Was this something I should have gotten in trouble for?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bewlove, May 25, 2014.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    May 25, 2014

    Hey, everyone! I was reflecting on a situation that happened a while ago where I got reprimanded at work. I was talking to my mother in law about it, and she was saying that she probably would have gotten in trouble if she had said what I'd said at her job. But, as I reflected on the situation, I still don't feel that I did anything wrong in this situation. As a new teacher this fall, I'm trying to prepare for dealing with parents, so I want to be sure that I know how to handle them correctly.

    I was probably 20 at the time of this incident (working at a before/after school program). My kids in my group had all been mean to each other and bullying, so I finally sat them all down and had a talk with them all. One of my kids made a snide comment about another little girl in my group, which hurt her feelings and she began to cry (he did get in trouble for his comment). Of course, as she is crying, her mom comes to pick up and wants to know what happened.

    I calmly explained that there had been a lot of bullying going on in my group the last couple of days, and that I was finally frustrated with it and sat all my kids down to talk to them, during which the comment was made. I assured her that the student who made the comment had been reprimanded and it wouldn't happen again. All was well.

    As soon as the parent left, my boss turned to me and said that I should never tell a parent that I'm "frustrated" and that it makes it sound like I don't have control. Now, it's two years later, and I still don't feel like I should have been fussed at for saying that! But my MIL even agrees....I know it was probably a poor choice of words, but it wasn't like I said I was furious at all my kids or anything. I remember simply saying that I was "frustrated with their behavior".

    So, teachers....what do you think? Was this reprimand worthy?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2014

    Formal reprimand? No. A conversation? Maybe.

    I think that using words like "frustrated" can imply a loss or lack of control, and that's not what parents want to hear about. If I were the parent, I'd want to know that you were handling bullying issues right away and appropriately, not just once things started to get out of hand.
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    May 26, 2014

    That's an incredibly inane thing to fuss over! I tell parents all the time that I'm frustrated by their child's lack of effort, lack of participation, attitude, etc. It's a way of showing displeasure without saying you're mad at someone/something. In no way does that indicate a loss of control.

    Seriously, it's stupid that you were even reprimanded for it. I wouldn't give it another thought.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 26, 2014

    I wouldn't call your boss's comment a reprimand. If anything, it could just be considered "friendly advice" depending on the tone.

    With that said, it's always good to try and avoid comments like the one you made to the parent. There were probably better ways to phrase it. However, we've all been there. I've probably said things this year far more worthy of causing me to have to put my foot in my mouth than what you said.

    As teachers, we all say stuff where we think afterwards "Did I really say that?"

    Then we just try harder not to say those things all the time.
     
  6. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    May 26, 2014

    Why? What's there to try? What's wrong with "I'm frustrated that the children see nothing wrong with bullying each other so I decided it was time for a sit down"? Frustrated is a perfectly acceptable thing for an adult to be.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 26, 2014

    I don't think "frustrated" implies a lack of control at all. Heck, I tell my students quite often that I want them to struggle, even get a little frustrated, when they're trying to figure out answers to their chemistry problems.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    May 26, 2014

    It's not a word I would see myself using in that situation but I don't think there's really anything wrong with it.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 26, 2014

    I think the use of that word was perfectly acceptable in the context you used it.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 26, 2014

    I agree with this completely. I will add that you were giving the reason for sitting them down. The reason you gave was your frustration with their behavior as opposed to using a different method to try to stop the behaviors that weren't responding to your previous attempts.

    I see nothing wrong with what the principal said. I also don't see it as much of a reprimand. Sounds rather calm to me and good advice.
     
  11. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    May 28, 2014

    :yeahthat:
     
  12. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    May 28, 2014

    I agree that it sounds like advice versus a reprimand; this is coming from someone that's been reprimanded.

    If it were me, I would not use the term "frustrated" when dealing with parents. My experience has taught me to use other words to convey my message.

    I might have said something like, "Over the last couple of days, some of the children have been experiencing difficulty getting along. I decided further intervention was needed and had a class meeting...."

    I will also add that this situation is relatively minor. I wouldn't worry about it.
     

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