best of the situation?

    Oh, and as I hinted earlier, I have an insane class this year. Muliple off-the-charts behaviors and the rest are a general chatty bunch.

    I do need the help.
     
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  3. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I would be very concerned with this situation myself. As you said, they ganged up on your coworker and made her life miserable until the Boss decided to let them have their way.

    Of course they are happy with your class right now, but only because you aren't the other teacher they decided they didn't like and they got what they wanted through their own "bully" tactics. My biggest concern would be that, once the thrill of their current victory wears off and they see how the other kids are behaving in your class, they will set their sights on you next for have no control over the room and letting the kids run wild (from their perspective). After that, I doubt it would be long before they are meeting after school to discuss what should be done about your class and you will be the one they are going to the Boss about.

    Not that you are actually doing anything wrong, but I wonder how long it will be before they decide otherwise. I'm glad they are happy and helpful for you at the moment, but I would be very worried that it's only a matter of time before this helicopter squadron turns their sights on you. :unsure:
     
  4. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    How did you know my secret?????
    The other thing is that I've always been really bad about having parents help in my class. I'm always afraid that if a lot of parents are in my room, I might be found out for the Fraud That I Really Am (c'mon, every teacher's nightmare, now isn't it). This has sort of forced me into that role.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I've been told they no longer have any credibility with The Boss.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I have to say, I think I would have the worst jobs I could think of at the ready. Like cutting out fourteen thousand tiny little hearts that you might use for a Valentine project-laminated individually, of course-or cleaning out cupboards, or taking inventory. Keep them very busy.
     
  7. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Ahhh...control issues. So much fun. Especially from people who have no clue that you need to be somewhat strict in order to actually get a room full of children to listen to you on a regular basis! And since there are a few mothers, they use their numbers to their advantage. I'm sure this teacher was just as happy that the students were moved out.


    Go to Staples. Stock up on stingers.



    Have other teachers dealt with them in previous school years? What did they do? It sounds to me like these are the kind of mothers I see in a few of the schools where I work. There's enough from one income so that they don't have to work and they feel that they're doing some good by helping out in the classroom. This isn't wrong, but when the moms turn it into a social situation it can interfere with confidentiality when it comes to other students. You don't want to let them take over, but you don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth either. Maybe you could limit their time in your classroom to center time (if you do that) and use them to divide and conquer the chatter.

    I'm sure they want to be helpful, but they're also up in the sky from their victory over your colleague. At a certain point, they just may decide that someting you are doing is incorrect by their standards also. Get them on your side before that happens. Treat them like students. Assign them jobs and times to do the jobs and rules about what they can and can't discuss about what goes on in the classroom and everyone will be happy.
     
  8. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Bruce Springsteen runs your school? That's cool! :lol:
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    One is a credentialed teacher who worked extensively one on one with a very, very high-maintenance should-be-on-an-IEP student last year in kindergarten.

    The other wants to start a Safe Routes to School program and get the school involved in Bike to Work Month.
     
  10. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Set up a schedule so that Mom is not coming in whenever she feels like it, have jobs for Mom to do, preferably making copies in the office...

    I also do not enjoy having parent helpers, my room is super small and there is hardly enough room for the kids and myself.
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I find it hard to be myself when another person is in my room. I walk like a robot and say ridiculous things because they distract me so much. I would not want those trouble maker moms in my classroom and would find a way out of it. In fact, I would tell the truth, that I have everything under control and will let them know if I suddenly feel over loaded with work. You owe them nothing and they could make you very miserable.
     
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I also have a student who is one of those "Don't take your eyes off him unless you want to be doing paperwork" kind of kids. I need an extra pair of eyes in the room.
     
  13. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Then it sounds like to me you just need to give the helicopters the proper landing pad and security clearance to do something useful for you.

    I am in favor of getting a confidentiality agreement of sorts, but I know that is impossible. That said, you need to use them in a way that keeps them helpful to you, have a set time and set objective. Thank them profusely and send them on their merry way.

    Most parents really do want to be helpful, they just don't know how to be helpful. They also tend to focus on their own child in a way that is not necessarily helpful to the child.

    We have some who really lack any daily activities and hang around the school, circling for something to do. With proper planning and parameters, you can channel that energy into something that benefits the students of the class, which is the goal.
     
  14. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I volunteered in an infant room once. No one told me what to do , or gave me any work. I finally quit. Give these moms some real jobs. Have them read to the kids. Listen to the kids read to them. Let them lead a learning game of Bongo or Uno or Bingo. Kids can learn from playing games as well as direct instruction. You have a valuable resource there, so use them.

    I find it hard to volunteer as teachers usually don't have anything exciting for me to do. I don't want to grade those papers that you don't want to grade.

    So, I am volunteering for something outside the classroom, and love to do. I am writing grants for the school. They sent me one on Friday night. It was so easy to write this one, as it was fill in the blanks. Took me longer to read the instructions than to write it.
     

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