Why do people feel attacked when you have a different perspective than theirs?

@juls2me2 (2151)
United States
March 20, 2007 7:04pm CST
I just experienced a teacher conference recently. The teacher explained the things that makeup my son's grade in her class. She gives group classwork, homework that they can copy the breakdown of the math problems online at hotmath.com, and then tests. The only things that she actually corrects are the tests. She can't understand why my son was failing her class and says he's not doing his part to learn. I expressed to her that he needs his classwork corrected to know his errors and to be able to get tutoring or help to understand how to do the work correctly... before the tests. Doing that may help him pass the tests. She expressed I was attacking her for saying such a thing...? What??? Explain to me how that is an attack? I thought teachers corrected math homework, to know if their students are learning or not? All I can gather is, she felt attacked because I made a legitimate point and she didn't want to accept that. What are your thoughts about this subject?
10 people like this
24 responses
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
21 Mar 07
We had this issue in a school district/school our kids were in when we were stationed in Arizona. The curriculum was so diluted and fuzzy, and they relied on group work for everything. When homework 'was' given, it was hours worth of work that the children (not just mine either) had know notes to refer to in order to assist them with doing the homework, there were no lessons done--it was new work so the children had to figure out what was expected and basically were teaching themselves the work. Tests were hardly given, so I guess you are lucky your son's teacher at least does that LOL, and when tests were given they were always 'open textbook tests', which teaches them to be lazy and they never learn study skills. The teachers never checked homework for errors and problems the children may have had, they only checked to see that it was done. Then you would have conference and the teacher would say "Oh, your child is not doing well." If we parents happened to ask these teachers what they were doing to make sure our kids truly understood the work, they would say, "It's not my job to make sure they understand it." Parents were often met by hostile teachers and a terrible Principal and they would all express that we had no right to question their methods and were big on blaming the parents for verbally attacking them when we didn't agree with their methods. It was a constant battle because most of us parents were military dependents (it was a local school so there wasn't just military kids), and our kids move around alot and are exposed to many different styles of teaching. But most of us felt homework is a tool that the teachers are to use to make sure 'little Joey' understood the day's or week's classroom lessons, and that total group work does not allow for a child to be evaluated individually because there is always someone that will emerge as the leader of the group and take charge--you never really know if the kids in the group all really understand what was expected of them. With teaching styles like that, children that may have learning disabilities often get missed and never evaluated, and then the ones that do have learning disabilities that are diagnosed often dangle. After that station we went overseas and our kids use a DODEA school on the actual base, WOW, what a difference. When we got here, our kids were evaluated and they were 2-3 years behind with respect to content curriculum they should have been exposed to, and mostly in the areas of science and history. Oh, how I miss the days of my own education, where teachers understood that not every child learns the same exact way, and that not every child learns at the same pace, but that every child can learn and can excel. I think it is something that many schools are missing today--if they would practice that old fundamental, maybe they would see more enthused students.
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
I guess you're right that teacher felt she was losing a battle there because she's thinking why she didn't think of that first and now you might think she's an Idi0t..She is pointless in the conversation and doesn't deal with failure that easy.
1 person likes this
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I basically felt, she got caught not doing her job and doesn't want to have to do it. Now I know why people resort to homeschooling. A teacher can ruin your child.
@kurtbiewald (2628)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Its that last point I think. When people don't really know something or are unsure, and yet they are trying to be an "expert" or something when they don't know really. Then when you say something that makes sense to them, yet challenges current beliefs or theories. People don't like it then.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
She is insecure, or has an ego so big, that she cannot except anything from anyone else in regard to her thoughts and decisions. It's as simple as that. The world is full of people like that. She is in the wrong line of work.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
I hate when people do this. My mom and dad this often. Mostly my mom. She can have one thought, I have another, she gets upset at my thoughts. She also can be upset and if I am upset she doesnt allow me to be. Its how she is. So I hate when people get upset when I dont think like them. Its not right. We have the right to different opinions. Its what makes us human. Oh and on what you said. I would be upset too. You should be able to show your unhappiness with what happened. Some people cant take criticism well. Sounds like the teacher is this way.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
I tend to agree with you, Juls2me2. Your point was totally legitimate. She should be grading her class's homework. Talk about lazy.
1 person likes this
@Meljep (1668)
• United States
21 Mar 07
It's sad when this happens. People shouldn't feel like a difference in opinion is a direct attack on them or their character. Maybe it stems from the "feel good" movement of the 1980's. Everyone's self esteem was the most important thing!
• United States
21 Mar 07
Oh yes, I believe that the teachers need to be going over the classwork. I know it isn't possible to go through every student's, but when she checked to make sure our homework was completed, she would go to the board and go over the problems with us. That way, if the problem was wrong, we could correct it and she would work out the problem on the board. I thought that was very effective. Your son's teacher is being lazy. She is just correcting the tests, which isn't doing much good when it's the test that makes up the largest percentage of his grade. I doubt she was taught to teach that way.
