Venting about how the year is going.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by txmomteacher2, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    We are almost to the end of the 4th week and I am just.... well to be honest blah!!! I can't seem to connect with this class or their parents. This group as a whole grade level is very chatty, aggressive in their behavior, immature. We as teachers are having a very hard time managing this group.(not just me it is all 6 of us) This group is VERY boy heavy and they are immature to say the least. When talking to all the teachers the birthdays are mostly early spring to Sept 1. Which means young!!!!!! And there seems to be NO accountability at home for anything. They expect me to practically breathe for them. Not one of them can do simple basic tasks without having to be spoon fed the directions. And the playing with their hands, picking their noses, making noises are about to drive me insane. I think even the Pre-K kids are better behaved than this bunch of kinders.
    My dealings with parents so far have not been that great either. First one texted me about her daughter not drinking enough water, asked if she could send a water bottle. I told her that I don't allow waterbottles but I will allow her child a drink anytime she needed one. Apparently that answer was not good enough because she called the principal the next morning and I was sent an email that said I was to allow her a waterbottle at her desk. Ok fine done! This was 3 weeks ago haven't seen a waterbottle yet!!!! Oh she was supposed to go to the doctor to get a note saying she needed this so called waterbottle, haven't seen a note from the doctor either. Today, my little one who has not been officially diagnosed on the spectrum but will be, had his poor little world turned upside down at the end of the day when his schedule was changed by Mom who by the way should know that change is NOT good. He threw a major fit at the end of the day. Then the straw that broke my back. A text from a parent who said could you send a pencil home with her kid tomorrow because all they had was pens oh and please make sure it's sharpened. Ok before I'm run through the ringer about the pencil I know this kids parents can afford a 1.00 pack of pencils from the dollar store and a sharpener.
    I tired!! I'm cranky! I need a vacation and it's only day 17!
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Personally, I think you should allow your students to have water bottles without notes from a doctor, within reason, of course. I also think it shouldn't be a big deal to send home a sharpened pencil with a student.

    All that said, I'm having a rough start, too. The only thing keeping me going is knowing that it gets easier once the beginning of the year wears off.
     
  4. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I think the water bottle goes with what research has told us about hydration and the brain. There's no need to rely on a that's how it's always been philosophy when we know better now.

    Pencil is a rediculous request but I think losing the battle on the water bottle means avoiding this one showing up on the principal's desk. You clearly won't be the one to teach this kid responsibility and mom won't be either.

    Is this a school issued phone or do you really mean email?
     
  5. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I have a perfectly good water fountain in my classroom. I could see having one at their desk if they had to go outside of class to get a drink. If the student asked me to get a drink I would allow her a drink at anytime. The pencil thing, well here is the deal. Our kids rarely bring all the supplies that we ask for. Which comparatively speaking to other lists that I have seen is very minimal. So if I send home a pencil for one kid, then I have to send home for another kid.Then wouldn't you know all of a sudden all 20 kids need a pencil for home. Then kids loose their pencils,so I have to send home more pencils. By mid of the year we have used all the pencils in class plus the pencils I have sent home. We run out of pencils, now who is gonna supply me with pencils for the end of the year. I know I should be spending my own money to pencils, because don't we all spend money on our classroom? Do you see where I am going with this????
     
  6. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Why can't the kid just get a drink from my water fountain. I have one in my class!!!! The kids are allowed to get a drink anytime they want. Just give me the signal and they can get one. It's not like I am denying anyone a drink, EVER! I work better when I am hydrated so will the kids. I get that.
    The pencil thing I will probably send home a crappy pencil that I don't use but still the fact is it's not like I have a never ending supply of supplies. Once I start sending it home then who is gonna replace it when I need it. I get tired of spending my money on supplies when I could spend on better academic things for the class.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I see where you're going, but I still wouldn't want to fight that battle.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    If it bothers you that much, let the kid write in pen at home.
     
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  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Has it been tested for lead lately? You couldn't pay me enough to drink water from school plumbing.
     
  10. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Why should it be my responsibility at all to supply a pencil for a child to use at home.
     
  11. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I drink from that same water fountain every day there is nothing wrong with it. We are in a fairly new building.
     
  12. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I personally don't care what the child writes with. Pen pencil crayon, marker, whatever. But what I don't like is having to supply the supplies.
     
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  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Just because you're willing to doesn't meannthe rest of us have to.
     
  14. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    You said the parents have pens at home. Tell them to use the pens...
     
