Why are parents so mean to teachers?

[deleted account] ( 36 moms have responded )

Why do parents think it's ok to be so incredibly mean to their child's teacher? There are some fantastic teachers out there. Like me, I know I'm good. There are very few of us out there that LOVE teaching self-contained classes for children with Autism where you take data like crazy running discrete trials and have a TON of paperwork. But, I am one of those people. I've been told by an ABA Guru I have "The BEST program for students with autism in a public school that he has EVER seen!" That says something! So, why do I get a gazillian questions a day about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. Always so negative! Your child is making a SIGNIFICANT amount of progress!! Shut up!! And, not to toot my own horn (but I will) It's because of me. I am intelligent, organized, a great leader, and above ALL a fantastic teacher! So, leave me alone and let me do my job! You take sooooo much of my time away from the time I could have with your children listening to you complain. UUUGGGGGHHHH!!!!

Thanks for listening! That felt good to get off my chest!

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Stephanie - posted on 01/10/2010

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I work in a low-income school and I think that some parents in given situtations don't like to feel undermined and don't appreciate feeling stupid. All the big words we throw at them leave them confused, hurt, and scared that they do not know what's best for their children. Whenever I visit my students' parents, I try to exemplify what being professional is, but by giving the parents useful information on academics, social behaviors, and progress by using simple terms and using lots of visual aids, such as work samples. I always listen as much as possible and nodding the head to verify my understanding. Then, I ask "So, what I think you're saying is ____. Did I understand you correctly? What can I do for you and your child?" Offer up several ways in which you are helping your child and why it is best only for that child. Describe how it affects various aspects of skills and behaviors. I always give them something positive to go home with, too, such as "So and so is doing a marvelous job on improving his/her handwriting skills lately. I am so proud of his/her effort in my classroom. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2010

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ITS BECAUSE OF YOU? Do you carry this attitude over when speaking to the parents? Do you HAVE children of your own? I work with 8 individuals with varying disabilities and I would NEVER talk this way about the families.. having and bearing a child with a disability is an AWESOME responsibility. SHAME ON YOU! Its like a stranger coming into my home and saying that my child is talented and its because of THEM! This is horrible. I am shocked by your attitude towards parents. You are acting like you are the only person in this child's life that matters. Yes, you are appreciated and I am sorry that the parents that bore the children, that GAVE you a JOB are such a thorn in your side. NO some parents are not equipped. And I am sure that you were not all knowing when you stepped in yourself. I sure hope you do not talk about the parents like this in front of the children. I mean yes, your job is stressful and I would love to applaud you, but you seem to do that very well yourself!! As a past special ed para and a single mom, I am really sad by your attitude towards parents. It seems you have taken your profession to a place where you think you are better than parents, and that is when you have lost your professionalism. I am sorry. But if you read what has happened to me as a parent below.. this is SO heartbreaking.

[deleted account]

Respect is lacking- I agree. And, they don't treat us like professionals. I have my Master's in Education. It's like it means nothing to a parent though.

Here's a quote from Wikipedia I like about what a Master's degree is:
" A master's degree is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice.[1] Within the area studied, graduates possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation and/or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.[1]"

And, when you look at the list of Master's degrees you see quite a few professionals who parents would never treat as rudely as they do their child's teacher.

1. Call first! Don't just walk into my class and rip me a new one or try to brainstorm out loud why you're kid is having so much trouble (in front of kids) for over a half hour.
2. Make an appointment and then show up on time! Don't stop me on the street to talk about your kid or show up 20 minutes late for a meeting and not say sorry!

Suzette - posted on 01/07/2010

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Some parents think that they can say whatever amd do whatever they want to us for several reasons. For instanc at times the professional atmoshpere we work in doesnt support enough unity to stand up to these parents. Secondly, as a teacher we may feel the need to bow down to these parents just because they are "The Parents"...not of any child but of one in your classroom for the ENTIRE year! Its like being on trial. Nextly, maybe because they just dont think that we are an extremely important component in the healthy nurturing, growth/developent of the there precious "boo boo" (oh yes the hell we are!) In some cases we spend more time with their child than they do. Thus, we may know more anput them, which of course seems threatening. So could it be jealousy? Im inclined to think some of it is!!! We play a very integral role in the future of their child, thats why they are jealous and mean. They want the world for thier child, as we all do for both ours and theirs. So I at times understand their stress(situation specific of course).The truth is we are overworked, underpaid, frequently disrepected Goddesses, who are smart, resilient and patient. We teach cause we love it or cause we just are good at it. Teachers are incredible! Frankly we are damn crazy too I guess. We must command our respect, just as well from within as from outside. So just think the next time Mrs. Oliver is bitchin about jimmy loosing it black gloves with spiderman on it(breathe)! Look her square in the face think your favorite song, and call her every dumb, ignorant, trashy jealous bitch you can think of! (In your mind that is)! AHHH I feel better too.

