How to Talk to a Not Nice Teacher

(27 Posts)
maybelemonade Sun 11-Sep-16 14:24:38

My daughter has just started yr 5 and the teacher is not very nice. To me or to many other mums, but also she has 'favourite children' and is not particularly nice to those who are not her favourite. Now, I understand that not all teachers gel with pupils or even their parents, or to differing degrees, and you just grin and bear it and be polite because if they are effective at the job, then nothing else matters. Trouble is that so far all teachers have been good for dd, and this is the first really unpleasant one. She just sneers, or dismisses, or ignores those she wants to. Parents and children included! So, my issue is - how do I approach her - just being nice will not cut the ice as she will turn away. Only reason it is important is because I need to engage with her because of my daughter, and I want to start off on the right footing. Desperately hoping my daughter doesn't have any issues with her as it is such a crucial year. Any advice?

0hCrepe Sun 11-Sep-16 14:27:59

What do you want to talk to her about?

MidnightVelvettheSixth Sun 11-Sep-16 14:32:00

I would approach the teacher as I would any other teacher, don't have preconceptions about them being unpleasant.

If you need her full attention for a serious topic then approach her & request a meeting after school at a convenient time, don't try to talk to her before or after school when there are also ten other parents who want to do the same as anyone would be distracted & busy then.

BackforGood Sun 11-Sep-16 14:36:20

As said above - I would approach them as I would anyone I needed to speak to about something.
I'm presuming you've not had time this term to make such a negative impression yourself, so must be going on gossip ?? Personally, I wouldn't make any judgements about a person until I'd got to know them myself.

How does a parent normally speak to a teacher in your school ? Do that. hmm

SharonfromEON Sun 11-Sep-16 14:37:00

I had a teacher bad reputation... I found that I started the year approaching with a very professional to be honest in the end I was blunt and very uninterested in her year.

I think though you have to go in with an open mind..There are people who managed to get along with this teacher.

maybelemonade Sun 11-Sep-16 14:55:29

Hiya. Yes, there is an issue I need to speak to her about re my dd and I have arranged a private meeting next week. And yes, I am of the mind that I should just approach her as I would anyone else - pleasant and focused on my child. It's just that she has a glint in her eye which is off-putting. So far I've had limited interaction with her, but I fear that I am one of the mums she has 'dismissed' (I am not alone, so that is helpful, but not really). Good friends of mine have had very positive interaction with her, so I know it is possible. Just want to know how to cross that barrier she puts up to parent so that she is open to me and my dd. Bear in mind dd does well at school. I don't think just being pleasant is enough -think I need to be charming. But how can you do that to someone you has dissed you in the past?

catkind Sun 11-Sep-16 15:37:56

Just be calm and clear. Don't try to charm her, don't be on the attack. Make it clear what you want and why it's a reasonable thing to ask for. Remember you are on the same side, even if for some reason she currently thinks you're not.
Does your daughter feel she's been sneered at? Or you? What exactly was said? Who was ignored when? Cos most of your complaint so far seems to be you don't like the teacher's face, and some people just aren't constantly smiley. If the teacher is actually saying or doing things that are putting your DD down (as opposed to normal classroom discipline!), maybe time to start making a log so you can speak to the teacher about it, or the head if it comes to that.
I'm not sure what "dissed you" means here either, the teacher was rude about you?

maybelemonade Sun 11-Sep-16 15:56:58

Thank you for your post. Think there's been a misunderstanding. I have only encountered teacher at school stuff, and then it is a pleasant smile on my part. Nothing else. She is the one who dismisses and doesn't engage. Not just with me, but with other parents. My daughter has never encountered her, as she's a Yr 5 teacher. Her friends in the upper years have told me of their likes and dislikes of this teacher. Some like, some don't. Totally normal. Just saying that in the playground she engages with certain parents and children not in her charge and with others she is dismissive. I am one of the parents she has not been friendly towards. I just need to see her about something next week, and I want to get things off on a good footing - as this is the first year she is going to be actual teacher to dd and we will have interaction through the year - I just wanted to know how to get over the barrier she puts up. Nothing more. thank you for advice.

clam Sun 11-Sep-16 16:08:01

I think you should avoid trying too hard. Go in and have your meeting, and be pleasant, polite and professional. Hopefully, you will then receive that back. Judging by all this hearsay, the woman sounds a bitch hard work, but I wouldn't let that spoil my day. It's her problem, not yours.

clam Sun 11-Sep-16 16:10:33

Actually, it could be that she perceives some parents as wanting to be too matey with her, and so she's kind of slapping them down to put them back in what she thinks should be their box. Maybe she "rewards" the ones she sees as less pushy.

Not saying that's right at all, and it shouldn't have to be that way, but just an idea.

maybelemonade Sun 11-Sep-16 16:32:14

thanks. all good advice.

Mouthfulofquiz Sun 11-Sep-16 16:47:46

You shouldn't have to charm anyone. Just go in there; be direct and professional and make sure you get your post by across in a mature and polite way.

catkind Sun 11-Sep-16 17:05:13

So you smile at her and she doesn't smile back? That's being dissed and sneered at? Teacher probably doesn't know who you are. I'd just interact normally and worry later if a problem actually shows up for you and your DD.

