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Old 04-28-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
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Parent Teacher relationship problem

First of all, I would like to say that this is going to be fun having the shoe on the other foot for a change! Anywho, I am having a problem with my 8 year old son's second grade teacher. At the beginning of the year, everything went great. There were no problems at all, my son never complained, looked forward to going to school, had a lot of friends, and was really just your very average 2nd grader. I would go to conferences and hear how he was doing just fine and there were no problems and I took everything at face value and assumed all was well.

About 3 months ago, my son started comming home complaining that he was missing recesses, his attitude changed, he didn't want to go to school in the morning anymore, and in general was not happy unless he was home with me. So I went in to talk with his teacher who said he had been a little distracted lately and had not been getting all of his work done in class, so she was keeping him in from recess to complete his work. First of all, why was I never told of any of this, and second......so for the last few weeks, he's there have been many days where in a 7 hour period, my son is not allowed to go outside to play. I'm sorry, I have a problem with this. So, I took away the video games for good.....byebye. I started encouraging more reading, more outdoor activity, and more discipline at home. I just felt like if we could get his attention now, we could possibly bypass a whole lot of drama in the future.....plus...none of these changes hurt anything, they were great for all my kids.

After I made these changes, I noticed a complete difference in his focus around the house, so I went to the school to see how he was doing. She said he was doing fine, and again, I took her at her word. Then his report card came.....IT WAS TERRIBLE! So I went back to the school, and his teacher refused to talk to me, said I needed to schedule an appointment with her if I wanted to discuss this anyfurther. So I did, and we talked, this time with a school counseler present. The teacher again said that everything was really fine, his focus was much better, but that he was only missing recess's now because he had missed some school because of a very bad cold and had to make up some tests. I told her he needs his recess time, and that she can cut out art, or music, but that it's unfair to expect him to retain interest and pay attention throughout the day if he never gets a chance to wiggle! She said she agreed. This was last friday, jump forward to yesterday. She came running down the hall after me when I picked my son up from school and told me that he was very bad that day. She said he was playing pretend guns at recess, and that he also told her that he had a secret but that I told him not to tell because I said she would get to cocky. I did say this....and I felt bad. The day she told me she wouldn't takl to me unless I made an appointment, i got very upset and in the car, on the way home, I said,"I pay taxes to this district, I will talk to who I want, when I want and I dare her to say I cant." I said this in front of my son who said he was going to tell his teacher that she couldn't tell me what to do. So rather then explain to my son I was just blowing off hot air, I told him that we should just keep it a secret and we shouldn't tell her because we dont want her to get too cocky. I understand I shouldn't have said it, especially in front of my son, so that night, I made him compose an appology letter to her for playing pretend soldier on the playground, and for saying what he said to her. But then My son told me she took his recess away for forgetting his homework folder. This wasnt his fault, I took his folder out of his back pack to put a note in it for his teacher about a field trip and then I forgot to put it back in. Also, he told me about a boy who was picking on him, who has been picking on him for almost 2 years now. So I wrote his teacher an appology letter as well, but then I included these issues. Not to mention that we discussed taking his recesse's away. She took them all away yesterday and the mistake wasn't even his. I also addressed the fact that while she talks to me about what's going on in the hall with hundreds of students and parents passing by, but refuses to see me without an appointment and I would really appreciate it if she would respect my right to privacy and at least take me back to her room if something needs to be discussed. I also addressed the boy that is picking on my son and asked her to please intervene.

Today, she punished my son yet again, for forgetting his homework YESTERDAY.....after reading the letter mind you. Then, she never dealt with the boy who even slapped my child accross the face. And, when my son's pencil was stolen, and he went to talk to her about it, she told him,"tough bananas, you should have kept a more careful eye on it." I picked my son up today and he was sobbing. So I went back to talk to her.,........again. She told me that she makes the rules, everyone has to follow them and she refuses to make exceptions. I told her that nobody enforced the rules when my kid is being daily ridiculed, and now slapped. She said it's my sons responsibility to make the situation known, not hers to find it. So I told her," I'm leaving, my son will not be back in this class." And she yelled at me and said,"good luck honey!".

I hate this woman........but she's my sons teacher. I meant it, I'm not sending him back there. But how do I deal with this effectively, calmly, and rationally without flying off the handle and making an *** out of myself? Please help!