Bek - posted on 01/12/2010

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Parents take almost everything personally. They live life through their child. Each positive comment you make can be misconstrued as a back-handed compliment, while each negative comment you make can be taken as an insult. The parent may not even think that their child should be held responsible for his or her own actions. The teacher may be viewed as a bully rather than a professional.

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Michelle - posted on 01/14/2010

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You made your points! Yes, it is your rightful place to ask and seek information for whomever is caring for your child at any given time. Going into a palce to take charge no mater what age or grade level - will cause a problem. Not all parents are concerned about their childrens education like you or me and several other caring mothers and/or fathers. Its the attitdue, body language and the choice of words how one interrrupts how the parent will be when confronted about different issues. You do have the right as a parent to know what is going on in your child's life throughout the day. I would recommend that if the teacher could not answer your questions, then go to the next level of authority and start askign questions. I am not against what you mentioned, but coming into a child care setting will cause some problems with an attitude and the school's will not tolerate it. I been there and done that and I actually saw a parent throw a big hissy fit in the Superintendent's Office and I thought I would be died alone with teh Superintendent and the Secretary and my son was only 1 year old. I do not judge my other parents nor does it cloud my viewpoints about the good parents. I have sent home notices and survey and two out of 5 parents returned it. I asked the others about their opinions to fill out the survey and they never did. But we as teachers no matter what age level or grade level we teach it is hard to have a great colloboration among all paents when only a few will participate in activities or parties or any type of activities. I am NOT saying all parents ae like the parents that I have. But then again there are two sides of every story.

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2010

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I understand Michelle where you are coming from. But rather than labeling all parents, maybe reference "the parents who.." It wouldn't be fair for me to think that all child care providers are going to flip me the bird or all teachers are going to speak ill of me in front of my child. I guess it would "those teachers.." I believe it happens.. but read how you are expressing this and then remember that we are not all this way. I am sorry that those parents have taken advantage of the education system just like I am sure you are sorry that the teachers who expressed a level of un-professionalism to their job and their relationship with me as a parent drove a wedge between me as the parent better understanding you as the teacher. Its not a matter of degree obtained, rather of human character. I just sense that if there is this much hostility towards parents here, then is it overflowing into the classroom and making you lose focus on your job. Its okay to set boundaries with these parents as its okay to expect that my son's teacher will respect me enough to not talk about me in front of my son right? Its about respect. If its getting to you this bad then maybe a vacation or firmer boundaries. My job is one that requires me to leave myself at the door (so to speak) so I can focus on the individuals, as is true when I go home with my son. Not easy but I see why. Stereotypes infect us like a disease and spread... So are ALL people of lower income void of respect, do ALL men cheat? do ALL women gossip? do ALL individuals with disabilities lack the ability to do things and learn? I sure hope not or we are living in a hopeless life. Again, I am not saying these things do not happen, but the original post was saying that this woman was the ONLY reason the child is learning or growing and she was actually showing us why most parents are in fear of approaching some teachers with their concerns. So if we ask we are annoying and not letting you do your job? But if we don't we are not caring? Yes, there are some parents who lack understanding, and there are some teachers who remain unapproachable and vice versa so on and so forth..so since you cannot control what THEY do what can you do to make that a better situation. I can tell you one thing.. I love my son's teacher and I do not to have the highest degree obtained to have value but still pursue my degree out of an opportunity of what I have and who I am, I am glad she is educated otherwise I would wonder what she knew.. but I am more thankful that she is approachable so that we can have a bridge and we can exchange ourselves with each other. If the parents get to be to much, maybe ask the administrator or whomever you speak to if you could write a memo to the parents that kindly and effectively states your expectations and limits and see what happens? I am sorry about the bad things but I hope you are not letting that cloud your view from the great parents out there that are doing the best they can. And I will not stop asking my teacher about my son as I care about his life and all aspects of it, even outside of education because that is my rightful place as his mother.

