Help me with an email to dd's teacher!
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 12/4/2012 by shanni in NSBR Board
 

shanni
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Posted: 12/4/2012 5:59:32 PM
The peas are always SO good with these things, I am hoping for some help.

First off, I have NEVER emailed a teacher with a complaint before, and my kids are in 7th, 4th, and 1st grade. I really like the teacher that I need to email. She is a wonderful teacher, and my daughter loves her. Here is the issue that I'm having...

DD is in 4th grade. She has been coming home lately reporting that her class had to miss one or more recesses that day because of the rowdy boys. (I have volunteered in her class, and there were about 5 boys that were about to drive me mad just in the one hour I was in the class!! I certainly couldn't do what her teacher does day after day!!) I don't particularly agree with taking away recess anyway, but that's not the point here. What I REALLY don't like is that the whole class is repeatedly punished for the behavior of a few.

The other issue is that tomorrow they are taking all the students, grades 2-5 to the High School to watch the musical that is being put on there. This happens during the school day, and is a big deal for the students. Today dd's teacher told them that they might not get to go because they already have 2 strikes, and if they get one more strike tomorrow before noon, the whole class will miss out on the play. Again, all of the class would be punished for the acts of a few.

How would you approach this with a teacher? (Or would you approach it at all? Am I over reacting?) I am thinking about emailing the teacher with my concerns, and I would even offer to accompany the students that have not been misbehaving to the play, so that the teacher could stay back and deal with the other ones.

Again, I REALLY like this teacher overall, and I don't want to be that parent. But I just feel like someone needs to say something! Help me come up with the wording! (Or tell me to drop it. I can take it! )

Thanks!

Katybee
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Posted: 12/4/2012 6:16:50 PM
As a teacher, I do not like to punish the class as a whole for something just a few students are doing. It's basic classroom management. I would e-mail the teacher with the same tone and wording you used in your post--it was not disresepectful or snarky at all.



Neisey
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Posted: 12/4/2012 6:33:16 PM
The theory behind this type of discipline is that the well behaved students will try to encourage the less well behaved students to get with the program. Frankly, IMHO, the "good" kids are too shy/scared/ threatened to make this a useful classroom management tool.

As a parent, I would probably let this slide a couple of times for regular recess time (it does teach a behaviour/consequence lesson to ALL students acting as a possible deterrent to some) but obviously the 5 children in your DD's class have not learned the lesson so it isn't working. Most schools have an arrangement where students with unwanted behaviour prior to an outing/event can remain in school while the rest of the class enjoys the activity. I would be mentioning this to the teacher. You shouldn't punish everyone for the poor decisions of a few.

ktNryansmom
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:16:53 PM
Send your email as a question and not in an accusatory tone...

Simply state " x came home today and said the class might not get to go on the trip and that they've missed a few recesses. Is there something happening in class parents need to know about?



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shanni
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:19:06 PM
Thank you both! I haven't said anything thus far to the teacher because I too was thinking I would let it slide a few times. I understand the theory behind the punishment, and thought trying it a couple times was reasonable. But we are 3 1/2 months into the school year. It's obviously not working.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of taking away recess anyway. I feel like the ones that it gets taken away from are the ones that need it the most. I'm not going to go there with the teacher though, as I feel like that's not my battle to fight right now.

I just really don't want to come across to the teacher as if I think I know more than her. I think that teachers are grossly underpaid, and I know that I would be lousy at it. I'm grateful for the good ones (and I think that 95% of them are excellent!). I just don't agree with this one discipline technique that this one happens to be using.

I'll shoot off an email to her now. Thanks again for the input!

TinCin
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:33:06 PM
I feel for you and your dd. I always hated it when my DSs teachers did this. It is easier for the teacher I am certain but it makes the kids who behave very resentful. I think many times the kids who can't behave themselves enjoy the fact they know they are punishing everyone. Good luck.


