Teacher doesn't like my daughter

(37 Posts)
Charlie2000 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:44:39

My daughter is in yr8. She is a bright hardworking student who has received fantastic reports and was even awarded a prize for effort and achievement in yr7. At the end of last term she told me that she feels her teacher is picking on her. Apparently he has been telling her off for talking when she hasn't been, told she will be in detention. That she will feel his wrath and that she is showing off. I find it very hard to believe that she is being so naughty - she is a lovely girl who has NEVER had any negative comments in her reports or at parents evenings. To further complicate matters I know her teacher as I used to work with him and always felt he was a good teacher. My daughter says his attitude towards has changed recently - prior to this he was praising her and her work. What would you do? I don't want to make matters worse for her.

bruffin Sat 04-Jan-14 16:57:14

I do think some teenagers get bees in their bonnets about this and a lot of it is bad perception of a situation.

My dd tells me her teacher think's she is the "devils spawn" He hates her etc etc He has been her form teacher for many
I just tell her to stop being so silly and get on with her work. She was really upset in class one day about something. He took her outside asked what was wrong and was really lovely to her. She now knows that he doesnt think she is the devils spawn. Parents evening he was talking about how he had looked forward to teaching her for english, as he had been her form teacher for years before that.

noblegiraffe Sat 04-Jan-14 19:17:06

Teachers don't normally start telling kids off regularly for talking when they are completely innocent. They also normally don't have the time or energy to have grudges, pick on pupils, or dislike them. Students are also remarkably deaf to hearing other kids being told off and insist that it is always them and no one else that gets picked up on particular behaviour. I also know certain pupils behave worse when with a different group of pupils (so in a maths set for example) or when doing a subject they don't like, so they might be getting glowing reports elsewhere.

I would suggest that you ask your daughter if she is completely and honestly never talking when she shouldn't be in that lesson and whether it would be a good idea if she moved away from whoever she is currently sat with in case she is being distracted, or being lumped in with her neighbours when they chat.

Is there a parents evening coming up? You could always ask the teacher for his version of why she is being told off for chatting and showing off.

NoComet Sat 04-Jan-14 19:38:50

DD2 is also in Y8, I strongly get the feeling that my embarrassingly angelic little girl is spreading her teenage wings.

I strongly suspect she is chattering far too much and not bothering to finish every HW and revise for every class test.
I know she has no time for some of her teachers.

It's part of growing up.

Thus it may be the teacher is being harsh, or that she is being worse behaved or most likely a combination of the two.

I think Y8/9 is a time when pupils and teachers need to adjust their relationships.

By Y10 most teachers (except possibly her tutor) have got the hang of my quirky, dyslexic, but very bright and pretty hard working DD1.

I think some adjustments will be needed on both sides with respect to DD2

cardibach Sat 04-Jan-14 22:24:47

Which teacher? From teacher? A subject? Which? As others have said, it can depend on the student's approach to a subject - even lovely kids can be annoying in subjects they dislike/aren't good at.

Charlie2000 Sun 05-Jan-14 10:50:39

Thanks for your replies. Cardibach, it is a subject she always enjoyed and is good at and a teacher she liked which is why it is so strange. I hope it is a case of her spreading her wings as I am happy for her to be disciplined if she deserves it, I am just worried that this is not the case - even her very sensible friends say he is picking on her. She is in the top twenty at a selective school, where behaviour is very good ( I know because I used to work there) and so I find it difficult to believe that the children are needing such firm discipline , although I know they are not all angels. The teacher concerned is also a deputy head and ofsted is imminent so maybe he is feeling the pressure! My concern is that my daughter is saying she now dreads the lesson and doesn't want to go to it and I don't want her not wanting to go to school because of it.........

NoComet Sun 05-Jan-14 10:59:23

I was going to say is something stressing her teacher, Ofsted and the insane pressure to make sure children all make better than expected progress is enough to make all teachers stressed.

If he's SLT it's doubly bad.

bruffin Sun 05-Jan-14 11:05:41

My dd says her friends say that her teacher was picking on her as well, her friends will back her up whatever, they have strange perceptions at that age.

NoComet Sun 05-Jan-14 11:07:37

Can you send a polite email explaining how up set your DD is getting, chances are he doesn't mean to actually upset her.

Teen girls can be surprisingly sensitive beneath the bravo. DD2(12) is nothing like as confident as she appears.

(DD1(15) on the other hand is far more self assured than her dizzy dyslexic public face. )

nkf Sun 05-Jan-14 11:10:36

She probably has been talking. They never have been when they tell the story. Or they have been explaining the work to a friend.

