Parent Complaint to Principal Already :-(

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by yankeefan_46, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. yankeefan_46

    yankeefan_46 Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2005

    I'm not really sure how to feel about this. My principal called me into his office today to tell me that a parent was upset and "thought too much into" a letter I sent out a few days ago explaining that we have been having a lot of behavior problems and disruptions. I explained in this letter some of the behaviors I've been noticing and that we had a class meeting and outlined the new behavior plan to the parent. When I reread the letter with the principal I agreed that it did sound a little negative and I saw the parent's point of view of how she got upset about it. I now realize that I definitely should have reworded it and well not wrote it when I was hotheaded that particular day. Anyways, obviously this will be documented in my file that the parent called and complained about my letter but should I be worried that this will come back and haunt me in the future? I haven't had any observations yet and I'm a first year teacher but I feel now that every move I make I will be watched. My principal reassured me that I've been doing a great job so far just watch exactly how I phrase things in my letters but I still feel like this may affect me in the long run. Any thoughts?
     
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  3. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Sep 29, 2005

    I would ask your principal if you could share letters home to the parent with her/him for awhile prior to sending them to the parents. This will assure the principal that you took the discussion seriously and that you are trying to make improvements. It will also give you some piece of mind so you aren't always second guessing yourself. It will also give you some support if the situation comes up again, your principal has approved the letter and should support you. It depends on the principal of course. I don't think it will affect your future unless it becomes something that happens repeatedly. Remember you are a new teacher and are still learning some of those little things and sometimes you might make mistakes.
     
  4. Keling9

    Keling9 Companion

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    Sep 29, 2005

    Just like JCG said, I would have someone read what I've written to check for how it "sounds". (And this helps to check for errors!) It wouldn't necessarily have to be the principal, but I would approach them to show that you did take your conversation seriously. I would find a teacher I know I could trust to give me an honest opinion. Don't let this one parent affect you too much. But, chock it up to experience and now you know better for next time. We all make mistakes...but don't let it get you down. Even the old teachers are still learning things...not just the new teachers!
     
  5. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Sep 29, 2005

    Yes, sorry if I inferred that only new teachers make mistakes,I didn't mean to. We all make mistakes and PLEASE don't refer to me as old again! ;) LOL
     
  6. yankeefan_46

    yankeefan_46 Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2005

    Thanks!

    Yeh my principal did say to make sure my mentor proofreads everything and to send him some things for the next few weeks anyways. I did wrote up my October newsletter and I make sure there was no negative intonation in it. I'm actually very proud of it :) so I will definitely make sure he gets a copy of that as well. I looked through my files on my computer of everything I have sent home to the parents so far and that has been the only letter that would have been questionable and of course it bit me in the butt but I learned! haha. Just want to make sure that it won't jeopardize my future in that school district at all.
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Sep 30, 2005

    I had a parent complain before school even started last year. Apparently I hadn't paid enough attention to her son during open house. I had 15 sets of parents there at one time. I tried to give enough attention to each parent and student. Our open house is a chance for students to see the room and parents to fill out the tons of paper work they need to. I was asked to apologize to her because she worked at a certain fast food restaurant that provided lunches as prizes every once in a while. Last year was my 1st year too.
     
  8. newteacher16

    newteacher16 Companion

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    Oct 4, 2005

    Keep in mind too that some parents will complain about things at the drop of a hat. I personally think that this parent should have come to you rather than going over your head to the principal, but whatever... I wouldn't worry that it's going to reflect badly on you. You're learning and everyone knows that. The fact that you aknowledged your mistake and was willing to see things from another's point of view speaks well of you.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 4, 2005

    It's no wonder that kids make excuses for their own behavior and don't expect rules to apply to them. Sheesh!
     
  10. LHarmon

    LHarmon Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2005


    *******************************************************
    I had a situation like that, too. One year at open house the night before school started a parent wanted to discuss my plans for her special ed student. I was trying to meet all the kids and their parents and I told her I would set up a conference with her, but she would not drop it...she was insisting I discuss it with her. I still refused and said I would not discuss it in front of the other parents and while I was trying to meet everyone. She huffed out of the room and went down to the principal. The principal came down a little bit later and said she would put the student in another classroom. It's a good thing because the parent would probably give me a hard time the rest of the year.
     
  11. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Oct 5, 2005

    This was my first open house, and I was really nervous in the first place. It turned out okay in the end. I was really upset though.
     
  12. teacherchick

    teacherchick Companion

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    Oct 5, 2005

    Have a buddy teacher read the letters you send home esp. if they are about neg. things. Another little note I put at the bottom of every notice is that if there are ?'s or concerns to please call or come in to talk to me. That heads off the whole going to tthe principal.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 5, 2005

    We are required to have someone in admin (who also teaches language arts) to proof every parent note that goes home. It is helpful.
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Oct 5, 2005

    Only our 1st year teachers have to do that. If you've been in our district longer, you get to send out without having it proofed. I always let someone else read it though. You never know.
     

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