Negative Teacher Comments

Tiffany - posted on 10/24/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My daughter is in first grade. We first noticed problems in kindergarten and just had a very bad experience with her kindergarten teachers. After consulting everyone involved (preschool teachers, grandparents, pediatrician, principal, etc.) we decided to take her back to the pediatrician this year and try medication. So..it's only been a few weeks or so and we (my husband and I) see improvement in her focus. She's in Reading Recovery and has improved dramatically since the beginning of this school year.

Her primary teacher, who I don't feel is being intentionally mean or anything, is saying things like, "I just don't think Faith has any common sense", "She doesn't seem to understand what is going on" and "Maybe she has short-term memory problems"

Has anyone had this kind of feedback about their child? Is it related to ADHD? Could it be something else or the teacher?

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Marjie - posted on 11/24/2010

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Get a book about ADHD and read it. Then quote it to the teacher. One of the things that I read and still repeat to my now 12-year-old daughter's teachers is that children with ADHD are emotionally younger than their physical age by a rule-of-thumb 10%. So while the teacher is looking at a 1st grader, that child might only hear and follow directions as well as a kindergartener. That's one possibility. Another is what I call "Teletubby" processing. I notice it with an occasional student. You know how the Teletubbies run every video twice? That's because small children see it one time and hear it the next. They can't do both together. I've also seen the occasional child who processes the emotional content separate from the words. So I have to say everything twice because they were so busy studying my face the first time that they didn't hear a thing I said. As a teacher and as a mom, knowing these things about children with ADHD really helps me teach them how to navigate the classroom better.

Laura - posted on 10/25/2009

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That seems harsh! I would want specific examples of the issues she is seeing. I'd also want to come up with a plan to work on those areas. DD's school counselor made some great suggestions to DD's 1st grade teacher. They've really helped address her specific issues.



I'd set up a meeting to discuss your specific concerns regarding your DD and the classroom.



Just thinking of my own DD...

common sense - might be due to low impulse control

doesn't understand & short-term memory problems - might be because she is distracted



It could also be that the teacher needs more information about ADHD or that their personalities just don't mesh.

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Laurie - posted on 10/26/2011

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My grandson is going through a smiliar thing with his first grade teacher. His dad was just deployed and my daughter asked the teacher to have a bit of compassion. Well she started out nasty and is still very nasty with him. CAde's dad was just deployed Sept 2011 and he started first grade. A lot for a little guy who adores his dad.
My daughter Kim went to pick Cade up early from school and Cade was sitting in the hallway by himself during recess for forgetting his library book at home. Kimberly told the teacher that Cade had remembered the book but she told him to hurry and get in the car. The teacher said "that is no excuse and besides he is going backwards anyway." WTH? This was the first time Kim had heard about that. The teacher sat back and crossed her arms and was just dang nasty. She is about late 50's to early 60's and does not need to be teaching first graders. She is rude, noncompassionate, and down right mean to the kids. She suggested he ws ADHD and no one, even his doctor thinks he is ADHD and my daughter will not give him meds for anything not neeeded. He just needs a new teacher. WE had a meeting with the principal, but this is his first year as a principal and he does not want to make waves so my grandson suffers. Help????????

Aprille - posted on 11/26/2009

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I don't know where you live, but PLEASE get your child an IEP. It's not just about the medication helping them focus, it's about getting them the extra help they need where they need it. This is a LEGAL document and if it is not followed to the letter, the school district can get in a lot of trouble.

