child told she has problems by her teach

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2004
child told she has problems by her teach
Sun, 08-22-2004 - 9:17pm
Please tell me how to handle this situation. My daughter, who attends a private school, is in the third grade. This is the only third grade class in the school. She told me this week that she wasn't looking at her book as her teacher was teaching. In other words she was daydreaming. Her teacher told her to look at her book and that that's why she has problems is because she doesn't pay attention. This was said in front of her whole class. When my daughter told me this she had a look of confusion on her face. She scored nearly all in the average zone on her sat scores. There were a few scores in the below and a few in the above but most were in the middle. My daughter is not a behavior problem and if she has problems I am unaware of them.

Also, this teacher yelled at my daughter in the lunch room because she exploded a chef boyardee heatable in the microwave at school. You see she didn't take the metal lid off and set the timer for 1 1/2 mins. and it blew up. The teacher yelled "clean it up!". Now this might be my faught because I really haven't taught her how to do the microwave at home because it is high. The next day she knocked over a drink of a little girls

sitting next to her. She was yelled at again to "clean it up!". One last thing this teacher doesn't let the children say "yes mam or no mam" and will ignore them until they quit saying it. Most parents in her class have taught their children to say this out of respect and manners. The teacher says she is from the north and it is considered rude there. We are in Florida.

My daughter has said don't go talk to the teacher or the principal because the teacher will be really mad at her. I don't know what to do. I don't want my daughter to be afraid to tell me things. Please, any advice would surely help me know what to do if anything.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Mon, 08-23-2004 - 8:33pm
Hello and thanks for visting us. I hope I don't get into trouble for answering this post, but the main reason that ivillage posts that rule is because in the past we have had lots of parents who were unhappy with their child's teacher come on this board and verbally attack. This is supposed to be a safe have where we can discuss our teacher issues and we don't need parents coming on to make us feel worse. But, I feel like you have legitimate concerns.....

Now, sometimes we can say things that we don't consider to be harmful but the kid took it that way. For example....

I was teaching in a school where parents volunteer alot. So, I was called out of the room and a parent offered to watch them while I was out. When I came back, she had them reading a story that was very difficult for them to get through. She was so STUNNED that they were having trouble she asked me why and I said, "oh, they can't read that story well yet,we haven't gone over it." I swear I said it just like that. She went and told the principal that I said, "They can't read." No, I said they can't read the story YET because we having gone over it. But she just got so mad and my principal took her side. Anywhoo....

So the comments about having problems may have been taken out of context. Either way, she should (we all should) be very careful of what we say because taken the wrong way it can cause a world of problems. Now...

As far as the yelling at her to clean up her messes, that's not neccessary, I would talk to her teacher about that. If your daughter is responsible, she will clean up after herself, so why is the teacher "tripping"??

Also, calling her teacher "Ma'am" can be subjective. If her teacher is under 30, she is too young to be called maam even if it is the way you were raised. I personally call every woman over 50 maam, and men over 50 sir. I was raised to speak to my elders that way and if you are more than a decade older than me, it's just good manners to do so. BUT, if they tell me to stop, I will. So...

If you are bothered by what your daughter is telling you, you have every right to investigate for yourself. Take care and I hope this helps.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2004
Tue, 08-24-2004 - 8:39am

Thank you, and I wanted to tell you that this was my first post ever and i had just joined moments before posting. That's why I posted here because I was unaware that it was for teachers only. I want you to know my daughter had 2 wonderful teachers last year. They were not yellers but had total control of their class and I loved their discipline system. It was the gumball system. One time my daughter got 3 black gumballs in one day for talking and the rule was 3 in one day and you had to go to the office. The teacher came to my car at pick-up and told me about it with the most pitiful look on her face like it had hurt her to have to do that but anyways I loved her for that.

I respect you and I think teaching other peoples children is one of the most challenging jobs in the world. And I know you don't get paid as much as you should. Well God Bless and Guide you everyday.

mama - cya

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 08-24-2004 - 8:36pm
As a native Floridian who is both a parent and a teacher, I may be in a unique position to respond to your post.

Some quiet, sensitive, laid-back Floridians (who may share more common characteristics with those children from the deep South) may be overwhelmed by people who hail from the North. I don't mean in any way to disparage Yankees (and I mean Yankees in the most affectionate sense of the word), but sometimes they appear to "yell" when they only mean to "talk". As a genuine Florida Cracker (and I mean Cracker in the most affectionate sense of that word - no racial undertones should be received - like we refer to those old poor wood frame homes decimated by Hurricane Charley as Old Florida Cracker Houses), I find it is often necessary to cut those Northerners some slack for the first couple of decades after they've arrived in Florida - we'll just call it "culture shock" or an adjustment period. Many of the recently arrived residents of Florida seem determined to make our state just like that "town up North" they just fled from, complete with a state income tax and innumerable expressways jammed with nonstop traffic! ROTFLOL!

You've got to take your child's teacher's word for it that she is offended to be referred to as "Ma'am". Frankly, I don't understand it, but it is not necessary to understand why she is offended in order to *respect* her preference. Certainly drop her a note or a phone call to explain that your child uses "Ma'am" as a sign of respect, not as an offensive word, and ask her to bear with your child as she adjusts to making the change, as she'll probably slip up now and again.

Regarding your child's teacher's bluntness and loudness, you've got to walk a fine line here, because, frankly, some of this may be due to her Yankee heritage (again, this has to be done *respectfully* - I'm not intending this to be a replay of the Civil War here). They really do things differently up North (or maybe we really do things *differently* in Florida). Explain your child's sensitivity to her teacher, and explain your child's teacher's apparent insensitivity to your child - she may appear to "yell" or "be mean" when that is not what she's intended - she comes from "up North" where they "do things differently". As a native Floridian teaching many other native Floridians, I *never* yell, and correct my children's mistakes in a very gentle, positive, supportive manner. Some teachers (usually from up North, sometimes from the Deep South) think it seems

"wimpy", but that's just the way things are done by most natives. Jimmy Buffet may have been born in Mississippi, but the attitude projected by his songs fits most native Floridians perfectly. It is hard to explain to people who live in the North - just imagine the most laid-back person you know. That person would probably be considered very uptight and unbearably stressful to be around for the first 10-15 years he/she lived in Florida. For example, dressing to "go out" to dinner in Florida routinely involves shorts, tank tops, and sandals. Mascara and eyeliner run in the heat and humidity - are you starting to get the picture?

I can't count how many times I heard that speech about people "up North" when I was growing up (in South Florida) before it finally sunk in and I took it forgranted. Your daughter should never feel afraid to talk to her teacher - if the situation has deteriorated that far, it is time for a teacher-parent conference to clear the air and a teacher-student-parent conference to reassure your dd.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2004
Tue, 08-24-2004 - 9:22pm
Thank you for your interesting input. I don't know if you read my post prior to yours about loving her two teachers from last year. Well, they were native floridians. Maybe that explains that. Her teacher in first grade was from the north and in her mid 60's. All the parents and children couldn't hardly stand her behavior. So much so that the administration had to dismiss her.

Well thanks again,

mama c-ya