Disrespectful teacher?


#1

My 11 year old sixth grader has a male spelling teacher. She was marked wrong on 4 words of her spelling packet… she had to break the words into syllables. We checked her work with our dictionary… she told him we looked them up in the dictionary… and he told her “Either you need new glasses, or a new dictionary.” She has worn glasses since first grade. I think this was inappropriate and hurtful of him to say… even if he claims he was just kidding around. I was ready to call the school, but calmed down, told her she was a smart girl, not to take it personally… and consider the source… He’s a jerk. Not a new behavior for him. I wonder if I should have brought out the mama bear claws, or better to let it slide.


#2

Let this one slide- if he keeps these things up though…

Make sure you keep the homework paper, and write down his comments, so if you need to go to the principal later, you have a record of what was done.


#3

The only caution I give you in bringing out the mama bear’s claws is that sometimes this makes the situation worse. The older kids get, the more freedom some teachers take in how they treat them and/or address them. This type of guy could make some sort of announcement like, “Okay class, I want everyone to remind me not to mention Sarah’s glasses because her mom told me it hurts her feelings. So if I make a joke, put my name on the board!” or something like that.

I remember in band class, during grade school, I was always taller than the boys until about 7th grade. He ordered sz small band shirts for all the girls and mediums for all the boys. Well, the small didn’t fit me correctly and showed off my navel–something my parents didn’t like for a fifth grader! I quietly and politely told him that the shirt didn’t fit, after trying it on, and asked that he order me a size medium. He seemed very put out by this and even asked me to show him that the shirt didn’t fit. I don’t know if he saw the shock on my face or what, but he quickly said nevermind, he didn’t need to see. My parents also made a phone call and requested he find a shirt that didn’t show my belly button to the world. A week or two went by and a town parade that we would be playing in was fastly approaching. I still didn’t have the new shirt. I asked him about it again and he got very annoyed. “Class,” he said," could you keep reminding me that Abby wants me to order her a sz medium band shirt because she doesn’t fit in a sz small?" Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was like the worst moment of my young life. Everyone stared at me. He didn’t give me the shirt until the day before the town parade, and even then he made the announcement: “Class, I finally ordered Abby the boy size! Let’s see if it fits her!” And then he threw it at me from across the room. (So nice.) I had to go to the bathroom and put on the shirt and pray it fit nicely. Which it did. But I still wonder what humiliation I would have had to endure had it not fit. I cried so much that year because he was just such a mean, unkind person who made me feel like a freak because I didn’t fit into the size small he determined all fifth grade girls should wear.

Soooo I’m just saying, pick your battles because some jerks will always be jerks.

However, had I informed my parents more about what was going on, they could have gotten a tad more involved in assuring he wasn’t able to pretend “just joking” didn’t count as being inappropriate.


#4

Thank you sooo much Abby for sharing that experience. It’s a rough age for these girls… and I dont want to make her life any more difficult with this guy. She says this is typical behavior for him.


#5

I have had several experiences like that. I got teased in basketball for being tall (go figure). I was really skinny and all of the other girls gave me the small shorts. I gave daisy duke a run for her money! Since the coach already didn’t like me, I just showed up earlier to get a larger size. It worked out much better after we had assigned uniforms for some reason middle schoolers can be mean.

If it continues I would go to the school. My mom did for me if I was having a lot of problems. It was very helpful to me in some cases, although my mom did threaten to take the principal’s job cause she said any body with half a brain could do it better.


#6

I remember having several run-ins with my elementary school principal who had developed a distaste for my whole family. She tried to be tougher on my English papers (in the small school, she taught 5th grade English), but they were usually pretty good. One time, though, we were writing research papers and she graded me harshly because my paper on the Conquistadors was “too long”. Instead of helping me to narrow the topic in the first place, she let me write my 32 page hand-written paper (we didn’t have a computer) and THEN gave me a C. The content was great, just enough for 8 papers instead of one. GRRRRRRRRR!!!

I just toughed it out. I only had 2 more years with her at that point, so I could get through it, and the rest of the teachers at school loved me. In her case, my mom and dad did try to see her about the problem, but that didn’t go anywhere, since she was the principal and there was nobody over her. Good luck and God bless you with your situation!


#7

Everyone here is so smart! And correct! The school year is nearly half over…take this as a lesson that your daughter unfortunately has to learn…

I was in second grade when I went to the teacher for another crayon because I broke mine…she was miffed…gave me the crayon, and as I walked away yanked my pony tail and told me I was too prissy…

Maybe later she thought about how mean that was because she never did that to me again…but if I had ratted her out to my parents I might have become a target


#8

I would just let this slide if I were you. When I think back on my years in school, I encountered more than one teacher who was a jerk. I once had a male teacher in high school who was a complete jerk. I didn’t get upset by his behavior because he was a jerk to almost every kid, and we all thought he was a joke. But he treated a few kids nicely–they were his “favorites.” He was soooo nice to this particular group of kids. He even allowed these kids to take over his classes and boss the rest of us around. He would have these kids over to his house for get-togethers and movies. Eventually he began to date one of his “favorites” and they are now married. I am so thankful that I was never one of his favorites, because the thought of a teacher making advances towards a student is totally repulsive. I would rather have a teacher act like a jerk towards a child than be overly friendly.


