School year has just begun... I can't take anymore!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ponypal, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Ponypal

    Ponypal Comrade

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    Sep 23, 2014

    I've had it with this parent who keeps calling me and the principal about her child not wanting to come to school. The child has been making herself sick in the morning and making up stories. Of course, the mother believes her and drives her to school where the child is clinging to her because she wants to stay home with mom. I am getting blamed for her lack of wanting to come to school because last year she had no issues. I met with the parent and she says that the child misses friends from last year. I get it, but that's no reason to be pulling this. The child does fine in class, has really not gotten into trouble, and is learning. I don't have a lot of support from my principal because he will take every opportunity to throw you under the bus. The parent is sneaky and goes behind my back after every time we talk and try to come up with a solution. I just learned that a big problem occured last year with another student placed in my class this year. Why wasn't this dealt with and the two separated? I can't stand being blamed for this child and the issues she is pulling at home.

    Can anyone give me some advice on how to deal with this situation? It's a typical problem parent who cries loud enough to get her way and I am just worn down.
     
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  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Sep 23, 2014

    Are you sure this attitude isn't showing itself when you're with the student, causing her to feel uncomfortable/unwanted in your class?

    (This was just the first thing that came to mind -- not implying it's the answer at all! Just a question.)
     
  4. Ponypal

    Ponypal Comrade

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    I hope not. The child walks in the door smiling, leaves with a smile. There's all kinds of opportunities for this student to participate, be called on, be a messenger to go to the office, nurse, another classroom, chose centers freely and unbiased. The parent did mention that the student doesn't like when others are corrected for their behavior, but this has not applied to the student I'm asking about. I think the student is manipulating mom.
     
  5. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Sorry you have to deal with this -- that has to be frustrating. Are you okay with having the child moved to another class, since she says there is an issue with another student? Or is that what you're trying to avoid?

    I have a student in my 1st grade class who smiles all the time and appears very happy, but the mother expressed concerns to me because the same child has no self-esteem at home, is hard on herself, and is depressed. I had no idea, based on what I see in the classroom. All I'm trying to say is, appearances can be deceiving. Children open up to their families much differently than they do with teachers. It could be manipulation, but it also may be a genuine problem for that child.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 24, 2014

    Can you talk to your principal about getting the child moved to a different class? (since they're having problems with another child?)
     
  7. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Agreed. And I'm thinking, if the child "misses last year's friends", put the child in a class with last year's friends, and if (when) the behavior continues, they'll see it isn't your fault.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I'm failing to see what you are being blamed for... The fact that this is happening this year and the issue is the child has no friends in the class and a student which she had problems with in the past is not a reflection on you.

    I'd like to know the solutions you came up with for this problem which is causing the parent to go to the administrator.

    I hate to say it, but manipulative describing the child and sneaky describing the parent are not good words for working with a parent. I'm thinking that the parent might have good reason to go see the administrator because your post suggests to me that you might be overstepping your bounds with solutions and placing blame on the student deeming them "issues at home" and "manipulative". I may be off base in my interpretation, but those words point to a less than collaborative approach to problem solving.
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    So, if the student is moved to a new class will the parent be happy? It does seem like a simple solution but is there a reason it can't be done?? Not sure you can do anything else since this is the attitude you are getting from them. Good luck!
     
  10. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    I am frankly surprised at the lack of empathy and support you seem to be getting in some of the responses to your post. Yes, parents can be sneaky and manipulative - we all know it - and I see nothing wrong with your calling it as it is.
    If you have analyzed the situation honestly and feel that you are truly doing the best you can for this child, then perhaps you can talk to your principal and tell him/her that you feel that you are being harassed, and that you ask that the principal protect you from this harassment by handling any contact from that parent in the office. Then you turn any emails or phone calls over to the principal.
    Next step might be your union, if you have one.
    The suggestion that the student be transferred out of your class is a thought...if it is possible, and if you feel it is best for the student.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    There are certain posters who feel that 90% of the time it is the teacher's fault and the parents are being attacked. I have no idea why this is. I think the OP needs to be rid of this student and parent and the child needs to start over in a new classroom.
     