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  15. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    This is what I am trying to teach my kids and apparently my parents as well. I am not responsible for their homework. I should not be responsible for making sure my student has a pencil at home. That should be a parents responsibility.
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Cutting off your nose to spite your face don't you think? I assume the reason to assign homework is to reinforce the skill. If it's not important enough to tell them they forgot it, it's probably not important enough to waste their evening doing it either.
     
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  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Honestly, although I am not a huge water drinker, I hate drinking out of water fountains, and I'm not even a huge germaphobe. As long as the water is in a bottle, I would refuse to fight that battle. As far as the pencils, I would hit the thrift stores, tell them you are a teacher, and ask if they could set aside any pencils that are donated - new or used - for the least amount of money, or free, if possible. I have found that the church based thrifts will often do this for virtually nothing. If you are opposed to that, buy the half size golf pencils - Ebay, etc., can get you a steal on those. You will feel less violated if they don't come back, same with pencils from thrift stores. Tell friends and family that you would welcome used pencils for free, as opposed to them being thrown out. If you have a presence on social media, share your need, and stress that they can be somewhat used. I would send the same info out to class parents. Maybe some are unable to provide, but others may be glad to get rid of half used pencils.

    The water bottle would be an issue that I would refuse to fight over, and no one said that you had to send home a pristine, new pencil, so adapt and think cheap or free. Perhaps if the parents get a golf pencil or an older, clearly used, but still useable pencil, they will decide they might be able to invest in their own "home" pencils. Either way, it would not be a stressor for me. Try to chill and recognize when you may be making mountains out of mole hills..

    I don't care if you want to vent, but please know that those of us who reply are just trying to make your problems less major by sharing our experience and opinions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  18. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Well I am sooo happy for you that your day and the battles you have don't make you want to vent on a page for teachers. Where everyone should be able to come on here and say what we feel without feeling like she is just a complainer!!! Havent you ever had a parent make a ridiculous request? and you were mad about it and you need to vent to people who understand??? Well let me know where you teach and Ill be glad to come teach in your perfect world.
     
  19. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Seriously don't any of you ever get tired of how parents treat us? This is really what this thread is about. Not the water bottle itself. Just the fact that she took the time to call the principal. She got what she wanted, I got an email telling me I had to let her use a water bottle. But I haven't seen a water bottle come in. She made a huge deal to the principal that her daughter gets sick if she is not hydrated. She was told to have it documented by the doctor. No note or water bottle has shown up in my classroom. I personally think, How dare she make a huge deal out of it and NOT send that dang water bottle because I am not supplying that either. As for the pencil thing, I have limited numbers of pencils I can not go around giving a pencil to every kids that needs one at home. Use the pen I don't care. Why should I have to spend my time asking for donated pencils. Pencils cost a 1.00 at the dollar store.
     
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  20. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Well then truly you are a better person than I. I never said I don't like my job in fact I love my job. But there are somedays when it gets the best of me. Today is one of those days. So I thought I would come here get a little support from people who "understand" and well I didn't. I got the well you should do this and you should do that. and I should just give into all the parents demands., Why don't I just let them come in and teach my class too!!!!
     
  21. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Really I usually do, today not sooo much. I am usually a go wiith the flow kind of person. I have been teaching 11 years. I am very used to crazy parents. Just a lot of things all just boiled over today.
     
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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  23. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I understand your frustration, I think everyone here understands your frustration. But many of us just shrug off the stuff that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. How the kid stays hydrated doesn't matter; writing in pen or pencil even crayon doesn't matter, if homework is done and the student has gone through the thought processes we want them to. Your P has probably realised that a water bottle isn't really worth fighting for and has given in on that quick fast. It doesn't mean he agrees with the parent on principle, just that he acknowledges it's not worth the trouble.

    Parents will want what they want and make requests of us that they really shouldn't, but that's the way it is and that's how it's going to be. We have to accept it is what it is. Some days we have more patience for it and some days we don't. I suspect today is one of those days for you.
     
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  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would have sent a pencil one time and said this pencil can hold the student over until some pencils are acquired at home. After that, you should be done. I guess the water bottle issue wasn't as important as the parent thought since the student didn't come in with one. Seems like the parent just didn't like your answer about the water fountain and had a hissy fit.
     
  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    @txmomteacher2, I'm sorry to hear you're so stressed. I'll say vent away.

