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Not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by iyetd, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Sorry for the rant. Usually everyone is super supportive here and I thought I could ask the next steps. Apologies for the super long post .

    A student's dad rang in and was extremely angry with me. I spoke to him and asked the issue. He said that I was victimising his child. I immediately apologised and asked what I had done. He said on Monday I had undermined her when she was responding and rolled my eyes at her. I apologised for that and said I hadn't realised I had done that. I explained that I got that she didn't understand it and was pushing for her to get it. I then said I apologise if she felt like this and that I wish he had contacted me sooner in the week to discuss it with me. He said he was extremely busy and I explained that he could have emailed me (he could have found it on the school website or in his emails as I have previously emailed him). I said if he had done that I could have rung him at a time convinent to him and we could have dealt with it during the week.

    I spoke to the head of year and arranged to meet the girl on Monday with him. I then called dad again to let him know.

    I spoke to dad again and explained that I had taken the accusations seriously and I wanted to resolve it. I explained that I have involved the head of year as I wanted him to be a go between to sort this out. Dad then said I had picked on her this afternoon by asking why she was late and her friend wasn't. I told dad that I do not recall asking her this and that she was marked present on the register (I'm a stickler with the register as it is a legal document). He seemed confused by that as I explained I wouldn't have marked her in late if she was on time.

    He then brought up the email I had sent regarding her forgetting her book. He told me she had forgotten her book once (and he had shouted at her) and she had explained to him that she had told me why she had forgotten it. I stated that I would not have sent it if she had forgotten it only once! (The wording on my email backs me up as it states she had forgetten her books for a few lessons).

    I asked him to get her to write down the issues and bring it to the meeting so she doesn't have to think on her feet and so we could discuss it fairly. He didn't seem to think that it would help as he believes the problem lies with me.

    I'm just upset I guess as this is the first complaint I have had in over 5 years of teaching. Any advice is needed as it is preying on my mind.
    Shedman likes this.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    So he's too busy to deal with it straight away but instead nurses a grudge?

    It reads to me as though the child is lying - he is telling you that she told him you told her off for being late, and about her book. Make sure the HoY is there - it's possible you are not the only one dealing with this.
  3. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    You have done nothing wrong. Be confident NOT apologetic and let this parent contact your HOF HT..
    They are paid far more than you let them sort our this waste of time non sense.
    This child's lateness and insolence is merely a reflection of the parent.
    You have attempted to resolve this first on which the parent is clearly taking advantage of .

    Leave it to those in position .

    Remember you are incharge and maintain rules and regs set by the school ....something which I am sure said parent and child signed up for - let HOF or HT remind this parent of this very fact.
    Good luck
    Friday hugs because we all need them
    knitone, Marisha, tall tales and 9 others like this.
  4. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I think involving the HoY immediately was a professional and well considered act. It may be that the situation resolved quickly and easily, or it may drag on through multiple scenarios. The moment it starts to drag out it should become the hoy dealing with it, so making sure they are involved early will certainly be appreciated as it saves a lot of catching up later!

    This will blow over. You may be an easy target for the duration of this girl being at school, but the HoY being in the loop from the start should give you the confidence to get on with your job, which you seem to be doing excellently.
  5. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    How frustrating! You have some great advice above but just wanted to say that I think you have been very professional and by getting your HOY in, hopefully, all will be resolved soonish. I'd recommend a log of what you have written above, and the emails as written evidence of your interactions with this child and her parent, just in case.

    Big hugs!
    FlyingFoxBat, Marisha, Curae and 3 others like this.
  6. SundaeTrifle

    SundaeTrifle Occasional commenter

    Try not to dwell on this over the weekend. You sound like a meticulous person who has your students’ best interest at heart and are at pains to treat students fairly.

    I have had this kind of accusation from parents me in the past and it does get to you. You are bending over backwards to appease him and being very reasonable. You have listened to him and allowed him to have his say. You have done all you can.