  12. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    "There are certain posters who feel that 90% of the time it is the teacher's fault and the parents are being attacked. I have no idea why this is."
    I've noticed this too, and this reaction from forum members seems to be more pervasive in the last year or two. By the time a teacher needs to come to AtoZ with a problem, it's usually grown to be a pretty upsetting situation for him/her, and it seems to me that what they need is support and suggestions for making the situation better, not judgement and blaming. Teaching is a tough job, and it's getting tougher on so many levels. If we teachers can't nurture our own, who will?
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 24, 2014

    I had this happen to me when I taught kindergarten. Two students said that they wanted to be homeschooled, because I just let all of the naughty kids be naughty, and I didn't do anything about it. :rolleyes: Instead of talking to me, the parents emailed my principal. Luckily he had my back, but I was not happy.

    I definitely wouldn't want the child moved to another class, because the parents are just going to think that they have control of the teachers. Not a good thing to teach a kinder parent!

    I would really try to work with the mom here. I know it's sometimes difficult to do so, when the parents are the ones being difficult, but I would ask them more about what the girl likes to do at home. Find something that will motivate her to come to school every day. Can she be your helper in the morning for a certain task? Help you greet friends at the door? Choose a book during story time? Call mom at recess to tell her something special that she's done? I had a child who didn't like going to school in 1st grade, so I really made a lot of effort to compliment him and connect with him. So far he's having a great year.
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Sep 24, 2014

    My stance is, if a parent is blaming me for the child's issues, I ask the parent if they think their child would be better off in another class. If they think so, I support the parent.

    I do not want any child in my class where the parent is unhappy about it.
     
  15. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Sep 24, 2014

    "Children have an uncanny knack to make a slave of any parent foolish enough to accept the role." - FJ.

    Moving students based on brat behavior sets the stage for musical classrooms. Instead of respecting classroom teachers as true professionals the principal is essentially saying to parents, "You are correct. Teachers are nothing more than glorified baby-sitters. It's obvious you know more about classroom instruction and management than they do." Yes, parents should have input. But the ultimate decision should be based on exhaustion of sound educational practices and interventions not because student is used to getting his/her way.
     
  16. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Agreed! My principal never moves students, no matter how much the parent whines.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    My old private school had just one class per grade level, so if you got this kind of parent, there was no changing teachers! I actually told a parent once that I took her concerns very seriously and would like her help. I asked her to write down every comment the child made that she considered indicated something untoward happening at school and bring me her list at the end of the week. Needless to say, she didn't make any lists, but her attitude improved. I made sure the child knew that I was working with the mother to make it a great school year for him.
     
  18. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    "Moving students based on brat behavior sets the stage for musical classrooms. Instead of respecting classroom teachers as true professionals the principal is essentially saying to parents, "You are correct. Teachers are nothing more than glorified baby-sitters. It's obvious you know more about classroom instruction and management than they do." Yes, parents should have input. But the ultimate decision should be based on exhaustion of sound educational practices and interventions not because student is used to getting his/her way."

    I agree with this.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Disagree.

    I would never want a student in my class whose parent is going to actively work in opposition of my classroom, from management, to culture, to learning activities.

    I would rather that student be moved to another classroom, where by default that student will have a better learning experience whether it is legitimate or not.

    I am there to teach students, not parents. A parent is unhappy, cool, I support a move so that my classroom runs smoothly, I do not have to prove any point to a parent, prove I am the professional, prove they are wrong, I simply do not have the time or desire, my time and desire is for working with the students.

    Now, with that said, no principal I have had would really agree with this, but that is for issues outside of my classroom...ie.. parents getting their way. I simply don't care, as my concern is my classroom running at optimal performance.
     
