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...

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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.

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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 !

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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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 !

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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!

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"She has no discipline system in place like my daughter's previous teachers" How do you know this? Does this even make sense?.. Even the very worst teachers I have ever encountered, had some sort of discipline for their rooms, or they would not be teachers.

We were advised by a teacher very early on.. "You believe 50% of what your children tells you goes on at school and I will believe 50% of what they tell me goes on in your home.".

Maybe this teacher has a very dry sense of humor? Maybe she has said something like this but when she is joking.

Could be your daughter is not used to adults being funny and teasing children?

As a parent, I would either, volunteer in the classroom and take a look at what is going on.. and or have a meeting with the teacher and actually meet her. You could ask her about some of this.

It has only been a week. You have not seen anything yet.. Your child is going to have lots of different teachers in her school years, you start switching teachers now.. Your daughter is not going to learn to work with different styles of learning and teaching,.

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OMG! I just read some of the responses. First, a nanny cam is so extreme. Sending it to all the other parents, really??? As a teacher, I was mistakenly quoted and a parent was furious with me. She came up to me and starting chewing me out. When I explained what had happened she realized how foolish she had behaved and was embarrassed. If she had just asked me, I would have cleared things up before she made herself look ridiculous.
Alana H. had great advice on how to handle this rationally. I agree with her completely!

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You have a 2nd grader... They love to embellish facts.

Gees. Don't ginover the teachers head... Communicate with the teacher for goodness sake..

You hear your child's side... There is more to this than your daughters side.

Please be objective and talk to the teacher. As a substitute at the same school over 10 yrs, I've never heard such a story.

Your child may be playing you... I know that from experience with my daughter. Get all info before you make judgements and decisions.

My daughter is now all AP, honors, cheer squad but there were time when I heard the same story you just posted. Kids are great at manipulating parents to believe what they want them to believe!!

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I had a teacher just like her when I was in 5th grade. In 5th grade, kids don't really tell their parents anything. Then two years later, that teacher was fired for doing the same things she was doing in my class. You need to go to the Board of Education. Do not put your daughter in the middle of this- it will emotionally scar her and she needs to have a positive image of school and education and teachers. Do the right thing for her, and go to the Board directly. The teacher may very well retaliate- and it most likely is a heart issue of the teacher- she will not change just by you telling her to. Sounds like she is in the wrong career path. You might be very well doing not only your daughter, classmates,and future students a favor, but also the teacher.

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

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First, I would suggest that while there may be something going on, not everything that children say actually happens the way that they said it did. Our Board of Ed does is not the boss of the teachers, the building principal is, and the superintendant of schools above the principals. The Board of Ed are community volunteers. Do not assume that everything your 6 or 7 year old is saying is 100% true. I would start with the teacher and do so in a non-confrontational way. If the biggest issue is that she cant' concentrate because teacher is yelling at other kids, I would start there. I would however, question the professionalism of a school in general if the elementary children are calling teachers
Ms FirstName.

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each school district has a policy in place for addressing issues.

normally you should start with the teacher, & then move to the principal if the issues are not resolved.

in this case, I would document everything your daughter reports to you. Make it as non-judgmental as possible. Schedule a meeting with the teacher, & do not allow your para friend to bias your meeting. If the issues do not improve, then move on to the principal. That way, you can honestly say that you have followed procedure.

My friend went thru something similar last year. After days of her DD being upset & relating horrid stories (very much like yours), my friend met with the teacher. It turns out that part of the issue was the child's attitude....she didn't want to leave last year's teacher! She was not open to learning the new teacher's rules & was exaggerating some of the events in the classroom. She was taking everything said "badly" & not with the humor that it was intended. In the end, the DD & teacher became great friends. Hope this happens for you.....

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Hmm, talk to the teacher first. My daughter is going into second grade and her complaint about last year's teacher was that she was always yelling at them. Come to find out that her definition of yelling was different than most. The teacher had a very loud and commanding voice, and she used it when the kids were not listening. She didn't yell at them though. I would volunteer and sit in the hallway pulling kids out and I heard the teacher across from me. She had some very out of control kids and would say things like, "I'm doing report cards this afternoon and if you all don't be quiet I am changing all of your grades!" the yelling and threats did little to control that class though and i was glad my daughter was in with the loud teacher. What I find odd is that none of the other parents have heard the same thing? When I would pick up my daughter all the moms would talk. If a teacher was acting that way, it would have filtered through. There is a kindergarten teacher that yells and says very inappropriate things at times and believe me we all know who she is and have made the requests not to have her. Our school has also implemented a school wide discipline policy that every teacher and student is expected to follow. The principal and the teacher instruct us and the kids on it during back to school night. Maybe you could encourage your school to develop something like this. Talk to the teacher first. If she doesn't ease your fears or you fear a retaliation, talk to the principal. It is early enough that your daughter could still be moved to another room.

