Silly things teachers think will work

(370 Posts)
NAR4 Sat 17-Nov-12 13:59:50

One of the teachers at my child's school (he is in sixth form) thinks giving out yellow cards and red cards for 'bad' behaviour in class will somehow motivate 17 year olds.

At my 14 year old's school (a different school) he was asked to write a letter to Father Christmas during an English lesson. The teacher was dead serious. REALLY?

I pressume that nether of these teachers have children of their own, but should surely have been taught at uni that these things were completely age inappropriate.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 14:04:34

One of the things that I approve of at my son's college is that they don't bother with nonsense like this. A boy of 17 misbehaving is given opportunities to change, then told to leave.
How the hell will they cope at uni if they are arsing around in lessons in the 6th form? Or hold down a job?
Time they grew up.

41notTrendy Sat 17-Nov-12 14:05:47

I take it you are a qualified teacher?

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 14:07:48

Who me?
Yes, and the parent of a 17 year old boy.

balia Sat 17-Nov-12 14:10:25

Wow, they should make you the minister of Education - if you can tell without experimenting exactly what will work and what won't. Specially without being in either of those classrooms.

Can't be worse than Gove, I suppose.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 14:14:51

The point being that they are 17, not 7.

AViewfromtheFridge Sat 17-Nov-12 14:21:56

This week, I got my 14 year olds to bring in a stuffed toy and make a speech about why it should be Leader of the World.

Teaches them persuasion, makes it more entertaining than giving a speech about themselves, they had a laugh and they learnt. A couple of them said it was babyish at first but by the end were saying how much they enjoyed it...perhaps the Father Christmas letter was something similar.

I would imagine the yellow/red cards are more to do with behaviour management than motivation - everyone knows where they stand.

Let teachers teach, you get on with the parenting.


FermezLaBouche Sat 17-Nov-12 14:26:03

The red/yellow card system can work for some - especially when backed up with proper rewards/consequences. Perhaps it's part of school policy.

Also, how do you know what the teacher was looking for in the letter to Santa?

Your post comes across as extremely condescending.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 14:27:59

Don't have a problem with anything that the teachers are doing, but at 17 and in further education, I'd expect a higher standard of behaviour from boys on the verge of adulthood.
They should be there because they want to learn.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:42:26

I agree with the OP, these activities should be consigned to Primary, they don't encouraging children to function in the real world. What are teachers learning at college?

abbierhodes Sat 17-Nov-12 14:43:48

Erm... That's great nebulusboojum. But what if their behaviour isn't perfect? Not all 6th form classes are full of A-level sitting uni-hopefuls. There are plenty of students doing resits, or lower level courses such as BTECs etc.
Many, many 17 year olds are no more mature than 14 year olds. People mature at different rates. It seems to me like the teacher has come up with a warning system and used terminology they're familiar with. Would you rather she just kicked them out at the first sign of anything less than perfection?

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 14:45:14

I think things like red/yellow cards stop the flow of the class being disrupted. Maybe at 17 they SHOULDN'T still need that, but I'm currently at university on a professional course and there's plenty of people here that could be doing with a wee red carding now and then to remind them that sitting chatting throughout a lecture is not on.

FermezLaBouche Sat 17-Nov-12 14:49:17

What are teachers learning at college?

This question implies you think the teachers in question must be relatively fresh out of college.

Would it alter your opinion if the teachers had 30 years' experience and were "outstanding?"

cloudpuff Sat 17-Nov-12 14:49:36

I'm not a teacher but think if a 17 year can't behave and listen during the duration of a class session then a yellow cards not gonna make much difference. By that age they should know what is appropriate.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 14:50:39

They SHOULD cloudpuff but they frequently don't. Like I said, on my PGCE there are people, who are going to be teachers themselves, chatting through lectures and tutorials.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 14:51:32

I bet it does work, along with giving sweeties. The teacher is probably matching the strategies used to the maturity level of the class.
Let's see if future employers use similar tactics to get them out of bed and motivated at work.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 14:52:52

'Like I said, on my PGCE there are people, who are going to be teachers themselves, chatting through lectures and tutorials.'

And a 30% drop out rate in the first year of teaching because they can't cope.

stargirl1701 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:58:59

Teachers aren't learning anything at college. Certainly in Scotland it's a four year degree at Uni or a post grad degree after an undergraduate degree - again at Uni. Teachers haven't been trained at college in over 25 years. I assume it is the same in England although I aware there are non-traditional routes there not available in Scotland.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 15:00:26

I go to a college, stargirl.

cloudpuff Sat 17-Nov-12 15:02:19

If people can't shut up and listen for the length of a lecture or lesson then its rude. It's distacting for other students and teachers/lecturers.

How are these people gonna cope in employment if they cant keep quiet for a few hours?

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 15:02:44

Although the general consensus of if a child is unwilling to learn, or messing around, it is always the teacher's fault and thus their responsibility to do something about it.
That's been the norm for a couple of decades.
Because the pupil has little responsibility to take their own learning seriously and be independent, even when they are almost adult.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 15:03:52

'How are these people gonna cope in employment if they cant keep quiet for a few hours?'

It's not even the keeping quiet, it's the disruption to everyone else's learning that is also unacceptable.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 15:06:11

cloudpuff I really don't know, but it seriously bothers me. Their utter lack of interest in their subject and their disregard for other people is just shocking to me.

Nebulous yes, this constant need to blame teachers for everything that's wrong in the classroom is really bothersome. Yes, there are a lot of things we can do to improve behaviour and to ensure that all children are learning. At some point, they have to take some responsibility instead.

I used to teach English as a foreign language, and had a student complain he failed an exam because of me, because I didn't teach him the right stuff. He only came to about one class a week instead of five. He was an adult. All the other students passed.

stargirl1701 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:09:58

Are you in England Esme? As I said I'm not fully aware of the situation in England. In Scotland you need a university degree to be a GTC registered teacher - and you can't teach without registration.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:14:20

If a 6th former cant cope with a lesson then they should be told to leave the room. What is the point in going to sixth form if you are unable to cope with a class. They should get an apprenticeship, or try and get a job to learn how precious an education is. Why would a teacher pander to their disruption by playing the red card game. Millionaire footballers become icons by getting red cards and its a badge of honor not a punishment. I hate the PC system where children are closeted and we wonder why we employers wont give them jobs.

FermezLaBouche Sat 17-Nov-12 15:20:18

Many teachers work in school with totally inefficient, spineless Senior Leadership Teams. The kind who will bring a student, previously removed by the teacher for massive disruption, straight back as 'she's very sorry and is going to be good now.'
Luckily for my sanity, I don't, but I have friends who do. If those teachers know their sanctions are't going to be backed up by SLT, I don't blame them for taking any disciplinary measures they can think of to keep order in class - however juvenile they may seem.

casma Sat 17-Nov-12 15:21:29

Totally inappropriate IMO. Teenagers are, on the whole, selfish people so to get them to react you need something which will impact on them (e.g. detention). If there are no consequences to having received a red card, why would students care about getting one?

I am not, however, a teacher so I would trust that they know what they're doing to manage the pupils.

Celticlassie Sat 17-Nov-12 15:26:30

Unfortunately, a lot of 17 year old boys DON'T know how to behave and it does not fall to the ordinary classroom teacher to tell them to leave school. not that I haven't suggested it to them

I've used all sorts of 'childish' motivational techniques to get my senior boys to learn because unfortunately I'm still judged on their results!

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 15:27:24

Not just boys, in my experience. There are plenty of girls who won't behave themselves either.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Nov-12 15:27:57

I've seen GCSE students motivated by stickers which you would expect them to be too old for. Who knows what won't work with any particular group of students without trying it?

41notTrendy Sat 17-Nov-12 15:29:22

Everyone's an expert. Sigh. The reason for what goes on in any classroom can be complex. And yes, sometimes it's poor teaching or misjudged situations. Assuming its always ineptitude is wrong.

cloudpuff Sat 17-Nov-12 15:29:44

I agree with teachers getting the blame for students crappy behaviour, when it should fall to the students themselves and their upbringing.

My bestfriends son is very ermmmm challenging, she blames everyone for his appaling(sp?) behaviour, when spending half an hour in her household you can see its thier lazy parenting style, yet the blame the school and claim they are picking on him, in reality the teachers have been very very good with him and are the only ones trying to discipline him, I actually worry about this child and how he will cope when he hits his teenage years.

Sorry didnt mean to derail.

cloudpuff Sat 17-Nov-12 15:30:30

I didnt mean I agree as in that they are to blame, I meant I agree in as it seems to they do get blamed.

tethersend Sat 17-Nov-12 15:37:09

I have used circle time with 15 year olds- in fact, an Ofsted inspector observed me doing so. The lesson was rated outstanding.

<blows childish raspberry>

AViewfromtheFridge Sat 17-Nov-12 15:44:26

Casma, I would imagine the red card probably does have consequences - it will represent something, for example, a detention or extra work. Why would a teacher just stand around waving cards??

I do love a good bit of teacher bashing of a Saturday afternoon. Work 9-3, all those holidays, and even then they can't pitch lessons appropriately.

casma Sat 17-Nov-12 15:50:06

The OP didn't mention a consequence, which I took to suggest there wasn't one (I haven't read the whole thread though). If there was, why would she be complaining about it being a method of discipline? With a consequence, I would imagine that method to be an effective way of disciplining anyone of school age.

FermezLaBouche Sat 17-Nov-12 16:10:56

Or perhaps the OP didn't mention the cards being used with relevant consequences because she was too busy trying to convey how ludicrous the whole idea was. And don't even get me started on "I presume these teachers have no children of their own."

AViewfromtheFridge Sat 17-Nov-12 16:29:06

I was so busy being outraged by the rest of it I didn't notice that! WHAT??

How on earth is there a correlation between how good/ reasonable/ effective a teacher you are and whether or not you have children of their own? Madness. Most of the people I work with say they were actually better teachers before they had children, because they had so much more time!

(And while I hate to be a pedant OP, if you're going to criticise anything to do with education, you should probably proof-read your posts.)

webwiz Sat 17-Nov-12 17:29:37

I think the red/yellow card thing sounds like a really good idea - DS would probably respond quite well to that (year 11), a quick way of warning you are going a bit to far with the chatting/showing off (more likely to be showing off hmm) to get you back to focusing on the lesson.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sat 17-Nov-12 18:07:27

I don't have bad behaviour in my lessons, but I believe that the yellow/red card thing is very effective.

Obviously, it comes from football, so immediately connects with many students.

It is something that a teacher can do non-verbally, so does not add to disruption of the lesson for those students who are eager to learn.

Teachers have other non-verbal strategies, such as writing a student's name in the board and adding tally marks to indicate the severity of the punishment.

I think the OP does not understand the reality of behaviour in schools today. It is very shocking for someone with a 10/20/30 year old memory of what school was like.

exoticfruits Sat 17-Nov-12 18:13:38

If they can't behave in a sixth form lesson there is no point in them being there. As a parent I would give them a stark choice-stop messing about or leave and get a job.

exoticfruits Sat 17-Nov-12 18:16:09

I think the OP does not understand the reality of behaviour in schools today. It is very shocking for someone with a 10/20/30 year old memory of what school was like.
As a parent I simply wouldn't put up with a school like that. Mine went to a comprehensive and it isn't the reality in all schools! Phone up-ask why they are teaching 6 form pupils who need a card system-why are they not asked to leave?

