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mom23
mom23 asks:
Q:

Can I request a new teacher for my second grader?

I need advice about my daughter.s 2nd grade teacher...but first let me say my daughter LOVED to learn...especially read.  She tested into Advanced Reading in Kindergarten and with the enthusiam of her Kinder and 1st grade teachers maintained that hunger to learn more.  She was excited about her 2nd grade year...until that first week...
She now doesn't want to read and hates to go to school.  At 2nd grade?  She finally confessed to me this morning that her teacher yells at the class to the point of making her ears hurt...she commented about how the teacher doesn't let the kids go to bathroom, and on the first day upon picking her up she was crying she had to go to restroom so bad.  furthermore there is no communication with the teacher, to me...before, in the first to grades,  i would at least get a "smile face" on the communication calendar in her folder...with this teacher...nothing.  

Am I holding on too much?  I know I have to let go but when should I step in?  Isn't 2nd grade a little early to be dreading the teacher?  I mean do I still have the authority to get her a new teacher?   I want madeline to maintain that excitment to learn but it is fading fast and I want her to get that back before its too late....

i am in tears I just don't know what to do...it just isnt like Madeline to complain like that...

thank you so much for any advice.
andrea

In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s)
> 60 days ago

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ronald
ronald writes:
Andrea, you have a right to be concerned. You should not let go and you should get a handle on the facts. The question is what is really going on in the class.  Ask her teacher how things are going and how Madeline is doing.  If you know another parent or two, find out their child's perspective on what is going on in the class. I would only speak with one or two parents to minimize the "gossiping accusation". I believe getting a new teacher this early in the year is unlikely. If you are not happy with the teacher's respone, make an appt. to see the principal.
> 60 days ago

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jgoff30344
jgoff30344 writes:
Hi,

We have an Open Door Policy and parents can pop in any time.  If you could observe for awhile, you might get a handle on this teacher.  The school Guidance Counselor can be very helpful.  I agree that you should be concerned.  We have days when we'd rather stay home than go to work and kids can experience this feeling as well.

Good luck to you and keep us up to date as to your progress.  :)
> 60 days ago

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SeasonedTeacher
SeasonedTea... writes:
Parents do not have the "authority" to get their child a new teacher. Only a principal and/or a district and teacher may make those decisions legally. Yes the transition into second grade is difficult but the more a parent coddles, the more problems it creates for all involved. Children that young do not have a clear understanding between having earned a consequence or someone "yelling." The schools and we teachers must have rules in place for order and children are directed at specific times to use the restoom. Imagine the revolving door that is established when children are constantly going in and out of the classroom?  Yet you say you want her to be educated. We teachers are sick and tired of parents who do not have the training and licensing we have,  making rash assessments of us solely based upon what a little child says. Second graders are at a developmental age where they are unable to differentiate between liking and hating school because "like" means something they want to happen. In the beginning of the school year we must be consistent on enforcing our rules and oversensitive kids who are in a no-boundaries environment, fuss about such things as mentioned above and learn that it produces a reaction from their parent so they continue the behavior. For all such parents out there that believe they are so certain their child's teacher is "horrible", get your 4 year college degree, spend a 5th year pursuing your credential in a program the properly educates & trains teachers, and then take on that same classroom of your daughters with her and others requesting to use the restroom throughout the day and during instruction. Good luck then! Oh yes, don't forget...while all that is going on, you have to be sure you are teaching all the required state standards so you are not fired because that is the law which governs whether or not a teacher has "taught" their students.
> 60 days ago

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AnnTran
AnnTran writes:
I absolutely think that you should be concerned.  Certainly there are times when children can't be trusted to make the best decisions/judgements, but if they're uncomfortable, that should be enough to let you know there is something wrong.  

I think teachers take the idea of requesting another too personal...This isn't about the teachers and their feelings.  This is about what is best for our students.  And sometimes it isn't the teacher's fault; perhaps their style of teaching just isn't clicking w/ the student.  Whatever the reason, arguing that [the] job is difficult and stressful isn't an excuse.  Kids are difficult to deal w/ but if [the] love of teaching has brought you...far, you can't be blind-sided or offended by a parent's concern.  We're only people too....
> 60 days ago

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involvedmom
involvedmom writes:
Mom23,

I think you have every right to be concerned.  I wish more parents were involved in their child's education.  
> 60 days ago

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momof2kids
momof2kids writes:
...I think there needs to be open communication between the parent and the teacher.  Some teachers do this better than others but a parent should know what is going on in class and even what the "rules" are of the room.  Yes there are rules and I realize that, but letting children use the restroom when needed is a part of life.  You cannot schedule every trip, even adults KNOW that from experience. I think it's fairly easy to establish who abuses privileges after awhile, but even then it's hard.

