I feel bad for a good teacher at our school

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by swansong1, Apr 24, 2010.

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  1. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We have a teacher at our school whose job is now in jeopardy because she lost her temper and reacted inappropriately to a child. This is a child whose parents are teaching him that he is superior to every child around him simply because he is a little smarter. He is being taught to call other children stupid and to demean them. His parent's have taught him that he does not need to be accountable for his actions and they don't hold him accountable for anything he does at school. They blame all his actions on this teacher. After almost a year of his tantrums, hitting, biting, screaming, running, refusing to follow directions, etc, the teacher finally overreacted. The admin has not been supportive and they have told the teacher that he couldn't be brought to the office anymore for behavior.
    So, now I feel bad that this child runs the show and this teacher risked her career because she became angry. I feel bad that she didn't step back and take a breather before reacting. And I feel bad because a 6 year old child has so much power.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What did the teacher do?
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Grabbed him by the back of his collar and dragged him in from the playground. It left a rope-like burn on his neck and scraped the back of his legs. I am absolutely not condoning what the teacher did...that was hugely inappropriate.
     
  5. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Gosh, sorry Swansong. To me, any teacher who is capable of doing that needs to take a break from teaching. I hear what you are saying with regards to the child having power but this is a clear sign that the teacher has reached her limit with regards to patience, rational thinking, etc. all over a 6 year old. She needs to be out on leave, in my opinion.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    :agreed:
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    That's pretty bad. I mean, the teacher actually injured the child.
     
  8. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Your first post lead me to believe it was the yelling sort of lost her temper. I have to agree with the others, she stepped far enough over the line that DCFS could get involved.
     
  9. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    That's more than overreacting... she is a danger right now to at least one child. Not okay and she shouldn't be in a classroom- maybe not forever, but until she gets her patience back.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I too thought this was going to be a yelling or screaming incident. I am just imagining my daughter coming home with marks on her because of her teacher. I would be livid. I think the admin are right in not supporting what she did. Maybe, before it got to that point, she should have refused to have him in her class anymore, or something, before this happened. I understand that some kids can be very challenging, but we are never to touch them (and I know you are not condoning her actions).
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If a child came into school, having been dragged by his collar by a parent, resulting in " a rope-like burn on his neck and scraped the back of his legs" his teacher would be morally and legally required to call protective services. Even if they were really good parents, even if they just snapped this once, even if it was provoked.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Excellent point, Alice.
     
  13. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    WOW.
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I absolutely agree with all of you and this teacher has been sending out signals for quite a while that she was ready to lose it. I have done what I could to help but admin has basically told me to stay out of any situation in her class. Unfortunately, I was the only witness to this incident so now I am dumped in the middle. The teacher never should have been placed in this position. She has no experience with children like this and has not been able to adjust to this position.
    My belief is that admin was trying to get her to quit and that's why they gave her this class. Unfortunately, the present admin does not place children first.
    Another unfortunate is that this child was in my class last year and the parents were furious when he was placed in her class and have been trying to get him back in my class all year. That's another reason I have tried to stay out of this. Now they have all they need to force the issue.
    I agree with all of you that this teacher needs a break and I hope she gets it.
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Also, I witnessed the incident and reported it to admin, but, at the time, I didn't know there were injuries. I just reported it as an inappropriate action.
     
  16. TiffanyL

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    Sounds like your unique position in all of this is just making you feel badly and a bit guilty. You wanted to support this teacher but instead, you were caught in the middle with parents who preferred you over her and admin who may have been less than supportive. You believe they may have been setting her up and, to top it all off, you were the one who had to report it.

    I agree it is sad but none of it was your fault, Swansong. Keep your focus on the children rather than the adults and it will be easier to accept why you had to do what you did.

    Also, keep in mind that this may be a prime example of why admin was wanting to remove her in the first place.
     
  17. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I was in a similar situation.....
    I witnessed a teacher pick up a child and carry her over to the corner. The teacher dropped the child against the wall, and the child slid down the wall to sit on the ground, but on her way down, she scrapped her back on the hinge of the cupboard. It broke the skin and bled.

    I had to report it. I wasn't the only one though.

    Teacher was placed on admin. leave. The state investigated. All parties who worked with her were pulled from our classes to be interviewed--didn't get any warning or an option to decline. Our interview testimonies were sent to us for to review and we did find some errors....we corrected the errors and resubmitted them.

    Her certificate was pulled and she was no longer able to teach.

    THEN the police called and I had to go to the station to be interviewed...


