Has the teacher been a bit over the top in her report assessment

(101 Posts)
treas Tue 27-Nov-12 23:29:47

Ds is a well behaved hard working Yr8 student who puts a lot of time and effort into all of his homework regardless of the subject.

One subject he does the teacher has told us that she considers him 'gifted and talented' in (pointless label I know) as he has produced GCSE level work and has always had top marks.

Ds's monitoring report has come back with this subject teacher stating that his homework is a 'cause for concern'.

At parent consultation evening we were informed that ds had not handed in 2 pieces of homework.

1/ A powerpoint presentation, which he had taken in on a dvd but there had been an 'IT issue' and the teacher had not been able to retrieve the work. Ds on coming home immediately burnt a new disc and returned it the next day but was unable to hand it in as he wasn't being taught the subject that day (teacher's decision, not his).

2/ Ds was one 13 out of 20 children who had misinterpreted the teacher's instructions and had revised how to do something rather than show how to do it on paper.

As a result he had a lunch time detention. At the time I thought it a little unfair as there was an obvious communication error between the teacher and pupils, but so be it.

So now my ds has a black mark on his report that will go up to his next school for things that I see as unfortunate incidents not totally down to ds, rather than blatantly not doing any homework.

Have to admit that I'm annoyed mainly because the teacher basically called ds a liar for telling me that the majority of children in the class had done the same as him for homework incident 2 and had to have a detention. 13/20 children to me is the majority of the class and I could see in her marking book the long column of red marks to back his statement.

So was the teacher a little heavy handed? And should we raise a query?

Ds of course feels it unfair as there are other children who don't appear to be punished for not doing homework at all.

Sorry so long, didn't want to drip feed.

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 23:08:27

Hi radical. Yes I am very lucky! I am sorry about your experience, that must have been really bad to make you feel that way. You know what they say ‘doctors are the worst patients’ smile. I am very aware of it so when I attend my DCs parents evening, I bite my tongue and just listen.

radicalsubstitution Sun 02-Dec-12 21:21:18

I have never had a difficult parent.

If that is the case, then you are very fortunate.

I have taught for nine years in a very heavily oversubscribed 'outstanding' school. The vast majority of parents are very supportive of the school. Some can be over-involved, but that is the case in any profession. Not trying to blow my own trumpet too much, but I am an experienced teacher and I have a good relationship with my students.

I have had one seriously hideous experience with a parent at a consultation evening - who also happened to be a teacher and a former teacher at my school. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience, and one which left me unable to go into work the following day. I am a self confessed hard bitch, and very little fazes me. However, this was an exception. The fact that it took place in front of the student made the situation far worse.

The head teacher got involved and told me that, should this situation arise again I should get up, declare the conversation over, and walk away. The head contacted the parent involved to discuss their conduct.

This is not a head that has low expectations of staff - quite the contrary in fact.

I have only had the one truly horriendous experience in all of my consultation evenings (probably about 500 appointments in all). It was not an experience I would like to repeat.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 19:29:18

You've tried reasoning with me? You change what you're saying every 5 minutes. The teacher isn't being supported. The teacher is being supported. You do nothing, you do everything. Teachers are free to let off steam, teachers should not say anything bad about parents in the staffroom. Headteachers have no authority, there's nothing anyone can do. You've never met a difficult parent, only crap teachers. Teachers would only walk out of a meeting because they 'can't cope'.

I'm not saying it's an us and them situation, but something needs to be done to redress the balance of the stream of negativity about teachers that pours from you.

And I don't recognise your description of teachers who hate students, parents, leave on the bell, only in it for themselves in any of my colleagues. From reading your posts it's like you consider yourself to be the only decent teacher anywhere. Apparently countering that impression makes me 'difficult'. hmm

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 19:06:16

have you ever considered quitting teaching? It probably isn't healthy to surround yourself with teachers when you clearly have such a low opinion of them. I have a low opinion of some(the sloppy ones, the useless ones) not all but your view is either you are with us or you are against us and you should be annulated quit! WOW! Where have we heard this before? I have tried to reason with you by pointing out to you that we are both teachers and parents, that our best friends are not always teachers, that there is no them and us, that everyone is free to let off steam, gossip, talk to their parents and friends as they please but there is no use.
I love teaching to the point I am happy to do it even for free. I love my students and their parents. I have never had a difficult parent. Parents are not difficult when they are listened to and reassured every time they are concerned. I have seen and worked with difficult teachers though who think they know it all. Why should I quit? I think the ones who need to leave and should quit this noble profession are the ones who hate their students and their parents, the ones who leave the premises as soon as they hear the bell, the ones who can’t wait for the holidays, the ones who hate Mondays, the ones who are in it only for themselves (promotion, long holidays, authority, can’t cope with adults ...) and the ones who can’t cope and walk out of meetings.
You are so narrow minded that I have nothing more to say to you. Reasoning with you is a waste of time so no more ...that how I do it with some of my ‘difficult colleagues’ biscuit

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 11:16:25

treas what a broad generalisation to make from your own limited experience.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 11:15:14

treas nowhere have I said that I was certain the parents were rude and aggressive hmm I have used words like 'might' and 'possible' and 'it depends' when I was asked if I thought it was unprofessional to walk away from parents.

pastoral have you ever considered quitting teaching? It probably isn't healthy to surround yourself with teachers when you clearly have such a low opinion of them.

