yelling teacher, wwyd? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-04-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds loves school. He loves his main teacher. Not all the teachers he encounters are very good (gym, library, computer), that's life tho and my dh and I try to help him navigate those situations.
He has told me that Mrs. Computer is mean and yells. I then witnessed her yelling at another boy. Whether or not this boy is a harder kid to teach, trust me, she overreacted to what he was doing in this situation.

Here's the letter I sent to school...
Quote:
Dear, Mrs. Computer,

My son, Ds, has come to me on a couple occasions, saying that you have yelled at him. I spoke with him, asking his role in the situation and tried to support you as you are his teacher.

However, something I witnessed on Thursday January 31st, really disturbed me. I watched you come out and raise your voice to a boy on the school bus.

In the future if Ds does something to warrant such anger on your part, I would appreciate a phone call from you to discuss the issues you have with him, so that I can feel secure in knowing that my son is going to school in a nurturing environment where he feels safe to learn and make mistakes without being yelled at.

Sincerely,
Melanie
My question is this, should I wait for a response from this teacher, or should I go on to the principle now?

I was on this school's alumni page on facebook (I attended this public school many moons ago) and they had a discussion of the best, worst and creepiest teacher. This Mrs. Computor was consistantly one of the worst. So she's been around for a long time, yelling at kids and from the looks of her, I don't think she will be retiring in the next few years.
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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I'd go to the principal now. Likely, with teacher's unions, they know how she is and can't fire her.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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I think the letter is fine. I doubt you'll get results by going to the principal over someone else's kid -- you'd have to wait until she actually yells at YOUR son to have much sway.

That said, as long as it's just yelling, and not verbal abuse (name-calling, humiliation, etc. -- and I don't just mean the kid feels humiliated for getting yelled at in front of his peers, I mean if the INTENT was to humiliate), then there might be some benefit at the age of 9. Kids will deal with all sorts of authority figures in their lives, and some of them have shorter fuses than others. A teacher raising his or her voice to a disrespectful or intentionally noncompliant 9-year-old wouldn't bother me at all as long as the words she used were appropriate. With proper parental guidance at home, it's good practice for dealing with obnoxious bosses later in life.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies!

My son is highly sensitive and over the years we have had many conversations regarding "loud" teachers. And because of this I actually didn't think of talking with the teacher about her yelling until I witnessed what it looked like. No, she didn't use humiliating words, but it was really harsh. My intial reaction was fear, so I can't imagine what I child would feel. Then I felt anger. My ds' friend who was there, said that this particular little boy is used to it as he gets yelled at all the time.

She has in the past accused my son of cheating on a test.

You know, upon further reflection, I'm not sure what going to the principal will accomplish. I guess I feel helpless for the other children. My ds knows that if she yells at him again, to tell me and I will have a meeting with the teacher, so he knows I am supporting him and that what this teacher is doing is not right. It's so frustrating that the kids are supposed to behave, but the teacher is free to misbehave because she is an adult.

So I guess this thread is more of a vent than a wwyd.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Yelling is not appropriate, particularly in a learning environment, teacher to student.

I completely disagree that because children may have to deal with difficult/abusive people in the future, that being yelled at by a teacher is good training.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebandg'smama View Post
Thanks for your replies!

My son is highly sensitive and over the years we have had many conversations regarding "loud" teachers. And because of this I actually didn't think of talking with the teacher about her yelling until I witnessed what it looked like. No, she didn't use humiliating words, but it was really harsh. My intial reaction was fear, so I can't imagine what I child would feel. Then I felt anger. My ds' friend who was there, said that this particular little boy is used to it as he gets yelled at all the time.

She has in the past accused my son of cheating on a test.

You know, upon further reflection, I'm not sure what going to the principal will accomplish. I guess I feel helpless for the other children. My ds knows that if she yells at him again, to tell me and I will have a meeting with the teacher, so he knows I am supporting him and that what this teacher is doing is not right. It's so frustrating that the kids are supposed to behave, but the teacher is free to misbehave because she is an adult.

