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Sensitive Parents...I'm over it!
Old 09-23-2019, 07:41 AM
 
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Well, I have a parent whom is upset because their child is very sweet and can't understand why they had to walk for 5 minutes at recess.

Let me explain, sometimes I don't have relief to go use the restroom, so I place a child in charge (which I know is the not the best idea...and have them write names on the board if they just whisper to their neighbor. While doing this, we are playing the freeze game. So this one child did talk which he is always chatting, whispering to his neighbor, even as sweet as he is, so I had him walk for 5 minutes. Yes, maybe not the best idea because a child was in charge and I will apologize for this. But dang it we don't get any slack for anything.

On another note, I did have him walk on another day for constant whispering during DEAR time, not fair to the others.

What should I say to this parent?


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Old 09-23-2019, 07:58 AM
 
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What to say?
"Your child did not follow directions."
You had given the class directions to follow, and he did not. But to be honest, the parent will go with the fact that you left the class unattended, with a child in charge, not another adult.

(I've always had to get another teacher(from across the hallway) to stand at my classroom door if I had to go use the restroom-school rule for teachers)
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Nope
Old 09-23-2019, 08:46 AM
 
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I'm stuck on you leaving your class unattended. That is a huge safety issue. I'd be really upset as a parent if I found out my child's class was unsupervised.

I don't understand what having him walk means.
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I'm in a portable...
Old 09-23-2019, 08:50 AM
 
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no next door neighbor classroom teacher near by. As a rule in our second grade, we have kids walk recess 5 minutes for misbehavior.

I normally get someone to watch my class from the office but there was no one available and I really had to go.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:00 AM
 
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I am so sorry that your administration puts you in a position that doesn’t allow you to use the washroom when necessary. I had that problem once when I was very pregnant so I just marched my first graders into the front office and left them with the secretaries while I used the restroom. Needless to say, after that they sent someone when I called. Good luck. I would just listen to the parent’s concern and try not to add much of an explanation or excuse.


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Old 09-23-2019, 12:28 PM
 
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I'm a little shocked at leaving a class unattended, too. I get the problem with coverage (we had that same problem), but your school really needs a better way to do this (relief from the office or something). One of my coworkers would take his entire class with him to stand outside the bathroom in full view of other classrooms when he had to go.

I guess what you say to the parent is that this is the universal rule of your 2nd grade classrooms, and he broke the rule. I think talking about (I assume that's what will happen when you say you would apologize for that) how the other child was in charge opens you up for a bigger parent complaint. As a parent myself, I would want some answers as to why a peer was in charge of the class AND got to make decisions about my child's behavior.

Does administration know this is what you occasionally do? I just ask because I'd be afraid this idea of the child in charge would get back to them and you don't want them blind sighted.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:21 PM
 
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Well, I guess, if it's the agreed-upon consequence for breaking classroom rules, that's what I'd tell the parent. But I think it's going to be hard to defend imposing a consequence when a student was in charge.

And, truly, you must solve the class supervision problem for bathroom breaks one way or another. The liability risk to you is huge if something happens to a child when you've left them unsupervised, even if it's something you couldn't have prevented had you been there. In 30 years of teaching, I've never left a class unsupervised, not even a high school class. Certainly not a class of second graders.

I have seen plenty of teachers make this mistake, though. I taught across the hall from a beginning teacher who would leave a study hall full of middle school students alone for 20 minutes every day after lunch. One of the students in the class had diabetes and had a tendency to go low after lunch. I finally told this teacher that if he didn't start getting to class on time I was going to go to the principal about it. I'm not much of a one for tattling on coworkers but this was just too dangerous to ignore.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:54 PM
 
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Take your class on a whole group restroom break and stop at the teacher restroom while you are there too. I definitely would NOT leave a class unattended in a portable. A regular room either. You won't win that fight with the parent.
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Sensitive parent
Old 09-23-2019, 04:32 PM
 
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I agree with others about taking entire class with you to bathroom. I taught in a portable far away from main building for years. It only took two whole class trips to adult bathroom for P to agree to send someone to my room to relieve me. (Pun intended!)

As to the other issue, putting a child in charge on a regular basis is not a good idea. I’ve done it maybe once or twice a year, and would just say “Johnny is in charge. He’ll let me know who is horsing around.”

Doing it too often gives some kids too much power and generally causes bad feelings.

Plus, you know who is going to act up the minute you put your foot out the door. THAT is the kid to put in charge.
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Great idea!
Old 09-23-2019, 08:49 PM
 
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I love the idea of taking your class up to the office if you have to go. Or just have them sit in the hall outside the restroom. At my school that would be within eyesight of the office secretary.


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You're stuck
Old 09-24-2019, 02:49 AM
 
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I agree that 5 minutes off recess is too small a thing for a parent to make a fuss about, but I do disagree with leaving kids in charge of punishing each other.

Quote:
...I had that problem once when I was very pregnant so I just marched my first graders into the front office and left them with the secretaries while I used the restroom. Needless to say, after that they sent someone when I called.
I love this!!
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In your post
Old 09-24-2019, 05:26 AM
 
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you explained two things that you do with your class that are "not the best idea." I realize how different schools can be. Leaving a child in charge would have ended any teacher's career where I taught. (and once it did)

Is it a common practice to leave a student in charge when a teacher leaves? If so then I guess you would just point that out to the parent.

What you should focus on is finding better ideas. Like others have said call to the office and have them send someone to cover the class while you use the restroom.

Think of what rules you have in your classroom. Spend time not just telling the students the rules, but having them brainstorm the reasons why the rules help them learn and keep them safe. Give them different situations and ask them how students take action to stop themselves from breaking the rule. Develop a list of things they could do to stop themselves from breaking a rule. The more they feel responsible for their own actions the better they will behave and the less likely it would escalate into the child vs. you, as a challenge for the child to "get away" with things.

As much as you can give consequences and not punishments. Walking for 5 minutes has nothing to do with whispering to a friend. It may also impose consequence giving to a third person.

BTW-walking for 5 minutes would have been a reward for many of my students.

The best thing I ever did as a teacher is to use Responsive Classroom with my students. It changed the environment for everyone.

As for meeting the mom. Listen to her. Let her say everything she wants you to know without making excuses or telling her reasons. Repeat back what she tells you, with comments like.I hear you say what I had your son do was not right because... Then tell her the reason why you did it. If it is school policy, and/or it is the way teachers at your school responds to breaking rules, just tell her that.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:09 AM
 
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What resources would you recommend for learning more about responisve classroom? Thank you!
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I was very lucky
Old 09-24-2019, 02:02 PM
 
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to be working in a district that wanted to use Responsive Classroom, so the district paid for many seminars and trainings in Responsive Classroom as well as the books. It was a number of years ago. I was in one of the first groups from our district to be trained. I am now retired so all my books, etc. were left for the new teachers.

Here are two links that address Responsive Classroom. It might be a good place to start. It seems like they are on facebook too.

https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/

https://www.educationworld.com/a_cur...ategy015.shtml
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:41 AM
 
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Thank you!
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:07 PM
 
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Taking the Responsive Classroom Institute and follow up professional development rocked my world! I agree with the premise that the social curriculum is more important than the academic in the first six weeks of school. Once you have the social curriculum down pat, the academics flow fast and hard with less disruptions in your classroom.
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