Parent issues: how not to take it personally?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ShanaNicole, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2011

    I have a parent who is constantly saying negative things about me. She says I am not professional because she overheard me tell another parent (who asked) that I got my AWESOME behavior plan from teacher blogs. She also says I don't understand how to take care of children because as she was walking by my classroom she heard me tell a student "do you want to go to the office?", of course she didn't know the whole story (student was crawling on the floor, throwing things at students, talking during lessons, refusing to do his work, etc. and had been warned MANY times)...

    How do you not take these things so personally. I have so many parents complimenting me, loving how I am with the kids. The kids go home and can't wait to come to school the next day. I have one student who HATES school but goes home and tells his mom that "Ms. R. makes school fun!"... but this one parent is bringing me down so much. I don't know why I am letting this bother me so much but I really am bummed about this and I can't get it out of my head.
    :help:
     
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  3. student1st

    student1st Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2011

    She may be one of those negative parents. Ignore her or him!. I know its hard but as long as the principal thinks you're doing a wonderful job and most of the parents like you well its expected to have at least "one hater".
     
  4. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    Sep 14, 2011

    If you dont have any critics you probably aren't doing a great job. Any great leader is polarizing to some people. Take it as a compliment. Chances are they are very insecure, and teachers are an easy target to make themselves feel better.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2011

    I have had a few parents like that in the past, too, and it is really difficult. You just have to tell yourself that you are doing what you think is best for your students, and you are the professional. I also realized that EVERY teacher-even the ones that are loved by parents most-have had parents who don't like them and disagree with the things they do. I know it's difficult, but there really isn't much you can do except stick with what you think is right.
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2011

    One of the 1st lessons I learned in teaching was that you can't please everyone! I just had a parent complain that I kept my room too warm-that the child was uncomfortable. I started turning the air down more; I had 2 parents complain to my admin yesterday that their kids are coming home saying the room is too cold. When you teach to try to please the parents, you just can't win.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2011

    No matter how wonderful of a teacher you are, ShanaNicole, there's ALWAYS going to be someone out there who'll have something negative to say about you!

    Keep your head up!!!
     
  8. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Like myself, You must have the "disease to please" too. Isn't it terrible how just one person not liking you can bring you down? You probably don't even like that parent in the first place, yet you care that she doesn't like you.

    Try your best to talk yourself up and rationalize that she's just a complainer. Sounds like lots of people love you. As long as the people who decide whether or not you keep your job like you, that's all that matters in the end. This parent will move on eventually. Don't sweat the small stuff!
     
  9. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Thanks

    This made me fell better. It's hard, especially because this is my first full year, and I really love teaching. Last year I started in this same school towards the end of the year (March) and had MANY parents who were angry at the school so in turn took it out on me. All summer I did a ton of research so I could be sure to really "get it right" this year. All of the positive responses really made me feel great, but this parent knocked me down. You're right about me not liking her, I should have thought that myself.
    Thanks a ton!!
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Also keep in mind that she really doesn't have a clue what she's talking about. Like you said, she heard one random comment as she walked by your room and had no idea of the whole series of events behind that comment. As for getting lesson plans off blogs or websites, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. I'm not nearly egotistical enough to think I know ALL the best ways to teach my students and some of the best lesson ideas I've had came from browsing other plans on the internet.

    In fact, I just had an exciting idea about a hands-on math project I could have my future class do, but I'm not sure about the logistics of it, so I plan to search the internet for similar plans to see how other teachers may have implemented this idea.

    As for wanting to please everyone, I feel the same way most of the time, but I realize it simply isn't going to happen. Most of the my students have told me many times how much they like me as a teacher and, although I've only been teaching a couple of years, I already have former students that still give me hugs or high-fives when they see me. However, during my student teaching, there was one student who decided he did NOT like me at all and went out of his way every day to disrupt the class and/or get me upset. Other students even told me he bragged about how he tried to think of new ways to make me mad in class. His antics in class and his lies to his parents about my treatment of him finally led to a parent/teacher/principal conference. The parents were upset at first (especially the dad), until I handed them a two page list of just SOME of the things their darling boy had done in class so far. By the end of the conference, the dad made the student apologize to me, the principal and the other teachers for his behavior.
     
  11. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Believe in yourself, that is all that matters. I know that sounds like some sort of psychobabble bull, but it's also true.

    Also, I am would like to know about the behavior/classroom management tools you found on a blog. I am currently not in teaching, but during interviews you are often asked about classroom management. :)

    Thanks.
     
  12. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Sep 15, 2011

    I'd like to know about your management plan too, as I am a first grade teacher. Thanks! :)
     
  13. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2011

    There are some people in the world who make it their business to take things out of context and who believe that they know better than everyone else.

    As long as you're doing your job and you can show that things are working if she should ever complain to the principal, you'll be fine.

    And who cares if you got something off of the internet? If it works, it works and the person you got it from could have picked it up in a "legitimate" college course, or book or wherever this woman might approve of these things coming from.

    Don't fuss, but watch your back just in case she really believes she does have a legitimate beef and complains someday.
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 15, 2011


    How is that unprofessional?

    I know it's hard not to take it personally. I am going through the same thing this year as some of the parents are really "attacking", but a lot of it has to do with the new hw system (all online) which they aren't pleased (and that is way beyond my control).

    Anyway, just remember that you are the professional who knows what she is doing. It sounds like you are a wonderful teacher, but many have already said, there's always one or two who will never be happy.
     
  15. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Thank you all very much. I'm very proud of everything I have found via blogs because my class runs so well. I think I have my behavior plan on my blog shananicoleteaches.blogspot.com but basicalle I have a long chart that I created and laminated. The top of the chart is "outstanding" then "great job" then "ready to learn" "warning" "consequence" and finally "parent contact" each child has a laundry pin with their name on it, they move up for good behavior and down for bad behavior. If you want more details you can email me at sreyzman at gmail. Its been working miracles for me!
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Sep 16, 2011

    When I first went into teaching, I thought my complaints would come from parents when I made bad choices. I couldn't have been more wrong. I do think most parents are good, and I think they do care about their children's education. Though, after 20 years of teaching, I have found out that most complaints have been due to parents who are unhappy with life or with irrational complaints. It never feels good to hear them, but I've learned that there is no way to avoid these complaints even if I was perfect.

    One thing that helps me is an experience near the end of my 1st year of teaching. I taught near one of the best teachers I've ever met. My 1st year was very mediocre. His was an incredible year, and he was voted teacher of the year. He has 18 years of experience. I noticed he got lots more complaints than me, although he could teach me under the table. I asked him about this. I never forget what he said, "If you aren't stepping on toes, you aren't dancing." ShanaNicole keep your dancing shoes on. :)

    Kevin
     

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