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 11:13:08

I am off now to have a lovely lunch with some friends of mine who are only parents and I will listen to their gossip about their DCs'teachersgrin

treas Sun 02-Dec-12 11:12:14

All this hand-wringing about how no one dare question teachers or stop teachers being shit is just bollocks

The first half of this statement is true - yes parents do question teachers, however, very little is ever done about it by the schools. Yes schools listen but very rarely do they act on what parents have said.

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 11:09:30

All this hand-wringing about how no one dare question teachers or stop teachers being shit is just bollocks. Why is it bollocks? When the likes of you are ready to attack any parent who is wondering about a teacher's behaviour, planting doubts about everything and anything but a teacher......

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 11:01:30

If you pay attention by reading this no she isn't, although everyone is aware of it. She is not the only one and she won't be the last. btw, she doesn't think she has a problem! You will see that I did say btw, she doesn't think she has a problem! How can you help someone who doesn't think has a problem.

Your way of debating is very weak...your use of language is shock is it your way of letting off steam?!

treas Sun 02-Dec-12 10:59:44

noblegiraffe - you were not there either, yet you are certain that the parents must have been rude and aggressive towards the teacher and so they have to be in the wrong.

I think it rude for the parents to have said the child did not enjoy the teacher's lessons, I know the parents have a 'reputation' for getting teachers backs up. However, I do not know the tone used to address the teacher, knowing these parents it is highly unlikely that they were actually rude and aggressive in how they told the teacher this information. The fact that they told the teacher was rude.

You accuse me of assuming the teacher is in the wrong and yet you feel justified in presuming the parents were rude and aggressive.

However, I do admit that I feel the teacher was unprofessional to have walked away. She is an experienced teacher and should have had coping strategies for such situations or at the very least have introduced her subject leader and sat with her and the parent through the rest of the consultation time.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 10:18:34

Because the way you wrote it appeared to be deliberately to make the teacher appear in the wrong, when you weren't even there and apparently have no idea how it played out.

treas Sun 02-Dec-12 10:05:09

AViewfromtheFridge - why quibble over semantics?

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 02-Dec-12 09:29:37

OP, your vocabulary choices are interesting. Apparently these parents were left "stranded" and "abandoned". Where were they, Siberia?

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 09:08:54

Why do you keep changing things, pastoral? It's getting very irritating. You said that the teacher wasn't getting any support so I talked about all the ways I would support her and now apparently she's had loads of support but is simply shit and the school won't do anything. Have they not heard of competency procedures? Ofsted?

All this hand-wringing about how no one dare question teachers or stop teachers being shit is just bollocks.

And btw yes, there is a difference between a teacher letting off steam in the staffroom about an incident that happened to them and a kid coming home and telling his parents 'you'll never guess what Johnny said Mrs X did the other night'.

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 08:05:36

above not about, sorry for any typos

pastoralacademia Sun 02-Dec-12 08:00:47

*It's not exactly rocket science, is it? Why do you apparently think that those would be hard questions to answer?*Because you avoid answering themgrin

I would offer support. I'd probably also discuss it with my HOD if I thought it appropriate. And I'm not just saying that's what I would do hypothetically, it's what I have done. I've supported a struggling NQT by observing her, offering advice, taking some of her kids, offering to let her observe me teach the same lessons. I've gone in to support a colleague with a problem class during a free period. I've talked to other teachers about how best to deal with kids that I've taught before them and similarly they've helped out with my classes, taken kids off my hands, come in and read the riot act.
If you do all the above and you know that it has nothing to do with the dc but more to do with the attitude of some teachers and their incompetence, then you talk about the their HOD and HT but they seem unable to do anything about it either! If these teachers think that their way is the only way (not in front of OFSTED of course).
I would probably think that the parent would be dealing with it themselves if they were unhappy.
if the parents try to deal with it and approach the school, like OP, they are told to back off and stop interfering.
As for the teacher moaning about a parent in the staff room, well we're all allowed to let off steam, it keeps us sane.
A teacher is letting off steam hmmbut a child talking to his parents is spreading rumours and gossip and should be told to shut up!!! Double standards .....that’s what I am fed up with really angry why on Earth no one should question us, talk about us? Are we about everyone else? This is the kind of attitude that is draging us and the system down.

noblegiraffe Sat 01-Dec-12 23:04:38

I already told you, if I thought a teacher needed support, I would offer support. I'd probably also discuss it with my HOD if I thought it appropriate. And I'm not just saying that's what I would do hypothetically, it's what I have done. I've supported a struggling NQT by observing her, offering advice, taking some of her kids, offering to let her observe me teach the same lessons. I've gone in to support a colleague with a problem class during a free period. I've talked to other teachers about how best to deal with kids that I've taught before them and similarly they've helped out with my classes, taken kids off my hands, come in and read the riot act.
It's not that it's particularly my job either, I'm not a mentor or an AST or anything, I'm just a bog-standard part time classroom teacher. But in my school if we hear a teacher struggling we help out, instead of hiding in our rooms muttering about how all the shouting is disturbing our lessons.

