What would you do if a teacher said this about your kid? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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So I know my son is a handful. Of course I know that - I live with him. But I also know that he is very bright, curious about learning, and really wants to do well. He can't help it that he can't sit still like the other kids. We're working on it. Believe me.

So I go to the parent-teacher conference and she starts going on about how he's such a challenge to get to focus and sit still and keep his hands to himself, and he's not up to the reading and math standards where he should be and basically all negative stuff, no positive, even though I know he has made major improvements since the last conference. Then she says, "Let's just say it's a good thing he's so cute." I was stunned. I just mumbled something about yes, he is very cute, and we moved on. Now the more I think about it the more angry I get. It just seems so wrong on so many levels.

What do you think? Should I call her on it, or just let it go?
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#2 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 02:47 PM
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I can see myself saying something like that - as a joke to lighten the situation. As such, I probably would not be too ticked off.....

I do understand this woman is a teacher, and such a comment could be construed as offensive, so perhaps she should have known better. She is a human, though, and we all goof, so I would cut her some slack.

Honestly, I would be way more concerned with the fact that she focused almost exclusively on negative stuff (with no mention of his improvments or his strengths) than the crack about him "being cute"

I like teachers who focus on the whole child - strengths and weaknesses.

Hugs - I know how hard it is to sit through an interview when it feels like the teachers only sees the child as a problem.

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#3 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 02:52 PM
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Hmm, I might ask the principal or counselor to peek in on this classroom. Maybe there is bad chemistry going on here.
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#4 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 02:59 PM
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I don't think I'd care at all about the cute crack (I say that about my own kids all the time, when they're not listening). However, (oops, now I'm editing since I see he's so young) I might consider looking further into this issue with the not focusing, etc. It could be totally normal, average run of the mill behavior, or it could be something that needs to be looked into - there are lots of things that can cause that - number one, is the work sufficiently challenging (e.g is he not up to the reading and math standards because it's just too boring? especially since you note that he's very bright); alternatively, are there any possible LD issues (indeed these days, anecdotally, LD issues seem more prevalent among especially bright kids on the boards I frequent, and often they are overlooked by schools because bright kids are so good at compensating). The list then goes on and on. Not that you necessarily want to open up a can of worms, but there might be a root issue that needs to be addressed for the sake of your son's development and learning. (see random article, http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Wha...2echildren.htm )

just a random thought --
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#5 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 03:02 PM
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I guess the cute comment didn't go over well with you, but personally it wouldn't bother me, I would assume that it meant that in spite of all the stuff she had just said she "likes" your child.

I am more likely to get upset if I think a teacher doesn't like my child or appreciate them for their unique personality.
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#6 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 06:38 PM
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Did the teacher tell you what she is doing to help your ds? I'm hoping that you just left that out of your post. Because if she was just reporting all the bad and leaving it there for you to digest would *really* bother me........ I guess I'd want to know what she was doing and what you could be reinforcing at home.

And I agree with the other pp's. Something else might be going on -- bad chemistry, LD's, not challenging work. It's just not enough, in my book, to talk about behavior in isolation since there are way too many other factors. I've always appreciated teachers who are collaborative with me.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#7 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 11:05 PM
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Honestly the cute comment would annoy the heck out of me and I'd probably be offended, but I also don't think it's a fight worth investing in. I agree though about being more concerned that she had nothing positive to say. I think I would request another meeting and discuss the progress he's made, strategies to work towards his paying attention better, etc.

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#8 of 10 Old 02-21-2009, 06:27 PM
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I'm sure she was just trying to throw in a friendly spin. I've probably said things like that to parents, too. Actually, that sounds exactly like the kind of thing one of my former team teachers would have said to a parent, and meant in the most kind way possible.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-23-2009, 08:52 PM
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If that was the only positive thing that the teacher could say about my child, I'd probably never send him back there. Yes, I've said it about my own children, but I also have many, many positive, loving things to say about them. It sounds to me as though the teacher has absolutely no 'hope' for your child, nor any sense of how much he has improved over the course of the school year. I don't think it bodes well for the future.

For the record, Bean's teacher also said that he was cute during our end-of-semester conference, but it certainly wasn't in a "Thank goodness he has SOMETHING going for him!" manner. I'd be ticked, too.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#10 of 10 Old 02-23-2009, 08:59 PM
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The "cute" comment wouldn't bother me at all- I'd take it to mean that the teacher genuinely likes my child in spite of all his challenges.

However, I'd still be incredibly concerned that the teacher had all negatives to say about his behavior- did she have any concrete ideas for helping him function better in the classroom? Did she suggest having him evaluated for ADD?

If he truly can't sit still or keep his hands to himself as well as other kids his age, then he just might have ADD or another diagnosable learning challenge. If this is the case, you'd want to take a multi-pronged approach: try dietary changes, work with him to help him organize himself, maybe consider a special ed classroom or homeschooling if he truly can't function well in a typical classroom, and as a very last resort I'd consider medication.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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