three top tips to really help your child succeed and not just make you feel better

(74 Posts)
tameteacher Tue 19-Mar-13 23:26:45

Hi, I'm a happy mother of two and a top-notch primary school teacher/manager.

If you really want to help your child- and not just want to 'kick the cat' ie, take any frustrations, bad hair days, relationship problems out on the nearest person who can't kick back (ie your child's teacher) you need to be grown up and selfless (in other words a caring parent) and think about the following:

1) Whatever you think about the school/headteacher/teacher/homework policy/father of your child, your child wants to hear that everything is under control. If you have a problem with any of the above, sort it out adult-to-adult without dragging your child into the fray. If you slag your child's teacher off in front of them, at best you will be diminishing the effect that teacher can have on improving your child's performance and at worst you are turning the world into a place that your child sees as out-of-control. Save us all from parents who use the above to scare their child into loving them, and only them. I've seen too many in my time; unforgivable.

2) Help your child to grow up seeing their place in the world in relation to others. Some parents treat their children, and expect others to treat them, as little princes/princesses. Not only does this make them unpopular with their peers, it makes them unhappy when the real world smacks up against their self-image. Just remember that EVERYONE thinks that their child is special- that's what being a parent is about. And it means that everyone should teach their children that everyone else is as special as them. Share. Get your kid off that swing and let the next kid have a go. Talk to other children and show your child that you think they are important too.

3) Read. Read every day. Let your child see you read. Listen to your child read. Don't tell your child's teacher that you don't have time to read with your child; you're talking to someone who starts work at 8.00am and stops marking/preparing at 9.00pm.

Finally, remember that your child's teacher is human, just like you. Most teachers like most of their children's parents. Even if they don't, they are too professional to take it out on a child- they wouldn't be doing the job if they didn't love helping children to be the best they can be. True, there are a few duff teachers out there but at least teachers have to qualify to teach. If only some parents had to qualify to be parents...

Tameteacher x

Welovegrapes Tue 19-Mar-13 23:45:26

Goodness hmm

snice Tue 19-Mar-13 23:50:14

'top-notch' makes me think of the chap from the old British films going 'ding dong!' ?Terry Thomas maybe

DevaDiva Wed 20-Mar-13 00:14:48

Ok, thanks for that shock

Bad day at work?
wine

Feenie Wed 20-Mar-13 07:00:14

Not sure a 'top notch' teacher would make a prat of themselves hurling advice on good/bad parenting at people whether they want it or not! wink

TiredyCustards Wed 20-Mar-13 07:01:15

Riiiight.

Pozzled Wed 20-Mar-13 07:04:32

Oh, wow. OP I'm so glad you posted, I've now seen the error of my ways. It had never occurred to me to do any of that.

hmm

Seriously though, you're posting in primary education- the people here know this. I've met plenty of the parents you're thinking of, but don't be so patronising as to assume it's the majority.

PatriciaHolm Wed 20-Mar-13 07:07:02

Oh dear. Has a bad parents evening?

You are presumably aware that you are coming across as somewhat patronising, right?

Chubfuddler Wed 20-Mar-13 07:09:21

Leslie Phillips

Chubfuddler Wed 20-Mar-13 07:10:10

I agree the parents who need telling this stuff are unlikely to bother to spend their time on an Internet forum dedicated to parenting.

Timetoask Wed 20-Mar-13 07:10:25

I don't know why people are being sarcastic. Those are good suggestions.
Unfortunately, the people that treat their children this way are unlikely to change their attitude because it is so ingrained in them.

mnistooaddictive Wed 20-Mar-13 07:12:06

I am a teacher, I know you meant well but there is no need to be so condescending.

Chubfuddler Wed 20-Mar-13 07:12:43

They're good suggestions to make to the right audience. Which isn't here.

Perhaps some workshops for the parents at your school op?

learnandsay Wed 20-Mar-13 08:13:51

It probably needed to be said and for the OP where it got said probably wasn't the main thing. All in all I agree with you, OP. And I'm glad it's off your chest.

tameteacher Mon 01-Apr-13 18:22:33

Great parents' evening- as always- and no intention to be condesending; perhaps that's just too easy an explanation for those who may be uneasy with my post!
FTR, Presently I work in a school 'deprived' of middle class, privileged, mums.
Is it condesending to expect some acceptance of responsibility for your own children?
Glad to read some posts from the grown ups,
TT x

RosemaryandThyme Mon 01-Apr-13 19:41:09

Three top tips for being a decent teacher....

