To have been mad at this teacher

(39 Posts)
Needabreaknow Wed 27-Jul-16 14:42:43

My son has been attending a preschool swimming class since the beginning of the year. Unlike his previous class because of the layout of the pool I can not see him during the lesson so am heavily dependant on teacher feedback to judge his progress.

Despite this I haven't received any feedback since he started (in January) and have witnessed parents getting their heads bitten off when they try to speak to the swimming teachers at the end of the lesson. I can sort of understand as they have back to back lessons so don't have time to chat to everyone after the lesson (though they do occasionally speak to some parents).

Anyway I found out last month that there is a form you can use to communicate with the teacher. Filled this in but still didn't get any response and when I asked them about this they said they never received it.

Recently at the end of the lesson the teacher called out across the pool in front of the other parents and my child that he had made progress today and prior to this had been really difficult to instruct as he gets distracted in the water and doesn't focus very well. Now I was a bit embarrassed that she had called this out in front of all the parents but what made me really livid is that my ds heard this and when he came to me kept repeating that his teacher had said he was difficult at swimming (he is 3 1/2 so couldn't fully understand what she had said). I kept trying to explain away that part and focus on the improvement bit but all he kept repeating was the bit about him being difficult.

Now I hate confrontation normally but I was so upset that I went back to the pool and called the swim teacher to speak to me and told her what she had said had upset my son. She repeated again that previously he hadn't been a good listener and it was up to me to work on that. However she then divulged to me that he is actually a good swimmer and had won 2 races that day. This pissed me off even more, firstly because she had only told me that after I confronted her about what she previously said and secondly because it contradicted what she had previously said which is that he does not follow instruction well. How could he have improved so much if he didn't listen. Anyway I now just want to move him from that class as I feel like the teachers play favourites and that they only focus on the negative with him so won't move him on to the next stage (just to remind that until this incident I had received no feedback whatsoever about his progress and only after questioning did they bother to tell me he was good enough at swimming to win races in his class). Am I being unreasonable to be so annoyed and should I move him?

MidnightVelvettheSixth Wed 27-Jul-16 14:46:16

yanbu, move to another class

Mari50 Wed 27-Jul-16 14:56:28

Personally i think you are over invested in his swimming classes considering he's not even 4. Move him if it makes you happier but relax about the 'progress report' stuff. Most kids that age can't swim.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 27-Jul-16 14:58:27

YDNBU. She sounds worse than useless, as a teacher. What does she mean. He's not a good listener. What does she expect from a 3.5 year old.
Very very unprofessional as well to discuss your child in front of other parents.
I wouldn't be sending him back. He's not going to process without encouragement. I take your money elsewhere.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 27-Jul-16 15:00:35

No one likes confrontation. Well there are some weirdos that do.
But when you're a parent. You have no choice sometimes. You have to be their voice. They can't speak up for themselves can tgey

notquitegrownup2 Wed 27-Jul-16 15:03:10

It certainly doesn't sound ideal. Since it is the holidays, have a look to see if they do classes then - assuming that you are in the UK. My sons made brilliant progress going every day for a week - more than they would have done on the once a week lessons. If he makes huge progress he might be due to move up a class anyway?

Justaboutafloat Wed 27-Jul-16 15:04:40

Find another class where you can see your child swim and enjoy watching him progress - its meant to be fun smile

Needabreaknow Wed 27-Jul-16 15:06:13

Thanks for the replies. I don't think I'm overinvested. I haven't spoken to the teacher since he started almost 7 months ago and it's her who choose to speak to me that day. As I'm paying for the classes I do expect him to be making some progress and not staying at the same level and in the same class indefinitely. I have not pestered the teachers because tbh I know he has improved because when I take him swimming I notice that he is better at swimming on his back etc. My issue was with her negative wording calling my son difficult in front of a room full of people and him. Also that she only focused on the negative rather than telling me that he had won races that day.

Scholes34 Wed 27-Jul-16 15:09:03

If you go swimming with him, you'll soon be able to see how well he's progressing when you're in the pool together.

Needabreaknow Wed 27-Jul-16 15:10:09

I asked for feedback by filling in the form because I wanted to know what else did he need to do to be moved up to the next class so I could help him with that when I take him swimming. Also other parents I spoke to complained that their children had been in the same class for a long time and had not been moved up.

Mari50 Wed 27-Jul-16 15:20:50

By over invested I mean he's 3. At my DD's swimming lessons you can't even advance to the second level of lessons until you're 4 so what kind of feedback do you need? And he may well be stuck at the same point because he's only 3. I took my DD to Waterbabies from 6 months until she was almost 5, for the majority of the time she was rubbish and I wondered if she'd ever get the hang of it and then one day- off she went.
I've not spoken to my daughters swim teacher in 3 years. The important thing is that you and your son enjoy the lessons, obviously you don't, so maybe moving to a pool where you get to watch would be a start.

