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tough day

Parent Issue 

Loveandmercy

Full Member
Hi All,
I got yelled at by a parent today. Principal is very supportive towards me. So is VP and counselor. Parent accused me of screaming all day at the students. She was massively upset and said "and I'm not the only parent that feels this way." Principal (her office is directly across hallway from my classroom) said she never hears me yelling at the kids. This is so crazy. A few kids are picking up on this vibe (from a few parents who now think I scream at the kids) and they are acting provocatively towards me. I got an email from one child's parent today and this parent thank you more the terrific year, said she is so grateful her daughter has me as her teacher, said her daughter loved me and "I'm sure many kids in class do, too."
So in other words, the parents are taking sides. Any thoughts?Thank Heavens there are only 20 more days.
 
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TAOEP

Senior Member
Thank goodness your principal has personal knowledge that backs you up. Did the parent come to talk with you? With the principal? Emails? A conference? I guess I'm wondering whether you have had an opportunity to talk with this parent with your principal present.

Several possibilities come to my mind. One is personal experience: one of my sons would sometimes accuse me of yelling at him when I didn't think I was yelling. When I thought about it, he didn't mean that my voice was loud. He meant that he didn't like what I was saying to him. (Things like "You need to ... now." Or maybe, "No, you can't go over to ..."s house. It's a school night.")

Is this student particularly sensitive?

Is the student struggling academically and perhaps building a defense of blaming the teacher?
 

tctrojan

Senior Member
Good points

It is good the principal is so close to your room. Try to hang in there with only 20 days left.
 

Tori58

Senior Member
Students sometimes think I've yelled at them when I put the "I mean business" bite in my voice. Some parents live to complain about teachers, though. If your P is supportive, I wouldn't worry about it.

At least the parent talked to you instead of going over your head to your P. I had a parent do that this year because, apparently, I "yelled at" one particular student in the class (not their child). P never even bothered to tell me about it until over a month or so later when I did something else (didn't show enough enthusiasm at an assembly) that annoyed him. I love when I'm called on to explain something trivial that happened weeks ago.:rolleyes:
 

GreyhoundGirl

Senior Member
The kids version of "yelling" is so different from actual yelling. If you talk to them sternly or say something they don't like, they go home and say you yelled. And then parents jump on board and complain that you're yelling.

At least you have a supportive admin.
 

Tapdancesub

Senior Member
The Holiday Market was being held in the classroom next to one I was subbing in last year.Gift wrap, scissors, tape, markers all strewn in the walkway where I needed 29 1st graders to pass through on my the way back to class after PM recess got cut short because of a downpour. Was my voice loud, heck yes, was I yelling no. Just trying to get them through the mess. One of the helper moms marched herself to the office to complain. Principal showed up 10 minutes later to me reading to the class. Turned around and walked himself out,
 
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marcy46

New Member
isn't this backward thinking?

If my child came home and said her teacher was yelling at her, I would say, " Well what were you doing to cause your teacher to have to yell???"

In a classroom we need to raise our voice at times.
 

teachnkids

Senior Member
In my opinion principal needs to put a stop to it! Tell those “I have you much time in my hands parents” to shut it and get over it. He trusts you as an educator and that’s the end if it!
 

Loveandmercy

Full Member
thank you

Thanks, everyone for the supportive words.
I called the parent to respond to her email. Oh man. She is so angry with me. I ended the call (because I was being badgered and it was no longer productive) by saying calmly that I had to get the students from PE. I completely apologized to the parent and also had talked with the student to say I am sorry if I caused her to feel upset. Long story short, the principal ended up talking with angry parent on the phone (because angry parent was ticked off that I got off the phone with her) and parent continues to be completely over the top angry. Principal shared with me she wasn't sure she understood what this parent wants.
Child was mostly at home all last year. I believe she is not used to firm boundaries, which I set because the child is a talker. I actually think this student may have a real problem with anxiety. We will talk with counselor this week. So here it stands. Principal recommended I email parent to say I had a meeting with principal, understood that the principal has concerns and would blah blah blah strive to do better. OK I sent it. Principal said she'd be visiting my class each day to pop in to say hello. I welcome her visits to further prove my innocence. My only concern is that the parents who are siding with the angry parent will trash talk about me to their kids and the kids will give me a hard time for the remaining days. I do think this is happening, but perhaps I am imagining it. I have not had anything like this happen to me at this school and I've been there for 6 years. I believe I am a well-thought of teacher. Just got reviewed/observed and received highest scores in all areas. Thanks everyone for reading all this. Is anyone else exhausted? WHAT a year! Principal shared with me that she did tell the parent that teachers have had to go without assistants this year (they are our subsitute teachers now) and that it has been an extremely demanding two years and the parent ignored that. God Bless
 

all41

Senior Member
Principal recommended I email parent to say I had a meeting with principal, understood that the principal has concerns and would blah blah blah strive to do better. OK I sent it.

