Maths teacher called my Ds a pain in the arse.

(61 Posts)
dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 15:10:01

Granted, he can be.
He met my Dd on Friday, and said 'I teach your brother, he is the pain in my arse. '

Is it just me that thinks that that is totally unprofessional?

jennycoast Mon 22-Jul-13 15:12:31

I think it would have been one thing to say that to you at a parents evening e.g., but is completely different and very wrong to say it to your DD.

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 17:43:56

Hmmm, very unprofessional, but I wouldn't be surprised if teachers said the same thing to my DDgrin

curlew Mon 22-Jul-13 17:47:11

How old?

Morgause Mon 22-Jul-13 17:49:23

It was a joke FFS.

PeriodMath Mon 22-Jul-13 17:52:45

Unprofessional, yes.

But my main concern now would be to get to the bottom of why your DS is the pain in his teacher's arse. Your "granted he can be" is a bit glib.

LizzieVereker Mon 22-Jul-13 17:53:57

I might say to a student "stop being a pain in the bum!" in a jokey way, but I would never say arse, and I would NEVER comment on a student to their sibling. That's a bit unprofessional IMO.

SnapesOnAPlane Mon 22-Jul-13 17:55:45

Is your DS a teenager?
Sounds like a cheeky comment to make your DD smile to me.

Lancelottie Mon 22-Jul-13 18:03:00

Yes, it's unprofessional, especially unleavened by a 'but...'.

Last parent's eve, the physics teacher said of DS, 'He's an irritating little bugger... but you can't help liking him, ' which seemed more than fair.

How accurate is your DD's reporting, generally?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 22-Jul-13 18:23:21

Not good to say it to your DD about her brother, but fair enough as a general comment I think!

emilialuxembourg Mon 22-Jul-13 18:28:55

What's more important to you - challenging this teacher's unprofessional comment or finding out what sort of behaviour your son is displaying in this lesson? I would be mortified if my child was a pain in the arse at school

QuiteContent Mon 22-Jul-13 18:37:06

Yep for what it's worth as a mumsnet newbie (a bloke at that, sorry), I'm with Emilia above. Yes it's a bit off, even if meant in a lighthearted way, and some people could well take offence but I'd be more worried about what would make that the first thing to pop into the teacher's mind when he thought of him.

deleted203 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:38:29

I'd be more concerned about the fact that my child was being a pain in the arse than the comment, personally. I would be FAR more annoyed at my child's behaviour than the teacher's language. In our house it would be DS who was getting the bollocking - rather than complaining to the school.

maja00 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:41:53

A bit unprofessional, but I'd be more concerned about my child being a PITA than the comment.

TwllBach Mon 22-Jul-13 18:43:00

Where I work, a TA was pulled up and given an official warning for talking about a child in the class that she was working in to a sibling of said child and saying "he is a bit naughty, he won't sit on the mat" so we definitely wouldn't dare say anything like that, albeit we are primary and I assume this was secondary?

I still wouldn't say anything other than "Oh yes, I know X" or something silly like, "gosh well I hope you are as lovely as he is!" <cheesy grin>

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 22-Jul-13 18:43:52

It wouldn't bother me at all (that he said it) but it would bother me A LOT that he needed to say it and I would be finding out if it was the truth or just a wee joke with DD... why are people so easily offended these days - are you kids really made of glass?

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 22-Jul-13 18:44:58

Twl yet another reason I'm so very glad I didn't go into teaching. MN makes me glad of that most days in one way or another!

Bowlersarm Mon 22-Jul-13 18:47:12

I don't think I take things seriously enough, maybe. That would just make me laugh.

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 18:49:06

Ds has not got on very well this year at all in maths. He started life in the top set, after they tested him. He got demoted to set 2 and now is a the bottom of that. We have been emailing school regularly about the quality of his work.

Maybe he meant I was the pita!

