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How do you reason with a middle school science teacher who lacks emotional intelligence?

A teacher who minimally applies the mandated curriculum, hands out assignments, gives a quick lecture with no questions allowed afterwards. If they ask questions or need a explanation to  the complex instruction later, the teacher tells them "it's sounds like a personal problem" or "they are on their own" or "use their textbooks at home with their parents". The teacher tells them how unbearable it is to teach teenagers and how it makes her miserable. The teacher complains she has too many tests to grade or too many kids of her own at home that take up her time and energy among other things.. She calls kids idiots and constantly points out their negatives. She favors only the few kids who are naturally gifted and more promising that don't require any effort. I guess she probably is truly too overwhelmed and a victim to overcrowded classrooms, but what should I safely do or say to ensure a more positive environment and tactful approach for our kids without offending the school?

Update:  Other kids in the class agree on this but they strongly dislike her. A couple other parents believe this to be true.  One mother says she is trying to be "Christian like" and not make a complaint or mabey she fears retaliation.  The other mom has made a complaint during a meeting but she was dismissed by the principal who said the kids were basically asking for it....they brought it on themselves. Some think she uses grades as punishment at her convenience.  This is all unbelievable!

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Indakitchen

Asked by Indakitchen at 3:28 PM on Jun. 23, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 3 (23 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • If possible I would just get my kid removed from the class. Possibly turn her in to the board or something.

    We had a very strict science teacher in highschool.. she was very old & just not what the newer generation was use to, but she never called the kids names.. She gave her lecture & you better take notes! and gave you the work that needed to be done.. You better do your own thinking or research if you had questions (not a bad thing really)..
    MommaTasha1003

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 3:56 PM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • You need to have cold hard proof that this is truly going on in the classroom and not just what you are hearing from your child.

    If you have that, take it to the school board. To hell with offending the school.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:46 PM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • You need actual proof and unless you have personally sat in on the classroom, the rest is hearsay. I would ask the parents of other students who have the same teacher if they hear the same things. You know who the excelling students are in your kid's school by now, so find one of those parents and ask them. If they say this is going on too, then I would make sure you have a different teacher in the future. I would say it's the end of the year, focus on next year and encourage your child to do the same.
    mjande4

    Answer by mjande4 at 6:50 PM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • Have you observed this behavior? Start with the building principal and go up from there.
    CometGirl

    Answer by CometGirl at 8:16 PM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • It sounds like she is overextending herself and she needs to find another profession. Unfortunately all you have is hearsay. You need solid proof. Find out if any other parents have similar concerns and then ALL of you go to the principal or send an email or write a letter to the principal with all your signatures on it.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:17 PM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • You could send your kid to class with a voice recorder. Overwhelmed, unhappy or whatever is no excuse to NOT do her job. Her job is to teach...not tell students they are on their own. Another idea is to go sit in on her class. I have had the misfortune of encountering a few poor teachers in my kids' school "careers". I refuse to put up with it. Teachers need to be accountable.
    boys2men2soon

    Answer by boys2men2soon at 11:29 PM on Jun. 23, 2011

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