13 answers

Dealing with My Child's Teacher

How do you deal with a teacher that is obviously set in her ways? My son is not the easiest to teach I will admit. However, it has been told to me that he is reading on a third grade level with comprehension. However, he is still in a first grade class for reading and the work does not seem to be a challenge for him. The teacher is very forward, which is good, however she does not seem to understand that every child is not the same. I have spoken with both principals, guidance counselors, and the teacher. She continues to whine and complain about my son. We e-mail, call, I drop him every morning. She is not consistent with the discipline in school, which makes it hard for me to speak with him about what happen at school. She has changed his color card, because he did not do his homework 1 time (which was my fault and I explained that to her). She gave him a "N" in writing not because he did not do the work, but because he took to long to do the work and three weeks later his was the writer of the month (big improvement in three weeks). The school year is almost over and I have a very negative attitude. Now you all know you are only getting my side of the story, but I open to any and all thoughts. I hope my request is clear. Thanks

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How do you deal with a teacher that is obviously set in her ways?
I will break this down for you P....wait until JUNE and thank God that you won't have the same teacher next year. ;)
however...there will always be a teacher that you don't agree with and your job as a parent is to deal with it and teach your child how to accept these things and know that in the "real" world they will always encounter such people!
good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

We had problems with my stepdaughter's 4th grade teacher who told us that with her 20 years of teaching, she knew better than we did...

We met with her and tried to explain certain behaviors and work with her on getting the child through the end of the year. We (all four of us) also worked with SD and told her that like dealing with a weird boss, sometimes you just have to do the work, keep your nose clean, and remember that the year will be over soon enough. We had a daily behavior report from the teacher and any day that there weren't problems SD got a sticker and after a week, she got a small reward (like a piece of candy, staying up later, etc.)

If your son seems bored in class, I'd see about getting him tested and seeing if he would qualify for any advanced educational opportunities. My stepdaughter did William and Mary in elementary school.

If the teacher continues to complain and you've unsuccessfully tried working with her, I'd take it back to the admins. Especially if it's impacting your son's education.

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That's a tough one. Have you tried observing classes to see your child & teacher interact?It is totally your right to do so. I am assuming you have him in public school. As someone whose kindergartener and sought employment in one to keep an eye on things myself, I know that they are in wrap up and prepare for next year mode now. Maybe, as tough as it may be, you can chalk this on up as a poor match this year and spend your extra time(I know you work) observing the second grade teachers to see who would be a good fit for you child, instead of accepting the luck of the draw. If you have had good and open communication with staff(ie. counselers, etc) this should not be a problem. These days Parental involvement is at a an all time low-they should welcome your involvement and concern. Did you really like his kindergarten teacher? Maybe ask them which second grade teacher would be a good fit for your child in their opinion. Does your school have a Literacy Intervention Support Team/person? They intervene with students who don't quite reach the bar, but that person should be very helpful in pointing you in the right direction too. If your child is bored, it will only get worse until he just doesn't pay attention at all. You are right to address this now. Unfortunately, kids get labeled so easily these days- the bad one, the funny one, the problem one, and so early in their school life.

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Oh dear, I know what you mean. When my son was in first grade in a private school, his teacher was teaching first grade for the first time (she went back to teaching kindergarten after one year). She literally went by the book. Sometimes when even the whole class did not understand the lesson, her method to get the point across was to repeat the same lesson only louder. I had to teach him how to alphabetize, and I didn't know how to teach that other than to sit down with him and show him step at a time how I would do it. He had no trouble with it after that. Well, look at it this way. If you get through 12 years of school (or more with collage) with only one teacher you can't stand, consider yourself lucky. My son's second grade teacher was the best, a kindred spirit, and he enjoyed it so much. He scored perfect scores across all six third grade SOL tests. He's in fourth grade now. He's gifted, and his current teacher is slowly learning differentiated teaching techniques, but still works at the pace of the slowest in the class. My son is bored, bored, bored. I told him we're going to have do this the old fashioned way. He's got to keep up his class work/grades, but that doesn't keep us from learning outside of the classroom/school. I got him some accelerated math books, he reads every book he can get his hands on (by one test, he reads at a freshman collage level), and I want to start him learning some basic Greek and Latin roots (great vocabulary builder and makes for better reading comprehension). Anything that interests him, we read about it. Work with the school as best you can. Other grades/teachers will be better.

