Nearly lost parental control

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Jenn, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Poor DD13 came home, and after spending over an hour doing music practice (a bit unusual) said English teacher had told them all off for talking too loud in class; that she had stopped as soon as told, but teacher not noticing her and other innocents punished whole class by assigning them to write out 5 then 25 times a paragraph long sentence of "I was bad... I will accept my punishment without whining...." etc. Sounded like teacher had a bad day, and is not a very consistent disciplinarian. I told DD I knew she was innocent (she certainly believed herself so) but that I had to support teacher's discipline and that group punishment might be the teacher's goal, and she could write an essay about her innocence and unfairness of punishment if she wanted or if not done doing 25 copies by bedtime I'd write an excuse. No other homework except for later in week.

    She was very upset crying and demanding to know why (and not understanding what I was saying) I was making her. As I realised she was resisting MY commands I pushed her- sent her to a time out and then pointed out she had to do the work. Dh was out of town and I called him and was actually wimpily hoping he'd tell her he agreed with me (she often and is sometimes right- a marital issue indeed- thinks DH would not make her do something I'm making her do). He reminded me to resume parental authority and demand obedience (without him as a crutch!) and also to remind her that even if she didn't finish all that night she'd get to do it all week (I'd told her no computer or TV until done already).

    Anyway she got it done in time, calmed down some, and yesterday came home and said teacher didn't collect it! I called teacher who said "I told class as they left [on day assigned] they didn't have to do it, and to tell everyone...." and reassured me my girl was wellbehaved and should have come and asked not to have to do it and would've been told she didn't have to.

    My DD does sometimes have a communication problem at school (thought it was only in England but maybe change to AL/US causing it here as well) but I fear it is the teacher who does in this case. So what to do? Decided with DH that any future noneducational and argued as unreasonable assignments we'll let her not do it unless/until an actual written demand from teacher comes home, possibly the next day. But what a lesson- "gee you're right you CAN just ignore punishment handed out by your teacher."

    And maybe I needed to see how close to rebellion my girl is but I am mad at the teacher for precipitating a near nuclear meltdown in my daughter's obedience and my command over the teacher's apparently total lack of discipline and consistency.
     
  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    Not all teachers are good all the time.

    I've had a few run ins with particular teachers also.. But all of you did what was right with the information you had to go on. Maybe getting this teacher's phone number for clairifcation purposes on assignments such as this would be helpful.

    I remember writing 100 times "I will not talk in class" as I was reading my book and most of the rest were going haywire.... I still had to do it. Many times in middle school years.

    Angie
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The teacher, failing to collect should be a big red flag...
     
  4. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    Your support of the teacher was appropriate. And although you feel frustrated right now with the teacher, give it a day or two and then make appointment to speak with her.

    I would share your expectations for your daughter's behavior so that she realizes your support of her efforts. Then I would bring up the "punishment" issue and share with her my concerns and possible scenarios if a future situation should occur.

    I think you can clarify many "expectations" with the one conversation. Expectations for your child and the type of instruction/management you expect in your child's classrooms!
     
  5. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    Would not be a huge flag.....especially if she told people later they didn't have to do it.....as mom alluded, the lack of communication, between teacher and students and teacher/home would have me concerned.
     
  6. fastbackpony

    fastbackpony Well-Known Member

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    The teacher is clearly at fault here - to say ok, assignment for the whole class - then say by the way you don't have to do it ? ? there is a communication problem, punishment should be clear and direct - and only directed at the offenders - not the whole class. why tell a class to do something, and expect the innocents to beg off of the assignment. my kids would never approach the teacher and say - HEY i shouldn't have to do this - even though the rest of the class does. GOOD GRIEF !
    the teacher said the kid should have asked to not do the assignment/punishment - he/she is just creating a chaotic environment by doing this. what if they all whined and begged to get out of assignments.

    NO NO NO - bad teacher
     
  7. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    Ah, the brain of a 13 year old goes into neutral very easily. I have two 13 year olds, and I know they frequently do not hear everything the teachers say. Sort of like selective hearing. Certainly they don't "hear" everything we say to them!