I do not think teachers need to YELL.  Raising a voice for attention is one thing but I do not think a teacher needs to use yelling as a punishment tool, when there are other ways to individually deal with misbehaving such as missing part of a recess etc.  We are talking about 6 and 7 year olds who are still learning the ropes.  I am not a strong believer in punishing the group for a few who misbehave and am very glad its not that way in real life where I work, which is a university....... and we and the students are allowed to use the bathroom whenever we like :)
> 60 days ago

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momof3*
momof3* writes:
I dont know the answer to that question but I would like to know. You know it is soo funny that you say that because my second grader is saying the same things.... You wouldn't happen to be from Baton Rouge would you?? Today my son asked his teacher what a word was and she told him that he must have something in his eye. All the while shes helping the other students in the class. My son made As and Bs at his old school and now he somehow dosent get to finish his tests. Does anyone know if I can send my son to school with a spy cam??
> 60 days ago

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ladylydfern
ladylydfern writes:
She is your  daughter  and you want her  to  be happy when she goes to school.
Each teacher has a different teaching skills and each child connects with each teacher differently.If i where you i would transferr her  to a different class.
> 60 days ago

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MyKidsFirst
MyKidsFirst writes:
I can understand your concern.  I am going through this now.  My daughter is in the third grade this year- and loved school until this year.  I question if I should try to change a new teacher or keep her in the classroom.  My daughter will come home one day and lover her teacher- but the next day she will complain that the teacher told her she was getting on her nerves.  I have met with my daughter teacher many times and have even had my daughter in on the last one.  The teacher seems really nice and willing to help my daughter while we are meeting- but what does she do when I am not there.  What does she say to the kids.  My daughter got into trouble for talking in the bathroom.  Really?  The note said talking!  Not yelling, but talking.  As a parent there are far more other things these teachers should be looking out for.  When I met with the teacher about what she said to my daughter (about her getting on her nerves) she laughed it off.  She said she did tell my daughter that, but was only joking because my daughter kept asking her if it was time for "something"  Are you kidding me?  YOU NEVER tell any child they are getting on your nerves.  Since then I have been asking my daughter every day how her day was and exactly what happend in the class.  I have met several more times with the teacher becuase she tell me my daughter has a problem not raising her hand to be called on. I have talked to my daughter about that- but it seems like now the smallest (what I consider small) things are getting her into trouble.  TODAY she passed a note to another student to ask him to be quite.  She had already gotten into trouble for telling on other students so I guess this was her way of getting the problem taken care of.  Since she ended up in the AP office I guess that was not the right way to handle it with.  

I wish you the best of luck- and hope you can meet with the teacher to try to figure things out.  These are the most important years for the kids to learn... and if your daughter has stopped wanted to read, we have to address the teacher to see how things are going in the class.
> 60 days ago

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nurz911
nurz911 writes:
Dear SeasonedTeacher,

You sound like you made the wrong career choice.  Shame on you for your answer.
> 60 days ago

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Gonefishing
Gonefishing writes:
Take the problem to the source.  if you haven't already discussed this during a regular conference time, schedule a meeting and express your concerns.  Let the teacher know what your daughter has expressed about the classroom climate.  Give her time to explain.  Your child may be very sensitive, and a little communication could smooth the path between home and school.  If the teacher is unresponsive, involve the principal or guidance counselor in a sit down session.
> 60 days ago

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lilimommy
lilimommy writes:
I just went through this same issue with my 8 yr old son.  Teacher quit communicating.  My son was stuck in a learning gap that could have easily been filled if the teacher had communicated exactly what she felt needed to be addressed.  No help from her, a very defensive principal who listens but doesn't hear what you say.  I removed my son from the school.  I couldn't stand to think that with only half a year of school left that his feelings about confidence in the teacher and trusting her to help him or at the very least tell me what I can help with would possibly set him on a course that could most likely affect him all the way through high school.  I am homeschooling.  Maybe not forever but right now, with no encouragement from the school system to do what's right, it's the only choice I have.  We cannot afford private schooling.

