Is it the norm for teachers to use the word, 'naughty' to describe pupils' behaviour

(94 Posts)
Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 12:51:28

My DS is in Year 1 at a school that I thought had a fairly progressive and liberal ethos with regards to Education. Therefore, I was quite surprised to hear from DS on a few occasions that one of his teachers regularly describes other pupils behaviour as being 'naughty' and then proceeds to write their names on the 'Sun and Cloud' (discipline system). Is it still acceptable to just label someone as 'being naughty' in a classroom?

Equally, she has told some of the class to be 'more resourceful', is this ever an appropriate response to 5/6 year olds? She didn't say it to my DS but he asked me what it mean't.

She did tell my DS to, 'move out of the way' when all he was doing was standing at the front of a queue near a door. She also put him on the 'Sun and Cloud' without warning as he began to sound out a word (didn't finish it) when they were sat around a table and she had told them to read but not out loud. He has not once been on the 'Sun and Cloud' throughout infant school- I think her reaction was very harsh considering they're learning to read.

All of these things combined make me think she is not very professional, should I say something to her directly?

learnandsay Wed 27-Feb-13 12:56:08

I would say "pick your battles." None of this sounds particularly important. If you start to argue with her about trivial things or simple matters of opinion you may well find it much harder to get her attention when something genuinely important arises.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 13:00:18

Very very petty.

If she was describing 'behaviour' as naughty and not the child themselves I don't see an issue.

'More resourceful' bit of a long word for ks1 but could have been appropriate in context.

Your DC is presumably the witness here- and IME the subtleties of who got a warning when are often lost in the retelling.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 13:04:06

My Mum was a teacher and seems to think these things are not petty- I suppose that is why i'm deliberating.

ubik Wed 27-Feb-13 13:04:18

You get a very patchy idea of what goes on in a classroom from your children - mine come out with bizarre stories.

And maybe children are being naughty and needs to be told this behaviour is unacceptable. Just a thought.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 13:08:34

My DS has an outstanding memory and sophisticated understanding of things way beyond his years- according to the teacher at the last parents' evening and so I think his interpretations are probably pretty accurate but if I'm being petty then fair enough.

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Feb-13 13:12:29

How would you describe unacceptable behaviour if not "naughty"? Genuine question.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 13:15:14

Sophisticated understanding way beyond his years could apply to academic work rather than social understanding, but even if it does relate to social understanding- way beyond his years could be similar to that of a 8,9,10,11 year old. Who couldn't be entirely relied upon in this situation either.

'Move out the way' or 'move out the way'. Imagine if you will the variety of tones of voice that it is possible to say that phrase in. It is not in itself offensive- it depends on context, tone and body language.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 13:29:00

Wouldn't you say what is wrong with the behaviour.

Felicity, he told me about the, 'move out of the way' comment because he was explaining initially how the teacher didn't practice the school rules of being polite in your manner. Basically, unbeknown to him he was describing the double standards at play. I found it quite amusing that he thought a 'please' should be added to quite a rude assertion, whatever 'tone' it is said in.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 13:31:36

I wouldn't say, 'move out of the way' if I wanted to open a door at work- it is rude however you say it. It is the words being said not the tone.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 13:37:18

I would say what was wrong with the behaviour, I might say 'we don't throw things in this classroom because it is naughty, somebody might get hurt.'

Your six year old could be forgiven for only remembering the first and middle bits of the sentence.

He believed the teacher was not being polite- but, however advanced he is he may be wrong. Judging attitudes, facial expressions and body language is a very advanced skill- studies show teenagers often pick up totally different messages from adults than other adults do.

Obviously that's one of the many reasons teachers have to be as clear as they can be with children, but in the rush of a school day it is possible for things to be said in haste occasionally.

Why are you so quick to believe that there is a major problem?

letseatgrandma Wed 27-Feb-13 13:41:18

She hasn't labelled them as being naughty, she has said the behaviour was.

You're not going be one of 'those' parents, are you?

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 13:50:32

But 'move out of the way' is not polite whether said by adult or child.

My 5 year old wouldn't have a problem remembering the sentence,'move out of the way.' Sorry but he wouldn't, it is a simple sentence and makes sense in the context he was in- at the beginning of a queue on the stairwell, just before the door. It makes contextual sense that she said that sentence.

I'm sure there are studies shown but I would imagine that the research indicates people on either end of the spectrum for levels of understanding and he would fall in the upper end I would imagine.

