K.L. asks from Story City, IA on March 08, 2012
Kind of Bad School Conference! Help Me Stop Worrying!
We just had our 7 year old daughter's school conference tonight and I can't stop worrying about it! I need some input from someone other than my husband! The teacher said that my DD is snotty to other kids and disrespectful. This completely floored me! My DD has NEVER acted like this. She is the sweetest kid...always putting others first, always nice to others, just the perfect kid! My husband thinks that the teacher just doesn't like our daughter and has blown things way out of proportion. She does get slightly distracted or bored and tries to talk to the other kids during class when they are to be learning, but disrespectful and snotty??? I have just sent her an email asking her to explain herself a little more, but I worry A LOT! I come from a long line of worriers...I probably worry to the point that it's not good for my heart! And I should add that she has never had a bad review...she's in first grade and we have never had a teacher tell us anything like this!
I also need to add this...during the first conference in the fall, this teacher said she thought our daughter was flaky. She said she was wrong and that she isn't like that, but that was maybe the first red flag as to what this teacher is like.
So my question...has anyone had a conference like this before? Something that they just didn't believe? And bad teacher experiences? Just need some insight from others!
So What Happened?™
Wow...well thank some of you for your responses! Why do I worry about my daughter??? Really? Because she's my daughter and I worry about things. And yes, my daughter has been an amazing kid! So yes, I think my daughter is perfect(And I highly doubt I'm the only parent who thinks that way!)...but I know she isn't and there are things she can and needs to work on! I just think her teacher could have handled things a lot differently and better! She was not very professional in the words she used...that was wrong in my opinion. And if these are huge deals, they should have been called to our attention earlier and she shouldn't have dropped a bomb on us at conferences! She was very helpful in the return email she sent me and said she will let me know if the behavior continues, but she thinks by us just talking to her that things will change. But...she is yet to give me any examples of her behavior...that makes me question her even more. And I also never said I didn't believe the teacher...I do have a hard time believing what she said, but we are talking with our daughter and we are going to make this situation better!
Again thanks to you all you other mamas! I really appreciate your insight and even though some of the emails were done right mean and made me feel like crap...I appreciate you taking the time to answer!
C.S. answers from Las Vegas on March 08, 2012
Flaky? Really! A teacher is calling a 7 year old flaky?
My daughter had a bad teacher in the 2nd grade. I was told my daughter was under the tables playing, sloppy, a daydreamer, and more. That summer her eyes were tested and she had a lazy eye. We did 27 weeks of eye therapy and the doctor talked to me about how children act when they can't focus on their work. Anyway...we never had another bad year again until well into the teens. Still, nothing like this.
Soon she will move on and you can put this woman behind you.
2 moms found this helpful
S.T. answers from Washington DC on March 09, 2012
most people assume their kids are great and the problems are the teachers'.
it would have been nice if the teacher had been more forthcoming with specifics (and if you had asked for them), but she was probably very busy, and you were probably very taken aback. i'm glad you've sent the email. i hope it was worded as respectfully, since this is the salient issue and you want to make sure you're walking the talk.
this site is full of mamas furious that their child experienced another kid do something snotty (usually reframed as 'bullying') to theirs, and furious that the teachers don't let the parents of the snotty kid know what's going on. the teachers lose no matter what.
clearly your teacher has a very casual vocabulary when it comes to describing her students. this may be due to disrespect, or it may just be her personality. it would be much easier for you to deal with if she chose her words more carefully. bad on her.
but rather than get hung up on the words, and your husband's almost certainly wrong impression that it's all about an adult just taking a random and causeless dislike to your child, how about allowing the possibility that there's something going on?
i never automatically assumed that everything said about my kids was accurate, but i also would never dismiss a scheduled assessment given by a professional who has had the opportunity to observe and work with my child for a prolonged period of time under a variety of circumstances.
it could just possibly be that your daughter needs some help from you in how to demonstrate respect and kindness toward others.
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M.G. answers from Seattle on March 08, 2012
There is the possibility that your daughter could very well be acting this way while at school. It could be due to a myriad of things but typically following the model of her peers tends to be one of them. If this is something new discuss it with your daughter and don't just jump to the thought that the teacher does not like her.
Does it happen that teachers do not like students? Of course, but please don't assume this is the case. You should focus more on having a conversation with your daughter about her reported behavior. If she is indeed acting snotty and disrespectful this is the time to curb it.
10 moms found this helpful
H.W. answers from Portland on March 08, 2012
Without going into all of the details, here's my take (as a preschool teacher who has been on both sides of the conference table):
What I would try to look back on during that hard conversation is balance. Did you get to hear about both your daughter's *strengths * and weaknesses, or was the conference primarily deficit (negative) oriented? For me, that would be one barometer of what's going on. I understand that your emotional side would respond more powerfully to hearing this unpleasant news, so try to give it the best, most objective shot you can.
Asking for specific examples is a good start. If it were me, I'd also ask for a follow-up conference within a few weeks and ask for the teacher to help you in addressing any issues with a plan. She should be able to give you concrete examples and goals. ("Addresses adults and peers with a pleasant tone of voice" or "Stays on task and in her seat; respects peers when they are working by not distracting them"... you want very clear, written expectations and goals.) Also ask her if she has any resources for helping your daughter or for you to help her, and if the school counselor might be of help.