TO SEASONTEA:  YOU are a prime example of what is wrong with the educational system.  You should choose another career because the damage you spew to concerned parents and most likely their children as well is UNACCEPTABLE.  Congrats on your 4 yr teaching degree.  In my opinion, you wasted 4 years of your life.  Sounds like you have a high opinion of yourself as a teacher but I can tell you one thing:  without OUR children, your degree means NOTHING.  I would suggest you attend Anger Management or at the very least, RETIRE.  YOU'RE DONE!
> 60 days ago

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w0376600
w0376600 writes:
You can't just get rid of the teacher. You need to open up the lines of communication with the teacher. You should try and schedule a conference with the teacher and then if that doesn't work, you can go to the principal. But his first instinct will not be to fire her. It doesn't work that way. You only have one side of the story, you need to give the teacher a chance to defend herself and work with her to fix any problems  that you and your daughter may be having.
> 60 days ago

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TSimms
TSimms writes:
I believe it is too late for a new teacher now. Encourage your daughter, 2nd grade is only for a short time, reading, a love for learning is lifetime. Tell her you are sorry that you did not step in earlier, but you will next time. Reassure her how much you love her. Find a way to confront the teacher, whether by letter, by visiting her during her planning time, or having her call you at her convenience. Without causing the teacher to be on the defensive, lay it all on the line in just the way you wrote in here.
> 60 days ago

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marrs120
marrs120 writes:
Wow, seasond teacher. I am more strick on my son then the school systems will allow any teacher to be & I can tell you I would NEVER allow my son to be in your class. The Following may not apply to you. However I have seen time & time again teachers that have an education not use it at all. The school systems are so full of politics & it is a shame that more parents don't step up to put a stop to it. Our children should be put first. That does not mean cater to them but for a child to have to deal with a teacher that only cares about getting paid & not about the student is not right. Every student should be treated as fair & equal as posible & I know for a fact that is not alway being done. Education does not make a caring person. If I judge you base on your own statement you seem like a very cruel person, no heart & only the ability to assume it could only be the parent or child at fault if school is not enjoyable. Children know a lot more then you seem to think & my not always have the right words to say when a teacher is not doing right. They however are able to say enough for the parent & child to figure it out. I can only hope you do not teach in an elementary. This is an age were if a student is casted as not a good kid all the teachers follow & then that child never learns to trust the people in charge of teaching them. I do want to thank you though for showing your true colors on here. This should give every parent that even thought about doing something about this issue the push to follow through with it. Please parent listen to your kids & talk to the teacher. If they do not have a valid complaint then talk to your child. If you see they DO have a valid complaint then please do something about it. Don't hesitate. Sincearly, A parent that cares
> 60 days ago

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yenalj
yenalj writes:
While I can see your concern being that she is in 2nd grade and shouldn't feel that way towards school already, I do think it is a bit extreme to simply blame one person (the teacher) for robbing years of educational enthusiasm away from your daughter.  That's not a fair judgment to cast on anyone.  How would you feel if a teacher began making such accusations on your behalf?  Maybe you didn't communicate with them and show as much concern as other parents so you were automatically written off as a parent that didn't care about her daughter.  Could you imagine that?  You would be infuriated to say the least.   It is obvious you care about your daughter to everyone reading this post and you want her to be successful.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I commend you on being so supportive of her.  SeasonedTeacher brought up a few of the frustrations teachers have with the parents.  Just as you blame the teachers lack of abilities for all your daughter’s recent behavior and sudden loss of interest, when student’s misbehave and/or are not participating teacher’s blame the parents lack of parenting skills.  Unimaginable…


I feel the need to inform you of something else that is pretty crazy.  Your phone doesn’t just take incoming calls anymore, it is also capable of something called dialing out.  That’s technology for you-always changing!  Look, I am not sure how many children you have but I am guessing the number is nowhere near 30.  Your daughter’s teacher likely has 30 or more students in that class.  While it would be nice to see smiley faces on her folder to communicate your daughter’s progress, understand that there is not one teacher that will do things the same as the last one.  Do you raise your kids the same way as everyone you know?  Of course you don’t, and that is because you instill lifelong skills based upon what you believe are best for her future. Amazingly, teachers are no different, they convey educational skills in different ways too.  Some teachers are very fun and quirky-they may want the classroom to have an inviting atmosphere; some teachers are so gentle they wouldn’t dare raising their voice and might prefer their classroom to be a nurturing environment.  

