If your kid lost a coat on a field trip, would you blame the teacher? - Mothering Forums
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Learning at School > If your kid lost a coat on a field trip, would you blame the teacher?
darien's Avatar darien 11:46 PM 10-22-2009
My class and 2 other classes went on a museum field trip today. It was a warm day that had started out cool, so some of the kids had jackets, and some didn't.

At the museum, the docent had a bin for the kids' stuff. Before we left, I asked each child in my class if they had their coat. The child in question said he didn't bring a coat (and I didn't remember whether he had or not). I checked the bin before we left, and it was empty.

Halfway back to school, the child said he forgot his coat at the museum. Sigh. We arrived back much later than expected-- after dismissal-- so I didn't get to ask around if someone else picked up the jacket. Then, I forgot about it so I didn't write a note to the parents.

The parents called me at home while I was cooking dinner and questioned me about the situation. I explained, and said I would try to locate the coat tomorrow.

So... if I don't find it, what should I do? If my 2nd grader lost a jacket, I wouldn't consider it the teacher's problem-- but I think these parents disagree! What do you think?

Limabean1975's Avatar Limabean1975 11:50 PM 10-22-2009
My Junior Kindergartener (not yet 4 years old) lost a pricey pair of shoes (bought for him by my mom) somewhere in the 30 feet between the door of the school and the classroom. I blame DH who dropped him off for not securing them to his backpack better - and me for not writing his name on them. Not a notion in my head to blame the teacher, who was the only adult present. She's got enough to do!
Tilia's Avatar Tilia 11:52 PM 10-22-2009
No, I wouldn't blame the teacher. Most of the time, my 3 year old remembers to grab her sweatshirt off of her hook at daycare. Sure, that is a more routine thing, but still.
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 11:54 PM 10-22-2009
Uh, no. I would not blame the teacher. When my kids go on field trips it is soley their responsibility to hang on to their jackets. I usually send them in somehing that is easy to tie around their waist, and not something that I couldn't replace if need be.
Bokonon's Avatar Bokonon 11:54 PM 10-22-2009
I would never blame the teacher for something like that!
LaLaLaLa's Avatar LaLaLaLa 11:58 PM 10-22-2009
Nope, not the teacher's fault. DD has left a sweatshirt in the pew at church when she left with her Sunday school class, she left her mittens on the bus, her hat in the garden, water bottle in the car..... she's obviously absent-minded about her stuff, and I know that. So it's my job to remind her of her possessions and to track something down when it ends up not making it into the house with us.

If I were that parent, I'd call or drive to the museum myself to see if we could track down the coat, and probably ask you to keep an eye out for it at school, and that would be the end of that.

However, DD also has three wintery jackets, so if she lost one, it wouldn't be tragic. Even if she lost all three, we have the money to buy her a new one. Are the parents in this situation in a difficult position financially? Then I might see if there are funds available in the school (NOT out of the teacher's pocket) to reimburse the coat expense.

Good luck; when I was teaching it was never easy navigating relationships with the parents!
luv-my-boys's Avatar luv-my-boys 11:58 PM 10-22-2009
no I wouldnt blame the teacher, she has enough to worry about. Especially if she specifically asked the students if they had all their belongings. I think its not realistic to ask the teacher to remember every article of clothing or items every child has in her class. I would however ask the next day if anyone in class had the jacket by mistake or perhaps call to see if the museums lost and found had it. But yeah, no guilt on the teachers part.
possum's Avatar possum 12:07 AM 10-23-2009
No, I wouldn't blame you at all. Kids lose stuff. Heck, from time to time, I lose stuff. It sounds like you took reasonable care to make sure all the coats were back on kids before you left the museum. I bet teachers would go broke if they were held responsible for all the stuff their students lose.

Melinda
crl's Avatar crl 12:26 AM 10-23-2009
I would not blame the teacher for the lost coat and I would not call the teacher to ask about it either. (Now if the teacher lost my child. . . .)

Catherine
Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy 01:08 AM 10-23-2009
They called you at home?????
Belia's Avatar Belia 01:22 AM 10-23-2009
NO WAY would I blame the teacher.

I would probably call her to see if she knew where it was, but that would be the end of it.

