I'm going crazy

I can’t understand how ONE parent, or one kid, can ruin a WHOLE school. My school is not the best one I have worked at, but the bosses are chill and I’m fairly happy there.

But there is ONE parent making it hell for me. They expect wonders from their 5 yr old. They keep on complaining about the books, that we need more difficult books, but he can’t even write or read properly yet. They ask some of his books home at night, so that they can review it with him. So the books are always covered in little phonics scribblings etc. They throw away all the art or worksheets that I send home, although some of them are science worksheets, and then they complain that we never do science. I kept on putting it back into his bookbag, until took it out and threw it away in my class.

They gave him huge bowls, and ask us to fill it up. So sometimes he throws a fit when we don’t, and doesn’t want to wait for everyone to have their share before we give him more. This morning he actually asked me to turn on the AIRCON!!! We were all freezing in class, but he sat there with 5 layers of jackets and complained that it’s too hot, that we should put on the aircon. His mom doesn’t want him to take off his jacket.

ARRRGHHHHHHHHHHHH. They spent 5 hours on the phone with my boss in 2 days. What the hell are they doing? Why not just take him to another school???

His brother isn’t at our school. The kid is 9 and his mom keeps on sending me pages of homework to correct and help with. He isn’t even my student…and it is GEPT work. They want a 9 yr old to write the GEPT test next year, so they are 'home-schooling" him, even though they can’t even understand a word when I talk to them.

Do you guys have parents like this at your school??? I hateeeeeeee ittttttttttt. And it’s rubbing off on their kid…he is always telling me the work is too easy, laughing at others when they make mistakes, and telling me I’m garbage. grrrrrrrrrr

No matter how much extra stuff you do for these parents they are still going to whine.

Your boss needs to suggest to them that perhaps this school isn’t what they are looking for. Parents like that can really do a lot of damage.

You can also say “No”. Just tell them you don’t have time to correct big brother’s GEPT stuff. Just say No to the air con in the middle of winter. If they don’t like it, tell them to go someplace else.

If they think the material is too easy or not suitable, then tell them to go someplace else.

These parents are sending their kid to your school because not so much for having their kid learn stuff but rather because they found a place where they can push people around.

I am all for doing some extra stuff for the parents. It is a competitive market and a little bit of extra work can really pay off. But there is no way in hell I am going to let someone take advantage of all the love I have in my heart.

Where is your boss in all of this? Why do you have to deal with piggish parents?

Unless it’s your school, I really don’t think any of this should be your problem, it should be taken care of by the school’s management. As for the older brother and his GEPT homework, there is NO way you should even consider it.

Draw a line. Say no. Discipline the child if he is naughty. If you have to talk to the parents of the child be blunt to the point where they either stop talkignt o you, or the boss tells you to stop talking to them. Or if you’ve got a good boss, just get him/her to deal with it.


They will push you around as long as you let them. They will probably push the kids around forever. That’s the real tragedy here.

This sounds a little like some kid I used to tutor. It all boils down to a lack of firm discipline at home. Whatever the little guy does, try your best to not raise your voice at him or use physical discipline. The parents would only be too ready to pounce if they think their baby has been maltreated, whether it is true or not. Usually the parents of such children are not reasonable. If he does not recieve the necessary moral grounding at home, no amount of attempts from strangers can remedy it (Unless there is an established trust and concerted effort to do so by the adult, even so there’s no guarantee).
Please, don’t mark the other child’s GEPT worksheets for free. You are not obligated to do it at all!

All the best. :wink:

as a cram school owner, i have recently faced this problem. i had a long meeting with the parents and discussed the boy’s outrageous behavior, and how the class is made up of 12 other children, not just this one.

to make a long story short, we told his parents that he wasn’t mature enough to fit into the program we offered, and with many face saving apologies, we gave him the heave ho.

now your problem is different as the kids parents seem to be from planet insane, and your bosses seem to be from planet spineless, but just remember the chinese song, “If you leave me, will you be any better?” or something like that…answer: YUP.

We all have parents and students like this.

I have given students like this amended worksheets in class. They’re basically the same but have more words on them, more work on them, or differnt vocab.

Be firm and polite but say NO. Say it often.

When the kid makes a mistake don’t be afraid to point it out to him and the rest of the class. Make him the example of how not to be.

Please don’t grade the GEPT.

I stopped correcting the GEPT stuff…I did it because I felt like doing it in the beginning…but one morning there were three pages on my desk and a note attached saying she needed it back tomorrow. I almost died laughing.

Problem is, my school has been open for 6 months, and we only have 8 kids. Right now my bosses can’t make waves, because they reallllyyy need that NT$ 15000. My boss did tell the father this morning (after a 2 hour telephone conversation) that they can’t expect a school to change everything for one child…if they really don’t like it, they should leave.

I like the kid. I kept all his art and told him that I want to put it up in my house. I hate that people can not only throw away something their kid made, but not even look through it.

Your bosses are mad. They’ve opened a buxiban with 20 pence in the bank. It’s going to go under. They can’t start doing custom-made classes. What if they get another kid who insists on hot classrooms. The kids needs to go or the other 11 kids might.

