Advice Children's Grade 2 Teacher is Malicious

Sara - posted on 05/30/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am at the end of my rope with my children's grade 2 teacher, they are twins and are both in her class. In the beginning of the year we had some issues with her that we tried to deal with her about, and since then she targets my children constantly in the class. She repeatedly screams at them, says humiliating and demeaning things to them in front of the rest of the class, so much so, that other children have repeated the comments, saying, 'Ms. ___ is right, you are the slowest person in this whole class". She called my daughter rude. mean with disgusting behavior. My children have NEVER had any behavioral issue whatsoever, every teacher has always commented on how well behaved they are, and any parent who has had them over for a play date has commented as well on how well behaved they are. I think my children are really reliable, they have actually never complained about a teacher yelling at them before this year, and they have teachers for other subjects this year that they never complain about.

If someone else is talking to my daughter and she tried to ignore her friend to avoid getting into trouble, this teacher will always blame my daughter.

This teacher is young, I believe this is her first teaching position, and last year she worked as a resource teacher for the school. I have caught her in repeated lies, she has walked by me on many occasions without ever saying hello, she denies saying the things that she says to my children, but I believe my children 100%, they have never complained about ANYONE in the past.

In the beginning of the year, there was a field trip and this teacher asked for volunteers but when I volunteered she told me that she already had enough parents. I asked her very politely if she would allow me to participate in the next field trip. She replied in front of me and my husband 'for sure.' Well, the last field trip took place last week, and I volunteered, and she sent out an email saying that she picked parents from a hat, and I was not chosen. I later found out that 5 parents got to go including ones who have had NUMEROUS opportunities to be involved in the class. My children wanted so badly for me to be there, and were so sad when I told them I was not chosen. I asked other moms, and from what I can gather, she accepted everyone who offered but me, who has 2 children in the class and has never had the chance to participate in anything in the class. This was particularly upsetting for my kids because I have had little chance for involvement in the past because of working a lot of hours, but this year I told the teacher about never having had the opportunity and that I do have time this year and it would mean a lot to the children.

My daughter sprained her ankle this year, and this teacher was repeatedly asking her when she will no longer have to use the crutches, and her friend who teaches the class next door was also constantly questioning my daughter about not having a cast and why does she need the crutches. So we brought medical documentation in to the office from the ER in a children's hospital as well as from her pediatrician stating that she needs the crutches, and when the office gave it to this teacher she played dumb and said I don't know why the parents brought a note, they didn't need to. She is extremely manipulative, deceitful, immature and spiteful and vindictive and it gives me chills to have my kids in her class. The receptionist in the school office then looked at my husband and I as if something was wrong with us, and said she is just asking about the crutches out of concern. But I know the difference and the type of comments my daughter got were, 'I could understand if you had broken your leg' and once the teacher even threatened to take the crutches away from my daughter.

I have contemplated switching my kids from this school which is a private school by the way,because the principal seems to be completely naïve and unaware, when we approached her about the crutches she says it must be a misunderstanding because this teacher is so warm and has such a good understanding of her kids. This could not be further from the truth, the teacher is continuously screaming at the kids, demeans and humiliates them in front of the rest of the class, and is completely inexperienced as well. She has barely taught my kids anything all year, they have barely advanced, and in email correspondence from the teacher, there are usually numerous spelling errors, so how can this teacher teach English, writing and spelling properly.

I am really uncertain of how to handle this and am partially inclined to just bite my tongue and let it slide. My fears are this is a small private school, and it is not government subsidized so it has a hard time retaining good English teachers who would rather go to the public system where they have more benefits. I worry that this teacher will have gossiped about my husband and I, and that even if we remain in the school next year we will have problems because of malicious gossip provided by this teacher. I know that may sound a bit paranoid, but I have heard of horror stories in small schools of lots of gossip amongst teachers and then kids and their parents being unfairly treated. I have contemplated switching my kids to our local public school, but we are zoned to one of the public schools in our area that does not have a good reputation for its education, and my children have a lot of friends and it is painful to uproot them when they are happy socially.

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle such a situation? I would welcome responses from teachers as well.

