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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

If you have a complaint about your child's teacher who hears about it?

Posted by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:19 PM
Max
  • 26 Replies

I am dealing with a situation I've never really dealt with as a teacher before. Or at least I never knew if was happening in the past. 

I have a student who is having some issues with his behavior. He's also having some health issues that seem to be clearly impacting his behavior. I've been contact with his mother frequently and I thought we were together to help him. When ever I speak to her she sings my praises and thanks me profusely for everything I am doing for him. 

However, what she's telling other people is a whole other story. One of her relatives recently called one of our administrators and basically blasted me and the entire school for letting the child's issues go on and doing nothing to help him. The family member shared a litany of complaints I had never even heard of before. The administrator explained that she can't discuss anything about the child without the permission of his parents and offered to have a meeting with the mother, the administrator and me but she declined. Another school administrator followed up with the mother asking if everything is OK and again she sang my praises and told him I a "God send" for her child. 

I've had other people tell me the mom is very unhappy with what's going on in my classroom as well. I guess she doesn't realize that it's a small town and people tend to repeat what people say. I've scheduled several confrences with the mother to try to discuss this and she's cancelled every one. When I get her on the phone and directly ask is she has other concerns or suggestions for what I could be doing she goes on and on about how great I've been all year. 

I am totally at a loss. I don't know if the mom is really unhappy with me but for some reasons thinks she needs to pretend she likes me. Or maybe she doesn't blame me at all for these issues, but needs something to tell other people to explain what's going on. 

I am totally confused and it's driving me nuts! If she thinks I'm doing something wrong I wish she would just tell me. Maybe I can make adjustments, maybe I can just explain why things are they way they are. If she's looking for someone to blame for her child's issues I wish she'd leave me out of it. 

Anyway... do you know anyone like this? And ideas? I've tried to be as direct as possible and I am getting no where. 

by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LadyAmaranth
by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I don't per serving but my thought is she's blame placing because she doesn't wanna admit to his issues fully. She wants to be the hero...the doing it all right but they see issues so she puts it to you cuz you are the next influence in his life.

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The mom is displacing blame to family members, but can't do that with you.  Hugs!  

cjsbmom
by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Are you sure she's blaming you, or are family members just taking what she's said and twisting it around to place blame on you? In a situation like this, where everything that is coming back to you is second hand, I'd have to wonder. 

At this point, I'm not sure there's anything else you can do. You've reached out to her several times only to have her ignore you, and that is more than some teachers would do. If I was the administrator in your building, I'd be tempted to tell whomever calls in to complain next that it is recommended the parent take you up on your numerous offers to have a discussion to resolve these issues. 

shiningjoy
by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Have you talked to the administration about this? Do they have any thoughts?  Have you told the mother directly that bad things are being said?  Do you keep logs of and when you have conversations with the mother?  I think she is frustrated and is talking to people about it.  She is probably re-placing the blame, because she doesn't know what to do, and maybe this other family member has been blaming her and taking it out on her.  I hope things get better soon.  Maybe have the administration request a meeting with her, telling her they need to have a sit down discussion about her child.  Put it in a way she needs to come, and then have them explain they have been hearing other things from family and such and they want to set up the best possible plan for the child.  Good luck!!!

GwenMB
by Gwen on Dec. 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Sometimes there really is nothing you can do about a situation.  If she really does have issues with you, the school, anything any of you are doing, she must be incredibly unable to directly confront people that she can't tell you what the issue is.

I would just let it go.  Do what you're doing & let go what she's saying & doing.  Just remind yourself that her issues are about her, not you.  Your administrators already know the truth (I would assume, if they don't, do tell them).  The truth will come out for anyone else that really needs to know.

To answer your question about what I'd do if I had an issue with my child's teacher - it hasn't happened yet.  I've never had an issue with a teacher for either of my sons.  But if I did, I'd talk to my DH & a private board I'm on (and that just to get tips) but otherwise I wouldn't talk to anyone other than the teacher(s)/principal.  We are also in a small town (well, 14,000 but everyone seems to know everyone else) and an even smaller school (100 students).  So complaining is likely to get back to the teachers & I would never assume otherwise.

Pnukey
by Bronze Member on Dec. 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Have you asked her directly about what her family members have said, "Your family said this to my administrator'blah blah blah' and I'd like to talk to you about it."

Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Dec. 7, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Show up on her doorstep? Does she bring the child to/from school? Parking lot ambush?
MamiJaAyla
by Bronze Member on Dec. 7, 2013 at 3:14 PM

 No. That would be highly unprofessional.  I would document the multiple attempts at conferencing as well as all the calls and any notes with minor notes.

I'd maybe reach out to adminstration and/or a fellow teacher especially one that may have had this student in the past and see if this has occured before and/or what you may do about it.

In this particular case to me this is a parent you DO NOT turn your back on and make sure to CYA in EVERYWAY.  Document ALL contact (attempted and made) any and everything done for child (write DRAFT) accross the page especially in making notes for child and/or data b/c that makes it a personal thing and not submittable in court.

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3: Show up on her doorstep? Does she bring the child to/from school? Parking lot ambush?

 

cjsbmom
by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Yep. Documentation is your friend. Document everything. Email and put things in writing as much as possible. Then you have a paper trail. 

Quoting MamiJaAyla:

 No. That would be highly unprofessional.  I would document the multiple attempts at conferencing as well as all the calls and any notes with minor notes.

I'd maybe reach out to adminstration and/or a fellow teacher especially one that may have had this student in the past and see if this has occured before and/or what you may do about it.

In this particular case to me this is a parent you DO NOT turn your back on and make sure to CYA in EVERYWAY.  Document ALL contact (attempted and made) any and everything done for child (write DRAFT) accross the page especially in making notes for child and/or data b/c that makes it a personal thing and not submittable in court.

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3: Show up on her doorstep? Does she bring the child to/from school? Parking lot ambush?



maxswolfsuit
by Max on Dec. 7, 2013 at 4:01 PM

The both the family member and people who work at the school are telling me she's saying the same things. When the same story is coming from several sources it's pretty hard for me to think she's not saying what I am hearing. 

The administrator can't discuss any of it with anyone other than the parents because it would breach confidentiality. She strongly hinted that we had been requesting a meeting, but it would unethical to tell anyone that. 

Quoting cjsbmom:

Are you sure she's blaming you, or are family members just taking what she's said and twisting it around to place blame on you? In a situation like this, where everything that is coming back to you is second hand, I'd have to wonder. 

At this point, I'm not sure there's anything else you can do. You've reached out to her several times only to have her ignore you, and that is more than some teachers would do. If I was the administrator in your building, I'd be tempted to tell whomever calls in to complain next that it is recommended the parent take you up on your numerous offers to have a discussion to resolve these issues. 


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