Skin Not Thick Enough!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by GGarcia, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. GGarcia

    GGarcia Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 3, 2014

    I've decided maybe my skin is just not thick enough to be a teacher! A parent called today and accused me of being a bully, a racist, and trying to hold her daughter back from an elite college. She just kept going on and on about how her child had complaints about my class. She wants her child exempt from participation. In fact her child was sitting next to her and when I would say something like she hasn't been doing well on her tests, I would get blamed for not giving enough time or something else.

    So hard to be abused by a parent on the phone, when nothing is true. In fact, it only came to light today because I had to discipline the student. I work so hard at my job and this is what happens. I couldn't help but break into tears after the conversation. Just needed to vent since I feel so upset and alone:(
     
  2.  
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,946
    Likes Received:
    2,093

    Feb 3, 2014

    I wouldn't have listened to that rant on the phone. Invite the parent and student in with your P and you to discuss their concerns. Bring your paperwork , grades and documentation of test dates, study periods, exta help hours.
     
  4. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 3, 2014

    I'm so sorry :(
     
  5. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 3, 2014

    Don't let one crazy parent scare you off. This is how we grow and become better teachers. Hold your ground. You have data to back up your position. You are the teacher, not the parent.
     
  6. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    27

    Feb 3, 2014

    After you felt you've given them enough rope, hang up. Abruptly, if you have to. You don't have to take that.

    This sort of thing has gotten way out of hand anymore. I hear too many teachers with experiences like yours.

    If an administrator contacts you about it because the parent called them after you hung up on them, tell him/her that, too...that you gave the parent every opportunity, but enough was enough.
    :dizzy:
     
  7. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 3, 2014

    I completely understand how you feel for I have been in your position. Parents can be totally irrational when it comes to their children. Parents also have a tendency to 100% believe every word that comes out of their child's mouth.

    One thing to consider is the TAP strategy. T stands for thank, A stands for apologize and P stands for promise. In your most sincere and kind voice you say:

    Mrs. Jones I want to thank you for calling and bringing this situation to my attention. I am so sorry you are so upset about this situation. I am available to meet tomorrow at 2:00 to discuss this situation. I promise we will find a solution to this issue. Are you and your daughter available to meet at that time?

    Every time the parent starts the rant over you repeat the above message. Before ending the conversation basically repeat the above message except change it to: Again, Mrs. Jones, I want to thank you for calling and bringing this to my attention. I am sorry you are so upset, but I promise we will find a solution tomorrow at 2:00. I am so looking forward to seeing you tomorrow so we can solve this problem.

    Works like a charm every time!! :D
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    1,147

    Feb 3, 2014

    Let an administrator know about the situation! It's our job to help in these types of circumstances.

    A few weeks ago, I had to meet with a very upset parent. He started yelling at me (loud enough that the office staff could hear him). I told him that we could either continue the conversation in a calm manner, or he could return when he could compose himself. He chose to keep yelling, so I let him know that the meeting was over. I shut down my computer, took my cell phone and keys, and walked out of my office. I went to the bathroom across campus and he was gone when I came back. The ladies in the front said he got up and left.

    **We all carry radios (walkie-talkies) and there's a code word we use when we need to call the police. Thankfully, the office staff said he left without a fight. I was, however, ready to call the cops to have him escorted off our campus.

    I pretty certain he was under the influence. :dizzy:
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Feb 3, 2014

    I've been there, and I know how that feels as well. And yes, mine happened after a discipline issue as well. I think parents get defensive when they realize their student is acting improperly at school and will attack to save face.

    In my case, I eventually ended up simply folding and letting the parent have their little victory, but the next time something happened, I documented it and had the proof sent to her. There was not much she could do in that situation except realize that her kid was being a little snot and it wasn't because of racism that he was getting in trouble. By the end of the year, she even had him write me a thank you/apology letter for keeping him on his toes.

    I agree with others that you shouldn't engage and have a meeting at which an administrator is present to back you up. I especially like Loveslab's TAP solution.
     
  10. GGarcia

    GGarcia Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 3, 2014

    Thank you. Your advice has helped:) Hope tomorrow is better.
     
  11. asha

    asha Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 4, 2014

    Sending you warm hugs. You are great teacher and it is not worth it to loose a great teacher over some parent that should show you some respect.
     
