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?

MiaowTheCat Wed 27-Feb-13 15:05:24

So you've asked a question - didn't like the answer so you're going to keep on labouring it basically.

Naughty in the context of a behaviour = fine; naughty in the context of a child = not fine.

Move out of the way - I've said it more than once - in a light "move out of the way so I can get through with this stuff duckie" tone of voice... you'll be the source of much inward eye rolling if you go up to school in a tizz over that.

Perhaps you need to find a school with NO discipline system if you're having such angst over a sun and cloud (and I've been in hundreds of schools over the years and I don't think I've seen many that don't have some kind of smiley face list for the kids behaving well and some kind of warning system to think again about their behaviour for the kids not working well - or shall I REALLY push the boat out and say "displaying behaviour that could be referred to as naughty")... and that's all the cloud is - a "think again about what you're doing" signpost that you're not currently on the right track.

And on that note, based on what you've said on here - you're being completely unreasonable if you go storming (sorry - bad choice of word based on the sun and cloud discussion) down to school over this stuff - particularly wanting to label this poor woman "unprofessional" right off the bat based on a story that's pretty much guaranteed to have got somewhat garbled on the way home from school. If you want to labour it you need to at least get the full version of events clear first or you risk looking pretty ridiculous.

tiggytape Wed 27-Feb-13 15:06:28

Children are spoken to like children. I agree there is need for respect and for teachers to be polite but they are talked to in the way that most of them understand. If the teacher was struggling to get through then perhaps she would issue a simple 5 word command rather than a polite request to step aside. By inference I guess I meant wider awareness and making associations. Most adults don't block a doorway if they know a teacher will soon to to go through before them. Most children cluster around any doorway even though they know very well that the teacher needs to go in first.

I think as a child in a school environment, you don't need to be talking to him so much about resigning himself to double standards so much as accepting he will sometimes be given instructions rather than requests. He is a child and adults responsible for him will sometimes tell him what to do.

You seem to be determined that your 5 year old has the social and cogitative skills of any adult but children are not always spoken to as adults especially in a group setting with only one teacher to oversee them and especially at the age of 5 where most children do sometimes need clear instructions over polite requests.

wheresthebeach Wed 27-Feb-13 15:07:16

I think you're getting wound up over nothing and seem determined to dismiss every alternative scenario presented. No...it's not necessarily rude to say 'move out of the way' if its done in the right way. People (grown-ups)can be polite without using specific wording - kids need it drummed into them.

TheSecondComing Wed 27-Feb-13 15:07:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MechanicalTheatre Wed 27-Feb-13 15:08:29

Saying "move out of the way" is no big deal. And for all you know, she actually said "could you move please" and your child has changed the wording slightly. No biggie at all.

And saying "that behaviour is naughty" is also not a big deal. It's not a word I use, but I wouldn't raise my eyebrows at it and I raise my eyebrows at EVERYTHING.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 15:18:41

miaw didn't ask I was being ureaseonable and that's why I put the question here. I think I should not utter a word to school considering the responses on this thread. Apologies for getting any backs up.

PolkadotCircus Wed 27-Feb-13 15:23:43

Petty,pick your battles,if that is all you have to worry about then lucky,lucky you.

Perhaps teacher put "could"at the beginning and "please"at the end of move out of the way.Either way if said teacher is trying to get 30 kids somewhere and your ds hadn't moved after being asked to I'd say the same.

And re naughty maybe they were being errr naughty,better than "little buggars "which is what I have been known to refer to my 3 dc now and again.

WannabeWilloughby Wed 27-Feb-13 15:28:08

File it away in your head and maybe mention it at parents evening if it's still eating away at you. I wouldnt go and see the teacher just for this.

I don't think the teacher would have meant anything by it. smile

MrsSham Wed 27-Feb-13 15:47:40

So you are concerned that your high end spectrum (what spectrum would that be anyway) child would not understand or grasp what resourceful means yet he is able to have a highly sophisticated understanding of the human condition.

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 15:48:39

"Naughty" was almost an affectionate term when I was at school - in contrast to "wicked", "mean" or "nasty".

MrsSham Wed 27-Feb-13 15:52:39

So you are concerned that your high end spectrum (what spectrum would that be anyway) child would not understand or grasp what resourceful means yet he is able to have a highly sophisticated understanding of the various levels of communication.

adeucalione Wed 27-Feb-13 16:19:54

Blimey O'Riley who'd be a teacher if this is the sort of crap they have to put up with.

lljkk Netherlands Wed 27-Feb-13 16:50:31

Some children won't understand "Excuse me", or even "I need to get through, please." They won't be used to being spoken to that way. They'll only be able to respond to a clear instruction "Move out of the way." It would be unhelpful to them to faff about with other ways of asking them to move aside.

FriendlyLadybird Wed 27-Feb-13 16:56:42

Naughty behaviour IS naughty behaviour. As long as it's the behaviour that is being labelled and not the child, I don't see the problem. Also, if writing names on the sun and cloud is a disciplines system, it seems appropriate to me to use it, and write up the names of the children who were being naughty.

