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    It will always be someone
    By Cathy-Dee

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    Small towns can be so difficult to teach in at times. There are parents who are chronic complainers and there is very little you can do about them.

    I've taught for 10 years now and basically you have to put on a hard shell and let these types of parents (and students) not get to you.

    Children often reflect their parents. This child may be perfectly happy with you as his teacher. But if his mom says are you happy, or you must be bored, he is going to answer however he thinks his mother wants him to answer. If she insists he must be unhappy then he'll be unhappy.

    I've also learned I don't have to put up with everything. For example no parent cusses over the phone to me - I'll hang up. I have no problem with angry words, even misunderstandings, but I won't put up with certain language. Likewise if I set up a meeting - I'll wait 15 minutes past the time - no longer than that.

    In small towns there are so many hidden agendas that you can get hit broadside by something simply because you happened to be in the way that day.

    So how to cope....

    1) keep repeating you are a good teacher
    2) stand your ground
    3) record, record, record
    4) have others record as well
    5) do not try to please everyone

    This student and his parent may not ever come to the point that they like you. That doesn't matter. As long as this student is learning and coming to school continue as you have been. Record all problems with any student - and if you have one particular problem student - have other teachers record any problems they witness. It's amazing how quickly you can deflate a parent who is attacking when there are 4 or 5 teachers who have all witnessed the same problem with their child.

    And always remember to take a deep breath and then face the problem



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