Good luck.... unreasonably demanding parents can be so tough to deal with (if that is what is really going on).
LiamnEmma's Avatar LiamnEmma 03:38 AM 10-23-2009
Generally speaking, No, I don't consider it the fault of the teacher. That said however, to me it depends upon the age/grade of the child. My ds has lost more sweatshirts and hoodies than I can count. It's annoying. Cheap ones, expensive ones, you name it. Sometimes we find them and sometimes we don't. He's lost other things too. The only time I felt the teacher was responsible was when he was in kindergarten and didn't yet understand all the rules and routine. At that point I felt the teachers (he had two that year) needed to take responsibility for helping the kids out a bit--for example, he didn't give them his money on picture taking day and they didn't check his backpack or even notice he hadn't paid. It was a big ordeal for me to get it fixed. But I expect my kids to keep track of their items, and to that end, I keep track of them as well with questions about where their things are at the end of each school day. I certainly wouldn't call their teachers during the dinner hour, I would approach the next day--and I have both kids' teachers' cell phones and home phones. I'm personal friends with their teachers and overly involved in the PTA, so it would certainly be possible for me to contact them at any hour. So I think your student's parents went a little overboard on you.
karne's Avatar karne 11:51 AM 10-23-2009
Absolutely not. Teachers have enough on their plates, IMO. Asking them to be responsible for my child's clothing or belongings isn't appropriate, esp. w/school aged kids. I also think calling you at home about this totally crossed the line.
Redheaded_Momma's Avatar Redheaded_Momma 11:56 AM 10-23-2009
Absolutely NOT! You did everything you could to make sure your students had their belongings. A second grader is old enough to know if he/she had a coat and to remember it! Let us know how things work out!
BCFD's Avatar BCFD 11:58 AM 10-23-2009
No way!!! A 2nd grader? And they called you at home? Wow. A 2nd grader is responsible enough to remember a jacket. Was it an expensive one? Maybe that's a hard lesson for a parent to learn, but I wouldn't send my child on a field trip with an expensive article of clothing.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 12:01 PM 10-23-2009
By 2nd grade, no, that's the kid's issue, not yours.

My 2nd grader lost his jacket the other day at school. And then went to the lost and found and found it. I don't think keeping track of a coat is really asking too much.
mojumi's Avatar mojumi 12:15 PM 10-23-2009
No, I would not consider it the teacher's job to keep track of my second graders clothing, aside from the reminder to 'get your stuff before we leave'.

I doubt the parents would like a lecture about teaching their kids responsibility for their own belongings, though. I'd direct them to the school office to check with lost and found. They can complain to the office, if they like!
Treasuremapper's Avatar Treasuremapper 12:17 PM 10-23-2009
I have to admit, yes, I would expect the teacher to be responsible, depending on the kids' ages.
Qbear'smama's Avatar Qbear'smama 01:59 PM 10-23-2009
DD lost a brand new sweatshirt I had just bought her (first day wearing it) while at school. The teachers have really tried to locate it but to no avail. I don't blame them, but I am frustrated because it was new and they wear uniforms which means most likely someone else is wearing my kid's sweatshirt and ordering them and paying for shipping is a pain and I already pay enoough for her school and it's just annoying. I think it's a little unrealistic to expect a 3 year old to keep track of their clothing, but I know the teachers are busy and can't do it, either. So that's just the way it goes. An older child, though, should be able to keep track of his coat. You did your part.
babymommy2's Avatar babymommy2 02:27 PM 10-23-2009
Kindergarten on a field trip, yes, older kids no. I wouldn't blame if it was at school, because my 5 year old know the routine and where his coat should be, so if he lost it that is his fault, but in an unfamiliar place, I owuld expect the teacher to help for that age. I wouldn't expect the teacher to pay for it or any though. My 3 year old lost his tie at school, and I know for sure he lost it at the school (1 class room school) but no one can find it, I dont' expect the school to pay me for it. Probably some other kid took it by accident, and I didnt' put his name on it, so that is my fault.

How did they get your home phone #, that is over the top. Also I think they can also take some resposibility to go to the musuem and look themselves.
m.m.m.'s Avatar m.m.m. 02:45 PM 10-23-2009
My oldest (same age) has lost sweatshirts enough so that he doesn't get to pick them out and wear the ones he loves to school. He gets the cheap Hanes ones until he can get them to & from school w/ no issue. Gotten much better, but no way is he wearing nice ones until he's able to handle it on his own, because no, at that age, it is NOT the teacher's responsibility!
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 03:57 PM 10-23-2009
I actually cut back on how much I spend on outerwear for my 11 year old now that she attends school rather than homeschooling, because while she is a little smarty, she just looses stuff.

It never occurred to me to blame the teacher, just to buy cheap things.