Cocolepew Sun 05-Jan-14 11:19:07

My english teacher hated me, for no reason I could work out. I told my mum who thought I was talkibg /mucking about and didn't like getting told off. At parents evening she said in a sort of jokey way "coco thinks you don't like her" teacher replied "she'd be right then, there are just some pupils I take an instant dislike too" perfectly straight faced and serious. I don't know what my mum said to her but the teacher didn't pick on me after that.
Just to give the other side of the story that your DD might be being picked on for no reason.
If her teacher is under stress he should be professional and not take it out on pupils.

I would tell DD you will go and have a meeting with him and gage her reaction.

cory Sun 05-Jan-14 11:33:11

When you say behaviour is so good you don't feel they should need such firm discipline at your dd's school, what kind of harsh measures are you talking about? Being told off for talking and threatened with detention doesn't seem very harsh to me; those would be normal expectations for a state school, too.

My ds (now in Yr 9), who is a pleasant and polite boy, has not only had several detentions in his (fairly ordinary) state school but has been put on report for persistent talking and failing to pay attention in class. It isn't because they have problems with discipline in general, but because they pride themselves on offering a good learning environment for all their pupils.

It has taken a couple of years, but I think the message has finally sunk in that being able to listen to the teacher undistracted is a perfectly reasonable expectation on the part of his classmates, and that for every other pupil who is egging him on there are probably two or three who are seething in silence.

Ime Yrs 7 and 8 are very much about adjusting to a new stage in life, learning to take responsibility for the way you present yourself rather than being nudged forward by the adults in your life.

I would sit down with your dd and say something along these lines:

"Of course I can't know what your teacher is like or whether he is a bit stressy. Again, I can't possibly know what your friends are like or if they're better and worse than you. But then that isn't really relevant. The important thing now is that you make sure you are making the most of your education and not disrupting anybody else's. Give it another month: make sure you never speak when you are not supposed to, give your friends clear signals that you will not be dragged into this, never respond if somebody else is being silly in class, work as hard as you possibly can in class, throw yourself into the subject- and if you are still having problems by half term, then I will go in and speak to the school."

Reincarnatedpig Sun 05-Jan-14 22:44:31

My daughter is currently in year 13. I complained that she was being picked on by her form tutor in year 12 - all sorts of nasty disparaging remarks. The school listened to my complaint but did very little other than pointing out to the teacher that her tutor group had some issues with her.

The same behaviour occurred early in year 13 - the tutor was now teaching DD as well. I complained again and this time made it clear I would pursue it via the Governors, Ofsted, legal means or whatever. The Head of Year believed me (there turned out to be other complainants as well) and arranged for the teacher to have appropriate "mentoring" to improve her behaviour. The behaviour ceased.

It might not be appropriate in all cases but some teachers, as with the general public are bullies and need to be pulled up.

As OP knows the teacher perhaps an informal chat might work - if not approach Head of Year.

Dromedary Sun 05-Jan-14 22:48:28

At secondary school it's just one teacher among many. I'd explain to DD that that's life sometimes and not to let it get to them.

She probably is chatting! 12/13 year olds often seem to think that if they aren't physically saying a word when they're reprimanded, then they're not talking. Chances are she was distracted, or engaged in a conversation but not actually saying something at that exact moment, or reacting to somebody else, or any of those things that are low level but mean she's not doing as she should. I would be picking up on this too, if it was a previously hard working student. It would certainly not mean I was picking on her.

A student once accused me of picking on him for giving him a detention when he hadn't done his work. I was 37 weeks pregnant, about to go on maternity leave, worked off my feet trying to get their coursework done before I went. I'm not ashamed to say he got the full rant 'you ACTUALLY think I sit at home thinking of ways to annoy YOU?' blush.

schoolnurse Mon 06-Jan-14 07:16:47

I was constantly picked on by a subject teacher (many years ago) it became so bad that the rest of the class were constantly commenting and one even said something to the teacher although it didn't make any difference. She was actually an excellent teacher and young and friendly to all but me and I was a exceedingly well behaved and very shy slightly anxious child I used to dread her lesson (a core subject) so five times a week and had her for three years. I mentioned it to my parents and my teacher both said it was nothing or said it was in my mind despite the fact that other class mates told the form teacher it was so bad it was becoming embarrassing. Two and a half years into it she suddenly changed she was discussing with me a piece of homework I'd done and said "it's so good we've buried the hatchet" as I'd said and done nothing I hadn't the faintest idea what she was talking about and by then was so scared of her I didn't comment. From that moment on she treated me like all the others; nice and friendly.
In retrospect she behaved in a thoroughly unprofessional way, one of my parents was a governor and probably came across as very wealthy and posh and I suspect it was pure prejudice she was very left wing. It affected the subject, her change in attitude came too late, I positively loathed it and thought I was rubbish at it, it was the only one I failed and when I retook it 6 months later and with a new teacher got an A.
I obviously work with children we can't like all of them and we should try not to discriminate against any of them but we are all human maybe this teacher just needs a gentle reminder particularly if he's stressed about something else. Does your DD have a tutor or head of year you can talk too?

