Parents: Ever complain about a teacher?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jerseygirlteach, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Dec 23, 2011

    I am very unhappy about a teacher that my children has. I want to complain but I imagine it would do no good anyway. This teacher, though, is a poster child for those who are against teacher tenure. She is the Spanish teacher for the school. She taught Spanish at the high school in the district before - in what I believe was an effort to get her to retire - she was switched to elementary. She hates teaching elementary. I know that because when I used to sub at the school years ago, she told me this. My children do not like her and tell me things that upset me a lot. Please keep in mind that my children unconditionally love every teacher they've ever had so for them to both dislike this teacher intensely, something severe must be happening.

    First of all, she barely teaches. She usually has them do some kind of worksheet or coloring page. They've both seen her once a week for years and they know almost no Spanish at all other than numbers 1-10.

    Second, she plays favorites. Every one of their playmates who comes over my house concurs that this is true. She finds one child in the class, almost always someone who speaks Spanish fluently, and calls the child her favorite publicly. She then treats that child as such in a way that is alarmingly apparent to the rest of the class.

    Third, she is unkind. According to my children and others, she yells, rolls her eyes if they make a mistake, and acts as though they are mentally incompetent if they answer a question incorrectly.

    My son has told me that over the past couple of weeks, she's basically stopped teaching all together. He showed me a holiday card that said "Feliz Navidad" and told me that was the extent of his Spanish lesson this week. Last week, he colored in bubble letters of the Spanish words for 1-10 and drew a corresponding picture for each. (This wouldn't be terrible other than the fact that numbers are the only thing she ever seems to teach.) When they were done, they played 7 Up. The week prior she showed a video for the entire period. I'm hoping that her "giving up" on teaching means that she's finally retiring this year. However, there's still the rest of the school year to get through I actually want my children to learn some Spanish rather than have their time wasted!

    What would you do? Would you complain? Is it even worth the bother?
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 23, 2011

    I would speak to her first. Then administration if necessary. Some people....grrr.
     
  4. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 23, 2011

    Oh, yeah, I would definitely be calling the principal for a discussion about this. If she is going to treat the kids so unfairly and waste my child's time in the process, then there is no reason for my son or daughter to be in her "class" any longer. *I* can teach him how to color bubble sheets or count to 10 in Spanish. If she isn't going into anymore depth than that, my son would be better off having a study hall period so he can do his real homework. Not that I don't consider foreign language a "real" subject, but I wouldn't consider this particular class to be any benefit to my kids.

    Also, the P may be hoping for some parent complaints or other issues to help him/her move the Spanish teacher out of the school - either through retirement or transfer to another school.

    It doesn't matter if it is her last year, she still has an obligation to meet ALL the standards for her content, just as the other teachers have an obligation to meet the standards for theirs. If she doesn't want to actually do her job, then she needs to pursue other interests.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 23, 2011

    I don't care what level she would prefer to be teaching. Your kids deserve an education, and they're not getting one.

    Oh, yeah, I would be complaining.

    And, yes, I did complain about Kira's first grade teacher. Two years later, I still hope a house lands on her.
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Dec 23, 2011

    I would talk to her first, and I would ask her about her curriculum. Find out why they seem to be doing so little, and ask her what you can expect to see from your children when they come home with homework or projects this next semester.

    As for the "playing favorites" and the rest, I wouldn't mention that unless there is a specific situation that involves one of your children. All that may be true, but proving it will be very difficult for you. You *can* however, prove that she is not teaching the standards...
     
  7. Good Doobie

    Good Doobie Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2011

    Sounds as bad as a Pre-Calculus math teacher my kid had two years ago, except the math teacher and her husband had some devastating health problems. Up until this class, my kid was consistently number one in his math class year after year as shown on standardized tests. During the teacher's presence she threw everything out way to fast and the sub didn't know or teach any math. The sub usually had a kid who failed it the previous year teach. My kid was passed with a C, but he gave up - hasn't taken math since. He always wanted to be an engineer. I remember he used to spend most all of his time trying to learn precalculus on his own from the skimpy and skinny little Pre-Calculus book written by a Harvard professor for adult education.
    Parents complained in various ways and the teacher is no longer there, but just recently are we feeling the consequences as my kid could really use more math. After a year and a half off from math, he is beginning to realize he does like math and now wishes he could get back on the engineering track.
    Anyway, I also complained and often wonder if my complaining has caused more trouble for my kids.
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I complained about a teacher. The teacher then spent time making my son's life harder. But the good part was that the teacher did start teaching, but my son hated that class and was upset with me.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Not OK. Bullying is unacceptable from a child, you don't have to put up with it from a teacher. Complain as often and as persistantly as you need to until it stops.
     
  10. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Yeah, you may not get anyway, but I'd try. It's not like you lose/damage much of a relationship you have built with her!
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If it means pulling your son from the class, so be it. But you're his only advocate.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Talk to the teacher first.

