Wednesday

Daycare Teacher is a Bully

Received Wednesday, July 14, 2010
perspective and opinion I don't know where else to turn. I am a teacher's assistant in a preschool room. The lead teacher in the room is very abusive, in my opinion, to the students, verbally and physically. These are three and four year old students. I have seen this teacher grab children roughly by the arm, scream at them, scare them to death and make them cry. I have spoken with other teachers in the room and they say they of course see it, but that this teacher and the director are best friends. I spoke with the director and she said that she has never seen any of that behavior so she did not believe me. What should I do? I want to report this to someone, because the director is just not listening to me. And nobody will stand up to this teacher because apparently everyone who has has gotten fired. I am not afraid to lose my job, but I cannot stand by and see the children treated this way, when the teacher who does this behavior acts all fake to the parents and to the director. She is not a good teacher: she is a bully.

22 comments:

djembe said...

I am so glad you said you are not afraid to lose your job. Because that will be necessary to intervene on behalf of the children, which of course is what you should do.

I would first speak with a CPS hotline person. That kind of call can be made anonymously and will hopefully result in some good advice as to how best to proceed.

I would think you first have to avoid the appearance that you are a disgruntled employee seeking revenge. Maybe find a way to do gather evidence that can be passed along to the parents -- after all, they are the ones whose voices will carry more weight than yours.

East Bay Nanny said...

Djembe mentioned what first came to mind - figure out a diplomatic way to say something to the parents so they'll talk to the director.

cali mom said...

Is there some reason you cannot contact your state licensing agency? Unless it's an unlicensed daycare, that's what they're there for.

Nanny Sarah said...

You should talk to the boss above the director- next one in charge. Your director has bosses, too. He or she needs proof- she maybe a video tape- most daycare centers have cameras in, at least, most of the rooms. The children are old enough to speak up, too. Please keep us informed and thank you for being there for the children.

Bostonnanny said...

Like others said call and report her to someone above the director. Then log every sign of abuse you witnessed, if you ever have the chance to take a picture or record it on your cell do it. Ask other teachers if they would log and call as well. I would then after doing that start telling the parents what you know and explain you might get fired but you rather lose the job. When they fire you ask for reasons. normally they gave employees warnings for any misbehavor that could lead to termination, if you haven't gotten any then ask the director for them and since she can't provide them it will put her in a sticky situation. You then contact the state department of education or who ever controls daycares in your state again. Make you contacted them before you got fired and after.

FrogBabyNanny said...

I used to be a Lead Teacher in the 2-year-old class at a daycare center/preschool. This was very common among the staff. I'd say 75% of the teachers acted this way. I love kids, and am a great nanny now, but absolutely hated that job because of the negativity. Daycare centers are an extremely stressful environment and it takes a saint to handle it well. As much as I love kids, I found myself unraveling and yelling, being mean, etc. (things I didn't think I'd ever do.) I quickly realized I needed to get out of that environment. It wasn't good for me or the kids.

OP, I would talk to the teacher and approach her as if you can relate. Say something like, "you seem really stressed, I know the kids aren't really listening well today, are they?" If you approach her in a non-judgemental way, she may open up to you a bit and admit she hates the job or is frazzled. If she does, convince her to quit ("you should become a nanny", etc.) And let me clarify, only say something to that extent if you believe she genuinely likes kids and just can't deal in that stressful environment. If not, suggest other types of jobs away from children (many of which will likely pay more.)

If all else fails, go ahead and call someone and report her. Do whatever you feel you need to do.

MONKEYSHINES said...

this is why you need to stay home with your kids and stop spending money on material items

nanny2 said...

I believe you need to actually document the incidents you are seeing. As in, date/time, child involved, what occurred. Even if you don't have visual evidence, at least you have something specific to refer to. I will say, from my experience, this kind of behavior often stems from having poor classroom management skills. Could you find a workshop about this and ask her to go with you? Could you ask the director about creating a center-wide "positive discipline" initiative?
I agree, however, that you can also report this to the licensing agency if your director will not take any action.

Phoenix said...

