Questions for Teachers


#1

Some of you may know or remember some of my threads of my problems with my dd’s second grade teacher. She did something yesterday, that I feel is wrong, but wanted to see how other teachers feel or suggest. I have already requested a conference with this teacher, but will have to wait until Easter/Spring Break is over and classes resume on the 16th.

My dd has these books that she has to read by a certain time. She told me two days ago that she has two chapter books to read by Wednesday and it was Monday. I thought impossible. I wrote a short note to the teacher to see if this was true. My dd hates it when I write notes for in the past the teacher either gets really angry or talks to her in an “angry voice.” Sure enough the teacher called my daughter up to the front of the class when she read my little note. She told her that she knew she had to read these books and has had two warnings as a class to complete. She asked her what was written on the blackboard last week in reference to these books. My dd told her that she could not remember. She was nervous and embarrassed for the class was watching and listening to all this. She told my dd to stand there and think or the answer and she would come back to her. I don’t know how long she left her standing but she says a long time. She was humiliated. The teacher came back and asked her again and she still could not remember and had tears by this time. The teacher asked the entire class the question and whoever raised their hand answered the question. She got into my car after school and started to cry instantly and told me of the experience and this happened right when school started at 8 am.

I was so angry at what she did to my dd. This school has all these kids in fear all the time and this is a perfect example why. It is almost as if they are raising soldiers instead of kids. This is a Catholic school.

Teachers, was this behavior inappropriate or is it just me? My daughter suffered emotionally for she woke up the next day and cried and cried and when I asked what was wrong she told me she was scared to go to school. She didn’t want to go. She asked if I wrote another note and I said no. She shouldn’t be afraid to go to school.:frowning:


#2

You want to talk to that teacher in person. If she puts up an angry act and is discorteous with you, I’d refuse to talk to her and go up the ladder - some team supervisor or vice-headmaster or whatever it is immediately above. Where the teacher is right is that it’s she who decides the homework and that her warnings should be heeded. Children should not be trying to use parents to escape homework routines and neither should parents try to exempt their children from what their classmates have to do. If you have problems with the kind or amount of homework, you need to settle it with the teacher personally and preferably alone, or at least with no children present. The teacher, of course, should have contacted you instead of humiliating your child.

Teachers are just human, so occasionally they can get angry, but when they put up an angry act the way you describe it, when someone’s questioning the amount of homework, it looks like they have personality issues that don’t make them well-suited for the job. Unless she has a difficult situation and a problem dealing with stress, she simply doesn’t have the right kind of personality for the job. But you’d better know all the facts before making conclusions. Chances are your daughter is taking things out of proportion as some sensitive children do.

Of course, humiliation is not acceptable. Humiliating a child in public is not going to teach him anything good, especially if the rest of the class is involved in it. I’ve always hated it when teachers have tried winning one group against another or one student against the rest. It just shouldn’t be done.

Make sure you know all the facts before you talk to her and then make sure you get all the facts from her, and see how she deals with you. Any sign of lie, confabulation or unstable personality and you need to talk to her boss. On the other hand, if she seems conversable and you can parlay with her without insults, condescension or other antisocial attitudes on her part, then it’s worth using the opportunity. It might be a good idea to find out if your child is singled out or if the teacher generally treats students like that.


#3

I’m not an official teacher, but I do have some past teaching experiance, although with high school math students, so my advice might not be the best.

There tends to be a couple of things that are always gong on in these situations.

  1. there are two sides to the story and the parent only gets the child’s, told from a child’s point of view.

  2. the parent knowing their child inside and out and loving them and wanting the best for them is usually inclined to believe what their child has said.

  3. the story told from the perspective of the teacher is usually quite different and the teacher expects to be believed since he/she is an adult.

These kinds of conflicts are very difficult to solve without becoming the nightmare parent who does anything and everything to prtoect their poor little poopsy from any disciplen. (that is what the teacher thinks mind you, not me)

I’ve seen it a lot. either parent’s don’t give a rip one way or the other and are not involved at all and are impossible to reach, or they are constently writing notes and calling and comming to the school to question every single decision the teacher makes reguarding their precious angel.

