Teachers

Erica - posted on 11/16/2010 ( 200 moms have responded )

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What do when your kids have a bad teacher? I have two 5th graders in two different classes and I run into issues with them all the time. I politely asked one teacher today why a problem was wrong and she yelled at me in the hallway of the school!!!! I went to the principal he looked confused as I did. He went to the teacher and asked her and she then gave him the explantion after yelling at me.

What can I go to make it better for my kids and myself?

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Jane - posted on 11/18/2010

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I know that, to us, OUR children are the most important and most deserving of the teacher's time, etc, but please try to understand that your child's teacher is also 30 or more other children's teacher, too - each child deserving of exclusive time and resources. It is also true that yes, even out in the "real world," process is often more important than results. Your child simply HAS to follow the teacher's directions or reap the consequences. However, if your child is truly able to solve complicated math problems in his head, without showing his work, why not make an appointment with the teacher - key word: APPOINTMENT - and let him prove it to her. Once she sees that he really can do it, if he can, she might let him do it his way on occasion. Otherwise, even though it's YOUR child and he's honest as the day is long and a genius to boot, how can she know he didn't just copy from another student or from the back of the book? With proof - and an appointment - the teacher will gain insight and you'll all profit. Raise your voice or walk in already angry and you've lost the debate before you even sit down.

I guess my point is, before you can successfully, creatively, and officially break the rules, you must first know, understand, and be able to obey the rules.

One rule, please note, is this: your child's teacher has about 20 minutes of "free time" during the day. If you wish to use that time, make an appointment. My doctor told me that when it came to urinary infections, bladder problems, etc, teachers were her most frequent patients, and it's because the few minutes we could have run that country mile down the hall and up the stairs to the restroom were taken up by a parent who just dropped by to see how Billy was doing; "I won't take but a few minutes of your time." Fact: a few minutes is usually all we have.

How many adults do you know, besides teachers, who can "hold it" from 7:40 a.m. till 5 p.m.?

Would any of you just "drop in" on your dentist, doctor, lawyer, etc? "I'll only take a minute of your time, but I wanted to ask you about Billy's braces." Would you do that? Really?

Because when you stop by on your lunch hour or while you were in the area anyway, to just take a few minutes of Miss Dove's time to ask her about Billy's progress, you're probably using up HER lunch time.

And if you slammed your fist in my face, I'd calmly walk out of the room and leave you to your meltdown.

Sherri - posted on 11/18/2010

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Erica but in school how you come up with the answer does matter. They need to do it the way they are taught so next year when they build onto how they learned math this year, they are prepared and will understand and be able to move on. There really is a method to their madness and you aren't going to help your child by not having them complete the work the way they have been taught to complete it or question the teachers way of teaching and or grading every step of the way. When they are adults they can figure things out any way they choose. In order to succeed in school they need to complete work as it is being taught and complete it as they are being instructed too.

Valicia - posted on 11/17/2010

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Teachers are people and just like people they come in all shapes and sizes. With that being said treat them all the same. Teachers these days are over worked and wayyyyyyy underpaid. And our children can really be a challenge at times. I am not excusing the teacher, just bringing clarity to the situation.
So when I speak to my teachers when my children are having problems, I always make a appointment for a conference. Preferably at the beginning of the week. Then I always speak softly. I don't care what the teachers says or how she says it I speak softly. That way when I speak she has to shut up and listen. If the teacher says something I don't like I smile and think about what she said before I respond, then I ask her to clarify her statement or give me an example.
Usually I get great results but I have had to go to a principle on a rude teacher. When I did that I made sure I was above reproach because I wanted the best results for my son.
Now I teach my children that when they are away from me they are representations of the mother that I am. And I want them to represent me well. So they need to behave themselves, tell the truth, and do what they are supposed and required to do.
I really hope this helps.
Valicia