Cartoonjane Sat 17-Nov-12 18:21:01

Some sixth formers love things that they last experienced when much younger. For example stickers are very popuar with my sixth formers. They love them in a sort of "ironic" ( that's tennager type ironic) way but are motivated by them. I don't know about red and yellow cards but all these things depend in the end on the personality of and relationship with the teacher using them.

Cartoonjane Sat 17-Nov-12 18:24:00

exoticfruits they are not asked to leave because schools don't receive funding for students who don't compete courses. Also in some cases asking students to leave condemns them to the sort of life we want them to avoid. The next time I see them they might be doing something far worse than messing about in cass.

exoticfruits Sat 17-Nov-12 18:27:40

In that case then whatever works-but it isn't where I would send my DCs.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 18:34:51

I don't think yellow and red cards are supposed to motivate. hmm More like two strokes and you're out.

I'd presume if you are sent out of the room during 6th form, you'd be very likely asked to leave school altogether.

At DSs school they are awarded points, and after 50 points they get a badge to wear on tier blazer.(Gold/silver/bronze) At nearly 14 he is desperate (like his friends) to get a badge. Bizarrely, I think he would be thrilled by a sticker.

His Spanish teacher gives out sweets, but he doesn't like sweets,so that's not too effective.

DS was most excited to find out you don't get detentions in 6th form. I pointed out that if you didn't know how to behave properly, and bother to do your homework in 6th form, you'd probably just fail your A'levels, and you should be old enough to realise that by Y12. It gave him something to think about.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 18:37:28

Its sad to hear (and I don't blame teachers) but it does seem some schools are really just glorified baby sitting services. It is ridiculous that you have to persuade a 17 year old to learn when they should be getting a job and learning the real world does not pander to their behavioral issues. No wonder many parents want to send their children to exclusive schools where learning actually takes place.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 17-Nov-12 18:37:31

I'd love a card system at uni! I'd be doling them out all over the place, but instead I have to just glare quizzically until they stop chatting or texting or whatever.

There is a linguistics lecturer who throws smarties out in lectures to anyone who answers a question, whether rightly or wrongly. hmm. He is very popular.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Nov-12 18:50:00

It'll only get worse when education/training becomes compulsory to 18.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 19:02:59

I imagine 6th forms of certain schools will tighten their entrance criteria, when education to 18 becomes compulsory.

DSs school as for almost straight B's. And they get good A'level results. The local high school is more relaxed, the selective grammar asks for a certain amount of points (I haven't translated what that means yet).

(In my day you could get in anywhere with straight C's. What does that tell you?)

exoticfruits Sat 17-Nov-12 19:34:25

It is about the only thing that I think is good about league tables. 6th forms in our area are very competitively marketed, and they jealously guard their position, so they would be asked to leave. They are monitored first which would mean that they took a report card to every lesson and the teacher would have to award marks for effort, results, homework done etc and if that doesn't work they are out.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 19:39:49

When education becomes compulsory to 18, then the issues change, because once again, like GCSEs, you will have a number of captives that want to be released and are not allowed to be free. Then treats, rewards and cajoling to elicit good behaviour may well be necessary, along with detentions and exclusions.
Currently if you are at 6th form it is because it is your choice.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:44

But surely almost all 16-18 yo's are currently in education, even if it's vocational, such as hairdressing, or bricklaying?

Non academic DC aren't going to be forced into staying on at school...they will move on to the local colege to do what suits them best, won't they?

Won't the only difference be whether or not they can claim certain benefits?

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 21:06:16

They might even learn how to spell college correctly.

BrianButterfield Sat 17-Nov-12 21:09:33

Writing a letter to Father Christmas is a nice, low-key way of introducing persuasive writing. I am 100% convinced the teacher did not at all expect them to believe in him! But it's a fun way of teaching the structure of an argument and how to use language in a persuasive way.

I thought it was only children who thought teachers lived at school and not in the real world, but apparently it isn't.

Myliferocks Sat 17-Nov-12 21:16:38

My DD is studying A level history at our local college. Occasionally she comes home and says that they watched Horrible Histories. Last week she said that they listened to the Horrible Histories songs. Apparently you can tell the students who have younger siblings.
They all love it and they are aged 16 and above.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 21:55:03

OMG if A level students are learning History from the watching Horrible Histories then no wonder our education system needs overhauling. That's a disgrace.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 21:56:13

We use Horrible Histories in Y3 and 4.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 21:57:44

I don't think there's anything wrong with using Horrible Histories as an introduction for older students. They're generally pretty accurate and it can liven up a class a little bit.

casma Sat 17-Nov-12 22:02:29

DD sometimes watches the songs in history - in a long double lesson I think a bit of light relief in the middle is good to keep everyone going.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 22:10:40

Writing a letter to Father Christmas may a nice, low-key way of introducing persuasive writing, but I would have thought this would have happened in Y2 for the most able DC at definitely by Y5 for the average DC. Usually the introduction to persuasive writing is to write to the head teacher, requesting something they have pre-agreed with the class teacher, isn't it? The head teacher writes a letter back, blah, blah.

I wonder if the 14yo's got a letter back from FC. Not so much an introduction in Y9 (they wouldn't do this in Y!0, would they? hmm)

BrianButterfield Sat 17-Nov-12 22:11:56

They're clearly not learning from Horrible Histories - it's a bit of light relief and could provide a different point of view to the textbook version. I've shown Blackadder to classes when we've been reading about WW1; yes, it's funny but the sets, costumes and the general attitudes shown are all pretty accurate.

Myliferocks Sat 17-Nov-12 22:13:48

chloe74 by the sounds of it Horrible Histories is used as a fun break in their lessons. Just because they are studying A levels doesn't mean they can't have a bit of fun.

BrianButterfield Sat 17-Nov-12 22:16:49

When I used to have my Year 13 last lesson on a Friday they loved me getting out the felt tips and sugar paper so they could make revision notes, mind maps or key word posters for the walls of the classroom. It was fun but they were really useful display items to have and I used them in teaching afterwards.

waitingtobeamummy Sat 17-Nov-12 22:23:44

We have behaviour points and achievement points and right up to year 11's love them. My form live that we have sweets, star of the wk etc. As long as you know the level of the students then nothing is right or wrong.
However op, I don't have any of my own children so naturally I know chuff all. The fact that I have worked in education for the past 10 yrs counts for nothing hmm

joanofarchitrave Sat 17-Nov-12 22:28:02

Workplaces motivate people by paying them. I don't think saying that 17-year-olds should be able to behave in a class because they would have to at work is that relevant a comparison. I think the red and yellow cards are a great idea due to the minimal disruption to the lesson.

I once posted on here in horror at the idea of using Horrible Histories in a history class. That was before I'd watched any of it blush I now think they are great. If the tv programmes were the only 'source' used, that would be one thing, but it seems unlikely.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:41:20

I can understand the idea of using HH for light entertainment etc and if the kids were pre-teen I would understand, its just depressing that 17 year olds need that sort of relief. In a years time they could be spending a long hard day working at the coal face (metaphorically). Can you imagine a job eg an employe in ASDA saying to their manager " I have been stacking shelves for 40 minutes, I think I deserve a break to watch kids TV".

Dominodonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 22:43:46

OP - MYOB you clearly know nothing about teaching. And I don't see why you think you know more about children (because you are a parent) than a teacher who has probably taught thousands of children.

Both of the things mentioned in your OP sounds perfectly reasonable to me. At GCSE learning persuasive techniques is essential. If you use something like a letter to Santa the students can focus on the techniques rather than the content.
Red and yellow cards also sound like an excellent idea. If you send a students out with no warning they will often complain, as will their parents. As others have said this is an unobtrusive way to give a warning.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 22:46:28

chloe74 yes, but we are trying to inspire people and make learning fun. I want people to WANT to come to my classes, not to feel like, well, it's necessary but it's not a lot of fun.

A lot of workplaces now have table tennis tables and stuff, and it does make people more productive.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:48:00

Haven't read all the posts but I think the op is a bit of an idiot to be honest, not the teachers! Presuming these teachers aren't in a selective school, there will be children with a wide range of abilities. The letter to Santa would be to get them to work on creative writing and would probably be quite good in this consumerist society. Stop sounding so smug.

Myliferocks Sat 17-Nov-12 22:49:22

chloe74 my DD has had a part time job for the past 18 months. In the summer she would do 8 hour shifts. Of course she wouldn't ask her boss if she could have some light relief after working 40 minutes.
Her tutors at college are nice enough to let them watch HH if they have the time in lessons.
There's many a person on Mumsnet during the week who say they shoud be working instead of posting on here.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 23:37:18

I would accept a teachers opinion on that as long as the kids are achieving their potential in the class. I suppose my opinion is colored by my experience of Primary. My DC is in Y6 and they spend a lot of time on that I consider to be a waste of time and despite discussing with the school over many years that my DC is never stretched or challenged nothing ever changes. Every parents evening I get the same answers, they don't have the time to do more Spellings, Maths, Science etc. My DC regularly comes home bored having spent all day coloring in pictures, sitting through play rehearsals, making drums ...

I just get depressed that it will be the same at secondary all the way through to A-Level.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 23:39:16

chloe74 I agree that a lot of children aren't stretched at school but if you can see that this isn't happening all you can do if teachers aren't receptive is to fill in the gaps yourself.

There are 30 children in the class normally, mountains of paperwork and meetings and planning and assessment and it is all too easy for teachers to end up teaching to the middle.

t0lk13n Sat 17-Nov-12 23:44:24

Oh dear...don`t come to my classroom where my Year 10s are using playdoh to re-enact scenes from the Bible!!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 17-Nov-12 23:57:29

Writing to Father Christmas at 14 as a persuasive writing exercise? At 9 in Y5 my DS1's class had to write a letter to the HT explaining why they felt a particular school rule should be relaxed.

My DS1 chose the 'no chocolate' rule, and based his debate on the scientific merits of eating two small squares of dark (at least 70% cocoa solids) chocolate a day.

If coming up with their own subject for persuasive writing is perfectly possible at 9yo without resorting to Father Christmas, I can't see why it is necessary with a class full of 14yo's. hmm

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 00:18:31

Actually, thinking about the writing the letter exercise, quite a few of my tutor group were totally incapable of addressing an envelope when it was time to send reports home. They wrote the address upside down or in the wrong place or even worse didn't even know how to write out an address with formal names at the top.

These all very middle class kids, by the way. Perhaps if they'd written more letters to Santa in their childhood they might have a clue about these things. It's always the teachers who have to do the jobs a parent should have done wink

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 02:31:34

I think this thread shows exactly the problem.

It is a shame when parents talk about the failure's of educators to discipline their children.

A child at that age should be arriving with the social skills and etiquette to be able to sit in a classroom and not be disruptive already instilled from their home.

Teachers have to sadly resort to parenting students as if they are still in nursery because of the failure of parents to teach their children how to behave to begin with.

What you find with most kids that misbehave is a lack of discipline or communication at home. So, in a classroom setting, they are unable to respond to basic verbal reasoning for various reasons. These reasons usually include a lack of boundaries at home or physical discipline which results in school becoming a place of relative freedom as opposed to a place to learn.

Parents are too concerned with discussing the method's of discipline employed by teachers to note that teachers shouldn't be having to discipline their kids in the first place.