So where does this leave you? in a difficult spot, I’m affraid. It sounds, from your daughter’s story, that the whole event was quite dreadful and that teacher is mean and spiteful. She may infact be so. Since you have the spring break, maybe you should pray about it. Talk to some other parents from the class. does your daughter have any friends in that class? maybe ask them what happened. I would try and get a broader picture before taking my case to the teacher. Hear her opinion out fully as well. Making a child cry infront of the whole class is deffinately something that needs to be addressed, but do so with as much knowlage about the situation as possible and try not to go in there in full prosicution mode. You’ll just make the teacher feel threatned and little will get accomplished. I feel for you and your daughter.

oh and just a note for any real teachers who post on here, yes I am a bad speller, so please do not make any snide comments about my spelling. ask me a question about geometry, calculus, or whatever and I’m good to go. Spelling is not my thing and I hear enough of it on this forum.


#4

I think a teacher who would embarras a child in front of the class deliberately like that should not be teaching and should not be working with children in any capacity. sounds like this teacher has had ongoing problems, as I believe you posted before, may be time to survey other parents and see if there is a pattern.


#5

I have talked with four other mothers. One mother of a boy said that she too had to have a conference with the teacher and didn’t accuse her but used words like, “I feel that you are picking on my son.” She advised me to do that rather than say, “you” statements. This is wise advise, but she too has had to correct this teacher for so call picking on her son a lot. Another mother also of a boy, said her son comes home and says the teacher is always yelling at him. I know this to be true also, for my dd would come home and tell me she feels sorry for Noah who gets yelled a lot. This same mother told me she finds this teacher to be very unfriendly and sarcastic. Another parent of a girl, my dd best friend, doesn’t get along with this teacher at all. She addressed some issues and the teacher gets easily offended, I guess, and now she too is not one of her favorites. So it is not just my dd who has noted this teachers anger problems. This is the second time that she has approached my dd about a note I write to her. She should not address it with anger at all to my dd but to me. I can pass right by this teacher and she will look down and not say hello or good morning or anything. She has made it perfectly clear that she doesn’t like me and it all started over me asking her why she did not allow my dd to go to the bathroom after a doctor notes was handed to her that she needs frequent bathroom breaks. She got defensive and it was a simple question and I didn’t accuse but just asked if it was true. Our second problem with her was over genuflecting in church for she had her students bow before the Tabernacle and not genuflect. The third issue was over a boy that is harassing my dd in school and the principal got involved with that one. That is still a problem, but the principal has done nothing and when we call him on it, he says the teachers have it under control.

I don’t know what to do anymore about this teacher. We only have two more months, but my dd should not suffer like this in school. I do know that the school has put in the church bulletin that they are hiring teachers for the next school year. I found out through talking to parents that at this school the teacher needs to file a letter of intent to stay if they want to say the next year and the principal can refuse. They had to do this last year for the kindergarten teacher would not allow one particular go to the restroom when he asked and came home with different shorts on for he had accidents almost daily. They called that inappropriate behavior on the teachers part. That seems to be a all teacher thing though. My dd has a doctors note and still is told that she can wait.

I do have another issue that I don’t know how to bring up to this teacher and other students have confirmed it, but she puts her hand on their shoulders and squeese her fingers into their shoulders when she wants them to do something. I know she will deny this. She denied talking to my dd and waiting until she got out of the bathroom with the first note incident. She does have some major issues that is affecting her teaching. My niece had this same teacher two years ago and loved her. She was a very kind and sweet person, but even my niece last year noted that she has changed. Just this year, my niece walked into her class at the request of another teacher while she was at school to get something for the other teacher and this second grade teacher yelled at her and told her to get out that she was busy. My niece just ran out. She has some problems. I have been praying for her, but we need to talk to her about some of these issues and how it is affecting our dd.