1 - Never assume you know more about the child than their parents.

2 - Never assume that a one year PGCE gives you any ability to engage learners.

3 - Accept that you have faults and over-come them with humility and grace.

PyroclasticFlo Mon 01-Apr-13 19:47:56

Another top tip for teachers - learn to spell the word condescending before using it.

EmpressMaud Mon 01-Apr-13 19:49:58

Quite right, Pyro.

Welovegrapes Mon 01-Apr-13 20:41:40

Also work harder on grammar, tame - stray comma before mums.

RaisinBoys Mon 01-Apr-13 21:05:21

I sincerely hope that you are not my child's teacher.

Your 3 tips are so redolent of judgement and prejudice that anyone who could be bothered to read to the end would doubtless be reaching for the sick bucket.

Contrary to what you think, the vast majority of parents, even in your school "deprived of middle class mums", are attempting to raise children who will become happy, confident, worthwhile, non-judgemental adults.

I trust your self assessment as "a top notch primary teacher" is said ironically.

Oh and I don't buy the 13 hour day either.

Haberdashery Mon 01-Apr-13 21:45:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Haberdashery Mon 01-Apr-13 21:53:01

Also, you absolute idiot, bad hair day? BAD HAIR DAY? Do you have any idea what kinds of lives some people have?

fuckwittery Mon 01-Apr-13 21:56:36

Are we meant to be thanking you for this thread?

I used to work longer hours than 8am to 9pm* and would have been most unimpressed if I ever got shit from the teacher for not reading the reading books each day with a lecture about how I was talking to someone who worked long hours.

*without school holidays off

Couldn't wouldn't teach if you paid me a million pounds and don't begrudge the teachers the time off, but seriously, lecturing people about the hours you work in response to a parent not reading with their child? Helpful.

HiggsBoson Mon 01-Apr-13 22:41:09

Quite probably the most patronising OP I have ever read on MN grin

Mendi Mon 01-Apr-13 22:49:30

OP, I agree with all your comments, though almost read no further than your self-declarared top-notch'-ness.

Like anything else, with parenting,the people who pronounce themselves to be 'top-notch', 'brilliant', etc. rarely are. Those qualities tend to speak for themselves.

Sounds like you have it all under control on the parenting front. Give yourself a pat on the back.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Apr-13 23:03:11

If you slag your child's teacher off in front of them, at best you will be diminishing the effect that teacher can have on improving your child's performance and at worst you are turning the world into a place that your child sees as out-of-control.

What about when you have to do this to diminish the negative effect of a truly crap and bullying teacher? There are many good teachers but there are also those who really should find another way to earn a living that doesn't involve being around young children or their parents. Hopefully most people will never encounter those teachers but unfortunately some of us have.

In those circumstances as a parent you have to do everything you can to support your child and to make them understand that no one no matter who they are has the right to treat another person the way their teacher is treating them. Then you move schools, pick up the pieces of your child's shattered self esteem and rebuild your lives. In hindsight I wish I had done a lot more 'slagging off' of the teacher to her face and in front of ds. Instead I supported her for far too long and a year later I am still picking up the pieces.

hwjm1945 Mon 01-Apr-13 23:07:18

Top notch.....Ding dong was James Hewitt of all people

Roseformeplease Mon 01-Apr-13 23:09:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Top tips for newcomers to mumsnet:

1. Have a bit of a read around first, and get a feel for the site and tone, before making your first post.
2. See point 1.
3. See point 1.

dummad Mon 01-Apr-13 23:15:31

What is it about teachers? What a totally narcistic, obnoxious post.

MintChocCh1p Mon 01-Apr-13 23:17:07

This made me grin

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Apr-13 23:18:06

OP - you left out love. All children can do their best if there is love.

you also left out doing sums to support numeracy

Hi, I'm a happy mother of thre and a top-notch parent/manager.

If you really want to help your children and not just want to 'kick the cat' ie, take any frustrations, bad hair days, relationship problems out on the nearest person who can't kick back (ie parents) you need to be grown up and selfless (in other words a caring teacher) and think about the following:

1) Regardless of what you think of the parent, most are doing the best they can and your refusal to provide requested information about their children at school, their behaviour and performance is at best diminishing the effect that the parent can have on improving these aspects and supporting your work.