On the other side of the teacher spectrum you have some teachers that are very strict, and don’t encourage nurturing and socializing as much as others.  Instead of a classroom that is made of sugar, spice, and everything nice- they are more likely to aim for a controlled classroom.  In an effort to minimize distractions (i.e.having multiple kids ask you numerous times to go to the bathroom when you are in the middle of teaching) and maximize the amount of time spent on educational material.  


I was lucky enough to have super friendly, fun, and compassionate teachers through 2nd grade, but can you imagine the horror I faced my 3rd grade year when I had the mean teacher that was no longer nice to me?  I was even more devastated that my best friend wasn’t in my class either that year.  I hated school during 3rd grade!  Reflecting  back on elementary school today I remember one elementary teacher’s class much more than the others.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t the teacher that took care to make everyone feel welcome and special every day.   It was my 3rd grade teacher that made me begin to see that learning is IMPORTANT and an education is SERIOUS.  I actually learned a lot that year because I was too scared not to pay attention- she might have raised her voice at me! Eek!

By your posts, I realize that if I were in elementary school today I would have had to change schools multiple times.  To think, I might have been talking over the teacher and disrupting the other kids around me who were trying to pay attention, but forget about that! Shame on those horrible teachers that yelled at me for not listening the first time...what were they thinking?!  


I was a clever little kid back then -I knew my parents always had my back and I knew I might be able to change classes to be with my friend again so I did something I didn’t realize was completely horrible and wrong of me to do at that age- I exaggerated the stories of how mean my 3rd grade teacher was to move the process along.  I clearly remember begging my mom to call the school and get me switched out of her class, and her telling me, “You need to learn how to deal with all types of different people when you are older, this is the first of a billion so DEAL.”  I was devastated, but that is nothing short of the truth.  From your post, I am assuming you never had to work with or listen to anyone you didn’t like or get along with- I am officially jealous of your life.  I wish I had that kind of luck!!
Don’t go blaming the teachers for an occurrence you cannot explain.  This teacher will be the first of many teachers/people your child encounters that she will not like.  So stay calm, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you throw yourself into the never ending battle of parents vs. teachers.  Before you try to save her from all the future “evil” teacher’s classrooms (and trust me- she will encounter more of them) bare this in mind- You are only showing her it’s okay to give up on something because she doesn’t like someone there.  What will she know to do now when she meets university professors, co-workers, and bosses she doesn't like? …QUIT!

Who will you be holding accountable for problems like these, mom?
> 60 days ago

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yenalj
yenalj writes:
While I can see your concern being that she is in 2nd grade and shouldn't feel that way towards school already, I do think it is a bit extreme to simply blame one person (the teacher) for robbing years of educational enthusiasm away from your daughter.  That's not a fair judgment to cast on anyone.  How would you feel if a teacher began making such accusations on your behalf?  Maybe you didn't communicate with them and show as much concern as other parents so you were automatically written off as a parent that didn't care about her daughter.  Could you imagine that?  You would be infuriated to say the least.   It is obvious you care about your daughter to everyone reading this post and you want her to be successful.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I commend you on being so supportive of her.  SeasonedTeacher brought up a few of the frustrations teachers have with the parents.  Just as you blame the teachers lack of abilities for all your daughter’s recent behavior and sudden loss of interest, when student’s misbehave and/or are not participating teacher’s blame the parents lack of parenting skills.  Unimaginable…