Michelle - posted on 01/14/2010

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Jennifer - I have a special needs child- my son is now 20 years old and still having a hard time. These parents are too busy into themselves and rather party all night long. I reside in a small town where I go out in the evening to shop at various stores - I actually see theri vehicles at a bar, not to stop there I actually go into the bar and observe my parents while I drink a soda pop. Then we are yelled at and they tell others taht we are the people doing what they do in the evening time. No! Not all parents are like the parents I have, some aprents are very responsible, but do not push or drop your kids off at various hours just for your eprsonal pleasure - if the aprents would like a babysitter - then pay me $10.00 per hour for each kid and I will watch them during the evening time and the lastest they can pick up is 10:00 pm. This is how irresponsible some paretns are in my area, but it happens all over.

Teresa - posted on 01/14/2010

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I believe some parents do not really understand what it takes to be a teacher. They are angry and the teacher may be the only adult contact they have and feel they can dump on the teacher. It sounds like you are doing a great job and it is terrible that you would have parents yelling at you when you are probably not getting paid for ALL your time. I wouldlove for a parent to be able to see your life for a month, step by step and really get to know you, I think they would act differently. Thank you for all the work you do for your children.

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2010

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I hope your bad experiences with parents have not started to show an attitude that keeps the good parents away from your classrooms and child care facilites otherwise you may end up creating bad reputations for yourselves as professionals. I personally do keep my child and I on a schedule but at times things come into real life where there is no warning (like illnesses and family tragedies, single parents having to make hard choices in their work environments)... I had some bad experiences with daycares as well. I worked with a young adult with autism and he was "stuck" (as we coined) and it was the tail end of my shift, the other staff did not show until 15 minutes after his shift started. I called my provider and left a message (she does not answer her phone) and let her know that I would about 20 minutes late. I get to picking up my son and she had his loaded in her car already and when I pulled up she yelled at me in front of my child "Its parents like you that make the rest of fail." And get this! She flipped me the bird! **is there are a shock face on here**? She said she had a hair appointment. She had the same attitude towards all parents as is reflected on here and she lost me and my son quickly and a few others. She herself had a degree (which she let me know right away at the interview) and I fell into being "impressed".. the degree gets you in the door, your level of professionalism is what keeps you in the job. How was I supposed to leave a vulnerable adult alone? I called as soon as I knew the other staff was going to be late. Could there of been other ways to handle this as I came to her house? Definitely. I started seeing her attitude soon after my son started.. parents begin to wonder if you are treating them like this, are you doing it to our child? We want to trust you!! We want to know you care!! We care about your job!! I see alot of parents that really understand the teachers place (I am one) and want to start good. There are times in life when we run late or get sick or whatever... I think that saying that parents are failing the children in really ignorant and kind of lazy in statement. I think a better way to say it is that parents and teachers need to realize that both of them have a committment to the child, and just like a marriage it takes both people coming out of your own place for a few minutes to understand the others' position. There is no doubt in my mind that there are some parents that really are not understanding, and there is no doubt that there are teachers and providers that are not very understanding and professional as well. This is getting to be alot for a parent, especially single parents to take... I would never expect anyone to want to leave their children in my care if I carried a hint of resentment or disrespect to them. I love to be there for my kid in his school when I am able, we do homework time every night, I was reading to my child in the womb before you ever knew his name, I teach him the things in life that school will never be able to teach, things like morals, values, forgiveness and trust and standards and these things were taught by me before my child set foot into your classroom... I refuse to accept that all parents are failing, human yes! growing as people you bet! And I refuse to accept that all teachers carry this attitude as I see on here. My child's head start teachers were the best teachers I ever saw and they got paid less than what even a mainstreamed teacher would. She was there because she loved it and it showed!! When we were sick for 2 weeks with the flu she called and gave me little activities to do that the kids were doing in school and the kids all made cards for each other. The non english speaking parents were treated as everyone else and it was a great place. Will I ever forget her? No way!! Does she KNOW what she means to me? YOU BET! Stop stereotyping (I thought everyone on here was educated enough to know better than that) and give the great parents a reason to want to keep being so and in return you may find some appreciation for your job and in return a little boost and reminder why you do what you do!!! Taking all the credit for a child's success is saying you are the only voice or influence.. in a child's life there are many. I allow my son to have all the great people in his life to help him because I am not stuck in a mind set that I am an island. I am FOR my son, not tooting my horn or myself.. my son as a person who will one day leave my care and go into a world and I hope bless it!! Now that I know how some teachers really feel towards parents, makes me rethink alot about maybe there is some lack of appreciation from your higher ups? Or maybe at your home as well. Learn to put things in their place... their proper place (like clean up time) only emotionally and take more of the good things, let go of the bad and see how appreciative parents will be because they SEE their attitude towards them and your job. Its the same in all things in life. Having a degree is good, but alot of people have them and still lack the things that should of been taught ... IN THE HOME!!!! OOPS!!! We all get overwhelmed (believe me I know!!) But throwing stones at each other is what? breaking us down!!! You have to realize that all you have is the one moment with our children.. we will be with them when the school year ends, the school life and into adulthood... some of us care and do our best..