BrianButterfield Sun 18-Nov-12 07:26:08

I am a secondary English teacher. If I did the Christmas letter in class, this is how I would use it - I would explain we were looking at writing persuasively. I would given them a short amount of time to write their FC letter (bearing in mind this lesson is NOT about the actual arguments used but the language used to make them). Then I would ask the class for examples of techniques they used in their letters (repetition, hyperbole, metaphor and so on), collect them together and then ask them to use these techniques to write a more "serious" piece.

I don't think some of you understand English teaching at all. Of course students will do the same thing at secondary they have done at primary. Just because someone wrote a newspaper article in year 3 doesn't mean they never do it again, and it doesn't mean they just write the same thing in y9 that they did back then. The curriculum is a spiral - you revisit topics over and over but at a higher level each time. Some days I coincidentally find I am teaching very similar topics to all my classes (for example, using quotation to make a point about a text is something I would cover with every class from y7-13) but the teaching and outcome are wildly different. It doesn't mean I'm lazy, can't be bothered to think of other tasks or don't know how to teach.

kakapo Sun 18-Nov-12 10:56:45

I would have thought one of the points of persuasive writing is to present a coherent argument to anyone, about anything.

There's nothing wrong with writing to Father Christmas or any other topic the teacher pulls out of the air. I doubt the teacher said "write a list of everything you want for Christmas and shove it in this glittery box".

NAR4 Sun 18-Nov-12 12:41:10

There are no consequences for getting a yellow or red card, hence I think it is a complete waste of time. At 17 pupils should be sent out the class if they continue to be disruptive to the learning of others. This is at a grammar school where almost all of the pupils go onto uni.

The relevance of saying these teachers probably don't have their own children, is that if they did, would probably realise they were not using age appropriate methods. They should be taught what is age appropriate at uni when doing their PGCE.

No I am not a teacher, but do work in a secondary school with children who have behviour problems and am a youth worker.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 12:47:04

NAR4 frankly, it's insulting to suggest that not having your own children means you don't realise what's age appropriate.

If anything you realise MORE what's age appropriate than most parents because you work with a broader range of children. I've worked with hundreds of teenagers of the years. Your teenager might find stickers ridiculous and babyish. Many of those I've worked with think they're funny and cute.

NAR4 Sun 18-Nov-12 12:49:22

Just to be clear, I never said the teachers were lazy or couldn't be bothered to plan proper lessons. I simply feel (through no fault of their own) they have been left flaudering to find appropriate ways to control behaviour in the classroom.

This was meant to be more of a dig against the way teachers are taught rather than the teachers themselves. Most of their training only seems appropriate to children who fit nicely into main stream learning and they are given limited information about how to teach pupils who fall outside of this. A lot of teachers don't seem to understand the expertise of others who work in school, but are not teachers and try to correct them or tell them what they should be doing, even though this is not something they have training in themselves. Unfortunately this seems to be because ultimately the education of these 'other' pupils that they are not teaching directly themselves, still falls, unfairly, as their responsibility.

corblimeymadam Sun 18-Nov-12 12:50:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 13:27:55

I don't think some of you understand English teaching at all.

And whose fault is that? Maybe if there was more engagement wth parents then there wouldn't be such a problem. I know we have come on leaps and bounds from the days when parents were't allowed to cross the line in the playground but there is still a long way to go.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 13:50:08

More engagement with parents? Let's just add that to the bottom of the long list of things teachers have to do, shall we?

titchy Sun 18-Nov-12 13:50:54

Whose fault is that - well given that the job of teachers is to teach kids, not parents, coupled with the fact that a quick google search will tell you all you need to know about the English curriculum, I'd say it was the parents 'fault senua.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 14:05:23

As a parent and a wife of an English teacher, it never fails to amaze me how ignorant other parents can be when it comes to the role teachers are supposed to play in their child's life.

senua parent's who make comments like yours are so infuriating. My DH works six days a week. Saturday's because he has no choice but to bring work home. He is an ofsted rated outstanding teacher, but to be outstanding, he has to work from 8am till 8pm everyday. Most days he doesn't even have a lunch break and comes home overworked and weak from exhaustion. He then spends half of his Saturday when he should be off and spending time with his family and child, emailing parent's and students, marking work and researching for future lesson's.

He is underpaid and over worked. Then after all this, he has to deal with being a substitute parent and babysitter because of other parents failings when it comes to raising their children adequately.

In all this, where do you expect him to find the extra time to further communicate with parents?

I think many posters on this thread should actually take the time to understand what their children's teachers are having to deal with before passing judgement on how they do their job.

Stop passing the buck when it comes to your children's discipline because it is not something a teacher should be having to deal with at all. A teacher is an educator, not disciplinarian. Maybe that is why they don't focus on teaching age appropriate disciplinary method's on teacher training courses. They are too busy teaching future educators how to educate, not be a substitute parent.

They do go over various disciplinary methods during PGCE training but there is no 'one size fits all' solution for these things. Children respond differently to different methods of discipline.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 14:11:03

If teachers had the authority to exclude even half of the disruptive student's they have to deal with on a daily basis, there would be a national outcry by hard done by parents and their children as to how the educational and teachers were failing to do their jobs properly.

FermezLaBouche Sun 18-Nov-12 14:15:19

Couldnt agree more, LDNmummy

Clary Sun 18-Nov-12 14:18:34

YY BrianButtterfield. I teach MFL and one of the modules coming up for GCSE is talking/writing about your family (in German or French). Oh hang on, they did that in yr 7 - well yes, but at a much more basic level.

Then they were saying who their brothers and sisters were and how old they are; now they will be talkign about how well they get on with them and why, conflicts between older and younger family members, what thye did in the past and will do in the future, etc.

Looking at a familar topic will often help put students at ease and thus help them feel freer to develop their own language skills.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 14:50:10

LDNMummy Absolutely. I am doing a PGCE, but have been teaching English as a foreign language for years. I have to say I bloody hate the discipline side of the job. Keeping a class quiet, fine. However, I am SHOCKED by the number of children who are perfectly happy to sit in a classroom, doing nothing, disrupting others, refusing to share, kicking, pushing, touching. These are not tiny little kids I am teaching. Some of them just haven't been brought up to behave properly and as a result stop others from learning.

But yeah, it's the teachers' faults, obviously.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 15:00:44

I really don't understand. Some teachers seem to have picked up this refrain that some parents think that they are no more than a babysitting service. Yet when we say we want to be involved, we are told off for impinging on the teachers' time.
What exactly do teachers want from parents because it seems that whatever we do is wrong.

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 15:09:06

"Picked up this refrain"? How patronising. Are you implying they cannot think for themselves, and merely repeat what they have heard?

Parents should support the school's policies and bring up their children so they behave appropriately in class. If they want to know what their children are studying, they can check the school's website or moodle or even - gasp - speak to their own children. Beyond that, unless their child is struggling with a certain element and they want to know how they can help them, I don't think parents need to be involved.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 15:16:10

There is a difference between what teachers want from parents and what you suggested. Top of the list would be to send them in properly fed and equipped with at least their book and a pen, second would be to back up the school in its attempts to maintain order instead of: phoning and texting their kids during lessons, complaining when said phone is confiscated, saying Little Johnny won't be doing detentions, and when Little Johnny tells the teacher to fuck off, bollocking Little Johnny themselves instead of complaining that the teacher picks on him.
You seem to think that teachers want to teach parents the English curriculum do that parents can tell teachers that they think their lessons are shit.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 15:19:32

<is nicking idea of FC letter for GCSE English Language>

<& ignoring all the depressing teacher-bashers who know not of what they speak> grin

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 15:29:15

"Picked up this refrain"? How patronising. Are you implying they cannot think for themselves, and merely repeat what they have heard?

Not at all, but it is a constant on MN.

Why on earth don't you want parental involvment when surveys show that parental support boosts pupils' outcomes? example here

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 15:31:29

Ah, there, you see - parental support and parental involvement. Two entirely different things.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 15:34:49


And there's another refrain. Teachers cannot take criticism, it is always seen as 'bashing'. It's almost as if they think that they should not be questionned.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 15:59:41

No problem with being questioned, but rest assured we get told all the time how shit we are by parents, pupils, SMT, the government and the papers.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 16:02:03

Colouring in spelling homework. Actually?

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 16:03:41

There is also a huge difference in parental involvement and parents thinking they know better than teachers.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 16:11:23

I'm head of 6th form in a small comp. I have asked a student to leave this week- first time ever. We have a duty to try absolutely everything before getting to this stage. In the case of this particular 17 year old boy, he has been a PITA since day 1 of yr 12- pushing boundaries by coming in late, flouting the dress code, missing deadlines and being rude to staff- nothing really serious though- 5 mins late in the morning, "forgetting" to wear a tie, missing a deadline but doing the work the following week, telling teachers to "chill out" etc. I have had two face-to-face meetings with his mum and I and other colleagues have spoken to both parents on the phone most weeks. Sanctions in school made no difference. Every time we spoke to his parents they said they would "have a strong word" or "sort it". Clearly his does not listen to them. He is a bright boy, but not interested. I see this as a failure in parenting, not in a schooling.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 16:13:17

Re involving parents. We had an evening early on in the term for parents of yr 12s to come to school, meet their child's new tutor and me (as Head of Yr). About 10% turned up. Many think that after the age if 16, they don't need to be involved any more. sad

NAR4 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:15:22


Never meant to start such an explosive thread.

Just sharing a little chuckle at what I thought was a very silly thing for a young, newly qualified teacher to be doing. My children have told me how most of the pupils are laughing at them behind their backs, about it and I thought a lot of the teachers were probably also doing the same.

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 16:35:02

No...more experienced teachers don't tend to laugh at newly qualified ones - on the contrary, most go out of their way to support them. What an odd assumption.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 16:42:07

And when your child said people were laughing at the teachers behind their back, what was your reaction?

Shall I assume a stern word about how unkind and immature that is?

BrianButterfield Sun 18-Nov-12 17:17:47

Older teachers don't laugh at new ones; it's a profession where we all realise we can learn from each other. I've learnt things from the most experienced teachers and from students on their first week of teaching practice. Nice to know other members of school staff don't share that view though hmm

41notTrendy Sun 18-Nov-12 17:20:25

Some comments are seen as teaching bashing because there are comments that question the quality of the training, comments that question the skill of teachers, comments that question the targeting of a task and comments that suggest teachers without children are not as good as teachers who do.
Some teachers are not up to it. But... lots are. And as a parent your view only concerns your child you cannot understand the bigger picture.
There comes a point when you have to trust what happens in school and accept you will never know the ins and outs.
If your child is unhappy and not making progress then go and see the school. Nothing may happen but don't assume it's the same for the next parent. Or all teachers.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 17:23:21

Oh, I don't mind well-informed teacher bashing. That's OK.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 20:01:15

I don't think there's such thing as well-informed teacher-bashing because there are such an awful lot of teachers out there doing so many different roles that generalised complaints can't apply.

Specific complaints about an individual teacher are not teacher-bashing.

chloe74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:25:35

I sense two groups of people are talking about different sides of the same coin. Teachers are frustrated at the lack of support/involvement from parents of poorly performing/disruptive children and parents of well behaved children are frustrated at the lack of communication/aspiration/differentiation from teachers who are to busy dealing with the disruption of the former group. I don't want to get into politics but it seems to me that comprehensive means everyone is equal at the bottom.