I feel the need to inform you of something else that is pretty crazy.  Your phone doesn’t just take incoming calls anymore, it is also capable of something called dialing out.  That’s technology for you-always changing!  Look, I am not sure how many children you have but I am guessing the number is nowhere near 30.  Your daughter’s teacher likely has 30 or more students in that class.  While it would be nice to see smiley faces on her folder communicating your daughter’s progress, understand that there is not one teacher that will do things the same as the last one.  Do you raise your kids the same way as everyone you know?  Of course you don’t, and that is because you instill lifelong skills based upon what you believe are best for her future.  Some teachers are very fun and quirky-they may want the classroom to have an inviting atmosphere; some teachers are so gentle they wouldn’t dare raising their voice and might prefer their classroom to be a nurturing environment.  On the other side of the teacher spectrum you have some teachers that are very strict, and don’t encourage nurturing and socializing as much as others.  Instead of a classroom that is made of sugar, spice, and everything nice- they are more likely to aim for a controlled classroom.  In an effort to minimize distractions (i.e.having multiple kids ask you numerous times to go to the bathroom when you are in the middle of teaching) and maximize the amount of time spent on educational material.  

I was lucky enough to have super friendly, fun, and compassionate teachers through 2nd grade, but can you imagine the horror I faced my 3rd grade year when I had the mean teacher that was no longer nice to me?  I was even more devastated that my best friend wasn’t in my class either that year.  I hated school during 3rd grade!  Reflecting  back on elementary school today I remember one elementary teacher’s class much more than the others.  To my surprise, it wasn’t the teacher that took care to make everyone feel welcome and special every day.   It was my 3rd grade teacher that made me begin to see that learning is IMPORTANT and an education is SERIOUS.  I actually learned a lot that year because I was too scared not to pay attention- she might have raised her voice at me! Eek!

I was a clever little kid back then -I knew my parents always had my back and I knew I might be able to change classes to be with my friend again so I did something I didn’t realize was completely horrible and wrong of me to do at that age- I exaggerated the stories of how mean my 3rd grade teacher was to move the process along.  I clearly remember begging my mom to call the school and get me switched out of her class, and her telling me, “You need to learn how to deal with all types of different people when you are older, this is the first of a billion so DEAL.”  I was devastated, but that is nothing short of the truth.  From your post, I am assuming you never had to work with or listen to anyone you didn’t like or get along with- I am officially jealous of your life.  I wish I had that kind of luck!!
Don’t go blaming the teachers for an occurrence you cannot explain.  This teacher will be the first of many teachers/people your child encounters that she will not like.  So stay calm, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you throw yourself into the never ending battle of parents vs. teachers.  Before you try to save her from all the future “evil” teacher’s classrooms (and trust me- she will encounter more of them) bare this in mind- You are only showing her it’s okay to give up on something because she doesn’t like someone there.  What will she do when she meets university professors, co-workers, and bosses she doesn’t like? …QUIT!  

Obviously nothing is wrong with anything on the parent side of the equation so who will you find to hold accountable for any negative changes your daughter might go through in the future?
> 60 days ago

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truthseeker832
truthseeker... writes:
MyKidsFirst: I agree that teachers should never tell a child he/she is getting on their nerves.  Regardless of how you (the teacher) intend the comment, it is very likely that the child will be hurt by it.  Regarding talking in the bathroom – I and other teachers have this rule for several reasons: 1)we really do have a limited time for bathroom breaks.  While some students spend time talking, other kids (not to mention other classes) are waiting. 2) Sounds in the bathroom echo, so even normal talking seems louder than it actually is.  Our bathrooms are located near classrooms, and it is not fair to them to have to have the distractions of bathroom conversations.

Marrs120: Speaking as a first grade teacher, I would respectfully ask parents to at least consider what SeasonedTeacher had to say.

You wrote “The school systems are so full of politics & it is a shame that more parents don't step up to put a stop to it. Our children should be put first.”  AMEN!  Most teachers I know would agree with you.  The school systems are full of politics, but, unfortunately, regular classroom teachers do not have “political” power to do anything about that.  When we are given orders and mandates from the powers that be, we have to follow them whether or not we agree.

Let me make this clear: I LOVE teaching.  I have always wanted to be a teacher, and I cannot imagine doing anything differently.  I want all of my students to succeed.  I want to do everything I can to ensure they receive a quality education and that their individual needs are met.  However, it is a little known fact (except among teachers) that those aspects of teaching that lead you to the profession are often taken away by the “powers that be” who are more interested in test scores and rhetoric.