As for the teacher moaning about a parent in the staff room, well we're all allowed to let off steam, it keeps us sane. If a child complained to me that a teacher had behaved unprofessionally, then I would advise them to tell their parents and get them to report it, or to tell someone in authority like their head of house. If I witnessed a teacher and a parent having an altercation, I would probably step in as previously said. If I merely heard about it, I would probably think that the parent would be dealing with it themselves if they were unhappy.

It's not exactly rocket science, is it? Why do you apparently think that those would be hard questions to answer?

pastoralacademia Sat 01-Dec-12 22:43:27

I welcome any discussion/gossip about me and my teaching, I have nothing to hide. It’s amazing how grateful are dc and their parents when you are doing a good job and you care....try it!

pastoralacademia Sat 01-Dec-12 22:36:21

Why are you doing nothing about any of your concerns, by the way? The system fails if everyone turns a blind eye, surely, and that would seem to include you. I would love to see you not answering a question by a question for once.....what would you do, enlighten me...go step by step grin

noblegiraffe Sat 01-Dec-12 18:27:34

pastoral if you're all aware of it, then why the bloody hell are you and everyone else apparently doing nothing about it?

So 'I witnessed a colleague calling a parent a monster' is actually 'I heard a colleague blowing off steam in the staffroom'?

Why are you doing nothing about any of your concerns, by the way? The system fails if everyone turns a blind eye, surely, and that would seem to include you.

treas Sat 01-Dec-12 17:59:14

lecce - are children not allowed to talk their parents about things they have seen and heard at school?

Why should I speak sharply to my ds for recounting something to me - he's not done anything wrong. Infact, he turned around to his friend and said that he actually enjoyed the lessons with this teacher, and that it was a shame that this other child didn't.

You assume he is spreading gossip - wrong, he told his parents not the Daily Mail. He told us because he was shocked by the situation.

Ds also knows that he wants to go to University, so well aware that he need to work hard so don't have the need to tell him he's there to learn. Personally, I think the parents were wrong to say this to the teacher.

You seem to presume that I am actively encouraging ds to dislike his teacher - far from it.

OP, I really hope you have discouraged your son from gossiping like this about his teacher. - Really? You feel that you have the right to tell me how to deal with my child when you do not know anything that I have said to him. Who died and left you in charge.

I just hope ds doesn't have the misfortune as of having you as a teacher, as obviously whatever he said he would be in the wrong.

I don't think some teachers realise the damage they do when they fail to see that it may be them in the wrong.

pastoralacademia Sat 01-Dec-12 12:41:33

It sounds like your colleague needs some support. Is she getting any? no she isn't, although everyone is aware of it. She is not the only one and she won't be the last. btw, she doesn't think she has a problem!

How would I step in? I'd go over and say 'is everything ok here?' or something similar to break up whatever was going on and give both parties a chance to leave the conversation. She didn't say it to their face, she did treat them like shit thoughshock then came to the staffroom, told a different story to the rest of the faculty and described the parents as monsters. What would you do then? You seem to think that everything is working so well in the system hmm are you for real?

noblegiraffe Sat 01-Dec-12 09:19:06

How would I step in? I'd go over and say 'is everything ok here?' or something similar to break up whatever was going on and give both parties a chance to leave the conversation.

As for what authority does the head have? Well, as an employer and a manager, there are systems for disciplining or getting rid of incompetent staff, what on earth makes you think there's nothing he can do? My school doesn't seem to have a problem with getting rid of poor staff, or getting staff to turn up to meetings.

And for the colleague next door who is shouting, again I'd talk to them about it 'sounds like that class is quite tough, can I take one or two off your hands for a bit to give you a chance with the rest?'

I'm a bit concerned, pastoralacademia about your complaints that things are shit, combined with an apparent belief that nothing can be done about it.

lecce Sat 01-Dec-12 08:55:18

pastoralacademia No of course lessons shouldn't be boring and I'm sure no teacher (or very few indeed) go in to lessons not giving a shit whether they are met by a sea of bored, blank faces or a sea of engaged-looking, interested faces. The former is draining for all concerned and, speaking for myself and my colleagues, something we try to avoid. However, the fact is that some aspects of the curriculum are duller than others and it is impossible for every lesson to be all-singing, all-dancing. In my subject, there is a lot of writing in KS4 and some pupils, no matter how many starters and pre-starters you do to warm them up, hate writing and probably tell their parents they don't enjoy the lesson. Not much I can really do about that.

I suppose my parents were a bit old-fashioned but I really think this sort of gossip ought to be discouraged. We don't know why she walked away, how (stomping off, kicking the chair over or calmly going to get an SLT member or something else), whether she came back etc etc. Any details would almost certainly be inaccurate so what is the point in encouraging this sort of thing?

It sounds like your colleague needs some support. Is she getting any?

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