Should documentation be given to parent?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by dolphinswim, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Give me some advice...There is a parent who's child is very disruptive, will not follow rules, hurts others, tells fibs, so on and so on...The teacher has kept documentation daily on this child's behavior(and other children when necessary). Mother "Hates" this teacher and no one knows why. Anyway, mother is wanting the teacher's documentation so teacher has been making copies and sending home. Mother is using the teachers documentation to make other "issues". I suggested that sending home personal documentation might not be such a good idea...I keep a "journal" for my protection that documents needed incidents. I don't believe my documentation is for any parent to see unless it is brought up in a legale way. I could be wrong but are we, as teachers, allowed to keep personal documentation on happenings in our classroom to protect us against accusations that could arise later? Is everything we write capable of being public since we are public teachers?

    Here is an example: Teacher wrote in daily documentation about not knowing how child's morning went since teacher spent over an hour on the phone with parent while aid watched classroom(child did something to warrant a discipline from the aid), another entry stated dad brought an assigned poster to school so child could receive credit, teacher wrote what dad did and that dad was friendly. She did this to show that dad did not bring up any behavior issues nor did dad say he was unhappy with behavior issues that have happened. Mom took this the wrong way and wrote a letter, contacted the superintendent, that if teacher ever writes anything about them again she will take it to a higher power.

    My suggestion to this teacher is: Use a generic form to document behavior to send home. I think writing out what has happened tends to get misunderstood so a generic form might be a bit more straight forward. I also suggested to keep the personal documentation as well but not show it to the parent. This poor teacher is just having a time with this mom, it seems to me that it is a bit personal and I really feel for the teacher.

    Sorry this is so long, what do you think about personal documentation...should parent's have access?
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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  4. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Documentation is for the file only. Incident reports can be sent home for injurys or unusual incedents. However, a parent can access anything in the file with a supoena. Have your teacher take a course on Observation/Documentation or purchase a book on the subject before she attempts to write any notes in a child's file.

    Documentation should be observable behaviors of the child only, nothing else. Parent opinions, statements, attitudes or the teachers opinions and statements are not documentation.
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have a notebook where I keep documentation. It is not for parents to see. I do, however, sometimes make notes for parents from it. (I have a child this year that I have trouble keeping on task. I note each time I have to redirect him. Mom gets those numbers each day. She also gets how many times I have to repeat instructions to him because he wasn't listening when I gave them to the class. It's been eye-opening for her!) I would never send home the notes I take, they are written for me to be able to remember what happened. If the notes make any mention of another child by name then she is definitely wrong for sending them home.
     
  6. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

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    I would not send a copy of my personal notes. I would however create a form that said what the child did over the course of the day and what was done to monitor or redirect the child's behavior. I think it is fair that the parent wants to know whats going on.
     
  7. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    If I were her, I'd take this to the administrator at once, and have the administrator set up a meeting where they (mom, admin & teacher) discuss the problems together. Mom shouldn't be harassing her this way, especially if it is taking time away from the class. There needs to be boundaries set and agreed upon methods of communication and a quick form for reporting the behaviors mom is interested in. Maybe even the child should be placed in another classroom if the parent is really so much against her.
     
  8. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I have a generic form to explain how the child's day was if he or she earned a straight or sad face. One parent in particular constantly questions why I send the notes home, asking me to write or explain in full detail what happened. There comes a point sometimes when a parent needs to trust a teacher's authority.
     
  9. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Thank you for giving me your ideas and thoughts. I had a long talk with this teacher and with the principals help is changing her way of letting the mom know what is going on with her child each day. I told her short and sweet...no need to write out every detail for the mom but to keep her own documentation incase something ever does come up later. The teacher was trying to be nice and accommodating and the mother was using it agaisnt her. They have tried to set up a meeting and mom will not show but she will get on the phone to the Super or a principal at the High School. I fear what the mom says about this teacher in town! The teacher is wonderful and lives in the community and mom is probably running her mouth when she should be directing her child. (He truly is a behavior issue, I had him last year and dealt with mom but not to this extent at all!) As for the teacher naming other children in her notes, she does not but she did write something like: was on phone to mom most of morning or dad was friendly...and mom did not want the teacher referring to either of them, just the child!

    Thanks again for the advice and information! I do hope the changes the teacher is making will calm things down but I really doubt it...I will look into a book or some other information on writing notes home. I think even I could use some help in that area!
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    BTW, dolphinswim, HAPPY BDAY! :partyhat"
     
  11. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Happy Birthday!!!
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    In our district, it is a violation of rules for a teacher to release notes on a student (including incidents reports, conduct notices, referrals, or any personal notes regarding these incidents) without the direct permission of the principal. This keeps "works in process" from being released to the public before they are in the "final approved form."

    Even if approval is given, the names or any reference to another student or parent has to be "blacked over" with a marker first.
     
  13. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Thanks for the Bday wishes! It has been a wonderful day! LOL

    I also suggested if she send home her notes that she black out anything that could be referring to anyone other than the child. I think things are going to change in the teachers way of sending home "behavior reports" and still keep her own personal documentation. I can understand how she wanted to be accommodating and "nice" to this mother but it is not working. I think the mother is having a hard time "seeing" her child has some issues and also has some jealousy against the teacher. I am sure Monday will bring some new "drama" since the principal sent a note home stating the new "behavior" form that will be in place starting immediately!

    I just find it crazy to try to work with a parent on behavior issues and the parent make up every excuse for the child's outbursts. I would be asking for suggestions and let the teacher know what I would be doing as a parent to redirect my child's behavior, not trying to justify or place blame some where else! It scares me to see parents parent these days! But then again, I am old school...:whistle:
     
  14. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I find that many parents excuse the behavior too much. Especially when it involves situations where kids can't keep their hands to themself.
     
  15. momtomm

    momtomm Rookie

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    I had the same thing happen to me last year. Now I keep my notes short and sweet. I do not send them home.
     
  16. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    I have learned to keep them short and to the point...I don't really try to explain much, just what happened and what I expect. I try to put some type of hint that I expect the parent to do something at home to reinforce a desired outcome at school. I do wonder what tomorrow will bring and it is not even my student!

    Happy Birthday momtomm! Looks like there are some great teachers born this month! :2up:
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Happy bday, momtomm!
     

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