40 answers

What to Do About My Daughter's 2Nd Grade Teacher....

We have had 6 days of school so far. My daughter has a teacher whom I met at the open house and first day of school & she seemed nice. Every day since school has started, my daughter comes home with different stories about things her teacher has said and done. Her biggest complaint is that she is having a hard time concentrating on her work because her teacher is constantly yelling and screaming at the kids while she is trying to do her work. She has a particularly difficult boy in her class, but some of the things this teacher says to him and the other children are unacceptable.

She told this particular boy "If you were my child, I would be in the nuthouse by now!" (she is about 30, unmarried with no children). She also told the whole class, "I would much rather be working at McDonald's than teaching you kids!" One of them said, "I love McDonald's...I would come visit you" to which she responded, "The point would be to get AWAY from you!". She has also told the class "I do NOT like any of you kids!"
She has no discipline system in place like my daughter's previous teachers did (moving your stick, & other 3-strike systems). She simply tells them to remind her that they have to stand for 2 minutes at recess when someone misbehaves or just screams at them. How do I know this? Because I asked my daughter in detail to describe what happened when some of the kids in class got in trouble. I will verify this with the teacher.

She also told them that she had a secret about the cinderblock walls in the hallway and proceeded to tell them not to touch the walls because she personally saw Ms. Cindy & Ms. Melanie (2 other teachers) pick their noses and wipe their boogers on the wall.
Does she not realize that 2nd graders will relay everything she says to their parents?? The fact that we have only been in school 6 days scares me. If she has no boundaries and no patience at this point, what will it be like by November?
I spoke to a para pro at the school who is a friend of mine and she suggested I go to the board of education. I was thinking that I should go to the teacher first and give her a chance to turn this around...? She told me that she felt this particular teacher would take any criticism very personally and retaliate toward my daughter (who is very well behaved and has not been a direct target...yet). Any teachers out there that can explain this type of behavior or advise me on what I should do? As a parent, what would you do?

To clarify a few points...I am not the type of parent to hear these things and fly off the handle, running into school to confront the teacher or run to the principal to try to get her fired. Do I think that my daughter made any of these comments up? Absolutely not. She has never, ever come home with stories like this before and she has NO reason to make things up about her brand new teacher. She is in the gifted program, very verbal and has an almost photographic memory. To the person who suggested that the teacher might have been joking or has a dry sense of humor...the fact that you think that saying these things to 7 year olds in a joking manner is a little scary. This is a critical point in a child's life and demeaning them like that can demolish their self esteem. The way they were relayed to me was that the teacher was screaming them and she was very angry.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

UPDATE: I decided to give it through the end of this week before deciding how to proceed. My poor daughter has not been sleeping because she is so dreading going to school. She wrote me a note last nite on a note pad from the Bed Store with their slogan "Great Sleep begins with Us!" The note said, "Thats the problem! I can't sleep! It is important. Help me!" That about broke my heart. When we talked about why she can't sleep she said her teacher makes her nervous because she screams at everyone all day long & she is so afraid of getting in trouble. This afternoon, in the car line I finally spotted one of the mom's of a student we knew back in Pre-K whose daughter is in my daughter's class. When I asked her how her daughter liked the teacher, she almost started crying. Turns out her daughter stayed home 2 days this week because she was so upset about this teacher that she was crying and vomiting & begging to stay home. They actually took her to a private counselor & the school counselor who both advised the mom to go to the principal. She said she was so relieved that she wasn't alone in this. She said the principal seemed concerned at some of the stories the mom told her that her daughter came home with...several of them exactly the same as my daughter relayed! The McDonald's story was exactly as my daughter relayed it. They set up an appointment with this mom, the principal and the teacher for early next week. I will be talking to the principal first thing Monday morning just so she understands that it is not just something between the teacher and the other little girl (who has actually been on the receiving end of the yelling several times). The kicker was, when I got home, the teacher commented in my daughter's Friday Folder that my daughter is precious and she loves having her in her class. I am hoping that this teacher will turn it around after the conference with the principal. The teacher told the class today as the day was ending that she was glad they were all leaving but my daughter said she was smiling so she "must have been kidding". She may just have a sense of humor that is completely inappropriate for 2nd grade. Maybe that can be corrected! Thanks for all the advice...

Featured Answers

Second graders (as well as others) have a way of embellishing details. Not that she is lying by any means, but I would definitely talk to the teacher first.

I work in a public school and had a parent come to my classroom and confront me saying that his child thought I hated her just because I held her accountable for not doing her work. I think you should get all sides of the story first.

7 moms found this helpful

Can you volunteer in the class? Do you know another mom that can volunteer in the class and make notes about this teacher's conduct? I would discuss with other moms that have kids in the class, and then, go to the principle. I would not discuss with teacher. It is better, in my view, if things are documented and you have other mom's that have similar complaints or, better yet, have heard the teacher firsthand make those abusive remarks to the kids she is "entrusted" by the the state to care for !

5 moms found this helpful

Talk to the principal.... they can stand outside the door without the teacher knowing they are there, and listen for themselves....

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I am a teacher in an elementary school. If what your daughter is saying is true, it sounds like a bad situation. However, you can NOT go directly to the board and expect a good result. You need to use the proper channels. Go to the teacher first, explain your daughter has been feeling a bit nervous and struggling to concentrate b/c of all of the disturbances in the room. Give the teacher a chance to respond. See if it gets better. If in a few days/ 1 week it does not, then you go to the principal and bring up the same issues/concerns about YOUR child. You cannot go in there generalizing about things that you have not witnessed for yourself (yelling , calling names etc.) Request for your child to be moved to another section w/ another teacher. If the principal is of no help or ignores you. THEN you can go to the board if you wish, and explain the steps you have done and the results of what you have done. That will make you seem more legitimate and not like someone with an axe to grind. Good luck.