I would call the CPS hotline call and place at least ten anonymous calls...disguise your voice of course. Sneaky yes. Successful in starting an investigation. I hope so.

Cmommy said...

As a daycare worker, you are legally bound to report any suspicion of abuse, even if the abuse is occurring at the daycare. As other have stated, log all incidents and make a call to CPS. You do not have to give your name in order to file a complaint. Does the daycare have cameras? In my state, the licensed daycare centers have cameras in order to document any incidents. After you call CPS, call them again and again until someone shows up (usually they show up unannounced) to observe what is happening. If nothing comes out of the investigation, bring the parents on board and share with them all you have documented. Once the parents start making calls, thats usually when things get taken much more seriously.

Elizabeth said...

Document, document, document. Keep a detailed log with date, time of occurrence, child's name, and quotes and exact details of incidents. Share it with the director and with the Daycare Board if there is one. Keep sharing. The Director cannot ignore you forever. As much detail as you can present is best so that the teacher has to explain. Include details like "Adam was seized by Ms. Henry on the left arm and has a small bruise on the back of his forearm." The teacher will have to counteract this physical evidence.

knock, knock said...

I'm not trying to be an asshole but I'm curious: why didn't common sense tell OP to call CPS or the state licensing agency or even the parents? Why write and ask for advice on what to do? Anyone involved in daycare knows these are the avenues you take when there is trouble.

Elizabeth said...

Knock Knock, isn't the purpose of ISYN to help alert parents? Even if OP called the state, CPS, parents etc., I would want her to post here, because there might be parents reading and saying "OMIGOD, that's my kid's daycare!" At any rate, I see nothing inappropriate about asking for advice.

Secondly, your post makes ridiculous assumptions about the training day care workers receive. This is a minimum wage job in many places!

DenverNanny said...

We just covered this in one of my ECE classes last month:

You're a mandated reporter; meaning you legally HAVE to report what you even *suspect* as abuse or risk investigation/charges regarding neglect.

Report the abuse AND the fact that the administration refused to investigate. Be aware that while you can report anonymously, in some cases CPS will request addition information--expecially if the school is ignoring the abuse.

Honey said...

I odn't know what everyione is so worked up about some people dont even see this as even abuse.

Ravenswood Nanny said...

anonymously report this to your local child care services agency.

Nanny101 said...

Monkeyshines you are a moron.

UncommonSense said...

I have to agree with DenverNanny on this one.

OP, if you work there and are seeing abuse, you have to report it to a higher authority. If the director is claiming she's never seen anything, then you have to make her see what her supposed friend is doing to the children.

You may have to resort to a bit of espionage with hidden cameras (if your center doesn't have cameras), but you need to be recording this. Audio would help too if the teacher really is screaming at the kids. And document EVERYTHING; a picture may be worth a 1000 words, but writing it all down will show how attentive you are to the situation.

Call CPS and any higher authority you can (I'm sure the director's boss would be very interested to know that the director has turned a blind eye to the teacher's behavior). The more you have documented, then better the case against the abusive teacher is going to be.

Janet English said...

You need to get a camera phone and record this! It's the only way you'll be able to prove anything! Speak to the other teachers who got fired and get some written statements. Then got to CPS.

DenverNanny said...

P.S.
According to my professor, you don't need supply ANY proof or recording, etc to report suspected abuse--that's CPS's job. In fact, you could actually get in trouble for recording the students without parental consent, assuming the kids would be recorded in the process. Just make the call :)

MissMannah said...

Pleeeeease document specifically! I can't tell you how important it is that you need to be specific. Dates, times, actions and everyone involved. Write down the child's name and the TEACHER'S name. I was once blamed for someone else's suspicion of abuse and because nobody had documented anything, I was the one fired.

Not to be mean, but I kind of agree with "knock knock"...are you really inexperienced? Because I kind of thought this would be an obvious answer. But I know some daycares are notorious about not providing any sort of training.

Banana said...

I'm pretty sure you can get in trouble for recording anything without the teacher / children's parents' consent (there are laws on video and audio recording without people's consent that varies state-by-state. I pretty much agree with everything else that's been said though. Good luck. =)