Problems with parents - not sure what to do.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kid_teacher, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. kid_teacher

    kid_teacher Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2009

    Hi,
    This is my first time posting, but I have read for a long time. I teach a self-contained 3rd grade class. I am having trouble with a parent and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I would really welcome any advice!

    I will call the child Bob. Bob failed first grade and is very tall for his age. I look him eye to eye when we face each other. He can be a very sweet boy. He loves positive attention and seems to thrive when I give him that. The children take turns sitting beside me at lunch and he always looks forward to that and chatting with me.

    However, Bob also has another side. He is very rough. He is very loud. He is very disobedient. I have a big stack of papers I have documented behavior with Bob on since the beginning of school. Some instances are: his grandmother completed his homework for him (he admitted it.) He very rarely turns homework in. Every single time I have had a sub, he was sent to the office for not listening, would not be quiet, etc. He got into a fight on the playground. I will be LOOKING at him as he is in the process of doing something (chewing gum, talking, passing notes, etc.) and I will tell him he needs to stop. His automatic response is "I wasn't! I wasn't doing that!" I have caught him stealing, he constantly sits and breaks pencils and then complains he has none. He constantly leans back in his chair. On the playground, he is constantly doing things like climbing back up the slide, etc. I don't guess any one thing he has done has just been horrible, but it is constantly something.

    His grades are not very good. He is passing, but it is with low C's. His handwriting is the most horrible handwriting I have ever seen. Every paper I give him, he wads it up and stuffs it somewhere. His desk is constantly full of garbage. He can find nothing.

    At the beginning of the year, his mom came to see me. She told me that he was afraid of me, etc. She also said that he has never been in trouble before at school and that he has always been an honor roll student. (After she left, I checked his cumm. He failed first grade and barely squeeked by second. Last year, he was caught stuffing paper towels into the urinal. He was CAUGHT, he admitted it and he was punished. The urinal overflowed, BTW, and caused a huge mess. His mom came to school and complained about him being punished and actually even went to the school board over this! She claimed that the teacher lied about it. Apparently when he got home, he told his mom that the teacher made the story up.)

    After the meeting with mom, I tried to give him even more positive attention, even though I know it was NOT me. His behavior and grades did not improve. (I have discussed this with the principal several times.)

    His house burnt down a few weeks ago. I personally gave him $25 from my own money. I wrote his mom a note and told her how sorry I was, I would help replace school supplies, etc. Our school raised money for him (almost $200) and I called mom to come get it. This was around the time of our class Valentine party. I told mom to not worry about bringing Bob's part - I would take care of that for her.

    About two weeks ago, I noticed that my snack for planning time was gone. I had noticed this for about 3 days in a row, but this day, I just was certain that it had been there. I asked if anyone knew anything about it and several kids said Bob had taken it. I asked Bob if he knew anything about it and he insisted that no, he did not. Finally I looked in his desk, and there it was. (He had already said that he did not bring a snack to school.) I asked where he got it and he said home. Several minutes later he changed his story to say he found it on the bus. Finally, he said he took my snack. I was very upset not so much about the snack, but how easily he had lied to me. I sent him to the office and he told the principal that he took my snack. He was not punished, only apologized. Before I even got home that day, his mom called me on my cell phone. She was LIVID. He had changed his story when he got home. He told her that he didn't know why we accused him and no he didn't take it. She firmly believes him. She went to the prinipcal and the principal supported me.

    Last week, I had to go proctor the 4th grade state writing test. They had brought the ISS assistant to my room to sub. While I was gone, another child (of another color) had peed on Bob. I have no idea if it was on purpose or accident or what. I was not there. The sub took him to the principal and was just about to call Bob's mom so Bob could change, when his mom just showed up. Apparently she was going to check him out early that day anyway. My principal told me later that she came back storming into the office was just irrationally mad at me. She wanted to know why I didn't have the decency to call her and tell her that a child (of another race, which apparently mattered to her) peed on her child. My principal explained to her that I was not even aware of this, as I was not there. Principal said mom immediately calmed down when she realized she couldn't blame this one on me.

    Thursday report cards went out and Bob's was not pretty. Friday, as we were dismissing, I told Bob's row they could go. Bob jumped up and ran out of the door. I made him come back, have a seat and be the last to leave. He was visibly angry with me. Breathing hard, clinching fists, etc. In the hall, we have a rule that kids keep their hands off the bulletin boards. He knows this. He had his finger and was poking the board over and over. I WAS LOOKING RIGHT AT HIM. I said, "Bob, hands off the bulletin board." He looks shocked and goes, "I wasn't! I wasn't touching it!" :dizzy:I just said, "Bob, I saw you. That's enough." He continued to mumble under his breath, roll his eyes, etc.

