"You need to be less ignorant"

(66 Posts)
GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 10:38:42

Help me get some perspective on a teacher saying this to my 9 year old dd.

Dd told the teacher an exciting fact she had just discovered, teacher said "that's not right". Dd replied "I'm sure it is - I just read it in XYZ book". Teacher said "You're wrong. You need to be less ignorant".

Aside from the fact that dd was infact quite right, how bad do you think this comment is from a teacher?

adeucalione Wed 10-Jul-13 18:23:38

OP I think you're right to be cross but I'll bet the teacher kicked herself afterwards too. I've done it myself - spoken to a pupil like I'd speak to my own children, or my nephews, and been mortified afterwards.

I suppose what you do about it depends on what you want to happen. Personally, if it was an isolated incident, and at this late stage in the school year, i think I'd leave it.

GooseyLoosey Wed 10-Jul-13 12:21:52

I am slightly sensitive here as dd moved to this school year or so ago. The school has been fantastic so far in every way - I love it. However, the reason for the move was partly a lot of low level psychological bullying which resulted in very low self esteem. New school are well aware of this and have been great dealing with it. It is also a selective school with a lot of bright kids in it. I guess this comment just seems totally at odds with the way the school have portrayed themselves so far and what they are supposed to be trying to achieve.

Lancelottie Wed 10-Jul-13 10:46:55

Oh Angus, I still remember a primary teacher telling us, 'i before e except after c', and ranting at me like a loon when I said 'What about Scientist?'

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Tue 09-Jul-13 23:15:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 09-Jul-13 23:01:53

At 31 I still remember having an argument with my teacher when I was 8 - she said told another child that pencils contain lead so if you chew them you can get lead poisoning. Me being a know-it-all gauged the situation badly and interjected with "oh no, pencils have graphite in them not lead, so they are not harmful". Teacher erupted into a rant about how I was wrong and stupid. We'd just had a trip to the nuclear power station and it had been taught there so I thought she'd be pleased I'd remembered... mind you she also told me I'd spelt "Pretty" incorrectly when I hadn't and told me to write it out correctly 20times, then went crazy at me for spelling it wrong until she got me a dictionary and suddenly realised her error and laughed saying "oh I always muddle that one". Hmmm, she was scary but I still feel smug that I was right and she was wrong.

You should probably mention it but if it was me, I hate confrontation, so I'd probably just know dd was not going to be in the class in Sept and leave it at that. Just let dd know you know she's right and that sometimes it's best not to annoy those less intelligent ;)

Notcontent Tue 09-Jul-13 22:37:21

Well, my dd is only 7 but I have already had to start explaining to her that some of the things her teacher says are not quite right.

charitygirl Tue 09-Jul-13 17:58:46

Hmm, there's something about that construction that would make me assume the speaker was pretty thick. If your DC is bright and challenging them they may be getting frustrated and trying to shut conversation down. Not acceptable.

cansu Tue 09-Jul-13 17:53:58

Colditz I do understand the definition of the word 'ignorant', thanks. I am suggesting in my earlier post that perhaps the teacher used the word incorrectly and instead meant that the child was being rude. I was also suggesting to you that it is ludicrous to hold the child's music teacher responsible if in fact the child is deficient in their knowledge of the curriculum or of the world or whatever the subject concerned (unless of course this is a music question given that the teacher was the child's music teacher) I suppose what I was getting at was that your comment wasn't terribly helpful. FWIW I think the teacher shouldn't have used the word in the context described. It seems to me a massive storm in a tea cup though.

indyandlara Tue 09-Jul-13 14:49:22

Was that really the verbatim conversation? Did your chd interrupt when they felt they were correct and this is what the ignorant remark relates to?

colditz Tue 09-Jul-13 14:19:28

Cansu, I was VERY specific. If a child is too ignorant, in the teachers opinion, then the teacher who has been teaching the child all year has clearly not done a very good job.

I have said nothing at all about the child's personality, and I am absolutely baffled as to why you don't understand the definition of the word "ignorant", especially as it has been defined clearly on this thread.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Tue 09-Jul-13 13:14:25

It doesn't sound nice - but i am imagining a harrassed teacher on a trip and child asking at a bad time (as kids do). I'd have a chat to the teacher but wouldn't see the need to involve the head unless there's history of other incidents.

adeucalione Tue 09-Jul-13 12:50:01

I think that, regardless of the word used,and regardless of whether the child was indeed displaying ignorance or arrogance, it was an unkind thing to say to a pupil, who would obviously have felt the criticism very keenly.

But teachers do obviously have thousands of interactions with children every week, and would be the first to admit that they are only human and sometimes get it wrong.

GooseyLoosey Tue 09-Jul-13 09:55:22

Thanks all.

I'm 100% sure dd got the word right.

I could well believe that the teacher meant arrogant. However, if that was the case, I still think it was completely inappropriate. She only said she thought she was right once and then backed down and as said before, this was not in the context of a lesson where she was contradicting the teacher.

