Teaching the child of a colleague

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kellzy, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2013

    The child of my colleague is in my class this year. I really like this colleague and I like her children, but I have to say I'm really intimidated by this.
    What are your experiences and/or advice for teaching the child of a friend and colleague?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2013

    I've done it several times, with kids who were great in math and with kids who really struggled.

    Basic ground rule: treat them like any other kid. That means you don't tell mom how she did on the test, you don't treat her any differently. If you need to speak to a parent, ask mom whether she has a few minutes for a conference, or call dad.

    Reallly not a problem.
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Two years ago, I taught a teacher's son in 7th grade and last year, I taught her son in 7th grade (again) and her daughter in 6th grade.

    Luckily, my co-worker was a very "cool" (for lack of a better term) person in that she understood the position her children's teachers were in. She also knew her children well and was honest about it; she knew that the stuff we said about her kids was legit.

    She would email us or pop by for a conference like any normal parent and was always receptive to hearing about her children's behavior and grades at any time in the day. She even told us that if need be, she would leave her class to come to the middle school and sit in the room with her son to monitor his behavior. My school is 6-12 and she taught HS in the main building (we were outback in the trailers).

    As a teacher, I think she was more apt to side with the things the teachers told her unless she felt the teacher was being totally unfair and/or really had no documentation to back things up. And even though she knew the school's "teacher rules" - such as updating our online grade book system weekly - she never seemed upset with us if these things were not done. She was just very understanding and it was the ideal situation when it comes to teaching a co-worker's child.
     
  5. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I have four children of coworkers and two grandchildren of coworkers this year! In addition, I have three students whose parents are teachers in neighboring districts. So, yes, I understand how you feel.

    This is not the first time this has happened, but it is definitely the most I have ever had at once. I agree with the advice given already. Remember you are only human, and if you make a mistake it is ok.
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I've done this numerous times. It's not a big deal unless you make it one. Treat the family like any other family in your class. It is tempting to overshare with the parent simply because she/he is your colleague, but the student deserves the same treatment as the rest. (This also means if the student is missing a signed permission form like 5 others in the class, you don't track down your colleague unless you're talking to the other families). My colleagues appreciated that I didn't treat their child any differently.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I agree with this. I've taught several children of colleagues and I've never had an issue.

    One of my teacher friends, however, had a big problem with the child of a colleague. The parent (also a teacher in the same building) tried to manipulate the child's grades and attendance in the system. It turned into a huge mess, with my teacher friend at the middle of it. Admin had to get involved, reprimands were issued to the parent, and the parent and my teacher friend never mended any sort of professional relationship after that. Both have since left the school.
     
  8. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Hmm...this is nice of the parent to offer the monitor her son during class, but I definitely would try not to take a parent up on an offer like this. It could cause the child to resent you and take away your authority in the classroom.
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I taught a high school teacher's child. One of the other teacher's suggested that I have another teacher ie Title 1 in the room when I did conferences. It ended up not being a big deal, but was glad to have a good support system in the school I worked in.

    Kelly... I actually taught a bunch of students whose parents I went to high school with... most were older than me. I also had a cousin in my class. I treated all of them with the same respect. With my cousin he respected me just like the other students. I told my students he was my cousin and he may slip and say my first name he never did. We still joke because I will say it's your favorite teacher and he'll name off some other teacher laughing.
     
  10. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    :yeahthat: It is a rare year that I don't have a child of a coworker. I know of at least one this year - and probably more because I haven't looked at my lists carefully. Alice's advice on when and how to speak to parents is very appropriate. Remember that you wouldn't like being approached in the break room about your child, and you will be fine.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I have had this a lot. It hasn't been a problem, and I think I know why. I think colleagues are just as nervous to have their child in a colleague's classroom as the teacher is.