#9

[quote=Asella]I . But he treated a few kids nicely–they were his “favorites.” He was soooo nice to this particular group of kids. He even allowed these kids to take over his classes and boss the rest of us around. He would have these kids over to his house for get-togethers and movies. Eventually he began to date one of his “favorites” and they are now married. .
[/quote]

If I were a parent, another teacher or a principal and knew about such behavior on the part of a teacher it would send up red flags and start sirens going. Totally inappropriate and a marker for abusive behavior.


#10

I work in a public school and let me tell you if a teacher or assistant behaved in that manner to one of our students, our principal would turn him or her inside out.

Keep the paper, make note of comments, and any witnesses, and if there is ONE more comment, file a complaint with the principal, telling him that if there are any repercussions you will go the the school board.


#11

[quote=SP38]My 11 year old sixth grader has a male spelling teacher. She was marked wrong on 4 words of her spelling packet… she had to break the words into syllables. We checked her work with our dictionary… she told him we looked them up in the dictionary… and he told her “Either you need new glasses, or a new dictionary.” She has worn glasses since first grade. I think this was inappropriate and hurtful of him to say… even if he claims he was just kidding around. I was ready to call the school, but calmed down, told her she was a smart girl, not to take it personally… and consider the source… He’s a jerk. Not a new behavior for him. I wonder if I should have brought out the mama bear claws, or better to let it slide.
[/quote]

I disagree with the poster who said let it slide. This teacher does not understand emotional and psychological development of children. Or, he is disregarding it. Either way, a person who must make ugly comments to children to feel superior to them is immature and lacks proper judgment. He needs to be hauled in to his boss’s office and made to be accountable. Your daughter was right, we was wrong, and the fact he can’t admit it is a serious flaw in a teacher.

A smart-*ss teacher for an 11 year old is completely inappropriate. They can do much damage at this fragile stage-- girls just starting to have body-image awareness and self-consciousness about fitting in. I think a conversation with the principal and the teacher is in order, especially as this is not his first offense.


#12

I cannot believe that people are actually encouraging this mother to overlook abusive behavior by an adult towards her child simply because they have some story to tell about how they got abused by an adult in school.

This is so completely unacceptable. Yes, let’s just all keep quiet so this guy can keep abusing children year after year. You think she’t the only one receiving aggressive behavior from this man? No way.

Kids need protection, not the old wink-wink, nudge-nudge “suck it up” speech. This is not a fraternity house initiation where everyone looks back and remembers their hazing fondly. Give me a break-- this is a public school with an adult in charge of children.

I had a 3rd grade teacher who was abusive-- she put tape over kids mouths and ripped it off, dug her fingernails into their scalps when they talked too much, and made a couple of kids sit in the garbage can as punishment. ** She was fired.**

Abuse doesn’t have to be physical to be abuse.


#13

Often, we realise how fragile kids are when we ourselves our children, but as we grow up, we treat them more and more like adults for the wrong things, and babies for others.

Remember your child will be upset by this.

You must gauge is this is a time to take action. Or one of those times a kid should experience to toughen up.

Yes, that sounds harsh.

But sometimes kids need a litlle check to remind them the world doesnt revolve around them.

This is all very specific.

Ask God to guide you in what to do.


#14

My second grade teacher was a man and was fantastic with the boys! I think he was good with girls too, but he liked to “pick” on me. I was having a hard time reading because I needed glasses, but the school screenings didnt catch it. I’m not sure why. I couldn’t see the board at all and, being a young girl who didnt’ realize I needed glasses, I would just raise my hand and say “I don’t understand” (because I didn’t know there was something on the board to read, yes I was that blind) after doing that for a few weeks, when I raised my hand he would say in a sarcastic way “I dont’ understand” mocking my voice. I quit raising my hand to ask questions.

Another time I was in reading class, which I excelled at and raised my hand to pronounce the word “antique” I was a word I knew well, but when he called on me, I froze and couldn’t speak so he reprimanded me in front of the class for not paying attention.

Looking back now he was a young teacher and I dont’ think he realized that he was misreading me, or that he was hurting my feelings. I honestly think it was a man who didn’t understand the feelings of a little girl, and how easily they can be crushed.

This is the reason why it happened,in my case, but my teacher needed to be taught how to behave by a kind parent who was willing to speak calmly with him.

Alot of teachers learn to be defensive because of years of often irrational behavior from parents, so be aware that he may react this way.

I would try speaking with him, very calmly, to remind him how sensitive children can be to sarcasm, or dismissal, especially when they have the courage to point out something she learned to a teacher. Tell him you were trying to teach her to handle her own problems by approaching him and showing him that she found the correct answer, and that a reaction like that from an adult whom she trusts is crushing at such a young age. He needs to know that this kind of joking or teasing isnt’ funny to a young girl.