BirdintheWings Mon 06-Jan-14 09:47:50

My little goody-two-shoes was startled to be in trouble twice within weeks of starting a new school. Having listened to her account of it, I'm afraid I just snorted and told her it was a fair cop.

Frankly, I think she'd been trading for years on her reputation as such a good, hardworking little girl that she couldn't have been the half-heard one giggling and chatting.

LEMoncehadacatcalledSANTA Mon 06-Jan-14 10:02:45

Believe your daughter! Go the school and ask what is going on, stand up to her and don't be deferential just because he is a teacher. Teachers do a bloody difficult job and have my respect but they are not perfect and there will be crap teachers.

i am a bit saddened to read from other posters that they are assuming that she is turning into a teenager so likely to be misbehaving. From what you say this seems unlikely.

If she is being bullied by her teacher then you need to stand up for her - you need her to know that you will stand up for her. If she is just being a teenager then this will come out, if she is struggling with the subject, this will come out and the appropriate actions can take place. It might just be that your DD is being over sensitive, but it might be that actually this man IS picking on your DD unfairly and if that is the case, not standing up for her will be extremely damaging to her self esteem, her relationship with you and relationship with those in authority whom she is expected to trust.

Do not go in all guns blazing - ask for a meeting with her class tutor/head of year or whoever it is that deals with pastoral care and get to the bottom of things because whatever is going on, there is a problem for your DD and it needs sorting out.

WeeBitWobbly Mon 06-Jan-14 10:10:03

I would call the teacher rather than arrange a visit. Time at school is so precious a face to face meeting at this stage might be OTT.
Approach phone call in a way saying she had been getting in trouble is there anything you can do etc etc, rather than attacking etc (not saying you would by the way!) grin

Timetoask Mon 06-Jan-14 10:19:01

Totally agree with LEMonce....SANTA (LONG NAME!)
Please believe your daughter and discuss it with the teacher.
I am appalled by all the people who write off a child's feelings like that in favour of a teacher. Bullying can be done both by children and adults. The OP's child doesn't have any history of difficult behaviour. She has trusted her mother enough to tell her what is happening.

gazzalw Mon 06-Jan-14 12:34:09

Some teachers do take a dislike to some children even if there's nothing untoward in their attitude/behaviour. It happened to both me an DW years ago.....So don't just assume your DD is in the wrong...

I've always held the belief that teachers can make and break a child's school career and it's not always down to the quality of their teaching but their attitudes...

DW for one has always loved history but didn't pursue it at A Level for the very reason that the History teacher who would have taught her had taken an active dislike to her at O Level stage....To put it in perspective DW got a first in her degree which was 50% history :-)!

Charlie2000 Mon 06-Jan-14 13:48:44

Thank you for all your replies - certainly food for thought! I think I will see how things are over the next few lessons and then phone as weebit wobbly suggests. Cory she is at a state school (we just have the eleven plus here which makes it selective). I understand what you mean about the discipline not being harsh but detentions are unusual and not given lightly so my daughter would be very upset if she were to receive one. Oh the joys of parenthood!

bruffin Mon 06-Jan-14 13:59:03

I am appalled by all the people who write off a child's feelings like that in favour of a teacher.
Really, i have never "written" off my dd's feelings. I just know her well enough to know what to take seriously or not. Teenagers to tend to over dramatise things. My dd is not being bullied by her teacher and he was very kind to her when she needed him to be. I would have done more damage to their relationship by steaming in and accusing him of being a bully

Kez100 Mon 06-Jan-14 14:21:47

Just tell her adults sometimes get it wrong and, if this is the case, then she can just take it on the chin knowing that she has done nothing wrong.

You just don't know what is what here but it is minor. Her perception of it isn't minor but I think if she learns to cope with it (so long as it gets no worse) then it puts them in god stead for real life, which isn't particularly fair either.

Ask her each day she has him what happened in that lesson - just to keep an eye on how it is panning out. Then maybe say something once you know the level of it.

cory Mon 06-Jan-14 18:15:32

Charlie, different state schools probably have different rules. Ds' state school takes disrupting other people's education seriously so you would expect a detention for doing that persistently. They are also anxious that work should get done and that pupils should be given the best chances, so if ds has faffed about in class instead of learning he will get a detention to ensure the work gets done- entirely in his own interests. It is my job as a parent to help him to deal with the upset of finding that his behaviour has consequences.

I wouldn't discount his feelings or assume the teacher was always in the right (I did actually once threaten to sue his sister's school- and I was serious).

But I wouldn't feel assuming he was necessarily in the right was in his best interests either. My parents did that: if I ever reported any falling out with a teacher their comment would be "how stupid of the teacher". The result was I never learned about negotiating or trying to understand where the other person was coming from: the assumption was that our family was always right. It wasn't helpful. I think dc have learnt more from my more open attitude.

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