#6

I’m a teacher and regrettably have lost my temper with students several times…however, it sounds as though this lady has definitely crossed the line.
IMHO, you should talk to her and tell her FIRMLY that she should avoid humiliating your daughter in the future and that while you appreciate her efforts, your daughter is to be treated well. Period. She will deny anything happened, and I would let the matter drop instead of arguing about it, but leave her with the impression that you expect better from now on.


#7

Is it possible to change school? Perhaps this might be the best for all of you.


#8

I’m currently getting my Masters in Ed. and IMHO this teacher was quite out of line. There are, as someone else pointed out, two sides to every classroom story, teacher’s and student’s, but regardless, this teacher seems very out of line. From my expierence with the public school system (sorry, no Catholic school experience), teachers like this would be reprimanded and possibly taken out of the classroom permanently. But then again, there are the teacher’s unions that will always back the teacher and no one else. I would recommend taking some kind of action agains the teacher but be CAREFUL. Sometimes you can get yourself in deeper than you want and it can cause more problems for you and your child. Maybe try talking to the teacher and then if that doesn’t work, the principal. My prayers are with you!


#9

Listen, you need to go lay out all this abuse to the principal and the pastor (if it’s a parish school) and have action taken against this teacher. Take the other parents with you.

If it were me I’d raise holy hell.

I had a teacher just like that in 4th grade. She was physically abusive to the boys, digging her nails into their shoulder or their head like you describe-- she would draw blood. She would abuse us verbally, embarrass us, etc. She made kids sit in the garbage can for bad behavior. She put duct tape over several boys mouths for “talking” and then pulled it off as hard as she could.

She was a nut case.

Don’t delay on this. If multiple children are experiencing the same type of verbal abuse, humiliation, and unreasonable behavior on the part of the teacher thn you need to act. They are 8 years old. The teacher is an adult. The things she is doing are not normal and not acceptable disciplinary measures.


#10

work with other parents and the administration
make sure both the teacher and the children have a chance to tell their side of the story
if there is a pattern, and it sounds like there is, for the welfare of th children and the school the teacher has to go
you only have a few weeks to work on this but your daughter needs to know you will not allow her to be bullied, by a teacher or by another child.

Other than letting the children tell their stories to the principle, keep them OUT of the ensuing discussion and action, they don’t need to know or participate in it, except to know that the teacher is being helped to become a better teacher.


#11

I currently teach high school students so I thought I would put my two cents in.

  1. As another poster has stated there is always two sides to every story. You would be amazed at what students have accused me of doing over the years. I’m fairly petite (5’3") and have been acused of pounding on the head a student that is is almost 7 feet tall. Even when they sit I have a hard time reaching his shoulder. When the parent came in for a conference they just started laughing cause I’m too short to do anything the student was saying that I was doing. I’m not saying that you daughter is lying or anything like that, but her perspective maybe different than the teachers. Its always best to get both sides of the story.

  2. Volunteer in your child’s classroom, or school. Schools always need more help. If things are as your daughter says having you physically present in the school will probably cause the teacher to rethink. If she gets defensive about having you in the classroom talk to the principal. I have absolutely no problem with parents in my classroom. Most of the time I’m begging parents to come in so they can see how their child acts in class.

  3. If the other two don’t work make sure you have documented everything. If the teacher is digging her nails into your daughter good chance there should be bruises left. Take photographs of it and document every day its happened. Then go see the principal, If that doesn’t work go see some at the district level.

  4. Pray. Obivously something has changed about this teacher over the years. She needs your prayers.

Historybrat


#12

Present an idea for a solution when you meet with the teacher.

From what I read above, your daughter forgot about the assignment until two days before it was due. Second graders can be forgetful (as can 40 something aged adults). Every school where my son has attended has had a system to keep parents informed of the assignemts and due dates. Some send home a weekly sheet listing all the upcoming assignments - this has to be signed by the parent and returned to the teacher. Some have a phone system, where the parent can call and hear what that day’s assignments are, and some use the internet.

