Parent/Principal Meeting Advice!!! Help!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MissMae, Oct 18, 2015.

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  1. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2015

    A parent of mine recently jumped over my head to schedule a meeting with me and my principal. The parent claims that her daughter said I yell everyday and am a mean teacher. I teach third grade.

    Now, I am not going to go as far as saying I never raise my voice, I do raise it to "call" over students during loud activities who might not be doing safe behaviors, etc. I can be stern at times with students, but not this student in question.

    She also told her mom she can't talk to me, which has me baffled because she comes up to me all the time to ask me things and I always respond, just like for all my students.

    This parent has contacted me once in written form about a progress report that I didn't put comments on, because I don't always put comments, and I did send her a nice card back, and now I never heard from her again!

    I am at a loss as to handle this meeting. I tried calling the parent multiple times after my P let me know about the meeting, to no answer. The student in question has been absent all this week so I couldn't speak with her. My P will be of no help, she is useless, and I am nervous she is going to get the wrong impression of my methods.

    I have high expectations for my students, and push them all to achieve their best, and have zero tolerance for nonsense, but I plan fun and engaging lessons. Our day is packed, and I just don't know what to do. I feel myself getting defensive and I don't want to say the wrong thing. Please help!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2015

    I'd suggest meeting with your P before the parent meeting.
     
  4. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2015

    I did meet with her briefly and said the parents concerns were odd and let her know about sending the card and telling her that I didn't understand where the complaints were coming from. She is not very supportive of her staff and all she said was "Interesting, well nevertheless we still need to resolve it" and that was all.

    This parent was rude in her note and she has seen me several mornings now and could have talked to me but never did. I can already feel myself getting angry over the unfairness of it all, if she had just talked to me in person I would never have to have this meeting with my P and everything would be fine!!
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2015

    You need to convey that you ave the best interest of this parent's child at heart, that you are quite frankly puzzled that the child states she can't talk to you as she interacts with you in a positive way on a daily basis and that her perception of yelling is concerning as you haven't directed any discipline toward her but have sometimes needed to modulate your voice during group activities so all will hear. Wouldn't be a baearsea to start using flicking lights or clapping a pattern to get class attention before your meeting so that you can share that strategy as something you also use to get class attention.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
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  6. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2015

    I like that word "modulate" thank you, I was trying to come up with a bland term for raising my voice without it sounding negative, because my P hates anything negative, goes into near hysterics about it. I can use those suggestions for what to do instead as well. The clapping worked last year, but my class this year responds better to WBT call/responses which sometimes get loud! Omygoodness, I have a loud speaking voice thanks to my mom and feel like I'm being punished for being exuberant. Ugh.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oct 18, 2015

    Sensitive students get upset with sternness even when it isn't directed at them. It frightens them sometimes because they know that if they do wrong it will be directed at them. That may be the case with this child involving the meanness. Sometimes stern does come across to little ones as mean.

    Sensitive children also get upset with raising of the voice or yelling over the class. If it happens every day, the sensitive student will see it as yelling and is frightening to some.

    Sorry this is happening to you, but I now as a sensitive child myself, there were some teachers that just scared the hmmmm out of me because of their yelling over the class and their stern voice directed at other students. Those years were difficult for me, but I know I was also part of the issue because I was sensitive and couldn't overcome it at that age.

    I hope your meeting goes well. Your class might just not be the right fit for this child even though you aren't doing anything that is really wrong.

    About the rudeness of the note, you will have to let that go. Not everyone is as tactful as we would like. Also, I can see that a parent may want to address this sensitive subject in the presence of the administrator. It is a touchy subject for which a third party may be able to more accurately tease out the emotion from the facts since both you and the parent both have emotional investment in this issue.
     
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  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 19, 2015

    I echo what a2z said. I just had a parent (though nicely and politely) bring it up at conferences the other week. I don't yell, but I am stern. The student is a sensitive soul in a family who is struggling with a father suffering from PTSD.

    Doesn't make this mom's behavior right, but it's something to consider from the child's perspective.

    Note: I simply explained my mindset and promised I would be more considerate of how the students might take things.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 20, 2015

    I hope it all goes well. It stinks that you won't have your principal's full support.

    I agree with a previous poster that you should go in and mention your confusion. Be confused. Not defensive. I would not make promises to placate mom or a sensitive child. If you are stern or animated, and that worries the child, maybe you can come up with some silent signal so the child realizes you are not speaking directly to her. You cannot be expected to change what is working for the class simply because one child would rather have a teacher that is soft-spoken and meek.
     
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 21, 2015

    Some weeks ago we had a child be transferred from one class to the other because the teacher (an older, old-school type of woman) just didn't have the right "voice" for this kid. My vp considered my class before realizing my class was capped because I'm the soft-speaking one. But, there was no room. So, the child was sent to another class and still doesn't like that teacher's voice (the awesome but rather high-strung and excitable teacher). Can't please everyone.
     
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