Why is it my responsibility?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by txmomteacher2, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Sep 30, 2016

    Just a vent here!!! So I have a student who has some issues. Parent is either in denial or just doesn't know any better. I know they have other kids so she knows what a "normal" kid should be doing at 5. He barely speaks. He can't hold a pencil, He stares off into space, He can't remember a simple command long enough to do what I ask him to do. And the most important thing is he is having a hard time with using the restroom. In six weeks he has an accident 6 times, three times this week alone. Twice yesterday. The nurse talked to her about maybe he has an UTI or something. So this morning she send me a long text about how I should be taking better care of her son. Then the conversation went to he is being bullied because he had a red mark on his head. He did fall down yesterday I checked him didn't see anything and went about our way. I barely have time to use the restroom myself how am I supposed to remember to ask a 5 year old???? And the bullying thing well I don't enough hours in the day to respond to that. Just a vent here!!!
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Think of it this way...
    If he got a diagnosed medical problem that required additional help in reminding him to use the restroom to help eliminate accidents, you would be responsible because you are the adult in charge.

    You can push the parent to get a medical note, but either way the end result will be the same. If you don't intervene, he will continue to have accidents. One way you will be more legally responsible for reminding him. The other way, you will be doing what the child needs.

    It isn't as if the child can just not go to school.

    I'm sorry this is an issue, but unfortunately it is sometimes part of being a teacher in a younger grade.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm guessing txteachermom is upset because rather than being rationally told what the kid needs, she is in the neutral state of assuming the kid knows what's up... and then being attacked for bullying and accidents.

    Taking further care of the kid may be part of the territory, but nasty texts shouldn't be. If Mom knew the kid is prone to accidents, that should have been brought up at the beginning of the school year so Teacher isn't being blindsided.

    And the bullying accusations? Good grief.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    There is nothing to say that the child had a lot of accidents before entering school. That is an assumption. A change in environment, especially a stressful one, can cause kids to start having accidents when they did not before just like a birth of a baby in a family can cause a child who has been completely potty trained for a long time to revert. So, if the child didn't have accidents before and now is having them and having them more frequently, it actually is a stronger indication that there is something in the environment that is triggering the child. I am not pointing fingers or indicating wrongdoing. People can have problems with environments that no one else has problems with. Given that this student is described as having some not developmentally normal behaviors for the age, the environment might just be too much for him. So, you are assuming that mom doesn't indicate to school there is a problem based on the fact that the child now has accidents and the OP didn't like the conversation.

    What makes a text nasty?
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I did not take this to mean the teacher bullied him but the child was being bullied. That is entirely possible with a child who is not typically developing and then having accidents.
     
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I took it to mean that the mother assumed a red mark on a head meant bullying. Which the OP wasn't handling to satisfaction according to the mother.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Could be.

    I come from a district where if a child came home with a bump on the head and no documentation or call home there would be heck to pay even if the redness came a short while after. It has been that way for a very long, long time. OP would have been better off with the unnoticed bullying accusation than failure to report the fall that resulted in a mark on the head.
     
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  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    This hits the nail on the head. I am beyond frustrated with this parent. She has never once mentioned to me, the principal, or anyone in fact that he child might be delayed whatsoever. I totally get that she doesn't want to think that he son might have some issues. I have never been there so I don't know how she feels. I do know that I would want anything and everything to be done to help my child be the best he can be. He might not be a doctor material but with help he could be something. I mean really my hands are tied as to how much help I can give him because she didn't step up to the plate and realize that her son needs help. This is really sooooo much more than the restroom thing. But back to my original complaint. I guess I am just tired of it always always being the teachers fault for the child's issues at school. Why can't one time a parent say hey I didnt do my part of the job which was to teach my children some basic skills. Or hey I know you have other students in your class so let me take some responsibility and teach my child how to hold a pencil, go pee, or even just get my kids to school on time or even put my child in school. (we have to in our grade level almost 7 because parents didnt seem to think going to school was important)
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    That isn't true. RTI can start immediately since you recognize a problem. You can start documenting what you are doing to help the child. RTI allows help to be given. It isn't like years ago where schools could claim they can't do anything. They are now on the hook to start intervention when they see problems. Parental permission isn't required. You can also write a referral slip to assess for disabilities. The parent will have to give permission for testing, but RTI can continue.
     
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  11. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Yes you are correct RTI can start and we have. I just don't think you are getting my point. When in the heck are parents going to take responsibility to help their children. Not just this one. There are more kids than not going home to be put in front of the tv, ignored, or just plain abused. Then when their kid fails, gets into trouble, it is automatically OUR (the teacher's, school systems fault) I have 18 other students that I need to make sure they are getting what they need and guess what they aren't because I had to stop and take care of his issues. Just like the kids who can't behave in class. Why is that my fault? Again I am taking care of what a parent should have taught their child, to behave in class. My own 4 children were raised to respect the teacher, to be quiet in class so others could learn. Why can' others do the same?
     
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  12. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    As for a referral to be tested for disabilities, yes not until 2nd or 3rd grade in this district. Meanwhile I have to deal with him in kindergarten. That is a whole other issue i don't want to even get into here.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    You know that is illegal, right?
     
  14. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Well I am not the one in charge of who gets tested!
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Which is frustrating, I get. But if she truly doesn't suspect the kid has a delay, there's not much to do in that area. Often families depend on the school resources for spotting such.