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Wow, that's appalling. If you just go to the teacher, she'll probably deny it and may or may not retilate against your daughter. I think you should go to the principal or the school board directly. Hope you can resolve this before too much precious time is wasted.

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You know my father in law dropped by the school one day and watched the class for a little bit, then found out the teacher was doing the same thing you are describing. Needless to say, it wasn't very pretty for anyone involved. I think everyone ended up in the principals office. Can you swing by the class and check it out? Maybe watch a little bit through the window unnoticed?

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WOW!!!! Time for a nanny cam.
If you can, go to the school during class and sit in the hallway and listen. If you have a voice recorder, use it. I would not bother going to the princepal or the school board, these fool hired this nut case. I would take whatever I recorded, download it, and send it to every parent I have an email address for. Then I would go to the first parent -teacher conference and put it on continued play and let every parent hear it. ONLY if you can get a majority of parents clammering for her dismissel will she get fired. Teachers have a strong union and they fight for each other even if the offending one is a nut case and making all teachers look bad.
Contacting the news media might help, too.

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I've had some pretty long days in my years as a provider and I've been in some particularly bad moods. But if it's true what you say, I would not take my child back. I'd go straight to the principals office and tell them if they don't have another 2nd grade class then you will be taking her home until they tell you who is your daughters new teacher and how they intend to handle this.

Some of this stuff is really wild and I'm not calling your daughter a liar. I'm just saying that REALLY? One off the wall statement in April or the beginning of May when everyone is tired of school would be more understandable. But all of this?

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This is so sad!! I taught elementary school. I think that if one of my boys had a teacher like this, I would take it to the principal first. The principal needs to know the exact things being said and actions the teacher is taking. The principal can either set up a meeting with the teacher where she is also in attendance or can set up a meeting and discuss with the teacher what is and isn't appropriate. I would give it a week and if changes are not made, go farther up to the super or school board.

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I can tell your from Experience, that yes the teacher will retaliate back at your child. I had a similar experience with a teacher,and went to the teacher, then had a sit meetting with principal and v principal and teacher. Everything was going to be "perfect and dandy now". Turns out my child started getting picked on more by the teacher, and she started complaining about him and wanted him to go to a psychologist for behavior. He was only 4. Turns out the two teacher aides finally came to me quietly and told me what was going on because they felt bad for him and me, and knew what she was doing was wrong.
I went to the school board after that.
Be a responsible parent, but watch out for your child as well. I stood up for the rights of all the kids and turns out that my son and I started getting bullied by the teacher. Remember, they are humans too. They feel the need to get upset, retaliate, etc just like all of us do.

All the best

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I think she'd act all innocent and appalled that a child would say stuff like this and being an employee that may or may not have tenure, even if it is at another school in the area, she may have the wool pulled over their eyes. I think I would try to figure out a devious way to catch her in the act. Maybe standing outside the classroom but I think I might just put a voice activated tape recorder in the little ones backpack or purse. Something she'd keep in class with her and not in a locker. As sad as it is I think you'd have to have proof. If you walk her to class you could put it in her desk and turn it on while they are at morning assembly or just about to come in the class. But your daughter can't notice it and ask the teacher what it is.

You have to buy extended length tapes too or the tape recorder will click off during the day and make a loud noise. Then it would be found. I don't know if there are digital ones that don't use tape and can go 8 hours or more. If not, then you can always come and have lunch with her and secretly switch out the tape for another one.

I would never approach the teacher about this. With the teachers obvious issues she might even strike your child or something worse.

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As a teacher, I ask you - and all the other moms - PLEASE, please, please go to the TEACHER first with your concerns. Give him / her an opportunity to speak with you before going to their boss - or worse, the school board, with secondhand information. Wouldn't you appreciate that from your clients? When people constantly jump the chain of command, it very rapidly erodes any sense of trust between teachers, students and parents.

If things actually happened this way, I agree with all who say NO WAY. It sounds completely inappropriate. Just please, go to her first. If things don't change, it gives you more credibility w/administrators when you can say you took the initiative to discuss the issue with the teacher.

Best of luck to you and your little one.

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I'm having a really hard time believing any of this is true. I'm sorry, I just am... and I would have trouble believing it from my very truthful children. If you have a teacher that would say those sorts of things in the first week of school to a classroom full of students would have a classroom worth of parents beating down the principal's door to find out what's really going on.