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Basket1lady
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:38:26 PM
I agree that taking away recess is a hard punishment. Especially if it's because the kids are being rowdy/wiggly. That's when I took my class outside for some fresh air! But that was in the days when I wasn't held accountable for every second of every day and the goal of kindergarten was to learn your ABCs and to count to 10 and to cut with scissors. All things that K's come into school knowing now.

But I digress... I would ask to confirm what your DD said, that you would like to help, would an extra body be helpful to the teacher. All positives--you aren't complaining, you are offering to help fix the problem.


Michelle

Katybee
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:44:02 PM

The theory behind this type of discipline is that the well behaved students will try to encourage the less well behaved students to get with the program. Frankly, IMHO, the "good" kids are too shy/scared/ threatened to make this a useful classroom management tool.



I don't know of any current, relevant classroom management philosophies that encourage this. Certainly none of my principals would have approved. And--it doesn't work. It just causes animosity between students. It's not a kid's job to get his peers to behave.

And you're right...taking away recess from the kids who need it the most is never a good idea. You cannot even do that in my district.

Honestly--it sounds as if this teacher's classroom management is based on punishment and not positive reinforcement/clear structures/routines. Is she a new teacher? Because someone needs to tell her that her way is EXHAUSTING and ineffective. It's gonna be a long year for her.



WillowJane
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:57:42 PM
I don't agree with taking away something because of the bad behavior of a small few. There is nothing wrong with sending an email clearly stating your understanding of the problem, that you disagree with your DD being punished because of these rowdy boys. The teacher should have a plan and be able to manage further occurrences that will not impact your DD and the rest of the class. Below is what I would write. Yes, it sounds very corporate-esque but it is what works in sticky situations both professional and personal:

Dear Mrs. X,

My daughter has mentioned that she has lost multiple recesses due to the bad behavior of other students in her class. I also understand that is a strong possibility the children in your class will lose the privilege of attending an off-campus activity due to the behavior of these same students.

I need your help.

- Has my child involved in the bad behavior resulting in the loss of class privileges?
- Can you validate the loss of multiple recesses due to the behavior of others is a true statement?
- Can you insure that my daughter will be able to attend the upcoming field trip based on her own merits of work and behavior and not the bad behavior of others?
- Going forward, is there a plan in place to insure my child is receiving her due rewards and will no longer be impacted by the negative actions of other children in the same class?


Sincerely,
Parent




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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:18:37 PM

The theory behind this type of discipline is that the well behaved students will try to encourage the less well behaved students to get with the program.


Ugh. I hated this when ds was still in public school. Kids go to school to learn, not to police the other kids. Plus, we spend all this time telling kids to not give into peer pressure, only to turn around and say it's okay to do it to others?





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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:34:49 PM
I would email the teacher and say that because I want my kid to go to the play that I'll be there in the morning to help with classroom management. I may word it nicely, I may not. I think its the easy way out for the teacher to punish the entire class. She should be addressing the problem herself, not forcing 4th graders to help her with her discipline problem.

MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:44:26 PM
As a parent, I totally get your frustration. In fact I asked for a meeting with our principal as a parent last year on this very subject - group punishment for the infractions of a few, because it is widely used in the upper grades at our school.

As a teacher, I prefer not to use group punishment. My general behavior theory is that rewards are for groups and punishments are for individuals. But practically speaking, here's what I know: finding a kid's currency when it comes to school behavior can be challenging. What often works in the primary grades (positive mark/reward for desirable behavior, moving clips, negative note on behavior chart sent home, etc.) is largely useless for most kids by 4th grade. As a specialist teacher, I have the luxury of sending a particularly challenging class on their way after 50 minutes and not seeing them again for a week. A classroom teacher with a particularly challenging class is stuck with them day in and day out, all year long. Her options are few.

