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?

Sommink Mon 04-Mar-13 00:34:46

OMG I thought I had an issue when my daughter came out of reception with a black eye and not one of her teachers/TAs noticed. Clearly they were all busy saying please and thank you to the children not getting out of the way when another child was being pushed over. wink

Move out of the way is fine, i say it to children in swimming lessons and no one has every got upset with me. Sometimes children need short sharp quick instructions that are easy to follow, in my case it means another child can actually hold the wall rather then sink!

Saying naughty behavior is fine, I tell children they have naughty legs when they are swimming because their legs aren't kicking how they want, this doesn't make the child naughty, and they enjoy trying to make their legs behave, children who are behaving in a naughty way need to be told so that they get given a chance to correct this behavior, and as for the sun and cloud system, its just a visual clue to aid their auditory understanding. Not all children are as socially aware on the 'spectrum' you have created and may need a little prompting, it would be unfair and discriminatory if your child didn't use this system along with the rest of his peers even if he has an adult understanding of the world around him.

Umlauf Thu 28-Feb-13 14:12:46

Oh ok sorry, I thought I'd read he asked you what it meant. So to ask again, what word would you use in place of 'naughty?' For example, in a class I observed last week, one little boy ripped a girls spelling test in half because he was jealous and competitive and shed done better. The teacher had a word with him and said that was a very naughty thing to do and he must say sorry to the girl. (This is in another language so the translation was probably a bit stronger than the word 'naughty') I observed it worked well, so I'm genuinely interested to know how you would like the teacher to approach bad behaviour?

I think people are being a bit hard on Goldenbear, calling her 'one of those parents' and saying the teacher will be hmm at her opinions - because, if I have read the thread correctly, she hasn't said anything to the teacher - instead, she has come here to discuss what she has heard, and get some other views on it - which is a pretty sensible first step, in my opinion.

To answer the OP, I would not bat an eyelid at behaviour being characterised as 'naughty', but would be a bit more hmm about a teacher calling a child naughty to another child.

I do suspect that you are not seeing the full picture of what is happening in the class, Goldenbear, and that your ds is not seeing all the context of the interactions there. For example, when his name was put on the 'Clouds' list for sounding out a word when they had been told to read silently, it may be that the teacher had reminded them earlier that reading aloud during this time would mean going on the 'Clouds' list, or that another child had spoken, and the teacher had reminded that child to be quiet, otherwise they would go on the clouds list, on the basis of warning not only that specific child but the whole class - and your ds simply didn't hear her because he was concentrating on his book.

If he is happy, likes his class and his teacher, and is achieving what he is capable of achieving, then I wouldn't worry too much about these small issues. And you can congratulate yourself on having a child who actually tells you what is happening in their class - all I ever got, in answer to questions about school, was a blank look and 'nothing, mum'!

lecce Thu 28-Feb-13 12:19:04

OP, is your son happy at school and progressing well? You have come back and responded to so much, yet those key questions remain unanswered.

Goldenbear Thu 28-Feb-13 12:05:52

Umlauf, DS doesn't have a problem understanding the meanings of words but the teacher told the whole class to be 'more resourceful' and did not provide a definition following on from that which makes the instruction pretty pointless. Once he knows the meaning of the word, he's fine.

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-13 10:38:31

You seem to by trying to imply that the teacher is prejudiced towards 'less fortunate' invididuals OP. But the things that you describe are normal enforcement of rules.

Despite what you seem to believe, you do not know the intricate background of other parents in the school and you cannot tell just by looking at them. There could be all sorts of arrangements in place for other children of which you are not aware.

For example, a young mum struggling to maintain control of a child who has been exhibiting naughty behaviour might need the support of professionals around her. There may be a home/school action plan, for example. You don't know.

A child rushing off at the end of the day instead of being handed over to the appropriate adult by the appropriate professional is potentially a very dangerous situation and the teacher would be absolutely correct to reinforce this with both the parent and the child.

You might think it's 'sweet' but the teacher is responsible for the safety of that child and it's a responsibility she clearly takes seriously. Each child's needs are different and the teacher will be putting individual procedures in place to meet those needs, usually in consultation with individual parents and possibly SENCO.

