Opinions about teacher

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Josie, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    easy child missed school last Wednesday and Thursday. Then she went for only part of the day on Friday. There was no school yesterday and she went until lunch today. She spent the whole weekend in my bed watching TV. I managed to get her out of the house yesterday to shop and she had such a look of anguish on her face, I didn't think she would make it.

    She has been missing school because she hasn't been feeling well but she hasn't been officially sick. Last Tuesday, she took her first dose of Anafranil and had a bad reaction so she stayed home on Wednesday. The psychiatrist thought it might be from having some Amitriptyline in her system so said she needed to be without either medication for 5 days. So she was withdrawing from the Amitriptyline from 5 mg to 0. She really didn't feel well. The amitriptyline helps her migraines and her anxiety plus just withdrawing from it is its own problem.

    The only days that she missed Math were last Wednesday and Thursday. Today the math teacher asked her why she was out last week. easy child said she was sick. The teacher asked with what. easy child said she had a fever. (Not really true, but she did take her temperature about 500 times and get it to say 99.2 LOL) The teacher asked how high. So easy child, who can't tell a lie, tells her about the medicine and how she was anxious and didn't think she would do well at school and that people would be too annoying. So the teacher told her she should have come anyway.

    Am I out of line wanting to go tell this teacher to just leave easy child alone about her absences? I haven't ever discussed easy child's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with her but I know she is aware because her homeroom teacher talked about it with her. husband is concerned it will make it harder on easy child if I talk to the teacher. I feel like the teacher knew it was a mental problem and was just trying to discipline easy child, which I don't think was appropriate under the circumstances. I don't think it is normal procedure for a teacher to ask so many pointed questions about an absence.

    It just adds further stress to easy child when the teacher is hard on her. Right now, I just want her to go to school so she doesn't become housebound. I am honestly not that concerned about her grades as it won't do her any good to have good grades if she can't leave the house. She actually is getting all high A's at the moment, so she has room to go down (in my mind) without much harm.

    This is a private school so she doesn't have an IEP but usually the teachers are willing to work with kids so an IEP isn't necessary.

    I know this is long. Thanks for reading.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I have always felt that letting teachers know what's going on with my kids in the long run helps my kids. In your shoes, I'd call a meeting of all of easy child's teachers to tell them about the medication changes and how she might be affected over the next few weeks or so.

    For what it's worth, when my daughter was weaned from an AD, she felt as if she had the flu for two weeks. It was the summer so she wasn't in school, but if she had been, she would have legitimately missed many days. She didn't have a virus or infection, but she was sick nonetheless. I think the same may be true in your easy child's case.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Personally I feel the teacher was completely out of line in questioning your daughter that closely. If the teacher had any real questions about her absences she could have contacted you as her parent because there could have been any number of medical reasons for her to be out that could have been embarrassing to a young preteen girl.

    I would have been horrified when I was a young girl in jr high if some teacher had questioned me when I had to stay home because of bad cramps!
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'd say the teacher was way out of line. If you have a good relationship with the principal, you might call and ask what the policy is about teachers questioning absences. Then, when asked why, you can be specific. If the relationship isn't too good, I'd talk to the teacher directly.

    There is no reason for the teacher to (1) question your daughter like that or (2) make any comments once an answer was received. It may have started as being concerned but went too far when the comments were made. It is not his (or her) job to decide when a child should be in school. That is up to the parents.
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Her homeroom teacher does know exactly what is going on. That's why I think this teacher also knows. But since I haven't talked to her directly, I will arrange a meeting with her and treat the situation like she didn't know anything about it.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I agree with the others. She should have addressed her questions to you. Further, medical information is protected and the teacher's - or anyone at the school - don't have to know the details. A child is going to feel like they have to answer honestly to an authority figure and is not (usually) going to be able to say that she was out because of a medical condition.

    If her anxiety is up, it could be that your daughter misread the teacher's tone, etc. It's possible that the teacher was just concerned and thought that coming to school might have helped her get through it (like you said...don't want her to become housebound). But if her anxiety is up, your daughter may have perceived it differently. I know mine would have. So, I would give her the benefit of the doubt.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Having taken amitryptiline for migraine prevention, and for anxiety, I feel I can honestly speak up on this. Your child felt horrible. Weaning off amitrypt when it is just for migraines is horrible. It is physicallly painful to some people, like having the flu. You also get a huge wave of anxiety coming over you, it feels like you will never feel well again. Your daughter may have taken her temp over and over because she couldn't understand how she could feel like she had the flu with-o having a temp. Makes complete sense to me.

    You are also in a state where even a little bit of any migraine trigger will land you in a huge migraine. Not sure if you have migraines, but knowing that this may happen will lead to huge increases in anxiety. So the whole thing is truly truly awful for a few weeks.