I just wouldn't sweat it, if I were you. Lots of little, apparently unfair things happen through life, and part of growing up is learning to let go of them.

mrz Wed 27-Feb-13 17:12:26

It's perfectly acceptable to say "that is naughty (behaviour)" if the child is behaving in an unacceptable way and to say "you need to be more resourceful" Perhaps ensuring the child understands what is naughty and what they need to do to become more resourceful and even to ask a child to "move out of the way" if they are in the way ...

Fairenuff Wed 27-Feb-13 17:30:12

Most children in school are used to receiving instructions without a 'please' being necessary - Make sure you wish your hands before lunch, for example. As long as staff are generally courteous to all around them, it's fine.

We have to teach 'bossy verbs' to children so that they can also learn how to give an instruction. Most children can tell the difference by the time they are about 6 or 7 ime. Younger children might not be able to understand the subtle difference.

So, the teacher could have said something like, We are going to need to keep this doorway free for (insert reason) so make sure that you move out of the way. She may have put the emphasis on the instruction part of the sentence and looked pointedly at the child who was standing in the way.

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 18:00:24

Mrs, no, I wasn't concerned about providing a definition for a word. However, I do think that instruction is only helpful if it is understood, otherwise it is all a bit pointless isn't it? My use of the word 'spectrum'' was in response to a poster who had referred to research done on understanding inference and body language. It was talking about a spectrum of ability, I'm not sure why it is so difficult for you to understand?

The school, as I said has liberal ethos and a moto to reflect that but I wont divulge it as it may out me. The naughty comments are aimed at the same individuals not my DS and I think that's pretty poor labelling as these children are far from naughty, they just don't have the same MC background as the majority of pupils do. Mud sticks and I think it is poor practice.

daisymaybe Wed 27-Feb-13 18:26:31

If the motto is "treat others as you wish to be treated" then i would say that's the case for about 40% of schools.

Your DS will find it hard to get on through school, and indeed life, if he is being encouraged to be this minutely sensitive about everything.

mrz Wed 27-Feb-13 18:34:52

if the same individuals are behaving badly then the comments will be aimed at them ...

If I was loitering in a doorway and someone came along and said in a chirpy voice, "Come on then WhoKnows, move out of the way" I wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Like others I see no problem with labelling a behaviour as naughty, just not the child.

Dinkysmummy Wed 27-Feb-13 18:41:01

I understand that you are not happy with the overall picture.

However I would be inclined to say that if they called the child naughty it is wrong (my dd is always called challenging instead) if it is the behaviour then ok.

I'd agree with you with "move out of the way" she could and should have used please as they tell the children to be polite and use please and thank you they have to lead by example.
Using big words and not explaining them is wrong, but it might be worth telling your DS to ask the teacher if she says something he doesn't understand so that she can explain to the other children around her what the words mean. It is good for them to learn more complex words and how to use them in everyday speech but again only if it is explained.

Dds school have the same sort of system (rainbow, sunshine, cloud and storm cloud). If the teacher is not using it correctly then maybe (if there is a next time) say off handly to the teacher that DS was upset he had got on the cloud and could she explain her reasoning. This will mean either a) you get a better picture of her thinking and can explain to DS b) she might realise she was wrong and apologise of she made a mistake.

I would say teaching isn't always easy (I'm not one, but can only imagine), and teachers are not perfect and don't always get it right. The main thing is that your DS likes going to school and learns well.

Euphemia France Wed 27-Feb-13 18:41:15

Goldenbear Are the children being called naughty, or their behaviour?

Goldenbear Wed 27-Feb-13 19:19:40

According to my DS the children are being called 'naughty'. The last time she said it it was in response to another child who was describing the child's naughty behaviour. In response she said, 'Yes, he is naughty'.

Daisy, no, that is not the moto. It is not in common usage and I don't think any other school would have the same one. The school expects parents to be involved a lot, it is not the kind of school where you drop your kids and run. There is also an expectation from parents that their opinions will be seeked in decisions that affect their children. For instance, a lot of Reception year parents have started and signed a petition to have parent helpers in the playground at lunchtimes in a voluntary capacity because it is a big school and too many pupils are getting injured. They have been successful and CRB checked adults will be allowed to help.

My point is the school masquerade as something- being forward thinking, progressive, open minded but in the classroom teachers are calling children, 'naughty' and it happens to be the children of people not involved with the school in any way.

Euphemia France Wed 27-Feb-13 19:40:52

You make it sound like a bit of a conspiracy, a vendetta against uninvolved parents. Is it teachers, or just this one?

In any event, calling children naughty is not acceptable.

It sounds like you're not happy with the school overall, so you need to speak to someone.

Dinkysmummy Wed 27-Feb-13 19:42:50

Well then CT is out of order for calling kids naughty. Children aren't inherently naughty and it only makes them feel they have to live up to that title/not bother showing good behaviour as they have been pegged as naughty.

Most teachers know this. All teachers should know this.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now