MadamDeathstare Wed 27-Jul-16 15:22:54

I'd go to whoever organizes the classes and tell them you are concerned as your DS has been in the classes for 7 months without progressing and that you have not been given any feedback beyond the confusing 'he's a poor listener but he wins races'. Ask them what needs to happen for him to move up a class because you are considering pulling him out if they think he is too young to make progress currently.

It is entirely possible that a child can't progress because they just aren't physically or developmentally ready to make that step, but the honest thing to do would be for the organization to tell you that and let you know when to bring him back.

acasualobserver Wed 27-Jul-16 15:45:45

I was really hoping - it being the summer holidays and all - that we'd get a break from shit teacher threads.

deste Wed 27-Jul-16 15:58:05

But he is progressing, he won two races. I used to teach swimming and and some children don't listen but in his case I would put it down to his age. He is very young and according to the teacher he can now swim, how is that not progress. They won't hold him back for no reason either. I would leave him and not interfere.

Needabreaknow Wed 27-Jul-16 16:33:27

Sorry acasualobserver I'm actually a teacher too so know how critical people can be. Sometimes I worry though that this makes me less assertive for my ds as I tend to excuse or not want to bother the teacher even when there is a real problem. I only confronted this teacher because my son was so upset and kept repeating he was difficult. In nursery as well I also feel that maybe I gave his key carer a free pass for too long and it was only in the last term that I addressed my concerns and consequently he started to make improvement.

thecitydoc Wed 27-Jul-16 16:37:23

why don't you teach him yourself. I am a poor swimmer - my head never ever goes under the water - but started taking my son at around aged 1 and he took to it like a duck to water. By age 3 he was able to swim well. I can never understand why parents waste money on swimming lessons unless child has ambitions to be a competitive swimmer.

Bumpkin2 Wed 27-Jul-16 16:40:19

So it was your place to work on him listening better in class, but had never actually given you any feedback to say that he wasn't listening? How were you supposed to know that there was a problem that you needed to work on then?!

Needabreaknow Wed 27-Jul-16 16:48:16

Exactly Bumpkin. Thecitydoc I'm actually not a good swimmer either. I never really got past level 2. I can swim but definitely not confidently and would probably drown in deep water. My ds also enjoys being in the water and he is able to swim well as the teacher told me and as I have observed. I just want him to move on because when I checked the skills he had to learn in stage 1 he seemed to have most of them and he is in the prebegineers.

EweAreHere Wed 27-Jul-16 16:49:53

The swimming teacher appears to lack training when it comes to dealing with young children and their parents. And the set up is not ideal for parents of young children, who have every right to want to know how their children are progressing (good, bad or otherwise!) because swimming is an important skill and lessons are very expensive!

I would move him and tell them why.

deste Wed 27-Jul-16 17:01:11

If you are a poor swimmer you will have bad habits, why would you want your child to be a poor swimmer with bad habits.

I watched a swimming class this morning, the children were swimming in lanes. The best swimmer went first and had a lovely stroke, by the end of the line the stroke got worse and worse and they were a lot slower because I suspect they weren't listening and had bad habits. I could see she was demonstrating but some of them changed nothing. It's down to the teacher to demonstrate but also down to the children to get results also.

Needabreaknow Wed 27-Jul-16 17:02:20

Thanks for the advice. It's good to know I wasn't being over the top. I plan to move him back to the pool where he had lessons before. They also didn't give feedback but I could watch him from the side during the lesson so didn't need it. We stopped going as it was really early and I had to get rid of my car in January. But will see if they have other classes.

antiqueroadhoe Wed 27-Jul-16 17:07:57

How are going planning to move forward?

antiqueroadhoe Wed 27-Jul-16 17:08:29

Sorry just seen that last message. Hope it works out better.

Memoires Wed 27-Jul-16 17:49:17

It sounds to me like your swim teachers are inexperienced and unused to dealing with any other side to the lessons than the actual pupils.

Maybe their business plan requires x number of kids at y level for z time, and they're just sticking to that, or maybe they don't have enough places in higher classes so they have a jam at the lower levels rather than lose kids altogether.

purplevase4 Wed 27-Jul-16 18:07:04

It does surprise me when people who are paid to work with kids moan when they are less than perfect. I don't mean in schools, I mean leisure activities such as this.

They are not in school. It is a leisure activity. If they can't deal with less-than-perfect-children, don't do the job.

Perfect children don't exist. Some are better at listening than others, and some will listen but be less good at putting what the teacher says into practice. We are not automatons, and swimming is a very technical activity. I don't always get it right in my mid 40s. It seems a bit much to have a go at a 3.5 year old for not getting it all the time.

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