Friday, April 11, 2008

Teacher .... I have to goooo....

Recently my teenage daughter was punished by a teacher for needing to use the washroom facilities during class. She was told that if she went to the washroom she would have to stay after class to "make up" the time. This teacher seems to have singled my daughter out on more than one occasion and she feels picked on by him.

Now I could see this being an issue if she was one of those students who "always" had to go the washroom during class and seemed to take the whole class to do so; however, she is not. She is a teenage girl who happened to be in her monthly cycle and "suddenly" had to go take care of business (all of us women have been there at one time or another). She chose to rebel and go to the washroom rather than be faced with an unfortunate "incident" that would most certainly result in ridicule.

She had to stay after class.

When she told me this I was livid. How dare she be punished for having bodily functions. I wrote a note to her teacher. In it I outlined WHY she had to go to the washroom and asked that in the future he take into consideration the fact that she is a girl and she may have female things to deal with. I told him that he should realize that an event such as having a leakage issue as a teenage girl, in the middle of a class surrounded by her peers would have been catastrophic to her. I was hoping he would feel some chagrin.

Then he phoned me and we had a "discussion". He tried to tell me that he didn't keep her after class because she'd gone to the washroom, but did it to help her "catch up". I asked if my daughter was behind in his class. He stuttered out a "no". I told him that it seemed to me that he did indeed keep her back because she went to the washroom after he had expressed his displeasure at her leaving in the middle of class. I also informed him that she feels picked on and singled out by him; an observation shared by many of her peers. I asked him to please try to change his treatment of her in the future.

He has constantly reprimanded the girl for doodling during lectures, forcing her to look directly at him and maintain eye contact with him while he lectures; an act I find rather creepy. I was a teacher assistant, and I know that there were studies done that have shown that children focus better on a lecture when they are doodling or otherwise fidgeting (as long as it is not disruptive to others). All children learn differently, apparently he skipped that class.

Two days ago he looked at my daughter and asked her if she was handicapped.....

I think I may be visiting her school. He obviously has a conduct issue that needs to be addressed.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

As a high school teacher, I hate to say it, but there are definitely teachers who have (in)security issues and take them out on kids in their classes. It's an esteem thing, a power struggle thing, etc.

I strongly suggest that you start documenting what's happened. I would also send an email to your daughter's counsellor with a detailed list of what's happened to date and your conversations with the teacher. You will need this record if:

a) his behaviour doesn't change
b) your daughters grades are affected by his attitude problem
c) this needs to be brought to the pricipal's attention.

I hope things improve, and don't hesitate to make a stink. Odds are this teacher is routinely picking on kids in each of his classes.