I suggest you wind your neck in and concentrate on your own child. Is he happy in school? Loads of posters have asked you this and you have yet to answer.

adeucalione Thu 28-Feb-13 10:36:50

I think you should go in and talk to the teacher. Even now, after lots of replies all saying versions of the same thing, you think you are right. I think you won't rest until you have approached her and voiced your concerns.

I wish I could be there to see you telling her that she forgot to say 'please' and used a phrase that your son found difficult to understand (and would pay good money to be in the staff room afterwards), but would settle for you updating here instead.

SilentSplendidSun Thu 28-Feb-13 10:18:05

You have mentioned now the teacher is patronising. I ask again, do you have a bone to pick with this particular teacher?

SilentSplendidSun Thu 28-Feb-13 10:15:33

Okaaaay, I think I get it. You don't have a problem with the word "naughty" but you object it being used for children of working-class parents. Is that right? You think it will undermine them further, especially if they come from a challenging background...

But the same behaviour exhibited by children of MC parents are brushed aside. Am I correct so far?

Umlauf Thu 28-Feb-13 10:11:16

FWIW I ask as somebody teaching abroad at the moment and considering moving into primary teaching when I move back to the UK.

Umlauf Thu 28-Feb-13 10:07:29

I asked earlier but it may have been missed, ill ask again! OP, what word, other than naughty, would you apply to the behaviour of disruptive children in class? If these same children are repeat 'offenders' as it were, and as you suspect perhaps not from the same supportive home backgrounds, school could be the only place they have an opportunity to learn about good behaviour. Naughty is one of the least negative words I can think of to describe bad behaviour in class.

If 'resourceful' is too complex a word for your highly intelligent child (and do you think the teacher can really grade her language all day every day without one slip up?!) then the appropriate synonym for 'naughty' must be kept very simple so that the children not blessed with such skills can understand it.

Or do you disagree with highlighting bad behaviour in the first place?

Goldenbear Thu 28-Feb-13 10:00:56

They're not insults, they'd want to be called those things, I'm one FFS, I don't care!

Goldenbear Thu 28-Feb-13 09:58:58

No I don't have any problem with the teacher other than the use of the word 'naughty'.

How am over involved? I described 2 incidents above that I couldn't have missed due to me having to pick my son up at home time!

SilentSplendidSun Thu 28-Feb-13 09:53:49

Is this a wind-up? For someone who claims to be not that involved with school, you seem to know quite a lot of what goes on in your son's class and this teacher's working style. Do you have a problem with this teacher, that has nothing to do with the way she talks or her disciplinary methods?

And why bring class into it? Yeesh! Middle class? hippy, liberal? i've reached RDA of cliches and stereotypes, just on thisthread.

Goldenbear Thu 28-Feb-13 09:44:13

Well he has never been called naughty. He has only got in trouble once for talking in the last 18 months since starting infant school.

My question was a broader one about using the word 'naughty' to describe anyone in the class, particularly the children who don't have the over involved, hippy, liberal parents. One boy's mother has just been released from prison, she came to meet him after school, he ran over to her with an overwhelming happiness and excitement. The teacher told both the boy and the mum off for him leaving th line as you are meant to pick them up at a point in the playground. She was unbelievably inflexible considering and yet she will say nothing to the typical MC loud parents that disregard any rules that don't suit them.

When I looked at my child's work, another mum was present looking at her daughter's work, like me she had a toddler. The little girl kept picking up her brother, he didn't seem fussed but although the mum was present the teacher told her not to do it and he wasn't enjoying it. My DS was doing similar, she didn't say anything. The difference is that this is another child who apparently everyone has to help to be less 'naughty'. Interestingly, the mum is very young probably 21ish and has a 5 year old, she is not the typical age group, indeed many parents are late 30's to late 40's, I think the teacher was being slightly patronising in this instance. The naughty kids are these kids and I'm not sure how helpful this is for these particular children.

Goldenbear, how did you address the issue regarding the hitting with your son?

I think I would be more concerned that he was unwilling to communicate with you regarding this, but is willing to verbalise the minutiae of the day with you.

