Son's New 2Nd Grade Teacher

Updated on September 25, 2012
K.B. asks from West Jordan, UT
8 answers

OK Mamas...I know my son is not an angel but he's not the "Bully" at school either. He does speak his mind and will let you know his opinion; it's in his star sign (Libra). Sometimes he does things very impromtu as well. My husband and I are starting to think this is not a good teacher/student match. You know we've all had the experience in elementary, Jr High or High School Years with the teacher (s) that maybe personality conflicts arose. It happens. We got a phone call from his teacher wanting my husband or I to meet with the principal, my son and one of us because of an incident that happened with a chair in the library. I'm a little bit shocked by this as we asked my son what happened and he showed us; doesn't seem like it could have harmed anyone. He said he set it down and it was kind of loud though. We have in less than 30 days received more than a handful of notes re: his behavior. We talk to my son every time about it and get his side too. He told us he likes his teacher but that she "Yells A Lot" and seems to be kind of strict. I'm just looking for feedback on what some you might have been through and what you've done about it. My husband is going on the appointment today and we'll see what happens. Thanks...

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So What Happened?

Mamas...thanks your perspective and advice. I don't take what my son says as 100% and he is always the correct one...he is in 2nd grade. We are the parents-I get that! I also realize this is a good experience for him and us-it's a teaching moment. Yes, he is not going to always like the teacher, professor, boss etc. but has to learn to work with them. I also understand that. Why couldn't I go-my husband works for himself so he has a much more flexible schedule with work. He recorded the meeting for me so I can listen to it and also did a good job of letting me know what was said and some solutions they talked about.

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answers from Philadelphia on

You're right, it DOES happen. And what a great opportunity for your son to learn that he won't always get along with his teacher, or even like him/her, but he always has to follow classroom rules and show respect. True, 2nd grade is still young, but this could happen again in 5th or 8th or 11th, and each time it happens, he'll learn better how to manage personal relationships.

Because, someday, he'll have a boss that he can't stand, but his stellar interpersonal skills will get him through that.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You are taking the word of a second-grade child as the full story. I'm not saying he is lying; I'm saying that as the adult, you have to know that what a child this age says is from his very personal perspective, and you have to get the adult perspective now, which is why you need to have an open mind when you talk with the teacher. From the post I'm wondering if your mind is open to the possibility that there are issues here -- the post seems to be a pre-emptive strike in favor of "my son's being singled out and isn't really the problem here, the teacher is." But you haven't even talked face to face with the teacher about him yet.

Take what kids say with more than a grain of salt.

For example:

How he "set down the chair" may not have seemed like a big deal or unsafe to him, but do you really know for certain what happened there? Did the chair flip over and maybe he omitted that? Is the chair incident possibly the thing you heard about from the teacher -- because there are other things you haven't been told by the teacher yet?

A child who says any adult "yells a lot" may be right on the mark, or may be interpreting ANY negative comment directed at the child as "yelling at me." My daughter does this. I can correct her in a whisper, in the politest terms, and to her it is still "yelling at me." I've seen other kids do it as well. It's not that they are untruthful; they are seeing any criticism as yelliing at them. Have you asked to observe the class somehow? That can tell you whether a teacher is a "yeller" or not. (One of my child's team of teachers is, and I confirmed that by volunteering at school and hearing her yell at kids with my own ears. Being around school really does help you get in tune with what's going on.)

It's excellent that you talk to your son, keep open the lines of communication and get his side of the story! You want him always to feel that he can tell you anything and will be listened to with respect. That's great. Just be aware that by already figuring your son is a bad fit with this teacher you are somewhat closing off your mind to the possibility that your son might need to work on classroom behavior, including "speaking his mind" -- that's a good trait when it's done constructively but if it's disruptive it's not good for anyone.

ADDED: Someone just posted that at the meeting you could see how the teacher interacts with your son -- no! He should not be present at a parent-teacher meeting where the adults are discussing his behavior. You will all speak less frankly if he is sitting right there. And yes, you should attend the meeting as well. Both parents need to hear the same thing at the same time, even if it means getting a babysitter for other kids, etc.

