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Anonymous
Anonymous asks:
Q:

How would you feel about the Teacher having their own son or daughter as their student?

My daughter's 1st grade teacher has her own daughter as a student in her class.  In fact, she had her other older daughter as a student in her 5th grade class last year.  This year she has switched grades and is now a 1st grade teacher.

I asked the Superintendent what the school district's policy was on this issue, and was informed that it is up to the Principal and due to the fact that our district is small it would sometimes happen.  I could understand if our was school district was small, but we have over 8 elementary schools in the district, and there are two 1st grade teachers at this school alone.

What are your opinions?
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

MomSOS
Oct 3, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

You are describing a circumstance that does happen in certain communities, and as you indicated would depend on the protocols of the school district.  Now that you find your child in this situation, it sounds like you are wary of what might transpire. While you imply that the teacher may have had some pull with the principal, you have not said directly that anything unfair has actually occurred. However, it is reasonable for you to wonder if the teacher's own child will be the "pet" at the expense of the other children.

Here are my opinions.

Since it sounds like you are unable to change the situation, perhaps a change in perspective might help you. The fact that this looks unfair does not necessarily mean it will be unfair.  Rather than assume this will be a negative for your daughter, you might consider the possibility that the teacher will be more conscientious and more invested in the success of her class since her own child is a student there.  You might also adopt the philosophy that, as a professional, the teacher subscribes to a policy of fairness for all her students.

Along with choosing a belief system, one helpful strategy might be to develop an alliance with this teacher. Offer to volunteer in her class or participate in a Parent/Teacher activity with her. Get to know her so that you can form more than a circumstantial evaluation of how she is handling this situation.  A working relationship can go far toward mitigating or heading off problematic situations.

Now, if you do discover concrete, factual information that conflicts with the positive outlooks, create a documentation of evidence that you can  present to the powers in the district, if you feel the matter is sufficiently problematic. Bear in mind that your own child's complaints about fairness or lack of it, may not fully constitute fact, since a child's perception is often that adults are not fair.  On the other hand, what your child says is worthy of your attention, and possibly  follow up with the teacher, or with the principal, in a non-confrontational manner.

Above all, help your daughter to deal with her own feelings about the teacher's child being in her class. Help her to understand that despite this situation,  she is just as important as anyone else in the room.  Most parents work, and this is the job that this little girl's Mom has.  Because this girl is in your little girl's class, perhaps a play date is in order.  

In the interest of positive alliances, I would also encourage you to refrain from  sharing your concerns or frustrations within earshot of your daughter.  Doing so could raise anxiety for your child, or lead to information being "leaked" that you would prefer to keep private. In other words, make sure your daughter is not in the middle of any issues you have with her teacher.

To sum up, keep your outlook positive, find ways to be an ally as well as an advocate, and help your daughter keep her own self-esteem intact.  These positive practices will go far to mitigate any negative effects of potential "nepotism" in the classroom.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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Expert

MomSOS
Oct 3, 2009
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

You are describing a circumstance that does happen in certain communities, and as you indicated would depend on the protocols of the school district.  Now that you find your child in this situation, it sounds like you are wary of what might transpire. While you imply that the teacher may have had some pull with the principal, you have not said directly that anything unfair has actually occurred. However, it is reasonable for you to wonder if the teacher's own child will be the "pet" at the expense of the other children.

Here are my opinions.

Since it sounds like you are unable to change the situation, perhaps a change in perspective might help you. The fact that this looks unfair does not necessarily mean it will be unfair.  Rather than assume this will be a negative for your daughter, you might consider the possibility that the teacher will be more conscientious and more invested in the success of her class since her own child is a student there.  You might also adopt the philosophy that, as a professional, the teacher subscribes to a policy of fairness for all her students.

Along with choosing a belief system, one helpful strategy might be to develop an alliance with this teacher. Offer to volunteer in her class or participate in a Parent/Teacher activity with her. Get to know her so that you can form more than a circumstantial evaluation of how she is handling this situation.  A working relationship can go far toward mitigating or heading off problematic situations.

Now, if you do discover concrete, factual information that conflicts with the positive outlooks, create a documentation of evidence that you can  present to the powers in the district, if you feel the matter is sufficiently problematic. Bear in mind that your own child's complaints about fairness or lack of it, may not fully constitute fact, since a child's perception is often that adults are not fair.  On the other hand, what your child says is worthy of your attention, and possibly  follow up with the teacher, or with the principal, in a non-confrontational manner.

Above all, help your daughter to deal with her own feelings about the teacher's child being in her class. Help her to understand that despite this situation,  she is just as important as anyone else in the room.  Most parents work, and this is the job that this little girl's Mom has.  Because this girl is in your little girl's class, perhaps a play date is in order.  

In the interest of positive alliances, I would also encourage you to refrain from  sharing your concerns or frustrations within earshot of your daughter.  Doing so could raise anxiety for your child, or lead to information being "leaked" that you would prefer to keep private. In other words, make sure your daughter is not in the middle of any issues you have with her teacher.

To sum up, keep your outlook positive, find ways to be an ally as well as an advocate, and help your daughter keep her own self-esteem intact.  These positive practices will go far to mitigate any negative effects of potential "nepotism" in the classroom.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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Additional Answers (4)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi,

Have you talked with the principal about your concern, particularly since the Superintendent mentioned that he/she was the decision-maker in this case? Given that there are two first grade teachers at the school, perhaps the principal would be willing to switch the classroom assignment for your child or for the teacher's child.

As a parent in this situation, I would be a little concerned about preferential treatment for the teacher's child, and/or the teacher's potential inability to be objective when conflicts arise between her child and other children in the class. Conversely, the teacher could be harder on her own child to demonstrate to other students in the class that there is no preferential treatment for her.

You mentioned that this teacher has taught one of her other children before. Do you know any parents who had children in that classroom who you could consult about how that experience was for them? That might also provide some information for your discussion with the principal, or could ease your concerns.

Good luck!

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murclark
murclark writes:
I would feel really bad for the child.  I am a mother and a teacher and prefer not to teach my own.  I would be much harder on my child expecting her to be the best, and I would expect her to be on her best behavior and to set the tone for the class.  Most mothers want their children to be the best and so I think that the child as a student would be more stressed than any of the other students.  I have seen this so many times in schools with moms as teachers of their own children.  It is like trying to help your own children at the kitchen table with their homework and when they don't get it we as parents get frustrated and wonder why when its right there in front to them.  Imagine that in a classroom setting!!!!  

Do you think that having the teachers child in her class would be a disadvantage to your child?
> 60 days ago

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ashita21
ashita21 , Student writes:
I think it is best that a teacher does not allow her own children or loved ones for that matter, as her classroom students. The reason being, that no matter how much they deny it, at some point or the other personal bias can enter and that is just not fair to the other students. Nor will it really help the teacher's children.
> 60 days ago

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Lilly17
Lilly17 writes:
It wouldn't be fair the Teacher can give his/her son/daughter a lot of credit so his or her child can pass the class.
> 60 days ago

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