Michelle - posted on 01/14/2010

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I agree with your comments! I have worked in the self-contained classroom for three years. I now work in the preschool education, I do my job and the parents ask how well their child did today, I have to tell only parts of the truth since we are not like the schools or the directors will not back us up in the child care centers. But the parents are allowed to make up lies, slaunder us and their children are making progress. I had a child potty trained and he went back to pull-ups what a great mixture of emotions from the parents. I have a set schedule for meals and the parents bring them after the breakfast time, drop them off and mention they have not eaten breakfast could you feed them. I explain nicely that the breakfast time is over and our next meal will be at lunch time. If he has not eaten breakfast he should have at home or pick up a quick breakfast meal from your local fast food resturant. We have rules, you and your child need to follow them. If you can't do that then place your child in the centers. Good Luck parents, you are failing yoru children not us teachers!

Bethany - posted on 01/13/2010

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I completely understand where you are coming from. I am a Head Start teacher and I have difficult parents I have to deal with everyday over petty stuff. They want me to do so much for their children, but they do not want to volunteer or help me when I need them. This is very frustrating, but I do try my best to keep a clear head and remember.......... I am here to do what's best for their CHILD and they come first and foremost.



Parents do not understand that their child isn't the only one in the classroom at one time. They just don't think this way and treat us like we are in a classroom one-on-one with their child. It's not easy at all and I can't tell you how many parents and others have said "there is no way i could do your job!"



However, I do try to see things through the eyes of the parents too because I am a parent myself. When they are being mean I stop and think, "what would I do if this happened to my child and I had no idea what was going on?" This is especially true when you have a child with special needs. It is extremely difficult for parents to not only take care of their child, but also learn to cope with the fact that their child will be living with their disability for the rest of their lives. They have anxiety about the future, how others are treating their child, if their child's needs are being met, etc.



They may have had a very bad experience (or a few for that matter) and so they trust NOBODY!!!!!! The wall gets put up. It is hard to be understanding of this because it is also challenging to teach children with special needs, but because you are a professional and chose to be there it is just something you are going to have to deal with.



Everybody has things they absolutely hate about their job and teachers aren't any different. This is just one of ours! It is so hard to keep your mouth shut sometimes i know!



I don't think it matters what degree you have, how long you have been working as a teacher, or how good you think you are, not all parents are going to trust you. It's all over the media about teachers hitting children, having sexual relations with them, verbally abusing them, and the list goes on and on. Those teachers have ruined it for the rest of us who would never fathem doing anything of the sort. How can parents completely trust us with that going on? I have also worked with Master degreed teachers who I thought were absolutely wonderful at what they did and love the children so much get fired for abusing them in some way or another.



I have my Masters degree in education and an Intervention Specialist license, and have been told SEVERAL times how good of a teacher I am, but I still have parents who's personallity just doesn't mesh with mine at all. I just have to suck it up and remember why I became a teacher in the first place. Not every person in this worl gets along with one another and trust has become a huge issue in our society today.



Sometimes you might want to step back and think about what the parent might be going through at that particular time. You really wouldn't understand unless you were in their shoes. Take some time to find out their family background. i use to be a social worker, so I use this in my profession to help me understand where the parents and children are coming from and why they act the way they do. If you knew some of the things I knew I guarentee you would change your tone!