    Overall, I would still be yourself and treat the child the same. It can be really nice in the long run if you have several teachers' children and they like the job you are doing. You have a lot of advocates for you on campus.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I agree. I guess I was just using it as an example of how agreeable her personality was - she was just very supportive of the MS teachers who taught her children.
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Aug 24, 2013

    I currently have my director's two kids, and niece in my classes. Plus another director's granddaughter. And around 6 kids from teachers. And back in the USA I had the superintendent's niece in my classroom as well.

    It was a little nerve racking for me at first, but I think the parents know to take whatever the kid says with a grain of salt (if they go home and complain). Ask the parent/friend how they would liked to be contacted- via email or stopping by their classroom during a free period or after school. Then, like everyone else says, treat them like every other kid. If they need to get sent out of the classroom, they get sent out.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I teach children of people I know all the time. Rarely an issue. When there are, it is nothing to do with their position, but their everyday personality.

    Last year I had the children of my principal, a teacher in my building, and a few teachers in the district. Oh, and my minister's child.

    They are all kids.
     
  15. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    In general, I don't have a problem with it, though I don't think I've had to do it really. Actually, last year I did have a colleague's child in gym, which wasn't too bad, but I felt like she was always digging for dirt. (I am split between two schools, so her kids went to one school while she taught at the other one.). It was not a comfortable situation to be in, but since I spent so little time in that school, I didn't have much to say anyway. I'm a little leery of this coming year, as I will have her daughter. The kids are sweet, but the mother is really nosy.
     
  16. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2013

    I have two kids of a colleague at my school...I find the colleague extremely intimidating actually but, I would even if I didn't have her kids. It helped that for a bit I didn't put two and two together that she was their mom. Her daughter is great, her son can be a little out of control but she seems to know that. I had a class with him where I sent him to the time out area and he was there when the classroom teacher got there. The classroom teacher asked me what happened and she was pretty annoyed and said he had been misbehaving. Later that day, during my lunch, my colleague came to pick up her class and then stayed to speak to me about her son which she had never done before. So I (shaking in my boots) told her basically that I had taken steps to stop his behavior but he didn't so I sent him into the time out area and she was like "So I don't understand, why did he get sent to the office?!" and I said "...I didn't send him to the office..." Apparently his classroom teacher had sent him down after getting a bad report from me! So then she had a bone to pick with the classroom teacher I guess, I'm glad I didn't end up being in the middle of that. **phew**
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Spare a thought for the kid, please. My mother taught in the district that I attended, but never at my school; the district grapevine was very active, however, and it was alarming to discover that school was not nearly as safe a place to be me as I'd believed.
     
  18. Mrs.Giggles

    Mrs.Giggles Companion

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    I am teaching the son of one of the grade level teachers on my team. Honestly, I truly treat him like the rest of the other students. He's had a few days on yelllow, and this is recorded on his nightly behavior calendar. I never talk to mom about this because my mentality is that if I wouldn't call the other parents about this, why should I tell her? We've even spoken about this and she has said how she appreciates that I don't treat her child or our professional relationship any different just because her son is in my class.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't think there has been a year I didn't teach my colleagues' children...superintendent's, too. Was never an issue.
     
  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I was the principal's kid...I hated teachers that told on me for things that they didn't tell other parents about. I have taught many teachers' kids. I found dealing with the nonteaching parent was best.
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I agree with the others. I've done it before and I'm doing it again this year. Treat them the same as others. Don't give them special privelages (the other kids see this and it can come back to hurt the child), but also don't hold them to a higher standard. As a total side, some of the most amazingingly perfect teacher gifts (things for my room) have come from teacher parents, and some of the worst (I'm sure regifted, lol) have come from them. :D
     
  22. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Aug 24, 2013

    I have taught several coworkers children. :D

    Treat them as you would any other kid you teach. If mom works at the school call or email Dad and vice versa. Set up appointments just as you would any other student. Most teacher parents are really considerate of your time because they themselves understand what you are going through on a daily basis. They just want their student treated the same as all the other ones you teach. Don't volunteer what the child was like in class that day unless they ask. You could be seen as tattling.

    Oh, and consider yourself flattered to have a teachers child in your class!
     

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