Very Bad Day, Anyone else?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by NewTeacher05, May 14, 2015.

  1. NewTeacher05

    NewTeacher05 Rookie

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    May 14, 2015

    Hello,
    I am a 2nd year K teacher. Yesterday, one of my kids at the very end of the day (we were lining up for buses) told me he had a number 2 accident (nothing was on his clothes, the accident appeared to be in his underwear only). He did not have a change of clothes, but I quickly found a spare pair of underwear and shorts I had that would fit him and told him to change, when he asked what to do with his messy clothes I gave him a bag and told him to put the clothes inside. Immediately after school I had to set up for an afterschool event and was at the event until 7:15pm. In retrospect I should have given he parent a call to inform her of the accident, however due to the busy afternoon/night, I did not.

    This morning, the student's mom sent both me and my P an email with the poopy clothes pic attached and number 1 blamed me for not letting him go to the bathroom (I have a go whenever you need to bathroom policy, he never asked), then said I should not have sent home the poopy clothes, and I should have called.

    I agree it was my fault for not calling, but we are all human and make mistakes. My P met with me over it today, and made me feel like a horrible person. He asked me how I would feel if that situation happened to me, and I said honestly not that upset (like thank goodness my child had clean clothes right?) And my P goes, how can you sit here and tell me that? He also asked me why I did not call and I said honestly it slipped my mind, again he said that was not an acceptable answer (again it was a mistake, I will not let it happen again). He also told me I needed to inspect the clothes and bag them myself.

    Anyways, he insisted I call her and take full responsibility for everything, which I did, and she basically was rude about my apology, then mentioned how I have time to inform her of his bad behavior, but not the accident.

    This child was a HUGE behavior issue today, crawling under tables, jumping on his chair all while I am teaching. However now I can't do anything, because I will be the bad person because I did not call her over poopy clothes.

    I feel horrible right now and very upset at my P for taking a side on the situation, all he needed to say to me was In the future please be sure that you call parents when accidents happen.

    Has anyone dealt with this before? I really do not want to be at my school anymore if this is how my P is going to react to a ridiculous situation......
     
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  3. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    May 14, 2015

    When you realized you forgot to tell her about the clothes you should have called begging for forgiveness. But you made a mistake and that is ok. The principal was just upset he/she was made to look bad to a parent. But should have not been a (@$##.
    Once we had a HUGE k kid and he was not P trained and decorated a little bathroom with his mess. I had to clean it up as the janitor was out. Not fun. Surely the year is almost over. You can make it. Good luck.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 14, 2015

    Yes, you should have called. No, the P should not have made a federal case out of it. He was a jerk.
     
  5. TexanTeach

    TexanTeach Rookie

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    May 16, 2015

    Sorry you had to go through that. It seemed like an honest mistake that should not have been blown out of proportion the way it was.

    Do your students have agendas or communication books that go back and forth each day? When a student has an accident, I just let the parent know in their book that they had to change into their spare clothes and the soiled underwear/pants are in a plastic bag.

    I once had a parent call the school to ask why I didn't call to let her know her child fell at recess. It was something minor and while the student cried for a few minutes, there was no bruise/scrape/injury of any kind. I just explained that I checked everything out and everything looked ok, and after a few minutes she went about her day and said she felt better. But I still apologized and said that in the future I will notify the parent if a similar circumstance occurs. The parent still wasn't satisfied and then called the principal the next day to basically tell on me for not giving her a phone call. Luckily my principal is very supportive and explained that we typically don't call over minor things like that, and had my back. It definitely makes a difference when you have supportive admin, which you didn't seem to have :(

    Hope things will smooth over for you.
     
  6. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    May 16, 2015

    I honestly don't see how you did anything wrong. You probably should have called, but it sounds to me like you have a good reason why you forgot. I can't, for the life of me, understand why the parent thinks you shouldn't have sent home the dirty clothes. Were you supposed to wash them yourself???

    I'm sorry you went through that with your principal. I'm not seeing where you made some huge mistake. Just make sure you call next time since your principal made a big deal out of it.
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 16, 2015

    Your principal is a poopyhead.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    May 16, 2015

    I'm not going to address the principal issue yet, but will say that had you not wanted to talk to the parent, an email or text message would have given the head's up in so little time that there is virtually no excuse for not doing at least one of those two things, Everything that went wrong after sprang from that error. As a parent, I believe that I might have been cold and unfriendly the next morning - I opened a bag of poopy clothes with no explanation. Wash the clothes? No, but treating them like a poopy diaper with the large bits gone is considered acceptable.

