Recently, in the news there was a story about a teacher and a student who had differing political views during a classroom discussion. The discussion got very heated. The teacher would not let the students opinion be heard. This was not the first occurrence of its kind – so the student was prepared. This time, he recorded the conversation. The tape was made public. The teacher is now on PAID administrative leave. (Seriously, what kind of lesson is going to be learned by that? Hey, I get to stay home AND get paid! Boo Hoo for me).
Anyway, had the conversation not been recorded and made public…what could have been done about it? What if that student was your child and came home and explained the situation to you. Obviously this had happened before (hence the preparation with the recorder) – and nothing had been done to stop it. Had the student not complained before? Had he complained but nothing was done?
My kids are only 8 and 6…but I have had a couple of instances this year where they have either:
- Come home complaining that the teacher said or did something to hurt their feelings, or
- Gotten into trouble from a teacher at school and they swear they didn’t do anything.
Now, I am usually one of those parents who tends to side with the school/teachers/administrators, etc. on the first hand. Because let’s face it, when backed into a corner, many kids will lie to try to avoid trouble with their parents. And therein lies the problem (no pun intended). How and when do you go to the teacher/administration to contest what was reported or said? I have wanted to say something to the teacher and principal but have actually held back. Mostly because I am almost afraid of any repercussions on my child. If I cause trouble for the teacher – what’s to stop them from making my child’s life hell? (And for those of you who say “They wouldn’t do that, they have too much integrity!” This may be true for some, or even most teachers, but let me tell you, the not-so-great-ones are out there.)
I get it – sometimes personalities clash. However, unlike other “life” situations when you can choose to avoid those people as much as possible – the school setting doesn’t allow too many alterations. And I get, too, that kids need to learn how to make the best of these situations as life isn’t all about walking the path paved with roses.
But there’s a fine line when your kids come home upset. We’re only at first and third grades and have already encountered this…I need to consider my strategy as I am sure this will happen again soon.