Just need to rant about parents!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by srfjeld, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 23, 2009

    So, I am in the process of trying to organize my first field trip, ever as I am a first year teacher. The second grade teacher and I are sharing a bus to take our kids to the zoo. I have an AMAZING room parent who takes care of most things for me. I had her get an idea of which parents want to be chaperones. I had initially told her that it would be fine to bring siblings to the zoo but those parents would have to drive separately. I later learned that our principal doesn't want sibs there due to safety concerns of having my chaperones in charge of their kids as well as those I'm responsible. I completely understand that. Well, I emailed my room parent to let her know and she forwarded my email to the parents to let them know so everyone was on the same page... well, then, all hell broke loose. The room parent CC'd me on the email to the parents so all of they replies came to me as well (joy!). A couple said the policy is "ridiculous" and that they would just not chaperone but follow the bus with their sibs and have their kid be with them at the zoo anyway b/c it's a "public" place and the school can't keep them out. True, but PLEASE, give me a freakin' break! Seriously? Well, then it went on from there. One parent wrote and said she was a teacher and that this is a huge endeavor for me and they should respect the policy. A few agreed and then another said her sib was going with her husband and that others who wanted to could pal around with them but to "be sure they stay at least 10 or more feet away so they don't lose their recess." Who are the kids here? I SERIOUSLY feel like telling the parents that unless they can be adults about this, either they can't come, or I'm canceling the trip altogether. This trip is for my class of FIRST GRADERS who have worked hard all year. Why don't they just have a family day at the zoo on their own? ugh... This seriously makes me not want to do any field trips in the future.

    Any ideas on how to deal with this? Thanks! :help:
     
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  3. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2009

    Write a note of apology to the parents because you did not find out what the policy was first, before you informed them and got their hopes up. You can deal with that. Postpone your trip until you get a new set of parents, who genuinely accept your apology and know that we all make mistakes. I know it's hard to deal with parents who are stubborn and think they should have the last word, BUT it will all come to pass. SET YOUR FOOT DOWN with your NEW AGENDA and take it from there. You are doing it for the children so make it work.:D If the original parents who wanted to go, still can't get over it, then they are being childish about the whole situation.:eek:
    Good luck,
    Rebel1
     
  4. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2009

    This same thing happened with our field trip to the zoo a couple years ago too!!! Finally our principal put his foot down and told the parents that siblings weren't allowed. If you wanted to chapperone, then you were responsible for the students in the class.

    We did allow parents with siblings to join us and walk around with us, but they weren't the "responsible' ones. However, if the parents who tagged along with us with their younger children wanted to take their child home, they weren't allowed. We were responsible for the student for the whole day.


    Just remember to tell the chapperones to NOT take their group into the gift store or restaurant and buy them special treats. We had one dad do that and the other kids were in tears because 5 of them had ice cream.
     
  5. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2009

    These parents must not have any older children. Isn't this pretty much standard when you really need a chaperone? I mean if you are going to a zoo or aquarium, you generally really need the chaperones. It's a little different than going to see a play.

    What shocks me is that these parents know they are sending this email back to you. That is very disrespectful. I'd stop the bantering right now.

    I would just say something like

    Dear parents,

    I do apologize for the change of plans regarding the chaperoning of the zoo field trip. I hope you understand that putting child safety first is our main concern. If anyone would still like to be a chaperone, I would love to have you join us. Please let me know by _________. If you want to go on your own and bring a younger child, you will need to arrange your own transportation and be responsible only for your own children at the zoo. Your child will still ride on the school bus with the rest of us.

    Thank you so much for your continued support.

    srfjeld



    Side notes-

    Our parents never ride the school buses.

    Personally, I would feel more comfortable if my child was be chaperoned by a parent who did not have a baby, toddler, or preschooler with him or her.
     