Uhm, no. If the principal supports you, you should never have been asked to send this email to a parent. Why are you telling the parent that the principal has concerns about you and that you are going to try to do better? There is something not right about that.
 

Tori58

Senior Member
My only concern is that the parents who are siding with the angry parent will trash talk about me to their kids and the kids will give me a hard time for the remaining days. I do think this is happening, but perhaps I am imagining it.

I hate to say it, but you are probably not imagining it at all. Parents do this all the time these days. (And then they wonder why teachers jump ship and find different professions!) Just know that it doesn't have anything to do with what kind of teacher you are - it has to do with their need to feel in control. Your administrator wants them to believe she's "done something about it" because she knows that if they feel she's ignoring them, they'll come after her job. This is the contentious society we live in now.

But I notice that all these parents, who apparently never raise their voices to their children, sure didn't want them around 24/7 during the pandemic.
 

teacherwriter

Senior Member
The kids version of "yelling" is so different from actual yelling. If you talk to them sternly or say something they don't like, they go home and say you yelled. And then parents jump on board and complain that you're yelling.

This.

Principal recommended I email parent to say I had a meeting with principal, understood that the principal has concerns and would blah blah blah strive to do better. OK I sent it.

Uh, no. I think your principal just hung you out to dry. This isn't supporting; this is placating or attempting to placate the parent by making you say you did something wrong when you didn't. I had the same situation back in the fall. Step carefully and look out for yourself.
 

Loveandmercy

Full Member
In a private school, we deal with things a little differently. But I totally get your point. I would say that anytime a parent complains about a teacher, then to some degree, the administration has concerns about the teacher. It's a hard fact, but the parents are paying thousands of dollars to send their child to the school. As far as the principal, I would say she has a small concern about me right now.
It may be 98% confidence and 2% concern, but it's there. I just want the parent to leave me alone. Go ahead lady and blab nonsense to your friends on social media, enjoy! But let me finish my year in peace with my class. My plan is to keep my doors open 100% of the time now. I welcome visits from the principal.
 

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
Tough situation..

While I don’t believe the teachers are always right, I believe many parents are too empowered and entitled. If you weren’t yelling, apologizing to the parent doesn’t seem fitting to me. She should apologize for her rudeness. The principal could have called the mother, said she handled it, and also shared that based on the location of her office and observations, she sees no evidence of what the parent is describing. I am glad you only have 20 days left. I also get that in a private school, because they are paying tuition, you have to proceed a bit differently.
 

WordFountain

Senior Member
Uhm, no. If the principal supports you, you should never have been asked to send this email to a parent. Why are you telling the parent that the principal has concerns about you and that you are going to try to do better? There is something not right about that.

I agree with this. Also, why did you have to apologize and take responsibility if you truly did nothing wrong?

I worked for years at a small Charter school and what your P did is very familiar. I don’t want to be a “Negative Nancy”, but I’d be extremely weary of my Admin going forward and CYA.
 

Loveandmercy

Full Member
Thank you for your response. I am left to feel as if I should let the kids do whatever they want because of the angry parent saying that other families felt as she did. I won't, of course. It is my responsiblity to run the class. But now I feel as if I am waiting for the next phone call or angry email. We just had standardized testing. This student (whose mom exploded on the phone with me) talked during standardized testing. So it was validating to me. Look at this student, getting up to get a tissue in the middle to testing (which is okay) but stopping to talk to other students as she returns to her seat. So she is defiant. It will come out eventually, and the mother is going to have to deal with it. She probably sees defiance at home already, and is freaked out. In the meantime, I will be mindful of how I speak to the students. I am firm when talking to certain kids, but I guess that is no longer okay. I had a sub yesterday, and this one student was absent. Hmmm. I had announced I would be absent. Was she kept home on purpose? Anyway, the sub said they class wouldn't stop talking. So I have I think 14 more days. I can do it. I am just left with such a feeling of betrayal. I'm going to focus on the students who are deserving of a special end of the year experience. I can sort of surrender to this BS, I am powerless over a lot of this, but I can hold my head up high and give kids a happy last few days. I do get occasional cards from parents thanking me for doing such a great job, and telling me how much their child loves me as their teacher. So I need to hold those thoughts first, you know? What a job teaching is. People don't realize the thankless hours that we put in, especially during this stupid pandemic. We had to scramble and do a job that we didn't apply to. The whole online teaching thing was unreal. But we all did it. So hurray for us! End of the year is in sight! THank you all for your supportive words! Blessings!
 

apple annie

Senior Member
I am left to feel as if I should let the kids do whatever they want because of the angry parent saying that other families felt as she did.

My response would be to kindly ask which families are feeling that way so I can personally call and reassure them. I guarantee you she won't give you any names. Because she doesnt have any.

I have a tendency to be a bit passive aggressive, though... LOL
 
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