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How do you handle blatant teacher favoritism?

8 years 6 months ago #156972 by incognito
OK--here's the story. Middle school teacher. Male. SMALL private school. Has two "favorites"--young girls who are the Queen Bee types---quintessional mean girls. Has been allowing these girls to rule the middle school to the point that not only are the students talking about it, now the parents are, too. Specific acts:

1) Allows these girls to hang up their coats on special hooks in his class (they have lockers), sit in special seats during class that no other students are allowed to sit in--even when these girls aren't there, basically interupt him during home room and run amok in the halls, makes comments about how when it's "their year" they're going to do this, this and this....

2) Conned people into letting this class (not the top class of the school) get a class pet at the bequest of these two girls. An expensive pet.

3) One of these favorite girls was made captain of a sporting team he coaches, where as more senior girls on the team were not selected, even though that was the precedent set before. When asked after one of the girls went home upset, told the parent of this girl "well, she didn't want it"--but that wasn't true.

4) Girls in the older grade are being called mean names by these girls and while girls in a younger grade are terrified of them. Kids in their class don't like them because they shunned one of the girls in class who has a learning issue and is shy. He knows about this and still lets them do this.

This teacher is an excellent teacher in that the kids learn and do well under his tutelage. However, he calls one class "bad" and is selective in communicating to parents of this class regarding fundraising for a class trip---some know more details than others and he can be evasive, down right rude to parents he doesn't feel worthy of being in the know. He tends to be nicer and take into confidence parents of attention-seeking students (moms of the Queen Bees). Apparently he makes comments about "stupid parents" to other teachers and his favorite parents.

The principal is aware of this now because after the class pet issue, at least parents had something more to question (the older class had asked for a pet and he told them it was crazy so it was a double standard). The principal is new to the school, not familiar with all of the "politics". (The last principal favored one of these girls parents and was schmoozed by this teacher, too---she wouldn't even acknowledge the problem) Over the last few weeks, this principal has been getting an earful from different parents and students---with consistent messages. We're hoping that he's going to act soon--supposedly the "hooks" for their coats are down, but this teacher has stopped for a while only to resume again.

But what else can we do??? It's not necessarily that this guy is doing anything illegal (yellow, not red flags), but how do other schools handle such blatant favoritism that has a demoralizing effect on students?? What message does it send that the Queen Bees can flirt their way into a classroom and get whatever they want?? What does it say about a male teacher who seems to favor attention seeking female students and give them special priveleges, offer extra credit opportunities when one of their grades is too low for sports (offered to the entire class, mind you--but the offers only come when a "precious" is failing)? My child quit the sport he's been coaching because of his blatant favoritism.
8 years 6 months ago #156973 by Landers33
I think it would be wise to have the upset group of parents hold a informal outside of school meeting, coffee talk, and then maybe decide to document date of issues and bring it to a larger forum such as a group meeting with head of school including school counselor.
8 years 6 months ago #156974 by incognito
Replied by incognito on topic How do you handle blatant teacher favoritism?
Thanks Landers--I guess I should rephrase this question--has anyone else had this problem and how did it end for them? What was determined, what was the outcome---that's what I'm trying to find out. (I can't believe in Virtus/Protecting God's Children, that there's no articles on teacher favoritism and special priveleges, unless a physical line has been crossed)

What you had suggested is actually that's pretty much where it started. . a parent casually mentioning to others that their child had come home complaining about some of the things this teacher had said, about the favoritism and the class pet for the younger class, and other parents adding "yours too???" That led to note comparing notes and seeing a lot of consistency in the issues, comments made, and how this teacher was handling certain students. We went through this last year with his coaching---favoring some students more than others--even though the skill level of the favored students wasn't better. He'd make excuses for his decisioins that parents familiar with the sport said were "lame." We tried to approach him with our concerns last year (our child was leaving each practice and game trying not to cry until finally she let out that felt left out like he didn't want her on the team---something we were witnessing too--even though in the end, her stats were better than his favorite), and he made a lame excuse and HE escalated it to the then principal to be backed. It became quite ugly (we raised his principal a pastor, and almost went up to the diocese level), though the result was our child did finally get the play time she should have had based on the fact that she was a more senior player on the team and his favorites, by league rules, shouldn't have even been allowed to play except in extreme circumstances.

Right now, we're all in a wait and see pattern. I know each parent with a concern has gone in separately, and the principal came into class while this teacher was absent recently and asked some non-leading questions about certain things in the class and the students were forthcoming about their frustrations. I know I have an email about another issue with this teacher that's not as much related to the favoritism but his evasiness in answering questions I've asked four times and inconsistent information regarding fundraising for a trip that's going to be escalated if there's not more transparency in the next week.

Problem is--he's a sneaky one...an adult Eddie Haskell. He puts on this polite act, very professional/helpful/cheerleader when the principal is around, when there's a group of parents, when he has to respond via email. He's supposedly "shy" but I can see there's this smugness to him that requires a lot of self restraint in dealing with him at times. I've seen some of his on-line commenting on social network sites---even though his pages are locked down, he does comment on more open walls I've found. The smugness/snarkiness is very much there in his comments. He's been known to stop with his favoritism for a bit, only to let it quietly start up again when he thinks people have forgotten. That's what I'm afraid is going to happen.

It's a small school, small community--but not as small minded as he claims.
1 year 11 months ago #172103 by Unknown
Replied by Unknown on topic How do you handle blatant teacher favoritism?
My teacher is having that and im freaking mad about him
1 year 11 months ago #172110 by Rose H
Hi there,
If you are feeling upset at the teacher, take a moment to jot down some notes of specific examples of favoritism. Ask the teacher for a meeting and discuss your observations. Chances are, you can work together to solve the problem

Rose
1 year 7 months ago #172341 by Anon
Perhaps the situation has been addressed now but as I read, I wondered if the teacher saw those two students as difficult and he was trying to get them "on side". Teachers sometimes employ this strategy of making the difficult student the "Prefect" or other equivalents. He might be trying to win their co-operation, loyalty so that they want to behave.

Another scenario might be that he is attracted to one or both of them. Unfortunately, it can happen in Schools and that is very wrong.
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