Really angry right now

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    • #110039
      dmvaughn00
      Participant

      So I’m a teacher with ADHD-PI, and today I was just confronted by my principal because a PARENT, whose child is on partial homebound due to a medical issue, essentially accused me of picking on her child. Let me just say that I have never, EVER said a single negative thing to or about this child, I’ve always been friendly toward this kid when she’s in school. She often has to take tests and do assignments on homebound when she’s having medical issues, but not once have I ever been negative about this because I completely understand.

      A little backstory: I have around 60 students. Keeping track of missing and absent work is difficult for me, and even harder when this student is on partial homebound and I get her work whenever she can manage it (and that is FINE). I have tried keeping lists and other tracking methods on my desk, and those have not worked because the list gets overlooked, buried under papers throughout the day, or accidentally thrown away. So, for most of school year, I have been putting student names whom I don’t YET have work from on my whiteboard so that I have an in-your-face visual list to look at. It is a NECESSARY self-accommodation to help ME keep track of who has what out so that I can collect work in a timely fashion and keep grades updated as I should. The names of absent students are on there as well BUT I have a note that says (abs) to indicate that the student was absent so I don’t mistakingly put in a zero or take off points. I also have explained to the students the purpose of the board, that it is NOT to shame, not to embarrass, not a “you’re in trouble” thing. It’s a huge visual reminder to help ME make SURE I remember who has work out and to be sure to remind students when I have them (I have rotating classes) to be sure to get their work to me so I can collect and grade it in a timely fashion. This method helps me help the students keep up with their grades. Every student has been more than understanding, and not one other parent has complained. When the student turns in the work, I collect it, thank them for turning it in, have them erase their name, and I get it graded ASAP and in the gradebook. This method has worked the whole year without a problem, and so far it’s been the ONLY method that I have tried that WORKS.

      Now, here is why I am ANGRY. The parent of this homebound student went to my principal WITHOUT saying a single thing to me about any of this, which is HIGHLY DISRESPECTFUL IMHO. Furthermore, her child was supposedly upset that her name was on the board (even though it had the ABS note beside her name). The parent claims that her daughter’s blood sugar spikes (she has severe diabetes) because going to my class “stresses” her. Again, I have never EVER said a single negative thing to this student about her being gone, about her absent work. NOTHING. The parent not only failed to give me a chance to explain my side of things, but her child never even bothered to ask me about this. Also, I have explained to this student earlier this year the purpose of the board. WHY IS THIS ONLY JUST NOW A PROBLEM? I was told that I now have to “find another method” for keeping track of work. ALL OTHER METHODS I HAVE USED HAVE FAILED. THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS FOR ME. Do I not have a right to be able to reasonably accommodate myself at work so I CAN do my job effectively? I’m SO upset, and I have BEEN upset all day.

    • #110044
      Ranma
      Participant

      Have you tried keeping your attendance or grade book in a TRI fold binder? you could keep your list inside the first cover so you see it every time you open it.
      They have them on Amazon if you want to see what it looks like, just search ” tri fold 3 ring binder ”

      Also take a few deep breaths and try focusing on something positive, and not play the issue over in your mind, I have a hard time doing it myself, but it does work.
      And I also use a glitter bottle when I’m upset, they’re petty easy to make.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Ranma.
      • #110265
        dmvaughn00
        Participant

        Have you tried keeping your attendance or grade book in a TRI fold binder? you could keep your list inside the first cover so you see it every time you open it.

        I have rotating classes, and I have found that if I don’t have the list right in front of me, I won’t pay attention to it because it’s at my desk. Since I’m a teacher, I don’t usually sit at my desk unless it’s my prep time or lunch. This is why the list gets ignored if it’s on my desk. Plus it also gets buried because sometimes I’m collecting other items. I’m busy teaching the lesson and helping my students with the homework. The board is pretty much the only thing I have found that I can utilize as a “right there” reminder that won’t get ignored or lost. I’m very visual (which I think is pretty common with ADHD), so if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind for me. I made it a professional goal to be better about parent communications and letting students know in a timely fashion when I need work from them, and because of doing this, I have done SO MUCH BETTER with this year! What I don’t understand is why this is JUST NOW an issue. I’ve used this method all year long, and this kid has ALWAYS known that she is NOT in trouble or being shamed and whatnot.

