Thursday, September 27, 2007

To Battle

Have you ever noted the contentious nature of the relationship between you and your children's teacher. A good teacher can launch a career and a bad teacher can destroy a student. Too often teachers are so set on keeping control and rules that they forget to allow a little room for kids to be right also. For instance, I just finished a meeting with my daughters teacher about an incident. On this day my daughter found a boy was sitting in her seat when she arrived at class, since he was a friend and was talking she waited a minute or two. Soon the teacher is telling everyone that if they are not in the seats when the bell rings they will be tardy. My daughter asks the boy to move but he wants to sit there today and tells her to swap with him. Knowing this teacher, she will not swap but the boy stays put. The bell rings, the teacher calls her over and tells her to she is tardy. The daughter informs the teacher of the issue, to which the teacher replies, "I don't care, you were not in your seat, go to the office and get a tardy slip." The boy gets nothing and my daughter now has a mark against her that she did not deserve.

I went in to meet with this teacher today, I also invited a vice-principal. Upon going over the incident the teacher was adamant that my daughter was not in her seat and was tardy, not listening to me, not caring about the extenuating circumstances at all. She was not willing to listen to ME, much less my 15 year old. How are students supposed to deal with a teacher who has no room for any grace? How are they supposed to respect a person who is more interested in following rules than in doing the right thing? I believe that the teachers are supposed to be teaching two things, the subject they are tasked with and leadership. Every teacher is a leader and the values, skills and methods they use should be ones that our kids can use in their lives. Unfortunately this teacher doesn't get it, she is a "my way or the highway" type of person with the letter of the law stamped on her brain, not the spirit. Happily the vice-principal was there, she saw the problem and actually agreed to remove the tardy. All in all I did get to make my point and I think the teacher heard SOME of what I said. We will move forward, i will impress on my daughter the need to more closely follow instruction and also to give this teacher a clean slate from here and see if they can salvage the relationship. Hopefully it works out BUT I will be happy to return at any point and continue the fight. It is what I do.

1 comment:

CrossPointeDave said...

us dad's have to stand and defend our daughters against both the bully boys and oversimplistic teachers!