Help! One parent complained that I missed many days

Dear WeAreTeachers:
I am a parent and first class teacher. Awakening to these different roles and responsibilities was a challenge, to say the least. This year, I missed quite a bit of school. I was out for 10 days with Kovid. My two young children needed care when they were sick. We always hear people say “Family First”, but when I take care of my family and myself, I feel self-conscious that parents will think I’m not prioritizing my work. During the pickup, one parent commented in front of many other families that he was surprised to see me here because I missed school so much. “Oh, you decided to come to work!” She even complained to the principal, saying that her child’s schooling experience had been negatively affected by my absence. How do you think I should handle it? – Not everyone can be kind

Dear CPE,

While we as educators are committed to serving others, we need to take care of ourselves to be able to do our job well. You first heard of having your own oxygen mask. You were sick and your family needed care. Try not to apologize for being a human being! As long as you follow the procedures of your absence and leave the decent alternative plans, you are perfectly fine. Although the parent probably thinks she is advocating for her child, she has crossed the line.

So many parents think that they are experts in education just because they went to school once. Have you ever heard negative comments during drop-offs and pickups? We need to remind ourselves over and over again that most people do not realize that the depth, awareness, and skill of complex, dynamic knowledge must be maintained day after day in order for teachers to be effective. Our work is difficult, important, and therefore misunderstood. I told a healthcare provider with a sudden smile that “it’s very easy for teachers, and once they write their plans, they can go auto-pilot. And what about vacations!”

Looks like you’re probably taking this parent’s comment personally. It’s easy to do. “The real problem that social perfectionists face is that they find it very difficult for themselves to be concerned about what other people are thinking.” So often we put our own needs and wants aside to take care of others. Since we are in a supportive profession, many of us do it often. It teaches your brain to value the opinions of others more than your own. Be careful if you turn these comments into character errors. These ugly comments made by parents do not define you.

The last few years with Kovid have put a great deal of pressure on academics. Teachers have tried their best to follow the COVID protocol but still, many of us have fallen ill. As a result, we have an ongoing shortage of alternatives. The absence of staff almost every morning puts the principal and support staff in a big shock. And how many of us are still anxious and work even when we are sick at home And Have an alternative teacher? There may come a time in our lives when we need more time. In that case, set up your visiting teacher for success. Write not only alternative plans but also your daily and weekly routine. Staying away from school is very common but not really staying away. What if we try to let go of our insecurities and focus on healing?

It is important to talk to your principal and provide some background on what is happening. Let your leadership see your alternative plans and the efforts you are making to maintain the continuity and routine of learning for your students. When you see a parent, it may be helpful to have another pair of eyes and ears like your head. Campuses across the country are full of teachers who are working on complex and uncomfortable parental relationships. While this may not be easy at the moment, find ideas that you and your parents agree on. You might say something like, “Getting sick is very challenging. I’m sure you can relate to how difficult it is to get better as well as make sure your different roles are taken care of in life. Thanks for understanding.”

Dear WeAreTeachers:
I am in 6th grade and I am working with my first deaf student. I used to think I was really good at responding to students’ needs, but now I realize I have a lot to learn about working with deaf students and families. My student’s parents are deaf, so communication was difficult because we had to set up interpreters. I realize that our world and especially our classrooms are very focused on listening and talking. I want this student to feel a part of the community. Do you have any words of knowledge? -Listening and polite

Dear HAH,

I can feel your desire to know better and to do better. Your reflective position is a major source of inspiration for the classroom teacher and beyond. I have a big time relating to your question. I work with deaf students in my university location. I’m on a steep learning curve, but I’m improving in every class I teach. There are many “isms”. Did you know that there is a thing called autism? The definition of Odyssey’s dictionary is “discrimination or prejudice against deaf or hard of hearing people.”

According to Flavia Fleischer, a fourth-generation deaf scholar, and Will Garrow, autism is more complex. They describe autism as a “diachronic and dynamic intersectional social construct that oppresses deaf people based on their ideological position, which dehumanizes certain perceptual traits (e.g., hearing and speaking) as well as dehumanizes opposite perceptual traits, e.g. No) speech) which manifests itself in the matrix of domination through micro-, meso- and macro-aggression that creates both real and perceived barriers that lead to a system under which people have the added benefit of hearing and privileges for the deaf. ” So, take a deep breath and read it a few more times and let it drop and let it sink slowly. Productive struggle is good for us We favor listening and speaking in most of our schools and classrooms. With that said some things we do To be able to To do?

Keep trying to meet the deaf family. Protect your interpreter and make sure they are welcome. When working with an interpreter, be sure to speak directly to your deaf student, not the interpreter. This humanitarian work makes a huge difference. Give your interpreter some of your basic resources so that they can be accurate with the content and vocabulary. Make sure they have a place to stand near you and your visual support. Speak at a normal rate. And don’t avoid hanging out and talking with your deaf student during collaborative work. The interpreter will start communicating as soon as you approach your student so that you can understand.

Also, some trainers think that even if there is no close-caption option, it is not such a big deal to show a quick video. I have learned that it is frustrating and frustrating for a deaf student who cannot access the video. You can get captions for your videos, and you can opt out of videos with only quality captions. Be as considerate and considerate as you are for other students’ learning accommodations. Consider searching for videos and resources that use the American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is expressed by hand and facial movements. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing, and some hearing people use it. “

Ask your deaf student and family what is going well in your class and what you can improve. I do this after almost all the classes I teach and I have been able to make small adjustments that have a big impact. Above all, maintain a sympathetic and open mind.

Dear WeAreTeachers:
I work at a school where my administrator has spent the last three years of school leaving our school to go to another event to talk. Some of these are actual school events, but sometimes he’s talking on another site. Recently, he has been talking to the corporate world. I heard him say that he could earn about $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 a month with his public speeches. He has just announced that he has written a book based on his experience as our principal and will have 10 days for his book tour. It doesn’t look right. If I did that as a teacher I would lose my job. He also took credit for the grant I wrote. The book refers to this grant as something he started. At what stage is it a conflict of interest? Am I overreacting? Can I face him?

Dear GOY,

There is a subtle balance between a leader who is involved in a variety of professional contexts And Still present a major inspiration and their work at the site level. Harder to work than a full-time position. And principals have an incredibly demanding role. I know principals who are committed to equity work who study with others, learn deeply, then apply to their school and again share with a wider audience. However, it seems that your principal is concentrating on promoting himself at the expense of your school. A big red flag is bragging about potential earnings as a public speaker.

If you think there is a conflict of interest, I would suggest talking to someone on human resources. I will not accept it by myself at the site level. Such conflicts can be reciprocal. How do other teachers and families feel about your administrator’s various activities? Have you noticed any grumblings? From what I can tell, perhaps your principal is using his school experience as a stepping stone to work that is more profitable and more public. You can just wait and try your best to work out the current depressing situation.

Spend some time reflecting on whether you want to face your principal about taking credit for the grant. You Wrote. I always recommend writing something and expressing your ideas. You can create a list of “advantages and disadvantages”. See what appears on the page. And don’t forget to talk to someone you trust. I’m giving you the courage to talk.

Allaya Cooks-Campbell writes that “speaking is when you communicate publicly, firmly and honestly for the rights and needs of yourself and others. It is at the root of all social change, including in organizations. For many of us, speaking for ourselves is for others.” Advocacy is easy to do. However, when we do not speak up for ourselves, we erode our self-worth. . “

This work is important to own your space and your contribution and hard work. Yes, there may be some reactions and intimidation. This is not uncommon with positional authorities. But you also create your own sense of self-efficacy and that empowerment can transcend the negative. What would you say to your students if someone took credit for their ideas? You want to explain the model and honesty. Now, you have to practice it!

Do you have a burning question? Email us at [email protected].

Dear WeAreTeachers:
I have been a fifth-grade teacher at my current school for the past decade. I am active in PTA and various school committees, and parents and children love me. I didn’t enter this job for recognition, but I can’t pretend that it doesn’t hurt to pass repeatedly for the teacher of the year. This year, it has become the principal’s “favorite.” No wonder there, but when did the best teacher of the year become such a popular competition?

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