I can see this being a bigger issue for a family that is tighter on cash.
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 04:08 PM 10-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasuremapper View Post
I have to admit, yes, I would expect the teacher to be responsible, depending on the kids' ages.
I agree. If I took my child to a museum, I would be sure we had our belongs before leaving. If the school (government) wants to basically act as parents for 7 hours a day, then with that comes responsibilty for the child's belongings. If it's too much for one teacher to handle, then there should be more adults present to help.
Happygal's Avatar Happygal 04:12 PM 10-23-2009
I lost things all the time. I dreaded telling my mom about it, and even worse would be if she made me look through the lost and found bin. I don't think it ever crossed her mind to blame the teacher--it was clear that it was my fault!
lindberg99's Avatar lindberg99 04:15 PM 10-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by babymommy2 View Post
How did they get your home phone #, that is over the top. Also I think they can also take some resposibility to go to the musuem and look themselves.
You don't live in a small town do you? Most of my kids' teachers live in town, I could easily find most of their home phone numbers in the phone book. Also, at least 3 of 14 teachers have children in the school and have their phone numbers listed right in the student directory.

I bet what happened is the little boy had on a sweatshirt which he just left on at the museum. No one noticed it as a "coat" and no one asked him to take it off. Then as he's walking around, he gets hot, takes it off and sets it down somewhere. If he were my child, I would call the museum and see if someone had turned it in.
Pepper44's Avatar Pepper44 04:29 PM 10-23-2009
My grandma had little tags made for her kids that had the kid's full name and phone number written on it, and she sewed them in every article of clothing including underwear!

I don't think it is the teacher's fault at all if the child loses a coat or sweatshirt, considering the museum had a box for coats and belongings, the teacher asked the students if they had what they came with before they left, and she also checked the museum's box to see if there was anything left. I mean what more could you possibly do??

If you have a large class and some kids are wearing coats and some aren't, there's no way to remember who had what on unless you waste time making a list or something.

Is it possible that the child left the coat on a bus? Otherwise someone in the museum will probably find it and turn it in to lost and found...
bobandjess99's Avatar bobandjess99 04:37 PM 10-23-2009
it sounds like you did a reasonable amount of helping. you asked them if they all had their coats. you checked the box.
now, had you not done ANYthing, I probably wouldn't feel this way. but you did. The kid said he hadn't brought a coat. Were you supposed to get out the rubber hose and beat him until he "remembered" he had a coat? You asked, he answered, you took him at his word. You weren't asking him to perfom advanced calculus, you asked him if he had his coat.
chfriend's Avatar chfriend 05:55 PM 10-23-2009
I'd expect you to do what you did. Stow the stuff in the docent's box; have the kids get their stuff at the end; ask everyone if they have their stuff; check the docent's box for strays.

You fulfilled your responsibility. The kid in question said s/he didn't have a coat. The box was empty. Everyone back on the bus.

The parents should call the museum to see if it turned up somewhere. The bus should be checked (might have left it on the bus on the way into the museum). The classroom should be checked.

Lose the kid: your responsibility.
Lose the coat: keep looking and don't worry about blame.
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:56 PM 10-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
If I took my child to a museum, I would be sure we had our belongs before leaving.
We homeschooled for years and my kids started school at ages 10 and 12. I had always taken responsbilty for all their things (cuz I'm their mommy). Because they had never been given age-level appropriate responsibility in this area, one of them lagged behind her peers. (one did fine.)

What the teacher did was very age level appropriate, and even though we might all do more for our 7-8 years old when we are out with them, it doesn't mean that they really need to have it done for them.

Quote:
If the school (government) wants to basically act as parents for 7 hours a day, then with that comes responsibilty for the child's belongings. If it's too much for one teacher to handle, then there should be more adults present to help.
The school is not acting as a parent. It's a whole different thing. And learning to take age level appropriate responsbility for one's self without mommy is one of the GREAT things about school. My kids both read better than their peers, but they are playing catching up on their "getting by without mommy" skills.
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 09:05 PM 10-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
We homeschooled for years and my kids started school at ages 10 and 12. I had always taken responsbilty for all their things (cuz I'm their mommy). Because they had never been given age-level appropriate responsibility in this area, one of them lagged behind her peers. (one did fine.)

What the teacher did was very age level appropriate, and even though we might all do more for our 7-8 years old when we are out with them, it doesn't mean that they really need to have it done for them.



The school is not acting as a parent. It's a whole different thing. And learning to take age level appropriate responsbility for one's self without mommy is one of the GREAT things about school. My kids both read better than their peers, but they are playing catching up on their "getting by without mommy" skills.
Sorry. I dont' agree that its necessarily age appropriate for a 7 -8 year old to be responsible for his coat. It's one thing if he put it in the same closet daily. But in a new surrounding, while being distracted by all the interesteing things to look at? Not so much. I'm pretty certain that the kids have no say about how the day goes. So, why should they be responsible for the paraphanelia they are required to bring?
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