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Home : 2003 : Dec : 14

    parent problem
    By Cathy-Dee

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    I'm wondering if it is a case of a number of parents or just one parent. Or one parent and 1 or 2 of her friends.
    For whatever reason this parent wants a snack time and didn't want to approach you about this. She is taking advantage of trying to push through a snack time by getting the substitute teacher to start one up.

    I would ask the substitute teacher to let this parent know she has forwarded the message to you and that you will call her when you are back to work to have a short meeting about this.

    This will put you back in the "driver's seat" and put the parent on notice that she overstepped her boundaries and that you'll be dealing with her.

    At that meeting I would go in and be firm but nice. Ask her which parents are concerned about no snack. Be prepared to state your case for snacks or lack of snacks.
    - My philosophy is that snacks are provided in Kindergarten but not from that point on. I let my parents know from the beginning of school that they are more than welcome to send a snack to school and that at any recess time the students can have their snack.
    - If she brings up that some children do not have breakfast, etc., let her know that you do try to watch for children who may be hungry and if someone came to school saying they were hungry and hadn't had breakfast you would find a snack for them.

    Then let her know that you wished she had brought this to your attention rather than to a substitute teacher who was then put into an awkward situation. And that you'd appreciate and welcome any further concerns to be brought to you directly as they come up.

    Then let her know you'll take the snack request under consideration and send home a notice in the next week letting the parents know how snacks will be handled in your class. You can then decide whether or not you want to include a snack time, leave it for recess or do something else. You may even want to ask for parent's feedback on this and see what happens. If no other parents respond then you'll know it's just this one parent - but if 1/2 your parents do respond that they would like a snack time then you can base your decision on that.

    This way you are listening to the parent who started all this, but you also let her know that her methods were not acceptable.

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