Post # 1
I am a teacher who is teaching summer school at my usual site. I am in my classroom. Someone else has occupied the classroom next to mine and is teaching a healthy eating and living habits class to young kids. The woman who is teaching the class has been bringing her infant every day, and wears him/her on her front with a sling.
The baby is crying a lot, and is possibly colicky. (Before you accuse me of being callous, yes, I know that’s what babies do.) She shuts the door, and my door is shut, but the students in my class still look up with frustrated looks on their faces when they’re working independently or taking tests.
I really think it’s not conducive to the learning environment, and really want my students (some of whom have ADD/ADHD) to have a distraction free learning environment. I am not sure if the administration for summer school is aware that this woman is bringing her baby to work, so I don’t know if approaching my principals would be redundant.
If they have given her permission, there’s really nothing I can do about the situation. But I really feel strongly that my students deserve the best chance at concentrating in my class. How do I approach the administration on this? Do I approach the mother?
(end note: please, before you accuse me of being a baby-hating monster, I understand that many mothers don’t have the option of day-care or at-home nannies. She seems to be bringing her mother with her, and I understand she may be breastfeeding, but I just think with a little planning ahead, this could be an easily solved situation.)
Post # 2
futuremrschristensen: I definitly think you and your students have the right to a quiet environment. I guess I’d probably talk to the teacher-mom first and tell her about your concerns and see what possible solutions she has to offer. (maybe her class will be over by the end of the week anyway, maybe her babysitter is sick and will be fine again on Monday… ) If that’s not leading anywhere go to administration and see what they can do. Maybe there is another class room one of the two of you could use etc.
Post # 3
futuremrschristensen: Your concerns are definitely reasonable, and being a bit frustrated over constant crying and distraction in a learning environment does not make you a baby-hater at all.
I don’t have ADD/ADHD, but if there was a baby in my office crying all the time, I’d lose it. I can’t concentrate on my work with loud disruptive noises around me and I can only imagine how disruptive it is to your classroom of kids.
I would say something to the administration. If they have allowed it, see if your classroom can be moved. I’m making the assumption that since you’re teaching summer school, there might be other empty classrooms around that you could use. But maybe that’s not the case.
It must be so disruptive to the students in her class, too!
Post # 4
futuremrschristensen: I am a teacher, and I can’t imagine my school giving permission to bring a baby along to the classroom! I would definitely approach the administration. There is no reason why your students should have to suffer. If they have given her permission, I would imagine you can request to be moved to a different room.
Post # 5
My first thought was “why can’t one of you simply move to a different classroom?”
Post # 6
Most people don’t get the chance to bring their kids to work- and with good reason- they are there to work and not take care of their baby! I would say something! And I am a mom.
Post # 7
I would go talk to the woman first and tell her that your students are getting distracted and if there are any ways to fix it. If she goes off on you, or offers no solution, or doesn’t actually follow through on a solution, go to the admin.
I really can’t see why an administration would allow this in the first place.
Post # 8
I’d go talk to her in a way that’s solution-oriented. Rather than saying, “Your kid is annoying the crap out of everyone in my classroom,” you could say, “I noticed that you have your baby with you; we can hear him/her next door. I know a great sitter who’s not too expensive; do you want the name?”
Post # 9
futuremrschristensen: This is really odd. I’m a teacher too and couldn’t imagine trying to teach and take care of my child (not a parent yet, just going with what I’ve seen). I wouldn’t be able to focus on my students and their learning, which is definitely not beneficial. Obviously the kids are in summer school because they desperately need the additional time for learning. I would approach the teacher/mom first with just a casual inquiry, discuss the situation and your concern, and then the admin if nothing is being done. I don’t know a single administrator who would ever think it was acceptable to bring a baby to work (besides after school, to see people, etc.).
Post # 10
i get the ‘move your classroom’ suggestions, and that might work for your students – but what about her students?! this is crazy – i would address it with administration casually to see if they are aware of the situation.
if i had to take summer school (which likely means i didn’t do well in regular semester) and then had to do it with a distracted teacher trying to soothe her crying baby i would learn NOTHING.
Post # 11
I think you have totally valid concerns for both your students and for hers! If you think she would be receptive, I’d start with addressing your concerns with her. But if she keeps doing it, or if you aren’t comfortable speaking with her directly, I would definitely speak to administration – I would be surprised if they gave permission for her to bring her baby to work. I would think that the same rules of regular school would apply to summer school.
Post # 12
futuremrschristensen: Approach it with a “just the facts” attitude. Here’s what I’d say to the principal:
“As I”m sure you’re aware, the teacher in the next room brings her infant to class daily. The infant cries for most of the day, and it can be heard in my classroom even with both of our doors closed. My students have expressed that they find this distracting and I am particularly concerned about Joe, Jane, and Dale who we know have been diagnosed with ADHD.
I just wanted to make you aware of the disruption. If nothing can be done I understand, but if she has brought the baby on the understanding that it will not effect anyone’s learning experience I wanted to highlight that my class is effected.”
Post # 13
I’m a teacher and that is one of the most unprofessional things I have ever heard. What other workplace would allow this? Not only is it disuptive to her class, but as you are experiencing, others as well. I woul definitely approach the administration about this.