Cat - posted on 01/13/2010

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Jennifer,
I just wanted to say as a teacher I am horrified that another teacher could be so nonprofessional to speak about you not only in front of your child but to another parent. I would be upset too and I do think it is time that teachers and parents try to act as adults and get along. I hope that your son continues to do well in school and I would continue to talk to your teachers about why your son is crying. They need to give you a reason. good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2010

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Okay. i get the frustraations on here totally. I may not be a full fledged teacher, but I am a single mom and I constantly get pinned for not caring about my son and I think its more stereotype than really knowing me as a parent. I have gotten notes about my son crying at school and when I call and ask the teacher why, I get no explanation and I feel left empty handed. So now what am I supposed to do with that? Maybe in some cases the parents really don't care, but parenting is hard work and being in the other side with the teachers, alot of these parents feel like they are not even included into the child's education. Its frustrating as a single mom who is finishing college, working and I LOVE MY CHILD AND SPEND TIME WITH HIM!!!!! Me as a parent can walk into my son's classroom and I know right away if the teacher is going to really work with me or not within the first meeting. I understand your job and I understand both sides.. please do not put all parents in this category and please do not speak bad about me in front of my child in school.. it will get back to me and it brings more of a division in my home. I love my son's teacher and respect her job, its a give and take thing. My son actually came home and said that his helper (assistant teacher) was talking to another para about how I "wasn't married" and that they wondered if I was "stable".. my son asked me: "mom? why are you not married and stable?" I was horrified!! I do not talk about my son's teacher that way, he is top of his class, loves to learn and I do alot with him. I felt so disrespected as a mom and it was like putting more bricks on my back with life being so hard already for ALL OF US, did I need that? does anyone? And that takes my ability to be the best mom I can for my son harder too.. so it goes both ways!! I am sorry that some parents do not get it, but it goes the same for some teachers and maybe its time to stop fighting and be adults! Just a thought! :)

Marissa - posted on 01/13/2010

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Parents should be the best friend of their child's teacher but it depends on how the teacher coordinates with the parents. Parents sometimes compete with teachers because at home some children believes more and obey more what their teacher have said. So this must be tackled sincerely by the two parties.

Cat - posted on 01/12/2010

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Those were the days! I think it is important for parents to treat teachers with respect and model this behavior to their children.

Cat - posted on 01/12/2010

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Don't parents understand we are underpaid and overworked but we teach because despite these aspects we still love what we do? When they complain or treat us badly they are taking away the energy we need to give their children the care they deserve. They complain about what we aren't teaching their children which generally is not age appropriate. I had one parent ask when we were going to start multiplication. I teach 3-4 year olds! Then they complain about our teacher gifts! We don't expect them so if they don't feel like contributing they shouldn't but we spend our own money on school supplies for their children.

Leigh Ann - posted on 01/12/2010

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Because they were mean to their teachers probably. Growing up I was taught to be respectful of them. When I became a teacher, I knew this would be a battle I would have to face. When I get a mean parent, I always make sure I have my dept chair or someone from administration there with me in the meeting. I also stand my ground. I never back down from anything. When they try to attack my character I still keep my composure and try to get the conversation back onto the subject at hand. We are all educated. We didn't just crawl out of a hole and decide to be a teacher. We have been trained and unlike other professions we continue to train and expand our knowledge... till the day we retire. I always imagine myself teaching in other countries like Japan where teachers are respected and are almost put on a pedestal. *sigh*

Alma Cristina - posted on 01/12/2010

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yes.... i am 100% agree to what you have written in these website... you know here in the Philippines we handle almost 50 pupils in each class.... and really almost half of the class are naughty .....especially boys.... maybe because of their environment.. But you know our first meeting with my pupils parents, i have oriented them that these children came from different families with different upbringing in life and different beliefs..... i told them also about my previous experience that they spent only 25% of their time to their children.... and we spent to 50% of our time., meaning to say that these children really show their true self with us. and to think that these children are lucky because we have to spend all of our time with them which is very unfair to our own children also.... but we cannot deny it coz this is our bread and butter....

Margaret - posted on 01/11/2010

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Dealing with parents is sometimes more difficult than working with students. It is not easy since we do not live in the polite society of yesteryear. Sometimes parents of special needs children have experienced many difficult situations before you even see their child. Some may be defensive and are quick to question. Sometimes parents are tired themselves and have had a bad day. Raising autistic children is demanding for parents just as teaching them is. They may be disappointed with themselves, their situation, and even on a subconscious level, their child. At times dealing with parents of special needs children is similar to dealing with people who are grieving. Unfortunately, teachers, caregivers, and those who are closest to the child often get the brunt of anger and frustration. Parents even turn on themselves. Don't be surprised if you run into parents who have autistic (asperger's) behaviours themselves. These parents can be extremely difficult to deal with.
I hope that once parents see your excellent work with their children they will learn to trust you. Perhaps you can pass on information about your program complete with positive quotes from satisfied parents and students. This may help answer all the questions.