My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in the summer before she went to 2nd grade. I had MAJOR problems with her 1st grade teacher. The first half of the year was great! She had wonderful grades and was doing really well. All of a sudden a little after the end of the 2nd quarter, I get a letter that they want to meet with me. I thought nothing of it, all of her grades were A's and B's. I walk into this meeting and I'm being told that something is wrong. The teacher (about 23 years old) literally sits back in her chair, rolls her eyes, crosses her arms and says "I don't even think she can catch up at this point" in a very snotty tone. You should have seen the look on the guidance counselor and title 1 reading teacher's faces. It took everything inside of me not to reach over the table and smack this girl right upside her head. This teacher never sent me a note saying that my daughter was having trouble reading and her grades were good, now all of a sudden she can't catch up! She missed 3 days of school from that point until the end of the year and the teacher said that her many absences were the reason for her hard time continuing through the end of the year (Before that, she missed 2 days. My daughter LOVES school). I spoke with the guidance couselor and we decided that she would go to 2nd grade until we see what the psychologist says (I took her to one OUTSIDE of the district). Then, on the last day of school, my daughter gets her final report card and it says (in the teachers handwriting) "retained in 1st grade". My father got her off the bus that day and took her to my mother's office (she's the transportation coordinator for the district my daughter goes to). My daughter was hysterical the whole way. I was away that day so my mom called the school principal and ripped her a new one and told her that the teacher was lucky that I wasn't home or I'd be over there ripping her face off. Things were already decided and this should have never happened.

Long story short, she was tested in the summer, the psychologist said she knew all of the first grade material and then some. After spending much time with her, the psychologist said she could move to 2nd grade. The first 2 weeks were a nighmare and they wanted to put her back in first grade. I got into a huge fight with them and told them absolutely not. They gave her a Section 504 plan (also a legal document) until the school psychologist tested her. I contacted the Parent Education Network that sent me TONS of information. We had a special 504 meeting because I found out my daughter could get more than they were offering and they asked me how I got the information and I told them. I showed them papers when they tried to deny me things. I got what I wanted. She was put on medication but then the teachers here went on strike so I didn't give it to her until school resumed. She was tested by the school psychologist and given an IEP. The only class she goes to Learning Support for is Reading, she is in all regular classes otherwise. In fact, she has straight A's. She ended her 2nd grade year with a 100% in Science. How is that for a kid that the 1st grade teacher said would never catch up?? She is now in 4th grade and continues to be an A/B student. i could not be more proud of her!!

Melanie - posted on 11/15/2009

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It seems a little hurtful but I think the teacher is trying to cue you that you need to look further into her problems. It is encouraging that you see progress. It does seem ADD/HD related. Not much to go on but sounds like maybe processing problems and impulse control (common with ADD/HD kids). Talk to your pediatrician and if that don;t help seek out someone with children neurological speciality if you can.

Rabecca - posted on 11/12/2009

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Been there it seems like teachers may know of ADHD and eaither they dont understand it or forget that the kids have it and that things that your child are doing is normal ADHD things I cant even begin to tell you how many times my sons teacher would call me and tell me your son wont stay in his chair and he seems to be off in never never land when he is sitting still I mean yeah I know that would be because of his ADHD not hat I wont talk to him about it but really I didnt need to hear that or get a call 10 times of day while I am at work for the same things that are typical issues that these kids have it was very fustrating it got to the point I really felt like his teacher just hated him and if i the parent felt like that dont you think a highly intellegant kid would pick that up to why would he want to be somewhere where he felt like someone was always pointing out everytime he messed up he already knows he acts differently than his classmates it hurt him to be treated like that of course his actions werent getting any better in that environment .

This year in the third grade he seems to really have a teacher that gets him that understands how ADHD is and how to help him and eventhough hes always done great with his school work after he started meds this year he just seems more happy more centered but in the past I have taken loads of paperwork to his teacher telling them how they can act how they can help them learn better I have even goten some attitude from teacher in doing this butthis is my child and he deserves a teacher that will help him and if I ahve to help them so they can better help my son thtas what I will have to do also inhis kindergaren class I actually sat in his class for a few days and jus observed wrote noted when I saw issues arise and discussed withhis teacher what would have worked better as far as in reacting differently to get what they wan tto see as an outcome as well a good teacher will be thankful for the help and guidence in teaching your child

Eleanor - posted on 11/11/2009

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I had the same situation happen to me with my son's kindergarten teacher. Another struggle was having his doctor agree with him being put on meds. The teachers i'm finding aren't paying attention to these kids files when they get them in the beginning of the year. I had to inform them every year (even now) that he is on meds for adhd. He is now in 5th grade. The past couple of years he has had great teachers who worked with him. It has been a struggle to find the right dose and medicince for him up until this year. He is finally on one that is really working for him right now. They can tend to slide back while being on them for a couple of months. Don't get discouraged. Eventually you hit the right one. I have to keep reminding the teachers "Patients please".