You see, there are a limited number of ways that we can "punish" in school these days - we can't do anything that would embarrass or humiliate the child, including things like standing him in the corner or sending him out into the hallway, or making him write lines or copy from the dictionary or all the things that our teachers used for discipline. Often we can't hold him for detention because the parents won't allow it. At some point, recess or another privilege like a field trip is the only thing left to take.

If the teacher is taking recess or another desirable activity from the whole class, one of two things is probably happening: either the majority of the class is misbehaving to the point that she can't narrow it down to two or three kids, or she can narrow it down but has found that there's nobody to supervise the kids left behind at recess if she only excludes a few (at my school taking them out to sit and watch the others at recess is "humiliation;" i.e., not allowed, so there has to be someone available to watch those being punished in another location).

Public school teachers' hands are often very much tied when it comes to discipline. Prevailing thought among parents is that it's never their kid that is acting up, and if it is, clearly someone else (either the teacher or another student) is causing that to happen. Combine that with school policy that says you can't actually do anything effective to change behavior, and teachers are understandably frustrated.

None of this, of course, is the fault of the child who is doing what he or she is supposed to be doing, and it's not fair to them. Of course it's not, and as a parent I understand that completely. What I tell my kids is this: "When you grow up and get a job, you probably won't sink or swim based on your merits alone. You'll probably have a department full of people or an entire organization that either does well or poorly based on the actions of many. That's life, and it starts now." And then if they missed recess I make sure we get to the park or get some other activity.

Honestly, if you want to talk with the teacher about it I strong suggest you do it in person. This


Can you insure that my daughter will be able to attend the upcoming field trip based on her own merits of work and behavior and not the bad behavior of others?
- Going forward, is there a plan in place to insure my child is receiving her due rewards and will no longer be impacted by the negative actions of other children in the same class?


reads as very high-handed and almost threatening to me. As a teacher I would be upset and on the defensive automatically to be on the receiving end of that email. I think the first part of that suggested email is fine but I'd end it there, and if the teacher verifies that your daughter is indeed not part of the problem, I'd have any further conversation about it in person. The above just reads like the beginning of a threat or ultimatum.

JMO.



shanni
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Posted: 12/4/2012 9:03:16 PM
Okay- how does this sound? I've been agonizing over it for a few hours now. I probably need to send it soon so that it's not to late to do any good when it comes to tomorrows field trip!

Mrs. xxxxx-

A came home a bit upset today about the musical. She said that the class already has 2 strikes, and if they get one more, none of the class gets to go to the musical tomorrow. I asked her about what the class was doing to get strikes, and she felt like it was just a few of the rowdy boys that were ruining it for everyone. Knowing that 10 year olds are not always forthcoming with their parents about their behavior, I wanted to check in with you and see if there is something that she is doing that needs to be addressed? Or if she misunderstood what the strikes would mean? But if she was accurate in what she told me and there was not a misunderstanding, I was wondering you if might reconsider punishing the whole class and allowing the ones who are behaving to go. I am free tomorrow and would be happy to accompany them to the musical so that you can stay back with the students who have not earned it, if that would be helpful.

Along the same lines, A has also been telling me that the entire class has been missing a lot of recesses for the same reason. Again, I know that I may not be getting the full story and would like to clarify what is happening? If A is misbehaving, I would definitely like to know about it so we can follow up at home.

A is really enjoying your class. She loves having you for her teacher, and I can tell that she is really progressing this year, especially in Math and Spelling. I appreciate all of your hard work on behalf of your students! I certainly couldn't do it, and I am so grateful that there are excellent teachers like you out there that are willing to teach my kids. Thanks for all you do!

Thank you!
xxxxxxxxx

freecharlie
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Posted: 12/4/2012 10:55:30 PM

But if she was accurate in what she told me and there was not a misunderstanding, I was wondering you if might reconsider punishing the whole class and allowing the ones who are behaving to go. I am free tomorrow and would be happy to accompany them to the musical so that you can stay back with the students who have not earned it, if that would be helpful.