    Pencils... I've done this before. I have so many pencils. I inherited a bunch when I took over my classroom and the families at this school really like donating pencils. (In fact, any time, message me and I'll send you a bunch--this goes for anyone). I have had many kids ask to take home a pencil to complete the homework I no longer send home (so this was in years past) and I said yes without thinking about. (I also think I'm pencil-conservative enough to keep from going through them--I encourage kids to use the most out of them and Johnny doesn't need 85 pencils in his pencil pouch).

    Water bottles--I sort of encourage them, at least not discourage them. I have a drinking fountain across the hall, but it's across the hall and, well, 7-year-olds. Though I banned them for the last short stretch of a few weeks last year after one student dumped them all out and damaged a bunch of property, they're back this year. When one doesn't have emotionally disturbed students prone to dumping out water bottles the benefits of the bottles in my classroom outweigh the issues.

    I did set up further rules about my water bottles, though. They had to have proper spouts. I have one little drama queen (cute, cute girl, but a drama queen) who says her mom can't afford to buy her a water bottle with a spout. I just said "I'm sorry to hear it, remember the class signal to step into the hall for bathroom/drink/breather." She actually replied "You're not going to buy me one?" and I said "Nope, that's your family's responsibility, but it's not a big deal, you can always use the drinking fountain."

    But I get it. Why do you get the brunt of Mom's hissy fit over taking the trouble to call the principal over this stuff?
     
  26. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It seems like I am going to be in the minority, but this is my take on the issue; When we get our new kinders every year, some of them have never set foot in a classroom, and for some of the parents, this is their first time sending a child to school. So, not only do we have to teach our young students proper school rules and etiquette, we also have to train the parents. It is in everyone's best interest to get them accustomed to school experiences that are going to follow them from year to year. It is also in the parent's and children's best interest to learn that they can't dictate what will happen in the classroom. So, this is what the OP is trying to get across...it is her classroom and she sets the boundaries and standards. Imagine that water bottle or pencil parent six or seven years down the road continuing to demand that they set the classroom requirements for their little snowflake. What we would have is a generation of demanding, unruly, irresponsible middle schoolers.
    So, I agree that the water bottle and pencil parents need to be stopped in their tracks now.
     
  27. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    This was my point! Totally!!!!
     
  28. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Very true! And this puts future teachers in a tough spot. "Mrs. txmomteacher2 gave into our whims! Unfair!"

    Thanks for sharing this!
     
  29. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    And sometimes just coming to an anonymous forum to vent and seek advice is all that is needed to make one feel more confident to address issues in our life head on.
     
  30. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Or perhaps I was not seeking advice at all, but I have been there and I feel your pain and a virtual hug from people who walk in my shoes everyday.
     
  31. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    What would be the point of telling the parents? I think both of them were trying to get there way like their 5 year olds want by throwing a tantrum or at least tattling on me. Especially the one who wanted the water bottle. If she had explained to me that her daughter needed it for a medical reason I would have treated the situation differently. She didn't tell me that though, she told the principal. All it did was make me look like I was being a bitch and not letting her daughter get drinks. And by the way why do you come to this forum???
     
  32. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sometimes it helps to vent to people with no faces. If you don't like vent posts, the best thing would be to avoid them.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Yeah, especially if the title of the post mentioned VENTING. Just skip the post if you don't like them. I see the same thing on Facebook. People put in their own 2 cents where it's not warranted. I don't know why some people come here although I guess if you act like that in real life it's hard to make friends :whistle:
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I feel you on the pencil thing. I would absolutely push back against that type of request. I like the idea a PP mentioned of sending home one pencil to tide the student over until the family could purchase some. That seems reasonable and fair, and I can afford to send a single pencil here and there from time to time.
     
  35. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Intellectually, I understand that some instances of poverty a pencil at home is the last thing on a family's mind.

    And yet, every other part of me... seriously, you can't find a pencil and you're complaining to the principal about it? Really. I'm sure you can find a pencil in significantly less time than yelling at the school.

    Again, pencils, I'm blessed to be lousy with pencils in my classroom until likely the end of days. Kids asks for a pencil, I automatically say "sure" without thinking about it. For me, water bottles and pencils are small things that I'm generally fine with.

    But I agree. Sure, sending a pencil home or allowing a water bottle are small things. But, so are keeping a pencil at your own home and using the in-class drinking fountain. @txmomteacher2 has logical reasons for her policy regarding one set of small things. I probably have classroom policies that would drive some of you crazy as "why that hill of dying?" Why? Because of my own particular set of little things and circumstances.
     