It is difficult to have a bomb dropped on you during a conference. I had one placed square in my lap last November (we're dealing with it), but what really helped me was to know that my son's teachers do love him and were able to point out plenty of positives. We meet about once a month to exchange information and have become a team to help my little guy.
I would try this approach first, asking for specifics and then being a team if possible. I know it's hard as a parent to hear an unflattering description of our child, and I also know as a teacher that sometimes kids who seem 'fine' at home with mom and dad can be a little different in their attitude when they are at school with peers to impress (and believe me, like CAWriterMom suggested, I don't wait until a conference, but those are *really* hard calls to make.).
What a hard conference. Please give your daughter's teacher a few days to respond (conferences are incredibly draining, physically and emotionally). Hopefully she can give you some clear examples and you can move forward together.
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M.R. answers from Seattle on March 08, 2012
The first red flag in your question is that you claim your DD 'NEVER' acted like this. I am more prone to disbelieve you, the parent, now.
No child is perfect (except mine). All children watch and observe and try out new character traits they are exposed to. Except yours?
I would recommend you ask for a concrete example of disrespectful behavior so you can discuss at home with your daughter what is appropriate school behavior. Show the teacher your are concerned and want to help the situation improve.
Children your daughter's age are notoriously poor historians - meaning they cannot recall accurate circumstances later on. It's a fact. So don't ask your daughter for examples.
There will always be bad teacher experiences in our lives. Hopefully off set by the multitude of good ones. We all must learn how to deal constructively with authority figures we do not see eye to eye with.
Also, I have a hard time believing a certified, professional teacher would use the descriptive term of 'snotty.' Unless the teacher is extremely stressed and frequently uses inappropriate educational terms to describe unwanted behavior.
Posts like this make me think the younger generation is spoiling their children. Please at least try to put yourself in her shoes and attempt to believe the teacher first. Give her some credit for being there all day with 30+ privileged 7 year olds, who's mommy's think they're perfect.
9 moms found this helpful
S.J. answers from Des Moines on March 08, 2012
I don't think your teacher has a reason to lie...if anything, they probably would make things sound better than they are for fear of parents coming down on them. Listen to what she has to say, ask for specific examples.
Sometimes kids act way different at school than they do at home. I've observed my own kid when she doesn't know I'm there and sometimes I'm surprised...she's not necessarily bad, but she's much more outgoing and extroverted than I ever knew.
It's really hard to hear bad reviews of your kid, but listen objectively and then talk with your dd about specific examples and how to handle them differently. You really do want to catch things now before kids start to exclude her if she isn't being nice to them. If you deny there is a problem, it may hurt her in the long run.
8 moms found this helpful
V.W. answers from Jacksonville on March 08, 2012
I'm assuming (dangerous, I know, lol) that you asked the teacher for some examples of the "snotty" and "disrespectful" behavior.... right? So, care to share? What is she doing that is snotty and disrespectful? I would start THERE. And talk to your daughter.
7 moms found this helpful
L.M. answers from Dover on March 09, 2012
Well, I think asking her to explain herself is a good option....asking for examples of what she says or does. It could be that the teacher or kids take her different than she intends (in which case your daughter should be made aware that it comes off other than intended...I have that problem too sometimes). Or it could be that your daughter and her teacher are a bit of oil and water...like your hubby thinks.
I wouldn't worry much about it, the year is almost over. But, kids aren't always the same in school/for others as they are for their parents. Think hard...have you EVER heard your daughter be snotty to others (kids or adults)? Think without your "mom goggles" but rather objectively. If you honestly haven't, it probably is just the teacher. If you have seen glimpses, it is possible that your daughter does at least come off that way.
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L.A. answers from Austin on March 08, 2012
It is very hard to hear this type of thing about our children.
Remember, no child is perfect.
This is in no way a reflection on you as parents. Instead you need to figure out why your daughter is acting like this.
I was a PTA President and spent 100's of hours at the schools each year.
I saw and heard all sorts of children and their interactions. It is not always pretty or nice.
There really were children at the school, that I would witness behaviors and I would ask the teachers and the teachers would confirm they had told the parents, but the parents refused to believe them.. I even once asked a question on here about one boy who was so mean, a real bully.. But his parents were super, super sweet. None of us knew how to approach them.
I am sure like anything, there are some teachers that may try to pick on a child, but over all you need to listen and take to heart what they are saying.
This could be a turning point for your child.
Ask for exact examples and what suggestions does the teacher have?
Then take a look around at who is your daughters best friend, what is she like?
Is she invited to parties, sleepovers etc?
Does she have close friends? How do they get along? What do her friends talk about in the backseat of your car when you take them places? How does she REALLY act around other children.. even when she does not know you are aware? Is she invited to events by all sorts of children or just a few and what are they like?
Just take a few steps back and try to observe what is going on with her. She probably does not realize at school her behaviors are different.. It will take some investigation to find out why she acts this way.
I am sending you strength. You can and will solve this. And just breath.. This really is not the end of the world.. Just another exciting chapter in Parenthood.
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