While you get to the bottom of the teachers specific actions, perhaps you can help put in place a plan to avoid these forgotten assignments in the future.


#13

I have absolutely no teaching experience, but just had to say as a mom I feel so bad for you, & especially your little girl. The fact that she humiliated her is so out of line. We have been blessed with all of our kid’s teachers, both in public & Catholic school. They have all been so professional & good. I am supportive of teachers & sensitive to the difficult job teachers have, but the woman seems to have a pattern of this. The fact that she works with such young kids saddens me, they should love school & their teachers at this age. Good advice & points from the other posters, I’ll just let you know I said a prayer for the kids, & that this gets resolved for the teacher as well…Also, I just had the thought that to have multiple teachers like this & a principal who seems unable or unwilling to help just seems so unusual to me. Maybe there is a problem with the philosophy of the school or over-all bad attitude.


#14

Looks like that person shouldn’t be teaching.

This same mother told me she finds this teacher to be very unfriendly and sarcastic.

I’ve had some teachers with those traits and some of them have turned out to have redeeming qualities. One was a great teacher and ultimately just in grading, while giving opportunities aplenty to all willing to use them. Another was better than the replacement we got, even if the replacement had less of a terrifying appearance - even our grades dropped, I think (mine surely did).

Another parent of a girl, my dd best friend, doesn’t get along with this teacher at all. She addressed some issues and the teacher gets easily offended, I guess, and now she too is not one of her favorites.

It is my impression that teachers these days are more and more easily offended. I can’t believe my younger brother’s tales about his teacher of Polish (native language). That woman simply freaks out when questioned. And she gives them failing grades for whatever makes her freak out. She accuses them of something all the time and is far from fair. Not the only case I’ve heard about. I’ve had some experience of my own, too. There’s a reason I went on to study law (I’ve taught English and Latin) at university rather than any other field.

I can pass right by this teacher and she will look down and not say hello or good morning or anything.

Teachers are a respected occupation, or at least used to be, not as much as priests, but maybe as medical doctors. In more traditional environments in my country, people will greet a teacher first.

She has made it perfectly clear that she doesn’t like me and it all started over me asking her why she did not allow my dd to go to the bathroom after a doctor notes was handed to her that she needs frequent bathroom breaks. She got defensive and it was a simple question and I didn’t accuse but just asked if it was true.

Teachers are often too self-important. It’s like they’re harmed if they respect a doctor’s notice or if they don’t turn down a notice or request or two. And some indeed will behave as if they are wiser than the doctors, the parents, whoever else.

Our second problem with her was over genuflecting in church for she had her students bow before the Tabernacle and not genuflect. The third issue was over a boy that is harassing my dd in school and the principal got involved with that one. That is still a problem, but the principal has done nothing and when we call him on it, he says the teachers have it under control.

The principal needs to grow a spine. Or ears. Or both. No one has the right to require a more reverent position to be dropped in favour of a less reverent one. Minimal requirements are for a reason - so that people don’t feel bad for not being reverent enough in the others’ eyes. If the teacher tells your daughter not to kneel but to bow, she must obviously have some agenda of raising the people from their knees or whatever such new ideas they’re promoting this days. Either this or she’s really weird.

My dd has a doctors note and still is told that she can wait.

The teacher needs to be reminded that she is not a doctor. She needs to respect the expertise of the trained medic. That medic does not come to take over her class, right? Teachers seem to make a point of turning down notices from doctors. It seems to be universal. There was a big change when I went to university and they started off telling us to go without asking whenever we needed (and highschool ones were generally better than the elementary school ones).

I do have another issue that I don’t know how to bring up to this teacher and other students have confirmed it, but she puts her hand on their shoulders and squeese her fingers into their shoulders when she wants them to do something. I know she will deny this.

That’s physical abuse and either is or should be a criminal offence. Also, if she’s lying, she needs disciplinary action by the principal.

She does have some major issues that is affecting her teaching. My niece had this same teacher two years ago and loved her. She was a very kind and sweet person, but even my niece last year noted that she has changed.