• United States
21 Mar 07
I think it really depends on your body language when you express your different perspective, and I also think it depends on your tone of voice and how you say the words whenever you bring up your viewpoint. Some people assume things, and read way too much into what people say. They try to get something out of nothing to try and justify their viewpoint.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
In this case, with this teacher,I honestly believe any tone or expression will set her off if you mention she needed to correct the work.
• United States
21 Mar 07
And it is possible, since she does deal with kids all day, she was having a really horrible day and just got frustrated with you being 'snippy' with her. *shrugs*
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I would give her that benefit of the doubt, but it was at the beginning of the school day before her prep period started. No excuses for the response, just odd.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
21 Mar 07
(quote)All I can gather is, she felt attacked because I made a legitimate point and she didn't want to accept that. What are your thoughts about this subject?(end quote) I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head here! I just experienced the same thing in a thread on mylot. I am being attacked left and right by the original poster, and all I can figure is, it is because I make a viable argument for the opposing position that he stated. Ironicly he put it with a debates tag, but he is lacking in the decorum of debate. http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/901354.aspx?p=4 that is the link - I think it is an example of the same thing you are up against. That is very prideful of the teacher to accuse you of attacking her. Her guilt is attacking her and she lashes out at you rather than altering her failed ways.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Wow.....I checked out the discussion you mentioned and you're right! Perfect example of someone feeling attacked, just because you have a difference of opinion. She even resorted to calling you names and claiming you were doing it. Of course, I had to give my two cents worth too. Crazy people in a crazy world. In the other discussion, just reminds me how uninformed people can cause Freedoms to be taken away from others.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
24 Mar 07
you are quite right about that (how we lose our freedoms)
• Canada
21 Mar 07
I agree with you on all levels!! She is there to TEACH, not just to assign. If she wasn't there to teach, and only to assign she would be called an assigner, not a teacher. Try telling her that, and then come back and tell us what she says. She needs to start doing her job!! A lot of people feel attacked because they can't deal with the fact that you are right, and there are not.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
That's a good one. "ASSigner"! We meet again to followup on my sons work this week. I'll have to keep that thought in my mind. :)
• Netherlands
21 Mar 07
I believe she got on the defense because you are right. She is lazy and probably fancies her self as an innovator and by you questioning her you pop her bubble and that pisses her off. People lately can't seem to take an questions about their actions. They can't tolerate dissenting views no matter how politely they are put. It is disgusting and I tend to want to shake those people out of their imaginary world where they are always right and no one ever disagrees. Are people getting soft in the mind or something?
@Stringbean (1273)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I think I would try to have him transferred to another teacher. This one sounds like a real dud. I used to teach school and I never heard of something like this beind done. It sounds to me like the teacher is lazy and trying to collect a salary for doing as little work as possible.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Unfortunately, this is common practice for all the math teachers at my son's High School. I'm really in shock about how they get away with this. Their system might work for most of the students that are self-motivated, but the ones that aren't get left behind and disregarded as not worth their time.
• Netherlands
21 Mar 07
I thought that teachrs are supposed to help every student in high school age. I took a university class for teaching languages. One of the things that we were taught was that there were several different learning types. People did not all learn in the same way so therefore the lessons and practices had to engage all the different learning types to be sucessful. This is NOT hard and doesn't take any more time than teachers who just stand in the front of the class lecturing. Some people learn by example. They have to see it done first step by step. Some learn by reading the instructions. Some learn by being told the steps. Some learn by physically working it out.... There are a few others but you get the idea. A good teacher should know this and incorporate these into her lessons. None of this not checking papers crap. How do they know they are being successful? It sounds lazy to me. Not at all beneficial for all students. They can not rely on the students to know what they don't get and seek the help. Some probably think they get it so if they aren't told otherwise.... Doesn't sound like a good educational institution.
• United States
21 Mar 07
i know how you feel.A few weeks ago my daughters teacher confronted me about my daughter missing homework assignments ALOT of homework assignments.I explained to her that at home she does her homework i look it iver and she puts it in her bookbag so i know she does it.And i told her why doesnt she ask her for her work assignments everyday.When i was a kid the teacher would tell the whole class to hand in thier homework assignments.My daughters only in second grade so i feel its also the teachers job to ask all the kids if they did thier homework not just to expect them to hand it in.I guess she felt likei was telling her that she didnt know how to do her job.....
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
In Second grade they should be prompting the students to turn their homework in daily. That is a new thing that I've noticed teachers doing. They feel a child needs to be responsible to turn everything in at the end of the week, like a job. What job are they referring to I wonder. Every where I've worked you complete a task and turn it in immediately. Very rarely to you hold onto things for weeks at a time. Teachers seem to be getting lazy.