    It was especially hard to do. I had worked with this teacher for a couple years and while I didn't consider her a friend, she was still a colleague.
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Reading about all this violence makes me feel sick to my stomach--in fact, it makes me get a little misty-eyed.

    I can't imagine EVER putting my hands on a child. Yes, there are a lot of kids out there who can really bug the heck out of you, but there's no need to ever man-handle any child!

    I just can't believe what I'm reading!
     
  19. Little Monster

    Little Monster Rookie

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    hmm. If you didn't report this incident I think that you would be just as guilty in what is quite apparent child abuse. The injuries sound like she literally dragged the child. It would seem that teaching is not a sound choice for her.

    I have always had an issue with looking for someone else take care of my classroom problems and I think offices get sick of teachers who are always expecting the office to take care of the problems for them. good classroom management is probably one of the most important skills for a teacher to have.
     
  20. Grover

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    I think the teacher needs a break from teaching, at the very least. However, I also think she should consider suing her principal and district. I am sick and tired of situations where all discipline problems are just dumped back in the lap of classroom teachers. Once upon a time teachers were expected to teach and school administrators dealt with children with ongoing patterns of misbehavior. From what I've gleaned here, it seems that anyone who was paying attention could have seen something like this coming. If admins just let these situations go over and over again, sooner or later somebody does the wrong thing. It could all be prevented by a pro-active discipline regime.
     
  21. TiffanyL

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    Grover, I respectfully disagree. Based on the limited information presented by the OP, it would seem highly unlikely that you have enough facts to warrant whether or not a lawsuit against the admin should be the next step.
     
  22. Grover

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    After almost a year of his tantrums, hitting, biting, screaming, running, refusing to follow directions, etc, the teacher finally overreacted. The admin has not been supportive and they have told the teacher that he couldn't be brought to the office anymore for behavior.

    No, TiffanyL, not the next step, just a consideration. If the above statement survives investigation, the principal certainly bears some responsibility. I do admire you sticking up for your team, though.
     
  23. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I think she intended to harm the student. I don't understand how you can mark someone's neck and legs by dragging by the collars. Unless your intention was to hurt them? If he was restresting to the point of getting injured, why would she drag him more? I think she needs to be on a break.
     
  24. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Thanks for the clarification, Grover. :)
     
  25. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think Grover has a point. We all know their are Admin.s that just send kids back over and over without any real effort to solve a problem and so teachers are asked to deal with horrible situations without any real power. When I was in school if you were bad you were called up to the desk and got a swat. And it worked.
    And calling a little swat on the behind child abuse is a stretch.
    I have seen REAL child abuse and its results and it does not come close by any means.
     
  26. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Okay, I'm trying to keep in mind that some of you may have worked for some seriously weak administrators. In my district, an administrator like that would be removed.

    Nonetheless, I cannot condone child abuse by a teacher due to a non-supportive administrator. That teacher needs to take responsibility for her actions and for her severe mistake.
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    As do the administrators who severe lack of leadership created a situation that allowed this teacher to snap. Would it even have happened if the administration done their jobs? Likely not.

    Everybody who contributed to this awful situation needs to be disiplined.
     
  28. TiffanyL

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    I'm sorry, I continue to disagree, greatly. I taught for many years and in some difficult situations. I always did the very best I could, regardless of the school I taught at, the administrator, or the students I received.

    I agree with you all that administrators need to be supportive and take action as well. However, I cannot imagine abusing a child and then claiming it would not have happened had it not been for my administrator. :confused: As a teacher, I was much more creative, resourceful and dedicated than that. Had I been in a situation that truly led me to think I may "break" and hurt a child, I would have LEFT. No job is worth that.
     
  29. Grover

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    Yeah, I don't think anybody stepped up to condone child abuse. I know I specifically said the teacher needed a break from teaching AT LEAST.
    I don't have any idea what kind of administrator you are, Tiffany, or what district you work in, but in this district the behavior of the principal in this controversy is pretty common. Despite this, I don't know of any teachers that have 'snapped' in this way, but that doesn't make the lack of administrative support okay.
     
  30. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Clearly, the teacher is in the wrong. No one can argue that teacher was correct in her actions. But yet, the admin deserves some of the punishment. Should the teacher completely blame the admin? No, she should take responsibility for her actions and move on. But there should be action taken against the admin to ensure that teachers aren't in this position again.
     
  31. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    So if I understand this situation correctly, you had this child last year and the child was not acting out to this extent? The parents wanted the child in your class because you had control of the situation, as opposed to this teacher who did not?