The only answer is selection but seeing as we are not going to get that, parents have no choice but to try and push teachers to spend as much time on the bright kids as they do on the grade boundary kids who make them look good. Like it or not us parents pay teachers wages and gold plated pensions.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 20:34:07

The only answer is selection

Bollocks. I teach kids in bottom set who are as well-behaved and with as supportive parents as you could possibly hope for. I also teach kids in top set who are arrogant, spoiled, disruptive, rude and poorly equipped.

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 20:36:23

"Like it or not us parents pay teachers wages and gold plated pensions."

I wondered who would be the first person to start quoting the Daily Mail/ Sun/ insert name of other sensationalist, ill-informed rag here. Talk about being equal at the bottom...

chloe74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:38:58

As soon as you make a point teachers don't like, they swear. Way to go for education.

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 20:40:26

With respect, Chloe, that post was hopelessly ill-informed.

And swearing never did Shakespeare any harm.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 20:43:03

See, that would be an example of ill-informed teacher-bashing.

The grade boundary between B & A/A* is just as important, as a measure of teacher's performance, as the grade boundary between D/C.

I have no idea where anyone gets this notion that it's all about 'grade boundary kids who make them look good'. I've never met a child who wasn't a 'grade boundary kid', if by that you mean one who needs teacher attention to hit their upper quartile target.

Also, our cohort is streamed for English/Maths/Science, then set within those streams for individual subjects. If you've got the group which is 'best at your particular subject, in the lower stream', you are very likely to out-perform the group which is 'in the higher stream by the skin of its collective teeth, least able in your particular subject'.

Yet the first group will have lower targets.

Honestly, Chloe74, you over-simplify, because you are poorly informed. Precisely as I would come across if I tried to pontificate about hairdressing or midwifery or bricklaying or astrophysics.

Although why I'm bothering to engage, given your last sentence, I have no idea.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 20:44:43

As soon as you talk bollocks, be prepared for it to be called bollocks. Nothing to do with working in education and everything to do with you talking utter shite.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 20:47:00

The boy I expelled from my 6th form this week is intelligent. His parents are professionals. On paper, he is a high performer. Doesn't stop him from being an arrogant, badly behaved twerp.

Chloe, your comments are ridiculous. I teach a non-core subject, so have a real mix of ability within my classroom. Last year, all my yr 11s got C or above and over half of them got A/A*.

TimeChild Sun 18-Nov-12 20:48:57

"Honestly, Chloe74, you over-simplify, because you are poorly informed. Precisely as I would come across if I tried to pontificate about hairdressing or midwifery or bricklaying or astrophysics."

It has always surprised me how non-teaching-qualified parents think they know better than the teachers. It was like this a couple of decades ago when I used to teach and still is now. You wouldn't get this with other professions. As an ex-teacher I am really impressed with the professionalism and competence of my DC's children.

radicalsubstitution Sun 18-Nov-12 20:49:05

Actually, I'm pretty sure the OP's DCs are at grammar schools, so that pretty much ends that particular arument.

radicalsubstitution Sun 18-Nov-12 20:51:19


chloe74 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:30:21

Firstly I wasn't teacher bashing, I was talking about the system and what some parents have to do to get a fair deal from it. Teachers are in the firing line, it is not their fault but because of the system they have to deal with the flack.

As for my views being ill informed I will dispute that and suggest its teachers that live in an ivory tower. Newspapers represent the view of millions of parents, and whilst I hate the Sun (never buy it) their views are representative, like it or not you have to deal with them and dismissing them is just snobbery. My information comes from real life and many other parents, again to dismiss opinions just because you don't like them is arrogant and exacerbates the problem. So we are left with the internet, where information is spun, stretched and transformed into lies. Recent events have proved that.

The only place where you could get the truth from is teachers and they just swear at you for daring to put an informed opinion to them. That informed opinion might not be factual but then how does any parent know that because teachers wont explain what they are doing and why.

When I buy a product for my child I expect to be shown/told how it works, if I was abused and told I am not telling you what you are buying then I wouldn't buy it. But that's exactly what teachers do, we pay them to provide a service for our children and they wont justify its relevance and explain what they are doing to give us value for money. All I hear is give us the money and get lost, we know best.

No wonder parents are setting up free schools, want Grammar schools, go private. Whether or not a parent is pontificating they deserve to be heard and their views should be taken into account because they are the people paying for it. The more teachers comment in here the more I feel justified in my view that teachers look down on parents and don't feel any accountability to them.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 21:37:56

they just swear at you for daring to put an informed opinion to them

I didn't just swear at you, I did actually comment as to why what you said was bollocks too.

And let's face it, if you're going to trot out the 'gold plated pensions' line, you should expect a bit of swearing.

titchy Sun 18-Nov-12 21:38:02

Except you're not buying a product for your child( unless you educate privately) by virtue of the fact that you're a tax payer. Unless of course you feel tht paying taxes means you should also have a say in how fire fighters, doctors, the army, bin men etc do their job (oh and paying taxes just like you!)

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 21:42:31

Out of interest, does anyone know exactly what percentage of a person's taxes goes towards paying teachers' wages?

I mean, if parents are paying £100 a year (plucked out of thin air) out of their taxes and receiving a full time education for their kids, then that's a pretty good deal, isn't it?

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:47:39

Noble it's not really a case of people getting their money's worth, if people have suggested that, it's ludicrous. Education has a purpose and if it's not fulfilling the purpose there's an issue. Teachers don't always know better than parents just as doctors don't always know better than patients.

I don't know where the money thing came in but "I paid for this so do as I say" is ludicrous but so is "you know nothing because you're only a parent so I don't have to listen to you at all".

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 21:49:57

Chloe most teachers posting on here are parents, it would be rather daft for us to look down on parents.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 21:49:58


I paid for this so do as I say This is pretty much what Chloe is demanding

you know nothing because you're only a parent so I don't have to listen to you at all No one has said this, or anything close to this.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:53:16

Ok fair enough noble, am guilty of being a thread dilettante tonight. I disagree with Chole then. Oh hang on I must say - one of the first five posts was something like "so you're a qualified teacher are you" as if you don't have anything useful to say otherwise.

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 21:53:26

Chloe 74 The only answer is selection but seeing as we are not going to get that, parents have no choice but to try and push teachers to spend as much time on the bright kids as they do on the grade boundary kids who make them look good

As a teacher on the higher payscale part of my pay depends on results. I am judged against each individual target, therefore it makes no sense to ignore my brightest students. That is if my only motivater was my wage, as you seem to think.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 21:57:05

Brycie As a response to the OP, asking if they are a qualified teacher when they describe a teacher's methods as 'silly' is not the same as saying 'you know nothing because you're only a parent so I don't have to listen to you at all'.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:59:54

But when it's like this:

"I take it you are a qualified teacher?"

there's a jolly strong whiff of it.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 22:03:20

No. There is no suggestion that the person asking if the OP was a qualified teacher disregards anything any parent might say because parents know nothing. There is a suggestion that they might disregard anything that the OP says on this particular matter, because the OP sounds like they don't know what they're talking about.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:05:39

The thread title - "silly things teachers think will work" was foolish, IMO. The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea whether such things are "silly" or whether they "will work". She clearly wanted other people to pile in with other examples of "silly" things, which is both patronising and openly inviting negativity.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:06:28

Seriously there is! The op just read like a parent, no indication of being a teacher at all. Then "I take it you are a qualified teacher?" is definitely missing the words .."as you feel able to make this assessment?" For sure!

Maybe they'll come back and say they just got, like, a spooky feeling that it might be a teacher. Anyway I've seen it myself and experienced it. Any time you say anything about education it's implied you haven't an opinion to be valued because you're not a teacher. Sometimes people outright say it.

chloe74 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:07:19

I am not going to accept that noblegiraffe.

Whilst the common throw away comment is 'gold plated', the sentiments are justified. For those of us who work for a living in the private sector: I have more qualifications than most teachers, work longer hours, have to justify every penny of my wage, don't have a job for life, yet get paid less than teachers and get a worse pension than teachers and for some weird reason I have to take some of my hard earned money and contribute to teachers pensions. And what really hurts is when teachers strike demanding more of my money for no extra benefit to us, its me who loses a days wages.

So the conclusion I come to on here is that when teachers are asked to account for themselves all they do is swear and say I don't have time to explain myself to ill-informed parents.

tichy, I am buying a product and just like electricity (for all intents and purpose) its compulsory. On the surface you can shop around but its essentially a state monopoly and just like the energy companies open to abuse. Its a rip off.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:07:30

In fact wasn't I on a thread with you where the same thing happened? I'm sure you didn't do it and I know we've been on a few of the same threads so I don't know when or which one, but I've definitely been on them and had this happen.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:08:16

"The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea whether such things are "silly" or whether they "will work". "

I rest my case.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:09:17

It's lucky my ivory tower in the firing line is flack-proof, Chloe74.

I don't mind the odd mixed metaphor, but all attempt at coherence appears to have left the building.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 22:11:26

all they do is swear

This thread would be much shorter if that were the case.

For those of us who work for a living in the private sector

Why not become a teacher then? If it's such a comparative doss and paid better? Sounds like a no-brainer in your situation.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 22:15:34

When you have a Grammar school, by the very nature of it, you are going to have a selective school. So, the 'bad eggs' or 'bad seeds', for want of a better phrase, are often excluded from these institutions and standards tend to be high because of this reason.

Additionally a private school, lets say Eton, will charge you a fee of 20 to 30 thousand a year. So what you tend to get are kids who will behave and are successful because mother of father are making a huge investment in them. They can also hire 'super tutors' who will help them pass exams.

Unfortunately, in a comprehensive school a lot of the children do not want to be there. Some parents do not support their children and in some cases tell my husband to 'talk' to their child because he/she will not listen to them. The teachers in private schools do not have to deal with the same difficulties that comprehensive teachers face on a daily basis.

You talk about not being given an explanation of how teachers give you 'value for money', but the concept of Ofsted is to do just that. You are offered a full break down of teaching and learning quality as well as a detailed review of the examination results. The system is very transparent, the same can not be said for other public services.

Is your desire for teachers to have the power to exclude students who fail to behave in the appropriate fashion? It is a lot harder for schools to exclude pupils then you think, and in some cases parents have overturned permanent exclusions.

It seems to me that the original point of discussion, which was the methods of discipline employed my teachers, has been deviated from by parents such as chloe still trying to find blame in teachers, for issues of concern in classroom settings, that ultimately stem from the home environment.

chloe I would really like if you could explain exactly where teachers have failed to be transparent and fobbed off parents or even sworn at them over this issue? Where and when did you experience this?

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 22:15:42

Brycie, really you can't extrapolate that teachers simply ignore the views of parents from the response to the OP on this particular thread.

Stupid views from the ill-informed we might well ignore.

chloe74 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:15:57

I am exactly suggesting that because we pay teachers salaries they should listen to us. I didn't say they had to agree with us or do what we say but they should listen, consider and respond politely to our opinions. Just like half the world in the private sector has to do.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:16:40

Brycie - why WOULD the OP know whether things were silly and whether they worked? It's not her job to know such things. It's the language I object to. Plenty of people would think that some of the stuff I do every day is silly. Doesn't mean they don't work. People who do not know the ins and outs of someone else's job (whatever that job is) shouldn't slag them off.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:17:04

So - hello? saying parents know nothing and have no contribution to make is as damaging as saying teachers should do every damn thing I say because I pay tax.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:19:36

Well there's one teacher here who thinks parents don't have a clue and I've experienced it elsewhere too. All I'm saying is that it's equally damaging. I'm not saying all teachers think that. I'm saying there's evidence of it on this thread, and I think it's equally damaging? Well now you can't deny there's evidence on this thread, but you can say whether you agree with it or not. And whether you think it's damaging.