• United States
21 Mar 07
I would say it's human nature..that is all it is ..We can't help the evil tendencies sometimes but with the grace of God we can triumph over all :)
@mcrowl (1050)
• New Zealand
21 Mar 07
I find, in their professional arena, that teachers are rather like doctors: no one should contradict them. (That's not to say that teachers are all like that: I know several, and some of them are good friends). Once when I went to talk to a teacher about my son, she came on very aggressively about his lack of hard work and lack of interest in her class, and blamed him for all the problems. For once I decided to stand up to a teacher, and told her how I felt. Usually I've assumed teachers knew what they were doing. But this particular son of mine, was much livelier than my other four children, and needed a positive response, not a negative one. Then he would learn anything you taught him. My other son was once told by a teacher than if he didn't do his maths work neatly in the little boxes, she wouldn't let him move forward in the subject. This, in spite of the fact that maths was one of his favourite subjects. So he switched off maths for something like two years, and refused to work at it. Some teachers don't know how to teach, only how to follow their own rules.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Yeah its crazy how the teaching world is changing. I just can't get over her perspective of feeling attacked because I questioned or gave my opinion of what the problem could be and how to fix it. If you don't have an opinion and just listen then you're wonderful. It's too difficult for me to sit there and act like an unresponsive zombie, when there is a logical fix for something.
@sanell (2114)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Hmm, well that is kind of strange that she is not grading his homework and only grades the test, but the next question is on the hotmath.com does that provide answers to the questions for studying? Meaning that this website can help them to problem solve and they practice that? is it bad to say this or not, but should mom and dad help him check on his homework and then go to the teacher and request for answers? I do agree with you though, I think that if they are not teaching the math problems, and just giving them math and then telling them to go check it out on a website is a little bit LAZY if you ask me, but it depends on the size of the class too and maybe to ask why it is that perhaps she feels that he is failing? other than the tests what other things or what is he NOT doing while in the classroom that is causing him to fail? Is he not trying ? Is he afraid to ask questions? Does he ever ask questions in class? And if so does she just always refer him to go to this website?
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
What has changed since we went to school? I remember having over 30 kids in our classes and the teachers managed to correct our homework nightly. They had student aides if they needed extra help. Usually the class favorite helped.
• United States
21 Mar 07
I don't know. Some people might think you're being argumentative with them and not listening. It's really all in their own mind and they need to deal with it. I am one person that needs frequent feedback while I'm learning, so I agree with you that the teacher should either help in that way, or direct your son to a tutor.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
You're right about people thinking you're argumentative, especially when you're holding them responsible for not doing their job. That was the direction she wanted my son to take was a tutor. My question now is when he goes for tutoring will someone actually work with him one on one. To my amazement, the tutoring that is provided doesn't offer that. It's first come first serve and the student has to ask about specific questions when he finds out he's doing it incorrectly. He thinks its correct and no one checks the work for correctness, so what good is tutoring at that point.
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
21 Mar 07
You made a legitimate point and pointed out that she is being lazy all in one fell swoop. You were being reasonable in telling her that her teaching methods are leaving out an key step in the teaching process. In your shoes, my next step would be to complain to the principle about the reaction and the teachers apparent belief that nothing need be done to help a student learn.
@juls2me2 (2151)
• United States
21 Mar 07
unfortunately for me, the Principal backs his teacher's methods...whether they work or not.
• United States
21 Mar 07
Modern teachers want to sit around, eat Bon Bons and be fat. Their unions (which are communists by the way) support this type of activity and the only way we will fix it is if we abolish the public school system. For more Viking truths come to my site. Arthur Head Viking Arthur's Hall of Viking Manliness www.arthurshall.com
@jojopuff (520)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Whoa, I think that teacher needs to chill! lol...she was way out of line for saying that. I don't think you "attacked" her at all! Unfortunately, people these days don't have a backbone and think every little thing that goes against their ways is somehow an attack. I don't understand it! Maybe she just overreacted initially, but maybe she will think about it some more and come back and say you were right. I know sometimes in the "heat of the moment" I tend to react right away instead of stopping and thinking before I speak. I hope this gets straightened out for you!
@CatNPK (461)
• United States
21 Mar 07
You have every right to be involved with your son's education, and kudos to you for taking that step. It is the teacher's job to be proactive when a student is not doing well, and I have seen teachers go to great lenghts to spend extra time with kids or set up a tutor for them. One reason she might have felt attacked is the tone/language you used - I am not saying you were offensive, but how you worded your statement to her could have come out differently from how you are stating it here. Teachers work hard and have a lot of kids to look after, not just your son. If you do feel the teacher is not doing her job, talk to the principal or the schoolboard. It is also very possible that your son is having true difficulties in math that this teacher simply cannot help with, so a tutor might be a great idea at least until he catches up. My sister had a lot of problems with math throughout school, not due to the failure of teachers or the school but the simple fact that she hated doing it, did not understand it, and slowly became satisfied by a passing grade rather than ever learning anything. Before that happens to your son, I would definitely urge you to make sure he catches up. And don't let yourself be bothered by the teacher, some people simply get offended by anything, or she may have just had a very bad day.