Yeah, I suspected they might have been keeping her because of some difficult situation of hers.

Just this year, my niece …] how it is affecting our dd.

A stressful job to be sure. Maybe she just can’t handle the stress anymore, the teacher? She might be going mental because of it being more than she can handle. She seems to need a break and a lot of peace and quiet.


#15

One of the issues that I disagree with this school is that they give way to much responsibility on the children. This all started in first grade. I was new to the school and so was my daughter. She forgot her backback at home and I told her not to worry that I would go get it and bring it back. She was freaked out about the whole thing. When I got to the office they told me that I could not bring the back pack in for it is the children’s responsibility to remember their back pack and not the parents. I told them that as an adult I forget things and that it was ridiculous and they told me the rule of this one teacher and would not take the backpack. The school doesn’t allow us to know when things are due except maybe poems they need to memorize or book reports. The AR books that they need to read, which started this year in second grade, is the full responsibitlity of the student. We do not get letters of when these books are due or by when they need to take the test. They do not inform us at all. This is their whole mentality of putting too much responsibility of the children. All teachers of this school believe this. The ones that don’t leave the school.

As far as saying hello to this teacher, I have tried and she will avoid me at all cost. There are only a few teachers in that entire school who smile and saying, “good morning” when passing you. The ones that have been there the longest as the ones that seem most unhappy and are unpleasant.

Yes, I will call upon the other mothers as well for the ones I have spoken with want to attend the schools version of a PTA. We know they don’t have a PTA, but no one knows what the group is called. The staff, starting with the Principal, doesn’t like parents involved except very rich ones. They have their favorites and it shows. The rest of us who are not rich can see this clearly. For a year now, we have all talked among ourselves, but it is time to take action and speak out.

As far as switching school, we will homeschooling our daughter next year. She doesn’t need a Catholic School like this, but I am a stay at home mother that can homeschool, but people who need to work or single parents, have no choice but to leave their children at this school. Catholicism is not the first priority of this school. They are so proud of being a good academic school and got the Blue Ribbon this past year.

I did talk to a mom who volunteers there in the lunch room, they do not allow in the classrooms. She has noted that the teachers are verbally mean to the students. She told me of one incident and if that was my child, I would have gone very angry to the Prinipal. I don’t know why so many of the teachers there are so angry. They must really hate their jobs there. I know the principal is not an easy person to talk to or get along with, so I don’t know.


#16

Wow… all I can say is Wow


#17

AMEN to that!! There is definately a philosophy problem at this school. My dd hated first grade and the current students don’t like it either. Some parents tell me their children cry everyday before school. I know the first grade teacher loves her student, but she reminds me of those mean nuns I had in my Catholic school. They are all afraid of her. The staff is also afraid of her or highly respects her. She has a major voice in that school. I had my problems with her, but she respected me when I would ask her for advice on how best to help my daughter.


#18

That’s ridiculous!! These are little children, not candidates for a Ph.D.
The whole school system sounds insanely regimented.

As far as saying hello to this teacher, I have tried and she will avoid me at all cost. There are only a few teachers in that entire school who smile and saying, “good morning” when passing you. The ones that have been there the longest as the ones that seem most unhappy and are unpleasant.

Well, of course…the longer they are there, the more they become part of the problem. What do they think they’re running? A school or a jail???:rolleyes:

Yes, I will call upon the other mothers as well for the ones I have spoken with want to attend the schools version of a PTA. We know they don’t have a PTA, but no one knows what the group is called. The staff, starting with the Principal, doesn’t like parents involved except very rich ones. They have their favorites and it shows. The rest of us who are not rich can see this clearly. For a year now, we have all talked among ourselves, but it is time to take action and speak out.

Ah, see?? Just what I said above!!

As far as switching school, we will homeschooling our daughter next year.

Hallelujah!! God bless you!! I am a big believer in home schooling. This kind of mess is one reason why!

She doesn’t need a Catholic School like this, but I am a stay at home mother that can homeschool, but people who need to work or single parents, have no choice but to leave their children at this school. Catholicism is not the first priority of this school. They are so proud of being a good academic school and got the Blue Ribbon this past year.