Joanna Vanessa - posted on 11/11/2009

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It's hard to say that my child has adhd and go to school . he was grade one we transfer him to another school because he's teachers cannot handle him and say some negative like he must go to a special school and he cause a lot of trouble in his class. but the doctor said to me that he can go to a regular school. You must talk to the teacher one on one and ask her about your child standing in school.Ask her if your child need tutor.

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2009

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Quoting Andrea:

HI!! I have 2 boys who are almost 7 and 8 1/2 who both have ADHD. My oldest boys first year of school I was talking to his teacher about his ADHD. He told me he wasnt an ADHD gooroo and that is how it started. It was a terrible year but his ADHD ws so managable. If I were you and you cant get through to the teacher then I would go to the principal or higher if needed. You are the only one who is going to be an avocate for your child.



I agree completely. And these teaches dont have to be gurus or experts, they just need to be open to learning and being patient. and maybe a little flexible (thinking outside the box sometimes)  I dont think that is too much to ask! :)

Andrea - posted on 11/05/2009

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HI!! I have 2 boys who are almost 7 and 8 1/2 who both have ADHD. My oldest boys first year of school I was talking to his teacher about his ADHD. He told me he wasnt an ADHD gooroo and that is how it started. It was a terrible year but his ADHD ws so managable. If I were you and you cant get through to the teacher then I would go to the principal or higher if needed. You are the only one who is going to be an avocate for your child.

Denise - posted on 11/04/2009

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I know of this very well.. I have done a lot of rechearch on things like this. Teachers are a main part of your childs development. I think you should talk with the teacher and tell her/him how you feel. If things do not change ask for a new teacher for your child.

Jennifer - posted on 11/04/2009

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Sounds like the teacher has some common sense issues to make such bone headed comments. Whether she intends to be mean or not, she is being unkind all the same. I agree with other posters that she needs to be educated more on ADHD and it's symptoms and affects on kids' behavior. If she is offended, that is entirely her problem and if she treats your daughter poorly because of it, I would go to the principal, then if the school board and if you still don't get results, seek legal assistance. (legal aid is always an option if you can't deal w/private atty fees). These people have no right to treat our children as "less than" just because they learn differently and/or don't fit into the little boxes the school system thinks they should.

Ok... sorry, got a little carried away there. I'm off my soapbox now. =)

Eleanor - posted on 11/04/2009

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Your not alone..I had something like that yaers ago. When he was in kindergarten his teacher use to say he was a rascal and just won't sit still in class. But some teacher did mention that he was hyperactive.



When he started primary school, his class teacher started complaining about him all the time and dont believe he is ADHD and funny thing is that she have never hear of it! She even call me to meet up with the principal and he too say my son is a rascal and should not say that he is ADHD! The word "Disoder" make them thing that something is really wrong. But because my son looks very much normal like other kids, there is nothing wrong with him..



I've never given him any medication to help him with it couse its too costly and I can't afford it. But actualy kids with ADHD are very smart. They actualy pick up things (study eg) very fast but the das thing is they lack of concentration. They get distracted easily that make others thing they have no interest. But my son will pay more attention on something he likes like drawing.



Just give some time. Not all kids are the same but they will grow out of it also..And just remember that not everyone knows or understand kids with ADHD.