    Sometimes parents want to show their children they are on their side in inappropriate ways. Have confidence in your judgement, you are a confident and caring adult who wants the best for your students.
  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I don't think that you have done anything wrong here, so do not panic.

    The only thing I would say is try to be careful about apologising, it can look like you are admitting you did something wrong.

    " A student's dad rang in and was extremely angry with me. I spoke to him and asked the issue. He said that I was victimising his child. I immediately apologised (1)and asked what I had done. He said on Monday I had undermined her when she was responding and rolled my eyes at her. I apologised for that (2) and said I hadn't realised I had done that. I explained that I got that she didn't understand it and was pushing for her to get it. I then said I apologise (3) if she felt like this and that "

    (1) What are you apologising for, did you victimise his daughter?
    (2) Did you roll your eyes and undermine her?
    (3) Saying that you are sorry she felt like that is fine.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is well phrased. I could never find the kindness of heart to view it this way, because I resent the personalisation of the whole thing, and the fact that immaturity persists despite the gift of parenthood.
    Fool father. Fancy confronting a well trained and hard working professional about "rolling their eyes" at a child who had failed to perform up to the minimum standard.
  9. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Thank you. I have. I have asked my HoD to cover part of my lesson so that we can have this meeting whilst HoY is free. HoD was very understanding.
    install likes this.
  10. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Thank you again. I am not sure if they had to sign something before they entered. I usually like to resolve things quickly and hence was disappointed by the father's response.
    FlyingFoxBat likes this.
  11. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    The weird thing is she is normally a very quiet girl. She probably is very sensitive. Thank you for that. I figured from the way the dad was talking that it was probably best to involve HoY. Even he agreed with that.
  12. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Thank you. I am going to write it an email to HoY and HoD as an email. I didn't think to log it but definitely worth doing so incase it flairs up.
  13. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Thank you SundaeTrifle. I do try to do the best for my students at all times where feasibly possible. Its extremely helpful to know I'm not the only one. I do just wish that he had told me sooner as it could have been resolved quickly. I'm now just worried how to approach the child as I don't want to say anything to upset her but anything I say to her could now be taken the wrong way.
  14. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    1) I am naturally a very apologetic person. I tend to apologise anytime I think I've slighted someone. I just felt so bad that she was upset about that lesson. I do get your point about apologising as it can be perceived as being in the wrong. I do know it is a trait I have to work on.

    2) I do not recall rolling my eyes at her (but this was on Monday so I could be wrong?) but I don't normally roll my eyes at students. All I did was probe and push her to make sure she understood the question. As this happened on Monday, I couldn't recall what the exact interactions were.
    Fluffy_Koala likes this.
  15. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    I don't mind someone telling me that I've upset them as then I can help work on building the relationship with them but I was just upset that every suggestion I made at dealing with it seemed to be 'It's you who is the problem not my child' and like I said, if I had upset her, I would rather have known Monday evening so that I could have fixed the issue straight away on Tuesday. He didn't seem so keen on her writing up ways I could support her and try to turn these issues into positives.
  16. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter


    Sometimes by initially apologising you give a complaint verification when it may not be deserved. In future I would advise you try the "I hear what you say and we need to discuss this" approach. In other words play it with a straight bat....
  17. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Completely understood. Going to definitely take that advice away. I think that's what I worried I have done. HoY didn't seem so fussed and said he would speak to dad after the conversation.
    Yoda- likes this.
  18. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Well my thoughts are is there something else going on with this child? You say she's normally quiet. She seems to be wanting to say things to her dad to either please him or deflect his attention from something else or to appease him. What sort of chap is he? Has anything happened in the family recently? Is the child using you to cover up for something else?
    I had something like this happen to me when I was on teaching practice - a boy went home and told his dad I had been picking on him. But both myself and the class teacher knew this wasn't true. I never did find out why he did it.
    Marisha and grumpydogwoman like this.
  19. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

  20. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Maybe she is. Honestly that was the first thing that crossed my mind considering I only recall saying her name when taking the register. I definitely do not recall talking at all to her that lesson this afternoon.

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