Was DD punished appropriately?

(59 Posts)
IvyFoy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:34:26

My DD is in Yr2, and yesterday, she and other pupil were awarded with (much desired) Headteacher Awards in assembly. However, on the way, my DD had spied the names on the certificates and tipped the other recipicent off that he was to receive an award. This boy told teacher that my DD had pre-warned him so Teacher called her over before home time and told her that her certificate would be withdrawn until tomorrow as punishment.

DD is as good as gold and never gets told off. It took me until the early hours to prize out the story amidst inconsolable tears and nightmares. To make matters worse, it was her party after school and it was basically ruined by the days events. It's not so much about not having the award, more about the severity of the punishment that has hit her badly. She's a very sensitive child.

Spoke to TA first thing as Teacher was in meeting. Do you think I should speak to Teacher about the incident? Any teachers out there who can help?

RedHelenB Tue 12-Feb-13 15:08:13

And no child can be 100% good in class - as you point out, there are temptations to be other than good all the time!!!

RedHelenB Tue 12-Feb-13 15:06:55

|Just the point that as no one was there it is hard to judge.

housepiglet Tue 12-Feb-13 14:23:40

FWIW, I also think it was unnecessarily harsh of the teacher to withdraw the certificate overnight.

OP said her little girl is normally as good as gold at school, and never told off, so I'm not sure why some people are apparently so keen to suggest that she's (for instance), "a busy body in class & this was the final straw?" Unless we assume that OP is lying, and why on earth should we/she do that? Sometimes teachers do get it wrong, and it sounds as though this is one of those occasions.

Teachers can be spiteful. Although I'm now in my 50s, I still remember the occasion when my primary school teacher didn't allow me to join in the clay modelling class with all the rest of the (7 year old) children, because I'd been so excited that I'd had the audacity to touch (yes, just touch) the clay while we said the pre-lesson prayer. Injustice/disproportionate punishments do rankle, and a sensitive child will be upset. It sounds to me as though OP's little girl, who normally tries very hard to please, felt humiliated and embarrasssed, which is why she was so upset.

As for MareeyaDolores's contribution:

"Wot AICM said.

Schools aren't set up to be fair, or sensitive to a dc's needs. They're large state-run institutions which are specifically designed to impart a work ethic, a habit of obedience and the National Curriculum."

Thank goodness no child of mine has been taught by anybody with that sort of attitude. Fairness and sensitivity should be part fundamental to any good teacher's approach.

RedHelenB Tue 12-Feb-13 09:20:59

Are we sure it was left lying about? Maybe OP's daughter is a busy body in class & this was the final straw?

Loa Mon 11-Feb-13 10:38:11

Mine would over react like this and it would be mentioned for ages afterwards- but their teachers - well all bar one - have grasped that very quickly.

I remember being constantly told in my childhood to be 'less sensitive' - never helped me. It wasn't till late 20s I learnt to brush things off more.

My DC teacher's have all said it’s just their personalities - anxious and eager to please and little bit perfectionist and they all say how lovely the DC are and this is little we can do to change this it's more managing it.

OP I’m not sure speaking to the teacher will help though – you’ve spoken to the TA but either the teacher knows how to handle your DC and had a bad day or whatever you say probably won’t impact – well that was my experience and I had a very unhappy DC and stressful year over tiny easily avoided or rectifiable things again and again.

Just make a huge fuss of her when she brings the certificate home.

whiteflame Mon 11-Feb-13 09:17:10

But Ola, what about the OP DDs surprise? If she did ruin the other child's surprise, the teacher ruined her surprise by leaving the certificates lying about. So a bit rich to punish the child for something she was equally guilty of.

OlaSparkles Sun 10-Feb-13 15:50:04

Another teacher here. Actually I'm going to go against the tide and say I don't think it is too harsh.

The teacher let your dd get her certificate. If the fact of who recipients would be was not a secret then she would have told them beforehand so your dd was aware she was doing something wrong. Your dd shouldn't have told the other little boy.
For all you know the teacher may have been waiting to give this little boy a wonderful surprise after he had worked really hard to achieve something. Some children struggle (lack of concentration, confidence etc to produce outstanding work), because your daughter 'sneaked a peek' and told him, that lovely surprise was ruined.

Your daughter does sound very sensitive but I doubt any teacher could predict inconsolable tears, nightmares and the ruining of a birthday party because of a rightful and mild telling off.
I think the teacher needn't have kept the certificate but it was hardly corporal punishment.

What are you hoping to achieve by talking to the teacher if you have already spoken to the TA who will have alerted the teacher about your daughter's upset . I am presuming you wish for a personal apology from the teacher because if you wanted to let them know how sensitive your dd is, you have already done that...

MareeyaDolores Sun 10-Feb-13 15:26:18

The loveliness of many teachers who also guide and educate their pupils is a welcome bonus, but one which we (as parents) shouldn't take for granted.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 10-Feb-13 15:25:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MareeyaDolores Sun 10-Feb-13 15:22:18

Wot AICM said.

Schools aren't set up to be fair, or sensitive to a dc's needs. They're large state-run institutions which are specifically designed to impart a work ethic, a habit of obedience and the National Curriculum.