  12. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 4, 2014

    I understand how you feel. I've had parents scream and curse at me on the phone, yell in person, and write unpleasant notes. I've had parents in the past who do not trust the educational system. Some have their own disabilities. Some did not finish high school or are illiterate.

    Consider that suggestion to end the conversation if it gets too heated. Definitely tell an administrator and have one present with the next future meeting with the parent. I was really shocked the first time it happened to me. It just shows you what the home life must be like.
     
  13. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 4, 2014

    Can I come work for you? :D
     
  14. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    27

    Feb 4, 2014

    You would THINK so, huh?
    MOST administrators I've come across don't REMOTELY feel this way.
    :dunno:
     
  15. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 4, 2014

    That situation sounds very abusive and it's not the norm. I'm sorry that happened to you. I'll echo everyone else when I say that I'd just hang up the phone, especially if a parent starts to become irate like that. If someone can't have a calm and rational discussion without yelling and playing the blame game, then I would not waste another second attempting to communicate with them. Parent or no parent. Period.

    Please inform admin about this situation. Protect yourself by updating your school and leaving some type of paper trail. Document document document. A parent treating you that way is disrespectful, inexcusable, and you should not have to put up with that.

    One of the many reasons I love my job is because I know that my Principal has my best interests at heart. He always says if a situation with a parent gets ugly, don't be afraid to hang up or walk away. He encourages communication with parents but he's not naive enough to believe that will always run smoothly. He says if we are uncomfortable by something a parent says we can always remove ourselves from the situation. It can be resolved in a meeting with him in attendance at a later date.

    What happened to you was not okay and I sincerely hope you have admin that would back you up if you ever felt disrespected. Any type of admin who would support verbal abuse or do nothing about it is a huge red flag! If that is the case get out now.

    This isn't only a teaching issue. You need an employer who you can trust will back you up if you are mistreated. You want to work for someone that respects you.
     
  16. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 4, 2014

    I had a parent come at me similarly a few years ago. It was a face to face meeting and it was so bad that after she left I cried (and continued crying on and off for three days). I'm not one for conflict, especially if I don't know it's coming. What made it worse was that this parent is also a teacher.

    I told my administration and they were 100% on board. From that point on, I was to not have face to face meetings with her by myself and on parent teacher nights either my P or my VP was visible in my hallway and hung around outside my room if they knew she was around.

    The P I had at the time has since left, but the VP still takes care to continue to support me. (The family has multiple children. The original issue was about the oldest. I'm just working my way down the list...)
     
  17. GGarcia

    GGarcia Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 4, 2014

    Unfortunately, it seems as if my admin does not care. My concerns have been shuffled around, but nothing has been done. Clearly no one wants to help. It makes me sad and angry. It has been a very rough 24 hours. Thanks again for your support!
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    743

    Feb 4, 2014

    Sounds good. Consider this stolen.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,646
    Likes Received:
    1,538

    Feb 4, 2014

    I'm sorry you are dealing with this OP, but don't let it get to you. There will be no job you will ever have where you won't run into conflict. Many times you won't be supported by your boss.

    If it is truly this conflict that is making you second guess teaching, I suggest you think a bit about why you let it get to you because there will be no job you ever go to where you won't have to deal with some sort of conflict and what seems like irrational situations.

    I think your title is great. You need to figure out how to get a thicker skin.
     
  20. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 5, 2014

    Great advice. I would only add that, as the others have said, make sure your admin knows the situation.

    OP: I'm sorry that happened to you. I've been pretty lucky as far as parents goes. The worst I've been through is being ignored by them - which unfortunately is quite common.
     
  21. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 7, 2014

    If a parent wants to call me because the student does not want to perform in my class, I tell them to expect a new schedule the next day to another teacher. There are only 2 teachers who teach Geometry in my school, and I am the one who is more lenient. But if the parent starts to disrespect me and my methods of teaching that produce some of the highest test scores in the county every year, I will hang up and call them into a conference with the student, the parent, the principal, the AP, and my grade book and the work.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. MrsC,
  3. Ms.Holyoke,
  4. skyline,
  5. futuremathsprof,
  6. RainStorm
Total: 241 (members: 8, guests: 207, robots: 26)
test