A genuinely concerned parent or an over-reacting one?

I really cant decide what am I being here. Whether my concerns are truly genuine or am I just being plain over-reactive.

Parenting does that to you sometimes, doesnt it? In your need to ensure the well-being of your child, parenting brings you to a juncture where you feel challenged into deciding which path to take so that your child feels reassured and best taken care of in the given circumstances.

Now it was only a few months back that I had praised Namnam’s teachers in her kindergarten for being wonderfully caring and sensitive towards her and helping her work on her confident self. And I stand by my opinion. I really do. I am hugely grateful to them for making my daughter’s kindergarten experience one that of immense fun and learning. And on her graduation day while proudly welling up at seeing her stride towards the stage to accept her passing-certificate, I hoped and prayed in my heart of hearts that she would be blessed with the same kind of teachers and environment with ample space to grow in grade 1 as well.

Theres no doubt that I am glad that I chose the particular school for Namnam because the principles on which the school is being run and the various programmes that the school has in place for its pupils convince me thoroughly as a parent that they would benefit my child in the long run.

But unfortunately I have not been getting a very welcoming vibe from Namnam’s Grade 1 teacher. I cant seem to agree very well with her method of approaching her students. Now I know I have no right to judge her for she has the humongous task of handling 20-25 kids at a time in her class. And I respect her and all the teachers for that because I know how difficult it can be to handle so many children with so many different traits and characteristics.

But the fact also remains that one of her students is my child. And when she comes home crying uncontrollably to say that her teacher wrongly taunted her of dreaming because she was not writing what was being asked of her, I am seriously driven to think if its something I should worry about.

What disturbs me is not that she scolded her. No I have no issues whatsoever with her scolding my child. She has every right to, if my child is in the wrong. I send my child to the school, thereby to her knowing fully well that they expect me to place the trust in them and that she will be their responsibility and if she misbehaves or does anything wrong they would have all the authority to correct her, be stern with her, scold her and even reprimand her if needed. But mock her? Taunt her? Now is that really a good method to get the child to adhere to you?

From what I could gather from Namnam, what upset her the most was that her teacher taunted her in a mocking way in front of her classmates. The best way I could think of to pacify her was to tell her to ignore and practice her writing at home. We told her that her teacher had to be given the same importance as her parents and that if she had scolded her for something, she would also commend her when she did something right. It was important that she didn’t begrudge her teacher.

A similar incident occurred with one of Namnam’s classmates, also a friend’s daughter when she was unable to finish jotting down some notes in her book to which the teacher took a swipe at her by calling her a ‘slow-coach’, after which all her friends kept jibing her with the term. She was inconsolable when she got home and recounted the incident to her mother.

Now I understand that taunts, jibes or pokes by friends and peers are a part of growing up, but is it really healthy when a teacher uses such a tactic to tackle her students? Wouldn’t the confidence level of the child take a hit if he/she is snubbed in front of his/her friends? Every child is different but if he/she is treated with the right kind of sensitivity then will it not make him/her secure and confident?

I dont know if talking to the teacher would help for I fear it may put my child in the spotlight which may counter-react. Or if I should just talk to the principal and address my concerns so he can take it up with the teacher without mentioning the particular ward’s name. But what if the principal brings it up with the teacher specifically mentioning my daughter?

Or maybe I am just over-reacting. May be this is just her way of teaching her children to become tough and more accepting towards criticism.

Maybe I should just leave it as a non-issue.

There are so many conflicting worries cropping up in my mind!

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29 thoughts on “A genuinely concerned parent or an over-reacting one?

  1. I think it is fine to talk to the teacher. Go in with a collaborative “how can we solve the problem together” approach and you will not get the teacher’s back up, and will hopefully learn what you need to know. Mocking is not OK, and little one should not need to be “tough”!

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    1. Yes a collaborative approach makes sense. I also discussed the issue with my mother who retired last month as a principal of a school and she adviced us too along similar lines and also to speak to the principal if he would take it up with the teacher as a general issue without pointing towards any particular child-my daughter in this case. Anyway the school is due for an open-house in two weeks time, hopefully we’ll have arrived at some solution by then πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the advice, Imaginatemum and welcome here.

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  2. I don’t think you are over reacting coz this is exactly what happened when Sammy went to 1st grade last year. All of a sudden my boy started saying he hated school and we were worried that he was being bullied by senior students. But when I insisted to know why he hated school so much he told us that he didn’t like being mocked by his teacher for his handwriting. Yes, he doesn’t have one of those flowery beautiful handwriting, but that is no reason to mock a little kid by saying things like “your letters look like poop, or like a caterpillar etc… I was so so aghast when I got to know it. I called up one of his classmate’s mom and she forced her son to talk to her and that is when we got to know how the teacher took digs at Indian kids. Well I went and talked to her first and she was a bit indifferent and told me that kids love to spin tales. The next thing a group of us mom’s went and talked to the principal and that is when many of her students mom had to tell the same story.

    Thankfully this year Saman has got a wonderful teacher who is a joy to be with.

    I think you should not let this go like that because the worst thing that can happen is that a lovely child who is eager to learn will start dreading going to school and it leaves a scar in those little heart.

    All the best to you and tight hugs to my Namnu.