Do you know any of the other parents of the children in the classroom? If you know any of them well I would call and see if their child has said anything odd about the teacher.

I would definitely call and talk to the teacher to try to find out what's happening. If that doesn't resolve it, then move up to talking to the principal or however your particular school handles it. Some schools go through the school social worker before stepping it up, or they bring in the social worker AND the principal or the social worker and the teacher before bringing in the principal.

I can tell you from experience that just because your child is sweet and typically honest that doesn't mean that they don't have a good imagination, that they don't misunderstand things, or that they can't fudge the truth. Don't just automatically assume that this teacher is a monster. That doesn't mean your child is lying... but it doesn't mean she's telling the truth either.

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I have to agree if the school has a thing where you can just drop in and help out in classroom do it. My son in 5th grade had a teacher that was finally told not to call us if she had a problem with my son to call the office. This was because one day she called us cause he was trying to get a good grip on a pencil and kept dropping it. The school office was surprised because they had no clue at time why we had walked there for.. like said observe and then go what is going on..That recording device people suggested in school would be considered illegal and would make other parents/staff upset

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I agree with LBC, schedule a meeting with the teacher and the principal. This is the intermediate step between the board of education your friend recommended. It's also time to volunteer in the classroom!

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I think at this point, I'd schedule a meeting with the teacher and the principal together to see if something might be done. If you find that this doesn't work, meet with the principal alone and then move on up the chain of command.
Teachers who yell are ineffective at best.

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WHAT?!? I would send a very concerning email/letter/personal meeting with the principal.

Do you know any other parents of classmates? Can you ask the parents if they have heard anything?

This is unacceptable and needs to be stopped immediately.

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I used to be a teacher and I TOTALLY believe it is true. Every once in a while, there is a wacko teacher!

Go to the principal and request that your child be moved to a different classroom immediately.

There are teachers who create toxic environments for children - where they yell and say mean and sarcastic things. There is a difference between teasing and joking with students you have developed a rapport with, and scaring, intimidating, and hurting children.

People like this should not be teachers. You can train an inexperienced teacher to become a better teacher, but you cant make someone who is mean and sarcastic become empathetic, patient, and nurturing.

Talk to the principal - get your daughter out of there, and hopefully when enough other parents complain, the teacher will be gone.

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Actually, the way this is described is outrageous. However, the best way to solve problems is acting with calm and respect, otherwise you will never get anything or never will resolve a situation in a good manner, especially when there are kids in between. First ask the teacher to have a conference and discuss the situation, you will see immediately what kind of person she is, ask questions and keep it cool, then you will know what to do. If you don't feel OK and you discover there is a lot of true in this, make an appointment with the principal and move your daughter to another classroom. I am not saying that your daughter made it up, many time things are very misunderstood and we cannot be present and know exactly what happened; however, it is important that you know your daughter and you should believe in her. Believing in my kid and then realizing how right he was in the past, was the best thing I ever done for my child.
Good luck and do not lose it

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For anyone who is doubting that a TEACHER can say such things to kids, let me tell you that they can say this and MUCH worse. When I was in jr high my social studies teacher was bullying one of the girls in my class, and when I spoke up to defend her, he turned his venom on me. "And YOU Miss Smith! Of ALL the kids in this school I hate YOU the most!!" Yes, some people are simply not cut out to be teachers.

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Can you observe the class? Either volunteer in the class, or just stop by "to check on my daughter, but I just want to peek in and her not see me" kinda' thing. Tell a little white lie that she was feeling poorly that morning and you just want to visibly check on her.

I think it is important for you to have first hand information - not that your daughter is making things up, her recounting is all way too detailed, but it will give you more "ammunition" and avoid a "she said/she said" situation when talking to the administration.

If you cannot get first hand info - go to the principal and explain what your child is recounting to you. Ask that s/he observe the classroom in an unobtrusive way - you would be surprised at what teachers say and do sometimes when they think no-one is watching them.

Explain that you daughter's academic progress is being hindered by the lack of effective discipline in the classroom and that you would like her switched to another class. Also, talk to some of the other parents - if their children are recounting the same behavior, maybe several of you could talk to the principal together - there is power in numbers.

My son had a teacher last year in 9th that was ineffective in maintaining discipline in the classroom. As a result he had a hard time learning because she spent more time correcting students, to no avail, than she did teaching. In our case, there was no way to switch classes without re-doing his entire 1st semester schedule. So he was stuck.

However, I would think, only 6 days into the school year, that the administration should be able to switch her - if not, they should definitely correct the teacher and improve her skills.