BackforGood Sun 11-Sep-16 17:08:50

My daughter has never encountered her, as she's a Yr 5 teacher.

Just saying that in the playground she engages with certain parents and children not in her charge and with others she is dismissive. I am one of the parents she has not been friendly towards.

Am I missing something ? Why would you expect a teacher, who is not your child's teacher, and never has been, to start engaging in conversation with you in the playground? confused
Presumably if she is in the playground, she is there to have a word with someone about a current situation. She might, once out there, then catch sight of a parent of someone who has moved on to secondary or something and ask how they are doing, but generally, why would she roaming the playground, chatting to people she has never taught's parents ?

Donthate Sun 11-Sep-16 17:11:39

She might already know some of the parents due to older siblings etc. Just talk to her as a professional you aren't trying to impress her or make friends just get your points across, stay cool and calm and be polite.

maybelemonade Sun 11-Sep-16 17:23:48

hi. thanks. it's a small school. everyone knows everyone else. all parents are friendly to all teachers and vice versa across age groups. Children play with different year groups, so they have friends across year groups. Assemblies are where teachers know of who's in which class etc. Just saying, this particular teacher is not nice to some parents in her year group as well as parents out of her year group. She has just decided on her own criteria to dismiss some parents and children, and is nice to those she decides are worthy?. So, in previous year 5, she was not nice to some parents and children and had favourite parents and children. So, knowing that this teacher does this, as experienced by other parents and teachers, I was just online to ask how to deal with such a teacher. It's a crucial year for my daughter so just preparing. Just looking for ideas for strategies. thanks

SharonfromEON Sun 11-Sep-16 17:36:40

Why is it a crucial year? My DS is in year 5?

I think you need to dismiss everything you have heard on the playground.

She may of not had a conversation with you.. Doesn't mean how she feels about your child.

You need to go into the meeting with what you need to discuss..She isn't your friend she is your DD teacher.. It really doesn't matter if she likes you/ you like her or not. It is your DD relationship with teacher that matters.

My Ds is under senco..I have gone in with a list of points I need to make.. Job done.

BackforGood Sun 11-Sep-16 17:48:19

Exactly what Sharon said.

Just ask / tell her about whatever it is that's bothering you.

<I'm also curious to know why Yr5 is a 'crucial' year>

clam Sun 11-Sep-16 18:39:49

I e been teaching in yrs 4/5/6 for 30 years and I'm also wondering why Yr 5 is so crucial. Unless it's an 11+ area?

irvineoneohone Sun 11-Sep-16 18:56:27

I wonder if the teacher is really that horrible or it's just a misunderstanding?
Not all teachers are smiley and friendly. I quite like it that way.
One of the teacher in ds's school never seems to smile. But she seems like a great teacher to me. Children are a bit afraid of her strictness, but I think someone like her is needed.

Natalieevans79 Sun 11-Sep-16 19:34:01

sorry it sounds like you might be being a little sensitive. Particularly if the only evidence of 'dismissal', is that it appears she speaks to some parents more than others. Perhaps she is shy? I'm a teacher and Im not great at small talk. If I talk more to some parents it would be because they are driving/seeking a conversation. I wouldn't necessarily embark on conversations with parents I don't know or have no immediate connection to. Perhaps she's shy or awkward. I would definitely assume that, rather than she has 'favourites'/lacks interest. Tbh she probably just wants to get home. She's tired, will probably be working again in the evening, and doesn't see small talk as part of her job. I don't , other than on parents' evenings etc but I'm secondary. Sorry not wanting to be negative , but trying to put what might seem as disinterest , into some context

fastdaytears Sun 11-Sep-16 19:39:15

Your daughter has had a week with this woman. Ignore what her older friends and other parents have said.

But how can you do that to someone you has dissed you in the past?

I don't really get this. Dissed like put you down? (From the 90s) what has she said? Who to?

LadyPenelope68 Sun 11-Sep-16 19:46:36

Sounds like you're creating an opinion on her just based in playground tittle tattle, you can't possibly "know" what she's fully like if your daughter has just gone into her class a week ago. I agree with a pp who said it might just be that she chats to other parents because she knows/has already taught their other children.

As for year 5 being "such an important year", I'm not sure what you're basing that on, as it's no different to other years. Year 6 is the important year in KS2.

t4nut Mon 12-Sep-16 10:07:21

This all sounds like its in the original posters head......

Irrespective of what the playground trolls gossip about if the teacher is doing a good job in the classroom - where none of the playground trolls are present - then all this silly who likes who is irrelevant.

Doowrah Mon 12-Sep-16 13:40:21

Good lord...I am a teacher and am often to be found in the playground with parents, I usually have a polite smile on my face and a look of yes I am here to help anyone should they need it. However, I am also usually physically there but am thinking about 15 different things that I have to do...and about 8 people I've got to speak to, as well as for my own family, dog, dinner etc,etc. I would hate to think that parents that aren't even mine should be thinking along the OP's line of thinking. In all honesty the majority of teachers are far too busy to give random parents a second thought let alone that they should be engineering a sneer campaign towards them.Should you be right, then that is her nonsense, ignore it and be professional I am sure you will find she will be too. I hope she turns out to be nice...let us know how it pans out.

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