    I know my opinion is not that of the thread, but it is a way to look at this from a different perspective. Honestly, saying everyone makes mistakes is not what a principal wants to hear. Now the fact that you made a mistake becomes a poor defensive excuse, showing lack of good judgement. In the future, when you make the kind of mistake that gets you called to speak with the principal, I would like to suggest acknowledging your error, accepting responsibility for how this played out, and a sincere statement that you will never let something like this happen again. As for the parent, the cold shoulder probably arose when she realized that your apology was simply the result of admin coming down hard on you. If the comment about the behavior notices are true, own up to that, too.

    What the parent really wanted was for you to care about her child as if he was your own while he is in your care. You put other things above the concern of her son, and that hurts. I'm a mom, and I always remember that I am entrusted with the care of someone's pride and joy every day spent with students. It's not that we don't make mistakes, but rather, how much we care that we made a mistake. If you are only sorry because you got caught, then it is a hollow apology. Sorry for siding with the principal and parent.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    May 16, 2015

    I probably wouldn't have called either, and it would have been an intentional decision for me. I've had a few kids who have had accidents over the years, and I've never called home. Never had a complaint that I should have called home. I send students to the nurse, and the nurse gives them clean clothes with a bag for the dirty clothes. I don't know if the nurse calls home or not, but I never do.

    The end of the day is hectic, especially if you have an after-school event or even personal plans to get to. I don't think you did anything wrong, and I think your principal seems very unsupportive - not someone I would want to work for.
     
  10. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    May 16, 2015

    Wow, I find this thread so interesting. I've never called home in the case of an accident (I've had like 3 maybe). In all cases, the child never even asked to go to the bathroom. I do take the kid to the office and the office staff calls home for the parent to bring clothing. I probably would have called if it were a number 2 accident and the office wasn't going to call for me. However, I would have NOT cleaned the underpants like Lynette suggests. That seems way beyond what a teacher should have to do.
     
  11. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    May 16, 2015

    OK, fine, she's mad you didn't call. But you "should not have sent home the poopy clothes"? Um.. was she expecting you to take them home and launder them? What did she expect?
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 16, 2015

    So glad I don't teach elementary. You guys do such a difficult job.
     
  13. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 16, 2015

    You did nothing wrong.

    Is the child non-verbal? Couldn't he have told his mom he had an accident?

    As for getting the "large bits off" no. Feces are a biohazard and teachers should not have to physically handle it. Clothes should be double-bagged and sent home as is.
     
  14. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    May 17, 2015

    I agree.

    I would have called, but I also think the fact that you didn't isn't such a big deal. Like you said, a mistake.
     
  15. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    May 17, 2015

    I agree, teachers are not to be handling feces. Everything gets double bagged and sent home. We don't "dump the chunks" as a former administrator said it.

    I agree, it was a mistake. As a mom, I may have called to check in or ask questions, but then I would have moved on. Teachers have so many things to remember during the day.
     
  16. allyv

    allyv Rookie

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    May 18, 2015

    That's strange. When my niece was in child care, we got her soiled clothes sent home in a baggie all the time. We just laughed every time we saw it because it was never a big deal. Kids make mistakes. Teachers make mistakes. And in this case, the principal also made a mistake. They're obviously just uptight people. Not everyone is that way.
     
  17. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 18, 2015

    Kids have bathroom accidents. They change clothes & put their dirty clothes in a plastic bag to take home & be laundered. They do it, not me. Calls are made if they need to go commando or don't have clean clothes or if they can't clean themselves up. The change of clothes should be a clue to the parent that their child had an accident. I would always try to let the parent know via email or at pick up.
     
  18. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 18, 2015

    Wow, just have to pipe in from secondary-land and say...your bad days make mine look like a cakewalk in comparison! At the end of the day, no matter what happens, I am not made to feel guilty over poopy pants.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Where did you get clothes for him?

    If they were from your "stash" of kids clothing, I would apologize to the principal really nice again tomorrow and then give him the bill.

    Also, let this be a BIG sign, your principal will sell you down the river quick, make a mental note, cross your t's and dot your i's. Don't expect him to back you up in the face of a future parent issue.
     
  20. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2015

    I've taught for 32 years, most of it in kindergarten. Kids have bathroom accidents all the time, and many times, they don't even let you know they have to go. I jot a quick note saying, "Billy Bob had a bathroom accident at (whatever time) as we were lining up to go home, and he didn't tell me he had to go. Please have a change of clothes for him at school at all times, per kindergarten policy. I'm sorry there wasn't time for him to change clothes." Usually I'm writing this as we're walking to the bus. The mom overreacted, probably out of embarrassment, and the principal didn't handle it well. I'm sorry you experienced that.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 19, 2015

    This sounds like a totally reasonable response to this type of situation.