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2010

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Shealeen, I understand fully what you are saying. We all have many wonderful parents out there. Parents who would give us the moon if they could for all we do for their children. But, as you said, sometimes it only takes one mean or angry parent to make you begin to doubt yourself. I will NEVER forget the mom who reamed me out on the phone when I was a 2nd year teacher and proceeded to tell me that she should have listened "to everyone" who told her not to put her child in my class. Could or would she mention the names of "everyone"? Of course not, but I cried for days after that conversation. But over the years I have had many encouraging words from parents, including the 2 who so generously blessed me the year my employer was unable to pay my salary. As with all jobs, we take the good with the bad..It is great that we can share openly in a forum like this. I also agree, though, be careful what you say because you never know who is reading your words.

[deleted account]

No way is it all the parents of the students I teach that are mean. There would be something wrong with me if that was the case. IN fact, FORTUNATELY, it's only few and far between. But, when they are mean they are just downright awful! And, those parents are the ones I'm complaining about. Only because this is a forum where I can vent and know there are other teachers all over the country who can tell me they are in the same boat and to basically just keep my head up or give me some advice. I have many WONDERFUL parents too. Some of which I have become very good friends with.

Here's how I think most of us feel. We have this cup full of all the wonderful things that make us a good mom, teacher, wife, friend, daughter, etc. When people say things to you that hurt your feelings, make you doubt yourself, or whatever.... it takes half from your cup. And, then each nice thing that happens like your own daughter saying "you're the best mom in the world" or your baby learns to say "ma-ma" or your husband rubs your feet that night...each add only a little to your cup. It takes maybe 5-10 good things to outweigh that one bad (when it's really bad).

Lisa - posted on 01/11/2010

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Ok I know you are just venting away, but surely not all, or even most, parents are that bad? I am not one and I don't know of any of my friends who have ever been "mean' or contentious with their kids' teachers. And I know teachers, even Special Ed's who never complain to me abut all those nasty parents. That's not to say I don't think it ever happens, but gosh if you are in a situation where none of your parents are happy and you know you are doing a good job, there has to be something more going on. It sounds to me like all the teachers here are generalizing about how all parents want to dump on them and don't care about their kids. Again, that's not my world, but does it help to perpetrate an us vs them mentality? Even if "they started it?" If both sides could agree that we have the common goal of doing what's best for our kids then wouldn't that be more constructive? It is hard to be a parent also, and relinquish an important role to a stranger. Parents deserve respect as well. Most work hard to support their families and spend as much time and effort as they possibly can to help them succeed. Please remember, true or not, they probably believe that they know their child better than you do and with few exceptions, they all love their kids dearly in a way that you couldn't possibly. Again, that's not to say anything justifies rudeness or personal attacks on teachers. The ones I know are terrific and very worthy of my trust and respect. I'm just finding it a little scary that so many teachers think of parents as the enemy.

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2010

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Why are parents so mean to teachers? Because they can be!! Because they do not respect our profession or our opinions.

Amy - posted on 01/10/2010

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Most parents like us want to see and hear good things about their child. They do not want to see the issues that may surround their baby. As parents we know that they are our babies no matter what age. As teachers we often are the first to see if there is a problem with their child becuase we see them in a group of their peers and we have more knowledge than the average parent.Parents are afraid to hear it and like us are overworked.I try to think that they are not intentionally rude bude defensive about what they are hearing of perceiving as happening with their child.

Colleen - posted on 01/09/2010

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I hear your frustration. I deal with problem parents as well. But I do have one reminder for you: there could be big trouble for you if one of those parents reads your comments here. They're 'everywhere' and they're really good at complaining. Hang in there!

Jennifer - posted on 01/09/2010

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What if some of your parents, Shealeen, are or are perceived as mean, are just scared because their child has a disability/special needs and they are worried about their ability to succeed in school. Every parent wants their child to be exceptional...I imagine (b/c I can not speak from experience) that it may be frustrating, stressful and maybe even frightening to realize that you have to raise a child who will always have difficulties. They want the best for their child. You want the best for their child. Start by putting yourself in their shoes. Then assure them that while you are a highly degreed professional, that does not make you any less loving towards their child. I know that I take great comfort in the fact that my childrens' teachers care greatly about them. They may soften if they know that you love the child, not just what you do. Good luck!