Katrina - posted on 11/21/2010

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I am a teacher and have read the answers you've received with interest. I'd like to offer an observation from my experience. I know this will be a long post but I ask that you please read the whole thing.
I am considered to be an excellent teacher, loving, caring, soft-spoken, fair, etc. But in my 18 years of teaching I have had two really bad years. During those two years I found my patience was very short, I raised my voice at children and parents, I got behind on grading papers and was generally a b----. The first time this happened I almost got fired but the admistrators worked with me. The second time(five years after the first time) a parent helped me more than anyone else. She made an appointment to meet with me and when she came I'll never forget what she said. She said,"I have talked to the parents of children who were in your class and they all speak very highly of you. You are a wonderful, patient teacher. Everyone says that you never raise your voice in the classroom. But my daughter tells me that you are angry at the class all the time and that you yell at them a lot. So, I have two questions for you. First is it true that you are having to raise your voice to deal with the class this year? And second, what can I do to help you? I would be happy to volunteer my time; make copies, cut things out, grade papers, sit in class and help with behavior; anything that would help lessen whatever pressure you are under that is making your year difficult." When I looked in her face I saw such kindness and compassion that I just broke down crying. I explained to her that my parents had died the previous summer, two months apart and that I did not realize it was affecting me so much. I apologized to her and thanked her for bringing to my attention my inappropriate behavior.
I felt so bad but I wasn't sure how to change things.

The next day that mom was waiting at my door when I got to school along with 4 other moms. They had bins labelled; copies to be made,papers to be graded, preparation materials, help in the classroom.
They told me they would pick the bins up each day after school and would return the finished work to me the next morning. They also gave me aschedule of who would be available each day to come help if I needed help in the classroom.

I let them help until gradually I took back my responsibilities one by one until I was able to handle things on my own again.

The bottom line is.... that one mom did not automatically assume I was a bad teacher. She assumed that something unusual was going on in my life and that I needed help. She came to me with her concern and her attitude was to first find out what the truth was and then working together as a team to fix the problem.

Please don't forget, teachers are people, too.

(By the way, the other bad year was the year I was in terrible pain all year and eventually had to have surgery to resolve the problem.)

Angie - posted on 11/20/2010

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WHOA WAIT A MINUTE!!! These other moms have not read the initial posts in the thread. In an earlier posting you said that you had yelled at her and slammed your hand on the desk in a previous meeting. You also said that you went to the teacher because your child missed a question on a math paper because he didn't show his work. Your attitude toward this teacher is a lot of the reason she won't work with you. Had I been your children's teacher, I might have requested that your child be moved out of my classroom because you are a threat to her. I was this type of parent too - a helicopter parent. A teacher friend of mine said that I might be making myson miserable because my poor behavior tinted the way the teachers looked at my son. I took an honest look at my behavior and altered to be appropriate. My children have never had trouble with teachers since then.

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Tracey - posted on 11/26/2010

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This is coming from a school teacher who is also a parent - 1st set up a meeting with the teacher and have all of your points outlined. I will tell you that if you raised your voice and slammed a desk at the last meeting the teacher is not going to be very receptive. For the homework thing you might need to check into if your student is to show their work the way that the teacher has taught them to solve a problem - because the way that math is taught now days is totally different then the way we learned it. I know in the classes that I teach you have to show your work. I also know that in my daughters 4th grade class she has to show her work and it has to be the way they are learning it - not just coming up with the answer. But I will say that teachers will go on the defensive if you put them on the spot by yelling and slamming fists. Also it can give you a bad name in the school - take it from a teacher I know that there are some bad teachers but usually we are trying our hardest to make your student a success.

Cindy - posted on 11/26/2010

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My son loved his fifth grade teacher but his 6th grade teacher came right out and told me she did not like him. No reason was given. I was shocked! I of course went to the principal and the teacher was reprimanded. Now he's in 7 grade and his teachers love him. He still has that one teacher for English though and she's constantly telling him he's wrong and she won't answer his questions. I've had it with her. And this is a private christian school! No kidding! He now reports to the principal every afternoon after school to discuss any problems he's having. At least she's on his side. I might add this teacher is only 24 years old. Her first year of teaching was last year. My son is a C student but tries his best and gets great marks for citizenship in his other classes. It makes no sense.

Bobbie - posted on 11/26/2010

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First you approach the principal and have them arrange a sit down with the teacher and then express your concerns in front of the management, she will listen to you then...and it is what you need to do for your children...be direct and let her know in front of the principal that if you have a question regarding the methods of her teaching that she will need to respond in a respectable fashion ...because the school reports to you...as a community and parent...not good enough? then you can keep taking this higher and she will be at a different school next year and you know what your 5th graders will be also...with a whole new set of teachers in middle school...and Luck will have nothing to do with how you handle the teachers at that level....but you need to establish your ground now for your children...and the respect you deserve...be well!