"why WOULD the OP know whether things were silly and whether they worked? It's not her job to know such things"

like this for example

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 22:23:07

chloe, so move from the private sector into teaching then, its as simple as that. It seems as if you are deviating from the original point of discussion in order to vent some ill informed views.

Last week a student threatened to stab my husband because he dared to push him to actually participate in class work.

Two weeks before that the police had to be called to the school for another even more serious incident.

Teaching is not easy, much like most other public sector jobs, it is demanding and underpaid.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:25:13

Chloe, when your opinion is not "factual", then surely that makes it ill-informed, rather than informed.

I am very happy to explain what I do to parents, and indeed make quite a lot of effort to do so. But I'm not overly keen on people describing how I do things as "silly", when they do not have my experience and expertise.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:25:39

"Last week a student threatened to stab my husband because he dared to push him to actually participate in class work.

Two weeks before that the police had to be called to the school for another even more serious incident."

Why are these children even in school? Yet if a parent says they don't want children like this disrupting the school and you get lectured by teachers about inclusion.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:27:52

I don't think that "parents" don't have a clue, I just think that the OP doesn't have the right to hear about one thing being tried in a classroom from one child, and assume that it is "silly" and that it "won't work". I disagree with the OP, who is an individual. I do not therefore think that ALL parents have no clue. I am a parent as well as a teacher.

What bugs me is people who don't have a full understanding of something feeling that they have a right to disregard it without trying to find out the facts. That's not limited to teaching or to teachers and parents. It's arrogant.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 22:28:13

And why are you targeting teachers as if they are responsible?

Teachers have just as much control over these problems as you do. All they can do is make the best of a syllabus handed down to them by a higher authority. Do you think they all go to some sort of annual convention and vote on what they teach, how they discipline the kids and anything else to do with their jobs? They have little to no control over anything and are simply trying to make the best of it by educating children to achieve their full potential.

That's why teachers strike in the first place, because they can't even fart in the classroom without someone breathing down their neck's telling them how it should smell.

RainbowsFriend Sun 18-Nov-12 22:28:41

Apart from the "gold plated pensions " bollocks, I'd like to pick up on a genuine misunderstanding.

There is a difference between parental interference and parental support.

Teachers do not need parents ringing up or emailing all the time about every last thing, or arguing why "darling Jocasta" didn't deserve that detention, or can't do it because she has dance class, or something else equally undermining to the school behaviour management system.
This wastes teacher time, undermines their authority, and is a major pain in the backside. You would have had a letter or email explaining exactly why they got a detention, and I'm sorry but your precious darling will never tell you the whole story or context.

Parental support means the parent has read and understood the home-school agreement that they signed. Parental support means that when "precious Louis" gets bollocked at school, he also gets bollocked at home by people whose opinion matter to him. Parental support means sending your child to school on time, fed with actual food not energy drinks, with pens and pencils etc.

I teach in an affluent catchment area that I could never afford to live in. The less affluent kids tend to be the nicer, and actually we tend to get better parental support for them. The more affluent kids tend to think they can argue their way out everything, think that rules don't apply to them, and then Mummy will rescue them anyway. Which she will try to do. That's parental interference.

Rant over,

Oh, and my sixth form students just love getting the paints and sugar paper out to eg draw structural formulae, and love getting sticker... grin

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:28:52

Some of what is going on in schools must be a bit silly or we'd have better educated and better disciplined 16-year-olds. I go with the National Curriculum rather than blaming teachers.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 22:30:03

Yet if a parent says they don't want children like this disrupting the school and you get lectured by teachers about inclusion.

No, teachers aren't wild about having violent kids in the classroom either, I think you'll find.

Inclusion is why they're still in the classroom. But that's not the fault of teachers.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:32:19

Better educated & better disciplined by comparison with...?

I quite like most of the 16 year olds I teach, & they're certainly better educated than I was at a well-regarded but rather complacent grammar in the 80s.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:33:44

& I don't have violent kids in my classroom. Rude & objectionable ones sometimes, or lazy.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:34:42

Noble: "really you can't extrapolate that teachers simply ignore the views of parents from the response to the OP on this particular thread. " I didn't do that then - don't know why you said that. But I'm quite happy to say that some do, and I'm saying it now. But I didn't extrapolate it from anything.

ET: "I do not therefore think that ALL parents have no clue."
You shouldn't say things like this then:

"The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea whether such things are "silly" or whether they "will work". "
"why WOULD the OP know whether things were silly and whether they worked? It's not her job to know such things"

because clearly, from these statements, you do. I don't mind if you want to disagree with yourself here.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:35:44

See there's the problem Raven. Low expectations. You just look at the outcome and think there's no possible better outcome.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 22:35:47

What noblegiraffe has said.

What baffles me is that teachers are somehow being blamed for these children being in the classroom when surely this is a parental fault.

Did the teacher bring up the child to think it was OK to threaten them? No.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:38:02

Brycie - I don't think all parents have no clue. Some of them are also teachers. wink

Parents need to take some responsiblity for their children. Too many kids come to school thinking they can do what they like. They get that attitude from home, not school.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:38:55

"No, teachers aren't wild about having violent kids in the classroom either, I think you'll find."

Well I had a conversation with a bunch of teachers where I said children should be removed and I was spit roasted. So while they may not be wild about it they're damned if they'll allow a parent to say so.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:39:02

How are you defining low expectations?

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:40:06

"I don't think all parents have no clue"

That's terrific - now try not to repeat your earlier sweeping generalisations or I may have to reach for my red pen!

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:41:33

No, Brycie, we said the vast majority of situations necessitating removing students could be successfully handled in-house by use of Inclusion/Isolation Units, rather than by permanent exile to Siberia or feeding to the school's attack dogs.

(Although I'm not so sure about Naveed...)

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:42:08

You said "in comparison with what"

I don't need to look at outcomes anywhere else in the world in order to believe we could do better. That's the difference.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:43:14

"rather than by permanent exile to Siberia or feeding to the school's attack dogs."

oh yes, I remember suggesting those hmm hmm

No actually I think I remember suggesting isolation units and... being spit roasted anyway.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:44:19

No one marks in red any more. If you had the faintest idea what you were on about, you'd know that.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:45:09

I don't want violent children in my classroom. And there have been a few.

This "bunch of teachers", were they really saying they want violent children in their classes? How strange.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:45:11

And anyway, IF you read my comments properly, you'll see my "why should she know" comment was specifically about the OP.

RainbowsFriend Sun 18-Nov-12 22:45:47

But I do mark in red pen sometimes - generally when DD has stolen my favourite green or purple ones, but also for assessed practical papers.... grin

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:46:20

Bless. Not keen on being caught out huh.

Yes I knew, but I thought an adult might be able to cope with the "damage to their self esteem". Perhaps I was wrong.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:46:24

Apparently it's too violent to mark in red. Looks like blood.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:47:31

Oh, cross posts...

As a parent, rather than a teacher, I am reluctant to write off the education of a group of people who will be sharing society with my children.

Not quite the same as tolerating aggression in my lab...

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:47:39

Who could do better?

The students?

Or the teacher, trying something new that someone who knows very little about it kneejerks as 'silly'?

I think the Father Christmas letter idea for GCSE is fabulous. My year 11s could tell you why it's a good exercise, since they are well-drilled in what they need to do to get a good mark for q.6 of their English Language Paper.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:48:35

"It's not her job to know such things" - sweeping generalisation

"The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea etc" - sweeping generalisation

Nothing to do with the op - all to do with whether or not she/he is a teacher.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:49:04

But they're not allowed assessed practical papers back though. So it won't inflame the blood lust...

IsabelleRinging Sun 18-Nov-12 22:49:35

If yellow red/yellow cards can work for a bunch of 20 something footballers, then why not a bunch of teenagers?

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:50:06

"This "bunch of teachers", were they really saying they want violent children in their classes? How strange. "

Well they were spit-roasting a parent for daring to say said child should be removed. I don't understand it either.

Although to be fair we were talking about disruptive rather than violent children. I won't misrepresent.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:52:37

I think the red card/yellow card thing sounds like a good idea, done by the right sort of teacher.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:52:56

Is it really unacceptable to suggest that someone who isn't a teacher may not necessarily understand classroom management techniques used by teachers? I have no idea why that might be offensive.

I just ran it past DH (private sector), who laughed at me, and asked if I thought I could troubleshoot the code he's working on.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 22:53:08

I've taught a violent student (towards students rather than teachers). The school did everything in their power to plan and support their move to a more appropriate educational setting but were overruled by the LA on monetary grounds.

I expect there are parents out there moaning about how ineffectual the school were in not booting this child out. Probably the fault of the liberal teachers.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 22:54:14

I don't think you can claim that a bunch of teachers on a thread you hazily recall were 'spit-roasting a parent for daring to say said child should be removed' & then go on to assert that you 'won't misrepresent'.

My lower ability year 11 would definitely pick you up on your failure to provide evidence, although they'd enjoy identifying the emotive language & hyperbole.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:55:19

Were they suggesting that maybe some thought should be given to where the child was removed to?

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 22:59:09

I mark in red.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 22:59:20

The point I'm making is that the teachers and the parent (basically me) in this case mainly agreed. But the teachers were mortally offended that a parent should make a suggestion shock and really just didn't want to agree because it didn't come from a teacher. It was ridiculous, the tying in knots to try to disagree with me and agree with each other. They wanted to say "you don't know anything about it" )in fact did! - but we basically agreed on what should be done.

So that's the thing really, I'm not bothered about a rehash of that argument, it's more - why do teachers clutch their pearls so very histrionically when a parent has a view. You'd think the sky was falling, you really would.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 22:59:49

Last time I checked, "her" referred to a specific person.

You can't go on about a "bunch of teachers" and then accuse others of making sweeping generalisations!

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:00:43

Brycie - bad form to bring up a thread on another thread.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:01:39

Oh ravenAK I don't mind linking to the thread. I'd happily quote bits of it here but I don't think that's allowed? I especially liked the part where I suggested sin bins / isolation units and was roundly disagreed with (by a teacher) and then another poster suggested sin bins / isolation units and was Uriah Heeped all over (by the same teacher). Good times.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:02:49

Yes I thought it might be but I wasn't saying "you said this" to anyone on another thread, just generally what was talked about, so I thought it would be alright. I was just trying to prove my point that teachers really, really don't like parents expressing a view.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:03:09

I mean, feel free to report if you want, I don't mind.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:04:38

Eviltwins you said ."not a teacher .. therefore has no idea"

nothing about the op (except that she's not a teacher)

and "it's not her job to know" - ie she's not a teacher how would she knpw

nothing about the op (except that she's not a teacher)

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 23:05:39

Parental support means the parent has read and understood the home-school agreement that they signed.

As an experiment one year, I didn't sign the home-school agreement. No one chased it up, not that year nor any of the subsequent years. It is clearly a tick box exercise.

IIRC the agreement was all about our obligations to the school (a school that we had no choice in attending since it was our catchment school). There was nothing about the school's obligations to parents or pupils.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:07:42

Honestly - I don't mind an informed opinion, criticism, or even a good argument.

