Opinons, please...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Ms.T, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    :confused: A parent invited me and my husband over for dinner. I said I'd get back to her. She (and her child) are extremely nice, and she is quite helpful, but...
    I don't know if I want to hang out with them. What would you do?
     
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  3. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    No way. Simple as that. Kindly say "No thank you."
     
  4. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    That is interesting. Hmm... I'd politely decline using the excuse that teachers are way too busy. Maybe send a nice thank you card, also?
     
  5. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    I feel as though she will keep asking me over and over until I say yes. The thought of it makes me feel nervous. (Also, my husband really doesn't want to go.)
     
  6. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    You could simply say it wouldn't be professional to visit/eat with a student outside of school - which really it wouldn't be.
     
  7. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I think I would go - it kind of depends on your school and how things work there. At our small private school, there is a family that invites their children's teachers for a fantastic meal once a year. It is how they show their appreciation to the teachers. If you are unsure, ask another teacher or your principal for advice. One dinner won't mean you have to hang out all the time. Have fun!
     
  8. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    I agree with halpey1, but also find out if there isn't something she need to discuss as the reason for having you over.
     
  9. MsAnn

    MsAnn Companion

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    You could decline politely if you feel uncomfortable with the idea and your husband doesn't want to go. However, you could always suggest going for a cup of coffee... this would open the door for her to speak with you or to find out what her motive is. She may simply like you and think you'd make a good friend.
     
  10. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    If you work at a private or religious school, I'd ask the other teacher's what they'd do. I did one of my home visits over dinner :) However, if you don't want to go, tell her thank you for the generous offer, but you are (busy/ insert excuse).
     
  11. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I personally don't think it is a big deal. Keep it professional and polite. Follow up with a thank you note........no harm no foul.
     
  12. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I would go. I teach in a small Lutheran school, so families are close to the teachers and vice versa. This is a great way to build a bond with the student and his family.
     
  13. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    I wouldn't go. I tend to think, and this is just my thinking, that if I were to eat at a childs house...the parent (or child) might expect some sort of favoritism. That and think of other parents / students finding out. Crimeny, parents are like a clique when it comes to chit chat and rumors and if word gets out that you ate at Johnnys house, then pretty soon, youll have half the class parents and half the students asking for you to go to their house and it would be awkward to decline those invites after accepting another one.

    This week, we had voting for student council. None of the five or six kids in my class that ran were elected. Since none of them were elected, those that were not elected were given a chance to run to be a rep for our class. So we voted, and of the five or six people we had, two girls tied. They asked me and the rest of the class chimed in, that i should vote and be the tie breaker. I told them no, that I didn't want them to think there was any favoritism because if I voted for girl A, then girl B wold think I didn't like her and versa visa. So I had the clas vote again on just those two girls and we had a winner.

    You are their teacher, not their friend.

    A couple weeks back, a couple asked me to go to a session with them, their child and the doc who is training them on Love and Logic. To be frank...I really could care less about L & L because we don't use it at our school. Im not going to implement a program that our school does not use for its behavior system when we already have a great program teaching social skills. I wrote the mom a quick email saying "thanks for the invitation to the training, however I will not be attending. I hear that it works great with our Boys Town skills and I look forward to seeing ______'s improvement with using both programs. For more information on our program...."
     
  14. Bookworm

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    I am the same age as many of my parents and over the years have met several I could be friends with outside of school. My children go to the same school and I make friends with their parents.I also serve on our PTO and have become friends with parents who I later have had their children in class. I say go if you see this relationship lasting after this year. Keep off the topic of school. I am having dinner tomorrow night at a former students house. Can't wait! I love the family.
     
  15. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I've had a couple of parents over the years invite me out. I've met with both at the restaurant, and yes, they both treated me, (though I tried to get the check myself). I've had several who have invited me to their church, especially when their child is getting baptized. Both of the meals were friendly, casual affairs.
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I personally don't attend any of the children's birthday parties that I have been invited to over the years. I'm just not into getting that "chummy." I would tell her , no thank you, I just don't have the time with all of my other responsibilities. You are not under obligation to provide her with a "list" of what your responsibilities might be.
     