Angela - posted on 11/26/2010

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Ummm....not sure what I would do about the teacher yelling at me, thats unnecessary, but fact is we have to deal with people we dont like in life all the time. I say tough it out, it helps prepare for the future in the real world.

Kellie - posted on 11/26/2010

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are there only the two classes for the 5th grade ? i would try and change classrooms if there are more and write a formal complaint to the department of education expression your concerns ..and demand an apoligy in writing from the teacher involved.

Jax - posted on 11/26/2010

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I like you have teacher problems, my daughter was so harrassed by 1 teacher that she had a fit in front of her dr. and we were told she was not fit for school or work. we pulled her out. all I can say is go higher in the system if they don't give the answers that you think r the right ones.and you want her to say sorry to your face and by letter, and if she refuses go to your local paper tell the principal that it is not good enough and you will name and shame if need be . we r advacates for our children and when they need us we stand up and fight for em all the way

Joanne - posted on 11/26/2010

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Teachers can be both wonderful and a nightmare. I try to remember that they are human but I do expect them to act professionally and more responsible than the students.

My steps for handling this would be the following:
1. Speak to the principal and ask them to address, the teachers behavior, and request an outline of the schools policies on bullying for both teachers and students. Explain to the principal you expect an apology.

If you still have not successfully resolved the problem

Request a mediation between yourself and the teacher with the schools principal present.

If you are still unsatisfied contact the department of education and make a complain.

Teachers can be wonderful, but the reality is that they are responsible for your children and their welfare all day 5 days a week. If they are an abusive teacher they can be extremely destructive. So sometimes you have to be firm and insistant. But stay calm or you will get no where.

Hope this helps

Jacqueline - posted on 11/26/2010

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As a teacher of year 5 students in Australia, I totally agree with Bonnie and Jodi and anyone else who thinks that if you come up with the correct answer and you use the same strategy consistently, you MUST earn top marks. The teacher can use the information for further teaching if the strategy is not as efficient as another stragegy but at the end of the day, if it's correct, it's correct! I don't doubt that you are having difficulties with this teacher but i find it hard to believe that someone could be so 'cold'. I would definitely write down every issue you have, organise a meeting and give the teacher your list of issues BEFORE you meet so she has time to think about them (no surprises that might cause further anxiety and anger), then meet with the principal there as well....it's always good to have a third party to listen to all sides of the argument. Try to stay calm during the meeting. Take a deep breath when you feel angered and take your time. If the meeting finishes and you are not satisfied, make another appointment. Don't give up. It's important that the teacher and you see eye to eye, for your child's sake. Good luck.

Blythe - posted on 11/26/2010

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As a teacher and a mom I try to see both sides of the story. I try to put it in perspective by asking myself and my children if they might some day have that hard to get along with boss or colleague. Havong a "bad" teacher is very comparable to that hard to work with person they may have someday. Also, keep the lines of communication open. Last, try listening to what your children say about the teacher without feeling like you have to solve the problem. That was my mistake when my children were younger. Chances are they just want you to listen to what happened during their school day.

Karen - posted on 11/26/2010

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This is coming from an administrator- vice principal .Be firm/ but nice to the principal. Be clear about your concerns. i would ask /demand for a class change. FYI- it is NEVER appropiate for a teacher to yell at you or a principal. Good Luck! If you have no luck w/ principal.

Inform the principal that since he/she cant help you will be contacting the superintendant

Susan - posted on 11/26/2010

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As a middle school teacher I think you need to consider a couple of things here. 1. With state standardized testing the students are asked to respond a certain way on the test. Many people that just giving an answer is fine however when the students then take the exam they lose points because of the process. There are some students who copy and just write an answer without understanding how to get it. Believe me the attack of math problems has even changed since I was in school. 2. The set up of the problem can impact the results especially when looking at order of operations. That's why following an order is important. 3. Grading nightly can be impossible. At the middle school I see about 168 kids per day. Grading anything and getting it back the next day or two is not going to happen. Teachers are human too and have families of their own. I purposely don't give a lot of homework for that reason, we do a lot of in class material for practice. I stress studying/reviewing at home. 4. Are you the only one dealing with this sort of response from the teachers? Maybe a meeting with the class parents/teachers/principal would be in order. Remember to attack as a problem solving meeting and not a witch hunt. No one (parents or teachers) needs to get their back up in defense as that will not solve anything. Remember this is for the benefit of the children. Go at it as I am here to help my child. Good Luck!