    Well, that afternoon, before I even left school his mom was calling me. I just hit reject. I'm sure she is angry because he probably told him that I lied on him. Good grief! I have never in my life seen such junk.

    Sorry this is so long, but I have been dying to tell it. Any words of advice for me? And thank you
     
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  3. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2009

    Wow...you've been through a lot! Have you talked with anyone on the child study team (specifically his case manager)? Maybe you can have some observations done by the CST or someone else to give you even more documentation. Maybe a meeting with mom, Bob, the P, and you would help you to communicate the issues and come up with a plan together. I've found that including the parents in a plan seems to help. Is Bob on a behavior modification plan where he can earn a reward for the positive things he does? I don't know if any of this will help, but hopefully it gets you started in the right direction. GL!!
     
  4. kid_teacher

    kid_teacher Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2009

    Thanks!

    We don't have a child study team. We have a teacher support team, but that is mainly for academics. After 7 office referrals, a child is sent to TST for behavior. He doesn't have seven yet.

    I mostly just wanted to know that someone heard me. Thank you!!!:)
     
  5. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 15, 2009

    I do High School, not primary. I have seen one "Bob" and he was quite a handful. We have a behaviour intervention teacher (BIT) that helped a lot, but it wasn't a complete fix either.

    I hear you describing a child that has a LOT of issues going on and is an ideal candidate for behavior intervention. Get this kid into an intervention program.
     
  6. kid_teacher

    kid_teacher Rookie

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    I think my main problem is the mom. I could handle Bob, if I knew mom would back me or at least not attack me! When she comes or calls (which she does almost every time I so much as correct him), you can tell she is so mad! And she really believes that I am lying. Why would I do that??
     
  7. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 15, 2009

    Owie.....Having the parent cut you off at the knees is definitely a major problem and one that cuts across all grades.


    I have two suggestions from here. FIRST...Stand by your guns. I don't care what the parent says or does, you can't lower your behavior expectations. If you do, you get ripple effect and this child's behavior will spill over to the behavior of others creating an even bigger problem.

    SECOND....and even more importantly......Talk to you administration, senior teachers, and special ed about how to intervene without parent support. Their first response will be "That's hard to deal with." You should follow up with, "Yes it is....now give me some suggestions." Don't accept it's hard or it's impossible. They have struggled with this in the past and they have a lot of knowledge to be had....go get it.

    In the words of a dear friend who is a Marine...."There are no problems, only opportunities to excel." You have a difficult situation and a real opportunity to make a difference for this child.
     
  8. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2009

    Can you talk to them for advice before it gets to the 7th referral? I'm surprised he doesn't have that number yet!

    And I agree with Muttling...don't back down. Bob needs to know that your expectations don't change. Mom may not play nice all year long...but as long as you document and are consistent, you can survive, whether mom likes it or not. And hopefully next year you won't have to deal with mom (although there could be another one like her...)
     
  9. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Mar 16, 2009

    I would also change my cell phone number.

    BTW, I'm glad your P is supporting you!
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Mar 16, 2009

    Did you confront her on the "always been on the honor roll" statement? It seems like the lying isn't confined to her son.
     
  11. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Right, 3sons. Doesn't sound like apple is falling too far from the tree.

    I am so sorry you are going through this.

    Be careful you do not argue with him or respond as in the case of the bullitin board poking. You probably shouldn't have replied "I just saw you" or whatever it was because with someone like him it will only lead to "Yes I did" "no I didn't".

    I noticed that the mom backed down immediately when she knew you weren't in the room when he was peed on. This shows she does try to blame you or someone so I think a meeting with her and the principal would be a good idea.

    I think the next time he does something in your class and finally admits to it, that you need to call mom right then and there and have him tell her what just happened.
     
  12. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    And I too would change my cell phone number. I will never give mine out.
     
  13. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Mar 16, 2009

    I agree with the PP and having a parent that can't see it is a difficult thing to deal with as well. Stick by your guns and do what's best for Bob.
     
  14. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I would speak to the teachers who had "Bob" in Grade 1 and 2. Ask them how they dealt with Mom. Ask them what challenges they faced.

    I would also ask for a PTI with the principal, Mom and the CUM file present. I would ask for a Special Ed resource person to be there to offer some suggestions and advice and may even go to see the Special Ed teacher to ask for their advice on how to "help" Bob. Present this as the school trying to ensure Bob's success, and then bring up concerns that you have.
     
  15. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Mar 16, 2009

    You might even invite past teachers into the meeting.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2009

    Do you think the behavior is covering up more servious issues?
     

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