47 answers

My Son's Teacher. What Would You Do?

My 4 year old son is going to school for the first time (no preschool). He is enrolled in the
Jr. Kindergarten program at our church. We absolutely love the school and my DS LOVES & ADORES his teacher. He settled in like a pro since the first day.

Anyway, last week during recess my son slipped on some sand running, fell on his knees and elbows. Both his knees were bleeding as well as his elbows. Apparently he was crying pretty bad and he asked the teacher to please call his Mommy. She told him she would and after 5 minutes told him he called me and I was on my way.

Well she never called me. She just told him that to calm him down. This is how the teacher explained it to me when I got there. When I arrived at the school my son was sitting on a chair away from the other kids who were sitting on the floor listening to story time, looking so sad and I could see his eyes were red from crying.

Maybe it’s just me, and this is my first experience with having a child in school, but is it odd that she lied to my son about calling me? Should she have called me to go pick him up?

Not to mention that she did lie to him. Is that odd or is that how teachers typically handle a situation like this?

This happened Friday and didn’t know if I should say anything today. He fell about 10:30 and I arrived at the school by 11:15 for pick up at 11:30. Should I ask that they call me for real next time?

I should mention that when I arrived in the classroom my son saw me, but stayed in his seat to continue listening to the story so I sat next to him with my arm around him for the last 10 minutes of class.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I talked to the teacher. She told me in better detail what happened. After my Son fell she walked him to the nurse’s office trying to sooth him. When he asked her to call me while crying she just instinctively said “O.K.” After he was all cleaned up she walked him back to class. He asked if she called me and when she saw on the clock that I would be there in ½ hour she said to him “yes, your Mommy is on her way so don’t worry sweetie”. The teacher was so apologetic that she wasn’t meaning it as a lie. Her heart was breaking seeing him cry so hard that all she wanted to do was help him feel better. She said after she told him that, he wanted to sit on her lap during story time. After about 10 min. she got up from the chair and had him sit which she said he was totally fine at that point and she started cleaning up. That is what was going on when I walked in.

Thank you all for giving me such great advice. I’m so happy to those you said to talk to her. Now I feel better and so does she. She thanked me profusely for coming to her about my concerns and we discussed how I want it handled next time! We couldn’t ask for a more wonderful teacher for my son. He absolutely adores her and his experience with school has been phenomenal because of her!!

Featured Answers

That's awful! There was no need to lie to the child. I question her line of thinking -did she not think he would eventually realize you WEREN'T coming? I have to say, I would be pretty steamed. If you're really happy about everything there, just say something like, "Next time, please either DO call me or just tell him everything will be fine and soothe him -even tell him I'll be there soon because it's getting close to pick up time, but please don't tell him I'm coming if I'm not." That can completely undermine his trust in YOU!

2 moms found this helpful

She shouldn't have said she called you when she didn't, but she was probably just trying to calm him down and telling him what he wanted to hear. Some kids that age will cry at the drop of a hat, and if they have parents coming in over everything, it gets to be disruptive.
It was only 45 min till release time. When I worked at the office, even if I dropped everything, it could take me a half hr to get there.
Next time you speak with the teacher, just tell them you'd really like to be called if anything happens and you'll be right over.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

2 things. 1) The teacher should not have lied to your son. This is wrong, and I think you should tell her that if this, or something similar, happens again, she is not to say this unless it is true. The teacher, frankly, should know not to do this. 2) I think the teacher attempted to console or distract your son, & was right to since it was relatively minor & you were going to pick him up within an hour anyway; however, she made a poor choice about how to go about it. It may be awkward, but I would bring it up to the teacher, maybe say "I appreciate you trying to calm my son down when he got hurt, but he was confused when you said you called me but really didn't. Maybe next time you can distract him another way if it is a minor incident." I would be subtle b/c you still want to have a good repoire with her. Say you don't want your son thinking you're on your way when you're not...or that it will take you 45 min. to get to him in an "emergency."

6 moms found this helpful

Sometimes we would say the same thing to children in my kindergarten. But, the difference is, we would actually call the parent. I don't think you should ever lie to a child about something like this, so I agree with you it is strange. Reassurance is another thing. Yes, you need to reassure the child that mommy or daddy will be back soon. And if they cry so much, then it is time to call the parent, and give him or her the choice of whether they will come right away or wait until pickup time.