Those sort of incidents are fsr more important to be discussed than whether a teacher said please after a perfectly reasonable request.

I will echo the other posters above that you really need to determine which battles to pick, otherwise you will spend the next dozen years in a state of constant analysis and, perhaps, angst.

tiggytape Thu 28-Feb-13 08:44:10

I don't think they do - not according to the teacher anyway

So you trust her professional judgement when it comes to complimentary assessments of your son but you don't trust it when it comes to classroom management or less complimentary judgements of his behaviour?

Most here agree - you are being precious / overly protective about your DS to quite a high degree. If he has no idea that you feel this way then that is fine but if, as you say, he is very tuned into these things, it is going to confuse him to get mixed messages from school and home. It is going to cause him hurt if you get all offended on his behalf everytime he is given a fairly direct (or in your mind curt) instruction to follow.
He will get used to the fact that at school he is one of 30. He is in a little unit and the way the teacher talks to them will sometimes be quite direct. If you responded to his queries with an explanation that school differs from home because Mrs Smith has 30 children to keep safe and to teach, this would probably be more helpful to him. There will be 13 more years of this to get through - don't make it an uphill battle for him or one where he feels wronged from the start.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Thu 28-Feb-13 08:41:47

Interestingly, How to Talk So Children Will Listen.,, is very down on unnecessary "please"s, it advocates keeping it for favours, requests and supererogatory behaviour, whilst leaving straightforward instructions and things that really have to be done unadorned.

LeeCoakley Thu 28-Feb-13 08:22:42

Am enjoying a thread where 100% of replies are in agreement. Nothing to add but will read properly after work.

Goldenbear Thu 28-Feb-13 08:18:37

I don't think they do - not according to the teacher anyway!

Umlauf Thu 28-Feb-13 08:17:22

OP, what word, other than naughty, would you apply to the behaviour of disruptive children in class? If these same children are repeat 'offenders' as it were, and as you suspect perhaps not from the same supportive home backgrounds, school could be the only place they have an opportunity to learn about good behaviour. Naughty is one of the least negative words I can think of to describe bad behaviour in class.

If 'resourceful' is too complex a word for your highly intelligent child (and do you think the teacher can really grade her language all day every day without one slip up?!) then the appropriate synonym for 'naughty' must be kept very simple so that the children not blessed with such skills can understand it.

Or do you disagree with highlighting bad behaviour in the first place?

SilentSplendidSun Thu 28-Feb-13 08:15:25

All children have sophisticated observationsl skills and memory. It doesn't mean they are good judges of societal interactions. "Mummy says Aunt Karen smells-auntie is a smelly! He he he!!" When Mum has probably said, "Aunt Karen smells of wood fire or baking or.." You see how it works.

All the previous posters were trying to get this point across, but you were wilfully ignoring it. You are blinkered OP.

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Feb-13 08:11:53

Golden I think the point being made is that you appear to be very precious about your DS. It rarely happens, but the responses on this thread are unanimous: you are over-reacting in the extreme. Your reaction is denial, insult and intransigence.

While I have sympathy with your wish to protect your DS (a feeling we all share as parents), you might consider the effect of your concern about trivial events. He may be bright and honest and lovely - but will he be resilient and able to function in the wider world (not just in a "progressive" school)? Or will his sensitivity be treasured to such an extent that every single small interaction is studied for potential bruising? And how will you cope with the years of primary, not to mention secondary school ahead?

gillian88 Thu 28-Feb-13 07:55:11

I tell my ds to move out of the way all the time, it's not rude!

Eg- in tesco when someone can't get past with their trolley because he's standing in the way 'oops DS move out of the way and let that trolley past.'

If he's standing in the doorway and I can't get through with dds pram- 'move out of the way a minute DS so mummy can get through, thank you'

I don't see anything wrong with that!!

Goldenbear Thu 28-Feb-13 07:39:02

With regards to his very sophisticated observational skills and memory, I am repeating what the teacher told me at parents' evening. He is not exceptional as in a child prodigy for academic subjects. He was in a booster group for reading and is now on turquoise band and he is in top group for Maths but he isn't a child genius- never said he was. I'm not sure why people on here find that offensive.

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