What is the best way to handle a teacher who is constantly mean to your child?
My child's 1st grade teacher is constantly using negative reinforcement with the children. Specific examples are; drawing frowny faces on the children's papers, marking the papers up with so much red ink, one can barely see pencil through all the ink, telling my child, quote "You cannot look at my special books because you have bad handwriting." This teacher had my child write her name and her alphabet by herself while the other students got to look at these "special books". My daughter's handwriting is not "bad". (but even if it were, this teacher is out of line with the way she treats them.) I have spoke to the teacher, one on one-first, then to the Principal 3 times, now to the Superintendent, with no luck. If anyone knows the best way to handle this, or has dealt with the same problems in the past and has any advice, please let me know. Thanks!
I hear your concerns about the negative effects this criticism may have on your child. You have sought help through the right channels and I commend you for speaking with the teacher first, then the principal, and finally the superintendent.
You may consider scheduling another conference with the principal and the teacher to resolve your concerns. Before the conference, write a letter outlining specific concerns and how it has affected your child. Rather than attack the teacher personally, focus on what you would like to see happen, such as including your child in activities, using positive reinforcement, correcting work with kindness and understanding, and being constructive and positive.
See the link on having a successful parent conference.
Would it be possible mid-year to transfer your child to another class in the same school? Just getting her out of the current "negative" situation would seem like the best answer to me. Is this teacher also negative to the other students in the class? Maybe enlist the help of other parents at the meeting with the teacher and principal. Good luck and keep positively re-enforcing your child's self-esteem.
This kind of "negative" attitude is the very reason why we started and love homeschooling. School is meant to be a rewarding and satisfying environment. Children should feel safe and feel they are in a stimulating setting. I would talk to the principal about this teacher's attitude towards learning. You may want to request a move (in teacher). Let the principal know that you are greatly concerned and need options. If the school does not offer any or refuses, I would then go to the BOE with it. Also, I am always encouraging parents to homeschool if that is the best educational fit for them. You know your child's needs more than anyone and you also immediately rule out all negativity. Hope this helps :)
Thank you all for your answers, they are encouraging to have more options in mind. I did go back to the Principle yesterday (Thursday). He had a "loddy-da" attitude about it, but did say he would speak to her again. When he did call me back, he said "Well, she doesn't agree with it, but we can see how it goes." This was not sufficient, so I phoned the Superintendent who doesn't sound very encouraging, but did set up a meeting between the himself, the Principle, me and my husband on Wednesday. I guess we will see how that goes. My next step is the school board. This is a small school, and there is only one 1st grade class, otherwise I would have put her in another for sure. We opted into this school system because it is supposed to be great. My daughter has been with her peers since preschool and I feel like I would be punishing her to take her out of this school away from all of her friends. Her preschool and Kindergarten teachers were awesome so I am very hopeful that if we can make it through the rest of this year, that we will continue to have great teachers. (My fingers are crossed) This teacher has soooo many complaints about her, I am baffled why a school would retain someone like this. My only conclusion is that she is "tenure" so that makes it very difficult for a school to get rid of her. I will absolutly continue to do what is in the best interest in my child and the other poor kids that are being affected by her. Thank you so much for all the suggestions!
go to the pta about it and ask them to help you out. If you can not get help that way change your child school but you should still tell the superintendent because that not the way a teacher should treat a child.
I have read where you have gone through the correct sequence of meetings to try and ameliorate the situation. I have a few more suggestions:
1) Go to the school with a child advocate. The board of education or local PTA may have a list. This advocate is to help and not hinder the process and to help give sound recommendations to both the school and the family.
2) Go to any subsequent meetings with your spouse of significant other. You should have another person there as a support for you and to write notes independent of the school notes being taken. Ask for reasons why the child cannot be moved to an alternative classroom. Request the reasons in writing.
3) Ask for the school multi-disciplinary team to have an observation/ evaluation of the situation. Perhaps your child may have a mild learning challenge that needs to be addressed and has gone unnoticed by the teacher?
Good luck and if you wish let us know if there is any resolution.
Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
You have probably already done this, but first you need to sit down with your daughter and talk to her about how this is affecting her. If she is not too bothered by it then leave it alone. From experience, I know that some students like a strict, negative reinforcing teacher because they work better knowing exactly what they did wrong and getting straight forward answers and signs on what they did wrong.
However, as I suspect, your daughter may be very affected by this type of teacher and in that case I would ask to get her in a different class. Working with a negative teacher will only make your daughter resent school and turn her off to learning. She needs to be in an environment where learning is positive and enjoyable.