2) Take pride in yourself, your ability and profession and stop being so defensive when parents ask questions. Learn what Evidence-based practice means and try it.

3) Get faster at admin.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 01-Apr-13 23:25:00

So you're the expert... I see.

RaisinBoys Mon 01-Apr-13 23:26:48

Well said bisjo.

Really hope your DC has a great teacher now

zzzzz Mon 01-Apr-13 23:28:12

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gabsid Mon 01-Apr-13 23:37:37

What on earth happened, if it wasn't a bad parents evening?

You certainly don't sound happy, top-notch or anything the like.

perplexedpirate Mon 01-Apr-13 23:44:33

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gabsid Mon 01-Apr-13 23:49:53

"at least teachers have to qualify to teach" - not anymore! Academies and Free Schools can employ who they like it seems.

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 01-Apr-13 23:56:43

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EarlyInTheMorning Tue 02-Apr-13 00:00:22

[slow clap]

quip Tue 02-Apr-13 08:00:57

What about the tip of teacher-proofing

marriedinwhiteagain Tue 02-Apr-13 08:05:10

In the night I thought "oh we were had - it was an April fool" and felt quite pleased with myself. But it was posted on 19th March !

doublecakeplease Tue 02-Apr-13 08:07:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Bonsoir Tue 02-Apr-13 08:08:39

When my DC tell me that one of their teachers is crap, I believe them (and they have always been right). There is no way I would undermine my DCs' trust by telling them that the teacher was in the right when the teacher is in the wrong.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 08:10:15

Awwwwww, got beaten to it in pointing out that the repeated misspelling of 'condescending' failed to match up to the OP's self-proclaimed top-notchness.

Badvoc Tue 02-Apr-13 08:13:05

That it - very possibly - the most smug tastic post I have ever easy in MN.
And that's fucking saying something!
I have a feeling you are an NQT.
All excited and thinking that a few weeks on a course makes you an expert in all other people's children.
Bless.

Badvoc Tue 02-Apr-13 08:13:29

Argh...bloody auto correct!
But you get the jist...

DizzyHoneyBee Tue 02-Apr-13 08:17:52

I hope the OP doesn't teach my children!
Though I do agree about listening to your children reading every day.

TwllBach Tue 02-Apr-13 08:22:44

Please don't blame NQTs - I am one and I blushed and then cringed when I read the OP blush

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 08:27:16

Hi, I'm a happy mother of two and a top-notch primary school teacher/manager.

I think we all cringed.

Catmint Tue 02-Apr-13 08:38:51

I don't disagree with the 'tips' per se. I do feel that making a positive contribution to my dd's education can't really be reduced to a list of 3 things, though.

I find the underlying point of op's posts is to attack the working class. I would recommend the op have a think about the effect that snobbery / class discrimination has on families. It could be argued that it has a much more limiting effect than not reading every day.

This effect may well be inter generational, meaning that the parents had poor experiences in education. It is part of your job to break this cycle, op. I believe that reaching out to the hard to reach and becoming more inclusive is an indicator of a strong school.

Actually the more I think about what you wrote, op, the more nauseated I feel.

gabsid Tue 02-Apr-13 09:52:31

Some of the things sound as if you have copied them from your school policy or an advice leaflet. I certainly haven't heard that stuff for the first time.

If my DC tells me his teacher is horrible then I want details from DS and then I discuss with the teacher to get to the root of the problem. Just before Easter my DS (almost 8, in Y3) was accused to get his HW done by someone else and was threatened with the HT if it happened again. DS was very upset and told me that new teacher was horrible. DS doesn't bother about HW, I have to force him, every day, so I thought it would be very unlikely that he bothers to get someone else to do it confused. I spoke to the teacher, the writing was different that's why she assumed someone else did it. She sent me the sheets and I could confirm that DS did it, he did it on different days, may have been in a different mood, therefore the handwriting looked different.

I was very annoyed, DS was so upset. The teacher could have handled that better, e.g. talked to DS's class teacher or us instead of showing the work to the HT, who doesn't really know DS that well.

So its worth listening to parents sometimes and not just assuming and advising OP. Not all parents are completely stupid and uneducated as you seem to assume.