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    1. Oh god she said all that to Sammy! Thats so insensitive of her! I am glad your taking this up with the principal got you the desired results and I am even gladder that Sammy has a wonderful teacher this year πŸ™‚

      “the worst thing that can happen is that a lovely child who is eager to learn will start dreading going to school and it leaves a scar in those little heart.” thats precisely my fear, Saksh. Right now she loves going to school, she even loves to write. Its just that she is a bit of a perfectionist, a stickler for detailing.. I mean if she doing her cursive writing exercise, till the time she doesnt get her words in place, in the designated four lines of her note-book she will keep rubbing and writing again because of which she loses out on time and the teacher loses out on her patience! I think I should tell the teacher to be little more patient with her at the same time get Namnam to practice her writing at home so she can get her speed right.

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  3. I don’t thonk that you are over reacting. Your child is at such a delicate age that incidents like this can put a major dent on her self confidence. I think you shud talk this out with the teacher (if that is possible)

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  4. No, you aren’t over-reacting Deeps. The teacher had no business mocking/taunting a child this young, no matter what. I agree with Imaginatemum above, you should take it up with the teacher with a ‘lets work on this together’ approach to avoid making her defensive on the issue. Hugs to you and to your daughter.

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    1. Thank you Scribblehappy, hugs to you too :). As I said the open-house is coming up in two weeks, we plan to take this up with the princi or the teacher, hope she takes it in the right spirit.

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  5. Right you should have a word with this teacher. Not fair of her to taunt namnam.. and its not a case of over reacting .. you know your child more than any of us or the teacher so if namnam is not happy and to make it worse she was crying.. you have all the right to have a hard word with the teacher..
    I am not being mean or anything but no one has the right to talk to the kid like that… Definitely not that of the teacher what sort of environment is she setting for the kids to study in.

    You go and have a word and ask her to please not taunt the little kid. Rather its her duty to explain it properly she is getting paid for that.

    Lots of love and hugs to the little one.. tell if she is harassed again let me know I will turn up πŸ™‚

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  6. Concerned ofcourse. People have said it already and am sure you and Aunty would have taken the decision of talking about it with the teacher and sorting things out. I do belive mocking can never make a child stronger, throwing challenges at them will still do πŸ™‚ Hugs and hope things become clearer soon. Muah Nammukutty πŸ™‚

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  7. You are not over reacting.If the teacher thinks namnam is slow or not writing she should call you and discuss it with you.If there is a problem you both will sort it out.Taunting in front of all the kids is not acceptable and the child will loose her self confidence.

    Varu handwritting has gone quite bad and teacher never said a word to her in the classroom but she makes it a point to discuss with me when ever there is a PTM.

    In 1st grade varu teacher told us that varu handwritting is hopless and she will never can write proper cursive.That had a big effect on her and within 6 months her handwritting had improved a lot (i never forced her to learn cursive,she was just in grade 1).But that teacher didnt say a single word about it…Sometimes we do get such teachers.Later on every year she got wonderful teachers….God bless those teachers….

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  8. Nope you are NOT over reacting..as parents, I always tell R’s daycare teachers and school teachers, that you have every right to scold her..they do..but taunting is absolutely not right..my Amma has been a teacher all her life and when Amma was a young teacher, she used to scold the kids for not keeping up to her speed, until one parent came to her and told her ‘Madam, you cant expect ALL kids to be the same, if that was the case, there would be no one different in this world right?’ and Amma learnt her lesson well…she still maintains that the lesson taught to her early in her teaching days is something she still remembers because all kids are NOT the same…I think you should go and speak to the teacher….tell her that boss, you are definitely the boss at school and have every right to scold my kid, but please dont taunt her, you dont know what effect it will have on the kid’s mind later on!

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  9. You are not overreacting at all Deeps…. No kid likes to be treated that way before his friends and classmates… I think you should go and talk to her teacher about this…

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  10. I guess its best to talk to her once and tell the line of thought you have… if she can listen fair… or takl to her superiors ! simple !

    If she has no patience and wants to mock so much she has no business teaching such young kids… !

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  11. Deeps, I think you must go and talk to the teacher. Like IHM said, there need be no accusations but a simple chat about your daughter. I think when a kid so young comes home and complains the teacher was ‘taunting’, it is a matter that must be looked into.

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  12. Haven’t read the prvious comments(time constraint, you see:)), but I don’t think you are over-reacting at all! I would be just as concerned too!

    ‘Now I understand that taunts, jibes or pokes by friends and peers are a part of growing up, but is it really healthy when a teacher uses such a tactic to tackle her students? Wouldn’t the confidence level of the child take a hit if he/she is snubbed in front of his/her friends? Every child is different but if he/she is treated with the right kind of sensitivity then will it not make him/her secure and confident?’ Absolutely! Teachers who treat children like this can certainly break their confidence. I can tell you from personal experience. My 2nd grade teacher was like this – she used to taunt and jibe, and by the edn of the year, I was so upset. I remember having nightmares that I have the same teacher for year 3- thank god I didn’t! But now when I look back, I can see how badly she affected me.

    I do hope it all gets sorted out – or it has already got sorted out, Namnam deserves a happy school, a place where she is happy to go, rather than a place where she worries about being taunted by a teacher. Hugs! I am sure you will sort it out with her teacher. Hugs to both of you!!

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  13. I don’t know if this has sorted out but may be talking to other mothers would let you know more about the teacher’s behavior? and then you all can take it up with the authorities?

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    1. Hey it has been sorted, Scribby! Thanks re :). Had a very constructive discussion with the teacher at the open house. Fortunately she gave quite a positive and encouraging feedback on Namnam, and I could put forth my concerns easily. She was quite forthcoming and receptive too and that made the meeting even more worthwhile πŸ™‚

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