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Q: Typically, I have positive relationships with most of the parents in my class, but one mom continually causes me problems. Whenever she makes a request for her son that I can’t or won’t comply with, she literally screams at me. How should I deal with this out-of-control parent? 

 

How do I deal with out of control parents?A: Let’s approach this unreasonable parent like we would an attacking bear. Just roll up in a ball and play dead. Hopefully, she’ll lose interest and roam away to more responsive prey. If that doesn’t work, climb the nearest tree and call animal control for backup.

 

In all seriousness, my real advice isn’t much different. You cannot allow this behavior, whether it’s with a BD student or a grown woman. The worst thing you could do is yell right back, no matter how tempting or cathartic it may be.

 

First, make sure you schedule your meetings face-to-face, preferably with another teacher or principal in the room. Make sure you have the support of the principal and that he or she will intervene if necessary. This should create an environment that is much more intimidating to scream and yell. If you have doubts that this tactic will be effective or no one is available, you can even go as far as to openly record your conversations.

 

This is for your own protection and potentially to show this parent just how she is treating you. She may not even realize she’s gotten out of control.

 

If it does degenerate to an unreasonable level, stay calm. When she pauses or stops, say something along the lines of “Jane, I hear what you are saying, but I cannot continue this conversation until we can express ourselves in a calm, respectful, professional manner.” Honestly tell her that she is making you feel uncomfortable and threatened.

 

If she still does not adjust her behavior, sternly ask, “What is a better time to reschedule this meeting once we’ve all cooled down?” You don’t leave her an opening to refute your decision. Finally, you can always stand up and exit the room. It is your job to teacher her children, not take her abuse.

 

Hopefully, these survival skills will help you face the treacherous wilderness of parent-teacher meetings.

 

How would you deal with this difficult parent? Share your advice in the comments section!

Q: Typically, I have positive relationships with most of the parents in my class, but one mom continually causes me problems. Whenever she makes a request for her son that I can’t or won’t comply with, she literally screams at me. How should I deal with this out-of-control parent? 

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Snow Day EnvyI am overwhelmed with jealousy. This jealousy isn’t necessarily directed at teachers who are enjoying snow days this week, but to all teachers who get to recapture that childlike innocence and excitement that comes with a snow day. 

 

Unlike the world of office workers, teachers can still hope.

 

While I was whining about digging out my car last week, my mom was crossing her fingers and bookmarking the district website for updates. Just like their students, my teacher friends were brainstorming possible snow day activities, debating whether or not to get caught up on grading or just enjoy their bonus day.

 

Seeing the anticipation on their faces is like watching bright-eyed children wondering what Santa might leave under the tree Christmas morning.

 

To be clear, these are all amazing teachers who love their jobs. It just seems that the school atmosphere is one in which teachers can look forward to time off like students. In a business setting, you live with the unyielding downer of adulthood because a snow day is just not going to happen and openly admitting you are wishing for one is taboo.

 

Sadly, the snow day didn’t come to fruition, at least not yet (with this month's unseasonably cold weather and unpredictable storms, there is still a chance in January. Gotta love Chicago!). But teachers can still rest assured that their career let them feel like kids again.

Sing your Snow Day praises (or declare your Snow Day dissent) in the comments section!!

I am overwhelmed with jealousy. This jealousy isn’t necessarily directed at teachers who are enjoying snow days this week, but to all teachers who get to recapture that childlike innocence and excitement that comes with a snow day. 

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Across the country, students are signing pledges, learning about drug abuse prevention and creating their own PSAs in honor of Red Ribbon Drug Prevention week. 

Drug Prevention in Schools

Red Ribbon Week can be a tremendous opportunity to get students talking about the real dangers of drugs pose to their future. Here's a video that one class put together to spread the word:

How do you teach about drug abuse prevention in schools? Share your strategies in the comments section: Are school-based drug prevention programs effective?

Check out activities and strategies at the Red Ribbon website

Across the country, students are signing pledges, learning about drug abuse prevention and creating their own PSAs in honor of Red Ribbon Drug Prevention week.

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In a DailyCandy.com update, I came across an awesome website called stuffthatsleftbehind.com. Basically, people post stories about the debris left behind after a breakup. Here is an appalling example:

Stuff That is Left Behind...in your classroomWhen my boyfriend and I were together, he did this really cute thing where anytime he went out of town, he'd find a stone or a rock and bring it back to me. He said he did it so that I could feel like I'd been there too. Aaawww, so sweet. Then I found out that the reason he was out of town so much was because he had another girlfriend....