Roseformeplease Wed 03-Apr-13 11:46:32

My first ever delete.......

newpup Wed 03-Apr-13 11:57:16

The ops post..... an attitude that speaks volumes about the teaching profession.

I suggest, as others have done, that you,

1. Concentrate on improving your teaching

2. Leave parenting to parents

and
3. I thank God you not my child's teacher.

mrz Wed 03-Apr-13 12:17:25

Please don't label all teachers because of the OP

Feenie Wed 03-Apr-13 12:21:41

The ops post..... an attitude that speaks volumes about the teaching profession.

Fgs, here we have an OP who is clearly smugness personified, and every single other poster, including a raft of teachers, has disagreed vehemently. But you, tutpup, have decided that of course it must speak for the whole of the profession.

Way to over-generalise. Mustn't miss an opportunity, however microscopic, to turn it into a teacher bashing thread, must we?

Congratulations - you have managed to make yourself look nearly as daft as the OP, and that is quite a feat on this one.

zzzzz Wed 03-Apr-13 12:40:38

Well the OP has taught me something. I must agree to being deleted because I didn't in any way mean the OP was a buttock! blush. Obviously the word I used means something quite different to the slang use I was brought up with, which was mild and not at all buttock related!

What I meant was the original post was blinkered, and a bit silly. It's enormously arrogant to imagine that giving birth twice and a pgce sets you up to be quite so dictatorial about others parenting.

FWIW reading every day is not the be all and end all of literacy. Some children are infinitely easier to teach/parent than others. Teachers do not always deserve our unqualified support, and backing up a bad teacher against your child would cause far more damage IMO than encouraging the child to be more self assured.

Top Notch Teachers inspire and educate, not goad and denigrate. I think you could have done a better job with your OP, it is very annoying and ill thought out.

OP What did you want to achieve by posting?

newpup Wed 03-Apr-13 12:49:05

Actually Feenie I am basing my opinion on the op, the teachers who were speaking at the NUT conference earlier and my own experience of teachers. Luckily my children have some very dedicated and exceptional teachers and there are lots of them. However, I think that there is a huge problem with teaching and professional attitude at the moment. Of course, I do not think all teachers are like the op but many are.

For what it is worth, I am a teacher myself.

'The ops post..... an attitude that speaks volumes about the teaching profession. '

wtf?

I am a BIG critic of our education system and have some anger about how some teachers defend it to the detriment of their pupils, particularly focussing on anti-parent behaviour, but thank god I know that most teachers aren't anything like the OP.

TBH I am not surprised that the more insecure teachers like to big themselves up and against parents. Parents are pretty much the only people that they are allowed to consider themselves more qualified than. The Gov, media, ofsted, health, prison service, well pretty much everyone else blames them for all of the ills of society and subjects them to assessment after assessment and criticism after criticism of their performace and results which are often quite meaningless and nothing to do with the attainment of their children.

So slagging off parents is probably their version of therapy1?

TwllBach Wed 03-Apr-13 13:01:52

I am a very insecure teacher, starlight and I don't slag parents off. No one in my staff room slags off parents.

I'm a bit tired off being told I'm lazy, I slag off parents, I'm only on it for the holidays, I should be grateful for whatever little free time I mange to claw back to myself because there are other people out there who work harder than me.

I find the attitude of some people towards teachers quite upsetting. I have yet to come across teachers who don't genuinely want the best for the children they encounter. I certainly do.

I'm no hero, I'm aware that there are perks to my job, but it's a job I trained hard for and it's a job I continue to work hard in, I don't understand why people feel it's ok to talk about teachers as if they are the lowest of the low.

And OPs like this one should be ashamed that she is feeding the all too big fire that people seem to want to throw us on these days.

Jellykitten1 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:14:31

What a lot of anger here for the OP! So she presented herself as top notch and posted a few tips... some of these over the top reactions to the OP are totally bizarre in their ferocity and disdain. It is wierd to get so wound up about it.

There are lots of posts on MN talking about how teachers would have a much easier life without parents. I and my friends with children with disabilities have reams and reams of Freedom of Information requests showing teachers slagging us off. Pretty much my whole family are teachers and they are constantly whinging about parents.

True that it isn't a proper scientific study, but I have had a LOT of experience of teachers whinging about parents, particularly parent demands.