  17. DebSue89

    DebSue89 New Member

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    You haven't stated why you don't want to "hang out" with them. Is it going to be your policy not to socialize with your students and their family outside of school? If so, just politely say so.

    When my children (I have twins) were in Kindergarten, I invited the teacher and her husband to dinner at our home. Her husband is a quiet "homebody type" and declined to accompany his wife, but the teacher came and we have a lovely time. My kids were thrilled to sit with their teacher at the dinner table. I can assure you my motives were nothing more than to (A) show appreciation for a wonderful teacher and (B) develop a freindship with this woman. Which we have. I know in this day and age, it's hard not to be cinical and wonder "what's their angle". But give the woman the benefit of the doubt and assume that she just wants to be nice.

    Bottom line. You need to do what you feel comfortable doing. If you're worried that other parents might see it as favoritism, or you just plain, don't want to and chose to make a policy not to accept social invitations, that is your right. And you don't have to feel guilty for it. If you chose to accept only those that you think might have friendship potential, then you might have a harder time "begging off" of the ones that you aren't interested in. If that doesn't bother you than, go for it. If it makes you uncomfortable, then say no to all and develop the friendships during the school setting, explaining that you'd be happy to accept invitations when there are no longer any "conflicts of interest". :eek:)
     
  18. Mizz Lucy

    Mizz Lucy Guest

    Oct 7, 2006

    When the year is over, great!
    Keep in mind, if you say yes to one student...

    I teach in a small community where I have to be friends with my students parents or I wouldn't have any local friends. Whenever possible, i do not teach the children of my close friends. When i have to, our friendship that year is limited to adult time alone. This year I am teaching a student whose parents are good friends of my husband and I. We still go out w/o the kids; mine too and our kids are friends UGHH so it's hard on all of us at times, yet we realize ti's best for my profession, our friendship, and the emotions of the child involved. Yesterday Sally dropped me a note and school that said "I miss you! Let's have the men baby sit and we'll run to Appleton shopping!" We had a blast !!!
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I have taught friend's kids. I don't like it much. I cherish my friendship with the parents and would feel so awful if something involving their child would cause a problem(never has, but could.)
     
  20. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Mizz Lucy, you hit the nail on the head.....
    If you say yes to one......
    you are going to have to say yes to all of them....and once one kiddie or parent knows that miss _____ had dinner at my house, they will allllll want to follow along!!
     
  21. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Good for you, DebSue...I think it is okay to be social if you choose to be. I attended one birthday party last year, but only because EVERYONE in the class was invited. It was a lot of fun, and several other parents were there too.

    In my Teacher Ed courses, we were actually encouraged to get to know families outside the classroom if possible--attend competitive games on your campus, etc. It also included accepting invitations if you are comfortable doing so. Yes, I am super busy, but you have to eat anyway! :-D Also, I tutored a former student of mine this summer, and got to know the family VERY well since I went to their home. It is just a nice feeling to bond. Not every family/parent will be wanting your extra attention and time, but for some, a meal might be their best (only) opportunity to express appreciation, especially for some cultures. Do what you feel comfortable doing!
     
  22. MrsMikesell

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    I have run into this. I always say, I cannot while I am ___'s teacher. Maybe this summer or next school year?

    They ususally forget by then.

    But, there are some families that don't and I'm glad. I've spent Christmas Eve day with a former student for two years and it is great because we don't have family that live here.

    Kelly :)
     
  23. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Here's what my problem would be. I am very picky about eating other people's cooking because I am a clean freak.
     
  24. Tbelle1035

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    I have socialized with parents I'm comfortable with, but only after their child has moved on to another teacher.
    Believe it or not, I've been invited to several birthday parties. I am always too busy to go! Can you imagine, if you went to one you'd have to go to all of them! AGHHHH!
     
