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Tapdancesub Tapdancesub is offline
 
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Just Asking..
Old 09-19-2018, 08:52 AM
 
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Do you find it unnerving when a parent sits in on the class you are covering?


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Nope
Old 09-19-2018, 10:48 AM
 
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Nope. Even an irritating parent isn't going to bully me, I might struggle with any disruption it may cause, but my student comes with a family, and I'm serving that family, by doing my part to help little Johnny build the foundation for the rest of his amazing life. I might put the parent to work however. Before you think I haven't had bad parents, oh yeah, a glaring angry one in class one day long ago comes to mind, then a student walked by and said "I hope your here to set your daughter straight, she's driving us nuts...." Thankfully I was facing the other way....
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surprise visit?
Old 09-19-2018, 02:04 PM
 
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If I wasn't given any heads-up, I would find it unnerving to have any adult stranger dropping in to my classroom and "observing". It's like having an in-law visiting with very little notice. They had to have accompanied by some admin either way. If it's open house or something similar, I wouldn't mind.

What was the parent's purpose?

Last edited by Mikhail; 09-19-2018 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 09-19-2018, 02:48 PM
 
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Quote:
"I hope your here to set your daughter straight, she's driving us nuts...."
Kids, you got to love them.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:37 PM
 
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I could possibly be intimidated by a parent sitting in on a class I was substitute teaching. I guess it would depend on how well the class went. I am pretty comfortable as a sub at this point though. I am not sure why a school would allow a.parent to sit in when a sub is in the room. It is not usually a good representation of a student's typical day in class, so it doesn't make sense.


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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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yep
Old 09-20-2018, 07:27 AM
 
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Have I experienced it? A lot. Does it bother me? Usually. I'll explain why.

What is called parent "involvement" in the classroom is pretty common at the (elementary) schools in my districts. It's usually in the more affluent schools, of course, since the more affluent parents (and grandparents) have the luxury of time to do such things.

Oftentimes, the family member is there as a "volunteer". This can be great if the teacher has left a specific task for them to do (such as copying materials) that keeps them busy and out of my hair. But too often, there is no assignment for them, and so they begin to overstep bounds and start yelling at kids or otherwise trying to tell me how to do my job. Or just as bad, they may just sit in the back of the room and "observe" with a scowl on their face because I'm not doing things "the way the other teacher does them."

If they are there to "observe," I'm seldom told why they are "observing". In one case, the mom told me that the (kindergarten) teacher had been absent a lot (due to medical problems), and the mom was concerned because there had been a constant flow of different subs filling in. The mom just sat in the back carefully watching me teach. Then, when one little boy (NOT her son) started to cry because I hadn't come to check his work yet, the mom took charge and whisked him out of the room without checking with me first. In cases like this, I have to take the adult aside and ask them to let me handle the classroom management.

Too often, the parent behaves as if they are in their own home rather than as a visitor in a classroom under the charge of a professional educator. This is when they become a liability and make my job that much harder. I end up having to manage the adult when I should be dedicating my energy to working with the children!

In one case, as I was teaching a 2nd grade class, a constant stream of mothers kept walking in and out of the classroom, just watching. I finally locked the door to prevent this. Then one of them complained to the office. I told the office what was going on and they were surprised because they weren't aware that the parents were doing this. It's just a case of "parent involvement" run amok.

So do I find "parent visitors" unnerving? Yes, but not because I'm insecure as a teacher. It's just that too often, the "parent visitor" becomes a liability due to their own lack of maturity and self control. I think the teachers should make sure to have specific tasks lined up for volunteers, and the schools should provide "rules of conduct" for any adult visitor who steps into a classroom.
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Old 09-21-2018, 01:28 PM
 
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Thanks all! I have no problem wth parent volunteers in the classroom as they usually have something to do and I have nothing to hide. This parent just felt the need to sit there and the office allowed it. I was teaching a challenging math lesson and she was just being a distraction for everyone.
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:12 PM
 
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Obviously, any source of distraction must be eliminated. My concern is if there's another adult in the room with no official business and is not accompanied by an admin that adult's presence could be intimidating especially to students. Sometimes there are adults that bully children without our knowing. Unless they have clearance through the office, I would've asked that guest to step outside.
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Tapdancesub Tapdancesub is offline
 
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Lumberman...
Old 09-21-2018, 08:04 PM
 
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She was cleared by the office. She is a known entity at the school, not much I could do about it.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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It depends?
Old 09-22-2018, 03:14 AM
 
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In general, no... but I'm rarely intimidated by anyone. As others have described, some parents can be a pain and even the ones who aren't a pain change the classroom dynamic (good or bad) by their presence.

(I'm surprised to hear that some schools are not, apparently, controlling or at least managing parent access to the classroom but that might be a different topic.)

One way I indirectly manage parents (or any classroom visitor) is through the kids. I will introduce the visitor and explain how we are going to accommodate the visitor, reminding the kids (for example) if you have a question or need help, you need to address it to me, your teacher. It only takes a few minutes to reestablish that we are team/community who remain so even though there is a guest in the room.

Heck, maybe we teach the kids how to handle guests. And, yes, in some cases, we may have to teach guests how to act in our classroom.


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Great strategy, MaineSub!
Old 09-22-2018, 07:45 AM
 
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MaineSub, I love your strategy: "One way I indirectly manage parents (or any classroom visitor) is through the kids. I will introduce the visitor and explain how we are going to accommodate the visitor, reminding the kids (for example) if you have a question or need help, you need to address it to me, your teacher. It only takes a few minutes to reestablish that we are team/community who remain so even though there is a guest in the room. "

I will start to implement this starting next week!

You are spot on about establishing that the class is a "team/community" and the visitor is a "guest." Any other adult who enters the room can be very disruptive to the flow and order in the class, especially if they try to interject rather than deferring to the teacher in charge.

In my experience, too often the visitor doesn't bother to introduce themselves. They see that I'm a guest teacher and so just walk in and do whatever they want. The next thing I know, the kids are going to the visitor to get permission to go to the restroom, etc. This undermines my ability to manage the class and keep track of the kids, which is my responsibility.

Any adult entering the classroom should introduce themselves and their purpose to the teacher first (you'd think that would be common sense). But that seldom happens. I usually have to stop what I'm doing and ask the visitor who they are. Going a step further and establishing with the kids what that person's role will be and restating my role as teacher is a great way to get things back on track and keep order!

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 09-22-2018 at 10:53 AM..
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:17 AM
 
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Thanks... I do think "managing visitors" is a challenge. I know when I visit a classroom (the kids usually know and recognize me) I'm disruptive, no matter how I approach it. I've even tried staying outside and waiting for the teacher to recognize me through the window (when it's not blocked) but usually a kid will spot me and announce it to the teacher. As a guest/visitor, I encourage the students to ignore me and pay attention to the teacher... so in my case, the kids are the problem, not the guest!

At our school, most staff knows that they should stand just inside the door until they are acknowledged, then explain their purpose. I have been known to make the visitor wait for a few minutes by holding up a hand or finger. I will say something like, "Class, please excuse me for one minute... while I'm talking to our guest (or use the name) I want you to..."

One of my funnier experiences with this happened when we had a news reporter in the building. (We knew each other.) He appeared in my Kindergarten Classroom, simply standing to watch. When I finished what I was working on with the kids, I approached him and he explained: "I just had to see how you do this. I can't imagine..." We were able to stand together and watch the kids work for a few minutes... a positive experience for everyone.
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