Though I do agree that teachers are treated pretty badly in general in this country.

Everyone went to school so they think they know what it must be like to work in a school, and have strong opinions about how it should be done, including government quangos who set policy but have absolutely no experience of having worked in a school.

Jellykitten1 Wed 03-Apr-13 14:00:41

Yes, I take your point Starlight. There are good teachers/bad teachers/good parents/bad parents.

I just don't see it as reasonable for some posters to take their personal frustrations out on the OP. I know MN is a salt of the earth nest of vipers blah blah blah but I am constantly surprised at how unjustifiably furious and nasty some posters are in response to some really quite tame OPs like this one. Where is the self control? It's wierd. Passion is one thing, but the fury is wierd.

iseenodust Wed 03-Apr-13 14:28:41

As the OP clearly has a vision of what constitutes good parenting, I think it would be reasonable to have her 3 top tips for achieving top-notch status as a teacher too? And who decided the criteria for top-notchness?

AryaUnderfoot Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:39

Nicely put, Jellykitten1.

I don't think the OP put her point at all well, but I can see (some of) what she is saying. I once passed a parent going into DS' school telling his child 'Don't worry about it - all the teachers are shit anyway'.

I think there is a small minority in society (from all ages and classes) who make everyone's life a misery with their selfish attitudes.

One example is the father who takes his children to the local playground and, despite numerous 'no dogs on the park' signs, allows his vile mutt to run around with no lead, yapping at the children's heels. When my DD (3), who comes screaming over to me, he complains that 'it's only being friendly'.

Another example is the rude (old) woman at the bus stop who tutted loudly behind me and virtually pushed me over because I was, outrageously, letting the people in the bus queue get on before me rather than barging on. Her reply to me was 'I'm cold'.

It's the 'Im alright, fuck everyone else' attitude that make many people's jobs - whether they are teahers, nurses, shop assistants/managers, flight attendants, hotel receptionists etc - just that little bit more difficult than they need to be.

It may be good fun to vent at the OP for her unfortunate way of putting things, but I can see how frustrating some people could make her job.

Luckily, I have only come across one truly vile parent - they happened to be a deputy head at another school.

doublecakeplease Wed 03-Apr-13 19:38:03

I have no idea why my post was deleted. Out of order and slightly grating.

babanouche Thu 04-Apr-13 23:41:51

LOL @ number of deleted messages grin

Haberdashery Fri 05-Apr-13 22:25:11

I have no idea why I was deleted! I don't think I was even that rude! I think I was mainly pointing out that there are quite a few teachers here who manage to give advice without being patronising.

babanouche Fri 05-Apr-13 23:37:08

I'm sure there are but I am yet to meet one in real life grin

cory Mon 08-Apr-13 11:03:55

"1) Whatever you think about the school/headteacher/teacher/homework policy/father of your child, your child wants to hear that everything is under control. If you have a problem with any of the above, sort it out adult-to-adult without dragging your child into the fray. If you slag your child's teacher off in front of them, at best you will be diminishing the effect that teacher can have on improving your child's performance and at worst you are turning the world into a place that your child sees as out-of-control. Save us all from parents who use the above to scare their child into loving them, and only them. I've seen too many in my time; unforgivable."

This doesn't always work. There are times when you have to tell your child that the teacher is wrong, because it is important for the child's future to know that certain types of behaviour is not ok.

When dd's school discriminated against her disability and tried to punish her and exclude her because she was physically unable to do things, it was obviously vital to work with the adults to have the situation changed.

But it was also vital to tell dd what her teachers did and said to her was wrong because otherwise dd would grow up thinking that it is ok to treat weaker or disabled people badly, and that it is ok to stand by and see it done because you are afraid of speaking out against your boss.

Dd has to live with her disability all her life. If she had grown up thinking "this is the best you can ever ask for", that would be a good deal more disastrous than if she lost faith in any one individual teacher.

And if she grew up thinking it's ok to stand by and say "I know this is hurting you, but I daren't query it, because I'm afraid of getting into trouble"- then I'd think that was possible even more disastrous.

I am in charge of dd's moral education. It is my job to say: "Yes I know this happened and I have heard what the adults in charge had to say, but I want you to know that it is Wrong and that you must Never behave like this towards anyone."

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