Sooo upset!

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Deeena, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2006

    This morning a student of mine came up to me and said, "My dad says that I learn nothing here at school." I am so hurt by this comment. I'm a first year teacher and feel like I'm failing my students. This parent is also one of the most least involved, so now I'm worried that if he feels this way then I wonder how many other parents think the same! I talked to my principal and he told me that he has not received any complaints. I called the parent and left a message telling him I would like to discuss any concerns he has regarding the curriculum. I feel so bad. I want my students and parents to feel like they are getting a lot out of my classroom. :(
     
  2.  
  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 9, 2006

    I am soooo sorry about how this parent feels. But, I've talked to you plenty of times and I know that you are doing the best you can. You're teaching Open court and you're doing the best you can with it. Also, it's just one parent- even if this parent is the "least involved", still, that doesn't mean the other parents feel the same way. It's just one parent who may not see these results in their child that they were hoping. Keep doing your job and keep doing your best. I got a new student yesturday who is an overflow student. Meaning, if someone leaves at the other school he's supposed to be at, he has the option of moving into that classroom. I asked mom if she will do this and she said, only if he likes your classroom. I told this to my reading first coach and she said, just keep doing what you're doing and don't feel pressured by this parent. So, like I said, keep doing your job. You have it hard this year- not only are you a first year teacher, but you're also the only kinderteacher. You don't really have anyone to talk to or share ideas with. So, I'll keep rooting for you!
     
  4. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2006

    You also need to remember that many parents did nothing but play in Kindergarten! Our parent helpers are AMAZED at what work our students do and how much we accomplish. Keep that in mind--and also the support you get from parents who ARE involved. There is next to nothing you can do for parents who refuse to be (or cannot be) involved physically in the classroom.

    All that said, I can't imagine a parent telling their child something like that anyway! It makes the child feel a little worthless, don't you think? And it reminds me of the phrase, "...consider the source." Hopefully you can share a bit more during conference and invite him into the classroom in person! Good luck!
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    66

    Nov 10, 2006

    Also, the dad may have been making a joke and the child didn't get it. (I can think of dozens of times either saying or hearing someone say that after asking a child if they can do some outrageous thing. My 4 year old niece asked me to set her Dora watch the other day because she didn't know how. I made a similar comment to her as a joke, maybe that's where the child got this. You will almost always have a parent, though, that isn't happy with something you are doing. Do the best you can for your kids and don't stress yourself over trying to make every parent happy. If you know you are doing the best you can, that's what matters. Good luck!!
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    66

    Nov 10, 2006

    Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, my niece's response to that question was "We are learning the bear hug song and our letter people!" :D
     
  7. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2006

    I know it's difficult when you hear things like this but....

    1) Are you SURE this parent really said this? What was the context? Was it aimed directly at you?

    2) Good for you for making contact to discuss things!!! Bravo!!!

    3) You have to grow a thick skin because this will not be the last parent that is unhappy with something you're doing or not doing. Remember you are the trained professional and YOU know what should be happening in YOUR classroom.
     
  8. Heart2Heart

    Heart2Heart Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2006

    I'm sorry this happened to you. My advice is to not take things personal. Keep your head up and have a good attitude. You can not please everyone. One thing I do is to send home skills that we are working on for the week. I also send home progress reports at least every two weeks. So, if a parent thinks that his/her child is not learning, they can just look at the skills that I am working on. If a parent feels that his/her child is not learning, maybe they need to take a look at themselves because its probably because a lack of help at home.;)
     
  9. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,738
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2006

    you know I wouldn't be so hurt, Have you ever heard a parent ask" so, what did you learn today?" ~~"Nothing" replys the kid. And I'm sure not all parents are checking the work that comes home. So they don't see the papers the kids did. I would call the parent on his comment, ask him if he wants to come in for a seperate teacher confrence where you will have plenty of things to show him of his daughter's work.

    Also the dad may have asked the girl a question, that she didn't know~~ not that your not teaching, just that the topic hasn't come up yet in class and he got agrivated she didn't know.(what I mean is if its a question an older grade would go over)

    I know that you teachers work so hard, and your job is hard, I give you appluse and hugs for what you do. When you come accross a family that homeschools (such as us) the answer we usually give for "why do we do it" isn't because of the teachers, its the school system itself, ~~ something I have seen many teachers here complain them selves about.
     
  10. Heart2Heart

    Heart2Heart Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2006

    One more thing, also what I have done every year is to test my students by the second week of school. Yes! each child individually. I make a checklist and a booklet with worksheets on different skills.
    This lets me know what the child already knows when they come to me and what he/she doesn't know. I give the same test again before the first report card period. There you have it in black and white what progress the child has made since he/she has been in your class. I especially keep this for parents who think that I am not teaching their children. (The proof is in the pudding.)

    Some things I do is:

    1. Give an oral phonics test (I mark the letters and sounds they don't know)
    2. They recite months of the year/days of the week.
    3. They have to count orally as high as they can. I mark what number they stop at.
    4. I use a rhyming word sheet. To see if they can identify pictures that rhyme.
    5. I use an opposite worksheet. To se if they can identify opposite
    pictures.
    6. I have them write their name, numbers to 20, and copy a sentence.

    This help me to have proof of what I have taught and how the students have progressed. Every quarter I have a booklet of skills for each child.
     
  11. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2006

    Yeah, we start assessing right away too--between our trimester demands and our "district progress assessment" that comes around about the same time, we have to! Next week is report card/conference week, and we're on our second round of assessing already.