    In related news, no way am I cleaning poop out of clothing, unless the clothing belongs to someone I'm related to. I'm not down with the biohazard stuff. I am willing to go above and beyond in many aspects of my job, but not when it comes to poop. That's not in my pay grade.
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 19, 2015

    Ok, so my thoughts might not be popular, but I feel the need to chime in from the parent side.

    FTR, I totally agree with teachers not handling biohazards. I get it. I wouldn’t have wanted to at any point in my teaching career. Ever. But, I do think it’s not excusable to not write a note, send a text or email, or make a call. You could have called at 7:30 after your event. That might have saved your principal from getting involved anyway. As Lynette said, it’s really not ok to just say I made a mistake (after someone calls you on it). AAMR-apologize, acknowledge, make it right, and recommit to doing better.

    I’m coming at this as a parent. She opens Billy’s backpack and is met with a bag full of poop. No note, no call, maybe Billy is able to tell what happened and maybe not, maybe he’s crying, maybe he’s embarrassed, maybe he’s elaborating. And mama bear comes out. I would be seriously irritated.

    Everyone agrees that dealing with poop is not something teachers should deal with-so you send it in a kindergartner’s bookbag? What if he had food in there? What about his stuff? What if the bag came open? What if he decided to get it out on the bus? Or at daycare?

    Why is it not ok for a teacher to handle biohazard, but it is ok for a kindergartner to do so? I take back what I said before-I wouldn’t be irritated, I’d be pis$ed.

    And the principal…did he handle the situation correctly? Maybe, maybe not. From his side…he gets to work and has to field an email from an angry mama bear with a bag full of poop. Blind. My principal always told his staff, I will back you til kingdom come, if you let me know what’s going on. He didn’t like surprises, and I imagine your principal was the same. A poop email is not a great way to start a day, and if it was triggered by something that could have been easily avoided, I can see how he would come down hard on you. He’s having to be dragged into a poopy situation due to your error. As you know, the proverbial poop runs downhill. I don’t think it’s appropriate to vilify this principal when he was reacting to a situation totally caused by one of his teachers. Sorry, but in my eyes, and obviously his too, you were wrong.

    Then you call after the fact and apologize? I wouldn’t have taken it well either. Just because someone wants to apologize doesn’t mean to recipient has to be happy about that. I’m glad apologizing makes you feel better, but it doesn’t really change the situation.

    And as if I haven’t pis$ed off enough people already, I have to say…the statement that teachers have too much to remember or do during a day is a load of, um, poop. I get it, I do. I’ve been there, and yes, teachers do have a lot on their plate. It’s hard. But so is every other job out there. I juggle so many different balls during a day my head is spinning by 5:00. I have a lot of tasks and I work with a lot of people on any given day. If I drop one of those balls, you can bet there will be a coworker or student on the phone with me wanting to know why in an instant. My boss expects a lot out of me-if she has something else for me to do I can’t just use the excuse that I already have too many things to do. I find a way to manage and get the job done. And if I walked in to my house after a long day at work, dealing with my own stress and issues, and opened my kid’s bookbag with a bag full of poop with no call or note…there would be a reaction. It would be knee jerk, and it probably wouldn’t be pretty.

    I know this isn’t the nice way to respond here…but I think it’s important to view this from other perspectives. #sorrynotsorry
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 19, 2015

    Your P's an a-hole. Regarding when he said YOU should have inspected and bagged it, what is there to inspect? Pooh is pooh, what does he want you to inspect...for parasites under the microscope or something & then provide a typed report on it?! Or perhaps give it a sniff to see if he has good eating habits. :rolleyes::mad:

    If they never stated this procedure about how the teacher's supposed to inspect & bag soiled clothing, what's wrong with having the kid put it in the bag while you perhaps hold the bag open?
     
  24. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    kcjo13, I see your point, I do, and I did consider it from a parent's perspective as well. However, I still respectfully disagree. This is a kindergarten student. It's not outside the realm of possibilities that a child this age will have accidents from time to time. If I had a kid who came home with the bag in his backpack, I would just assume he had an accident and move on. What more is the teacher going to tell me? Sure, she can confirm it, but it's not like she will really tell me something I didn't already know. My opinion might change if this child were much older, say in fourth grade, as that's quite unusual.

    For me, it's not that teacher's have too many things to do and remember (although, they do, and not EVERY job requires as much, even if your current job does). Rather, it's just that, in my opinion, making the phone call may be polite, but it's unnecessary. I know you and others will disagree with my perspective, but it is what it is. Clearly, there are a lot of opinions on this issue, but there is no clear right or wrong answer.

    Also, if the OP didn't think that this was an issue to begin with, I'm not sure why she would have even told her principal about it ahead of time. I agree with you that a teacher should tell a principal in advance when an issue arises, but I'm not sure that the teacher, in this situation, saw it as something that she needed required a defense and, therefore, needed to be shared with the principal. Otherwise, I'm sure she would have done so.
     
