30 answers

Should I Confront My Child's Teacher??

My daughter is in 4th grade and has a teacher who has a reputation for being pretty strict. Mostly everyday she comes home telling me how she or someone else got yelled at for getting in trouble, sometimes to the point where the child starts crying, or how the teacher is always sarcastic in her response to the student's questions, has yanked things out of hands, thrown backpacks that were not hung up, one time hitting my daughter's leg, and (get this) just today my daughter asked her for a pencil because she didn't have any at her desk and her teacher first gave a sarcastic response about how she should have already had one and then said something along the lines of 'oh my gosh I can't even say out loud what I'm thinking right now it's too inappropriate!' My daughter said she picks on all the kids not just anyone in particular. She also gives out white slips for every little thing (white slips are for when the kids do something wrong or get in trouble) like even if it's an honest mistake or a child forgets something. That I can handle, I actually thought it was a good thing at the beginning of the year when I heard my daughter was getting a strict teacher. She has had problems in the past of goofing off or talking in class but this I think is overboard. Should I talk to the teacher? I want to email her but should I wait for the conferences that are around March 14th? I don't know if I can wait that long! I tried to give it some time to see if maybe my daughter was over reacting but she says all the kids say they can't stand that teacher and I can't believe I'm the first one who would talk to her. What would you do?? Thanks for reading.
*I forgot to add my daughter is hesitant for me to talk to her because she doesn't want her to pick on her more, and she has said that the teacher is much more milder around the room parents and principal.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would try and talk with some of the other parents and see what their kids are saying. And Yes, definitely talk with the teacher, she does not sound like a very good role model!

4 moms found this helpful

I had a teacher like this in high school and I cataloged every infraction for two weeks then with my mother's support brought it to the principal and things were adjusted.

3 moms found this helpful

Yes, absolutely. A teacher abusing her authority over children is appalling. If it were me, I would bring my concerns directly to the principle. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I've taught elementary and my gut is telling me from your post that this woman is truly acting this way.

If you volunteer, she will be a different person while you are there. If you email her, you need to have specific issues and ask for specific solutions. If you do not get a response, CC the principal in all of your email communications. If you do say anything, you have to keep it very sweet and to the point. You may have to say that your child is on the sensitive side and that you are concerned that your daughter doesn't get the teacher's sense of humor (gag!).

My suggestion is to go straight to the principal and tell him/her your concerns about how the teacher doesn't seem to be treating the students with respect. If possible, write some of these scenarios down with dates. You should schedule an appointment and share your concerns in a nonconfrontational way. Put it out there that other parents may share similiar concerns and that maybe he/she should look into it further. Be prepared that the principal will remain very professional and not throw the teacher under the bus to you....however, he/she will make a mental note and possibly real notes about the situation and action may be taken regardless of what you see.

If you talk to the teacher about it and she becomes offended and gets defensive....it will be your child who pays for it. If she truly treats the kids this way on a daily basis, she is the type who will be extra mean.

You have to do something about this. You are your child's advocate. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful

I agree with the other parents here who say to call a few of your child's classmates' parents and try to verify what she is saying. However, you know your child and if you trust her, I would assume there is truth to what she says. I had a teacher like that way back in 2nd grade - she was known for being "mean" and I saw her humilitate so many poor kids who did not deserve what she put out. As for myself, the one thing I remember from that class was the time when she refused and refused to allow me to go to the bathroom and I pooped my pants - I was a good kid with excellent grades who was never in trouble and never abused the bathroom privilege, and she wouldn't budge, so I paid the price. I was never so embarrassed. My oldest daughter is very much motivated by caring teachers, and if I were hearing this about her experience, I would surely be contacting the principal to resolve this. I would call (not e-mail) the principal and remain calm and explain your concerns (including your daughter's fear of retaliation). I would be very clear that I believe that there is truth in what my daughter is saying and that I am hoping that she can resolve the issue without having to involve take this further. At the very least - maybe they can transfer your daughter out of the class...Yes, this teacher is being a bully, and bullies count on fear of retaliation to allow them to keep on going. Don't fall prey to this bully, and show your daughter that this is absolutely unacceptable and that you have her back on this! Good luck to you!

4 moms found this helpful

I would try and talk with some of the other parents and see what their kids are saying. And Yes, definitely talk with the teacher, she does not sound like a very good role model!

4 moms found this helpful

I had a teacher like this in high school and I cataloged every infraction for two weeks then with my mother's support brought it to the principal and things were adjusted.

3 moms found this helpful

I would maybe talk to the princaple with your daughter i would not talk to the teacher because it might make things worse

3 moms found this helpful

Yes, absolutely. A teacher abusing her authority over children is appalling. If it were me, I would bring my concerns directly to the principle. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Please do not go to the teacher. She will hound your daughter.

Go talk to the other parents in the class. As a group, you all should schedule one meeting with the principal. This happened in a school my children attended. This was a 2nd grade class, and the teacher acted JUST LIKE this teacher you are talking about. She actually threw a piece of paper at a child's face and gave him a paper cut that bled. That was certainly a freak accident, but she still caused it. Anyway, this whole group of very upset parents went to complain, and boy did that teacher shape up that year. It didn't last - as soon as she got a new class the next year she was up to her old tricks again, but a new principal 2 years later ended up getting her moved into ESL, and then to another school.

There is strength in numbers. None of you will get into trouble if you all stick together, and you may make a huge difference.

Good luck,
D.

3 moms found this helpful

Mommyof2,

You should absolutely talk to the teacher. I had the same situation take place and it started just like you describe and turned into a physical and mentally abusive environment for my son and most other students in the class. By the middle of the school year parents started coming together only to find out our children had been made stand in the hot sun as punishments, had their desks knocked over, had their pictures taken by the teacher when they would cry, called names, and the list went on. My son said the teacher pushed him as well and would walk by him and push his hand away from his paper so she could see how much work he did.
My son as well as other students were experiencing anxiety before school. Some children were even sleepless at night knowing they would have to go to school. One little girl's parents said she would sometimes throw up in the morning because she was so nervous to see the teacher.
We as parents had no idea how bad it actually was until we started talking. I decided to confront the teacher, but of course she denied it. I took it to the principal which was little to no help. Me and 6 other parents decided to file formal written complaints to the school district. I felt that the action by the school district was too slow considering the serious accusations by our kids. I spoke in front of one of the public board meetings and the very next day the teacher was removed from the class room pending an investigation. She never returned (she had been teaching for 41 years) and was forced to retire.

I urge you to back up your child and talk to the teacher. Yes, there is a possibility of the teacher retaliating against your child, but that is where communication with your child is key. You have to talk to your daughter and make sure you document every occurrence. If the teacher is not helpful, then the next step would be to have a meeting with the principal. Talk to other parents and see if they are having the same issues. Your children are worth fighting for, don't let the teacher, district, or principal make you feel you have no rights to protect your child. I am so glad we fought to have our teacher removed. We found out that this teacher had been abusing children for YEARS and previous classes had also tried to have her removed.

Best Wishes,
T

3 moms found this helpful

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