    We also send home lots of parent communication to make sure parents not only KNOW what we're doing, but that they're EXPECTED to be a part of it!

    But as I read back over these posts, I agree that it is very likely the comment was a misunderstanding between dad and child. New teachers (I'm still one too!) are more sensitive, I think, to critcism. And to some degree, that's a good thing! It keeps me on my toes! But I am learning to discern between real and perceived issues, and then deal with them accordingly. You will get there too, Deeena...
     
  12. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2006

    Thanks for all of your helpful comments. I am the type of person who is really hard on myself and wants to please everybody. I did assess the children during the first couple weeks of school, and plan on running more assessments soon. I just worry b/c it's my first year, I have no kindergarten experience, and constantly feel like I'm failing my kids as their teacher. My parents aren't very involved, so I rarely get feedback unless it is negative. I just have to keep in mind of the the positive things. For instance, a parent told me a couple weeks ago that her son is learning so much and is excited about school. :) I haven't heard back from the dad since I called the other night. I'll hopefully see him when he drops off his daughter on Monday and can approach the issue again then. I like the idea of sending home a list of skills that the children have been working on. I'm going to do that too. Thanks for your support.
     
  13. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2006

    One more thing...

    Does anyone have any advice about how they manage their assessments? I have 20 kids and no aide. When I ran my first assessments, I had a parent come in once or twice a week to supervise my kids during rest time, while I pulled out one kid at a time to assess. Can you tell me when/how your run your assessments?
     
  14. KdgtnCop

    KdgtnCop Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2006

    Deena- Sorry to hear about the completely insensitive and inappropriate comment that you heard. First of all...in my school there is a joke- Kindergarten parents are NOTORIOUS for complaining, griping, and trying to buck the system. (especially FIRST timers) They tend to settle into the "routine of the school" in the upper grades, and let the teachers do their job while remaining supportive and involved.
    Perhaps a letter home every once in a while, stating what your class is/will be doing would allow him to see exactly what material you are covering. Also, explain to "dad" that there is a wide range of "normal" in Kindergarten, and while it is NOT unusual to see a child who is 3 to 6 months ahead of the learning curve by the 38th day of Kindergarten...most students will be challenged in all areas at some point. Also, I'd let him know that his UNWAVERING support of you and the school is essential to his child's future success. What type of example is he setting? Sounds as if dad needs a good "Kindergarten" character education lesson, too! Maybe he will "learn" to keep his comments to the adults. :) Good luck..
    Oh- assessments- I have 30 and no aide, and my kids can't seem to calm down long enough for me to DIBEL or DRA without watching them, so I put in a video (whatever we are studying) Fire Safety...animals....etc. I also pull them out of "special" classes if the teacher says it's OK, and I work in the hallway. (we are not allowed to have parents in the room unless they have police and child abuse clearances- and none of my parents had them done yet) It's just a balancing act- you'll get it!!! The first year is the hardest.
     
  15. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2006

    Deena, one thing we do in our K classes is craft our centers for a couple of weeks to be as INDEPENDENTLY RUN as possible. This allows us to pull a number of students each day for a couple of weeks. In addition, we pull them out during music (meets in our class), and if they are in Campus Club, we may go grab them before/after school instructional time.

    I have the benefit of a partner teacher (we partner an hour a day, during centers) and also parent help. Although I have had almost no parent help the past two weeks, of course!

    Have you ever considered swapping "prep" time or recess time or whatever with another credentialed teacher who WOULD be allowed to be in your classroom so you can assess? Our upper grade teachers are very cognizant of our situation with one-on-one testing, but we've never talked about trading time. If you're a half-day Kinder, that might be a possibility.

    All that said, it DOES get easier as you learn to get through things little more quickly. This is my second year, and assessments have gone MUCH better than last year!! Good luck!
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 11, 2006

    Last year right before parent/teacher conference time (the one later in the year) my teachers sent home the student's journal. The students had to write a letter asking their parents to read it and hopefully enjoy what they've had to say throughout the year and to sign it and bring it back the following Monday. The real purpose was to show the parents where the kids started and how far they've come. The parents really enjoyed reading things their kids thought about and read about throughout the year. Every Monday the topic is "What did you do this weekend?" The rest of the week can be more randomly or applied to what we are learning. I think this set the tone before the meetings to show the parents that the kids really are learning alot. I'm not sure this has much to do with the original post, except to say that sometimes parents can't see the forest because of the trees. You have to show them (when the time is appropriate). As far as what the child said, I would have been hurt, but then I also know children say things out of context all the time...have a talk...it might not be what you think (I hope). Lots of parents do complain when you would least expect it.
     
  17. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2006

    Update!

    I talked to the dad today in person. He informed me that it was not me that he was referring to when he made that comment. He said he made it out of frustration b/c his daughter is not reading yet, however her cousin (who is a year younger) is reading. I told him to praise her for the things that she learning and school and I told him that each student learns at a different pace and it doesn't make one person smarter than the other. I'm glad we got that cleared up! Thanks for your support!
     
  18. diro.pams

    diro.pams Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 14, 2006

    heart2heart is so right! By testing early in the year, you can PROVE what the child has learned!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Secondary Teach,
  2. TeacherNY,
  3. Sarge,
  4. Anna music teacher,
  5. CaliforniaRPCV
Total: 362 (members: 11, guests: 330, robots: 21)
test