Parents asking questions for students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Aug 24, 2020

    I’m teaching upper elementary and moved up a grade this year. Some of my students I’ve had previously.

    I have one parent who, honestly, I’d rather not have again. She’s very abrasive and complains about everything. Yeah, I know, it’s part of the job, and I’m generally pretty good at having professional responses to her in communication. However, I’m extremely careful about what I say and how I say it. She will question every assignment, every rule, every decision I make all year, and will go “up the ladder” if she doesn’t get the answer she wants.

    This parent’s child is a nice child. No issues there. Although, I’ll always be very careful around the child too because of their mom.

    Anyway, this all to give some context here. This parent interferes in every aspect of her child’s academics. Already, she is messaging me questions that her child should be asking me. Is there a way to ask that her child message me with questions about assignments, rather than her doing it for her child? I feel that at this age, it’s important for the child to start gaining some independence and reaching out when they have a question.
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 25, 2020

    Yes. You can team up with her. Talk up the fact that you know her child has questions which is great and that you want to find a way together to encourage her child to be the one asking the questions. Praise her about her ability to parent and encourage her child. Turn what you are seeing as a negative into a positive where she feels that she is doing a good thing by helping her child but even better thing by the two of you working together to make her child more independent. Honey, honey, honey.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Thank you - yes, honey definitely helps! Although I’ve never really seen a positive impact from it with this parent, there’s not really another option haha.
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I love this. Her kid is so awesome, let's get them moving up in all these self-reliant, independent skills so they can show off their brainy questions.

    I'd give her the benefit of the doubt that's what she wants but is so in her routine she doesn't know how to move her child forward.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Aug 25, 2020

    I think it can be hard for these parents especially as their kids get older. It’s one thing when they’re solving all problems for a six year old. It gets weird when they are 11,12, or beyond.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    I am sorry you are dealing with "that parent." Last yr, I had a parent who stood beside her kid during Zoom and whispered answers to him, but I could hear her loud and clear.
    Don't take too much time with her IF you can help it. If your school allows 48 hours to reply to emails, reply at the 47th hr.
    The less attention she gets, could help. It will make her madder at 1st, but it seems Mom needs to learn.
    a2z has a good idea, but if sweetness does not work w/ this parent, sometimes time and space between interactions can help you. Good luck! :)
     
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  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Yes, right now I delay response times for this parent to set the expectation that I’m not available 24/7. Last year, one of the issues was that I was not replying to her on weekends. Our principal, thankfully, told her I didn’t need to. We’re supposed to reply within 24 hours on school days and for her I normally try to push it to about 22 hours-ish.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I have a parent right now who is attempting to call at the oddest times. I say "attempt" because I have a gotoconnect office number I only keep on the computer, which I shut down after work. The next morning, I see her missed calls in the evening and even around midnight. I suspect it's an innocent enough new-to-having-a-student scenario where she doesn't know what's normal (also an immigrant, so possible culture differences). When we did talk, she expressed confusion there wasn't a round-the-clock staff.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I think sometimes parents forget that we’re people too. People who work normal office hours, and who care about their jobs but have lives too. You wouldn’t expect your dentist you get back to you on a Saturday night if you left a message about scheduling a routine appointment.
     
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  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 26, 2020

    That is really strange.
     
  12. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    GOOD for you and your principal! That is awesome your P stands w/you!!! There are at times a parent who sweetness doesn't work with and those are the ones to keep as much distance/ energy/ and time from going to...imo for your own sanity sake.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Are you the only teacher in your grade-level? How’d s/he get placed with you again?
     
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    No, I’m not the only one, and this student was originally going to be with someone else, but it just didn’t work out that way. Also I will PM you!
     
  15. Sima Singh

    Sima Singh Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2020

    How will the resumption of educational activities be organized in elementary schools?
     

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