  6. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 24, 2009

    Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions. I have been having such an amazing year with my parents so I was shocked, to say the least, by some of their behavior. You are right, I need to get a letter of apology out pronto. I suppose I never should have had my room parent take that little part on, I now know better for next time. I feel bad for her as well b/c she feels she is caught in the middle. She's embarrassed that some of the parents are acting this way and that I have to hear about it.

    Can't wait to see what happens today! Whoopeee! :)
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 24, 2009

    No parents on field trips, please!!!!

    I had 12 parent conferences in a row yesterday. I am reminded of Jeff Foxworthy's comment: You know you're a school employee if you'd prefer to get a mammogram than attend a parent conference.
     
  8. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Apr 24, 2009

    A mammogram? Piece of cake! I might rather have a....well, I won't go there! I would just make sure that, no matter what you do, that the parents who drive their kids know that they are not your responsibility and cannot be left with you or another chaperone. And those who do go with you and chaperone know that they can't take on the other children or leave the ones in their charge with those other parents. You live and learn! Good luck!
     
  9. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Apr 24, 2009

    Good luck...went with my Kind. daughter to the zoo on Wednesday. Some of the parents ---ok, 70% were worse than their children. They complained about being to hot, being to windy, about the length of time we were there, about the school rule that the students had to ride the bus to the zoo, that they were expected to watch other children while they were chaperoning. I was ready to get away from them. Unfortunately, I will have some of those parents next year!!!
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2009

    Looking forward to the update.:)
     
  11. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Apr 24, 2009

    I returned from a field trip today w/ 3 classes and 15 volunteer parents. This year was very smooth; we walk a lot and tour various displays/demonstrations so it truly helps to have the students in small groups. BTW, we discourage younger siblings, too, and only take one parent on the bus w/ us.
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2009

    I can understand both sides of this. But, if the teacher reminded me that this treat was for my school ager, and a day without sibs was important, I would respect that. Good luck, and let us know.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I have never really understood why parents feel that it is appropriate to bring other children along on a field trip when they are supposed to be chaperoning. Often, parents are more difficult to supervise than the students are.
     
  14. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    We have the same rule about younger siblings and while we were at the zoo a few weeks ago I saw exactly why. Another school was there and the parent had 4 students and a baby in a stroller. The baby started crying and the mother stopped to breastfeed the baby and the 4 kids were just running around by the reflection pond definitely out of sight of the parent. So the kids were unsupervised and lost a good 30 minuted of the field trip due to this parent
     
  15. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 25, 2009

    Well there you go!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2009

    OK- it's not really a letter of apology, it's a letter of clarification...You can say "I'm sorry" in it, but use the letter to convey what the policy is and to assure parents that the safety of the children in your class has to be the main priority. I like lemonhead's suggested letter, but make sure to run it by your administrators before you send it out. It's always best to check school policy before planning school trips, as their is major liability involved anytime you take kids off school grounds.

    I have a child this year who for some reason is not going on either of our first two planned trips (a play and a museum). I just sent a note home regarding a walking trip to our local naure center- no cost, no bus- I'll find out Monday if she's going on that one. I checked with last year's teacher and she said the mom was the room parent last year so the kid did go on trips with the mom as chaperone but the mom complained the whole time...guess she just doesn't like field trips. It's sad because our class trips are closely aligned with our curriculum standards and are great learning experiences on many levels.
     
  17. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    :confused: Do that not understand the purpose of a chaperone? Yikes!
     
  18. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 26, 2009

    Well, a lot more parents are on board with following the school's policy. I had some come up to me, embarrassed, to apologize for the other parents... even though it's not their place to do so. The one parent who made the "lose your recess" comment wrote and email to me personally to apologize (or back peddle) because she thought she was only sending that email out to her "friends" and didn't know I was being copied on it. Well, strange that none of her "friends" thought it was funny either.

    this is my new mantra. Change the number every week: 7 more weeks, 7 more weeks, 7 more weeks! :)
     

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