Sad. Very sad…

I did talk to a mom who volunteers there in the lunch room, they do not allow in the classrooms. She has noted that the teachers are verbally mean to the students. She told me of one incident and if that was my child, I would have gone very angry to the Prinipal. I don’t know why so many of the teachers there are so angry. They must really hate their jobs there. I know the principal is not an easy person to talk to or get along with, so I don’t know.

I agree with just what you are saying except that you have more charity toward the teachers than I would!!

My wonderful Mama, now gone home to be with the Lord, was a teacher for many years. She would have told you the same…
And by the way, that is one reason I know that, not only is the pinch/digging in nails physical abuse, so is not allowing your daughter to go to the bathroom when she has a note from the doctor. The teacher may need a visit from the local police, or else get out of teaching. She is not just mean; she is breaking the law!
If your child, or any other, were to develop a UTI from waiting so long, the school could be sued and forced to pay for her medical treatment.
Further more, in regard to:mad: forcing children to:mad: wait until they have a “accident”, I believe that could be construed as sexual abuse. Again: grounds for arrest, grounds for a lawsuit.
I would advise taking your daughter out of school now. That school is big trouble. As her home teacher, you will be able to test her out of the classes she misses & give her credit for them.


#19

Ok i am going to comment on this one as well many of these replies are excellent however Having to have several meetings myself when my kids were younger I used the “meeting with teacher AND priciple” method it gets the point across that

  1. you do mean buiseness.
  2. you are not afraid to go up the ladder.
  3. and finally gives you a credible witness.

attending school myself I can say teachers will lie to parents
not sure why maybe they feel they need to , in order to save thier job, but def. hear both sides, if needed have principle interview students in class and see what they have to say as well.
I am sure your child is not lieing however sometimes things seem to grow way out of text. kind of the old principle you ask three eyewitnesses to something they all have a different story.

anyways humiliation is not acceptable nor shoudl it be tolerated in any way shape or form. this is a potentially serious problem down the road, not only do other kids remember and will use to tease but it sets roots deep emotionally can be to point where child will hate school and not get what they should out of it.

personally ( and have done this before) i would have turned right around and went to the principles office when i was informed.
I have walked in on meeting with superintendants (sp) already
informed him i am a parent and he will either come to office and hear me or I can explain situation in front of the people from the other schools he had there. ( he went to his office)

remember as the parent of a student these school officials work for you!!! dont let them get the upper hand at any point in conversation, it will mean more if they know you mean buiseness. but by all means be respectful and curteous…
Good luck

anyways dont let this situation idle…

my normally useless 2 cents

                              John

#20

Thanks for your advice. Trust me, when my dd got into the car and cried, I was so angry that I did want to turn the car around and go straight to the principal, but I was to angry and was afraid I would say something I would regret later. Yes, this teacher has lied already to us on one other occassion and she is aware that we believe our dd over her. She was not to happy over that. She has a problem because everytime I do write a note to her, she gets angry. Two times she has addressed the issue with our dd instead of with us. I am praying about all this this week they are on Spring Break, but I know that when I ask for a conference, she will refuse. She did one time and apparently they can, but if she does, we are prepared to go to the Principal and if nothing is done to the Pastor. The Pastor already has one parent that went up the ladder and finally to him. This parent was upset because the second graders were running around the school, the school is in a bad section of town just last month a murder occured just blocks from the school, with not adult supervision. The coach stays at the office and doesn’t have view of all the children all the time. This parent went to the principal and nothing was done. Her dd missed PE one day because her mom refused to allow her to run around the school with no supervision in todays age where kids are kidnapped. I didn’t know as many of the other parents that they did this. I have seen the older kids do this, but didn’t know they started this in second grade. This parent had no choice but to go to the pastor who put a stop to the unsupervised running. The principal of this school doesn’t do much and is not liked by many parents.

This school has many problems and the kids are not one of them!


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