I'd leave this out as there is no way a teacher could send her class with a parent. If this teacher was doing what she should be doing, the rowdy kids would already be staying behind with and administrator or certified staff meant for just this.

I'd ask why she believe in using group punishment and then start researching it.

I rarely used group punishment unless it was really over 70% of the class. Usually if there were two or three that were behaving they got some kind of reward.



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Posted: 12/4/2012 11:43:01 PM
I once asked a teacher why they give a few kids full control of the class. He looked at me a little puzzled. So, I explained, if a few misbehave, but the entire class gets punished, he just relinquished entire control of the class to the few, and in essence, rewards them rather than the ones who are mindful, who behave, and who respect him, his class and his rules.

He told me he had never thought of it that way before. Class punishments stopped shortly thereafter.

Group punishment is a pretty common strategy (that I have yet to see work). Happened when I was in school and it pissed me off then as much as it pisses my kids off now.


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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:19:34 AM

Dear Mrs. X,

My daughter has mentioned that she has lost multiple recesses due to the bad behavior of other students in her class. I also understand that is a strong possibility the children in your class will lose the privilege of attending an off-campus activity due to the behavior of these same students.

I need your help.

- Has my child involved in the bad behavior resulting in the loss of class privileges?
- Can you validate the loss of multiple recesses due to the behavior of others is a true statement?
- Can you insure that my daughter will be able to attend the upcoming field trip based on her own merits of work and behavior and not the bad behavior of others?
- Going forward, is there a plan in place to insure my child is receiving her due rewards and will no longer be impacted by the negative actions of other children in the same class?


Sincerely,
Parent


I like this note. I also think doing it by email is a good choice.

There is truly nothing more that I hate than my child's work dependent on others. I could really go on and on, but I pretty much can assure you that these kids who are misbehaving, will misbehave next year, the year after and all through their lives. I see it over and over. Kids who do not get called on specific behaviors and continually repeat them don't see the need to change. Their parents are not notified (this makes me mad, too) and nothing changes. There are no consequences for THESE kids and the only consequences are for the good kids.

My DD had this problem in 5th grade. After staying in for about 5 recesses, I wrote the teachers and asked her if my child was a problem in any way shape or form. When I got the response she was not, I asked the teacher to let her out at recess.

It is a SLOPPY way to discipline. Once or twice I'd easily let slip. But when the kids are missing big events because of others? No way!!!


Andrea

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shanni
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:47:34 AM

I once asked a teacher why they give a few kids full control of the class. He looked at me a little puzzled. So, I explained, if a few misbehave, but the entire class gets punished, he just relinquished entire control of the class to the few, and in essence, rewards them rather than the ones who are mindful, who behave, and who respect him, his class and his rules.

He told me he had never thought of it that way before. Class punishments stopped shortly thereafter.


I LOVE this. If I end up meeting with the teacher, I will definitely use it! I had a similar thought last night, but couldn't put it into words. Thank you!

I haven't heard back from her teacher yet, but I sent the email last night and it's still early. I don't expect her to be "on" 24/7. I'll let you all know how it turns out!

Thanks again for all the input. I really appreciate it!

MerryMom937
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:53:22 AM
Why have the conversation in an email?

Why not send the email and say "I need to talk with you about something before x date. Here is my cell phone number"

And then have the conversation.

shanni
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:59:33 AM

Why have the conversation in an email?


Because I didn't find out about this until after school yesterday, and the field trip is today. I didn't want to demand an immediate meeting with the teacher. I figure that if I can get the field trip issue taken care of over email and bring up that I'm concerned about recesses, I can get a quicker response to the immediate issue, and if the recess problem continues it opens the door for me to meet with her.

WillowJane
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Posted: 12/5/2012 9:02:12 AM
Hi Merge,

As a parent who has found her child in this situation, could you suggest a better way you would prefer these questions be posed? To me, the power is in the teacher's hands on how to manage the classroom. If my child is not a behavior problem I believe the parents need assurances from the teacher their child will not lose hard earned privileges - only the teacher can make those assurances.