Melissa - posted on 11/26/2010

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the only thing I have so far is an airhead. she is very forgetful, when I ask questions about homework or upcoming events I get half and answer or something other then that questions answer. I wish you luck, it's hard not seeing eye to eye with a teacher.

Virginia - posted on 11/26/2010

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I am so concerned for you and your children. First of all, I make no excuses for bad behavior for teachers. They should act professionally with every student and parent. I do believe that you should teach your fifth grade student to advocate for him/herself. Why didn't he/she ask the teacher why the problem was marked as it was? You and your husband should put yourself in a position of "coach"-to your child. But, let your child know that you are there and will go talk to the teacher if a situation is not resolved.
Every teacher has a lesson to teach us all! It might be that a "bad" teacher let's us cherish the "good" teachers when we get one!

Teresa - posted on 11/26/2010

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You can take this as a learning experience, or you can evade the problem and send your child to another school. Your child will inevitably encounter difficult people with authority. Think about the best way to handle this, keeping in mind that this is only for a few months and your child's education is what matters most. Is your child learning and growing? If not, I'd consider a different school. If not, the trick to communicating with a harsh, difficult person is to approach them the opposite way. Keep in mind this person spends most of the day with your child and be grateful for that and all that she does do. Don't allow a personal issue to get in the way of that. Also, people have their reasons for behaving in certain ways. When we can't control it, we should at least attempt to understand them and not feed into the negativity. Good luck! I know it's hard.

Tara - posted on 11/26/2010

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My daughter had a teacher from HELL last year, She hated School, hated the Teacher and her Grades went down to Hell, There is light at the end of the LONG DARK TUNNEL, there is 6th year, and after discussing it with other parents i feel alone and didn't feel i had anyone to go to for help, i went to the Teacher and made my feelings known, But its not us that have to be there for 6 hours a day, My daughter didn't want me to have further words as her life would have been made Hell, So i kept supporting my daughter on a daily basis and longed for the end of Term, which came very quickly, So please hold in there, Remain supportive to your Children. The end is Nigh!!!!!

Kimberly - posted on 11/26/2010

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As a math teacher myself, (have both middle school and high school experience) I can say that I require students to show their work for several reasons:
1. To make sure their process is mathematically correct and will work EVERY time and not that the student lucked up with a correct answer with the wrong process (yes this happens a lot) I will accept an answer that may not have followed the "book's " way if it is mathematically correct.

2. To show that the student did his own work and did not copy from another student or just get an answer from a parent. (Both of these happen frequently ....kids think they are just "getting help" and don't look at it as cheating.

3. Also as documentation that the students were taught the correct way. In today's society teachers must DOCUMENT everything. We are the only professionals that are graded on someone else's performance. And in my state, the standardized tests have no consequences on the students, so many do not care about the tests and wont try their best.

Also, you stated that the answer was correct but the teacher book said something else. So, maybe it wasn't correct? Textbooks are better these days and are rarely incorrect.

I will say that your earlier outburst and hitting the desk will likely be hard for the teacher to get past. Many have no idea what we deal with on a daily basis, and having a conference in which something like that happens is just icing on the cake. Maybe an apology or a card to the teacher would go a long way to mend that relationship. Just a suggestion. Teachers cannot or should not lose their cool with parents without fear of losing their jobs, so often resentment builds since they bottle it up inside. They cannot even talk about many issues outside of school because of privacy issues.

Anyway, I'm a parent, too, and you do have to look after their best interests. But part of parenting, in my opinion is teaching your child to overcome adversity.

Lisa - posted on 11/26/2010

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Unfortunately, the standard and morale of teachers has declined and is on a downward trend. I had many issues with my son's teachers. Your child's teacher is so out of line. Especially one that yells at a parent, so unprofessional! Just think what these teachers are doing behind closed doors. If your kids are really not being treated fairly , you may need to threaten the school by saying you may need to homeschool them. The school is then out money for 2 students. My son was in 4th grade and I was the room mom and it was very disapointing the way the teacher treated him and me! Most Principals just back up their teachers and it's a no win situation! Here's what some local teachers have done ...Taped a student to a chair, because the student moved too much. One hit my son on the head with a thick stack of papers... said it was all in fun, just a joke... funny cause my son said it was humilliating !!! Also the teacher lied about the time and day it happened to the principal. A teacher cut my friend's son's bangs, cuz he said he couldn't see the board! Also a kid said he wanted to shoot my son in the eye with a BBgun and the teacher said, "Your son needs to get used to the way way 2nd graders talk now and days". In third grade a kid punched my son in the back durring silent reading. When he told the teacher, she told the class to write every incident on a sticky note, and give it to her after school. She explained to the class that she didn't have time durring the day to deal with their problems. So for these and many other reasons is why I chose homeschool for my son.