So I guess this thread is more of a vent than a wwyd.

I would include your observations and the bolded statements in your letter. This teacher may benefit from hearing that....

Otherwise, my thinking is this:

If this is a veteran teacher who has a reputation for yelling, the likelihood of visiting the principal for any sort of repair of the situation is null. In fact, I am sure the principal and Mrs. C have heard it all before.
I have worked with some real "yellers" in my teaching career, and they tended to be pretty set in those ways. Some teachers love teaching and may be pretty good at what they know, but their classroom management skills may absolutely *suck*!

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
Yelling is not appropriate, particularly in a learning environment, teacher to student.

I completely disagree that because children may have to deal with difficult/abusive people in the future, that being yelled at by a teacher is good training.
Is it appropriate to hold teachers to superhuman standards of behavior? The natural human reaction when angered is to raise one's voice. I won't defend this particular teacher because I don't know anything more than what has been posted here. But I think a blanket "Yelling is inappropriate" statement goes too far.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby View Post
Is it appropriate to hold teachers to superhuman standards of behavior? The natural human reaction when angered is to raise one's voice. I won't defend this particular teacher because I don't know anything more than what has been posted here. But I think a blanket "Yelling is inappropriate" statement goes to far.
I don't believe it is superhuman to refrain from yelling at a child. We aren't talking about a lapse on a bad day. This teacher has a habit of yelling at her students and this is not acceptable.

To the op, I would take it above her and make it known to the principal. Perhaps if enough parents stand up for the children, the school will stop protecting that teacher's job.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going in tomorrow morning to volunteer in my ds' class. The computer room is right next door. I think I will pop in and introduce myself formally to Mrs. Computer and ask if she received my letter. Where it goes from there will depend a lot on what she says to me. If she is open, I will let it go. If she is defensive, I will take my concerns to the principal.

Thanks again for everybody's input. It does help to bounce things off on MDC.
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
Yelling is not appropriate, particularly in a learning environment, teacher to student.

I completely disagree that because children may have to deal with difficult/abusive people in the future, that being yelled at by a teacher is good training.
I agree with this. We pulled our DC from a school where the asst. teacher (it was a preschool) was S.C.A.R.Y. She even scared me and my child was terrified of going anywhere near her. We later found out she was physically hurting her. She, luckily, only attended ONE class before we pulled her out on the 2nd day. And it was awful because this was the 2nd school we pulled her from because of a horrible teacher (the first was just absent and cold, not abusive). That teacher is no longer there, but I would never for one second tolerate a teacher yelling at my child. We have enrolled her into a peaceful Montessori school and if something like this ever happens, she'll be pulled from this school, too. I'm sorry, but yelling is just not acceptable to me in a school environment. There are many other ways of dealing with children that are far more appropriate.

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
 
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I would cc every letter to the principal anyways
friggin yelling teachers:
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
Yelling is not appropriate, particularly in a learning environment, teacher to student.

I completely disagree that because children may have to deal with difficult/abusive people in the future, that being yelled at by a teacher is good training.
Absolutely! Yelling just signifies that you have no control over the situation in your classroom. We are talking about professionalism here.
That being said, do go to the teacher first, you'll get better results. I always appreciate parents coming to me with any concerns (I'm a sixth grade teacher). If she doesn't seem receptive, then I'd go to the principal.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby View Post
Is it appropriate to hold teachers to superhuman standards of behavior? The natural human reaction when angered is to raise one's voice. I won't defend this particular teacher because I don't know anything more than what has been posted here. But I think a blanket "Yelling is inappropriate" statement goes too far.
I do not agree that keeping one's temper under control and stopping oneself from yelling is a superhuman standard. While we all may have off days, in a professional environment, most of us manage to refrain from loosing our temper and/or yelling. I think this is even more important for those who work with children. Parents who send their children to school have the absolute right to expect that their child will not be yelled at.