I am not trying to be a bully but I really want to know what a teacher would expect a parent to do in this case. I don't subscribe to "sorry life is not fair - you have to suck it up" in this situation. I see it as an opportunity to teach my child to learn respectfully stand up for themselves if they did nothing wrong. If my questions are threatening, I would really like to know how to get a teacher's answer of assurance without being threatening.

My questions:

    - Can you insure that my daughter will be able to attend the upcoming field trip based on her own merits of work and behavior and not the bad behavior of others?
    - Going forward, is there a plan in place to insure my child is receiving her due rewards and will no longer be impacted by the negative actions of other children in the same class?


Merge's Response:

    As a teacher I would be upset and on the defensive automatically to be on the receiving end of that email. I think the first part of that suggested email is fine but I'd end it there, and if the teacher verifies that your daughter is indeed not part of the problem, I'd have any further conversation about it in person. The above just reads like the beginning of a threat or ultimatum.





shanni
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:20:15 AM
Okay- I just heard back from her. She said that the whole class has been very chatty lately and they haven't been coming back from recess on time. She said that they have only missed one recess, not multiple ones. -This isn't what my daughter is reporting (as far as number of recesses missed), but I'll take the adults word for it on this one. I will be watching it closely though.

She also said that she did tell the class that if the whole class is acting up they won't go to the play, but if it's only a few acting up she'll just leave those few behind. I was very glad to hear that this was one was just a misunderstanding on my daughters part.

The last part of her response has me a little concerned though. She said that she wants the whole class to work together and help each other stay on track for the good of the class. I think that in theory that sounds great, but like the poster earlier said, that gives a few kids too much power over the rest of the class.

I'm going to let it lie for now. I just responded thanking her for her response and letting her know that I would talk to my child about the chattiness and the coming in late from recess.

I am going to watch it closely and if it seems like it's continuing to be a problem, I'll ask for a meeting with her. If that still doesn't work, I'll go talk to the principal. I'm hopeful that just the fact that she knows that parents are aware of what's going on will make it so that she is a little more careful about passing out blanket punishments.

Thanks again for your help!

MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:22:02 AM
WillowJane: I think I said above that I would ask the first two questions posed in the example email: this is what I heard, and is this true?

And then let the teacher's response guide what happens from there, preferably with an in-person conversation instead of email if you're expressing disagreement with what she's doing. I can say from experience that disagreeing via email rarely goes well. You may find that just asking those two questions lets the teacher consider whether her policy is the best one, without you having to even ask the last two questions. Win win and nobody's unhappy.

The last two questions, in my mind, assume that what the child has reported is true and puts the teacher in the position of having to defend her policy. Whether it is or not is not really the issue - remember that the goal is to change the policy, not to be "right." Asking just the first two questions allows the teacher to consider, without defensiveness, whether perhaps her policy is unfair. And if she confirms that your daughter's story is correct but doesn't then go to the next logical step, which is to confirm that only the misbehaving children should be left behind, then you have an opening to suggest it.

Whether they're right or wrong, people rarely respond positively to ultimatums, and those last two questions sound very much like "you're going to fix this for my child or else" even if that's not what is explicitly said. I wouldn't go there if I have other options available to me.

ETA: It sounds like the OP was able to communicate her concern without being accusatory. Hopefully her problem is resolved! Note also: it seems that what her child reported wasn't exactly what has happened. It's not that kids always lie, but things do get misunderstood or perceived differently.



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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:25:45 AM
I didn't say anything the first couple of times my daughter's entire lunch period lost recess because of some other kids' behavior. After the third or fourth incidence, I wrote an email to the VP, stating that I understood my daughter had been disciplined by losing recess, and asked what rule she had violated to warrant this, so I could follow up at home. He sent back a stupid email about the behavior of a few, etc., but that was the last of the group punishments. It was more of a "I know what you are doing, and you know it's wrong" thing.