Ugh, we have had 98% good to great teachers in the past 10 years, but those couple of bad ones have made for a few horrible years. Advocate for your daughter - this is her education and it is way too early for her to have a bad year because of a bad teacher.

Good Luck
God Bless

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I've heard from a teacher before that she tells parents, "I won't believe everything your kids tell me about you if you don't believe everything they tell you about me". Kids like to embellish things. If you aren't comfortable going directly to the teacher then talk to the principal about your concerns.


I'm not the kind of parent who meddles in school affairs either, but this teacher is completely inappropriate for 2nd grade. High school, maybe. Wow.

Unfortunately, I totally believe that this could happen in a classroom - even before I read your "what happened" regarding the other mom. I have been teaching for the past 8 years and there are some teachers that are just downright unbalanced! I have done some things that I wish I could take back - a heavy sigh toward a kid that won't listen or snapping at a kid that talks back when I'm at my wit's end - but what it seems like you're describing is a teacher that has a super dry, sarcastic sense of humor that doesn't seem to understand that you need to curb that for 2nd graders! Even adults get sick and tired of the always negative type of sarcasm - at least I do! I am a sarcastic person in my personal life and some humor is fun and effective in the classroom - but sarcasm is tricky, especially with still literal 7 year olds.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that she is lucky you're such a level-headed parent. I think it's so awesome that you're willing to give her the chance to "turn it around." Honestly, she wouldn't be there if she didn't love the kids. She sounds a bit immature and perhaps disorganized, but I don't think she intends on being MEAN. Don't get me wrong; what she's saying is 100% inappropriate and unacceptable and needs to be addressed. This CAN'T be let go. She's just very lucky that you have this take on the whole situation and you're willing to give her a chance. You never know; if it's brought to her attention she may work very hard to set a good example. Please let us know how it goes!

EDIT: One thing I did want to add is that I have never met a teacher who would retaliate against the child! Seriously? As a teacher, that is hard for me to grasp. That seems absurd.

Every school board has a policy on code of conduct. In this policy it should tell you how to file a complaint. In wv it's called a citizen complaint. Good Luck!

I would encourage you to read the blog that was posted on Friday regarding bully teachers...and encourage you to take action now and not wait. This article was very insightful of how damaging it can be.

Photo by: When the Teacher is the Bully
August 26, 2011

by Jillian Wolf of "Blueshelled"

As I taught my classroom full of teachers, I looked around the room and my heart grew heavy. Often, my classroom deviates from the class lesson to discuss practical application of our learned principles and today I had to discuss something that bothered me on a personal level. I was teaching my students about the development of the young minds that they would help shape and role-model behavior at impressionable ages and they far outnumbered me, the new teacher of two years. Frankly, few things intimidate me, but I was going to call them out in advance on something that they needed to learn now, before they did something that could hurt someone tremendously and I wasn’t looking forward to a potential negative response. However, fear has never stopped me from saying what needed to be said, especially when I had the opportunity to use it as a teachable moment and I wiped my hands on my jeans and turned to them.

“You all want to be teachers. We’ve talked about bullying, but what you probably don’t realize is that some of the biggest offenders of bullying in schools are the staff. That’s right. I’m pointing my finger at all of you and telling you now to be careful how you conduct yourself because your actions can be just as, if not more, harmful than the actions that these students deal with in their peers. I recently read a study that told me that teachers instigate bullying on a regular basis. The ways they do this are by ignoring children that are ‘dumb,’ laughing at the jokes children make at another child, feeding into the relational aggression a la Mean Girls by taking sides or allowing it in their classrooms, lunch rooms, gymnasiums and hallways, or, what I consider to be most hurtful, going into their teacher’s lounge and commiserating about children and actively working against the better needs of the child by making the child a pariah amongst the adults as well. They also do this by writing intentionally vague and negative comments that stay in a child’s report-card file until they graduate high school. This is all BULLYING and YOU are going to buy into it…unless you consider it and stop yourself now. You can do this with self-awareness and the knowledge that you will NOT be that kind of teacher and that you are teaching to make a positive impact and not crush a child’s will.”

By this time, I was gaining momentum. The room was completely silent. I have my class write journals and I knew that some of them had been bullied by teachers. One of the ways I teach my students is to share stories with them about my experiences both as a student and as a teacher. Now was the time for me to wince and share some of my personal experiences. Earlier this semester, I’d had them do an experiment on assumptions and write a journal about it. One assumption they made about me was that I’d never been bullied. It’s not true. I’d been bullied by a few students, but what really impacted me was the way some of my teachers treated not only me, but my fellow students.

