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  1. #1
    California is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default An unexpected new update! Update: Bad Apple in the Bunch- Teacher woes

    So I was not expecting this! The teacher does not want to be vaccinated for COVID (she disclosed this herself to us), and is being let go. This is her last day. She’s decided to move to a different state without vaccine mandates.

    They have no one lined up to replace her and having a revolving door of subs isn’t going to be much of an improvement. Cross your fingers for us that they find a good replacement ASAP!


    Positive Update:
    The principal approached me afterschool today to ask how my DD was feeling about the class! DD was there, and heard the principal ask, and gave the okay for me to talk with her. DD walked away so we could talk privately. I shared what had happened, and the principal let me know that they are working closely with this teacher, have a district trainer coming in to work with her, and some other stuff that is confidential. It was all very positive and I really appreciated that she came to me in DD's presence, so DD was not upset at all with me.


    DD2’s school (where I now work) had a very weak principal for ten years or so. There’s a teacher on staff that parents have complained about for years. DD2 (12) has her this year for two classes. My older DD never had this teacher so I didn’t quite realize how bad she is. She is awful! The teacher yells at students for making mistakes, gives them zeros for missing one problem (I have double checked this myself in DD’s work), and assigns an hour of homework minimum per night for each class. Unfortunately there is no other teacher my DD can switch to. The teacher yelled at my daughter today for making a mistake. To the point my daughter started silently crying (not while teacher was next to her.) Then teacher pulled a gaslight move of “I wasn’t too hard on you!” to which my upset DD2 agreed.

    The problem is this teacher retaliates against the kids for parent complaints, and she’s been getting away with this for years. DD doesn’t want me to say anything. The new principal is much stronger and she or the counselor are present in the classroom a lot. I know for a fact she’s gotten multiple complaints in just the last fews weeks alone.

    I’m a new teacher at this school site and am not sure what to do. If I knew the principal better I’d ask to privately meet with her. I did tell DD that she can, at any time, get up and leave class and come to me. I told her it’s okay to start crying in front of the teacher and say stuff like, “That really hurt!” or “How does yelling at me help? Do you think I’m going to think better when I’m upset?” But that is so hard to do! I would email the teacher and principal a note of, “Please show me the research that supports yelling at students when they make mistakes. Because I am always interested in using the best practices with my students, and am wondering how this is evidence-based teaching?” (The teacher version of Bless your heart.)
    Last edited by California; 12-03-2021 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Oh my gosh! I read this before I went to bed last night but I had to stew on it because...that's really tricky. I'm so sorry your DD is stuck. This is in the Bitching Post so I don't want to give too much advice. I just want to say, I really feel for your DD. I feel like she could use some tricks to handle the teacher but she may not be emotionally or socially mature enough (or she's just damaged and hurting from the abuse this teacher heaps on!) to be able to put them into place. I have been there in a totally different situation and I was an adult and I knew I could stand up for something but I didn't have the emotional capacity to do so. It helped me to have a loving friend tell me it was ok to not stand up to the bully if I didn't have it in me. I guess I'm just saying this because I hope she is kind to herself and I'm sure that you're helping guide her towards that.

    It sounds like the very complicated process of documenting the teacher's abuses is happening. It is maddening that it doesn't seem to be happening fast enough. Is there really truly no way out of the situation?

  3. #3
    Kestrel is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    That's so sad. Great teachers are great, and bad ones are miserable to be around. It does sound like the school is working on it; but kids are suffering in the meantime. Perhaps the school counselor can offer some other coping ideas? They've probably heard this before about that teacher.

    You said that you are a teacher at the same school? Can you put your child in an extra elective or study hall, and teach the bad teacher's subjects as homeschool or virtual?

    I'm so sorry you are dealing with this situation, stay strong and advocate!

  4. #4
    California is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Bisous, thank you for responding. If it continues, I may be able to get DD out of one class, but there isn't an alternative for the second. Downside to a small school. I do agree that DD needs to feel supported in not speaking up. There's such a power differential. Her aunt and I were just talking about how ingrained it was in us when we were DD's age (and young women) to be 'nice girls.'

