Parent problems

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Carebear05, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Jan 29, 2008

    I know that as teachers we always experience those "problem parents" but we have a parent at our school who seems to be running the show. I'm not sure if it's the whole philosophy of trying to keep the parents happy, or if our principal and other higher command people are too scared to do anything about her.

    She has been complaining about her child not getting recess for months. She tried to say that he sits in his seat for 7 hrs a day which is so not true. The fact is, her child DOES get recess but it was never enough for her, so she goes and complains to our Director of Instruction, and now next yr. we all have to make sure we find extra time for recess. Now I agree that kids need to time to relax and not do anything structured, but arent they at school to learn? Not to mention, we already feel as if we dont have enough time to cover things as it is. So his teacher adds in recess time, yet it is still not good enough for her because she thinks recess always means they go outside and run around. So ok she won that battle because the principal keeps telling his teacher what she needs to do based on what that parent wants.

    Now she is complaining about her son's Literacy Group. He is not where he needs to be and his reading teacher wanted to refer him to Title I. Apparently she had this misconception of Title I and seemed to think that the kids in Title I were SPED and behavior problems. (This really pissed me off). So now that she has had a meeting with his teacher, reading teacher, principal, and Title I teacher, she now wants to come observe our Title I group which is the group I teach, to see if she likes it. Not only that, but she has requested reading material for home so she can help her son. It wasnt sent home today, and what did she do? Called and complained.

    I dont have her son at all, but this parent is making us all go crazy and NOTHING is done about it. I realize all parents want their child to succeed, but it seems as if she thinks she knows it all and we would almost rather see her homeschool him if she thinks shes so "educated" in the field of education. Some of us feel as if she is being catered to for everything. If she says jump, our higher up people say how high. I understand you want to keep parents happy, but whatever happened to keeping the teachers happy?
     
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  3. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Jan 29, 2008

    I have had a parent like that and all I can say is you have yourself a tough situation. If your principal is more into pleasing parents than meeting the demands of NCLB (and how can you really give more recess time and meet the standards we now have?) then maybe you have a bigger problem on your hands. Maybe the issue is with the principal who isn't standing up for his teachers and letting parents be bullies. I wish I had advice for you, but all I can say is from experience principals like this tend to always see the parents side, and never the teachers side. Tread lightly at work and watch every word you say about this overbearing parent. If things get worse, be sure you have your resume up to date.
     
  4. Burned Out One

    Burned Out One Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2008

    I agree with what wldywall said.

    Also, is there a teacher mentor or union rep you could talk to?
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 30, 2008

    Regardless of who says it, please be aware that in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is the LAW that all elemetary school children MUST get recess each day. It must be unstructured play time (not physical exercise, walking the line, or PE time.) It must be given regardless of the weather (it can be indoor or outdoors) and it cannot be taken as a punishment except for misbehavior at recess time. (In other words, you can't take it away because the kids were talking in the class and you didn't get to finish teaching social studies.)

    As a teacher in Virginia, if you are ignoring the law, you are personally libel. So is your administration, if they are not making sure children are getting recess each and every day.

    Just wanted to make sure you were aware of the law. Many administrators "look the other way" regarding recess, but it is still illegal in Virginia to not give recess.
     
  6. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Jan 30, 2008



    No I know there is a law. He's not in my class. I already give my students extra recess time, so there's no issue with me. However, I do think all school districts still do their own thing, right or wrong, but I have been in enough schools to know that recess everyday is not given in all schools. When I subbed, there were times that I subbed on days that the teacher didnt give recess. I gave it to them anyway. However, some ppl try to say that it is the law to give 30 min. of recess a day in addition to PE. I dont think the law gives a specific amount of time for recess.

    BUT this parent thinks that recess means it has to be outside, which clearly it does not. It just have to be unstructured play time. I dont think the teacher should have to make her students go outside all the time because there are many days like today when it's cold and windy. Not to mention, if kids start getting sick because of it then that causes another problem and it all comes back down to that pain in the @ss parent.
     
  7. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Jan 30, 2008

    Well see and thats the bad thing. I think my principal is great, he just doesnt have much of a backbone. However, this parent called someone higher up than him on the recess issue, so technically he cant really do anything about it. And if she sees more problems arise, I dont think shed hesitate to keep calling someone higher up. But we have many parents in our school who come and do as they please. They just walk into the school without signing in and come into our classrooms. Ive just decided that im going to start shutting my door because stuff like that irritates me esp. if theyre picking up their child. Thats what intercoms in classrooms are for.
     
  8. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Jan 30, 2008

    Wow, I am glad it isn't your principal doing all of the giving in, but the higher ups? Shesh, and when too many parents come an hour early and your district does say reading at the end of the day, who will be blamed when the kids are doing poorly on the state tests?

    What a stupid way to run a school, what if a parent in the middle of a custody issue just walks in, picks up their kid and hurts them? It happens all the time (father, four kids and a bridge, remember the recent news story?) That whole thought of no security in a school scares me.
     
  9. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Jan 31, 2008

    Well I think we're going to mention all this nonsense at the faculty meeting on Monday. The problem is, is that obviously we have to have the front doors unlocked for people to come in. But a lot of the parents just walk in and walk to the classroom. They think signing in isnt important. And it's annoying because um we obviously have intercoms in our room for a reason.
     

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