Melissa

 
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

justme: You need to get the principal involved. Start at that level and if you don't get any satisfaction, go to the school committee and then to the superintendent if needed.
You can ask for your son to be moved to another class. You're right, you are a tax payer and you pay her salary!!! You're HER boss! It's your child and you have a right to ask what's going on. It's too bad that it's an inconvenience for her.

It's not healthy for your son with all this going on. It's going to cause problems with his grades. He also shouldn't be being denied recess. Being a boy, it's even more crucial for him to have the recess. He needs an outlet and needs a break. He's only going to resent her if she disciplines him like this. If he's got work to catch up on then she needs to work out a time that he can do it. At our school they have these AE classes - Academic Enrichment - it's the new name for study hall!! That's the time make-up work can be done.

It's frustrating for sure. It's almost like she's bullying him. Stand your ground and call the principal and get it taken care of. Good luck.

 
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

Hey thanks. You know, what really gets me in all of this on top of everything else, is that never has she once attempted to call me. If I didn't ask my son how his day was, and go to seek her out, I would never have known that any of this was going on. Is that normal? I mean, if I were a teacher, and a child started to fall so far behind that out of 30 school days, he only had 10 where he was allowed recess, I would be calling the parents, or at least sending home a note. I am not just upset about her blatent disreguard for my son's right to be treated fairly, but also that she has never told me when a problem is going on. And then, when I seek her out to talk, she's all smiles and tells me it's no big deal really. Well it's a big deal to me! But thanks. I will call the principal in the morning.

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

it's absolutely time to take this up a notch.....the principal, school board, or whoever.....this womans behavior is terrible

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

Hey Melissa...
Wow,
I'd feel the same way. It sounds to me the teacher has a power trip going on. yes, teachers are allowed to make the rules, however, they also are to be accountable to parents to ensure the kids are happy and safe!
If I was you, I would schedule a meeting with the principal and the teacher together. Bring in your written accounts of missed recesses, bullying, and your attempts to communicate with her. Present all of that at the meeting. With the principal present, the teacher will have to follow through with a plan.
Can he transfer to another classroom, or is this the only teacher for his grade? Then again, many school wont allow that until you meet with the principal.
Sorry to hear all this.. I know that it always broke my heart when my daughter would come home from school upset.
And I agree that kids need reccess. There are other ways to change behavior...kids need their physical outlet.

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

I agree that you need to talk to the principal. When two people are having issues with each other it is always good to get a 3rd party involved to help resolve it. It will also let the teacher know that you won't just stand aside while she treats your son poorly.

The punishment at my daughter's school is also to stay in at recess. I think that this is a common first line of punishment because it is easy for the teacher to administer and motivational to the kids. But, if it is having to be done every day then something is wrong with that and the issue needs to be delt with in a different way.

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:35 PM   #7
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

Honestly, I don't see anything too alarming in the teacher's conduct. Teachers have a hard job. It sounds like she's setting rules and enforcing them. And this idea that you're somehow (indirectly) "her boss" is not the right way to approach the situation. Can you imagine if 30 kids' parents thought and acted that way?

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

I could see it if the rules were fair and everybody has been treated the same, but my son was punished.....twice....for something he didn't even do. I called the principal this morning, and she had me come in early this afternoon to talk. I told her what had happened and she felt that the teachers behavior was way out of line. She agreed that the teacher needs to be available for discussion, as well as follow through with the things she says she would do. She said it was absolutely uncalled for that she would dismiss my son's need for a pencil and for telling him tough banana's, and she agreed that making my son miss this many recesses was uncalled for as well. Especially considering that I am willing to work with the system and would have gladly scheduled before or after school time for him to make up the test. In addition, it was aggreed that punishment for something that wasn't my sons fault was way out of line. So she pulled my son from her class until a further review was done to see what discipline, and where my son's best interest lay. I just received a phone call about an hour ago asking my permission to meet with the teacher, guidance councelor, as well as the principal. Apparantly the teacher has some "appologies" to make and the guidance councelor would like to talk to me about my "options" from here for the next 6 weeks until school is out, and the principal wants to be there to oversee everything. But the principal feels at this point that my son absolutely does not need to be in her class and that the fault is hers. Soooooooooooo, score one for the home team! I'm thankful that I stayed calm and didn't go in there all upset. I even made a list of topics I wanted to cover so I wouldnt lose focus! lol. So wish me luck at the big "meeting" tomorrow!
Melissa

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

Way to go! I'm glad the principal heard you out. If we don't stand up for our kids who will? Good luck with the meeting tomorrow.. let us know how it goes!