To put this in a little perspective: In my area, the school day is 7 hours long.  Subtract 1 hour for related arts (music, art, PE), 30 minutes for lunch, and 30 minutes for arrival and dismissal procedures and announcements.  That leaves 5 hours, including bathroom breaks and transitions, and that time is not continuous and uninterrupted.  You also have to account for assemblies, guidance lessons, time in the library and computer lab, among other things.  I am often pressed for time to fit in everything the district requires of me, and I am forced to omit some of the fun activities that I and the students would enjoy.  Factor into lack of time a class of 22 students with many different academic and emotional needs.  It is essential that there are rules and procedures in place and enforced so that the day runs more smoothly.

To the parents of my students: I love your child.  I want what is best for him/her, and I will do the best I can to provide a quality education.  Please remember, though, that I too am human.
> 60 days ago

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quinnt04
quinnt04 writes:
First, to 'seasoned teacher', I have been teaching for 20 years and have taught prek, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th grade, and high school regular, tag, pre-AP and AP courses and I could not disagree with you more. The first step in creating a successful classroom environment is to develop a rapport (not a friendship, a teacher student relationship built on caring and respect) with each individual student, even those with whom a positive relationship does not develop easily. As the adult, as the classroom leader, it is both your responsibility and your baseline from which to build accomplishment in all of your students.
As a parent, trust your gut and support your child but also take responsibility for developing a positive relationship with your child's teacher so that you may work as a team to help your child grow and succeed academically and socially. Know that children often perceive things to be more personal than they were intended to be. In most cases, teachers are not intentionally hurting feelings or damaging self esteem. In most cases, teachers also realize that even if the perception that a child is not liked by the teacher is not accurate, it is still the child's perception. He feels the way he feels. As the teacher, it is his/her responsibility to make that personal connection with the child and change that perception. Just keep in mind that the teacher cannot do that if they are not made aware of how the child feels and may not be willing to do that if they feel accused. The best approach is a team approach with the goal of improving your child's academic success.
> 60 days ago

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sickofpublicschool
sickofpubli... writes:
I have 3 children. One is currently being homeschooled. One has a WONDERFUL TEACHER (The kind that deserves 20 raises and a state teaching nomination!) The third is a totally different story.  

Getting a new teacher in the middle of the school year is nearly impossible.  However, you should follow your instincts. NO ONE knows your child better than you do!  If open communication does not work with the teacher, then move on up the ladder from there.

And to SOME of the "teachers" in this thread:

1) Since WHEN is using the bathroom a privilege?  It is a natural bodily function that can not be controlled!

2) Yes, your college education allows you placement in the classroom.  Your education does NOT give you the right to belittle a parent in regards to their children! NOR does it give you the right to think that you are better than a parent. Parents are their child's first teacher, thus... they are more experienced in the education of their child regardless of training.  YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO WORK TOGETHER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILD. Many parents are just as tired of self absorbed, burned out teachers that feel they do no wrong.

I applaud the teachers that are willing to establish working relationships with parents. If the teachers are not willing to do so, how is the parent to play an active role in the education of their child?

MOM23:  Do you know any other parents of the children in the classroom? Perhaps you can get their perspective. See if any other students have complained.  As its been said, keep it to a minimum to avoid "gossiping" about the teacher. If you find that problems with this teacher occur with several students and nothing is done, perhaps an educational advocate could be contacted. Mostly I have seen Educational Advocates step into the matter when Special Ed or any aspect of IDEA is involved, but I have NOT seen one that is not willing to offer advice to concerned parents. :)  

I have taught my children "peeing is not a privilege". I have told them to ask once, if told no and they can wait a bit to please do so. If they HAVE to go (at risk of an accident) to tell the teacher they REALLY NEED to go.  If the teacher still does not allow them to go, they are to stand up, go to the bathroom, go STRAIGHT back to class and ask the teacher to call me and explain the situation.

Parents should NEVER doubt what their children are saying. Even if it seems off the wall, it still deserves to be looked into and resolved. If a problem can not be resolved at the teacher level, then there is a lot of communication that you need to initiate with higher leveled administration.
Of course, there are other options such as Home School, Private School, and Online elementary education.  I despise public school systems, but value the social aspect of children within school. It is a true shame when "teachers" have such a negative impact on a child.
> 60 days ago

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