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I Created A Monster - Help!!!

23 years 3 weeks ago #62922 by JHB
It's good that your principal is supportive. I personally think moving it away from school would seem MORE threatening - like you really had something to hide. I agree that your principal needs to take the initiative to reassure them that it is not a witch hunt, but a fair, open discussion among parents. It could be compared to their own internal staff meetings - where they can speak freely and wouldn't expect to invite parents. However, you've also got to understand the teachers' fear/frustration about a meeting in which they are potentially discussed in a negative fashion but aren't allowed to participate.

I don't think teachers should attend, but you have to find a way to reassure them that the meeting is just the first step in sharing information - that they will get a turn also. Could you have a separate meeting with teachers only to address the outcome of the first meeting?

Most importantly, could you broaden the parent meetings to discuss both the negative and the positive issues? Not just what's wrong, but what do the parents like most? What teacher initiatives have the most impact on their children? I know the emphasis is on changing what's not working, but it would be great to also point out what IS working well.

Good Luck!
23 years 4 weeks ago #62921 by remi
I Created A Monster - Help!!! was created by remi
At our last PTA meeting I mentioned that there were a large number of parents that had issues/concerns/questions with regards to their children's teachers, but were not addressing them. These parents either fear retribution against their kids( as unlikely as that may be), or are from cultures where parents don't question a teacher's authority. It was decided to have a one grade "Parent to Parent" chat. It was held at the school and no teachers or the principal was permitted to attend. A number of great mutually questioned issues were raised. Attendance was huge - about 50% of that grade's parents came. Half of these people were new faces, as they never had come to PTA meetings. No teachers were insulted and some great input was shared. Unfortunately, the teachers were most offended that this meeting took place. We were accused of having a "Witch Hunt" and told that they (These parent to parent meetings) should discontinue immediately. I am most distressed that the teachers are feeling so insulted. I think the fact that half of the parents of one grade all turned out for this 8:30 a.m. meeting indicates both a need for further discussions as well as provides ample proof that some parent's questions are not being addressed. I don't like the feeling that the teachers want the parents censored. Our principal gave the approval for the meeting and has been reviewing the concerns raised. In my opinion, it is her job to reassure the teachers that nothing bad happened at our parent meeting. Do you think the biggest problem is that we met at school? Do you think it fair to force a teacher in on our next parent meeting? As this is unchartered territory for me, I could really use some guidance. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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