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Does this seem unprofessional?

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive November 2006: Does this seem unprofessional?
By Tunnia on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 06:24 pm:

I had my ds's parent/teacher conference this afternoon. First of all, there have been major issues with my ds and his teacher all year. He is in 1st grade and this is his first year in public school. I have met with the teacher twice (today was the third conference with her since school began), the guidence councelor twice, and the vice principal twice. On the last visit with the vp I told her that I wanted to explore the possibility of removing my ds from this class and placing him in another teacher's class. I gave the reasons I thought the move would be best, among them, that after repeated efforts on my part, the teacher was not working with me and my ds now hates school and he thinks she doesn't like him. Every time I tried to work with the teacher she told me that she has too many students to whatever I suggested and on and on. I did not attack nor get emotional, but was very matter-of-fact. The VP got very defensive of this teacher and from the response I got the feeling that the two must be friends. Still I figured that our meeting would be kept in confidence. I was wrong! The teacher knows what I said in that meeting and told me today that she didn't appreciate me going behind her back that way and that she has made every effort to work with me and I am the one who won't work with her which is incorrect. She was really mad at me. Now I'm upset and angry about the whole thing. Was I wrong to think that the conference with the VP would be confidential? Was it unprofessional of her to tell the teacher everything I said to her? I have been sick to my stomach since the conference and came home and started researching private schools since I feel like I'm being attacked at my dk's school. I may go up to the school tomorrow morning and request to see the principal although I don't know what I would say. Have any of you btdt? TY

I just want to add that I have had another child in this school for over five years and have never experienced anything like this before.

By Colette on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 06:42 pm:

Very unprofessional. Go to the principal - not the vice principal - and tell him or her what happened and insist your son be moved from that class.

By Amecmom on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 06:46 pm:

Totally unprofesssional. Unless, the vp was investigating what you told and the teacher surmised what had been said. Regardless, you did nothing wrong. Now, you need to go back to that vp and tell directly what the teacher said to you . Then, demand that the class be changed. You've tried to work with the teacher. The teacher claims to have tried to work with you. There is obviously and incompatiblity and regardless who is at fault, your child is the one who is affected most.
Don't give in until the class is changed. If possible, ask to observe the other first grade classes to see which teacher might be the best fit with your son.
I am so sorry this is happening.


By Kaye on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 06:48 pm:

I have had bad conferences before. The vp does have every right to talk with the teacher, but they should keep it more on the down low. What I would do is schedule a meeting with the principal and just simply say, I need my child moved out of this class, it isn't working for either one of us, I don't feel comfortable with how the teacher speaks to me and I don't want my child in that class. She should respond to that. If she does not, then think about what you want to do. What are your options? Would you be willing to transfer her elsewhere? If you are willing to do so, then if the principal says no, then simply say, then how do I withdraw her? And then just do. Chances are she won't let you withdraw her, but you can't bluff :)

The reality is both you and your child deserve a positive experience. You went through the correct channels and this isn't going to get better, so it is time for you to be the advocate. Make sure you make this a formal meeting, schedule and appointment, etc. Good luck and keep us posted.

By Karen~admin on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 07:06 pm:

Ditto everyone else. I had a very similar experience years ago. Go to the principal, and if you don't get satisfaction, then go to the school board. That is what I ended up doing. And in doing all of that, caught both the principal AND the teacher in question in lies! I would be furious if I were you.

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 08:59 pm:

Totally unprofessional, on the part of the teacher and the vp. I would definitely go to the principal, and, if necessary, to the superintendent. I don't know that I'd want to "go pubic" by taking it to the school board. The VP was out of line by naming names to the teacher, the teacher has been out of line by disregarding your concerns and suggestions. Yes, teaching is hard work, and yes, she probably has a lot of students, but still .. she is not the only teacher in that position and most teachers that I knew or know of would make an effort. And for her to try to turn the tables that you are uncooperative ..

What really upsets me is the VP naming names to the teacher and, clearly, giving her the details of your meeting. I would definitely take it to the principal and demand that your son be moved to another class, or you will take it to the superintendent and demand that your son be transferred (and bused) to another school.

The more I think about it, the angrier I get.

By Debbie on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 09:40 pm:

Very!! I can see the VP talking to the teacher, and her knowing it was you. However, it is very unprofessional if she told her word for word what you said. And, it was also very unprofessional of the teacher to mention it to you, and to talk to you the way she did. I would definitely go to the principal, and demand your ds be moved. It is obvious that you are not going to be able to work things out with the teacher, and your ds is the one who is suffering.

By Tunnia on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 07:13 am:

Thank you for your opinions. I am very unhappy that the vp told the teacher what I said and like I said in my op, when I met with the vp and asked that my ds be moved and why (and I was matter-of-fact, not whining or trying to attack the teacher) I got the feeling by her reaction that they must be good friends which bothered me at the time. Still I didn't think that the vp would be so unprofessional to tell the teacher everything I said and I never expected that the teacher would try to turn the tables on me and try to create a case against my child as a cya tactic. She's documenting every little thing he does and is issuing citations for things like having a messy area or sweeping the floor without permission so that he is punished by the school's citation code (each citation earns a punishment). She told me yesterday that the administration told her that she was being too forgiving had to start issuing the citations. I have had a child in this school for many years and have never seen citations issued for things like that and I don't buy it! My ds is miserable with this teacher, I'm miserable with this teacher, and dh and I are through trying to deal with the situation. I'm not sure I even want to try to move him to another classroom now although I do think I'm going to have a chat with the principal to let him know what has been going on because I'm pretty sure he doesn't know and my dh wants to be there too. Dh and I are checking into private schools and I will be making calls to our top choices today to see if there are any openings. This is my dd's last year in this school and then we are putting her into private (a K-12 school) next year because the middle school here isn't good so we figure we might as well start a year early and put ds in private now and then have them both in the same private next year.

By Jtsmom on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 08:50 am:

I don't really have any good advice, but I do know what you are going through. We had a horrible year last year in pre-k. I hope everything works out for you and your son.

By Debbie on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 09:00 am:

Well, since you are moving your daughter to private next year, I would just see if you could move him now. It is a shame, that he hates school just because of this teacher. It really makes me mad that some of these teachers don't really understand/care how much they impact kids and their attitude towards school.

By Tayjar on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 10:23 am:

Just spoke with my BIL who is a superintendent in the Chicago suburbs. He said to go to the principal, if that doesn't work, go to your superintendent, then to the school board, then to your regional superintendent,and then to your state board of education. Keep moving up the ladder. Document everything along the way. Chances are, it should stop at the principal level. If necessary, write a letter to the editor and expose it. School districts don't like negative publicity. Also, they may not like you after you do all of this but they will also respect you and know not to mess with your kids.

By Conni on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 10:34 am:

Ditto, ditto, ditto...

I dont have anything to add other than this... if you choose to leave your child in this school... I highly recommend you be up at the school as often as possible. (volunteer, volunteer, volunteer and go eat lunch with your child and go out to recess...)

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 05:49 am:

Definitely go to the principal - immediately. Clearly the teacher is both retaliating against your child and trying to build a record of him being a difficult child so that if she is challenged she can bring up this record.

This is appalling.

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