If I had been having this conversation with another adult and they had responded to me in this way, I would have thought that they were being breathtakingly rude. I think this means that, for me at least, the comment remains inappropriate.

PickleFish Tue 09-Jul-13 08:56:25

and if it was 'arrogant' that was intended, it's not necessarily the teacher that got it wrong. It could equally be a child who misheard and reported it wrongly, especially if it was an unfamiliar word.

MirandaWest Tue 09-Jul-13 07:48:54

I think the meaning of the word ignorant seems to be changing or at least expanding. To mean it means lacking in knowledge about a certain area. And so colditz's post makes complete sense as a teacher should be helping to expand knowledge.

Other people use the word ignorant to mean rude etc often talking about being ignored rather than how I use the word ignorant and I would agree that parents should be teaching that.

I do try and expand my children's knowledge as well of course smile

cansu Tue 09-Jul-13 07:37:43

Yes cold it's because all ignorance, selfishness and any other lack of skill or fault can be removed by the one teacher that year. What a strange comment! one might also say that parents have some part to play in teaching their child.

colditz Mon 08-Jul-13 23:34:01

The point of going to school is to become less ignorant, and it is the teachers job to ensure this. If she has ignorant children in her class, she's not doing her job.

Clary Mon 08-Jul-13 23:30:55

Oh sorry I see lots of other people have said the same thing!

Clary Mon 08-Jul-13 23:30:23

Where are you OP? Where I am from (east mids) "ignorant" means sort of rude rather than knowing nothing.

As in "Not inviting me to the barbecue was a bit ignorant." Mind you I am not sure it helps, still a bit brusque of the teacher, but maybe they felt yr DD was being rude/pushy??? clutching at straws here.

Can I add tho that sometimes as a teacher you open your mouth and wish you hadn't? Or I do anyway. I told a reasonably bright 13yo the other day who didn't now what the word "excursion" meant that they should read a greater more different books which was perhaps a bit rude of me.

Notcontent Mon 08-Jul-13 23:19:00

I agree that the teacher must have meant "arrogant" - which is a pretty nasty thing to say to a child anyway...
But proves that the teacher is in fact ignorant!
I have noticed that lots of people, for some strange reason, use the word ignorant when they mean arrogant...

cansu Mon 08-Jul-13 19:12:26

Maybe she is confusing it with rude or know it all. Perhaps the way your dd spoke to the teacher seemed rude and that is the reason for the response? I would not however be wasting this much energy on this. Speaking to the head is overkill to me.

Lancelottie Mon 08-Jul-13 17:37:56

PickleFish, DD has just had on her school report 'Best to let your new teachers get to know you before you start pulling them up on their spelling mistakes'.

I think we have some Emotional Literacy work to do over the summer. Far more use than spelling practice, in her case.

PickleFish Mon 08-Jul-13 17:33:10

my first thought was 'arrogant', too. Not sure I'd like a teacher saying it to a child in quite that way, though, but it might have been that she had a point - some children can be really smart-alecky, get one over on the teacher, prove them wrong, make them look stupid, etc, and they can have a certain tone in their voice that conveys that. Not that your daughter necessarily did, of course, but maybe something made the teacher think that she might, just in the way she said it, or based on some history of their interactions, or poor word choice on your daughter's part, or whatever. Or the teacher had had loads of people doing similar already, and one more potential interaction like that was just enough to tip her over the edge?

I once had a teacher who was talking about the word 'miscellaneous' and how we could write it on our jotters, though she would have to think about how to spell it. I piped up "I'll tell you how to spell it" - when what I meant was 'I'll go look it up in the dictionary for you, in order to be helpful'. I got seriously snapped at, with the teacher clearly thinking I was trying to show I was cleverer than she was, etc. I wasn't intending that at all!! As it happens, I was an excellent speller for my age, and probably could have spelled some word she didn't know, but I really truly wasn't trying to show off at all. I can see now, though, how it sounded like it - and in several other situations, where I might well have known more than someone, but didn't express it in a way that made it clear I was still deferring to them in some way. That can be an important lesson for children to learn, especially those who do know lots of weird/random things that someone else might now - how to put that across without pissing the other person off, however 'right' you might be. Learning to let someone 'save face', if you will, or just respecting their feelings. I was too enthusiastic about wanting to share things I knew!

adeucalione Mon 08-Jul-13 15:39:24

I also think it's an odd choice of word in that context.

Might she have said 'arrogant' if your DD was being a bit showy offy?

Or something like 'we seem to be ignorant of the facts here', which would make more sense.

If the conversation was exactly as your DD described then it is an unpleasant way to talk to a child and I would make time to talk to the teacher about it.

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 14:45:01

Think this teacher is a bit like that. It is actually the music teacher rather than a general classroom teacher. Dd is not at all musical so I wonder if there is some background there.

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