It's when someone wades in announcing that a task they know nothing about beyond the title is 'age inappropriate', or that selection would sort everything out because everyone knows clever kids (read: that poster's kids) aren't naughty...

...well, dh has been downstairs all night recording his new album. I haven't breezed in telling him 'you don't mix heavy metal in dubly', to quote Spinal Tap, because I would then look like my opinions had run ahead of my knowledge...

Same thing. That's all.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:08:31

I'm so afraid I'll get deleted for talking about another thread! So anyway this is my comment which is "safe" from the post that's probably about to get deleted!

Why do teachers clutch their pearls so very histrionically when a parent has a view. You'd think the sky was falling, you really would.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:09:35

I don't mind parents talking to me. I like it. I enjoy discussing things with parents. However, if a parent said "My child told me that you did xxx in his lesson. That's silly and clearly won't work" and expected me not to respond and/or defend my position, then that would be a differnt matter. However, in RL, this has never happened.

And I stand by the fact that someone who is not a teacher would not understand lots of stuff that happens in the classroom, in the same way that I don't assume I understand everything DH does in his job. He trained to do what he does, and has over 15 years experience of it. I would never be so arrogant as to assume I could do it just as well as he could. Why would I?

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:10:41

That's great raven, there's no way I'd suggest all teachers think parents aren't worth listening to, just some. And also it's nice that a teacher acknowledges that parents are worth listening to.

Actually as an aside, my teacher friend says she's the parent her children's teachers "hate" most - because she's a teacher. Hate is hyperbole, obviously.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:11:21

Again, and I know you're arguing with EvilTwins here, but why would it be offensive to suggest that someone who isn't a teacher might not understand techniques used by teachers? I don't get it.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:13:52

Fallen - there was actually mainly agreement on the techniques - but there was hostility to a parent expressing it. That's what I'm saying.

I wouldn't like it if someone said you need to do xxx in my job and they were right. I would feel chastened and irritated, but it wouldn't mean they were wrong and didn't have a clue.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 23:14:00

Brycie even the teacher on this thread that you think thinks parents aren't worth listening to doesn't think that parents aren't worth listening to. And has said so.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:14:14

But it's the same circular argument we had on the previous thread. (Sorry ET, I know it's bad form).

Brycie: Why don't teachers remove naughty children from lessons?

About 6 teachers: Actually we do <explanation of how that works>.

Brycie: oooh, look, you all agree with me really! Why are you clutching your pearls? Is the sky falling?

<& repeat>

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:16:15

They have now Noble. Which is lovely. I think the sweeping generalisations earlier were very damaging, and let's face it, you'd hardly read "I always listen to parents opinions" in the statement "not a teacher therefore doesn't have a clue". Would you? I mean, I know you want to disagree with me, being a parent and all and you being a teacher, but you can't really, on this. You've done well with your last post though, that's quite a good effort at disagreement for the sake of it.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 23:18:02

Brycie there is no indication that that was ever their opinion.

You just read it into what they said. That's not the same thing. And they corrected you but you then tried to claim that that was them changing their mind. Which apparently you know better than them.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:18:41

Evil didn't say "doesn't have a clue" - she said "doesn't have any idea".

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:18:48

Actually, I was referring to this thread, and EvilTwin's responses to the OP that you keep quoting, and not the thread that you are now referring to, that I don't think I can have been on...

Which is probably why bringing up another thread is bad form. Confusing, anyway.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:19:31

Thanks noble "they" think that you are right, and that Brycie is wrong.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:43

Well you guys are just proving my point all over again.

not a teacher, therefore has no idea
why would she know? it's not her job (ie not a teacher)

seriously you are tying yourselves in knots again - just to disagree with me that these statements do not imply that parents don't know anything about teaching because they aren't teachers

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:21:08

It's not a case of me knowing better - it's a case of being able to read, decode and comprehend.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 23:21:23

why would it be offensive to suggest that someone who isn't a teacher might not understand techniques used by teachers?

Because you are implying that teaching is some arcane secret that is only imparted to the chosen few.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:22:14

Fallen - I'm very confused by that!

Evil - you really don't like being caught out do you ? Well look, so long as you acknowledge that parents have worthwhile things to say about teaching and education - that's great! Result.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:24:09

Or that what I do is informed by my training, experience and expertise, which is not necessarily shared by parents.

A bit like other jobs really.

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:26:34

I remember the other thread, I was on it! I don't remember it in quite the same way as Brycie does. I do remember Brycie overstating what teachers were saying on the thread. We were saying that in all cases of disruption students should not be removed, which Brycie took as teachers never removing students.

A little like on this thread, according to Brycie teachers think that parents have nothing to conribute to their children's education. I do not think we have said that.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:27:06

Raven AK I've just seen your ref to the other thread. And that really IS misrepresentation! Perhaps we should link?

chibi Sun 18-Nov-12 23:29:05

do you know, i don't think i would ever look at someone's job, and after a cursory glance, assume i knew as much if not more as they did about what they do, and how they do it

I accept though, that most people reckon any idiot could do my job, fair enough.

i am a parent too, and i very much want the best outcomes for my children too, but although no one knows my children better than their parents, i am not an expert in teaching her how to read, or motivating her in a classroom of 29 other children etc etc.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:29:39

Brycie - YOU (that's YOU, not "all parents", YOU - an individual) have become personal and offensive. You continue to misrepresent me. I never said that I think that "parents" (as a group) don't have worthwhile things to say. You extrapolated that. My point was, and always has been, that the OP was out of order saying that the technique being used by a teacher was "silly" and that it "wouldn't work". She had no basis for her assertion.

It stands to reason that someone who is trained and experienced in a job, be that teaching, floristry or dentistry, knows more about it than someone who isn't. I don't really see how anyone can disagree with that.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:30:02

Aris: yes EvilTwins said "OP is not a teacher therefore doesn't have any idea" and "why would she have know anything, she isn't a teacher".

Do you see? So being as how this thread is so fresh, and your interpretation is rather fuzzy and not quite accurate, we can probably assume the same about your interpretion of the other one as well. smile

But obviously I'm a parent so it's de rigeur to disagree. And agree with the teachers.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:32:23

How have I become personal and offensive? Please copy and paste.

You said "not a teacher therefore doesn't have any idea"

a person has no idea because of not being a teacher

how on EARTH is this open to any other interpretation?

I've said it's great that you want to withdraw that and acknowledge that parents do have something worthwhile to say. smile

Please go ahead and report me. I honestly don't mind. I know I haven't been personal - I've only talked about your posts.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:33:22

Except I did twice say "you really don't like being caught out do you".

I'll happily withdraw that and say actually i think you're incredibly measured and never contradict yourself at all.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:33:57

Actually, here's what I said:

"The thread title - "silly things teachers think will work" was foolish, IMO. The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea whether such things are "silly" or whether they "will work". She clearly wanted other people to pile in with other examples of "silly" things, which is both patronising and openly inviting negativity."

So not that the OP "has no idea" but that she specifically has no idea whether such things work. Which she doesn't. Given that she hasn't researched them - why would she? Not her job.

Careless editing isn't clever, Brycie.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:34:33

Oh and

"It stands to reason that someone who is trained and experienced in a job, be that teaching, floristry or dentistry, knows more about it than someone who isn't. I don't really see how anyone can disagree with that."

I never have. But then, that's not what you said.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:35:33

Yes I did. You're misquoting me. As I proved in my previous post.

chibi Sun 18-Nov-12 23:35:52

brycie i am teaching steroeselective methods of synthesis and their importance in drug design where the products are optically active tomoz, any thoughts? i really want to do it right and stretch my more able students while supporting the ones who will struggle. How would you do it?

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:36:11

Yes - she's not a teacher so she has no idea if these things will work.

I quoted in full earlier, and only shorted it for shorty shorthand purposes.

Same difference. She's not a teacher, therefore nothing useful to say on teaching / discipline methods.

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:36:22

I have two children still at primary school, I teach secondary. I see it as no slight on my intelligence or parenting to believe that their teachers know more about educating my primary aged children than me, because they are experts in their field. I know my individual child better but am rather clueless about teaching young children to read, write etc. I also could not teach such a wide range of subjects. That does not mean that i do not make suggestions to their teachers. For example one of my children was being a madam in class and I thought the teacher was being a touch soft. I made this opinion known but accepted that my daughter's teacher was trained to deal with young children in a primary environment and i was not.

My eldest son has SEN, again I know my son very well however when we had appointments with the ed psych , the doctors etc I accepted that they knew their fields better than me. That did not mean that I had nothing to contribute and often they would ask me what worked at home.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:37:30

You are, of course, welcome to link if you think it adds anything smile.

But I'd rather you came up with a concrete argument to bash us with, rather than yet more woolly meta argument based on your recollection of a long-dead thread which other posters remember quite differently.

It just doesn't get us any further forward, & only leads to further accusations of pearl-clutching when your assertions are politely corrected.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:37:57

No, love. She's not a teacher and therefore not qualified to say whether or not red card/yellow card is silly. Why would she? Not her job to know these things.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 23:38:07

Parents only think about THEIR children, what THEY need. A teacher has to balance what each individual needs with the needs of the whole class.

It is fucking difficult.

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:38:51

Thanks Evil grin maybe I am not so hazy about the other thread after all.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:39:38

Oh Chibi good golly gosh wow you've totally proved me wrong with that amazing argument, wow such clarity of thought, really scything through the point there. I don't know anything about stereostelective methods of synthesis so therefore I know nothing about children or schools are anything really. If someone had said that earlier. I could have got the ironing done.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:40:15

Is saying something is silly a useful thing to say? I'm not sure it would count as formative feedback...

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:40:43

Well Aris some people can't even remember what they wrote on this thread not two hours ago so I'd be quite surprised if they can remember what they wrote on another one quite a bit longer ago than that smile

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 23:40:49

senua The problem with describing a technique used by a teacher as 'silly' and that it 'won't work' is that all classes are different, and sometimes what you might think are the silliest things actually do work if you give it a go with a class. An experienced teacher would know this. Someone who is not a teacher might not understand this at all. The OP doesn't appear to. That's not to offensively imply that teaching is an arcane secret understood only by the chosen few; that's due to there being no hard and fast rules about what will and won't work in teaching, on any given day, in any given period and with any given class, which might be hard to believe unless you've been there.

As a teacher, if someone said 'I give out yellow and red cards to my sixth form' my first response would not be 'that's silly' it would be 'Does it work?'. Because it might, and I might learn something new to try.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 23:42:30

So not that the OP "has no idea" but that she specifically has no idea whether such things work. Which she doesn't. Given that she hasn't researched them - why would she? Not her job.

Her 'job' is being a parent and listening to what her DC tell her. They told her that the "silly" scheme was risible and they lost respect for the teacher because of it.
But what do they know? hmm

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:42:59

It might've saved us all some time if you had got the ironing done, tbh. We seem to have wasted quite a bit analysing your inaccurate synopses of other posters' opinions.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:43:23

Brycie, can you please stop referring to me as "some people" or "they". It's very rude.

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:43:23

To be fair I don't usually remember what I post, I would make a rather shit troll.