4 moms found this helpful

I don't know that the lie was necessary, but no, she should not have called you, and no, you should not have come any earlier. Again, I don't like the lying, but people who work with young children have to have strict rules about the parents' presence and involvement in their "classroom".

Understandably, you are hurt because that's your baby, and you want to run to his aid. 45 minutes did not make a difference. In that relatively short period of time, it did not look like you were not keeping your word. A better way for her to have handled it--"Mommy's on her way." She didn't have to use the lie, but she probably didn't have the heart, once he asked for you, to tell him that she was NOT going to call you.

4 moms found this helpful

I don't think she should have called you just because he skinned his knees and elbows and was crying. Kids get hurt at school. We cannot be there to save them each time. Something more serious though (ie hit head, broken bone), that is a different story.

What is odd is that she "lied" about calling you and that you were "on your way". First, find out exactly how it was said ie "mommy should be here soon" because she knew you would OR" mommy is on her way in 5 minutes - I just called her". I would consider asking her not to lie next time because it broke your son's little heart. Most teachers will respond to that!

PS - this traumatizes you more than your son - so smile about that at least!

4 moms found this helpful

well... school was going to end shortly anyway...
but she should not have 'lied' to your son about calling you since she didn't.
She probably... said she called you, because she knew you would be there shortly anyway, per the 11:30 end of school time, anyway.
So she figured the 'timing' of it was fine...

for a skinned knee... that is not usually something to pick up a child for from school... they would usually have a health kit/health aide at the school... to clean it up.
IF the injury were serious... then they'd call you, and/or an ambulance etc. and to pick him up right away... kind of thing.

ASK them what their protocols are, for injuries/sickness at school?
AND... IF they have "injury reports" to fill-out... etc.

And no, I do not think the Teacher was right.... about the way she handled it....

And, was your son's scrapes cleaned up or a band-aid on it??? Or did the Teacher just leave him bleeding and not cleaned-up?
Schools.... since they are licensed as well, have to have a health kit/protocols for how to handle injuries...

3 moms found this helpful

Lying is NEVER EVER appropriate - his teacher should have known better. They should have bandaged his knees and if he continued to be inconsolable after 20 minutes they should have called you to notify you what was happening. If the teacher promised to call you, then she should have. It only creates mistrust and confusion to say one thing to a child and do another. Your son was probably really feeling abandonned, poor guy!

I would definitely suggest talking with the teacher about your concerns about what happened, to discuss their policy in these situations and to come up with a plan for better ways to handle it in the future.

3 moms found this helpful

I find this odd. It's strange that the teacher didn't give any thought to what this kind of lie would do to the parent-child trust relationship. Think about it. The teacher says she called you to come and you don't show up..... what does that tell your son? It tells him that he can't trust you to come when he needs you. Maybe you could bring this to the teacher's attention. Gently of course, because if she's a good teacher she just may not have thought about it this way. Just tell her that you feel that this lie may have damaged your son's opinion of you and that you'd really appreciate it if she were honest with your son in the future. You should also ask that she apologize to your son for lying to him. She should set this good example for him without any qualms. It's part of her job after all.

3 moms found this helpful

I don't think she should of led your son to assume you were "on your way". Maybe she was thinking it's under an hour before you would be there anyway for a pick up and felt like he would be OK? Does the school have a nurse? Did someone take care of his bleeding knees and elbows? I don't see why you would need to go pick him up if he wasn't hurt beyond some skinned knees and elbows.

What I would be most concerned with is whether or not your son was treated for his injuries. The school my daughter attends has a school nurse to treat the bumps and scrapes...which happen quite a bit! The only time I would get a call is if she hit her head or there was something more serious than scraped knees and elbows.

I agree with you though that she shouldn't have lied to him to calm him down. She should be able to calm him down...that is part of their job! I don't think parents should be called to the school for scraped knees and elbows....it's going to happen more than once or twice! But I would also expect that he was cared for, like I mentioned above. If he was sitting there still bleeding, that's a different story.

As far as him asking to call you, that's a tough one. On one hand, of course our children want to comforted by mom/dad when they are hurt, but I also believe that a student can't call mom/dad every time they get hurt. That is a distraction to the class and can make the situation harder when the child actually hears mom's voice. I don't mean that to sound harsh, I just think that's the way it is.

I would certainly talk to the teacher though and find out what their protocol is for when the kids get hurt. And I would ask her to be honest with your son about when you are going to be there. It's not fair to your son.

I hope you and he both have a great year of school!

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