  36. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    If this family was needing a pencil I would have given them a pencil. This family however is not "needing" a pencil. I know were they live, I know what kind of car they drive, I know what kind of clothes their son wears to school. I know they don't NEED me to give them a pencil.
     
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  37. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    So if you want to make it an issue, tell them the district does not budget for take home pencils. Then she'll go to the principal and he'll send a pack home with him.
     
  38. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Part of me is amused at that one future day when she can't find an administrator that will budge...
     
  39. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This does make sense, and I'm glad to see it from that point of view, but I do think a better response would be, "Each teacher is able to make his/her own policies. Have you talked with the teacher about it?" I think, on these small things, principals should refuse to solve the problems unless harm is happening. We all have our own picky little things (not a judgement on the water bottle issue at all). Principals and parents need to respect that, unless there's a school wide policy or medical issue, teachers should be able to set their own policies. If a parent has a problem with it, they should be encouraged to talk to the teacher, but the teacher should have the ultimate say.
     
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  40. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    With that said, if a teacher told my fictional child they couldn't keep a water bottle in class, i'd staple educational research to their shirts and give them a water bottle too.
     
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  41. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Without talking to the teacher first, though?
     
  42. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    The assumption would be they already declared a no water bottle policy. Otherwise there'd be no reason to send research to explain how wrong they are.
     
  43. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    And what if your kid has issues not treating the water bottle as a toy?
     
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  44. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Right. But my point is, would you not contact the teacher first to say, Ms. Smith, I was wondering if you could explain the reasoning behind the water bottle policy?

    Certainly, giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt that there might be a legitimate reason that you hadn't considered is more respectful than waging war right away without asking to hear the teacher's point of view.

    Same goes for any classroom policy. It's always good to kindly ask about something rather than just assuming the teacher is nutso and you are undeniably right.

    Perhaps the teacher thinks drinking water is terrible and she hates when kids go to the bathroom so often. By all means, send in the research and contact the principal. But also, maybe the teacher had two chromebooks ruined last year in a 1-1 classroom where chromebooks are used all day, and there's a perfectly fine filtered water fountain two steps away. Who knows. What do you have to lose in asking?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  45. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    If the teacher was making kids self conscious about how often they used the bathroom, I'd think that was worse than their water policy. I'm going off the vibe I've gotten from the posts and determined reasoning wouldn't work. My fictional child would be my priority, not the feelings of an adult. A water bottle and the use of the bathroom whenever necessary are reasonable expectations. The pencil thing is rediculous.
     
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  46. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree. I would have a major issue with kids not being allowed to drink from a water bottle simply because of the bathroom. I don't think that I should have to refrain from drinking water because I might need to use the bathroom more often, so I certainly wouldn't hold kids to that either. In my classroom, I encourage students to bring water bottles. I'd rather them be in the room, not missing anything, than having to leave the classroom to get hydrated, and I think hydration is a priority. We do have a conversation about being aware of how much water we are drinking and how it can make us need to use the bathroom more often (because I don't think that third graders have always quite made that connection, but I do think that they are capable of understanding it and being wise about it), but bathroom use doesn't prevent them from being able to drink from a water bottle. If I really think that a kid is going to the bathroom way too often, I'll have a private conference with them to see what's up (Is it because they are drinking too much water, too fast? Is it because they have a health issue? Is it because they are using the bathroom as an excuse to leave the classroom when they don't really need to go?). I also talk to my students about how it's okay to use the bathroom but about how they should be aware of finding an appropriate time to go (not in the middle of a lesson, unless it's an emergency). I consider this a life skill that they need to learn - might as well learn it young.
     
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  47. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2017

    It was over 30C in my classroom yesterday and likely will be all week. For homework last night, my students are to bring in a water bottle today. If kids are playing with them, they are moved to the back counter. It's still easy for the kids to get a drink when they need one, but the distraction is removed.
     
    AlwaysAttend, Backroads and bella84 like this.
  48. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2017

    I do remember the OP stating that there is a water fountain in the classroom so the students are not DENIED water. I think everyone is forgetting this and making a mountain out of a molehill. The parent is just being nitpicky and it's obvious. The parent didn't ask if the teacher could make an exception because of XYZ. She went straight to the principal because of the "foul injustice" that was going on with this despicable teacher.
     
    Caesar753 and txmomteacher2 like this.

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