“When I was in high school, I was pretty naive. I thought that teachers always had your best interests in mind and that they could be counted on to act like adults. I’d had an experience in junior high where I’d made the mistake of acting like I was going to throw my basketball at my coach. She flipped out, screamed at me in front of my team and shamed me. I didn’t play much that season and I never tried out for basketball again. Looking back on that behavior as an adult, I’m appalled and curious as to why no one thought that behavior was irrational at the time? However, in high school, I had this idea that everything was going to be different. New friends, new classes, new teachers, a new start and that things were going to be ok. I was wrong.

“See, adults still do the petty things adults do, even when they teach. Professionalism is key. An English teacher lost her cool and called an entire sophomore class “a bunch of bitches.” She later apologized, but I don’t remember her getting into any real trouble for something that, as a parent, I would take serious issue over. We weren’t acting like a “bunch of bitches” that day. She was having a bad day, we were all working on projects and we weren’t moving quickly enough is what I remember. I was surprised and vaguely concerned that she’d lost her marbles. She also put on the school’s musical. I was helping with sound and when a tape was played improperly she went berserk. It heavily defined my high school years. Not only did she go crazy on me for what another person admitted was that person’s fault at having not rewound the tape earlier in the evening, but she didn’t bother to defend me to an angry cast of people. She walked out of the auditorium and left a freshman to deal with something that was beyond her control. I dealt with the fallout from that for not days, not weeks, not months, but YEARS. I still have nightmares about that. As adults, you are responsible for YOUR responses and for helping to calm the responses of others.”

As I spoke, some students began to look nervously at their hands and what I realized is that they weren’t bored. They weren’t uncomfortable with my story. My story had triggered their stories. I went on.

“Around that time, because of the issue with that teacher, I began lying about things to look better. I was miserable with life. I felt like I had no support and that people weren’t listening when I’d defend myself with the truth so lies were better. Because of that, when I auditioned for something that meant a lot to me, I didn’t make it. When I went to talk to the new sponsor for that activity, it ultimately boiled down to my not being able to be in the activity because a couple of the guys in that activity couldn’t get beyond it and they were short on guys. It wasn’t my lack of talent. It wasn’t that I wasn’t capable. It was that the guys couldn’t get beyond and they couldn’t lose them. The teacher had not only allowed the bullying, he’d promoted it. He didn’t help their growth and he shattered my self-esteem.”

I took a deep breath and sat down at my table in the front of the room.

“Why am I telling you this? Do I need you to feel sorry for me? Absolutely not. I am less than a year from getting my doctorate and I have no idea what path my life would have taken had I not developed the resolve that those experiences gave me. I’m telling you this because every single action you take as an educator COUNTS. Every minute of every day, every smile, every frown, every word, every shrug. It all counts. When you take actions to make your everyday life easier at the cost of hurting a child, you have no idea what the repercussions may be or how long-lasting. I remember those teachers. Let me tell you what else I remember. I remember the fourth grade teacher that wrote to me for 2 years after I moved because I was lonely. I remember the high school communication student teacher that taught me how to be a confident speaker. I remember the band teacher that gave me a chance to learn an instrument when all of the other students had been playing for years. I remember the community college professor that listened to what I wrote and proclaimed it brilliant. I remember the undergraduate professor who still writes me to tell me he’s proud of what I’m doing. I remember the masters professor who comments on my accomplishments with such happiness that I smile to know that she genuinely cares. I remember the doctoral professors who cared enough that in some dark days they cut me a real break when I needed it. I remember ALL those teachers. The good and the bad. What kind of teacher will you be? Whatever kind it is, you will be remembered. But HOW will you be remembered?”

I closed my eyes, shuffled my papers and waited. My students are insightful and this sparked discussion as to the experiences they had and the problems that they’d encountered. Those aren’t mine to share. As we grow up, we forget what it is like to be a child. We forget that people aren’t always nice and those that are supposed to protect us, advocate for us, don’t always do their job. Hopefully, I reminded them and they take it with them. If they don’t, they can always email me and I’ll give them advice.

It’s my job.

I would definitely talk to the principal to start with, I would ask to have my daughter switched to a different class, which they can do if given a good reason, don't take no for a answer, if enough parents stepped up then they would have to do something about that teachers behavior.

I would talk to some other parents and see if their children are saying the same thing. Then ask for a meeting with the teacher and the principal. Tell them that you have heard from several families about some things that concern you and wanted to address them early on. Then tell her what you have heard and ask if they are accurate and go from there with the principal present.

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