Teacher issues.....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by P-nut2004, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    I'm posting this in the watercooler because it is PC2s teacher I am having issues with and I'm not sure how to handle it....need some input. A bit of background: easy child 2 is very bright and usually makes all As or A/B honor roll, the only subject she has a bit of trouble with is math but she usually catches on after a bit and does ok. She is in 4th this year and I new we'd be learning times tables, division, fractions etc. so I knew it'd be a bit difficult for her. Here is the issue: she has come home all year long claiming that her teacher did not explain the math homework. I, of course, say every time "Mrs L wouldn't give you work if she hadn't taught you how to do it". She does have a bit of trouble being attentive but nothing I want to have diagnosis'd yet. Early on this year I could see that this teacher is flighty, we didn't get the times tables work sheets you usually get, they spent maybe 2 weeks on times tables before moving on, which put easy child 2 behind immediately. After several very rough evenings with math homework I started contacting the teacher who assured me easy child 2 was ok and not 'anymore behind than anyone else' which doesn't sound ok to me. I have struggled all year trying to teach her math as the homework comes in and each time she acts like she's never seen the stuff before so I was very surprised when each progess report/report card she got still had an A in math. I really started to get suspicious when I started keeping track of lots of quizzes and tests with C & D even F grades. End of grade testing solidified my suspicions when she got mediocre scores but was at the top of her classroom and got lunch at Wendys as a reward. I have had several conferences with Mrs L who continues to say she is doing fine. Several other kids are also struggling and some even switched teachers due to these issues (& other issues parents had with Mrs L). Obviously I am not worried that she will fail since clearly the teacher is GIVING her an A, what I am worried about is next year. The school offers no tutoring for 4th grade math, but will for 5th grade. I feel that the teacher is doctoring grades and I think it has to show on the EOG scores at least. I want to talk with the principal but I know several other parents who took issue with this teacher & were told "She is the best teacher we have". This teacher is only in her second yr of teaching, it is her second career (said by her). She spends too much time talking about random things to the kids (easy child 2 comes home relaying all kinds of stories about her husband, her past boyfriends, the baby she has on the way etc). A friend of mine with a child in her class (who was moved to a diff class after this incident) filed several complaints because of how often Mrs L hugs & touches the kids, the principal did not listen until the dad went to have a conference and got irate because Mrs L was touching & rubbing his arm over & over while talking to him and acting extremely flirtatious which highly offended him given the subject of the conference. There are several other issues (too many to put in here) but my other personal beef is that she does not require any level of neatness to anything, while I am trying to teach easy child 2 to write neatly and arrange her math work neatly she counters me with 'Mrs L doesn't care'. All around it just seems like she's not cut out to teach, at least not anything higher than 1st grade & I'm concerned about easy child 2 being behind next yr along with all of Mrs L's other current & future students. What would you do??
  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I can't help you on the teacher, but I can tell you about the method that oldest boy's 5th grade teacher used to teach multiplicaton. My SD starts it in 3rd but many kids are still not clear by 5th.

    Anyway, you take a clock face with the hours to start with. Beginning at 1, you have the child do the table from memory. 1 x 1 = 1, 1 x 2 = 2, all the way up to 12. When the child can do the 1's table without a mistake, start at 2 o'clock and go through the 2's (2 x 1, 2 x 2, etc.) Each time you start after this, begin at the 1's. When the child can make it through to 12 x 12 in order, they get a prize (this teacher used to take all the kids who reached the milestone during a given week out to lunch on Friday). THEN, you mix the numbers up (for this you use a round object and numbers that have velcro or tape). So, you can have 4, 6, 9, 1, etc. The first part is having the child do the 1's on each number as they go around, then the 2's etc. up through 12. The next part is mixing the numbers up at both ends. So you can have the clock read 3, 7, 12, 5, etc. and then you call out a number at random, like 8 and the child has to go around the clock face doing each problem (8 x 3, 8 x 7, etc.) He used a pointer to go around the clock face and the speed he went at varied depending on the child's ability. He went quickly for my son, who was good at math, and more slowly or more quickly for other kids. I used this method with 3 of my other kids (difficult child is math gifted and just KNEW it early) and it works... Even the slowest child in this teacher's class knew the tables by Thanksgiving...

    Good luck...
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me like the teacher is not very interested in teaching. Unfortunately, it's way too late in the year to really make any changes with school, since the game's basically over (at least around here). I would express my concerns to the principal, then continue up the chain of command if you don't like his answer. Area superintendent, district superintendent, school board...someone, somewhere, should give you an answer.

    To help easy child 2 learn her multiplication tables, find a Schoolhouse Rock CD or something that sings them. My mom taught 4th grade for nearly 20 years, in a district with mostly Spanish speaking kids, and the singing helped them.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Do you have the papers with the poor grades on them? They will be your evidence to ask the principal how those grades equal an "A". All the principal sees is the end results and who wants to get rid of a teacher whose students are all getting "A" or "B"? What a GREAT teacher that one is!!!!

    Also, it sounds like she is overly flirtatous. She could have the principal wrapped around her little finger?

    You do have valid concerns. If the prinicipal does not take action (sounds like he doesn't want to even consider it a problem), you can take it to the district level or the school board (though I think the district level). This is really a horrid thing for her. Poor perfomance that without good parents like you keeping detailed tabs on the daily grades, no one would ever know about.
  5. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    Hi guys & thanx for the feedback :)

    Sven: What an awesome idea!! I had to read it a couple times to wrap my brain around it LoL but I definitely am going to use it & I bet when difficult child see's me teaching easy child 2 with it she'll know her times tables before 2nd grade because any kind of activity like that intrigues her.

    KTMom: It is too late in the year to fix the issue per say but I definitely think the school needs to be aware of this for next year (and I'm betting the 5th grade teachers already know its an issue because she taught there last year). I will be calling the principal tomorrow and we will see what his response is but I am prepared to move up the chain if necessary because she is undoubtedly turning out a lot of students who are not ready for 5th grade math. The music to teach times tables is a great suggestion too, she loves to sing & that would help a lot with memorization.

    Andy: I do have several of the bad papers & will take them with me to speak with whomever I meet with. I have also wondered if there's something going on 'behind the scenes' to cause the principle to defend her so adamantly. I guess we shall see how he reacts to these issues & go from there......it really is disturbing that things like this go un-noticed :grrr:

    Thank you
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I don't know if this is a possibility, but could you maybe swing some tutoring over the summer? Fifth grade is tough enough getting ready for middle school that I'd want to avoid remediation if possible. Perhaps you could find a good teacher that could offer easy child 2 & a few classmates a discounted group rate?