It's the combination of things that worry me about her style of teaching.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 13:56:23

Yes I probably am an interested parent but I've only once asked to see the teacher as my DS was being hit by a boy every time he saw him. DS didn't tell me, his friend did. As I was explaining my concerns to the teacher she was looking over my shoulder looking utterly bored.

FelicityWasCold Wed 27-Feb-13 14:01:26

Oh I give up. You seem determined to take offence. If you cannot see that the innocuous phrase. 'Move out the way' could be said in any number of ways this discussion is pointless.

My only remaining advice is - stop taking such a pedantic approach to your sons interactions with other adults. In the long run you will upset yourself, confuse your DS and irritate a lot of professionals.

As they say in tv 'I'm out'.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 14:18:07

Thanks for that insight but you didn't answer my genuine question as to how the remark, 'Move out of the way' is ever polite? So you would say this to an adult just before you went through a door?

Like I said, I've only ever spoken to the 'professionals' once in DS's whole school life so I don't think I'll be annoying anyone.

Believe me I won't get 'upset' about occurrances in an infant school.

DeWe Wed 27-Feb-13 14:28:43

I don't get the worry over calling a child's behaviour naughty. I see naughty as being a bit mischievous, behaviour that they shouldn't be doing, but is cheeky no harm done rather than outright nasty. Like an adult offered a biscuit "oh I'll be naughty"!

A 5yo won't have a problem remembering the sentence "move out of the way," but he won't necessarily tell you that he'd been told three times not to stand there because the head was about to come through carrying a heavy box... Context is everything, and the 5yo doesn't necessarily notice the context.

And they use lengthy words to help them talk about their behaviour. This year ds has come out with co-operating, repect, collaborating (which caused some confusion because he sees collaborating as a bad thing, being very into WWII) enabling, obliging and several other words that they use to describe behaviour and such like. "More resourceful" is just the sort of words they use, and my ds loves the long words he can use on his sisters! grin

Very funny when your 5yo is telling you "We need to co-operate on what we have for tea..." translated as "I want pizza and you're cooking something else".

tiggytape Wed 27-Feb-13 14:44:13

As DeWe says, the teacher could have been trying to get through with a heavy box and reiterated the need for them to move politely several times or she could have said "Move out of the way" in a sing-song voice like you might say 'mind your backs' or 'coming through'

Even a child with complete photographic memory is not going to be able to explain tone, inference and context to you at this age.

With respect to your mum, she may have been a teacher but is currently a proud Grandmother and as such her judgement on how teachers speak with children may be influenced by the fact that it is her little Grandson who has taken offence (or his mum anyway). She also doesn't know the circumstances of the comment.

The word naughty is perhaps more taboo in the sense of saying 'you naughty boy' than it is when used to describe undesirable behaviour. It is acceptable to say that the child's actions are naughty even if you disagree with labelling the child themselves naughty.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 14:48:14

Yes but you still wouldn't say, 'move out of the way' to an adult at a door, however many times you have said the door was going to be used. Although my DS would've been able to recall very easily that he was asked 3 times as he is no good at lying. He is not a 'typical' 5 year old in terms of his observations. He just isn't - a lot of people have remarked upon it - his teacher in reception, my Dad, my brother (who has a son the same age) and oddly my DP's boss at a work family event.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 14:50:35

With respect tiggytape, he does understand inference just like I did at that age.

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Feb-13 14:52:35

Mountain? Molehill?

I don't see why the constant need to remind everyone how exceptional your DS is. It's irrelevant to this situation, which isn't really a situation. Don't want to be mean, but really, there's so much else out there to get upset about.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 14:55:04

However, it seems I'm overly worried about that and I'll have to explain double standards do exist and that he will have to accept it. This is essentially what I have told him anyway as there is no other way to explain it, other than intiroducing him to Orwell.

ubik Wed 27-Feb-13 14:55:39

He's not an adult. He's a child!

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 14:59:30

Well I'm trying to explain the context and how is it irrelevant, it is completely relevant. He is not exceptional at football, most sports, only 'good' at reading. Is that ok with you whistle?

PopMusic Wed 27-Feb-13 15:04:31

Ok, your child is remarkable for his age. Congratulations.

But, move out the way can be said said in a sing songy voice, even if its given as an instruction. (Try it.)Yes, it's an instruction, not a request. Maybe you can teach your DS about bossy verbs.

I'm also sure your DS is able to relate conversations verbatim. Or maybe he is only 5 years old and therefore, he doesn't always get it.

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