Why is it that teachers have such a hard time with communication?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by artana, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. artana

    artana New Member

    I am soo frustrated because for two years my ds6 (who is now being evaluated for possible ADHD) has had teachers who cannot consistently use behavior sheets with him. The month before Christmas we had gotten into a pattern of bringing home a behavior sheet. DS6 was very proud of his happy faces and really was getting motivated. We come back from break, no behavior sheet.

    DS6 has told me he went to the Principal's office. He remembered why one time (which is rare for him) and explained to me that he accidentally hurt another child with a pencil. He and I had a long talk about it. I called the principal to try to find out why I hadn't been told, and I called the teacher to get his behavior sheets started.

    Last night, the teacher sends me an e-mail about what happened. Two days afterwards! And she tells me that he has had a *rough* transition from the holidays and into the new year.

    I told her that I was unable to comment because the only information on his rough week I had was from him. And that I was very proud of him for trying to keep me honestly updated on his behavior. I called the Special Education teacher to ask her to make sure that behavior sheet gets used. The Special Education teacher is willing to take the responsibility of having him check in every morning to make sure he has the sheet.

    I feel bad for the Special Education teacher. How hard is it to make sure you hand something to a student every morning?! The Special Education teacher has a dozen or more special needs kids that have to check in with her every morning.

    *sigh* At least the evaluation starts today. I hope he gets an IEP.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Teachers, I've found, are human and are not perfect. I've had my share of disappointments from them being unable to check difficult child 2's planner to not being able to remind him to take his medications at lunch time.

    Just as I forget things and am sometimes inconsistent, teachers can be that way too.

    To counteract this "humanness", I use the phone or email as frequently as necessary to get the action I need from them. I am very nice about it, but very persistent.

    difficult child 2 started having to take medications at lunchtime in early October. I tried sending him to school with an alarm watch (he didn't always remember to wear it or couldn't find it). I tried having the school nurse (who's only there three days a week) remind him. She did her best. I asked the teachers to remind him. They said they'd TRY. Try? I thought, what if he were diabetic? Try would be unacceptable. Despite all these adults supposedly working to remind him, there were usually two to three days out of the week where he forgot his afternoon medications. And that messed him up for the rest of the day.

    Finally, in November at conference time, I sat down with both teachers and explained the consequences of difficult child missing his medications or even being late with his medications. It meant he would be unstable that day and very likely into the next. I equated it to pain medications -- if you don't keep them at a certain level, it's much harder to get the pain back under control.

    They finally got it, and now he's being reminded DAILY to go take his medications at lunch.

    SO I guess my whole point here is to work with these people by being persistently and pleasantly in their face about things that need to happen that aren't. They are part of your difficult child's team and they all need to be good team players with a good attitude for him to succeed. Your job is like the coach who makes sure everyone is on the same page and working hard for your difficult child. Teachers don't want their students to fail, either. The majority of them are doing this because they LIKE kids and want them to succeed.
  3. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Generally speaking (and this is JUST generally speaking! ;) ), it's possible the teachers are swamped with other duties. They have many children under their care, and team meetings, IEP meetings, after-school activity meetings, dept meetings, grade-meetings---the list goes on and on.

    Coming from a family where 3 of my 4 parents were teachers, and one of my best friends from college is an elementary school teacher now----god, honestly, we're lucky there's anyone left to teach at all! I'm not saying this is your teacher's problem, but here's what I've heard lately from teachers I know, just as an example. Lord knows, I've had bad teachers in my life, so I'm not defending ALL teachers!!! Your teacher may just be a jerk...but it's also possible it's something like this:

    My friend is at school from 7:45am to 7pm almost every day, between school, meetings, planning sessions, after-school programs, and just trying to get homework graded. She's got the max number allowed by state in her classroom, and several ED kids now (more than any of the other teachers in her grade, because they've realized how good she is with them), and she struggles constantly to keep her head above water. The administration gives her no support with her students---there are no consequences for behavior problems, no matter what recommendations she makes, or the parents suggest. They come right back down to her classroom, with no additional instructions, no punishments or plans in place.

    She's got a severely ADHD kid whose Mom is "trying" no medications, but not giving him help/therapy/support in any other way, which is havoc for her classroom. She's got boys she can't send to the bathroom alone (poo-smearing), and girls she can't send to the bathroom with others (fights). She's got kids whose parents CALL their (illegal in school) cell phones to chat DURING the classroom day. The parents apparently don't remember their kids are IN SCHOOL. She's got all our difficult children, not just the *diagnosed* ones. She's got the stealers, the sexually-inappropriate, the liars, and the ragers. She's got kids that attack her with whatever comes to hand--broken pencils, books, desks. She's under 5 foot, and several of her kids are already bigger than she is, at the mid-elementary school level. She doesn't have an aide. No matter how much she talks to the administration, nothing changes.

    So maybe it's not just forgetting things for your difficult child......it could just be the perfect storm combo of all the stresses from OTHER kids, and nothing to do with you guys at all. Or a lack of support from higher up. Or about a billion other things that are wrong in many areas of the country with education. I'm not knocking down your frustration--you are ABSOLUTELY right to be angry that your child's easily-met needs still AREN'T being met. And hey, maybe you're in a private school and none of this really applies! Hehe. ;) But I know teachers in three separate public school districts in two different states right now. And every single one of them says they wish they'd chosen another profession---not BECAUSE of the kids, they love the kids. My parents, for example, have been teaching for 30 years or so, their students love them, for the most part, too. It's because of the screwed up system itself---they feel like they can't really teach anymore, for a variety of reasons. :( It *might* be why your teachers aren't giving you what you need.

    I don't know what to hope for--whether your teachers are just slackers, or whether they're good, but the system is broken. Sigh. Honestly, talking to her---she's just as much a Warrior Teacher as some of you guys are Warrior Moms. She deals with the same types of problems we all have in our homes, but she has the day shift.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    While I undestand your frustration, please understand that as a teacher, there are just somedays I am totally overwhelmed and don't get done all I need to do. I'm sure everyone has days like that. For example, today I had to get progress reports ready for my students (all 75 of them.) I had to prepare make-up work for my Special Education students who chose not to turn it in on time (20 of them who go for resource with 5 different teachers). I had to have absence reports completed for all graduating juniors and seniors and turned in. I had to teach 3 classes. This week I was out of my classroom for 2 days (Tuesday and Wed.) because the district is replacing our heating/air units in my classroom. I had to come up with lesson plans to use in the Library on Monday. On Thursday I had to give end of course tests to a group of 9th graders, that took me out of my classroom for another 1/2 day. I also had to hold basketball practice on Monday and Tuesday and had two out of town games on Wed. and Thursday. If I missed communicating with a parent this week, I would be upset, but with all on my plate I would hope they understand.
  5. artana

    artana New Member

    I know teachers are generally great people. I work with them really hard. My difficult child's teacher is aware that as long as I have information I can support her and help my son. We work as a team.

    My frustration comes from my pcp's teacher passing the buck in a way. He has had a really rough week, we have to talk about it next week, but she gave me absolutely no way to deal with it while it was happening. A normal 6 year-old has a difficult time remembering everything in his/her day. An ADHD child, forget it. I was mightily impressed that he remembered accidentally hurting the other child. It must have really made an impression on him.

    My point is that I am perfectly willing to support, to help, to try to take some of the stress off of the teacher's back. But, by not using the tools given to her, she's made it much harder for me to support both her and my son. Filling in that one sheet, makes both my job and hers so much easier when it comes to one of the kids in her class.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009