When you have a fantastic kid and a not so fantastic parent. I need advice.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by PEteacher07, Nov 22, 2015.

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Should I attempt to contact the father?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Nov 22, 2015

    This is on a personal note for me. I am a PE teacher, but I am also a coach outside of school. I had an athlete a couple of years ago that I enjoyed coaching. He was a great leader on the team and the best player because he grew up playing with his dad and had an understanding of the game beyond the average 12 year old. The other boys on the team liked him too. I always rotate kids through playing time so even though he was the strongest player, there were times I took him out of the game. He never cared and said he wanted to be a good teammate. The young man aged out of my team so he couldn't play last year, but now my team is moving up another age division and he could play with us again.

    The issue is his dad. His dad is not the best person. He had the entitled mindset that because we wanted his son to play with us, that he should get a free ride and not pay. We are a club and you pay dues to play and I get paid to coach. This is not a charity, it is a business and we do fundraising and have other opportunities to help cover the fees. His parents did none of the fundraising and paid little towards his dues. I picked the boy up for practices and tourney's at his house if needed. His dad wasn't a supportive parent in the stands and would get mad if his son wasn't playing his best and holler at him. He was not a good representative of what a parent in our organization should be. We want our parents to support their players and let the coaches do the coaching.

    Fast forward 2 years to now and he could play with us again. We want to make a run at the national tournament this summer which we have never done before. My club director messaged the dad about his boy playing for us again. She knows this kid is something special but the dad hasn't responded. He is prideful and would never apologize or own up to anything. This young man could get an athletic scholarship in college. All the coaches in our organization know him and all agree. Our sport isn't popular in our part of the country and being able to go to out of town tourney's will get him seen.

    I want to reach out to the dad because I don't want to give up on his kid. He got a new job selling cars recently should ask the dealership to sponsor the child. The teacher side of me says I would donate part of my coaching salary to help cover part of his fees because I give my time and resources to my students at school all the time. The teacher side of me says to offer to pick him up and take him to the practices and tourneys because his dad is not a nice person and his son should not be denied the opportunity to play because of it. I know that many of you as teachers have gone out of your way to help your students because it's what we do.

    I don't know to do and I am asking for advice because I am emotionally invested this group and I believe in them and their abilities. It's not just about the extra income for me and it never has been. But, I may need to be told that I have to let go of this athlete. It's just hard because as an educator and coach, I don't want to because I want to win and first and foremost, this boy is a good kid.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 22, 2015

    It sounds to me like you're concerned about him playing for you because he'd make your team better, not because you want what's best for him. Would you be making the same offers to pick up/drop off, pay his own fees, etc., if he were a poor player? If not, you need to step aside. If so... you should probably still step aside. I think you're taking it too personally now.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2015

    Let it go. The kid/family know that you are invested in the kid succeeding but getting overly involved in the family dynamics is inappropriate.
     
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  5. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Nov 22, 2015

    Actually, yes I would pick up other players and I have. I have picked up kids for practices and tournaments if their parents were working and couldn't get them there. The parents have my phone number and can call me. My husband and I don't have children of our own and so I invest that time in my kids at school and my athletes. I go to their basketball/soccer/baseball matches if they invite me. I have after school exercise programs where kids are walking and running 1 1/2-3 miles once a week because I want my students moving instead of sitting in front of a tv. I hand out race forms for running so my students know what is going on in our community and will show up and cheer them on! My after school jump rope team is the only one in our area and performs all over the city. I don't get paid for any of my after school programs but I don't mind. I don't have hundreds of papers to grade and enter or complex lesson plans to create and present. So I use my extra time in other ways.

    As far as money goes, I have told my club director in the past that I would forego any new coaches clothing and pass those savings onto my players to lower their dues. I have enough clothing, sweat suits, shoes, etc. I don't need anymore :)
     
  6. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Nov 22, 2015

    You are right in getting involved in family dynamics would be wrong which is why I have not done so and would not do. That would definitely be crossing boundaries.
     
  7. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Nov 22, 2015

    It is hard to see that special spark in a child and feel like you aren't doing all that you can. However you already go above and beyond for your students and athletes and your club has extended the invite which is all you should do. Your not penalizing the athlete by not paying his fees, his father is. The boy can still be seen if he plays competitively in high school and if he practices and has true talent that won't disappear before then just because he forgoes a year on an expensive travel team.
    Just my 2¢ and I'm no athlete
     
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  8. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Nov 22, 2015

    It is hard to see that spark. I talked to my husband about it for a while and he knows me so well. He said that he knows that if I let him go that I'll feel like I have given up on him. And he's right. But I guess I have to accept that I can't help this kid succeed if his parent won't let me. And unfortunately, volleyball is not a competitive sport for boys in high school so the only chance he's got to play with boys his own age is with us. If his dad contacts us, we will go from there. If not, I guess it won't happen.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2015

    I guess I'm in the minority thinking that you should reach out to this father on behalf of this student. My own father has been a wrestling coach since I was a toddler and continues volunteering his time well into his retirement. He laid out a lot of his own time and money over the decades for his kids, many of whom I consider honorary big brothers. It isn't for the team glory, but for the individual kids on that team, potentially including that young man who has had your heart for many years. Sometimes you find a kid who just screams out for coaching and mentoring. Sometimes that kid's parents are less than agreeable. I can name specific wrestlers and their parents who drove my dad nuts but who still got his full effort as a coach. He did everything he could for them because he loved it, and he still does, well into his late 60s.
     
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  10. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2015

    Thank you for your input. Your dad sounds like a great man who truly believes in what he is doing. I view this sport as this young man's way out of here. He has a good understanding of it because even at 14, he has been playing most of his life. He's also smart and respectful. Probably could get an academic scholarship too. He's any coaches dream athlete because he is such a great team player and likable.

    My club director said she sent the dad a Facebook message and he never responded. Would you want to show your face to the organization that you wronged the first time around? But, we wanted to give them a second chance for the boy's sake. I guess at this point I wouldn't know how to approach him if he didn't respond to her. I had a better relationship with the dad than the club director, but it's because she kind of had to be the "bad guy" when it came to the financial part of it.
     
  11. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Nov 24, 2015

    It sounds to me like you already know what you want to do and you just want someone to say that it's ok. It is ok to reach out to this family, just don't feel like your being a bad person if you don't. Feel free to send the father a card with a message about how you would like the child to be a part of your team and how you don't want money to be an issue since you feel like he deserves an opportunity to play and how you think it would be detrimental to him tone denied that chance. Don't be surprised though if you do t get a response. There are a lot of jerks out there that think it's totally justified to punish there children to save their own pride.

    Side note: it really is a bummer that the schools in your district don't have competitive volley ball. Where I live they have competitive volleyball in high school and even in the middle school. I think I sometimes forget that other schools don't have the same opportunities that my local schools do-but then I should remeber that that is why we live here even though I can't get job in the district and have to commute 27 miles one way to find a job.
     
  12. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2015

    We have volleyball for girls. We just don't for boys. People in our area assume that it's a girls sport. We are working hard to try to change the mindset.

    And no I haven't made up my mind. I'm very torn and I keep thinking that I need to back off and let the chips fall where they may. But I also care about the child and truly want was is best for him.
     

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