Consider involving the school counselor ASAP if you and this teacher can't see eye to eye and your son's behavior issues continue. This is what the counselor is for -- to be a neutral third party who can come at things objectively.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would say keep an open mind, listen, and HEAR what the principal and teacher have to say. It would be a good idea to not make excuses for your son, as well. There are a handful of notes in one month, I don't think that has anything to do with the teacher.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Your son very well may have downplayed what happened when he showed you. I have to agree that principals don't usually get involved unless it is something serious. I have ASKED to have meetings with both principal and teacher and they just don't happen so I assume this is pretty significant.

If you really want to see what's going on, show up at the school unannounced, go to the office and get permission and then show up in the classroom and see for yourself. Personally, I would stand outside the door and listen for a while before actually going in. That way you can tell if the teacher changes up once you walk into the room.

The teacher may be strict and perhaps that's not sitting well with your son. Or it could be that the teacher is a true witch. Who knows. But your son is going to have to learn to deal with people he's not that fond of and he has to learn to follow the rules.

Lastly, just because a behavior didn't harm anyone, doesn't make it any more acceptable.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm pretty sure it was more serious than what your son shared/showed you. Teachers and principals are VERY busy so they don't call parents in for a meeting unless they feel there is a true need/issue that needs to be addressed.
Keep an open mind, and try to work with the school as a team, that's the best way to help and support your son :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Some kids, just do not know social protocol, and do not have impulse control per assessing situations. Hence they get in trouble. Or they do know the rules and about manners, but don't do it anyway.

I work at my kids' school, I see kids like this. No they are not a "bully", but they continually push the envelope and even disregard adults and the other kids, and just do what THEY want, anyway. Even if it is a disruption.
So this is not good.

Sure a kid has their own opinion. Fine. But a child, needs to learn, the appropriateness, about it, especially in school.
My kids are very opinionated, regardless of their star sign... but they are not disrespectful.

In any grade, at any age, a child has a Teacher. There will always be personality differences... not only between child and teacher but also between child and other classmates.
It is a life lesson.... and a lesson on socialization and how to manage themselves, in the bigger picture.

I would think, that your son, perhaps, is also affecting the other kids. Meaning, if he is disruptive like this as his Teacher says, then it must be evident to other kids, too. Most kids, KNOW what kid is disruptive or not, in their class.
If your child is also affecting other kids, due to his behavior, then the Teacher MUST address it.

"Yelling" is also subjective. Some people, child or adults, think any loud voice is "yelling." When in fact, it is not. And Teachers do need to be "strict." Meaning, they must make sure their kids are listening, doing what they are supposed to, and meeting the school's rules, too.
A Teacher is not there to be a buddy.

I think you should also attend the meeting, so you can hear first hand, what is going on.

And just because he is a Libra, is does not mean he can act that way.
If life were like that, then everyone would have an excuse to be and act the way they want, blaming it on their star sign. As though they have no ability to control, their own actions.

Receiving more than a handful of notes about his behavior in 1 month, is significant.
He must also learn.... to be responsible over his own behavior or upon others.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I wouldn't corralate your son's behavior with his sign, as Libra's are notoriously known as sweet troublemakers. They do things with charm and a smile. You are not thorouighly explaining what happened, so I cannot comment. If the teacher "yells alot" ....why is she yelling? Is she only yelling at your son or everybody? A handful of notes in 30 days, there's definitely something going on and it won't be clear until your husband gets the details. And why are you not going? Whenever there were any issues with the kids, my husband and I showed up together. You need to get a sense of who this woman is and watch her interact with your son during the meeting, so that if it is a conflict of personalities, you can address it as such and make any necessary changes. Perhaps change him into the other 2nd grade class. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It will be interesting to see how the meeting goes. I'm glad your son will be included in the meeting. As for teachers (I am one, but in high school), I prefer that my children have strict teachers, but I don't like for them to have "yellers." Also, I have found through the years that both of my boys are accurate in their accounts of what happens at school. It sounds like your son may be, too, or at least he's trying to be. He isn't denying anything that has happened, and he's willing to show you how things occurred.

When my youngest was in kindergarten, his teacher yelled all the time. My son never got in any trouble, but it was still hard on him being in that environment. I'm so thankful that his teachers since then have been strict, but haven't yelled.

I hope things go well at the meeting.

ETA: I do agree with Bug, too. Keep an open mind and be willing to listen.

1 mom found this helpful
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