However I do remember that thread, although I may muddle up your posts with those by the other strong willed maverick on the thread.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:43:37

Still, made a nice change from marking year 11's books, to be fair! grin

Woozley Sun 18-Nov-12 23:43:45

But then, equally it could just be a bunch of arse, because not all teachers are good.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 23:43:54

What do those kids know, Senua? They know it didn't work for them. That still doesn't make it silly, or an idea that would never work.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 23:45:09


EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:45:12

Senua - what the OP knows is that her DS doesn't like the red card/yellow card system. He thinks it's silly. That's what she knows. Not that it, in itself is silly.

chibi Sun 18-Nov-12 23:45:15

That's why i asked - i.figured as a parent you must have shedloaads of experience explaining really conceptually difficult ideas to a range of people of varying abilities.

As regards your ironing, although i haven't seen it, or seen you do it, you're doing it wrong. Hth

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:45:46

I have marked my books this weekend, I think I finished by about 10:30pm which is very good for me.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:45:58

Er...I'm not quite sure Evil why you're saying something and then saying - no I didn't say that! And then saying .. exactly the same thing.

Anyway I think my role in this thread can happily draw to a close with the score - teachers: 100 per cent in agreement with each other (about something or other but I'm sure they're right because after all they're fellow teachers). The parent, of course, is just wrong. smile

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:46:31

Of course you know about children. Your children best of all, of course. But whether, as Aris says, you know how to get the best out of them in a class of thirty individual children, all of whom share your focus? That's another thing entirely.

And as for whether you know how to turn a letter to Father Christmas into a useful exercise for 14 yos - I don't, because I teach Science. Raven does, because she has expertise that I don't have. There's no shame in that.

But if I heard that my child had done that, my response would be "how did you do that then?", rather than "REALLY?".

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:49:30

Aw chibi you'd be wrong. I don't know anything about really conceptually difficult ideas like stereosynthesising. But you could start a thread about them if you like? It would after all be about something completely different to what we're talking about here? There'd be loads of teachers along to agree with you about it. Could be fun.

Arisbottle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:49:47

I don't think teachers always agree with each other either, you would only need to spend 15 minutes in our department meetings tomorrow to know that is true.

Although we probably would agree that trained teachers know more about teaching than non trained teachers.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:50:32

I'd have no idea how to calculate the rate of acceleration of his sleigh though, TFM. wink.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:50:59

No, I'm sure they don't Aris: however put a parent in the room and teachers are shoulder to shoulder.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 23:51:24

What do those kids know, Senua? They know it didn't work for them. That still doesn't make it silly, or an idea that would never work.

ha ha ha. Are we parents being asked to prove negatives? That's brilliant.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:51:33

I could get some kids to act out the whole Santa/Reindeer thing. And maybe sing a song.

Sunscorch Sun 18-Nov-12 23:52:33

So, this is a fun, albeit pointless, thread smile

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 23:52:34

I mean even on this thread where it's perfectly clear that one poster said something, and now is saying something different - and the words are right there on the page - teachers are literally swearing black is white in order to agree with each other and disagree with the parent.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:53:13

I think it's the non-teachers who are making more of the perceived "parent/teacher" divide here. Brycie - I'm a parent and a teacher. As are over half of my colleagues.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:54:49

Brycie. Find me (and I mean cut and paste the whole post, not your edited version of it) the bit where I say that parents (all of them) have no clue about anything to do with education, and I will happily tell you that you are right.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:54:59

I spent five minutes on Friday bellowing 'ONOMATO! POEIA!' to year 8 to the tune of Old Macdonald. 'With a miaow splash here! & a screech bang there!'

That was very silly, but they could all spell it at the end of the lesson. Silly can be good.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 23:56:05

'I mean even on this thread where it's perfectly clear that one poster said something, and now is saying something different - and the words are right there on the page - teachers are literally swearing black is white in order to agree with each other and disagree with the parent.'

but that isn't the case - it's only you that's manifestly misquoting other posters.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:56:12

And I dare say all the teachers on this thread are parents.

I did point that out that I was a parent too to a parent on the phone the other day (politely). Who then corrected herself to refer to herself as a "working parent". I wonder what she thought I was doing in school...

Sunscorch Sun 18-Nov-12 23:56:22

I think the real issue is that Brycie is more concerned about his own literal interpretation of what may have been, admittedly, a poorly phrased comment, to the exclusion of the clarifications the original poster is offering.

Words are an imperfect method of communication - try and listen to the intent, rather than the dictionary-defined meaning.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:56:26

Silly can be good! I made 3 year 9 classes sit on the floor last week and pass round a screwed up piece of paper that I said was an injured bird. Very silly. But they understood the basics of Stanislavski's system for Naturalistic acting by the end of the lesson.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 23:56:27

No, senua, you are being asked to appreciate that in teaching there are no hard rules about what will and won't work.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 18-Nov-12 23:58:13

The cardiac cycle to the tune of Heads, Shoulders Knee and Toes...

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:00:04

My class love my stickers that look like colourful little poos. With faces.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:01:58

'Lord of the Flies' with a real conch - actually, no, that one WAS bloody silly. Those things make very effective offensive weapons.

Oh & the year they made me teach Geography & I ruined a year's supply of felt pens doing contour line models on halved potatoes...

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:03:12

Sunscorch are you a teacher?

I'm not misinterpreting RavenAK. It's pretty clear. Backpedalling has followed.

"I think the real issue is that Brycie is more concerned about his own literal interpretation of what may have been, admittedly, a poorly phrased comment, to the exclusion of the clarifications the original poster is offering."

The only reason it's an issue is because it would have been so easy for Noble to say - for example - actually that does really sound like that, do you actually mean that Evil? Because Noble had said "nobody's saying that, nobody said anything like that". And they did, right then and there, which I pointed out.

At any point it's possible to say - yes saying "what does she know about it, she's not a teacher" - implies that anyone who's not a teacher has nothing useful to say about what goes on in the classroom. Maybe if this was a closed thread to teachers only you might say that.

But it's just impossible for any teacher to admit that parent X is right and teacher Y is wrong. Not about everything, not even about very much, but about this tiny little thing, that was worded badly and seems to say XYZ when it should actually say ABC. However tiny and wee and unimportant - however black and white the "evidence" (lol) The Teacher Is Right and The Parent Must De Facto Be Wrong For Ever And Ever Amen.

The quadratic equation to three blind mice.

Multiplying out brackets singing eyebrows, mouth and nose (to the tune of head, shoulders knees and toes).

Area of a trapezium to pop goes the weasel.

I don't care if it is silly, I have pupils tell me years later how they have never forgotten this or some other silly such way I gave them to try and remember something.

And I am parent... and I teach at a grammar school... Perhaps I should get some chalk and go back to getting them to copy out of a textbook...

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:05:28

My Y9 bottom set loved hard algebra on a Friday afternoon. That was unexpected. Good thing I didn't write it off as a 'silly idea'.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:06:40

I didn't say you were misinterpreting. I said you were misquoting.

You need to quote accurately in order to interpret convincingly (as I tell year 11 four times a week).

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:10:01

I wasn't misquoting either.

The one time I did misquote (hasn't a clue) I immediately corrected it to "any idea".

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:11:04

Sunscorch are you a teacher?

Yes. And a man. And not a parent! shock

You have said that the poster of the comment meant to imply that she thinks parents have no worthwhile opinions on teaching strategies.
That poster has since replied that they didn't mean to imply that.


Except, apparently not.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:13:39

I think you got confused between the two about an hour ago, if it helps.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:14:21

Raven Ak - here you go - I hope you also tell your y11s to read thoroughly the text they're commenting on.

This is from my own post, quoting ET:

"The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea whether such things are "silly" or whether they "will work". "
"why WOULD the OP know whether things were silly and whether they worked? It's not her job to know such things"

Anytime you want to say - you know what, they don't give them impression "I like listening to parents they often have a lot to offer" just go ahead and do it.

Sunscorch - however did I guess you were a teacher. smile

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:18:14

Sunscorch - however did I guess you were a teacher.

Would you like one of my shiny poo stickers?

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:18:42

I know what ET said - she was perfectly clear. You subsequently inaccurately paraphrased her, whether intentionally or carelessly, & misrepresented her clarification as 'back-pedalling' - again, either intentionally or because you misunderstood.

It was a trivial thing, but it does seem to be the basis of your argument.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:21:30

Brycie, I don't think you can simply overrule the actual author of a statement on what that statement was intended to imply and tell them that they actually think something that they say they don't.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:22:33

Where can I get these shiny poo stickers?

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:24:27

Where can I get these shiny poo stickers?

I bought mine at the London Comicon at half term :P I have no idea where else they might be available. Worth a google, though, they're great smile

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:24:40

Actually I quoted her directly a number of times - after that I paraphrased or shortened as I was having the same conversation with the same people, I assumed that being teachers they wouldn't have the memories of goldfish and it's quite a faff to go back and copy and paste every time. It's not my fault if you joined in and commented on what I was saying without reading it. I quoted it directly enough times and you could have gone back to see what ~Evil said.

So if you now want to say - you know what those statements don't give the impression of "I like listening to parents, they have a lot to offer" - you can. But you won't - because you don't want to agree with a parent. smile

Sunscorch I would like a poo sticker. grin With regard to the rest of your post - I'd just like to say - YOU'D THINK.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:26:10

Yeah, actually...sod arguing with ill-informed teacher bashers. Bored with that now.

Where do we get the shiny poo stickers?

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:29:29

So if you now want to say - you know what those statements don't give the impression of "I like listening to parents, they have a lot to offer" - you can.

I'll say that, because the original statements weren't intended to give that impression.
Just like they weren't intended to give the impression that parents never have anything constructive to add to a conversation about teaching.

So I'll agree with you on this statement, even though you're presenting it as a false dichotomy.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:30:53

Noble, well, I like you but as our exchange went along the lines of

me: it's damaging to say "you know nothing because you're only a parent so I don't have to listen to you at all"

you: No one has said this, or anything close to this.

ET : "The OP is not a teacher, and therefore has no idea whether such things are "silly" or whether they "will work".

You might now want to acknowledge that this comment is indeed "close to this".

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:31:47

Are they actually Shiny Pooh stickers? <disappointed>

Google isn't finding any shiny poo stickers, which is a shame. I was thinking of using them for work so unmarkably appalling it merits a Can't Polish A Turd comment.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:32:39

Bored - of being wrong Raven?

Sunscorch of course they gave the impression of "not a teacher, what do they know"

Bizarre to think otherwise. ntention or no intention. But thanks for the poo sticker. smile

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:32:55

Are they actually Shiny Pooh stickers? <disappointed>

Nope, little turds smile
I'd post a photo, but they're all in my desk at school.

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:33:24

Sunscorch of course they gave the impression of "not a teacher, what do they know"

See "intended".

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:34:31

Actually you know what it's not really about this or that statement or the other, for me it became about how teachers just always agree with each other and always disagree with the parent, every time, and twist things and misinterpret things - just to agree with each other and disagree with the parent. Sunscorch, thanks for not being like that.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:36:00

Ah, I see the confusion Brycie! You are ignoring the words 'such things' - ie. the specific techniques the OP rubbished.

& having once ignored them, or failed to understand them, or whatever, you proceeded to paraphrase accordingly in later posts.

So no, nowhere close to "you know nothing because you're only a parent so I don't have to listen to you at all".

Anyway, has anyone found these poo stickers?

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:36:44

The intended doesn't matter, it's irrelevant.

