Impartiality when teaching your own kid

Discussion in 'General Education' started by rpan, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I have a colleague who is hell bent on teaching his/her own kids. This colleague specifically requests admin to be able to teach the classes that the colleague’s kids are in and admin agree! The colleague follows them up to the grade level the kids progress to year after year. The colleague gives her/his kids’ assessments to independent markers (teachers in other classes) for grading, to prevent any perceived impropriety and to make it seem that the A grades received by the kids was fairly given. I have issues with this. Firstly, the colleague doesn’t always accept the grade given by the independent marker. I know I’ve given the kids a B grade for an assessment but somehow the kids have received straight As for all last year and won an award for the subject because of those straight As. Secondly, our end of year report grades are based on assessments yes, but also formative in class work, which only the colleague is there to observe and grade. Thirdly, as the colleague is the class teacher of the class, the colleague writes his/her kids’ reports and comments. Fourthly, whatever year level his/her kids are in, the colleague pushes and pushes for less assessments and simpler assessments. The colleague doesn’t do this for year levels his/her kids are not in. This is highly unethical in my opinion. But because this colleague can kick up a hornets nest, the colleague gets a lot of what the colleague wants. I want to give my colleague the benefit of the doubt and say a teacher can be truly 100% impartial but can anyone truly be, especially with a mama/papa bear and her/his children?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 24, 2020

    I work in a small district, so it is very common for people to have their own children in class because nobody else teaches that subject. Fortunately, it is so common that there are few issues related to it.

    Parents who expect and provide special treatment for their children do them no justice academically or socially.
     
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  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I get that if there’s no other choice and you have to teach your own kid then it is what it is. We are a school of 900 students. Other colleagues of mine who have their kids in the school specifically do not want to teach their kids.

    I want to have a feel of everyone’s opinion because I think I may be too harsh in being so annoyed at this situation. Teachers are professionals, we should be able to be impartial. But yet at the same time, the way this particular colleague tries to manoeuvre things to make things favourable for his/her kids really irks me.
     
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  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It's pathetic and teachers should really know better. We have a fit when parents want us to "fix" grades for their kids or give their kids special treatment so it should be the same for teacher parents. The admin should really step up.
     
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  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    There have only been a few times when I have worked with a staff member who has a child at the same school. Our school boundaries are quite firm and transfers to a school outside boundaries are not guaranteed. Unless there were exceptional circumstances, having a parent teaching at a specific school would likely not be considered a valid reason to not attend the school in the community where the student lives. In my experiences, the student has only been allowed to be taught by their parent if no other option existed (for example, if there is only one Music teacher in the school, the student would obviously have to have their parent as their Music teacher. For homeroom teachers, I have seen the parent's teaching assignment changed to avoid having their child in their class.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 24, 2020

    OP, whether it is right or not is not something I would worry about. In the long run, if the children have been given unfair grades, the children are going to pay the ultimate price when they go the college and find that things are harder than they expected. Since they have a string of straight A's, they should, over time, be able to figure out that they were riding on the teacher parent's coat-tails, for better or for worse. I personally think that my son is better for understanding struggle, the occasional failure, but the A's that he totally earned on this own. I refused to teach in the HS when he was there, because I thought he needed some time away from mom during those final formative years. Other's might see it differently, but I have never regretted that decision.
     
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  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2020

    I tend to approve of that. Teenagers really are in that funny area of the last stretch before more defined independence. It's good for them to explore school without Mom or Dad.
     
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  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    As a teacher's child in a district that, in retrospect, was probably not more than ordinarily grapevine-y, I was grateful that my school life mostly seemed safe from my home life and that I seemed to have the same latitude to make my own mistakes that other students had. The teacher whom the OP cites is doing his/her children no favors.
     
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  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I am very surprised that your administration allows teachers to teach their own students. The only time I have heard this happen is in schools so small, that there isn't a choice. Your administration is making a mistake IMO. I am not surprised to hear that there are problems. I think you are fighting a tough battle though to get this to change. Good luck to you.
     
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  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    That parent/ teacher sounds just plain crazy to me. I agree w/ the PP who say the kids are in for a rude awakening called LIFE.
    I am here though to tell you , it can be done. I worked in a school where kids were grouped by ability. Both of my kids were on my teammate's or my roster at different times. They would have had me 1/2 the day.
    Both times, I asked for them to be transferred in a level a little lower class. I would have been way harder on my own kids than other students. Looking back, I was probably too strict, but I really did not want my kids to grow up and get in trouble.. They both had happy years without me and did fine the next year.
    Then 1 yr, my teammate's daughter ended up w/ a teacher I did not even know. She was new and the school was big. Parent after parent complained about this teacher and moved their kids to our rooms.
    My teammate finally told me that she was moving her daughter too. I about died because she spoiled her daughter in a lot of ways and let her get away w/ garbage that I would not have allowed. I was worried that it would be the end of our close relationship.
    It ended up turning out fine. My teammate was extremely professional and very mature. At school, the girl called her mom Mrs. ____. She paid her lunch money when called up to pay. She worked hard and never caused 1 single problem all year. I am guessing my teammate warned her daughter she'd better not give me any grief.....lol
    The girl was very bright and her mom had high expectations of her. I don't think that would have been the girl's favorite year in school, but she turned out to be no problem for either of us. That was a pretty ideal case though. If it hadn't been for the way her mom handled it, it could have been a nightmare.
    Oh, and we are all still friends to this day! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  12. JaneK

    JaneK Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2020

    I am currently teaching my child. We are a small school so we all end up teaching our own kids at some point. She addresses me the same way the other kids do, she has to raise her hand just like everyone else and I try very hard to not treat her any different than the other students. She is there as my student, not my child. That being said, it probably helps that she's basically a good kid, so she doesn't put me in any situations where I might have a hard time being impartial.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Most kids don't want to be seen as the teacher's kid anymore than they want to be seen as the teacher's pet.

    Just think of all of the headaches she saves the other teachers. You don't think she would be that silent parent who says nothing when she dislikes how her child's teacher is doing things, do you?
     
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  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    As the teacher's kid who had BOTH PARENTS teaching at my high school, I know they actively avoided having me scheduled for their courses. They spent plenty of time chaperoning my dances and other activities, and I probably would have lost my mind if I had to sit in a classroom with them every day. Even when my mother was a building substitute, she only covered two of my teachers' classes in three years. That was enough!
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My last school... one kid had the VP as his dad. Rather than take advantage, he tried to keep himself out of trouble. It's one thing to get in trouble with the principal and then with your parents, but when they're one and the same...
     
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  16. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Gosh, I think people sweat this way too much. I actively avoided classes my dad taught while in high school, but both of my sisters had him as a teacher and a coach. It was a non-event. I had my daughter as a student. Of course, I expected her to behave and to work, but, to the best of my ability, I did try to treat her the same as the other students. I did, however, request that she not be placed in my TA. Oh, and my daughter did refer to me as ‘mom’. Every other student already knew that we were related, so why not?
     
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  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That sounds like it worked out for you but I don't think everyone can be as impartial. It should be common sense but you know what they say about common sense not being so common any more!
     

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