2 moms found this helpful

There are definitely going to be those years when you are disappointed in the teacher. I would recommend separating the the teacher's inconsistent style from your son's progress academically. As long as he is meeting your standards as to where he should be, I would recommend waiting it out. I have 3 children and my middle on can be difficult to teach/reach. He has attention/focus issues. I always tell his teachers at the beginning of the year and warn them that he needs a lot of redirection. Some years have been great and the teacher and I have had great communication. Other years, I cringe thinking about. Good Luck to you and your son.

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Hi P.,

First grade is hard because that is when the kids actually start being responsible on their own...and the teacher has a tough job of gauging which kids are smart/good/bad/need help, etc...and I struggled with this as well because my daughter was very advanced. She would get bored and the teacher would get irritated if she talked too much. I had a P/T conference with her and explained that she needs more direction - and just be very specific with her about what to do with her free time...and maybe challenge her more or give her extra work - you can also coach your son at home and tell him to bring a worksheet to school to do if he gets done with work early - also ask the teacher if she can give him more challenging books - not sure how they set up reading time at the school, but usually first graders have a read at your own pace and then once they finish all of level one they can move up. As far as the discipline goes, it's very easy for a mom to be overprotective of her child, and not want them to get in trouble for a one time offense - but these formative years are when it's necessary to set boundaries - and changing their color will not harm them, but it will teach them that they need to take more responsibility for their actions. I know sometimes we feel like it's not fair or we want to take the brunt of the responsibility or consequences for our dear loved ones, but it's all in learning. Also - from the teacher's perspective, she hasn't known your child for 6 years like you have - she has around 20 kids to learn and get to know behaviors, habits, etc and you'd be surprised at some of the kids she probably has to deal with; so while you are confident in your son, she is probably not too sure because she has dealt with trouble makers, kids with learning disabilities, etc...and it's a very stressful job. So, from your end, just explain to your son how to behave, be responsible, and take initiative in his work - and eventually it will work out - the year is almost over and then maybe next year he will have a different teacher (unless it's a two-year group), and she will have different methods...and if he continues to improve his reading, then they will soon notice and maybe test him for the gifted program. My daughter is now reading on 5th grade level and she is in 2nd grade - she brings her own books to school that are more challenging and that she is interested in. Also, her teacher has learned more about her personality and what she needs (lots of attention!). My daughter would complain that she stubbed her toe or something and the teacher would send her to the nurse's office....after getting called at work multiple times, I told the teacher it was not necessary to send her every time she said she has a headache or whatever...usually she just wants a hug...so once she 'learned' that behavior, she started listening, hugging, and then letting go and I have more peaceful work days! Kids are all different, so try not to be too frustrated with the teacher....just have a conference, explain your son, express your concerns, bring some ideas, and see if that helps...since the year is almost over, try to hang in there!! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I dealt with a first grade teacher who, in my opinion, was not a good fit for first graders. Since it is the end of the year, you cannot do much more. Here is what I think. You are his mother. If this situation happens again, then I would request a change. If the school doesn't want to make a change, insist on it. Your child will be a much more productive learner if he is happy with his teachers and understands exactly what is expected of him. Most teachers (myself included) realize that consistency is the key to order and happiness in any classroom. There is hope though. Both of my daughters had one really bad teacher. We made it through the year and they have had amazing teachers all the rest of the years that they have been in school. BTW, in first grade, homework should NOT be a reason to get a lower grade or change a color card. The color card system should be used for in class behavior ONLY. I would definitely complain LOUDLY about that!! Even in middle school, if you miss a homework assignment, you have some leeway on turning it on late. Just remember, if you don't stand up and fight for your son's rights, then who will? Don't be afraid to fight for your son and making sure that he is happy at school. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should focus on your son more and not the teacher so much. You have said the teacher is good, which says a lot for her, so I feel she is doing the best she can do with 20 kids. Believe me, she does understand that not every child is the same, but unfortunately, public school was invented to teach the masses and it is much easier for that to happen if every kid is round to fit in their round holes. When you have a square peg (just an analogy, meaning a child is different), it just doesn't fit their round holes and makes it harder for the teacher to do her job. If you want an individualized education for your son, you may want to consider homeschooling. Many parents homeschool for exactly the reasons you state. Your son is probably bored and the teacher doesn't have time to give every child in the classroom an individualized education--it's as simple as that. It's no one's fault; it's just the way public education is set up.

Well, now that I've said all that, I see that you are single and also work. In my state (Virginia) a parent can choose to educate their children using a tutor. Maybe that would be an option for you. If not, you will just need to teach your son to conform to the system and to do the best he can behavior-wise and with his school work in order to learn as much as possible and to afford the other children in the class the chance to do the same. I wish you the best.

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