12 moms found this helpful

I'm just wondering if all of these statements have been verified by an adult.
The reason I ask is that when my son was assigned a certain teacher, kids told him so many things about her that he was scared crapless. I asked some of the kids and oh yes...she screamed, she yelled, she was mean and she punished kids for no reason and she made them stand in a closet, she wouldn't let them go to the bathroom and kids had to pee their pants.
Holy cow.
Long story short, she was one of my son's best and favorite teachers. There were no problems and not one of the things we'd heard ever happened or even came close and I volunteered in that class and chaperoned the field trips. She was a really good teacher.
I'm just saying that if any of this is happening, you need to see it for yourself because you can't always go by what kids say. Kids having to stand in a closet? There was no closet. There were hooks for jackets and backpacks and cubbies.

As a parent, I think you should avail yourself to volunteer in the class. Or, just show up because you need to get a message to your child, checking in at the office first so as not to be disruptive.
Or stand outside the door.
Many schools make you check in for security purposes as they should, but you're not going to get a feel for what's going on unless you see for yourself. And I would definitely do that before going off the deep end over things you've heard unless you've heard them yourself.
There are bad teachers, no doubt, but there are also a lot of rumors and things that get twisted in translation.
My son had a teacher who got accused of throwing a chair at a child. The kid was disruptive and got after school detention. He told his parents she was picking on him and threw a chair at him. His parents wanted that teacher's head. They wanted her fired. All the kids in the class were talked to individually and they all said the teacher never did it. It never happened.
I'm just saying make sure you have facts straight. Make sure you have a basis for a complaint beyond what might get blown out of shape.
Observe for yourself and then go from there.

Just my opinion.

7 moms found this helpful

Second graders (as well as others) have a way of embellishing details. Not that she is lying by any means, but I would definitely talk to the teacher first.

I work in a public school and had a parent come to my classroom and confront me saying that his child thought I hated her just because I held her accountable for not doing her work. I think you should get all sides of the story first.

7 moms found this helpful

I taught second grade for 6 years, 4th grade for 6 years and now I am returning to second this new school year. I also am a mom to a second grade boy. Teaching 7 & 8 year olds is not an easy task by any means. We are not only teacher, but we ARE mom, dad, dr. AND much more. Some days are much much longer than others. No college course can prepare us for the diversity in our rooms. I am not just talking cultural background. My first FEW years as a teacher were spent on classroom management. It takes me and alot of experience. I was NOT perfect and made alot of mistakes! I am SURE I probably said or did something I shouldnt have too, but never had a parent outraged. As a mother your outlook perspective patience even love changes. I feel very strongly that I have a great handle on management and building confidence among my studenta. I TRULY love teaching and always make my students' sucess a priority. I dont waste my time punishing or getting mad. However it didnt happen overnight. I URGE you to speak with the teacher first. Dont play dirty or be sneaky or tattle. Treat her as you wish to be treated. Give her a chance first, but DO see the principal if things dont change. Explain to him/her about ypur concerns as well of retaliation. Only you know whether your daughter is being honest or not, follow your gut instinct. If I were in your same position I would email her my concerns, then talk to her, then go to principal. In that order. Good luck dear. Dont let your daughter GET discouraged. You DO what you think is right. Keep us posted!!

6 moms found this helpful

As a teacher, I would say go to the teacher and voice your concerns and request to visit the classroom. I would give about 2 days for there to be a change. I would then talk to the principal about the matter. Our principal always ask if the teacher is aware of concerns before she addresses them herself. You need to handle it right away.

6 moms found this helpful

Please, please, please, do not go over the teacher's head. It is so important to "follow the chain of command." Seriously, you are not doing the teacher or your child any favors by first addressing this with the principal or board of education.

Approach the teacher in a very calm and non threatening way. You could begin by asking her how the year is going and casually mentioning that your daughter said there are some trouble makers in her class. Let her know that you are on her side and want to see a happy and healthy classroom for all the students. If possible, you can relay a story or two that your daughter has shared. Ask her about the problems, but give her a chance to give her side of the story!

If you are unable to discuss this with the teacher or feel she is not taking this seriously, then you can approach the principal. Make sure you let them know that you are concerned about the students and making this year a good experience all around. You are not there to "get the teacher in trouble."

Be an ally and a support for your child's teacher. It sounds like she could use one!

5 moms found this helpful

Can you volunteer in the class? Do you know another mom that can volunteer in the class and make notes about this teacher's conduct? I would discuss with other moms that have kids in the class, and then, go to the principle. I would not discuss with teacher. It is better, in my view, if things are documented and you have other mom's that have similar complaints or, better yet, have heard the teacher firsthand make those abusive remarks to the kids she is "entrusted" by the the state to care for !

5 moms found this helpful

This is so sad. I know so many great teachers out of work right now who would love to even have the opportunity to teach, while this one is treating her students like this!

You have some good suggestions below, but I would also maybe speak to some of the other parents of the other students in her class if possible. See if the same stories are being told in their homes. Truth in numbers sometimes gets taken more seriously.

If this woman is as she is described, I would be scared to involve her in my complaints. I wouldnt want my child to get targeted. I would go a level or as many levels above her to be heard. I would also request a class change if at all possible, while they sort it all out. Not sure if that is realistic, but I would try, especially if my childs school work and ability to learn was being affected.

Good luck! Update us as to what happens!

5 moms found this helpful

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