Friday, April 25, 2008

There is Always a Way Out

We are feeling a bit like the fly in this video with the whole school situation:

Yesterday we had a meeting with the principal and the coordinator. They told us they had talked to the teacher, and that she said she didn't realize what she had been doing to the kids. I don't buy that for a second. There have been parents that complained in the past, and afterward she singled their kids out and treated them even worse (if that's possible). One of the other teachers even warned a mother this year that she shouldn't complain while her daughter was still in this woman's class, because she would end up making the girl's life miserable.
Anyway, the principal has promised us that the teacher will change and treat the children well from now on, and that they will be watching her to make sure she actually does. I really am not satisfied with this, because I don't believe that people can just change overnight. While she may change temporarily, as soon as they stop watching her she'll probably go back to her old ways. So, we're kind of between a rock and a hard place. We'll give her another chance because the only other option is to file an official complaint with the authorities, and we would rather not have it come to that. But we really are not optimistic about the outcome.
I guess we'll just have to hang onto the idea that there's always a way out, but I hope it's not as bad as it was for the fly.
What do you think, can people really change overnight?


  1. Ah, that sucks. We've had teacher trouble before and you're exactly right - you're between a rock and a hard place. I'll hope for the best for ya!

  2. First, that fly video is hilarious. I hope you come out on the other end with your humor intact. In fact, your humor may be what saves you through all this.

    Second, I've also removed a bedroom door due to slamming. Another idea is to duct tape a sock across the top the the door corner so that when the door slams, its more or less just bounces. Of course, an 11 year old might be able to figure that one out.

    Third, I don't know that people can change overnight, even when they want to change overnight. I'm a firm believer in "it takes two weeks to establish a habit" so even on a purely behavioral level, I think that any "come to Jesus " moments take a bit of time.

    I do feel you pain, though. I thought that after toilet training, it would have been all downhill with the parenting ordeals. Guess I was wrong.

  3. I think the only thing that can be changed that quickly is underwear.

    But forced into teaching and not assaulting children's psyches or face consequences, this teacher may just come around. I'm betting in your corner that she does.

  4. Behavior is learned over many years. So, no you can't change overnight, or sometimes at all.

  5. Sadly I have my doubts about the teacher kids counted, 38 more days....and maybe they didn't count the pont....will she have her next year too?

  6. Ewww, teacher trouble. Yuck.
    You know, the kids are never wrong. Never. Teachers can be nightmares.
    She won't change. It sucks to have to worry about what you say lest she take it out on your child.
    I hope you resolve it.

  7. I'm sorry...the funny VE has changed overnight and now spends his days studying chess openings and shaping Japanese shrubbery...

  8. i think if other parents have been complaining this long and even other teachers are saying the same thing it is highly unlikely this woman will change unless real pressure is brought to bear upon her.

  9. Haven't experienced it yet as a parent but I'm sure teacher/ parents relationship can be a headache.

    I guess the school year is almost over... that could be the way out. Or she might change knowing that things are "public" now.

    Good luck!

  10. Nope. She won't change. I don't think I could make my kid submit to being in her class, either. Even if it doesn't feel like there's much of a choice, maybe you need to create that choice for your daughter in this situation.

    Easy for me to type, of course. But the whole "being at the mercy of an older bully" is unpalatable to me. I know you're agonizing over this. Of course. But don't be afraid to give your daughter's words and feelings as much, or more, weight than those of some adult.

  11. Unless the ghosts of her teaching past, present, and future come in the night, odds aren't that great for a personality upheaval. But, who knows; sometimes money (or the threat of no money) is a real motivator. I hope in your case, this is one of those rare times.

  12. Thanks for all the support everybody. Looks like most of you think it's hard for people like that to change. I do too, but we're giving her a chance. We've taken a step forward and now, if there is no change, the school will have do something. Otherwise we will go the route of reporting them.

  13. Serious ve: Japanese shrubbery? What have you done with the real ve?

  14. Teachers all suck, except for when I was one...then they were cool.

  15. You have the right to have the school district monitor her classroom for suspicious or abusive (verbal counts) behavior. She definitely won't change if there's no repercussions to her current behavior, or if she thinks she's not being monitored. I would tell the principal you're going to the district superintendent if you suspect any more problems. Principals hate to have the district investigating them.

  16. brad: I'm sure you were a cool teacher. Any chance you want to teach math to a bunch of 5th graders? ;)

    jeff: This is Spain, and stuff works really differently over here. Bullying has only recently become a problem here, so the protocols for dealing with it aren't as well established as over in the U.S. The principal has promised they will keep an eye on her, but I don't know if she will be monitored in the classroom or not. If things don't change we will go to the Departamento de EducaciĆ³n (Spanish version of the Board of Education), but we would rather avoid it, since our other two kids are happy at this school. I'm really hoping this can be solved without resorting to drastic measures, because I would hate having to switch the kids to another school.

  17. people change. i'm not the same
    as i was in high school. i've
    done things that have embarrassed
    me, that i'll never do again.
    that i hope i never do again.
    but... do we change overnight?
    it depends on the behavior.
    certainly, it's possible to
    god-see in a moment of clarity.
    but most behavior is response,
    and response is conditioned,
    and conditioning takes a certain
    amount of repetition and
    reinforcement. change overnight?
    with something like you are
    describing, it's not likely.
    but i like giving people the
    benefit of a doubt. and a short