Marjorie - posted on 11/26/2010

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i am both a parent and a teacher. in our school teachers are not allowed to yell at anyone - not at children, parents, co teachers or supervisors. actually even students are not allowed to yell at anyone. when students do, because of their compulsive nature, we require a 'time out' before we settle or discuss issues. teachers then do their 'time outs' instead of yelling. i have been working with children since i was in 6th grade. i have been teaching professionally for 27 years and i have never lost my temper in front of my students. when upset i tell my students just that and i ask for a few minutes of silence until i can calm myself down.
in your case, the teacher may have a problem which the principal, as her supervisor has to address. if the behavior does not change then the teacher has to be fired or asked to resign. we've had teachers in our school (my kids all went to the school i work ar) who we have had to let go because of temper issues and impulsive behavior. yes they are human, but they are teachers so this should not be tolerated.

Darci - posted on 11/25/2010

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Honestly this is no attack but it could be possible if you are having problems with two different teachers and not just one maybe you or or kids are more the problem. I dont know how else to say that I dont mean to sound rude but I just mean are your kids causing trouble in class routyness or just simply not doing their homework and the teachers are getting so frustrated of getting on those kids about doing the work. I dont know or if they are doing their homework and being good in class then I dont know maybe both those teachers really do just suck. My mom has been teaching for about 14 years and I always just here her having problems with the moms that their kids are just being naughty and not doing the homework and stuff like that then the moms just expecting the teachers to give their kid a break about it or just that the moms say oh no you have it wrong my kid is doing the homework your the problem just in denial that their kid is just a being naughty. Thats what my mom deals with as a teacher. But really if your kids are doing everything right and you are too by being involved in their homework and everything and whats going on in the class and if it is just the teacher then transfer your kids out if you can or sit down and have a meeting with the teachers tell them your frustrations and let them tell you theirs about the kids and maybe you can figure someting out then. Or if you want ask the teacher if you could just come observe the class for a few hours sit in the back and just see what goes on in the class room see how they are teaching see whats going on so you can all work on the problem at hand.

Jessica - posted on 11/25/2010

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You do not actually have to be a gifted teacher to teach gifted students... yes, training is recommended, but our gifted ed teacher is actually just a resource and does not actually teach in the classroom.

Dawn - posted on 11/25/2010

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So folks don't deal well with questions, being put on the spot, etc... To keep the conversation polite, professional, and documented, I strongly suggest you communicate by e-mail. Always bcc: yourself and keep it in a folder. By keeping it you can remember what you said as well as what answers were given to you. If you find that communication does not improve within a couple of weeks, begin to cc: the emails to the principal (this lets the teacher know you are still committed to resolving the issue and you are willing to reach up to his/her boss to help). He/she should be quite responsive. If not helpful, bring it all to the superintendent. That way, you can give the teacher and principal an opportunity to help you come to a resolution. Your child will benefit from the improved school-home communication. In a positive way, remind them that you are all working towards the same end, a positive progression of your child's education. I am a teacher of 15 years and a counselor 6 years. This is really general advice that is helpful. However, if there is a particular situation you want to work on, e-mail me. I will give you the tools and ed law to help you resolve your challenge. Good luck!

Linda - posted on 11/25/2010

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I'm all about people being involved in making sure their child is receiving a good education and is making sure that teachers are being held accountable. I only fear those who do not take cool, calm, and collected steps. Steps to understand the teachers perspective, ensure that the teacher understand what the parents expectations are, let parents know what is needed of them for their student, talking with and informing administrators.... I really hope that if you do find that the school is not working with you and that their are just too many road blocks that going to the school board will help. I've know some (teachers, parents, and administrators) to react too quickly and even overreact and sometimes what's best for the child gets lost.

Whatever a parents chooses to do for their child I just hope no party acts and reacts with great emotion. Emotions are what I've found to often take things off track and end up with pretty sad results.