    While I understand the responsibility of the administrators in this situation, I also understand why administrators feel they need to "set" teachers up like this. Union contracts often make it next to impossible to fire teachers, and the only way administrators can do something about incompetent teachers is to drive them out. It works exactly that way in our district, and it is quite common for principals to change teachers' grade levels, give tougher students to certain teachers in an attempt to get these teachers out of their schools. It is unfortunate, but in reality, what else can the administrators do?

    I know of teachers who have been allowed to continue teaching in spite of obvious incompetence to everyone around them for years. A teacher like this with over 30 years of experience can impede the progress of over 900 students.
     
  32. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm having a little trouble why you would dissagree with every guilty party disiplined for their roles in this fiasco. Are you saying its okay for a school administration to create unsafe and unhealthy environments, and when bad things happen, they can just walk away unscathed?
     
  33. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think where Tiffany is coming from is that the administrator may have been part of the problem, but that ultimately, the teacher is responsible for her own actions. Lack of administrative support may have been a precipitating factor, but not the cause of this ocurrence.
     
  34. TiffanyL

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    I'm simply struggling with how we hold someone accountable for an act they did not commit. So, as an admin., if one of my teachers does not feel supported by me and reacts to the stress by dragging a child by his collar, thereby causing injuries to him, I'm responsible?

    Okay, maybe I'll blame the superintendents. They didn't support me. I was a new principal and they didn't support me so its their fault. In fact, I'll just grab one of my teachers and drag him/her by the collar because I'm at such a level of frustration.

    Then, our superintendents will blame the state and grab me by the collar and drag me around. :confused:
     
  35. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    And with that, I'm out, before I say something I'll regret.
     
  36. HMM

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    They didn't commit the physical act on the child, but by letting this escalate for as long as they did they failed to do their job and should be held accountable (in addition to the teacher).
     
  37. TiffanyL

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    HMM, I get that, I truly do. I certainly agree that awareness should be brought with regards to unsupportive admin, principals who are not doing their job, etc. I get that part and I agree wholeheartedly.

    I guess from my side of the fence, I have a different perspective and I'm taking it too personal, I'm sure. :blush: I just know that the ONLY teachers at my site who may ever be capable of dragging a child around by his collar are the ones I would love to see leave to begin with. They are not the strong, dedicated teachers who will do anything to help a child, like many of the teachers on this board. I bust my booty "growing" them and working with them. Yet, they are the ones who make excuses, are not very passionate about this career, and are always looking to point the finger.

    I'm not saying that this was the case with the teacher in question. I don't know her and certainly cannot assess her teaching skills.
     
  38. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think I have to disagree with this argument. While administration might not have done their job fully, or even partially, I don't think they can be blamed for a teacher who physically touches her student. As I always tell my students, you can't control what other people do, but you can control what you do. Could administration have stepped in better to help with the discipline? Perhaps. But can they be blamed for what the teacher did? I don't think so. I think at any point a teacher feels he or she may "snap", he or she should exclude him or herself from the situation, even if that means leaving the school because of lack of support. Anything is better than physcially hurting a student. In addition, we do not really know what knowlege administration had of the issue. Ok, so the kid was sent to the office quite regularly, so clearly it could be deducted that there were issue. But, did administration know what? Did the teacher ever seek help, as in administration step in and do something? Sending the child out isn't necessarily a solution. Maybe the kid preferred to be out of class and this was more of a reward. We simply don't know what the administration did or did not know, or whether the teacher sought help (with the exception of sending the child out, which I don't view entirely as seeking help-more like seeking temporary relievement from the situation).
     
  39. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    While you are trying to translate Tiffany's comment and not necessarily saying whether you agree or disagree with your comment, I am going to say I agree with this comment. I don't think admin can be blamed for this. I think, if anything, they are likely culpable for not correctly handling the situation themselves, but I don't think blame can, even partially, be placed on other persons besides the said teacher who actually physically hurt her student.
     
  40. JoshCHT

    JoshCHT Rookie

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    I agree.

    Teachers have to know that no matter how angry they get they can't grab a student and drag them or pick them up and push them against a wall or anything like that.

    These kids will never forget these experiences with their teachers.

    I had a teacher in 3rd grade that would pull my ear really hard to get me to speak because I was shy and I still find it upsetting.
     
  41. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Some of you have suggested that sometimes an administrator will place a teacher in a difficult position to try to get them to leave. My question would be, are we ultimately harming our children because we are trying to force a teacher out and we need some evidence that the teacher is not as competent as they need to be?
    Maybe Tiffany can remark on this...what strategies do you employ to remove unfit teachers?
     
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