  20. Ponypal

    Ponypal Comrade

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    Thank you for all of the positive support. I greatly appreciate that. I posted here because I was upset and needed the advice of those who could understand. It's nice to have a shoulder to cry on. Those who have never had a bad experience are very lucky to say so. What really surprises me is that a teacher would bash another teacher knowing what the profession is like.
    I am a parent myself. My own children have always gone to school on good days and bad and I would never blame their teachers for something that my kids did outside of their classroom. I have never told a parent that their child was sneaky or manipulative. I mentioned that here because I was venting. Those who have their own children most likely have had a time when their own child tried to pull one over on their parents.

    Well to answer some questions... When I talked with the parent, I suggested if riding the bus was an option. She said it was. I mentioned that this may lessen the time spent in the car with mom and the new baby that she is staying home with. The mother would be able to say goodbye at the bus stop and her child would get on with the other kids. I spoke with the preschool teacher and she said that this used to be a shy student. Today this "shy" student came up to me while I was at the board in the middle of a lesson, in front of the class to tattle on another student who wrote the wrong answer on his paper. I didn't think a shy student would ever do that. This student is not so shy after all. Thinking back, I realize that this wasn't the first time a tattling incident has occured with this student. I did a mini lesson today on when to inform the teacher and when it's not something you should be worried about.

    The student came to school on the bus without any incident. Neither the parent nor the principal spoke about the situation today so I am hoping the bus suggestion will help alleviate the stress that had occured with driving the student to school.

    I am keeping a close watch on the student that had an altercation with the student last year. The principal would never move a student from on class to another. I wish this could happen. The posters who said that it would give parents free reign are correct. They already seem to get their way with many things. Please don't mistake what I'm saying. I completely support parents and value their concerns. It's just those few who live on opportunities to bring others down is what is disheartening.

    I will keep you all informed of new developments. Thank you for all of your input.
     
  21. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 24, 2014

    good luck
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 25, 2014

    And good work with the student, too.
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    It sounds like the student was seeking attention because the mom is staying home with the new baby. If she told you this to begin with I bet it would have been apparent a lot sooner. The new baby is getting all the attention so he wants to stay home! Geesh, rocket science!
     
  24. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    An idea (I read through the first page only ;) )...

    Can you do an activity in your class where for one week, all of the students (so you don't single out this one student) can write down all the good things that happened that day at school? Maybe every hour take a 5 minute break where they journal about their day- focusing on the positive. ("I enjoyed the book we read together", "I made sure I said thank you to my buddy", "A buddy shared a pencil with me", "I got all my spelling words correct", etc) You could collect them at the end of the day and write down your own positive comment or two about great things you saw them do. Then the student can take that home the next day.

    It would help you document the good things that the child is experiencing for your principal and for the parent and it would show that you're trying to build a positive classroom where you support this child with a lot of positive feedback. This child just might need a lot of TLC to get that you like him/her before they'll stop behaving like this.
     
  25. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 25, 2014

    I had a 6th grader a few years ago who started wanting to hang out with me during recess, etc and she was honestly one of my favorite students ever. I realized she was doing it because her Mom (which is really her step-mom ~ her mother was in the towers and died on 9/11) just had a new baby girl and was, of course, putting in a lot of time and energy with the new baby. So while I adored this child, I realized I should encourage her to socialize with her friends more often- I think she was hurt by the suggestion but I didn't it was right for me to take up the time that she should be with her friends. Having a new baby in the house can affect a child no matter what age.
     
  26. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Good point - I hadn't thought of it that way. While I don't want unreasonable parents to have undue influence in the running of my classroom or the school, I can sure see the validity of just getting on with it so my kids can learn and my classroom can run smoothly. Thanks for the different perspective!
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I agree. If one student/parent is having a negative influence on the ability of the rest of the class to learn then you have to do what's best for the whole class. If transferring the problem student is an available option then it should be considered.
     
  28. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    Wow, I'm sorry you have to deal with that. I'm glad that I do 8th, in a small school :p
     

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