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writermom1
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:50:15 AM
Punishing all for the behavior of a few is lazy discipline. It sounds like in this case there was more to the story. I know kids misunderstand things but OP I would gently have a discussion with my child about perception and what appears to be scapegoating the "bad boys" when relaying her story.




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matleavepea
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:06:44 AM
i have learned not to take my children's word as 100% gospel in school situations. i always ask, like OP did, what part did my child play in the situation and is it possible he/she misunderstood.

i like to be given the benefit of the doubt and since kids don't always understand things as presented, i give the teacher the same benefit.

WillowJane
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:13:39 AM
Merge,

Thanks for the response. Although we don't see eye-to-eye on the situation it does provide food for thought.



shanni
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:14:35 AM
Another follow up-

I just got another response from the teacher. I had emailed her thanking her and saying that I would talk to my daughter about coming in late from recess and chatting in class.

Her response was that my daughter is not one of the problems, but a reminder would be great anyway.

Where is the pounding my head against the wall icon??!? So, I find myself back to my original question... WHY is my daughter being disciplined if she is not the problem?!? Again, I'm going to just keep watching the situation and if it doesn't improve, I'll go have a one on one with the teacher.

MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:22:02 AM
WillowJane - I would also add, in my opinion, it's best in teacher communication to treat the teacher like a peer, not a subordinate. Demanding "assurances" doesn't come across very peer-like; in that instance, even though you may disagree with the policy, as long as she is not violating school policy or it is ultimately the teacher's decision to make. She doesn't technically owe you any "assurance." As parents we're never going to agree with every decision a teacher makes, but if we want to bring about change, suggesting rather than demanding is usually a better way to work with a peer.



WillowJane
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Posted: 12/5/2012 12:15:33 PM
    Demanding "assurances" doesn't come across very peer-like; in that instance, even though you may disagree with the policy, as long as she is not violating school policy or it is ultimately the teacher's decision to make. She doesn't technically owe you any "assurance." As parents we're never going to agree with every decision a teacher makes, but if we want to bring about change, suggesting rather than demanding is usually a better way to work with a peer.


Hi Merge,

I completely agree that treating the teacher as a partner is key to this entire situation. Where we disagree - as a parent I believe the leader of the classroom (teacher) should be able to provide assurance that kids are not punished for something they are not involved in. I also don't believe asking for a reassurance is a demand but helps me gain understanding to how your classroom is structured. Since my child spends seven hours a day in school I do need to understand how things operate when there is conflict so I can set expectations with my DD and myself. I am having a hard time understanding the defensiveness when asking for reassurance - that does baffle me a bit.




MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
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Posted: 12/5/2012 12:24:56 PM
Because you're not just looking for assurance about your daughter; you're looking for assurance that the teacher will change her stated policy (in cases where that really is the policy) to suit your preference. And that's not your call.

Look, I'm not disagreeing with you that group punishment for the misdeeds of a few is unfair and ineffective. I think that it is. But unless a teacher is in violation of her school's policy in using that kind of punishment, it becomes a matter of "you'll change this because I said so" from the parent.

Would you appreciate a peer coming into your work and telling you to change what you're doing or else? Even if what you're doing affects them? Would you want to be put on the spot to assure them that you wouldn't do it any more, just because they said so? Probably not. Hopefully your peer, if they feel you are in the wrong, would try to find another way to try to bring about the change that they want. And that's all I'm suggesting here. That there is a better way than demanding the teacher re-organize her discipline policy just because you don't like it.

If the desired outcome is change and not just "I'm right and you're wrong," then I think we should be willing to approach each other respectfully and without demands, particularly in the very first stages of communication on a particular topic. That's all.

ETA: Your first two questions were legitimately to help you understand how the classroom is structured. The second two questions were to say that, if it is structured as you have been led to believe, you want assurance that it will no longer be structured that way. That's where it becomes a demand.