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:50 AM   #10
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

justme30: Good luck with your meeting. Keep us posted. It will be a good lesson for anyone who has kids in school. It seems like you've got a good principal there. It might be the end of the year for your son, but someone else will be starting new with the teacher next year. She needs a wake up call for the future if she wants to keep her job.

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:05 PM   #11
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

OMG!!!! This went sooooooooooo bad today. I went to the meeting, and I really expected some sort of appology, or some kind change. NOPE! My son's teacher sat there and straight faced lied! She said that I came into the school and started yelling and screaming at her.....which I NEVER did. Then the principal told me I had no right to do it. I called her a liar and said I never did it and then they told me there was no reason to be so disrespectful and start calling names. So I stood up and told them there was no way I was going to sit there and be stiff armed into allowing my child to continue in class with a woman who cannot tell the truth. I repeated my earlier story and then she called me a liar! So I stood up and I walked out, the principal tried to call me back, I said no. My son will not be returning there this year and I later got a phone call, they will be sending the rest of the years curriculum home so he can finish with me. I am sooooooooooo angry. The nerve of this woman to sit there, look everyone in the eye, and lie! And she got away with it! I am in shock. This is so wrong for so many reasons and Im afraid I have no further place to go with it. I am going to attempt to call the super intendant or get the school board involved, but I'm not sure what good it will do. This was very very bad, and the sad part is, my son is the one who really got the punnishment here. I cant say as anything I have done has helped him any, other then he doesn't have to see her again, but he also doesn't get to see his friends, go on field trips, or anything else. I am furious. I tell you what, I would like to go in there and show her what yelling and screaming is. And to think I soooooo absolutely and completely wanted to do this in a calm fashion, and be responsible, honest, and sincere. I was, and it didn't matter. She lied and I got the blame. Ugh!

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:44 PM   #12
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

Mel that's horrible. Did they ask you not to come back or was that your personal decision for you and your son?

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:18 PM   #13
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

You might want to consider consulting a lawyer at this point. I know a woman whose son was being harassed and singled out by his teacher and her lawyer ended up getting the principal, the teacher, and some other people fired because of how they treated the boy. He is a special needs kid, too, so they were in some deep doo doo for treating him that way!

I would get a lawyer. It looks like you're going to have to escalate this in order to resolve it, unfortunately.

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:31 PM   #14
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

It was my personal decision to pull him out. They all really wanted me to leave him in. But there is no way I was going to put my son back in that woman's room. To be honest, I dont think the teacher really wanted him back, or she would have appologized instead of lying. I dont think she wanted him back at all. Anywho, I think I will definately consider a lawyer. The only prob with all of this is......we live in a very....VERY small town. The kind that doesn't even have a stoplight. We are talking, one main street that has a grocer, a pharmacy, a school, a bank, and a bar......that's it. I dont even think there are 300 people total living there and the school is a k-12...all under one building. I could be setting him up for even more prejudice down the road. If I got a lawyer and won, I think everyone woud mind their p's and q's after that. But if I lossed, the backlash could be devestating to my child in future years to come I'm afraid.

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:46 PM   #15
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Re: Parent Teacher relationship problem

well, I don't think you did everything right in this situation, but the teacher did not handle this the way she should have. She should have made more contact with you, she should have seen you when you wanted to meet with her. It is her classroom, and if it is her policy to keep children in for recess when they forget homework or whatever, then honestly she is entitled to do that. I'm sure that when you had that altercation in the hallway when you said your son wasn't going back and she said the "good luck honey" and all that, there was wrong on both sides, but she seized hold of everything you did wrong and turned the whole story based on that. Of course she would do that--she has her job to save! It's wrong, but predictable.

You are in a sticky situation, bc this is the only public school your son will ever attend unless you move...so you might want to write down exactly what happened in a polite letter to the principal, possibly also sending a copy to the superintendent. State facts only, not your opinions and not using "passionate" language--not describing the events as if you're in the heat of the moment. Apologize for the things you did that were wrong. Say that you would like to settle the issue and let everything cool off--perhaps home school your son for the rest of 2nd grade and try him back next year? You might have to swallow your pride a little bit and they probably won't see things your way. They might not ever believe you either. You know they were wrong, but you might have to just suck it up for the good of your child's education.

 
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