Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some Teachers Just Need To Retire: A Rant

I know that teachers in Poland have different background and theories than those I grew up with. They don't seem to understand the basics of positive reinforcement and the self-fulfilling prophecy etc. I also remember that when David chose to go to a costume party in Kindergarten dressed as a bum (thought of it on his own) his teacher told him it was an ugly costume and she didn't like it (can't really blame her but she didn't have to say it in front of the class - or at all). So I really should not be surprised by his current teacher (that he has grades 1-3 with).

Last year before an evening costume party/dance the school was holding he agonized forever about what to go as. People would make fun of the "muscles" in his Spiderman costume, the Batman costume was too small etc. He came up with the idea of going as a spy. He dressed in a suit and made himself a badge to tuck into his shirt pocket and an ID card to flash from his wallet. He wore his "spy glasses" (with mirrors on the sides to see what's behind you) and I thought he took a motion detector or some other McDonald's spy toy we have kicking around.

But maybe he didn't because the next Monday he came home from school and told me that his teacher had told him that he didn't do a very good job with his costume. He should have made some gadgets or something to make it more interesting.

This year on one of the first days of school she had the kids write what their dream school would be like. One girl said that there would be a robot that would go around and if you got lost it would take you to your classroom. Cute, huh? Shows the little girl's fears and her solution for dealing with them.

The teacher didn't think so. She said, "That is a very strange idea. Why would you need someone to show you where your class is? Don't you know where it is!?! A better idea would be if you could fly to school. . . " and proceeded to explain how to use your imagination properly to create a TRULY interesting school.

A few days ago she asked David what his mom does for work. He told her that I write. She was intrigued and grilled him with questions. All he could tell her was that I write articles, send them to a man and he sends me money. When he couldn't explain better who the man was (name, please!) she said, "David! Don't you know anything about your own mother!?!"

The other day a girl needed a tissue and didn't have one. The teacher asked David if he had one he would give her. He didn't. She asked why not. He said because he doesn't have a stuffy nose. The teacher told him he has no culture, coming to class without tissues in his bag.

Other things she regularly says to students:

"Oh, that's an interesting haircut. I liked it better how it was before." Or she just says she doesn't like it.

"You wear your short sleeves over your long sleeves? Is that some kind of new style? Whatever!" and other comments on the clothes they wear.

"What is that!?! That's supposed to be a dog? That looks like a pig."

These are the only things I can remember right now, but David comes home from time to time and cries about how much he "hates" his teacher, usually when she's embarrassed him or a friend of his with her comments.

I just had to get that all off my chest. She's not always such a troll, and we have actually appreciated her sense of humor and hard work with the difficult class she's been dealing with for 2 full years already. But really, when you start resorting to insulting kids to get back at them for being hard to deal with I think it really is just time to retire. Even if you're only in your early forties. (and even if you praise my baking in front of all the other parents)(which is the main problem, praise and criticism all spoken loudly in front of everyone.)

20 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow, that really makes you miss the Poles, doesn't it?! They are so blunt and honest. I can't even imagine a teacher saying that here, but then again, you just never know!

Barbaloot said...

That must be hard for the little kids. I think it's just an American thing to "hold back" on what you tell people.

My Chinese sister-in-law likes to tell me that if I were skinnier I'd have a boyfriend.

Sue Q said...

Mean, mean, MEAN!!! Why do people in positions of authority have to be mean? Oh, wait, I know -- when she was little, she must have had a piano teacher that told her she would never learn to play the piano properly and might as well give up at ten years old, thereby causing her to grow up with a guilt complex that could only be relieved by inflicting emotional pain on the lives of young, impressionable children.

If I had a voodoo doll of her, I would be sticking pins into it right now.

But I can't think that way anymore. Charity never faileth, and all that. Just keep baking her goodies and maybe she'll learn to stop picking on your son!

Carolyn V. said...