    Let the teacher know you hadn't fully explained the health situation because you were trying to keep anxiety levels low, but that because the doctor ordered a medication change she felt like she had the flu. And if you want to PM me I will explain more of how it feels

    Poor kiddo. What are the plans for migraine prevention now?


  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Riding in the car is a trigger for her migraines right now. The amitriptyline worked so well on her migraines, it was like she didn't even have them anymore. Now she constantly has a headache.

    I'm hoping the Anafranil, another tricyclic a/d, will also help the migraines even though it isn't typically used for that. She started that on Monday night and already seems improved as far as anxiety and even a little improved for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    The real plan is to find the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) medication and then find the migraine medication if needed. However, as bad as it has been, I will call her neurologist tomorrow to see if there is something she can use at least short term to treat the migraines.

    I think if the Anafranil doesn't work out, I would want to put her back on the Amitriptyline because it did work so well for migraines and anxiety.

    The poor child has been on and off the Amitriptyline and 3 SSRI's since June. We started off trying to treat the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but now we just want to get back to where we were.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    First of all, it is not up to the teacher to decide what is best for your child. You as a parent kept your child home and it is not in any teacher's place to try to intervene in your decisions. UNLESS - there is a situation where a child is missing excessively with no communication from the parents and no attempt to make up work.

    Second, it is none of this teacher's business to know your child's medical information. A teacher should not question a child so closely about an illness. 'I was sick' should be sufficient information from a child to a teacher. Also, it is possible that another child could have overheard your child telling the teacher about her illness. That is another reason it was wrong of the teacher to ask your daughter. If the teacher is concerned about the validity of the excused absences, he/she should go through the proper channels.

    Third, I think I would leave a voice mail indicating that you hear from your daughter that he/she had questions about the illness from last week and if he/she had any questions you would be happy to discuss it with them 'in private without other students around'. That should get the point across.
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My opinion is that it is extremely inappropriate for a teacher to discuss medical issues with a nine year old! I would not be happy about that.

    I have always been one that feels there are times when it is helpful and/or necessary to inform teachers about difficult child's diagnosis.

    In this case, I would ditto what busy said in her last paragraph above.

  11. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I like the idea of a phone call. I can make my point without giving too much information.

    I don't mind her homeroom teacher knowing her condition because she seems sympathetic. This math teacher doesn't seem like she will understand.

    When I had a meeting with the homeroom teacher before school started, I told her about easy child's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and actually got teary-eyed as I told her that it wasn't something that discipline would solve. It was very embarrassing for me but as husband said, at least now she understands it is a serious situation.

    Thankfully, easy child can mostly keep it together at school and they probably wouldn't even know about her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) if I hadn't told them. I only told them because I wanted them to make some accommodations for homework and let me know about anything they observed at school.
  12. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    I completely agree. It is one thing for a teacher to say" we sure missed you the other day". but to question a child about why they were out and explain that they need to come to school is totally out of line.

    I had a similar problem, so I called the teacher and set up the one on one appointment. At that appointment I told her that if she still had a problem I would be more than happy to get the psychiatrist and counselor to give her a call to further explain things so she would understand from a medical point of view because most parents are one sided(a quote she used). She never questioned my kids again. The next year she refused to have my other son in her class.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, you're kind of stuck now, because the teacher knows something is up. I would make sure that the absences are excused as sick days. And I'd tell the teacher about migraines but I'd also make it clear that you are the one she should talk to.
    I'm hoping that this teacher truly cares, and that's her motivation. She seems to want accountability. A lot of teachers I've met couldn't care less.
    I'm trying to look on the bright side ...

    Gosh, I didn't know that much about amytriptiline. It was prescribed for me last wk and I've been putting off taking any. Now I am convinced that it's not worth it.
  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I read this thread yesterday but did nt get a chance to answer it.

    All I can say is, you have much more patience than I.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree it is very inappropriate for a teacher to be asking so many questions and then telling her she should have come. I would have been upset. I just ask returning students if they are feeling better.

    I would contact the teacher and tell her your concerns.
  16. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I went to talk to the teacher this morning. She seemed helpful and concerned about easy child. She asked if she could do anything to help and I suggested she not insist that easy child do last week's math assignments that she missed. She has already been tested on it and got a 95 so it would just be busy work at this point. easy child is going to school only half days and still doesn't feel well. She agreed to that.

    I did tell her about the drug withdrawal and the new drug trial and that we might have to go through this again if it didn't work. I told her about easy child's migraines and how they weren't being addressed right now. I told her to ask me about her health if she had any questions and not to ask easy child. She said she only asked easy child if she was feeling better so I said easy child said it was more than that. She said she made a general remark to the class about it was important to be in school, like she always does. I don't believe this but I'm optimistically thinking she won't ask easy child again.

    I thought the meeting went well. I made my point without it getting ugly and got the make up work eliminated.
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Whew/Phew! I like the way that this turned out! Good for you, Warrior Mom!


    Now it's time for