Overbearing parents?

Kara - posted on 04/19/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I teach kindergarten & I have a problem I'ev never had before: parents. Usually we complain about lack of parent involvement, but not this year! I can't get them out of my room, out of my space, or to recognize that there are boundaries, even in schools.



Here's a little of what I mean: the parents walk them into the classroom (ok) then hang bookbags, sharpen pencils, get their journals out for them, tell them what to write, HOW to write it. I've had a mom get into my AV closet to turn the TV on for announcements & move desks because she didn't think those students could see well enough. Another parent comes to lunch every day (ok) because she believes her daughter can't go a whole day without seeing mom's face (its APRIL!) This mom brings a dinner plate & silverware for her daughter to eat the fast food she brings. Every day. Another mom will walk into the cafeteria kitchen & bring extra food out for kids.

These parents "tattle" to the principal or even the school board when I say or do something they don't like (at the beginning of the year, I suggested taht parents give students about 2 weeks to adjust to school before coming to visit for lunch, etc. They called the school board & complained I was not welcoming to them.)



I don't have admin support. We're suppose to be "welcoming" to parents but this feels ridiculous to me! How can I teach these children independence, routine, & procedures when their parents won't let me??



I know this sounds a litle more like a vent, but I really need some advice on how to handle this. I've been teaching for 12 years. I LOVE this class of students, but this group of about 6-8 parents are driving me insane!



TIA!

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7 Comments

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Tracy - posted on 12/02/2012

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I can relate. In our district, the parents are allowed to come in at anytime. I have parents that not just want to come in to help, but request to come in to observe me teach. I take this as in they want to critic. I don't need an audience. It is difficult because they are quick to judge a teacher based on what is or isn't being sent home, what their child says, and what their daily behavior states if they had to change their color. They go over your head and stir up a lot of controversy, which could simply be resolved by talking to the teacher FIRST. Administrators are busy & so are teachers, as we have our own family's. I have cancelled doctor's appointments & my own kids after school activities, not to mention payed extra money for daycare to meet with parents. I have basically put my family second. Some parents don't realize that we are up til the wee hours of the morning and spend most of our weekends on school work. So when they get upset, I wish they could be on the other side and what we go through. I feel like I am venting too!

Kara - posted on 04/22/2009

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meant to add that I have also come up with a schedule for these moms to sign up to be my Parent Helpers in the morning (assisting with journal writing the RIGHT way, collecting lunch money, etc). So, thanks again for your responses.

There's one or two helicopter parents in the upper grades, but for the most part, no, they aren't like this in any other grade. Not in any other room, for that mattter!

Kara - posted on 04/22/2009

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Thanks ladies. It helps just to hear that's NOT normal! LOL! I did talk with my principal agian & she has finally started to understand its not a control issue with me. I've been documenting (thank you Linda! for reminding me!) and took it to her. She's already talked to 2 of the 4 most difficult parents.

I usually help split up the K classes for 1st grade & this year, I don't have to separate students for behavior...I have to separate parents!! Just a few more weeks...just a few more weeks...

Kristen - posted on 04/21/2009

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I am also a Kindergarten teacher and this would drive me crazy. I work in a school where parents can't even come into the building to drop their 5 year old off, which is the other end of extreme. I would suggest having a sign up sheet of days, times, and specific duties for your parents, maybe a couple a week. Limit how many come at a time if you can. Do parents come as they please in the older grades too?

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i agree that it would be reasonable to ask an administrator to come and observe what is going on. i think it's also reasonable for you to defend your position.

i understand that you teach kindergarten and these parents have a lot of anxiety about having their kids adjust, but this does sound a tad on the extreme side.
if this were high school, i would send them a sample of the slew of articles written about helicopter parents in the past few years.
heck, even preschools tell parents that they should NOT come to visit in the middle of the day, that their children will adjust faster if they stay away.

Linda - posted on 04/20/2009

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Document, document, document. I hope you can make it until June!! Maybe next year you may want a parent letter to be signed at the beginning of the year that spells out parent boundaries. It would be nice to have adminstration backing. Maybe have the principal come in to observe these parents.

Jenna - posted on 04/20/2009

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Wow that's a tough one when you don't have Administrative support. I am a substitute teacher and I've seen parents doing similar things K-2 at our school. It's hard not to say something. Maybe you can come up with some photo copying or other out of classroom work that you can hand off to them as soon as they walk through the door, or a big project that will take 2-3 of them to get done. Good luck and remember you've made it this far, just a couple more months, and then they'll be "Helping" in 1st Grade.

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