AICM Fri 08-Feb-13 22:05:45

Teacher a bit insensitive.
Child a bit sensitive.
Mother over sensitive

Phoebe47 Fri 08-Feb-13 19:57:43

Poor little girl and what a horrid way for the teacher to have reacted. She should just have had a quiet word along the lines of "It was supposed to be a secret" if she really felt she had to say something. It was the teachers fault for not keeping the certificate in her desk drawer. Most children would have done the same thing. I think Felicity and some others are being harsh about the fact that the OP's daughter is sensitive. I teach Y2 myself and a lot of them are sensitive souls if they get told off. Making her wait a day for her certificate was truly mean. She did not do anything terrible just was excited and wanted the other child to know. What a stupid reaction from the teacher. She sounds a twat to me. It was not a punishable offence. And I bet she's the sort that sends children to get things from her desk quite regularly!

socharlottet Wed 06-Feb-13 21:11:34

I think you8 need to work on your DDs resilience!

GiveoverGove Wed 06-Feb-13 19:52:47

What lost on the moors said.
I'm a primary school teacher and what happened to your DD today was just mean. Children hang onto those things for ages ( I've still got my own story from when I excitedly blabbed in a similar way when I was 5!)
I'm afraid there might be no way to make this teacher see sense though as she'd lose face to back down, on the other hand she might say she's sorry she caused your DD so much upset for a trivial thing - I wouldn't bet on it though.

trustissues75 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:10:01

Also I would be wondering about exactly how the teacher delivered the news to your DD because really...she was that ashamed about what she had done that she took hours to tell you why she was upset? (Is this normal for her?) Or did someone make her FEEL that level of shame with words, tone of voice, actions and setting in which the punishment was delivered (eg loudly in front of the whole class?) I'm not trying to shit stir..but as a child who was controlled using shame and guilt I'd wonder about this to be honest...and again keep my eyes and ears open.

trustissues75 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:03:07

It was a completely unfair punishment - unless of course the teacher had had a talk with the class about spoiling surprises? Your daughter did something perfectly innocent - share good news with a friend. And her reaction wasn't really over the top - children are smart and know when they are being treated arbitrarily and unfairly - which is exactly what this incident was. I'd be keeping my eyes and ears open regarding this teacher...perhaps she was just having an off day (no excuse to the over-reaction on her part though) or perhaps this is her modus operando...

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 02-Feb-13 10:00:56

Yes quite whiteflame, I hate surprises personally, my own personal hell is getting called out unexpectedly!

whiteflame Sat 02-Feb-13 07:12:53

What's the big deal about it being a surprise anyway? A lot of people hate surprises, and would prefer to know in advance/savour it.

Not really the point I know.

mumchat Sat 02-Feb-13 06:29:16

I can imagine how she feels. I don't think she even realised she had done anything wrong. She was just sharing excitement and good news with someone else to make them excited too. I can see that teachers may prefer it to be a surprise so teaching that by way of explanation to create an understanding of that way of seeing it - fine. Punishing the child - not fine.

I have had similar situations and just tried to explain that sometimes grown-ups make errors of judgement too sometimes. Now it has happened you do the teaching bit to gain the understanding that one assumes the teacher was trying to instil. Explain that it probably was a bit unfair to keep your certificate back but we know you've earned it and doing xyz to acheive that is fab, in fact (insert daddy, grandma, neighbour etc) was only saying the other day how they had noticed you had done xyz so well when they saw you. Then keep conversation on her acheivment not mentioning the certificate withdrawal again. Then distract with plans for tomorrow.

Wouldn't stop me feeling very niggled by what the teacher had done but would hopefully have put my child back on track.

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 03:43:59

You're quite right - I misread the OP. I still think the teacher over-reacted.

ponyprincess Fri 01-Feb-13 22:49:54

But Eumphemia the OP never said that her DD was denied the chance to get the certificate in the normal way. She got the certificate as usual, but later in the day the teacher called her over and had a quiet word about the certificate being withdrawn till the next day.

I don't think I would handle it this way if I were the teacher, but even so don't think this is a harsh or severe punishment.

Rainbowinthesky Fri 01-Feb-13 21:45:33

Poor thing. I would have told the other child too!
I don't think you should speak to the teacher though. I would focus on getting your dd to be less sensitive.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 01-Feb-13 19:08:40

Upset, sure, but inconsolable tears and nightmares, I assume about 10 hours after this had actually happened?!

My DC1 is a goody-goody and would have cried/been upset at the time and maybe again after school when she told me about it, but if she was inconsolable or woke up with nightmares I would worry tbh.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 01-Feb-13 19:02:44

I think it is quite common in young children that they feel upset if they perceive a punishment is unfair or don't understand why someone was angry with them, especially if they are used to pretty fair/consistent treatment and are not usually in trouble.

Narked Fri 01-Feb-13 19:01:33

There are DC like this. It's just as normal as having those that don't particularly care about being told off. Teachers generally know which is which and the DC who are usually very well behaved tend to respond to the D word - disappointed. They want their teachers to see them as good and be pleased with them.

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