Katherine - posted on 11/25/2010

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When approaching a teacher, always be sure to check the story first. Remember often kids say things to get themselves out of trouble and it is often not the whole story or even close to the truth. Besides sometimes the angels you think they are at school, are not angels but devils in the classroom.

Jacquie - posted on 11/25/2010

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There's a bigger issue here than hmework and that's called RESPECT!! This teacher has none! As a former classroom teacher we do not "get" to have bad days, we are professionals and should always conduct ourselves as though our PARENTS were paying our salary. If this teachers attitude towards YOU doesn't change, ask for a meeting with teacher AND Principal, in WRITING! If denied, or if the teacher does not comply, ask for ANOTHER meeting and this time ask that the school board chair man be involved. We should not tolerate disrespect from teachers, imagine what happens when the school door closes? Good Luck.

Bobbie - posted on 11/25/2010

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I am having a problem with my child's 5th grade teacher who is not a gifted teacher and is teaching gifted students. I have had to go to the principal for the probems that my child is having with the teacher, I have talked to her home room teacher and hopefully it will work out. If not I will be going to the school board, since it is just not my child that is having issues...

Linda - posted on 11/25/2010

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Stay in communication with the teacher(s) on a regular basis, but don't focus on how bad the teacher is. Teachers have a lot to handle and given the often stressful conditions of the classroom and difficult parents it may just be the occasional bad day or you just have to hold through until the end of the year (unless the teacher quits or retires). Parents need to know what they can do for their kids in and outside of the classroom to make sure things go the best that they can. Periodically update the Principal about how things are progressing, but don't talk to them everyday. Maybe if the teachers are really that bad something can be done about it so that someone else's child doesn't have to go through the same thing the next school year.

Suzie - posted on 11/25/2010

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@Sherri. This parent can get invovled with anything and everything at the school. That way she can see for herself what is happening at the school with her children. Believe it or not no school can keep a parent out. Only, if there is a protective order. Some parents seem to forget as well as teachers these are our children. They teach them with the support of us. If they get out of line then we go and try to fix it. I do agree we as parents should get to know the teachers, principals and staff personally. It can go a long way. I could go to my sons high school and didn't have no issues because I knew the principal. I would let him know I was there and I was cleared. Get invovled and things can sometimes be easier when problems do come up.

Suzie - posted on 11/25/2010

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My son is now in 5th. He has two teachers. He was in private school for 6 yrs. So, I am still ajusting to life in public school. My son is very smart and he has a teacher that tells him if he knows all this work why does he get things wrong. She talks to him like he is stupid and doesn't know anything. I check his work and it is right but I guess the problem solving part is what is wrong. I don't get it myself. The teacher has other issues with my son. I have called her on it and we have gotten no where. I have been to the principal and still no where. My husband wants him removed from her class. If I do this he gets removed from the other class, too. They other teacher is fine teaches top notch. Has respect for her students and does not have comments for the kids. My son has also been bullied at the school by three boys and the one teacher told me my son has the issue with the boys. I told her no the other boys have issues with my son. She thinks my son is a problem. He completes all his work correctly and turns it in on time. He will at times talk and she has big issues with this with him. She resently made a comment in class I did not like. She said she did not say it she had another teacher in the room and the comment must have been said by a student but not one in her class. Well, come to find out no other teacher was in the room. She out right lied to me and tried to say my son lied. I still have not heard from the principal over this. I am staying on top of this teacher and I am not giving her an inch. I suggest you do the same. Everytime there is a problem talk to the teacher and the principal. These are your children so don't let anyone try to tell you different. You children your choice. Good luck.

Angela - posted on 11/25/2010

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i think that this teacher was very wrong to shout at u... full stop... and especially in the school where the children can see and hear... no matter the problem the teacher should keep her calm... i would take it to ur local education dept...

Alexis - posted on 11/25/2010

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I had a problem with my sons second grade teacher she was lazy and just had the kids working out of there books all the time she wasn't fun and didn't. Teach them like she was suppose to she also always yelled a lot accoording to my son and never liked parents to help out in class because she didn't want them seeing how she was my son was picked on by a kid and the kid was in that class and she knew about the situation and still sat them by each other I talked to her many times and the problem never got resolved and my son would get in trouble for standing up for himself he also got horrible grades and hated going to school and doing his work he used to cry cause he hated going to school but thank fully this year is better his teacher is great oh and by the way all the other parents had issues with that teacher too and some accually went to the district and nothing happened so some of my friends kids ended up in her class this year and they went to complain to get their kid transfered and the principle kept saying she's one of our best teachers.