  25. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Fair enough bella! I just feel like rarely can you err on the side of too much communication. I concede that a call might be over kill, but a quickly scrawled note saying "Accident in the bus line-please send clean clothes" would have appeased mama. Then a quick "Hey Mr. P, Billy had a messy accident today, just FYI. I sent his clothes home with a note."

    I'm not looking right now, but I seem to remember the OP was in year 2-much of this is just lack of experience. Knowing when to hold em, and when to fold em, so to speak.

    About too many things to do...I was responding to several in this thread (and really, a lot of other threads) where it seems that sometimes, some teachers exude the attitude of "my job is harder than your job". All jobs have challenges, from stay-at-home mom to CEO.
     
  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Definitely agree with you on communication, kcjo13! I don't think you can ever communicate too much. Although, my principal wouldn't know what to do if he was told every time a student had an accident. In a school of almost 800 students, there are way too many accidents to inform the principal of each one. He'd only want to know if it became an issue, like in the OP's situation, or if it was a regular occurrence for a particular student. I do think a note home is good practice but not absolutely necessary.
     
  27. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Lesson learned. I always call when a child has an accident. It's always better to get to the parents before they come to you. Now you know!
     
  28. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    May 22, 2015

    Just my opinion...

    As a parent:

    I would not expect for the clothes to be cleaned. Perhaps maybe big pieces put into the toilet, but nothing more. Clothes would come home with my child. A note would be nice only because I sometimes forget to open backpacks. Old lunch kits are bad enough. Imagine poop! With that said, if the teacher forgot to mention it, I wouldn't be irrate. It happens. I wouldn't phone the P. This
    is a parent/teacher discussion.

    As a teacher:

    Teachers are not responsible for cleaning clothes. If an accident happens, the child changes and soiled items are sent home. If this happens, I am not even sure how the teacher can leave the classroom with the other children unattended to clean soiled pants? Leaving a class of Kindies alone is not safe as it is.

    It's easy to get sidetracked and mistakes happen.

    Lesson:

    Some parents can be difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, one parent can emotionally bring us down. You know to contact her now with things that happen in class.

    I am wondering if during Meet the Teacher Night or interviews, there can be a section written up on bathroom accident procedures. Wording can be something like: If an accident occurs, child will be changed into fresh clothes. Soiled items will be sent home and if time permits, a phone call will be made. Just a thought... You get the idea! :) I am finding that procedures really need to be spelled out these days. Sad.

    Chin up! It happens!
     
  29. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I am a teacher of six year olds. I have a student that has pooped his pants twice last week and once this week. I sent him home Wednesday with poopy pants because he would not admit it. Since he joined my class in March, he has had over seven accidents. I have or had the office call home every time but Wednesday. Should I have Wednesday? Probably, but the parents make excuses and he would never admit he did it. And it was right at dismissal time--and mom picks him up. Is it easy for someone to judge or second guess me? Of course, but get over it. Kids have accidents. Adults make mistakes. Sometimes they happen together. Just realize now that this mother needs to know everything. So send a note home about everything.
     
  30. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2015

    kcjo, what do you think she should have done with the dirty clothes, if she shouldn't have sent them in the bookbag?
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Where did the OP say she put the soiled clothing in his book bag? She said:

    I assume she found a plastic bag or garbage bag. Now she didn't say how she sealed it up (tied up tightly in a knot or two, etc.), which I would have done when I posted my other post. In fact, I would have double bagged & double-knotted it. Now if the kid came home w/ the bag already in his hand or he stuffed the bag in his backpack, I guess we'll never know.
     
  32. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2015

    I guess I was just referring to kc's comment that a kindergartner shouldn't be handling it...I assumed that she was referring to the plastic bag, whether carried or put in the backpack.
     
  33. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 22, 2015

    I don't know, to be honest. I guess my comment was in reference to a lot of posts saying teachers shouldn't have to handle soiled clothes-my question was more if teachers shouldn't have to, how can they expect a kindergartner to properly do so. Does that make sense?

    I know, the only real way to handle it is in a sealed bag, which I'm assuming the OP did. Let's hope it wasn't in a grocery sack or something...
     
  34. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm surprised the kindergarten team of teachers (knowing that accidents still happen at this age) don't talk about & come to a consensus about how they handle this situation & make sure this issue is included in the back-to-school letter to ALL parents at the beginning of the year stating that if this happens, what exactly is done with the clothes, whether a note/call/email is sent, etc., so everyone (esp parents) know what to expect.

    Do these schools not talk about this kind of thing? Guess not.
     
  35. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 22, 2015

    They probably do. We always did.
     

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