OP, I think going in and introducing yourself is a great idea. I'd be interested to hear how she responds.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby View Post
Is it appropriate to hold teachers to superhuman standards of behavior? The natural human reaction when angered is to raise one's voice. I won't defend this particular teacher because I don't know anything more than what has been posted here. But I think a blanket "Yelling is inappropriate" statement goes too far.
I think that yelling is inappropriate! I've been teaching for many years-- very difficult 8th grade students-- and I can't think of a time I've had to yell. That might be my first reaction, but I'm an adult and they are children and I want to be respectful and model respect for them. I just take a breath and stop. Yelling, like hitting, is a loss of control, so it's ok if a kid is about to be hit by a car or something, but in a classroom??? That teacher needs some classroom management help! Teachers can learn to manage a classroom without yelling.

Dss had a yeller in fourth grade. First I told the teacher that ds was uncomfortable with her yelling (not at him, at classmates). She said she was shocked, she'd never yell. We saw her yell at kids at Back to School Night. It was no emergency, more like, "I already told you once to close the door!!!" In our next conversation, I mentioned that, and again she was shocked because she never yells. I finally decided we had different defentions of "yelling" so I went to the principal. She wasn't really breaking any rules, it was a personality difference. I didn't think that dss needed to spend all of fourth grade feeling nervous and uncomfortable. The principal wanted us to work it out and said we should wait a few more weeks. The next day dss came home upset saying that the teacher had yelled at the class and then looked at him and said, "You can all have your parents run to the principal and complain about me, but you are still staying in for lunch today!" I called the principal immediatly. Finally, the teacher asked for dss to be removed from her class because she felt like we were causing problems for her career. Well, he changed classes and all was well. I'm not a high matenience parent! That is the only time I've called the principal in dss's 8 years of schooling.

I'd also send a copy to the principal. He/she needs to know what is going on in the school even if you work it out without help.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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I would say it depends on the principal, and the relationship she/he has with that teacher. It could be that if you didn't give the teacher a chance to respond, the principal will view you as suspect, even sly, and won't hear you out. The principal could feel that he/she should know what's going on regardless and would be upset if he/she weren't notified right away, and will hear you out. If you don't know the temperament of the principal, I would keep it between you and the teacher for now and go later if nothing improves. Keep the notes she sends you- she's keeping yours.

Sorry your kid has a loud teacher. I hate it when I have to raise my voice above the din in the cafeteria or some kid is hollering at/hitting another and I can't get his attention and I have to strain my voice, be loud and alarm other kids. I don't know how some teachers are always yelling at everything, it ruins my day. I know some of it is cultural- most of my colleagues are from yelly backgrounds, and they don't see it as a big deal, but still. I miss my quiet, meditative library, with gentle picture books and soft voices.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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It has been interesting reading al your replies.
We are in a similar situation this year except ds's teacher is Mrs.French.
She does not even yell at my son that much. she yells at many other kids.She spends so much time yelling that this year ds has hardly learned any French.
I too think yelling is inappropriate. I am thinking about talking to the principal.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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I can't say I've never yelled at a kid. I yelled at a student when he was about to jump out a window. I yelled at a kid who pushed another kid down in class. I have probably yelled in several other situations as well.

I trust you when you say that the response was inappropriate, and I know you trust your kid to gauge that as well. If you do talk to the teacher about the situation, let her talk first. I know I would feel very threatened if a parent came in mad at me for yelling without first hearing why I felt yelling was justified.

Firing a teacher is rare, but nonrenewals do happen (not being asked to teach the following year) despite unions.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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I'd CC the principal, and a the board of education's social workers. Make it clear that it is inappropriate, I expect the behaviour to improve and that if doesn't I will feel compelled to go up the ladder. That perhaps the social workers and board can work with the teacher to help them find a more appropriate communication style.

As nicely as possible.
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