  25. teachingmomof4

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    I am in the exact same boat you are in. I have friends (of students and former students) who I do things with outside of school. It's no big deal. I'd go if you want to but don't force the husband. You never know what those husbands might say. :eek: :D
     
  26. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    My Kevin had the same bus driver for 4 years and we invited her to his graduation. The teachers were already there!!

    At church one week his second grade teacher was there as the guest of another family, and he was tickled to see her.
     
  27. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I attend sporting functions, dance recitals, and other activities outside of class for my students. I have been the special guest at a girl scout tea. I have been in the stands of Little League games, and I love to attend special musical performances. I explain to the children that I can't come to them all, but if they will get me a schedule I will try to make at least one event. Parents love it and it really builds a bond with the students.
     
  28. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    My parents are chaperones for the HS choir at my church. They do the same thing... when the kids play softball or are in the play or whatever, they try to go see an event or two for as many kids as possible. The kids are TICKLED that someone came to see them besides their parents!
     
  29. Proud2BATeacher

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    I have attended a few birthday parties of my kindergarten students and had a great time. If you think it is a one time thing, she will not go brag to other parents (thus causing you to have to accept all other offers from other parents), her child would not think that he/she can get away with anything in the classroom after your visit to their home and you can trust her cooking... go for it!

    My friend had a parent tell her that she would like to be friends with her last year. My friend told her that she could not while she was teaching her child and to contact her over the summer. They are now friends.
     
  30. lovefirstgrade

    lovefirstgrade Rookie

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    I don't see any problem with going to a family's house for dinner. I'm assuming you've built a relationship with this family. What grade do you teach? perhaps that would make a difference? I teach first grade, and my students would be so happy to have me at their house.
     
  31. knittingbec

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    I have gone to a few of my students' birthday parties and sporting events. When I can't (or really don't want to) make it, I make sure to make some time to explain to the student that I would have loved to go, but I already had plans.
    If I were invited to dinner, I would probably try to go. I think I would especially make it a point to do so because I live and teach on an overseas military base-and many people here just get lonely, especially when spouses are deployed.
    I have one parent who spends a lot of time in the classroom, visits after school, etc. and e-mails back and forth with me. Her husband is gone a lot and I think we all just need some adult conversation every once in a while!
     
  32. Celestial

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    I would go... but again, it depends on your relationship with your students and their families in general. I usually end up getting close with some of the families each year. I don't think there is anything wrong, as I do believe they just appreciate you and your hard work. I would make sure there is no other reason why she might want to talk to you, though. If she wants to speak to you about her child, I'd set up a "conference."
     
  33. Mrs. Mom

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    I'm from a small school so many of my parents I know well or even went to school with. If it were me, and I didn't want to go, I'd make up a good excuse the first time, such as, "My husband isn't much of a socializer, so I don't get out much...." or something to that effect. Then I would counter by offering to meet up sometime for coffee or a quick meal at a convenient, neutral location. Or better yet, ask the parent just to stop in sometime after school and share a soda with you. That gets the message across that you're tied to your job after normal school hours, which some people fail to realize!! I would smoothe things over by casually letting this person know how little free time you have and how tired you are at the end of the day. I have no qualms about telling people my pjs and the couch are about the only thing I'm up for at the end of the day!
     
  34. ms.jansen

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    With the parent makeup of my current school, I would probably decline unless it was a large dinner with other parents and/or teachers there as well. (As some others have stated, parents can be very cliquey and competitive.) I think everyone's situation is going to be different.
     
  35. iluv1stgrd

    iluv1stgrd Rookie

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    I personally feel it is a conflict of interest to socialize with your students' parents. It smacks of bribery to me. Also, it isn't fair to attend one student's activity (I've been invited to b-day parties, soccer games, barbecues, etc.) and not another's. And lets face it, you can't go to them all, it would be physically impossible.
    I would respectfully decline and thank them for the invitation.
     

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