Jessica - posted on 11/25/2010

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Speaking from the perspective of a middle school math teacher myself, there are certain topics that a student must learn a certain way of setting up and solving equations. If they do not learn it now, they will be unable to be successful in algebra I and II, and therefore struggle to pass the state grad test when they get to high school. And is it because they aren't solving it a particular way, or is it because they are either not showing work at all or not showing all work? I know in my classroom, problems are always worth at least 2 points; one for the answer and one for the work. If they have a 5 question quiz and get all 5 answers right, but don't show any work, they get half credit. To us as math teachers, the work is more important than the answer, as I want to see their thought process, not to mention that I want to see that they understand what is going on and not simply copying something down from another source, which is extremely common at this age.

I am not saying that the teacher's response to you was appropriate, but often times when a teacher questions you on the spot at school, teachers will take the defensive simply because they are caught off-guard. Think about how you might have reacted to a situation with someone who caught you off-guard... did you react in the most appropriate manner?

On another note, I have discovered (and this probably doesn't pertain to you) that parents, especially those in which the oldest child is the middle school age, don't believe their child would ever lie to them. But believe it or not, children at this age, if they haven't already begun to do so, will lie to you to avoid getting in trouble. Although the being caught lying usually results in more trouble, they don't look that far into the future.

I would agree with the others... maybe incorporate the counselor into the meeting, as well as the principal. Public school education is some of the best in the country, depending on the state in which you live... the problem with education today is that teachers are being expected to do more with less, which is almost impossible in some situations; large class sizes, insufficient materials, etc. Teachers often-times go unrespected and unthanked for the job they take on every day trying to educate and prepare our youth for the future.

RenaFaye - posted on 11/25/2010

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I'm a teacher and a mother. I tried to grit my teeth when my kids had a bad teacher. Trying to communicate that you support the teacher and want your kids to do their work is about all you can do. I have found that many teachers (and principals) don't like direct questions - at any rate it's better if you are sitting down with the teacher. When she's in the hallway she probably has many other responsibilities, and isn't prepared to deal with the question. Most fifth grade teachers teach Math, Science, Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies, and there's more pressure on them because their kids are going to middle school next year and need to be ready for more homework and a different structure. It might help to address this issue early in the week, and not the week before holiday vacations (everyone's more excitable then).

Leslee - posted on 11/25/2010

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I am a 5th grade teacher! My son had a horrible 5th teacher too. Yelling at you is unexcusable--you did the right thing going to the principal. I would ask for a conference with the teacher and principal together. Have all your ducks lined up and explain all your concerns. Have exact examples of the incidences that disturb you. If you don't fell you get satisfaction-go the next level to the District office and go to the principal's boss. (You would think I could remember the title of that person!) Just ask who is in charge of principals. No satisfaction-go to the superintendent. Last would be the board. Make sure you document everything. Keep a little notebook. It really makes me angry when this happens. We are there for the kids and it's all of us who work together to help the kids. Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 11/25/2010

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trying talking to her again if not go to school board and file a complaint

Patsy - posted on 11/25/2010

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If the Teacher is that bad Change classes.Remember play court before flying off the handle and make sure you find out the reason why the conflict,we all like to think our children are perfect,it is most likley both child and teacher , request a meeting with you your child and teacher and have an opened mind ! I hope you are not a parent who thinks her children can do no wrong,if you are then the children know this and think they can get away with anything because mommy will save them. No hurt feelings I brought up 4 children alone and when a teacher called I asked myself if they could do this and most of the time the kids were at fault. Get to know their teachers on a personal level. I don't know what happened but this worked for me through the school years,both children and teacher will respect you as a person.

Karen - posted on 11/25/2010

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Sounds like that teacher has anger issues! She needs a new best friend (you!) Spend a little more time around the school and in your children's classrooms. Don't take any nonsense from those teachers. Remember, you are paying them to educate your children. If these things don't work, then be a thorn in the side in all Board of Education meetings until these problems subside. Your children have a right to an education without fear of bullys, be it another student or a teacher.

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2010

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This conversation is hilarious. I had no idea how many "bad teachers" there are out there.

