Year: 1998-1999
Month: January
Leader: Group G

Situation/Case Study:
TEACHER/COLLEAGUE ISSUE

Description:
Kindergarten teacher has concern about student's behavior and asked for parent's input. Concerned with behaviors - not academics. Teacher invited parent to observe - parent stayed all day on a Friday. On the next Monday parent requested a different teacher. Teacher called the mother. The reasons she gave were she didn't give enough attention, labeled child, and picked on him. After break a conference was held with school psychologist, parent, principal, parents, teacher-in-charge. Teacher listed behaviors and the father was concerned and said, "Do you have authority in your classroom?" Father went on tirade stating he was 1/2 Mexican, knew what it was liked to be hated on first sight. Meeting was an hour of verbal abuse. Mentor tried to "rescue" her. Mom called a couple of times since (eye doctor, bad day at daycare, etc.) Other professionals did not observe child when asked, so teacher asked another teacher to observe. Behaviors seen: rocking back and forth, hitting self on head. Teacher reports behaviors: licking leg. Teacher's main concern is lack of support from administration. At the end of the conference the principal asked teacher "Do you think you can handle this child for the rest of the year?" Teacher felt she had to say of course.

Hypotheses:
The teacher feels mistreated by the parents and not supported by the principal. It will be difficult to deal with the parents for the remainder of the year. The teacher feels undermined. She feels frustrated that she didn't receive administrative support. She may even feel scared of the repercussions of the unhappy parent. The teacher in this situation feels angered by being undermined by parents and the lack of support from administration. The teacher feels betrayed by her administration and belittled professionally by the parent. A teacher in such an event might feel betrayed by the administration because she didn't feel she was supported in a difficult situation. The teacher would feel that she was abandoned by some of her colleagues at that time. She would always have trouble trusting these people as support in a variety of situations. The teacher feels threatened, abandoned and outraged. She has been put in the position of having to defend a caring attitude to hostile parents. She has not received the support for her administration that she should have. A teacher in this position would feel frustrated, anxious, angry, abandoned because of parent actions and lack of administrative support. The teacher is feeling unsupported by an inadequate administration who let her be the piņata for a day. She needs to take pride in herself and her talents as a teacher, rely on those whom she trusts. Head for the foxhole! The teacher in this situation would feel abandoned by the administration that needs to support the teachers in the building. A teacher in this situation might feel shy, let down by administration - betrayed, angry, frustrated, in a no-win situation. The teacher feels extremely frustrated, confused and hurt. She feels unfairly attacked by the parents and feels she is getting very little support from her administrator and the team of specialists at her school.

Theories behind practice:


Impact on others:


Solutions:
Bring concerns to child study. Request (again) for social worker or principal to observe child. Check professional file to make sure anything inappropriate is not in it from meeting. Document communication from parents. Approach principal and share Reflection Practice Group and request he follow the best practice of asking parents to contact her directly when there is a concern. Parents sent child to kindergarten when child was not ready; teacher feels they are blaming her. Mom has talked to other parents complaining. Do meeting over, wouldn't have done anything differently.

Comments: