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  1. #11
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    Wow it sounds like you're in the middle of a really tough situation OP!

    I would actually keep a diary of dates and times of interactions with this student that could be problematic, if there are no interactions that you think would be a problem then take note of this also. Write down names, dates, other students that are witnesses.

    Don't blame yourself! Sometimes these things happen regardless of how hard we work.

    Tell the other teacher if you trust them. It's important to have support and someone to understand what you're going through.

    Be proactive about it. Participate in workshops with the student and their mother in order to work through these issues. The child who is telling these lies should be 'comfortable' in the presence of their mother to tell their mother what you've been doing with you there. Address the issues immediately. Show the mother you are willing to cooperate and want this resolved.

    Meet with the mother and tell her that attacking you is not appropriate. Let her know that what she is saying and doing is unacceptable and won't be tolerated. If you're afraid have the other teacher there to support you.

    If you're too scared to confront the mother then take it to your local union, district or professional association.

    I found a website that says the following:

    Dealing with Harassment—Steps to Take

    1. Don’t try to handle this alone. Seek the support and assistance of your principal.
    2. Make every reasonable attempt to meet with the parent. Ensure that your principal is present.
    3. Require that allegations or complaints about your actions be detailed and specific, not vague and general.
    4. Listen carefully. Try to understand the parent’s perspective. There may be an element of truth in the concern being expressed.
    5. Try to elicit the parent’s help to reach a satisfactory resolution. The goal is to resolve the problem.
    6. Keep an accurate written account of events, times, places and, whenever possible, the names of witnesses.
    7. If the harassment persists, request, in writing, that school or district administration become involved. Employers have an obligation to protect their employees.
    8. Contact your Association! You are entitled to advice, assistance and representation.

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  3. #12
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    Thanks everyone, sadly I am never given the opportunity to deal with things myself which I happily would, no matter which child in my class it is, I hate seeing them sad/upset etc. the mother always goes straight to the principal because I am apparently not good enough to deal with things that happen in my own classroom. I have had numerous meetings over various issues with this family in the last 3 years but they fail to see their child can ever be wrong, it is always someone else causing the problem

  4. #13
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    Thanks for the info Best Things I will try to do these things. Something that really worries me is this child intimidates the other kids in my class to the point where even if I know they have seen something happen in the class, they will never tell what has happened because they don't want to be on this child's bad side

  5. #14
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    Oh gosh. I think there's been some really good advice given already, but just wanted to encourage you to keep doing a great job and your best despite what is happening. Keep up the contact with the principal. I had a parent/child like this once and it does make life miserable. He was a compulsive liar who broke into the classroom and even lied about several other teachers. I don't know how his parents could possibly have believed that all the teachers were liars. BUT! The following year his mother made a point of coming up to me and sincerely apologising for what had happened as they had since found out that he was a compulsive liar and that they couldn't believe a word he said.

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    Some ideas below
    - remain professional, never lose your cool
    - any concerns expressed to the principal or parent should be factual and not emotional
    - treat the kid the same as other students. If they are out of line, call them on it.
    - draw a clear line around what is acceptable behavior and don't budge. Eg if the parent came yelling at you just say "I can see you're upset, let's continue this conversation when things are calmer." If they push it say "sorry I am not negotiating on this point."
    - if the kid is telling a lie then be crystal clear to the parent and principal "that did not happen." If they start to argue reiterate "That did not happen. I am concerned as to the reasons why - the child- would be lying." Don't get in a back and forth tit for tat as you will lose credibility.
    - can the child see an independent school counsellor to see what is Behring them? Perhaps there is something dodgy going on somewhere?

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    I would invite the parent to come in and "help" in the morning in class to see how things run.

    At the end of the morning, have a 3 way meeting with the child, parent and you (or even principal) and ask if that's how it usually is in class.

    I would also confront the child with the mum and ask him why he is going home making up stories.

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  11. #17
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    Gosh I've been here. It's rough. There's some excellent advice.

    Some things to protect yourself (and it's tricky in such a small school):

    Never ever be alone with the child. Do you have a teacher aide/front office person? Any adult that you can call in to witness any behavior management? I wouldn't deal with a single issue with that child without another adult being present.

    Be proactive where you can ie if there's an issue (however minor) before recess, ring the mother as a courtesy and let her know what was said, how it was dealt with etc.

    Never ever accuse her child of lying because it can escalate issues. This is so hard! If you make it seem like you believe her child believes what he said (iykwim), and say something like 'oh that sounds like a bit of confusion! Let's talk to him together!', sometimes parents will see that the story tends to change somewhat... If you have an adult who has witnessed something you can always say 'I remember that part differently, let's ask so and so.'

    Document everything.

    Refer the parent to your school's grievance procedure. You have every right to say 'you clearly have a grievance against me. Here is the next step you can take.'

    And I'd work on the relationship with
    your child as much as possible.

    Ultimately, I would say never ever be alone with him, or have anything resembling a quiet, private conversation with him. That way your principal can honestly ask who else would have seen/heard whatever exchange is supposed to have taken place.

    Talk to the student honestly and say 'if you don't feel like I listen to you, and I try to, who else can you speak to?' Then the parent can't pull the 'no one listens to him' card.

    I have been in similar situations. And in my experience, ultimately the child will keep lying as long as the parent believes them. Once you accept that, then the element of surprise and hurt can go away. Your priority is to protect yourself and your well being - and I would be asking my principal for support in doing that.

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  13. #18
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    No advice but I couldn't be a teacher for quids because of issues like this ( crazy parents defending snowflake).

    I know a few teachers and I always feel for them.

    So just sending hugs from the 'other side'

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  15. #19
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    Thanks again lovely ladies for all the advice, I really appreciate it Unfortunately my t-a has had the same treatment but worse and for her well being at work/ preventing more issues, she's not allowed tobe alone with the child either....would be lonely for them if I couldn't go near the child either

  16. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Ted View Post
    Oh gosh. I think there's been some really good advice given already, but just wanted to encourage you to keep doing a great job and your best despite what is happening. Keep up the contact with the principal. I had a parent/child like this once and it does make life miserable. He was a compulsive liar who broke into the classroom and even lied about several other teachers. I don't know how his parents could possibly have believed that all the teachers were liars. BUT! The following year his mother made a point of coming up to me and sincerely apologising for what had happened as they had since found out that he was a compulsive liar and that they couldn't believe a word he said.
    This sounds like my child to a T. I could only dream their mum would have a similar realisation, or apologise....but who knows


 

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