    If nothing happens, then go over her head.
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Yes, I've complained about a teacher. My daughter had a teacher for homeroom in 6th grade. She had to write a report about the Italian Soldiers in WWII & connect it to Sadako & a 1000 Paper Cranes. I couldn't talk to the teacher about the assignment as she assigned it then went out on medical leave. I talked to the principal trying to understand how my daughter was suppose to make the connection.

    We had several conversations. I remember being surprised when we were having a conversation (something about girls & getting their periods) and she mentioned that she had dealt with the same issue for several years. I thought she was a 1st year teacher up until that point!

    Fast forward about 5 years. She's been moved from 6th grade to 7th grade geography. My son, who is an excellent student had her for geography. I remember talking to the principal & telling him that even though she was an experienced teacher she didn't come across as an experienced teacher. She still seemed like a 1st year teacher. I don't remember the details, probably because my son was better able to handle her & whatever the problems were at the time!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Definitely express your concern. The curriculum standards should be publicly available...you may want to refer to them when you speak to the teacher or admin.
     
  15. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I have complained and complained loudly. It was when my son was in the 2nd grade and his teacher was absolutely horrible. He essentially learned nothing that year at all. She was extremely incompetent and people have left our school because of her. I still don't know why she's still teaching there.
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 23, 2011

    :agreed::clap:
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    My mother is having to get involved in one of my sister's classes. As a freshman, it's the last thing she wants to happen (her mom calling in complaints), but even she recognized it was time.

    You may be tempted to think she is exaggerating the situation, but...she is not. Since August, one of her teachers hasn't given one lesson. Not a one. No movies popped in for pretend lessons. No worksheets. No "studyhall". Nothing.

    So what does the class consist of, you ask? The teacher plays on his/her cell phone most of the time. The teacher often does not even address the class in any way. No hello, kiss my butt, nothing! The students text, study, and hang out. Before Christmas break they took to playing stylist...painting nails, doing hair, and believe it or not: piercing their ears in the classroom!
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I wonder what happens when the principal does random walk-throughs? I'm sure other people (administrators and teachers) must know what's going, right? If not, something needs to happen ASAP!
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I know at the very least some teachers know. One teacher has a daughter in the class.

    The principal assured Mother he would spend some time outside of the classroom door (I was surprised by how...honest...he was).

    One girl asked the teacher several weeks ago if she could work in the office during class since they were not doing anything and the teacher said he/she didn't mind. She would go to the office each day during that period. The very next day after Mother's call the girl dropped off her things and started to head to the office but the teacher stopped her and said, "I'll need you all to stay in here for the next few days." It was almost as though he/she had been given a heads-up. Crazy.
     
  20. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    It would be a very bad mistake if a teacher decided to do this with one of my boys. I would return the favor in spades.
     
  21. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sounds like a spanish teacher I had in HS... who now works at the elementary level.

    My parents complained about her due to her discriminatory action, school refused to do anything outside of telling her to stop being mean and the board of ed refused to do anything. And the case manager kept us in the dark regarding my rights, so we had no idea there was anything else we could do.

    My parents also complained about a digital photography teacher I had in HS, who targeted me the entire year, even accusing me of hacking a website she wanted us to go on when she was out one day ("IT HAD TO BE YOU! IT WAS ONLY DOWN FOR YOUR CLASS IT IS YOUR FAULT!"). She had to be... heavily pressured by the administration to exempt me from the final (As I had had a seizure June 12th in school, 8 days before school ended. The school responded... inappropriately to the seizure. The nurse failed to deal with it properly.), because she refused, claiming that "he will be better before the school year ends he just needs to work on it"

    I have personally complained against one professor in college, filing a discrimination report. The college found that there was not enough evidence to substantiate discrimination under state law, but the disability services office exacerbated the situation and made it much worse.
     
  22. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I wish I could! She travels from class to class giving Spanish instruction to each class in the elementary schools once per week. It's 40 minutes a week that is completely wasted. My kids lament going to school on the days they have Spanish because they say she is "mean" and they don't learn anything. I'm sick to death of asking them what they did that day and they tell me "I colored" in Spanish class. They're in 3rd and 4th grades!

    I hope I don't get slammed for this but I actually think, in terms of planning meaningful lessons, she has a relatively easy gig. She works with 4 grade levels and only sees each class once a week. So essentially she only needs to plan 4 lessons per week (one for each grade level).

    If I tried to pull him for some reason and send him to another class, I think he'd be very embarrassed and I don't know that it would be worth it. But, believe me, I would like to follow your advice if I could.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 24, 2011

    Well, tread carefully. You can end up making this 'playing favorites' teacher not like your kid. Never a good combination.

    Is this the hill (teacher) not worth dying over?

    I don't say this often, but sometimes the best way to protect your kids from someone like this is to appease them. It isn't like the school or the other teachers plan to do anything about the situation. Your children might just end up paying the price.
     

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