However on parents evening, we were given reasonable feedback on him. His last test result was bad. What to do? I don't feel it will be worth tackling it again this close to the end of term.

And yes dd is honest and tells a straight story!

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 18:50:20

What bowlerarm & chippinginhophophop said.

yabyum Mon 22-Jul-13 18:51:58

We have been emailing school regularly about the quality of his work.

And what have you been saying to your DS? Is he taking any responsibility?

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 18:55:22

Yes and no. It's a bit like flogging a dead horse. He's had his x box taken away for a while, and if his school report is bad, it will be removed on week days in the autumn term. We are really trying our best!

noblegiraffe Mon 22-Jul-13 19:00:03

Will he have a new teacher in September? If yes, I'd leave the whole arse thing be, it's very easy to say thoughtless things in this weather and at the end of term.

I'd suggest a fresh start in September too, assume he is going to start well rather than badly. What reward will he get for a good report?

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 22-Jul-13 19:01:18

I think it's fine. He was either joking or being honest. Either is fine.

My children are all massive pains in the arse. Any teacher who turns up for their lessons and those of their equally annoying friends has my sympathy and admiration. Any teacher who seems to like or encourage them despite the fact they are complete pitas has my undying gratitude. I would not object in the slightest if the teachers quite honestly pointed out that they are utter pains in the arse. My response on such occasions is to agree, sympathise, ask if punishment at home is needed etc.

SlangWhanger Mon 22-Jul-13 19:04:16

The teacher sounds unprofessional and immature. I wouldn't mind My DCs being called a pain in context but a to say in front of a sibling is stupid.

TwllBach Mon 22-Jul-13 19:06:03

AcrylicPlexiglass you might be my new favourite person ever

BumgrapesofWrath Mon 22-Jul-13 19:06:53

Teachers used to say this kind of thing all the time when I was a lass (which wasn't that long ago, thank you very much.). It's just a light-hearted comment! But as a parent I do think you should be more concerned about your son than the teacher

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 19:08:52

Yes I hope he has a new teacher. To be honest this teacher has been a pita! It's been extremely hard trying to keep the lines of communication open with him. If I was his boss I would be questioning why a child has slipped down nearly 2 ability groups. I have had a conversation with ks3 maths head, who couldn't answer my question about whether he will go down another set, as they are mixing yr7 and 8 next year, so it's stage not age.

Sigh. It seems like it's going to be more difficult.

Whoever asked about the report, we will cross that bridge and fall off of it this week. And yes of course we reward good reports.

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 19:16:16

So if your son has moved down ability groups, I am guessing these are within the class if it's always been the same teacher?
Do you think he is genuinely struggling or is it poor teaching? What do his other teachers say about him?

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 19:17:04

And I've never heard of mixing Y7 and 8 - that sounds very complicated wrt timetabling. Is is a very small school?

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 22-Jul-13 19:18:12

To me it just sounds like banter and not at all like he thinks your DS is a pain in the arse..he sounds quite fond of him.

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 19:22:11

No he moved a set and teachers in first term. I didn't have a problem with it, he wasn't top set material, I didn't want him to struggle.

The mixing of year 7 and 8 is new to us too! It's a fairly small academy!

noblegiraffe Mon 22-Jul-13 19:24:01

If he moved down from top set and then down from set 2, it sounds like a DS issue rather than a teacher issue.

Did he think that because he had been in the top set, set 2 would be easy and he didn't need to work hard?

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 19:25:09

I think he is lazy and he has a poor teacher. If I had handed in some of the work he has handed in, unanswered questions, no ruler or compass used, I would have been made to do it again.

He has the ability which is frustrating, we have tentatively discussed private school. You lot may shout me down!

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 19:25:53

Noble giraffe you may have something there.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Jul-13 19:26:35

We were not there. We can't know the tone, the way it was said or the personality of the teacher.