    Kestrel, sorry, had this open and missed your response. I am a teacher now at the same school (new this year, and the principal is brand new too. So far I really like her but I barely know her.) DD at this point doesn't want me to say anything, but if this continues she and I have discussed seeing if she can do an 'internship' with me in lieu of one of the classes.

    The class we can't switch is math. It's just a horrible combination right now. The district is really pushing opening math with problems that the kids haven't been taught how to do. It is designed so kids will make mistakes, and work things out together. But this teacher can't stand it when the kids do things the wrong way. She's totally missing the district emphasis on creating safe places where kids feel comfortable making mistakes! So these poor kids are trying to figure out math they've never been introduced to before, with a teacher standing over their shoulders yelling at them. DD said the teacher does change every time the principal or counselor are in the room. She stays behind her desk and shows the district-provided slide deck. So there's something going on behind the scenes and maybe things will get better.

    I know that there's a common thought of, "DD needs to learn how to work with difficult people." I felt that way when DD1 was younger and had a bad coach. We tried to work it through. But DD1 has told me how awful that was for her, and I don't ever want to normalize abuse. On the positive side, DD's other teachers are wonderful and loving. One has been interceding on the kids' behalf, and I think I may start by talking with her.
    Last edited by California; 10-23-2021 at 02:43 PM.

  5. #5
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post

    I know that there's a common thought of, "DD needs to learn how to work with difficult people." I felt that way when DD1 was younger and had a bad coach. We tried to work it through. But DD1 has told me how awful that was for her, and I don't ever want to normalize abuse. On the positive side, DD's other teachers are wonderful and loving. One has been interceding on the kids' behalf, and I think I may start by talking with her.
    I guess sometimes this is the right choice. But does it seem like lately hearing from kids that is rarely the right choice? I know DH's confidence was irreparably devastated by his 3rd grade teacher. It is a good reminder that teachers have a lot of power that way!

    I love that her other teachers are supportive and that she can have a class with you! Here's hoping there is a real resolution to the employment of the poor teacher on the horizon!

  6. #6
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    KpbS is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I had a terrible 5th grade teacher that was a repeat of 2nd grade. She yelled and was vindictive to kids.

    As a class we went to a trusted coach and vented to him, but his hands were tied. My mom told me as an adult they almost switched schools for me. I was surprised to learn this and wish they had. It was demoralizing.

    I would try to make the switch if at all possible. Seems like she could take an online math class maybe?
    K

  7. #7
    sariana is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    It’s tough that you are a new teacher at the same school. Are you tenured but just new to this site? Or are you being evaluated for tenure?

    Tbh I would go to the school board, but if you’re not tenured that gets really sticky. I’m so sorry for your DD.
    DS '04 "Boogaboo"
    DD '08 "Lilybear"

  8. #8
    chlobo is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I was going to ask about tenure. We have a tenured teacher who sucks and yells at the kids. Parents complain all the time. Nothing is ever done. It sucks. I feel for your DD.

  9. #9
    Gracemom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    It sounds like the admin knows there is a problem. If you have an admin that you know would keep it confidential I would let them know the specifics of what your dd has experienced. I'm sorry she is experiencing this. Tough situation for both of you to be in.

  10. #10
    California is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I am not tenured in this district, though I am likely to get jobs and am not so worried about that. My DD is adamant that I not talk about this yet with anyone at the school. She actually got really mad when I mentioned it- her tension is high over this. I can understand where she's coming from. Other parents have clearly complained, and the problem still continues, at least whenever the principal leaves the room.

    I talked to another teacher today who has a daughter the same age as mine/same teacher. She doesn't really know the new principal either or what is going on behind the scenes. She did say that they are going to be changing the format of the non-math class next week to a new curriculum that is being given to the teacher, with less homework. That should help.

    Thank you all for your comments and empathy. If I didn't work at the school I think I'd feel much more free to say something. As it is I already ran into the teacher in the office and I just ignored her and walked right past her like she didn't exist. That was the best I could do!

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