        I am trying not to stew on this too much, but honestly, the more I think about it, the more pissed I am. I’m willing to compromise (which is really hard for me to do in the first place), but the reason that I am SO ANGRY and can’t stop stewing is because I felt this was NOT handled correctly by the parent OR my administrator. I was not shown professional courtesy or basic respect. The parent DID NOT mention ANY of this to me before going to my principal, and my principal didn’t tell the parent to speak to me first, nor did he suggest that she speak to me in his office with him as the mediator. He took her complaints at face value, and I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by dmvaughn00.
    • #110068
      Jglow
      Participant

      This mother and daughter duo team sounds a little whacky. I’m trying to guess the age of your students and because you said that the student never mentioned it or acted upset about your whiteboard system, I assuming she is a teenager. I went to high school with a guy who was diabetic, but I think he knew and the teachers knew, even students who weren’t his friends KNEW what to watch for in the event his blood sugar plummeted, and fast action was taken. Why can’t she go to school? Or, should I say; “Why DOESN’T she go to school?” I’ll bet mom is a very lazy mother who finds it easier to sleep in so she doesn’t have to take her kid to school. She also sounds like an over the top enabler who makes excuses for her daughter who can do no wrong, and the daughter sounds like she has mom right where she wants her. It is soooo bad when parents set the tone by NOT teaching their kids to respect their teachers, as they are their authority during the day. I really don’t know how you will handle this- but hopefully you won’t have her agin next year. Good luck!

      • #110267
        dmvaughn00
        Participant

        I teach 6th grade, so you’re actually close. The student has diabetes bad enough that she has other health issues because of it. It’s been a real struggle for her. I don’t know the full situation or the full extent, so I just roll with it.

        This mother is definitely a “Mama Bear” type, and the longer I teach, the more I can’t stand these types of parents. There ALWAYS seems to be a giant chasm between protectiveness and reality with these types. They think everyone, including teachers, are out to “get” their child. They nitpick and complain over every little thing. They are often incapable of rational thought when it involves their child and won’t hesitate to throw someone under the bus if it’s for the sake of “protecting their child.” These types of parents are how good teachers lose jobs and how good teachers even have careers destroyed. These parents don’t seem to realize that when they don’t come to the teacher first and instead go right to the principal, they are actually A) earning a reputation as a “problem parent” that is going to follow them B) destroying the existing relationship between the teacher and their child and C) ruining a working relationship with their child’s teacher by making that teacher an enemy instead of an ally.

        I plan to address this issue with my principal on Monday. This parent not only did not show my professional courtesy, but she also didn’t even show me basic respect. Plus, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong and I feel I should have the chance to clear the air between myself and this parent. I also don’t feel like my principal supported me very well on this. He should have asked the parent to see me first OR he should have had a conference with BOTH of us in there.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by dmvaughn00.
    • #110277
      Lonewolf 1005
      Participant

      hello. I hear Ya. I have had ADD 57 yrs! its been a crazy run. action-packed. full of injuries! You too? lol

      • #110438
        dmvaughn00
        Participant

        Lol the struggle is certainly real, Lonewolf.

    • #110361
      hayes
      Participant

      dmvaughan00 – I’m a high school teacher of 24-yrs, diagnosed with ADD (inattentive) 17 yrs ago at age 35. I continually struggle with distractability as it impacts my organization and management of multiple tasks. Just this year I got called in to my principals office because my grades were not posted on our open grade book online; they were in my paper grade book (as you know, ALL teachers keep both!), but not online where teachers/parents can see/access them.

      A little back story. I’ve been exploring with my therapist the possibility of me having RSD – though I also have co-morbid anxiety/depression. The request of my principal (by email) had no context, so this threw me into tailspin. Even knowing some of my issues this caught me off-guard. I found out subsequently that this was brought to their attention by a parent – but ‘not as a complaint’. You and I as teachers have seen too may ‘non-complaint’ complaints to know better!

      Back to strategies. I reveal to my students and their parents that I have an attentional deficit (I refuse to call it a ‘disorder’!), and that it takes me longer to get work turned back (it’s a writing-heavy discipline). If they have a problem, the student should come to me first, then the parent; if that can’t be resolved, then we can go to an administrator.

      I find that kids still do not communicate completely with parents – so everything becomes “the teacher did this to me…”. I’m sorry the parent didn’t feel that they could come to you with this – it seemed so easily resolvable. I hope you can calm down a bit before going to your principal. If you’re the talented teacher you seem to be (I’m SO impressed by your strategy for accountability!), it should resolve itself professionally. I hope this note from another ADD educator helps – good luck and I’ll check back… CHRIS

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