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 19:26:48

Yes, I agree, it does sound like he might be struggling. However, he may be being a PITA in class too! I think the only way to find out is to talk to the teacher involved. And maybe ask if there is anything your DS could do over the summer that might help?

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 19:27:56

OK, so definitely see what you can make him knuckle down to and make a plan to have regular feedback next term so that you can keep a close eye on things.

Floggingmolly Mon 22-Jul-13 19:33:43

So you think your ds should have been made to do the poorly presented work again, rather than getting a bad grade and learning from that?
Totally unrealistic for a Year 7 student, and not necessarily a sign of poor teaching.

dingit Mon 22-Jul-13 19:36:01

Yes I do flogging, if he was made to do it again, he would think twice about doing it badly again!

Things have changed since I was at school!

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 19:39:40

If the work was extremely untidy and inaccurate, I hope the teacher would pull the child up on it.

noblegiraffe Mon 22-Jul-13 19:41:06

I would suggest you check his homework and if it is not up to standard, make him redo it yourself before it is handed in. You can give your individual DS's homework more attention than the teacher can.

RonaldMcDonald Mon 22-Jul-13 19:46:23

Sounds like an ace teacher
The teachers who made most impact upon me were just like that

ProphetOfDoom Mon 22-Jul-13 19:48:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Well, yes, inpropriate- especially or a sibling. Wrong but understandable to say to the parent (and only in a clearly jokey tone) but to his sister?!

sweetiepie1979 Mon 22-Jul-13 20:18:36

Ach well I woul say he probably is a pain in the arse and kids should know if they are. I wish I had the nerve to say it about a few of my students instead of the insincere smile I put on at parents evening or indeed when I meet a sibling that I will have to teach. I would say he was honest and it's made your other dc think about what they would like to be known as.

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 20:52:30

Thankfully DS's teachers have made it all clear to us - although I don't think any actually used the term - that he can be a PITA.
We are under no illusions.

alreadytaken Mon 22-Jul-13 21:06:02

totally unprofessional to say that to a sibling. Acceptable, even desirable, to say it to a parent but not a child.

A child moved down a set can simply be bored and playing up for that reason or they could be struggling and not want to admit it. If your maths isn't good enough to test him yourself why not try him with a tutor? If he's made to do maths outside school when he does badly he'll work harder in school.

oohaveabanana Mon 22-Jul-13 21:14:59

I would think it highly amusing if a teacher said this to ds about dd (it would be that way round) She is - a charming, stubborn, wilful, delightful pita & ds would think it very entertaining.

We've had many fabulous descriptions of her already from her wonderful, patient, dedicated teachers, & I look forwards to adding that one to my list

Obviously it all depends in the tone, though. All the teachers I can imagine saying that would totally get away with it.

pointythings Mon 22-Jul-13 21:30:11

I think it really depends on the teacher and the tone. DD1's Yr5 maths teacher was a long-standing eccentric who said exactly what he meant - he called my DD 'Gobby' as a nickname because she is very a little opinionated and speaks out when people are wrong and not very diplomatically.

But it was said with warmth, DD took it on board and got a lot less judgemental, and this teacher really gave her the confidence to tackle maths which is still showing in the progress she is making today. Was your DD upset, OP?

Xihha Wed 24-Jul-13 21:36:49

I don't think theres anything wrong with it so long as it was said in a jokey way.

The head teacher at my son's school is very fond of telling my son that I'm the reason for her grey hairs (she was my teacher a primary school) he's a very shy child, it made him laugh and feel a bit more confident.

MidniteScribbler Thu 25-Jul-13 05:21:09

I think it was probably a joke. If he really had major issues with your child, I doubt he would have actually said it. Secondary teachers are generally open and relaxed and interact on a more adult level with their students and can say things that primary teachers would never say.

antsypants Thu 25-Jul-13 06:58:02

There was a maths teacher at my school who was equally as open with parents, only he was a horror, he would berate, bully and harass pupils, yes, we learned in his class, but out of get of being the one singled out, not out of any willingness.