Also realize that if you talk to the teacher, there is a good chance that it won’t make a difference.


#15

I wouldn’t worry too much, you should hear some of the things my “catholic” headmaster did at primary school…

Once he brought a traffic light into the food hall so we knew if we were talking too lodly for his tastes. (He likes very little noise)

As for your daughter, let it slide. If it gets worse, do something though.


#16

You could speak to the teacher, but whatever you do, make sure to teach your daughter that she doesn’t have to take abuse, verbal or physical.

Explain to her that teachers are only human and that not all teachers are going to be good or nice. She may encounter a teacher who is way off the mark (physically hurting students, “dating” students, etc.) and that she needs to develop a sense of discernment when it comes to people, whether they be friends, peers or teachers. Whatever you decide to do, the message your daughter takes from it is the most important thing. Kids fall victim to teachers every day because they trust them. Unfortunately sometimes teachers are not worthy of that trust, and are in a position of great influence over children trusted in their care. Children need to understand that teachers have rules to follow as well.


#17

I would keep track of what happens in her class. No one should have to put up with harassment. It doesn’t toughen you up, it tears you down.
We all have stories of teachers that allowed things to happen in their class. That doesn’t mean that it is right. It happened to me in seventh grade. After my parents met with the teacher, they then took it up a level. The teacher ended up reprimanded, and two boys were in detention. And I was moved to another math class. If it had happened in the workplace it would have been considered harassment. My boss would have been fired and coworkers out the door with him.
Keep in mind that kids are people too. They have the right to expect a harassment free learning enviornment. As their parent you are their advocate. If you don’t stand up for them, no one else will.


#18

If you do go to the teacher (which I don’t really think is needed at this point), just remember that there are two sides to every story. As a former teacher, I hated it when kids’ parents came in with an “issue” that wasn’t the “total” truth.

The saying goes, I won’t believe everything your child tells me about you and home, if you don’t believe everything they say about school. Yes, there are bad teachers. Yes, sometimes teachers make errors (I know I have - I’m human!). However, since you never mentioned that this happened before, it was probably just a ‘fly by night’ comment and there could have been other circumstances involved. So, again, if you do go in, don’t go in defensive, but go in investigative. You’ll also get much better results and cooperation.


#19

[quote=Princess_Abby]The only caution I give you in bringing out the mama bear’s claws is that sometimes this makes the situation worse. The older kids get, the more freedom some teachers take in how they treat them and/or address them. This type of guy could make some sort of announcement like, “Okay class, I want everyone to remind me not to mention Sarah’s glasses because her mom told me it hurts her feelings. So if I make a joke, put my name on the board!” or something like that.

I remember in band class, during grade school, I was always taller than the boys until about 7th grade. He ordered sz small band shirts for all the girls and mediums for all the boys. Well, the small didn’t fit me correctly and showed off my navel–something my parents didn’t like for a fifth grader! I quietly and politely told him that the shirt didn’t fit, after trying it on, and asked that he order me a size medium. He seemed very put out by this and even asked me to show him that the shirt didn’t fit. I don’t know if he saw the shock on my face or what, but he quickly said nevermind, he didn’t need to see. My parents also made a phone call and requested he find a shirt that didn’t show my belly button to the world. A week or two went by and a town parade that we would be playing in was fastly approaching. I still didn’t have the new shirt. I asked him about it again and he got very annoyed. “Class,” he said," could you keep reminding me that Abby wants me to order her a sz medium band shirt because she doesn’t fit in a sz small?" Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was like the worst moment of my young life. Everyone stared at me. He didn’t give me the shirt until the day before the town parade, and even then he made the announcement: “Class, I finally ordered Abby the boy size! Let’s see if it fits her!” And then he threw it at me from across the room. (So nice.) I had to go to the bathroom and put on the shirt and pray it fit nicely. Which it did. But I still wonder what humiliation I would have had to endure had it not fit. I cried so much that year because he was just such a mean, unkind person who made me feel like a freak because I didn’t fit into the size small he determined all fifth grade girls should wear.

Soooo I’m just saying, pick your battles because some jerks will always be jerks.

However, had I informed my parents more about what was going on, they could have gotten a tad more involved in assuring he wasn’t able to pretend “just joking” didn’t count as being inappropriate.
[/quote]

I would respond to this, but I am pretty sure my response would be um, “colorful” enough to get me banned!

what a $%$#*! :mad:


#20

[quote=ProudArmyWife]If you do go to the teacher (which I don’t really think is needed at this point), just remember that there are two sides to every story. As a former teacher, I hated it when kids’ parents came in with an “issue” that wasn’t the “total” truth.
[/quote]

Quite right. Children lie, whether by omission or commission. I can honestly say that in after 9 years as a classroom teacher, no more than 1 in 20 children honestly reports to their parents what really happens in school.

Of course, this doesn’t mean your child is lying. It simply means caution is warranted.

– Mark L. Chance.


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