Start looking for another job. Mark my words. I’m just trying to help, but I think your owners may not have a clue what they’re doing.

On the other hand, I’ve seen a skileed manager and a qualified Taiwanese kindergarten teacher turn a bullying little obnoxious twat into a lovely kid in 6 months. He even came up to me to say hello at an MRT station long after I left the school.

This sort of thing should not be a problem that can’t be overcome by people who know what they’re doing. If they don’t the kid has to go, but it doesn’t bode well for the school.

Buxiban owners: isn’t that up there at the top of the list of things to think about before you open a buxiban? (What to do with obstreperous parents and spoilt brats)

And they have already changed teachers?

That school is in trouble.

With 8 kids after six months you don’t need to worry about quitting, the school will go belly up.

I agree with everything above. I have one question though…

just how much grading and homework is involved with 8 kids?

[quote]Problem is, my school has been open for 6 months, and we only have 8 kids. Right now my bosses can’t make waves, because they reallllyyy need that NT$ 15000. My boss did tell the father this morning (after a 2 hour telephone conversation) that they can’t expect a school to change everything for one child…if they really don’t like it, they should leave.

If your boss really did that, then they couldn’t be all that inept at keeping the turnover low. Is their website lousy or advertising not done properly? Why the low, low enrollment rate? If it were a buxiban in the city, it’ll be a drain to keep it running this way.

My school is in trouble yes!

We had 2 teachers working here that left after a month( a student from Canada lying, she was just on holiday) and a guy who was blacklisted at his old school, so had to leave the country.

Believe me, I’ve been through hell and back. Problem is that I really like my kids. My bosses also own a Kid Castle, so they are using that money to help…but they are in the red. I hate leaving schools, I want to make it work. I will leave in 6 months, after my contract is over, or when they close.

We had many kids come and go. It is an English only school…no Chinese teachers, but with all the foreigners coming and going, they had to send help from Kid Castle ( I was the only person with 17 kids who had to change nappies and wipe up puke) and so many parents took the kids to other schools.

Yes, the bosses are CLUELESS. No idea what it is like to teach English.

There is virtually no homework to mark. I just have to write 26 communication books a day!( I teach many classes, but my main class only has 8) Loads of preparation though, drawing flashcards etc. I don’t mind it though, it is only that one brat and his parents.

I am leaving the other classes though, and staying with my main job. Spending too much time there aint good:)

I did say no to the aircon. It was fun to see my boss pin the kid to the floor and take his jackets off. His name is NoNo…it really suits the whole situation. The parents hate me, but my boss allows me to fight with them. I write pages in his communication book.

This sounds like a common trick. (I’m not saying it is only Taiwanese who do this, or that it is deffinately happening here.)

The boss lets you argue with the parents. You say all the things the boss wants to say, and either solve the problem or upset the parents.

If the parents go to the boss and complain, the boss apoligises, blames it all on you, you’re a foreigner, you have cultural differences, you are unreasonable etc.

After that, any request to the parents get couched in “We are sorry but the unreasonable teacher (you know what he is like remember) says…”

That’s not much you can do now, you have already shown yourself to be confrontational, but stop dealing with the parents. Let the school manager deal with that stuff. You’re a teacher, when the manager starts teaching your classes, you can start doing his or her dirty work.

As for the student. Try to treat him as an individual, seperate from his parents. Remember he is a 5 year old, being used as a pawn in a power struggle between adults.

A 5 year old sat in a classroom wearing a coat is going to be hot.
He is not old enough to understand that when a parent says “Don’t take off your coat.” that isn’t meant to be taken literally. And if the teacher says “Take off your coat.” that then causes a conflict, obey the teacher and defy the parent…

In that situation I would have first sat him by the door and open the door, maybe the draft would help him cool down. If that didn’t work I would have got the school manager to phone the mother to then explain to him that he can take his coat off in the classroom, but must put it on again when he goes out.

Physically taking his coat off was the wrong decision. An adult attacked him and took off his coat, which his mother ordered him to keep on. He tried to defend himself, but is still likely to get in trouble off the mother when she finds out.

Good luck, and like others have advised, sadly this school is a lost cause to you, make plans to move on.

Thanks for your input.

I have stopped dealing with the parents. I used to chat to them forever, but now just keep it professional.

I will definately ask my boss to call them whenever something like the aircon thing happens.

Luckily I never fought with the parents. THey would just come up with the strangest questions, and I would reply. I like my bosses, but know that someone else is always to blame for things that go wrong. I don’t trust them with anything.

I feel sorry for him though, how can a kid cope with so much pressure?

Now that you’ve stopped the GEPT marking, and have stopped talking endlessly with over inquisitive parents, you’re well on your way to being in control.

I’m sure you’re a fine teacher, but from your previous posts and your OP, it did sound as though you were spending a teensy-weensy bit of extra time on things.

Don’t do it. It only leads to more volunteer opportunities, which you don’t need. :noway:

Remember that as the teacher, you set the rules to a certain degree. This is expected of you. If you come across as an easy touch for extra work and especially for discipline, it will escalate to a point where you don’t know which way to turn.

Don’t get me wrong because this ain’t no flame. But putting your foot down on a few of your complaints is a step in the right direction. :bravo: