Sunday, June 14, 2009

Venting the Anger: 08 - 09 school year

ok now that the year is over I can finally let off some steam. I have only been teaching 6 years, but this was by far the worst year I have ever had. Parent/student complaints seemed to never end. Let me put it this way, in this one school year I had more complaints/conferences then I had the other 5 years combined. yeah...

So where do I start? I already mentioned the parent that told me that their child doesn't do well and can't succeed in an environment that requires responsibility and accountability on the student's part. Well there's more. The parent told me that apparently I didn't care about the students and that I was a horrible teacher. And that they needed to find teachers that cared about students' success. The student was enrolled in my summer school class, and the parent openly told me that they didn't think their child should have to take me again because I didn't work one on one with their child. I asked them with 35 - 40 students I couldn't pull the student aside, the parent was like why not? So they pulled the student out of my summer school class.

How about the day I had 3 back to back to back parent conferences. The funny thing is that in one conference I had a parent tell me their child thinks I am too strict and need to become friendlier with the students to make them feel more comfortable. Oh and if I could pull their child aside and tell them (this is the actual quote by the way) "I know you can do this, I have faith in you." Now she wanted me to tell her that one on one on the side not in front of the class. So after that conference I had a parent tell me that their child felt I was too friendly with the class and needed to become more strict. How's that for conflicting stories?

I had a student who openly told me at the end of the year that he complained to his parents after I called his parents about him not working in class. So to deflect from his problems he complained to the point where I had a meeting with my bosses. So because I held him accountable he complained...nice huh?

How about the one that told their parents that they were afraid to talk to me about anything, that I was intimidating to them. I had never spoke to the student before because they never talked in class. After that meeting, I moved the student to a more comfortable location and was friendlier to them and asked questions...but nothing. About a month later, the student was still scared to death of me.

There's the class student that didn't do any homework in my class and then proceeded to deflect his problems onto me by saying I was rude and mean in class. During that meeting, the parent clearly saw that the student wasn't doing the homework. So when I tried to use some logic by saying "look he is saying he is doing the homework, but he is lying about it and he is saying that I am doing/saying rude things in class, you don't think he could be lying about that?" The parent said no. I then asked the parent to come in and observe anytime. The parent said I don't need to come in, my child tells me what goes on in there. Yeah that makes sense.

That's another thing...I invited 4 or 5 parents to come in and observe my class. What happened? None of them took me up on it. They all said they didn't need to becuase their child told them what was going on.

Oh another favorite, early in the year I had a student who couldn't do anything...literally nothing. So he went to my T.A. and asked if she could change his grade. She said no and of course told me. I confronted the student and told him I would be contacting his GLC and parents. By the time I emailed his parents, he told them because the response I got back was "he told me about it, but he said he was joking." I told the parent that I don't find changing a grade something to joke about. The parent also mentioned that he was struggling because I was a bad teacher. I told the parent that their son is no longer in middle school or elementary school, that it is his responsiblity to do the homework, take notes, and pay attention in class. That was obviously too much to ask because the parent had him removed in a day.

Let's see how about the student that sat there and did nothing in class, maybe some other classes homework. She was failing pretty bad. Asked for her grade to be a D so she would be eligible to play a sport. When I said no, she went south...quick. Around the same time, I told the classes that I was no longer going to let them sit and fail. That I would make sure they were taking notes and doing the homework, if not I would be contacting their parents. She didn't like that one bit and then proceeded to make a list of complaints about me to her parents and GLC. All she wanted was to go to an easier class to be eligible. She got her wish.

I could literally go on forever, but that was a snap shot of how bad it was. The worst part, they were all freshmen except for one. Is this how bad it's getting with parents/students? I won't even go into the whole "tutoring" situation that hit me this year. That's best left for another post.

Now playing: Nightrage - Reality Vs truth
via FoxyTunes


Ricochet said...

I feel your pain.

I will be teaching one of my gems from 2 years ago in the fall. She didn't pass math then, hasn't passed it since. She told me in the 2nd month of my teaching her (with 8 months to go) that she'd just take it in summer school - then she found out it costs a lot to take summer school.

I am sure she hasn't changed. Sigh.

Mr. W said...

well she probably didn't pass because of you somehow ;-) You probably scarred her for life.