I am astounded, when I was in my 20s like this teacher and starting out in my career, I was extremely respectful towards patients/clients/parents. I would never have taken an attitude like that. I can't believe she can get away with that, but it also disillusions me that there are such malicious, spiteful and deceitful people out there.

THanks

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Alicia - posted on 05/30/2013

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From a mom who learned the hard way, do NOT let it slide. Your children depend on you to stand up for them when they are being wronged. I wish I could give you good advice on how to approach this, but I think you just have to decide what you think would work the best for you personally.I would pull my kids from the school based on what I read, but only you know what is best for your situation. I am very opinionated on this subject because of my own experiences with this exact thing and could go on for days, but really the only thing that I can say for sure is DO NOT let it slide. :) Good luck Mama!

Alicia - posted on 05/30/2013

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I've been where you are. Small community, teacher saying things to my child, not wanting to cause problems, gossip, etc. It was awful! I let it go on for far too long and I fear it has impacted my child's view of school permanently. Don't make my mistake. I ran into this again just 2 years later and I, again, had no idea what to do. I knew the principal very well and I went to him with a stack of papers to prove she was failing my child when his work was done correctly. Long story, but basically he's lazy and wasn't doing anything in class, she told me he was slow and had a learning disability basically (just as an fyi - we have done the testing and a million other things. He is incredibly smart, just lazy). She told me it was too hard for her to ask him to turn in his homework! I got one email that finally sent me over the edge and I responded, copied the principal, and called her out on everything. The principal made her fix his grades and she stopped failing him, but it was miserable for me to deal with. I don't know if any of this is helpful to you at all, but you are not alone.

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Kat - posted on 06/02/2013

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It makes me so angry to hear stories like this. My daughter had the exact treatment from her year 2 teacher. We kept a record of all the things that were happening. It took 6 months to have her moved to another class. The principal could see the way our daughter was treated was not right, and things happening shouldn't have, but they still tend to protect their teachers all the way. Half way through the year my daughter was so stressed over school I promised her I wouldn't put her back into that class. The relief on her face told me I was doing the right thing. It was like a ton of weight had lifted from her shoulders. The school finally agreed to move her as I stood my ground and told them there was no way she was going back to that classroom. No child should feel like that. She has ongoing anxiety now which we are still trying to deal with (moving class was a big help) but in hindsight I wish I had pulled her from the school all together for a fresh start. She is 10 now, and recently diagnosed with aspergers, so this just makes me even angrier that my sweet daughter who always tried her hardest was treated this way. I still don't even know if this diagnosis is totally correct. I must admit along with her anxiety I have thought of post traumatic stress has something to do with how she is now. Trust your instinct, it's usually right. You are her parents so if this teacher is making you feel that way imagine having to sit in her class every day. This teacher will never change, so I really hope you can find an alternative.

Sara - posted on 05/30/2013

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Thanks again Alicia. It is helpful to know that I am not alone. Good for you for addressing the issues you had with your child's teacher. It sounds like it was a horribly unfair situation. It is really great that you had accumulated facts/proof to back up your claims. I don't have much proof outside of an email I sent in the fall asking that I be included in the next field trip as a volunteer. I don't have too much faith in the principal of the school doing much, I think she sides with the teachers generally.

Anyhow thanks for sharing your story with me, and hope your child is in a better situation this year.

Sara - posted on 05/30/2013

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Thanks Alicia for the advice.

The reason I was going to let it slide is because I feel that part of what created this malice was my husband and I complaining about the crutches and demeaning remarks early on in the year. Of course I don't think that really created the problems, because we approached the teacher politely each time, I think the teacher is just plain mean, petty and immature. It seems that we have gotten no where but having the teacher be more malicious in covert ways towards the kids and towards me and my husband as well by excluding us from the opportunity to have involvement in the class.

My kids have endured being screamed at all year and I repeatedly hear my daughter say every morning she is afraid of going to school and being screamed at by this teacher. It breaks my heart to send her to school each day to be treated this way. I am just fearful of making it worse and then creating gossip amongst the teachers that could effect the kids next year.

It is really really hard for me to let it slide though, my inclination is to go in there and raise h*ll!

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