Sherri - posted on 11/24/2010

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@ Gina - Actually in schools in our state in the US you can NOT stop by unannounced you actually have to be let into the school. As all of our schools are locked during school hours. Also in order to be in the school during school hours you must have a reason to be in the school. Such as a scheduled parent teacher conference, volunteering in the class room etc. You can NOT randomly be in the school just because you would like to watch the class it is NOT allowed under any circumstance. Actually even if you are dismissing your child, you must wait in the office they page the classroom and send your child to the office to meet you.

Gina - posted on 11/24/2010

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I'm a Casual Teacher's Assistant in Canada and the teachers in my district follow behavior guidelines. You had every right to ask for an answer and she should have given it to you without any question. You deserve an apology and I would demand that the teacher be disciplined for her abusive behavior toward you if the principal hasn't done anything about it. If she treats the parents like that I'd have your child removed from her class, because who knows how she treats her students. What she did to you was abuse and young children don't need that from someone who is put in charge of teaching them what life is like. Just remember that because you are a parent you can drop by anytime unannounced to see what is going on in your child's classroom. Talk to your child about how the teacher treats them and their fellow students. Don't forget to remind them that they haven't done anything wrong and they won't be punished for it. Then talk to the parents of the other students and compare notes on what their children say about the teacher. You might have grounds for having her fired if she is bullying her students. Just remember that it is not just students bullying other students. Teachers can be bullies to and because of a teacher's position the student might be terrified to say anything.

Megan - posted on 11/24/2010

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Oooh, what a tough situation. I really agree with a lot of the other posts and so will not repeat or reiterate what they are saying. However, I think it is of the UTMOST importance to show respect for the teacher-in front of your child. If you let your child see that you don't value the teacher's opinion, the child will follow suit and then will encounter many more problems. Of course, if there are issues, as you have, DeFinitely deal with them, but do not bash the teacher in front of your child, that is so so so damaging and will damage their education. I think in this case, I would try really really hard(cuz it will be awfully hard) to swallow my pride and make a personal apology to the teacher and tell her/him you are sorry and that you really appreciate all they are trying to teach your child. (This apology is not for you or as a lesson for your child to see, but only because if you and the teacher butt heads constantly, your child's education will suffer. Unfortunately, it has been proven over and over again that if a teacher and parent are clashing severely, that the teacher then is unable to be fair to the student.) That is the last thing you want for your child, it really is a viscous cycle-the more problems that occur the more you will clash, the more problems will occur. All in all, it is so necessary for you to mend fences here, for your child's sake!
Good luck

Nonie - posted on 11/24/2010

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I would ask for a conference with the teacher(s), and the principle, if you get no answers then go and report them (all) to the school broad and ask for a meeting, you have parents rights and should use them to the fullness.....I have gone round and round with teachers and even principals.....Look at it this way, you pay for them to teach your kids with your taxes, so in reality they are your employees.... hope this helps

BETTY - posted on 11/24/2010

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Make an appointment with the teacher in person after school take the child with you and the three of you have a discussion aboutwhat is bothering you. if you cannot resolve it ask also for the Guidance / Head teacher to sit in also.

Louise - posted on 11/24/2010

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ask for your child to change class's, report the teachers inappropriate behaviour to the education department. Try resolve the issue by having a meeting with the principle, teacher and yourself and come up with an effective resolution for the problem at hand in the first place.

Monique - posted on 11/24/2010

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If my kids had a teacher I did not like and after talking with them, parent teacher conferences and speaking with the principal, I would change their teacher and if they would not let me do that I would change their school. You should have a say in your child's education, that is very important. If you are being a respectful voice and partcipant in your child's education you have no need to be yelled at or not have your child helped in their class.

Kayla - posted on 11/24/2010

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I have resolved it before by volunteering in the classroom. You usually get a full picture of the situation by doing so. Sometimes, you can make suggestions to the teacher.... and sometimes you just learn how many children get the short end of the stick. On a blue moon, you file a complaint with the superintendent at a district level.

Yvonne - posted on 11/24/2010

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It is all to do with the way they are taught at school is the right way now.Even though they get the right answer i do agree withyou though.I think it is unfair so you should go to the principal or even higher if you get no satisfaction.

Nikia - posted on 11/24/2010

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I would agree with you, being that that was not expressed in the question/concern I was not open to the teacher aspect. I have been a mother of a 5th grader 4 to be exact they may not always feel confident enough to question a teacher even if the teacher acts approachable. This teacher for instance does not seem as if she is open to questioning. That is why I responded the way that I did.

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