TheMrs's picture

Teacher to Parent

I had a conversation with a parent today and for some reason I felt like my abilities were being judged the entire time.  I am a young teacher (25) and look even younger.  I also mentioned staying on top of her daughters reading because I felt she was struggling a bit, but not enough for a huge concern.  Our conversation did turn friendly and a discussion of how children are being raised came up.  We both agreed that there is an over all lack of discipline in some homes and the increase of some learning and psychological disabilities is possible a result of processed foods.

However she did correct my grammar once (my grammar was in fact incorrect), but I just felt like I was in a job interview more than having a conversation after this point.  She is an older mother and does work very hard for her children and sometimes struggles financially.  From what I have been told, she is sometimes a bit defensive about this.  Could her behavior been a result of her feeling defensive or am I just being overly sensitive?

I realize this is not completely a school question, but I thought parents may have some insight I did not see as I am not a parent myself.

pokey's picture

I think both of what you mentioned could have been at work here...she was defensive because she didn't like hearing what she perceived as bad news (daughter struggling with reading) and you, always being conscious of your feeling like you have to prove your competence due to your youthful appearance.

I would just try not to let it get to you. There may always be some who have an unfair preconception of you, for whatever their reasons. Best way to counter--just keep on being professional, have a successful, well-run classroom, and hold yourself to a high standard of integrity.

Maybe what made you feel defensive most was when she corrected your grammar; I know that would make me bristle a bit. By doing so, I would feel like she was trying to "take me down a notch". Even among friends, correcting grammar is always a touchy thing. Most of the time I think it is not a good thing to do. Definitely in your example, I feel it was not her place---to interrupt when you are having a professional discussion about her child's education? That's just wrong.

But, to give this woman the benefit of the doubt, maybe she is used to correcting her children's grammar all the time and it just slipped out, unconsciously. To put a positive spin on this, one good thing about her correcting you, perhaps, might be that you now won't make the same grammatical mistake again, right? ;o)