    Again, I get it. There is such a spectrum between naturally helping a child who needs it par the course of life and IEP-level assistance. Where are you supposed to fall on this spectrum without the proper course? You obviously can't be modifying everything without reason. I get what you're saying.

    Without trying to wax political, I do have a personal beef with the expectation the public system do all and be all for kids. I think it throws off a certain balance in society. I truly do believe that the ideal should be parents teaching most of the basic (non-academic) skills with exceptions being just that, exceptions.

    Years back, a teacher in my grade had a student who was very rarely in class. Truancy officers visited often. The mother said it was too difficult to get her kid to school. Yet she blamed the school for her kid's failure to learn anything.

    There are just some SMH people out there.

    Ideally, yes, kindergartners should have mastery of the bathroom by the time they enter. (I believe in most places it's a requirement). Parents should not be shoving off "fixing" the kid to the school system.

    But in this case, your case, you only have power over yourself. If you truly feel you're being asked to go above and beyond what is reasonable without documentation and due process, bring it up. Otherwise, if it's reasonable then and there in the moment, even if it means jotting down some notes to bring up later, sometimes it just must be done.
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    It's ultimately illegal, but it's very common, at least in my experience, for schools to encourage a "wait and see" approach. Mostly because so much requires a two-years'-behind scenario.
     
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  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But the federal law is clear and court cases are clear that a district can no longer require a two year discrepancy to determine if a child has a disability. I believe we had that discussion here before.

    Common doesn't make it right and common doesn't help the student, the other kids in the class, or the teacher.
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But you are in charge of whether or not you fill out the proper referral form (and keep a copy for your records) which would be following the law.

    I get that you hate that kids are rude, chatty, don't have all the skills you think that all kids should have and become responsible for teaching them in an environment that was once designed to teach these skills but has changed to a more academic one. I do understand that frustration.
     
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  19. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Excellent point - - I'd add that it's unfair to both you and the child for a school to blithely disobey the law like this.

    ,
     
  20. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    I teach primary grades special education and I'm jumping in. All a parent needs to do to have a child tested for possible learning disabilities is to make the request, in writing, and have it date stamped. That starts the clock for the assessment process that gives a 60-day window for assessments to be completed after the parent permission form for assessment is returned. I teach grades 2 and 3 and kiddos who come to me from general ed. have experienced 2-3 years of failure, even with the kindest and most supportive of teachers, and we often have to rebuild them to be able to teach them. I'm blessed to have a classroom aide to help me with reminders like bathroom.

    For basic skills to avoid bathroom accidents, I do an announcement before each recess, "you have to go to the bathroom first before you play," and it cut down on the "I have to go to the bathroom" pleas returning from recess. You could also set an alarm on your cell phone, just for this kiddo, every 60 minutes, to send him in to pee. Yes, its a nuisance, but the time involved is essentially minimal and it cuts down on accidents. If it isn't a medical issue, a reward chart done regularly "I can take care of myself!" could give him increased confidence with a teeny prize at the end of the day.

    It is great that you are starting RTI now. Most of my kiddos were identified so early that they came through my district's special-needs preschool program. Our kindergarten teachers often readily spot the kiddos who may be headed my way within the first few weeks and they are already preparing for the first SSTs.

    The charts may be initially time consuming, but they become a regular part of the day and they are great for data collection. I have one going for a little guy in my class with "I can keep my hands to myself," because he whaps other kids. This child is diagnosed ADHD and has medication, but mom wasn't sure he needed it, so he gets it some days, not others, and I'm guessing she tries to cut pills in half. The happy face tree gets little annotations with time of day, etc. and I always try to stick something positive on there, even on the days he decides it's time to show the classroom his bottom half a dozen times. Other kids keep me accountable for filling out the charts- they like to make sure I do it, which genuinely helps.

    I'm not sure if I am rambling or if this is a help. I feel for general education teachers who have such a wide expanse of abilities and needs in one room.
     
  21. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Thank you for everyone's replies. I am having a really rough year with parents who seem to think it's my job to teach their kid EVERYTHING. I'm was just extremely frustrated the day I wrote this. This child is delayed and parents didn't seem to care or at least that was my perception. I have since had a conference with Mom and Dad and they aren't in as much denial as I first thought. I gave them some things to work on at home and they both seemed very willing to help. Now for the rest of my class. I have two kids who have been in school before and are both close to first grade age. Even though kinder is not required in our state our principal put them in kinder because they have NO skills. One of them has NO social skills as well so yes I will be teaching him EVERYTHING and that really does make me angry. I did my job at home before I sent my kids to school. I taught them how to behave in public, to use the restroom, to hold a pencil, the ABC's. There will be many more days of frustration this year I promise you. Hopefully I can keep sane.
     
  22. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Oct 12, 2016

    I understand and feel your frustration so much. I'm also a parent and remember fretting about making my girls school ready, and one of mine is in special education. Even she entered kindergarten with all letters and sounds. I've got a really low group this year, and having a child with low to no social skills is so much harder than low academic abilities. It can shut a classroom down. This year I've had to have the "we don't pee on trees in front of anybody, especially girls," talk more than once along with the "our shirts/pants stay on in the classroom," talk. These are the same boys who do the "hands are not for hitting" mantra several times a day.
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I think these parents have to work with you and get to the bottom of his "issues". It's good they aren't too much in denial but they have to realize that you have other students in the classroom besides their special snowflake. I really think some people don't think it's job to do anything with their children before they enter school and feel the teacher has some magic that will catch them up to the others who's parents weren't slugs the first 5 years of their lives.
     

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