Maryland
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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May 2003
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Posted: 12/5/2012 12:26:27 PM
We have had this problem too! But it's just as much the girls as the boys in my daughters class. Many times, it's just the girls. They can't sit still. It drives me crazy because the teacher even names my daughter and a few other boys and girls that always behave and says these students are never the problem. But she punishes them anyways. I can understand punishing the class the first week or so of school while the teacher is learning who is who. But by now they should know who acts up and just those kids should miss.

My biggest issue with school. I hope you get it straightened out so the good boys and girls don't get punished because of the bad boys and girls.


Fireflyy
StuckOnPeas

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January 2009
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Posted: 12/5/2012 12:46:32 PM
Shanni, email the teacher back and say just that, "i'm confused. What did DD do to warrant her punishment?"

Punishing all for a group of misbehaved kids is a teacher who cannot control her class.

WillowJane
Running the Marathon, Not the Sprint

PeaNut 110,589
October 2003
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Posted: 12/5/2012 12:48:49 PM
You see my questions as a demand. I am asking them to understand what I can expect as treatment in the classroom. If a parent's questions are found as demanding then the teacher owns that feeling and needs to find a way to not let emotions get in the way of what is best for the child. There was no demand made on "change your policy or else". The parent was asking for reassurance. If reassurance cannot be given due to some restriction placed on the teacher then the parent needs helps in understanding that.

    Remember that the goal is to change the policy, not to be "right." Asking just the first two questions allows the teacher to consider, without defensiveness, whether perhaps her policy is unfair. And if she confirms that your daughter's story is correct but doesn't then go to the next logical step, which is to confirm that only the misbehaving children should be left behind, then you have an opening to suggest it.


Let's face it - we both know the policy in the OP's situation is wrong. If a parent even has to ask my last two questions in the first place that is a major clue the policy is wrong, needs to be re-evaluated, corrected and communicated.

We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.



MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
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Posted: 12/5/2012 12:50:42 PM

Let's face it - we both know the policy in the OP's situation is wrong. If a parent even has to ask my last two questions in the first place that is a major clue the policy is wrong, needs to be re-evaluated, corrected and communicated.




Well, I've said several times that right/wrong isn't really the point here, but fine, we can agree to disagree.



WillowJane
Running the Marathon, Not the Sprint

PeaNut 110,589
October 2003
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Posted: 12/5/2012 1:06:27 PM
I promise this will be the very last time I post on this thread...

If you do not know something is wrong will you change it? If you have to understand the policy is wrong, that understanding becomes the first step in the change process which negates statements "that right/wrong are not the point". Understanding the right or wrong of a situation MUST be part of the point in order to move toward change.




MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
Posts: 21,086
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Loc: Houston

Posted: 12/5/2012 1:37:27 PM
But "wrong" here is a matter of opinion. If you want the teacher to share your opinion; i.e., change her policy, then you should communicate with her in the manner most likely to bring that about. I've shared my opinion that ultimatums are probably not the way to get you want with as little fuss as possible.

In a perfect world, everyone would "own" their emotional response to whatever happens to them and behave in a perfectly rational manner. In the real world, that doesn't happen. What I'm suggesting is based on my experience dealing with people in these situations (and I'll be right up front and say that I've done it WRONG a couple of times both as parent and teacher - and I learned a lot from both of those situations). You have to decide what you want the outcome to be based on the reality of human response, and gear your commuication to that.

Look, at the end of the day, I don't care how you communicate with your kids' teachers. I'm not invested in being "right" about that. I'm just trying to share what I've learned based on my experience as both teacher and parent. You're free to disagree with or ignore what I say, and it's of no consequence to me.

Some people like drama. Some people like "showing the teacher who's boss." Some people have a hard time putting aside mama bear when they think their kid's being wronged. I'm sharing what I've learned based on my experience from both sides of these situations in case it might help someone. If you feel it's of no help you, that's fine.


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