The site got me thinking of the things that get left behind (or confiscated) in the classroom. I'm betting you teachers can compete with these broken relationships with even more bizarre items and stories to go along with them.

 

What is the craziest thing you have either found or confiscated in your classroom? Please share your amazing findings in the comments section.

In a DailyCandy.com update, I came across an awesome website called stuffthatsleftbehind.com. Basically, people post stories about the debris left behind after a breakup. Here is an appalling example:

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 Moving Up the Payscale - How can we make it easier?We all want to move up the pay scale, which usually means getting your Masters or taking more classes. 

When the real Teachhub site launches, we want to make it as convenient and affordable to do that as possible by arranging discounts and getting recommendations from teachers.

Online classes and degree programs are super convenient, but there is so much crap out there that it's hard to know what's good and what's not. To figure that out, we need your help. What is imporant to you? Is it price or quality or convenience or do you just want it to be as easy as possible?

Once we know what's great and what you want, we can hopefully arrange BIG cuts in tuition for teachers.


Weigh in on the online masters debate! Please leave your thoughts, opinions and recommendations in the Comments section.

We all want to move up the pay scale, which usually means getting your Masters or taking more classes. 

 

 

When the real Teachhub site launches, we want to make it as convenient and affordable to do that as possible by arranging discounts and getting recommendations from teachers.

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25I know this is soooo last year, but I still think its fun for a throwback summer blog post :) 


Inspired by the Facebook 25 things phenomenon, here are 25 fun facts about teachers and teaching. Here we go!


1. Socrates is considered one of the world’s first formal teachers… he died of hemlock poisoning in prison. Think about it.

2. According to Time.com, “Happy teachers, [compared to admittedly unhappy teachers], were more religious, less troubled by conscience and politics. More of them than of the malcontents were married. And they averaged 7½ years older, 10 lb. heavier.”

3. Lead OED definition for teacher: 1. That which shows or points out; an indicator; the index-finger. Obs. rare.

4. 1% of teachers entered the field “accidentally” according to an NEA poll.

5. Despite the common professional myth, teachers do not have to wear jean jumpers, bedazzled sweaters/sweatshirts or holiday themed earrings… but it is strongly encouraged.

6. According to Google, the world’s best teacher is yourself.

7. Nearly three out of four (73%) enter teaching because of their desire to work with young people. And nearly seven out of 10 teachers (68%) cite working with kids as the reason for remaining in the profession.

8. "When asked what gift they would most like to receive from their students, nearly half of all teachers say a simple "thank you" will suffice, according to a recent National Education Association online poll."

9. As of 3/4/09, Edward Urspringer of Arroyo High School in El Monte, California is the highest rated teacher on http://www.ratemyteacher.com/. Way to go Ed!

10. 71% of teachers are women.

11. Albus Dumbledore is my all-time favorite fictional teacher.

12. Boston Latin School in Boston, Mass. is the oldest public school in America. It was founded April 23, 1635.

13. “Teacher” is the 523 most commonly used word in the English language. (FYI: “the” is #1; “please” is 790; “thank you” does not appear on the list).

14. Principals in the UK are called headmasters, which is kind of bada** (not as much when it’s the female headmistress).

15. Teachers have been fired or suspended for posting on Facebook/MySpace in Florida, Colorado, Tennessee, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas… and that’s just the ones I know about.

16. Many consider teaching a vocation more than a profession – that’s an idealist’s way of saying the pay stinks.

17. The average teacher spends 11.6 hours a week on non-compensated duties.

18. As of today, we are about 2 weeks into traditional summer vacation… give or take a week. Enjoy it!

19. There are about 6.2 million American teachers.

20. The average US teacher receives 2.7 free tote bags a year (ok, I just made that up, but it seems about right).

21. Like Pavlov’s dogs, teachers have learned to salivate at the sound of a bell (specifically the final school bell of the day).

22. Almost 50% of teachers quit in the first five years.

23. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), average teacher salaries for K-12 from $47,040 for K teachers to over $52,500 for HS teachers.

24. Students pursue careers in business when the economy is booming and education when the economy is busting.

25. The bad news: competition is on its way. The good news: student teachers for everyone!

 

Sources:

http://www.alleducationschools.com/faqs/teacher-salary

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/608117/strange_and_obscure_facts_about_teachers_pg2.html?cat=4

http://www.infoplease.com/askeds/oldest-school-america.html

http://www.fotps.org/media/Facts%20About%20Teaching.doc

 

What would you put in your 25 Things About Teachers? Share in the comments section!

Inspired by the Facebook 25 things phenomenon, here are 25 fun facts about teachers and teaching. Here we go!

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