need help with bossy parent!!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by coffee crazy, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2009

    I am new at this. What do you say when parents try and tell you how to run your class? I don't want to come off defensive or ugly, but I am not very diplomatic...NEED Help!! New at this.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2009

    Can you simply say: "Thanks for sharing. I'll think about that." and then walk that person to the door.
     
  4. pxydst07

    pxydst07 Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2009

    I agree with czacza. Politely stating, "Thank you, I'll keep that in mind." and then be done with it. I can't think of a different approach that won't come off defensive.
     
  5. TeachersRock!

    TeachersRock! Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2009

    Guilt is Good!

    Just a Mom here who volunteers a lot in the classroom. Bossy parents drive most teachers nuts. My son's teacher is polite, but has a great strategy. She always suggest that the parent be in attendance(at some point) in the child's classroom. This is when complainers REALLY see how much she is prepared and busts her butt! If they don't come, it presumes indifference.

    Like any profession...offer up a "walk in the shoes" and then they may realize. If the parent likes the teacher and dislikes lesson plans; send 'em on up to the princiPal. That usually does it here!;);)
     
  6. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2009

    thank you...the ones that make me crazy are very hands on..but like to tell me how to do my job!
     
  7. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Apr 11, 2009

    I agree with the previous posters but I know how you feel. I am very non-confrontational and I don't always know how to handle the crazy parents. My only other advice is to do your best to help the parent feel like part of the team, whether its coming in or helping in another way. Otherwise do your best to make it through the rest of the year...then u get a new set of parents!
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Apr 11, 2009

    Sometimes it helps to remind the parent that what works with one child or their 2 or 3 kids is not feasible with 20+ kids. I have said "I would love to be able to ----, but that wouldn't be fair to the rest of the class. I think it would be a great idea for you to do this after school or on the weekends". You can also say that you base your class on current education research and you will look for the research that supports their idea. This really works for parents who are highly educated and sort of need to be reminded that you are too. ;)
     
  9. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I am just wondering what kind of things they are suggesting you do? I have nothing close to this at all. I've asked parents what works best for their child at home (on certain things) but never have I had suggestions made how to run my classroom. Sometimes, if many parents are around at say the Valentine's party, one might have a suggestion about logistics or something-as in whether we should do a game or craft first.

    I'm sorry. That sounds like it would stink. I guess I would just say thanks, I'll take that into consideration.
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Apr 13, 2009

    Every teacher has encountered this- like Lemonhead, can you elaborate? I'd like to know the situation to provide sound advice. Is this happening over the phone or in the classroom?
     
  11. Kat03785

    Kat03785 Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I know how it is. I think it's always best to let the parent say what they need to say, listen attentively, thank them for their interest in their child's education and tell them that you will think about it. Most just need to vent or feel like they are involved.
     
  12. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2009


    I have had one argue with me about grades and one tell me that I give too much homework...I just want to say "Hey.. I know what I am doing" They are well meaning, but very "in my face" and I have a "strong personality" and forget that I should be oozing with sugar and spice...Even when I say "I will think about this and get back with you" they want to argue and I catch myself doing the same....:mad: Thanks !!!
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Apr 19, 2009

    I carry a clipboard with me everywhere (it has my behavior chart on it) and I keep several sheets of plain paper on it. When parents make "suggestions" I take notes and thank them for their input. Sometimes that's enough. When they see me write the notes they feel like I am taking them seriously, and I do. Some of their suggestions are feasible. If they suggest something off the wall (and they do - demands for one on one, more personal space, etc) I comment about the 25 kids in my room and that short of personally funding new desks that we have to make do with what we have. Then I talk about making it a learning opportunity for the kids, because they won't always have the perfect set up in their future and we all need to learn to compromise. I had a parent contact me a couple of weeks ago and ask that from now on her child be allowed to take all her tests in an empty room. Having other children around is too much of a distraction for her. Of course my mind was just reeling with how crazy the request was, but I calmly explained how that just couldn't happen. At the heart of all of their demanding, crazy suggestions, overbearing attention, etc is concern for their child. I try to remember that. It's not personal. They probably treated last year's teacher the same and will do the same for next year. You just know that you are doing what you think is best and hold firm to that.

    I had a great-aunt who was volunteering in my room at the beginning of the year. At first she was great, then she started causing trouble. I finally had to explain that her nephew did worse with her in the room and that it would be best if she just worked on helping him at home. (Anytime I had to reprimand him she would intervene, she also tried to help him on a test.) She wasn't happy, but mom understood. Sometimes you do make them unhappy.

    Good luck!!
     
  14. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Apr 19, 2009

    I would invite that parent in to discuss the grades with you and to see your documentation and evidence of those grades. Also- do you have a district policy about minutes of homework per grade level? Print it out and hand it to her! Grrrrrrr.... sometimes I think they really don't think we have the best interest of their kids at heart when we wouldn't be in this profession if we didn't!
     
  15. coffee crazy

    coffee crazy Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2009

    Thank you everyone!!!

    You guys gave me so much to think about ....:)
     
  16. chertzberg

    chertzberg Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2009

    Need help with bossy parents!!!!

    I have a problem with one of my parents who thinks her child knows everything and it just drives me insane. I work with 4 and 5 year old children and at the beggining of the year we were going over all the letters of the alphabet and all the sounds each letter makes. Well of course some children caught on really quick and others took some time. For the children who needed more time we had sent home homework so they could practice their letters. Well the next day we had on parent come in and complain that her child did not need to do the homework because she already knew all the letters and their sounds. What could I have done I can't sit there and agrue with a parent.:help:
     
  17. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I would say that is more of a complaint than someone telling you how to run your classroom. I wonder if she is just ticked off she has homework??

    What I would have done is told her how you assess the sounds and letters. I'd tell her that your records show that with letters in isolation and mixed up, the child is having a hard time with x, y and z. I'd say that you just want her to have that extra help in order for her to get those letters down and to help build her confidence during class while working with words and letters.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 26, 2009

    You teach preschool, don't you? I wouldn't be so concerned about letters and sounds...exposing kids to them is great and should be encouraged in developmentally appropriate ways...Expecting kids to know them though? Knowledge of sound/letter correspondence and letter recongnition depends mostly on kids' personal language and literacy experiences...how much they've been read to, word play, rhymes...I think instead of sending homework in pre-school, I'd continue to expose the kids to the alphabet and sound/letter correspondence through circle time games, finger plays, songs, etc...they will start to 'get it' with more experience and exposure. Keep it fun.
    And as far as the parent coming in and complaining? I'd explain that you were working on letters and sounds in class and sent the papers home as reinforcement. Again, not sure that this type of homework would be the most effective in teaching this knowledge but you could have thanked her for the good work she does at home to help her child and suggest that she continue reading books and engaging in talk about letters, sounds, rhyming words to continue to support her child's literacy growth.
     
  19. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Apr 26, 2009

    My reply would have been, "Would you like to trade places with me for a day? I'll gladly let you do it!" :D Of course that is not very diplomatic. Seriously, in your case, just empathize with the parent and make her feel that you know what her concern is. Ask her about what does she want her child to work on.
    Don't let them see you sweat!:angel:
    Rebel1
     

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