I know there are people who think learning, no matter how it is achieved is worth it, but when you have a month of being laughed at, bullied and verbally massacred by both adults and pupils it makes for a dire school experience.

I guess what I am saying is that in itself a comment like the one discussed by the op is fairly harmless and innocuous, but coupled with a drastic change in behaviour and attitude (if it is this subject alone) would indicate to me that there may be something other than teenage laziness or attitude going on.

curlew Thu 25-Jul-13 07:02:36

"I think he is lazy and he has a poor teacher. If I had handed in some of the work he has handed in, unanswered questions, no ruler or compass used, I would have been made to do it again."

If the teacher doesn't make him do it again, why don't you?

dingit Thu 25-Jul-13 08:03:06

We didn't make him do it again as we didn't have the work/ questions, that's why we batted it back to teacher. However we do have test paper, which my DH will do over holidays with him.

Yesterday Ds found out he will have different teacher next year, I know her ( she has been there since I was at the school!) so hopefully we will have better communication.

curlew Thu 25-Jul-13 08:04:06

If you didn't have the work/questions, how did he do the homework?

dingit Thu 25-Jul-13 09:35:11

No, it was class work that was incomplete/ a mess, I picked up on it when flicking through his book, the teacher had red pen comments on it.

I guess I would not be upset by his comment to dd if there had not been issues through the year! Time to put it behind us and start afresh me thinks!

AgeOfExtremes Thu 25-Jul-13 13:23:15

"So you think your ds should have been made to do the poorly presented work again, rather than getting a bad grade and learning from that?"

The bad grade isn't going to matter that much to lots of kids whereas being made to do it again is a pain, immediately, and far more likely to be responded to by doing it better the very next time.

Unless there's actually some consequence to getting a bad grade (which would be another way of doing it), if there even is a grade rather than just a tick and a comment, then how is that going to push them to do better next time?

There needs to be some immediate consequence for untidy and incomplete work whether it comes from the parents or the teacher, IMO.

dingit Thu 25-Jul-13 14:08:22

Ageofextremes that is exactly what I was trying to say to the teacher! But he just wasn't buying it, he seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder! I'm under the impression that many of the staff are not happy at the academy, they certainly have a fast staff turn over!

ukjess Sun 04-Aug-13 12:02:23

its the tiniest, tiniest bit unprofessional but no big deal- it seems to have been a lighted hearted comment.

Even the calmest, most sensible teacher may say something along those lines over their career.

Its good that you accept your kid is not always an angel- not all parents are willing to.

My son was 'a TOTAL PITA" but he's grown up to be a great guy. smile

emmystyle Mon 05-Aug-13 19:32:22

I know of a teacher who called a child a dipstick in the playground a few years ago.

Child went home. Dipstick got turned into something v different, d and h. (something your neck holds up)

Parents came in all guns blazing. Steam, fiery breath, about 6 on the Richter Scale.

Witnesses sought. All aged 12.

Parents foreign. Teacher explained 'dipstick' was term of endearment. Not understood. How could anyone call their children something used to measure oil in a car engine??? noooo nooo, must have been Richard's Head.

Teacher exasperated. Went home. Found a box set of only fools and horses with Del Boy calling Rodney a 'dip stick'.

Exhibit A next morning. BBC boxed set produced. Parents recalled. All guns blazing.... "what is zeeeee only foools y hooorrssseeeeees"

dvd played but just at the bit where Del Boy calls Rodney "you plonker".... ahhhhhh wrong bit!

"what is zeeee plonker meansssss?"

More exasperation. Ahhhh You Tube. Type in 'Rodney you dip stick'. Bingo.

I mean seriously, what a waste of time. Now in all fairness, I didn't hear Del Boy go "Rodney, you are a right pain in the ar**" but at least there's no confusion. States just what it says on the tin. Or butt.

Doubt it would come up in the Christmas Special repeat.

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