Should I approach a principal about this?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sunbeachgirl, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2012

    I am a high school special education teacher in a very competitive public high school. My students are smart (as far as special education goes) and 100% of our kids pass the state exit exam on the first try. The majority score Proficient on the state standardized exams.

    We have a few teachers at school who simply terrify my students. The smartest kids in school get Bs and Cs in their classes and my students get Ds and Fs. I've had several students who have had panic attacks and come to me crying because they are afraid to even go to class.

    My question is, as a second year teacher (most teachers have been at the school 15+ years), do I shut up and just comfort my students? Or should I let someone know?

    How can students be expected to learn when they are afraid to be in class?
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 31, 2012

    Let someone know immediately. Tell the case manager of the IEP + the principal about the issue, see if the guidance counselor can move them into another class
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 31, 2012

    Talk to the teacher but be willing to sit in several of the classes. I had the same thing said about me last year. I had a VERY sensitive EC student in my class and his resource teacher complained about my teaching style. Well, the child was in a rough class with other kids who were in and out of jail. I couldn't be "soft" in that class with the other kids. I was very strict, limited choices, and jumped on inappropriate behavior as soon as it occured. I was much sweeter with my well-behaved kids. If I had been sweet in the sensitive boy's class, he would have been a target from day one. My firmness kept the class under control and protected him. So I refused to change. I simply cannot alter my classroom management style for the sake of a single student.

    He was terrified to come to my class and spent many days in resource instead. I finally had to tell him that he was skipping my class when he did that. Now, every time I dealt with him on a one-to-one basis, he was fine and had no issues. He just hated being in a class where a teacher had firm control over the other students.
     
  5. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2012

    I am the IEP case manager and we have a new principal this year. I just don't want to look like I'm complaining about my colleagues.

    This particular colleague is known to scare the students. She has emotional issues of her own and students never know what they will arrive to each day- a sweet, caring teacher or an angry, short-tempered one.

    I may go to the head counselor and ask them for advice. There's no way to switch classes this year and this teacher has 15 of my students in her bio class.
     
  6. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Aug 31, 2012

    Wrong answer in my opinion. Talk to the teacher first to get his/her side. Are you sure the kids are telling the full story?
     
  7. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Aug 31, 2012


    Is she a special ed or gen ed teacher? If she's gen ed and has 15 of your students in a class, shouldn't she have in class support?
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 31, 2012

    I wouldn't get involved of a student's perception of another teacher.

    I would direct the kids involved to speak to their guidance counselors, or have the parents call guidance. And I would let the guidance counselor know that the kid had had a meltdown in my class.

    But you have absolutely no idea what's going on in another teacher's class... all you have is hearsay. You have no idea what else occurred in that classroom; all you know is the kids' reaction to it.
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Aug 31, 2012

    It almost sounds as if this is "that" teacher. I might have a talk with the teacher, maybe if the kids really got to know this teacher it may make a difference.

    My daughter got "that" teacher one year. She was a very strict teacher. DD had no problems with her.

    DS also got her. A parent said to me something along the lines of "Are you really going to let him stay in that class? She's awfully tough, mean or something like that. My response was Yes. She's a wonderful teacher. If your child is well behaved (her's was not) then it will be a wonderful year. She'd heard horror stories, from parents of children who needed extra help following directions, being respectful, etc.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 31, 2012

    I don't think I'd get involved in this sort of situation. It might be different if I had direct, first-hand knowledge of inappropriate behavior or if I were concerned about abusive behavior or something. In general, though, I don't think it's appropriate for me to step in and try to resolve what could amount to a personality conflict between a teacher and a student. That's not my place. I'm not anyone's supervisor.

    I would encourage the student to speak with the teacher. If things weren't resolved at that point, I'd encourage the student to visit with the counselor and request a parent conference.

    I think that we as teachers need to teach our kids to advocate for themselves. They need to be part of the solution to the problems that they are experiencing. If we always bail them out of every uncomfortable or unpleasant situation, we won't be doing them any favors.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Aug 31, 2012

    This, exactly.
     
  12. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2012

    This is a "that" teacher situation. Every year the counseling department receives complaints at the beginning of school when parents find out their child is in this class.

    She doesn't have 12 Sped students at once, she has them scattered through 4 different periods.

    I think I will set up a weekly meeting so I can get information about her class/curriculum and just review it with my students later. I've realize there's nothing I can say that wouldn't make her upset with me.
     

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