Shanita - posted on 01/09/2010

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In my experience, I realized that most of these parents are rude and mean just because they can. Half of the time they do not even want to know or care that the child we are talking about is not progressing and misbehaving at school. We are disrupting there every day life and pulling them away from it. Most of them truely think that their kid can do nothing wrong and they believe everything that the child says. So no matter what the teacher says she is not telling the truth and they get pissed because you are "Lying" on the kid. Half the time the kids are raising themselves because they have no parents at home or the parents are just too young to care. They also compensate bad behavior with whatever they want. But you are right, they are really good teachers out there that want to teach not because they have to but because they want to. I truely think that we need a "NO PARENT LEFT BEHIND ACT."

Debbie - posted on 01/09/2010

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It sounds like you should toot your own horn. I am one of the parents who really appreciates teachers like you. My son really took off last year and shined because of the help of his special ed. teacher. I know it has to be extremely hard to work with all those autistic kids all day long. I have only one and he can be a handful at times!
Just keep listening to the positive things you are hearing. I agree with other posters, some parents think that their kids can do no wrong. They also feel intimidated and think that schools are bad places and teachers are the enemy.
Keep doing what you are doing and thanks for all you do!!!

Vicki - posted on 01/08/2010

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Interesting conversations you have all posted - I also believe that some parents feel intimidated by teachers. This puts them on the defencive and it is hard to have a conversation with them as they are feeling they have to 'defend' their child or the childs actions and take advice or suggestions as criticism. Good communication is the key to this and being able to think how they perceive us - 'as an expert'?? or as someone out to do whats best for their child?? I agree with one of yo who said that they just are rude and show no respect - we need to expect respect and to ask for it (when appropiate) ie 'you need to phone for an appointment, now is not convienient for me, I'm sorry>

April - posted on 01/08/2010

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I have NEVER been mean to my kid's teacher's... I take that back I did scold one and the principle, but that was because they let my 6 yr old walk home when i was 5 mins late, (because of traffic). Other than that I have the most respect for teacher's. I know that I can't do my sons math, I will admit that I always stunk at math. And if someone can teach my son something I know he will need later on and I can't by all means I will let them teach him.Teachers are part of the reason our children get into college and get great grades, in some peoples cases school is the only way their kid's interact with other kid's. So before you decide to go be mean to your child's teacher ask yourself these question's... Who fed my kid lunch? who took care of my child and kept him/her safe all day? why is it my child can read at such an early age? IT ISNT YOU your child is with their teacher all day :)... like i said, teachers are part of or children's lives and a big part of making them who they are and a big help in giving them strength and courage to go out and do things. ROCK ON TEACHER'S you have my respect... and thank you for all the caring and help my children get from you... my children have AWESOME teacher's.

Sharline - posted on 01/08/2010

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Most parents believes that their child can do not wrong. They don't realize that at times the things that their child do at home they may not do at school. The child sees school at a place to act out and misbehave (somtimes vise-versa). Parents do not realize that we as teachers have 20-25 students to deal with at one time, that means there are 20-25 different personalities in one room. Parents need to respect us teacher.

Sarah - posted on 01/08/2010

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I feel bad for my director because she gets the calls and then has to come and tell me. I've been complained about twice this year for face paint and someone's head band got snapped in half at the end of the day...i was like, really??? I just go on about my business and brush it off....this is some good venting!!

Amy - posted on 01/07/2010

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I think SOME parents like to be mean because they don't even know HOW to be parents in the first place. AND I think they get jealous when they see their child communicating and interacting with his/her teacher more than with them. I have kids who would rather be at school than at home. I'm sure this probably makes some parents mad. I'm also a believer in the fact that parents are mean to educators simply because we have the knowledge that they don't or chose not to have. I have 5th graders who can do better math than some of their parents or I have kids that go home and CAN'T get any help from their parents because their own parents don't even have any clue of how to do some of the work.

I think more and more parents want teachers/schools to pick up the kids at the delivery room door and raise them, feed them, clothe them and give them money all the way until they reach adulthood. I have been a teacher for nearly 10 years and have had more than my share of angry parents for STUPID reasons. Some, not all, parents want things to go their way. If it imposed on them in any way, shape, or form, then we are their sound board. It gets tiring, but knowing that I'm doing my job for the kid vs. the parent always helps me get through it a little better.

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