Jeanne - posted on 11/01/2009

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When my son was in 2nd grade, his teachers kept telling me I needed to take him to the dr. because he was not paying attention and was disruptive in class. I was against it because he is a boy and was not hyper and when he was home he seemed like a normal little boy, however I did not have to make him focused ALL day in school. Well he failed the 2nd grade. We moved closer to my work and he had started a new school in 2nd grade again and that was when I noticed that he had a focus problem. My son is also ODD (opposition defiance disorder) and now I see how important it is for him. My point is the way the teachers tell you how your child is doing in school. Every year I go to "Meet the teacher" night so I can talk to my sons teachers and let them know that he has ADD/ODD and they still treat him the same way as they do all the other kids in his class. And what I mean by that is the way they expect for him to act and to learn just like all the other kids in his class. Its just not fair for my child. He learns so much better in a smaller class. however the school he goes to does not off smaller classes to studtens who are NOT physically disable. I am ready to go to the district and fight for my child to be able to get a better education. ALL children should not be expected to do and learn the same because ALL children are NOT the same.

Donna - posted on 10/31/2009

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Its your teachers lack of understanding of what ADHD is- we get the same thing. LIke for example, 'this time it wasn't a lack of focus thing, he did it knowingly with such control' etc.' they just don't realize the broad array of ways that ADHD can affect ur kid. sounds like ur on the right track- but I feel ur pain- of course ur kid is hearing similar things from the teacher, but u can't say much cause the teacher will be offended and treat them worse. I really have no answer for how to deal with the teacher bigotry issue- you can't offer to educate them cause then they r insulted!

Brandi - posted on 10/29/2009

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yep i did last yr when my daughter was in 1st grade. she is in a normal class . but she goes to a class were they work with her one on one . and her speacil ed teacher at the confennce said to me her dad and her regular teacher . at first i didn't think anything was there . i wanted to pop her one. my kid is smart but adhd causes her to not focus. her teacher turned in her speacail ed teacher. and they had a problem with that lady saying things about another kid too .but she dont do that job anymore.

Nora - posted on 10/28/2009

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I have an 8 year old son with ADHD, I have been dealing with it for 5-6 years. First you need to make sure that your child has an IEP so that the teacher has set goals to help her grow as a student. This can be a long process but you need to first get in touch with your schools Chair of Special Education or CSE. They will be able to help you start the process of getting an IEP. This will also help to get her the services that she needs- extended time for tests, quiet place to test etc

Secondly kids with ADHD tend to have short term memory problems simply because their brains are going so fast that they can't remember things. Long term memory is great though. My son remembers everything! An example they can't remember a friends phone number but can remember what happened at the family picnic last summer.

There's lots of good info on the internet too. You just have to find something that works for you and your child.

Remember you are your child's advocate!

Laura - posted on 10/26/2009

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Good points about placement! DD was placed with her first grade teacher because he is patient...and has a good sense of humor. He also has the gifted kids. He's really good at working with each kid and keeping the class on topic. Plus, there are assistants that rotate through the classes.

I would definitely talk to the school counselor to see what can be done! For next year, ask for recommendations on which teacher will be a good match. GL.

Tina - posted on 10/25/2009

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My son's first grade teacher was constantly putting him down to me and in front of him, in his case it was the teacher, not only did she say things like "he just doesn't like to listen to me" , talking to the counselor at the school, got my son a better IEP plan for adhd. I have found some teachers understand ADHD better than others and that sometimes the school counselors have a good understanding of which teacher may be best for your child...

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My son is 14 and we have been dealing with ADHD for 5 years now. Unfortunately, we have had some pretty bad teachers. The first one woudn't even help us determine if that was the issue. She just labeled my son as a problem child and wouldn't deal with him. We have had some that have been very understanding and do what they can to help him focus and be more organized. Some teachers are set in their ways and don't want to take the time to help kids that need a little more attention. Does the new teacher know about your daughter's issues? Maybe she would be a little more understanding if she knew. If she's not, I would consider asking for your daughter to be put into a different class.

We have now chosen not to tell his teachers about his condition and instead tell them that he is an unorganized child and needs help with that. That is what seems to work best for us. Good luck!

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