    That said, I like the advice to wait a couple of days and then request a conference with the teacher. You will get a better idea about the teacher's level of control in the class.
     
  8. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    But teacher made a poor choice in handling the situation.....and if spoken with one on one, I am sure would acknowledge this. I have found my children's teachers to be very open to conversation with a parent regarding "issues". It is all in how you approach the situation.
     
  9. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    as a teacher, i have given whole class assignments for continued disruption. the students who do it and turn it in, get 25 bonus points (they are usually the students who weren't part of the issue) the others get detention. i also call home, and kick students out of class for the day. in fact, in 2 of my classes, i've kicked a few kids out this year...one student leaves at least twice a week, sometimes he asks to leave, before he gets into trouble-sometimes i tell him to leave. he knows he needs to control himself, chooses not to. one will not be allowed to participate in the next science experiment because of his behavior the last time.
    sounds like that teacher was having a bad day, and later regretted blowing up. still, she should've stuck to it. oh well. everyone makes mistakes. keep that in mind.
     
  10. Belly Acre

    Belly Acre Well-Known Member

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    My 13 y.o. DD came home a couple of weeks ago with a discipline form stating that the whole class was out of control with a substitute teacher. She assured me that everybody in the class got one. I spoke with her about "respect" and signed the paper. I was informed a week later that she did not hand the paper back in because everybody that did GOT SATURDAY SCHOOL! Sounds a lot like your incident!
    I feel sorry for all of our children because they live in a time that I think it is harder than ever to "function" with all the mental disorders of other students, teachers, and administration. That is to say nothing about the laws being set up such that parents don't have "rights" anymore.
    I have also been told many times that age 13 is the worst age for our children, I surely HOPE it gets better and soon!
    Good Luck!
     
  11. CountryBeth

    CountryBeth Well-Known Member

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    They still do this, huh?

    I remember being one of the "good" kids and being assigned something crazy like reading 5 chapters of science and writing down all the answers to the end of chapter questions. The teacher went ballistic over a few kids messing around.

    Funny thing is some parents complained and when we went back to class the next day, all us "good" kids had it done and we were told we didn't need to do it afterall. I was up til almost midnight doing it the night before. I learned that my parents were going to back up the teacher, even when she was wrong. Made me plenty mad.

    A few years later, it was pizza day and our class had to eat lunch in our classroom because the cafeteria/gym was being used for something else. Judy Stewart had come in and dropped her pizza on the ground. She picked up the pizza and threw it away, embarrassed, but like all good young teens, didn't have a napkin to clean the floor.

    When Sr. Mary St. Daniel lined us up to go to the bathroom after lunch, she noticed the blob of pizza sauce. Nastily she asked, "WHO made the mess on the floor and did not pick it up?" Time froze. We knew who did it. Judy was one of the popular kids. Do you think anyone was gonna point out a popular kid?

    Again, SMSD asks, "WHOOOOOO did THIS? No one is leaving this room until I KNOW WHOOOOOO DID THIS." I had whispered, barely audible to Cathy Englehart standing in front of me, "You've got to be kidding."

    I never saw a nun's head snap back so hard. "WHOOOOO said something?" If you thought it was quiet before, no one breathed now.

    "I did, Sister," I said. You gotta know that I was one of the top "brain" students. I was getting straight As, fighting for 1st chair in band, out of class for doing special stuff for feast days, etc.

    "What did you say?" with a surprised look on her face.

    "Sister, do you really think that if any of us kids knows who did this, that we will really tell you the way you asked?"

    We were dismissed to the bathrooms. I was suddenly the popular girls' best friend, the pizza gook was cleaned up when we came back and not another word was mentioned.

    That day, I learned that teachers make mistakes, that if I kept my nose clean and said things with respect that sometimes, just sometimes, I might actually be able to say something and make a difference. I also learned that I wasn't going to take punishment for something I did not do.