Wow. My mouth is hung wide open! What is wrong with that lady?
My daughter had a teacher like that, but she got fired. Plus my daughter only had to endure her for one year.

I just wish there weren't teachers like that.

Anna said...

Well, I just tried to comment about this but Blogger's not taking my comment for some reason.

Erin said...

That would definitely make my blood boil. It's boiling just reading about it! I'm sorry for your kids. Like you said, she's probably usually great, but your kids need nurturing, not cruelty!

Alison Wonderland said...

Honestly I think part of the problem may just be cultural but still, it sucks having you kid stuck in a class with a teacher that isn't great for him. Sorry about that.

Melissa said...

I am so sorry your son has to deal with this. Some people never stood in line for the "tact" gift or the "sensitivity" gift. She is his personal Simon Cowell. Hopefully he'll be the stronger for it.

L.T. Elliot said...

Yeah...I'd be boycotting by that point. Sure, I'm a bit of a mommy-bear sometimes but you're right about the criticism mixed with praise. I don't see how that's really working for anyone.

And for the record, I thought the spy costume was a BRILLIANT idea!

Kazzy said...

Yipes, sorry about that nasty teacher. Sarcasm and little subtle cuts are hard on kids--- they don't get it and they just need validation.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I'm sorry. Really I am, because I know how hard it is when your child is getting the opposite of what he needs from someone who is PAID to somehow meet those needs. I've been a teacher, too, so I understand both sides a little, but please! can't people just be kind and do their job right?

Erin said...

I think the hardest thing for me would be that he has to deal with her for 3 years!! I think every kid gets a bad teacher (or one that they don't get along with) for at least one year of elementary, but 3? That would be rough. Do most Polish schools have integrated grades like that?

Moody said...

Yikes! She's really lacking in sensitivity...OR...is it just because we're AMERICANS that we think this is not right (yeah, I just read the previous post). I think in any country though, certainly people have respect for others and especially kids. I vote for early retirement! (or a one-way ticket to somewhere far away!)

myimaginaryblog said...

Ha--I just read your post about being in the humor category at MMB, and I felt a little jealous because Sue put me under "thoughtful women." I was never sure how she decided to put me there and always a little jealous of the funny women. (Although it's true that I'm thoughtful, and also true that I'm not always funny. But sometimes I am funny. Like this week I came up with this line: "There's only two letters' difference between 'cochlear implants' and 'Locklear implants,' but one helps you hear better, and the other one . . . doesn't.") Anyway, I did find some nice blog friends through the Thoughtful Women category, so it's all good. :)

That Girl said...

I have many, many comments to make, and not enough space to share them.

Let's just say that home schooling suddenly doesn't look so bad.

Annette Lyon said...

Grrrrrr. (That's Mama Bear.)

I was thrilled when a teacher at our jr high retired this year. My son had her--but now none of my daughters will. PHEW!

Kimberly said...

Oi, that sort of unkindness is such a hard thing to take, never mind when its directed at our children. Totally brings out the mama-bear, doesn't it?

David is so lucky to have you to soothe his feelings, and love him afterwards.

Ola Zan said...

When I was sixteen,and my teacher (supposed to teach me for the next 3 years) criticised me and everyone in the class continually, My Dad stepped in and had a private conversation with her. She then wanted to talk to me and I was able to explain that critics just doesn;t work for me. From that time on I felt she respected us more and we were able to cooperate just fine.
I think parents' initiative is the only way to help. Children will be always weaker and not listened to if they stand for themselves.sh

Heidi said...

Um, that is just wrong! Maybe it's a cultural thing but to "grade" you on your halloween costume? Your haircut? Outfit? She seems to be missing some important boundaries--she is there to teach reading, writing, math, etc., not those other things. This has me perturbed b/c it was just those kinds of comments my sisters made to me growing up that has me still feeling a lot of emotional pain today and the main reason I homeschooled Peter last year.

Melanie Jacobson said...

Um, I want to punch her in the face. I won't, but only because she praised your baking.