Afterwards ET said actually I don't think that, I think something else, and I said Great that's terrific. Which led to a whole lot of "well I never even said it in the first place blah boring blah" and I'm sure she doesn't actually think it, and who the hell cares about a stupid thread anyway. It's just the teachers agreeing for the sake of it. Why do it.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:36:47

No Brycie, because it isn't close to this. Having no idea about about 'such things' is not the same as 'knowing nothing', and dismissing someone's opinion about the teaching methods in the OP is not the same as saying 'don't have to listen to you at all'

What ET said was very specific, you are trying to make it sound like she never listens to parents at all about anything. They are two very different things, and ET has already clarified that that is not what she meant when she said it. You really need to accept that and move on.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:37:47

"such things" meaning "behaviour management techniques" and "teaching methods"?

So it's fair to assume that ET thinks parents have nothing useful to offer on these two subjects?

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:39:51

I found these when I dared to google. But some of the poos look like they're having sex, which might be inappropriate at KS3.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:40:18

The "such things"referred to were a behaviour management technique and a teaching method. Both pretty big parts of your job. Unless you are really going to try to convince me that she was specifically talking about red cards and letters to Father Christmas. The use of the term "such things" means - you'd think - red cards and other such things ie other behaviour management techniques - and letters to father chrsitmas and other such things ie other teaching methods.

What else does "such things" mean?

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:40:40

* The intended doesn't matter, it's irrelevant. *

Well, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree there. If I reacted to everything that happened in my life without considering what people had intended, I daresay I'd have far fewer friends than I do.

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:40:51

Hmm, failbold.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:41:46

No, the 'such things' referred to were giving out red and yellow cards and a letter to Father Christmas. The things that were referred to in the OP as being silly and unlikely to work.

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:42:16

These are very similar to the stickers I have, though not quite the same _

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:42:40
Arisbottle Mon 19-Nov-12 00:44:14

I am too tired for this, and DH has just reminded me that I am fertile and therefore we need to have sex. He may not be a teacher but I am willing to listen to him, so I bid you all goodnight.

This is dancing on a pinhead brycie, something you seem to enjoy doing. ET has clarified what she has meant , and I am not sure why you can't just let it drop.

One could be forgiven for thinking that your sole purpose on here is to wind people up.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:44:17

...& I'm a parent, & have disagreed with my dc's teachers on more than one occasion, about specifics where I might be expected to know my own child better than they do.

This is different from pronouncing generally on their practice at primary level - I might well think something is an odd or unusual idea, but I wouldn't presume to dismiss it as worthless unless I'd asked them about the rationale behind it.

This is the point - it's absolutely fine to question your child's teachers - bring it on, I'd love there to be more of it tbh - just don't expect us to be particularly impressed when someone rubbishes what is going on in a classroom without first asking why.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:45:36

So ET was referring specifically to that behaviour management technique and that specific teaching method, while at the same time believing the parent could have useful input on all other behaviour management techniques and all other teaching methods?

Why would someone think that a parent knew nothing about one particular behaviour management technique but could still know a lot about all other behaviour management techniques? And the same for teaching methods?

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:46:22

Yes, the intended is irrelevant because at any time any teacher on this thread could have said yes - that looks like what you say it looks like. You are the only one to do so.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:47:57

The dancing on a pinhead is what the teachers here are doing, and have been doing, all night, in order to avoid saying - yes, it does look like ET is saying that. ET did you really mean that?

But you everyone is just playing twister trying to avoid agreeing with the parent.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:49:08

And any teacher at any time could let it drop. But you know - it's always the parent's fault.

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:50:00

You are the only one to do so.

It doesn't seem to have done much good.

Sunscorch Mon 19-Nov-12 00:50:24

But you everyone is just playing twister trying to avoid agreeing with the parent.


ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 00:57:09

'at any time any teacher on this thread could have said yes - that looks like what you say it looks like'

But it didn't - it looked like a careless or deliberate misquote, & was significantly different to what the quoted poster had actually argued, in responding specifically to the two techniques described in the OP.

I think you do understand this perfectly well & your subsequent posts are deliberately obfuscatory, tbh.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:58:29

Not you, most of the teachers. "It doesn't seem to have done much good."
You seem very nice and normal by the way. The fact that you stressed on about "intended" is interesting. I still think it's irrelevant. But I think it's interesting because it shows how differently teachers see things - you saw an intention in the statement which is - let's face it - directly contradictory to the words in the statement. Perhaps all the teachers see it. In which case it's very important to realise that you can't go round implying "what do they know, they're not teachers" and expect consequently to glory in parents' trust, because some teachers don't seem to realise that without being told.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 00:59:13

Brycie, even if ET does think that parents can't have useful input on behaviour management techniques or teaching methods (which she probably doesn't, in terms of their individual child at least, although I wouldn't want to speak for her) this is still not the same as saying that parents know nothing and shouldn't be listened to at all. It's still not even close.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 00:59:31

"it looked like a careless or deliberate misquote, & was significantly different to what the quoted poster had actually argued, in responding specifically to the two techniques described in the OP."

RAven - it is NOT my fault if you haven't read my posts. Argue with a lampost if you're going to do that.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:04:15

You think saying "Parents have no useful input (or "any idea") in terms of behaviour management or teaching methods, the two biggest and most important parts of my job"

is not close to saying "parents know nothing and shouldn't be listened to"


Really? so parents might know about, say - staffroom layout, or the summer fete, or Nativity costumes, and could listened to or have useful input about those?

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 01:04:50

But I have read them.

The lamppost might be equally impervious, but would probably have sturdier foundations.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 01:08:16

Parents might know something about, say, their own child. That's some pretty useful input right there. That's mainly what I consult parents on. I don't usually phone them up and ask them how I should manage set Z, or approach quadratic equations.

The school consults parents on other stuff, but that's above my pay scale.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:10:27

Sadly, raven, you haven't. Do you remember when I quoted my own post (I need a life) copying and pasting Evil word for word? And do you remember how I said I'd done that more than once? And do you remember saying that as I was having a conversation with the same people about the same thing there was no reason to believe they might have the memories of goldfish and forget what had been posted a short time before? It wasn't that long ago. So do stop with the misquoting accusation. And now you've read the actual quotes (which you missed when you didn't read the post before) you can agree with me - any time you like - that they seem to say parents have no idea about what goes on in the classroom because they aren't teachers.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 01:12:21

Brycie, at 01:04, you are now comparing <something only you have said> with <something else only you have said>.

You're a fortnight late - or you could've dressed that straw man up nicely & given him a great fiery send off...

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:13:47

Look, it's become plain that whatever teachers say - something different is meant. So there's not much point in carrying on.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:14:51

RavenAK: for most of this evening - you haven't read my posts. I think that's helped to build up your own straw man quite nicely. Cripes - we wouldn't want what happened to get in the way of something imaginary you imagine to have happened would we?

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 01:15:40

Brycie, I've seen all the posts on this thread. I haven't missed any of them, & I haven't missed your paraphrases & inaccuracies.

I came to it fresh from marking 30 year 11 books & writing 'Quote ACCURATELY!' on most of them; it's important when building a credible argument.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:16:01

Anyway - it doesn't matter - you agree with the teachers. One used to say to me - if they jumped off a cliff would you follow? I feel like repeating it here.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:18:08

So there we are raven - you'll have see the posts where I copied and pasted evil completely. So stop trying to imply I'm misleading or lying in some way, if you don't mind.

Do you know I think there are teachers who literally would jump off a cliff to follow a colleague - if a parent was standing by and called out to them not to do it.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:19:21

Raven: I have to say the way which you've tried to imply I'm lying or misleading is pretty low. That's really how low you'd stoop rather than saying "yes, Evil's posts do give that impression".

Not so accurate yourself love.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 01:31:44

Well, if I'm not accurate, Brycie, feel free to point out where, & I'll gladly apologise, because I do think (& teach) that it's important to represent a different point of view clearly & accurately, to the best of your ability, in order to refute it honestly.

If you don't, it completely undermines any point you may have originally had.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 01:50:22

By accusing me of misquoting and not admitting that I've quoted accurately. HTH.

sashh Mon 19-Nov-12 02:11:53

They should be there because they want to learn.


Of course they should but if mum / dad / family are on benefits the family lose about £60 a week in tax credits and income support if they leave full time education.

On top of that they will get £15 - £20 bursary a week.

You would be suprised what does work with some grpoups. Yellow and red cards means you don't get into arguments about, 'but so and so did X and they didn't get punished'.

ravenAK Mon 19-Nov-12 02:14:36


Look, quotation means 'exactly what the other person said, in their own words, with no editing or cutting which changes the meaning'.

It is conventional to use quotation marks to show quotation, & not to use them for one's own paraphrase of someone else's words.

Have a look back over your posts.

I'm off to bed (with poo stickers written on the back of my hand - should amuse my tutor group...)

Shesparkles Mon 19-Nov-12 05:56:32

I don't think it's fair or right to generalise. For some reason teachers always seem to get lumped together on threads like this. As in every profession there are good, bad and indifferent teachers.
In my experience as a parent, with the exception of 2 teachers, all I've seen are professionals whose main aim is for the students they teach to be the best they can be.

At a recent parents' night I asked 1 teacher how best we could support and assist dd in a subject she finds difficult, only to be told to google!!

Another teacher didn't have to be asked. She was actively saying to dd that she knew what dd's weakness was, and for dd to please come to a study support group she runs so they could work through it.

Guess which teacher dd WANTS to work hard for ??

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 06:38:49

Raven you're just trying to imply I'm deliberately misquoting in order to mislead. I suppose it's helping you to avoid what Evil said - and how it looked like exactly what I said it looked like. However we both know I quoted directly twice, maybe three times. It doesn't matter how often you say I didn't, because unless you've got a big delete button it's there and always will be fr us all to see.

What a pathetic waste of your time and mine. All to avoid agreeing with a parent and disagreeing with a teacher.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 06:55:27

"For some reason teachers always seem to get lumped together on threads like this"

teachers lump themselves together on threads like this and you can't get an after eight mint between them

but apart from that - you're right

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 08:30:09

Brycie, perhaps you have issues with teachers in general? That would explain why you're trying to argue that ET meant something she didn't say and says she didn't mean, because you think that teachers think that and want to try to pin it on them.

Issues with teachers would also explain why you dismiss everyone telling you you're wrong as a conspiracy of teachers who are always against parents, rather than being down to the simple fact you're wrong.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 08:43:10

No, not at all - I've said it earlier (in fact I also said I don't think the red card is a silly idea!)

But perhaps you and other teachers have issues with parents in general? That would explain why you're trying to argue that ET said something different than she actually said.

Issues with parents would also explain why you dismiss parents telling you you're wrong despite the evidence - rather than being down to the simple fact you're wrong.

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 09:47:27

It seems unlikely that every teacher on this thread has general issues with listening to parents, especially as no teacher on this thread has agreed with your statement 'parents know nothing and shouldn't be listened to at all', including the one that you claim must think that because she wrote something that you (and only you) have interpreted to mean that.

It seems far more likely that the issue is yours, to have made that interpretation in the first place and to continue plugging it as correct despite no one else, including the author, agreeing with it.

cory Mon 19-Nov-12 11:06:13

I have found most of dc's teachers very competent, very informative and very good communicators, with a very few exceptions.

To me, the Father Christmas exercise, in the hands of the competent teacher (which I would say is statistically most likely) seems perfectly reasonable. Dd, who is 16, is delighted with her new drama teacher who is demonstrating the Stanislawski method by means of puppets; she feels she is learning on a whole new level. It would only be a bad exercise if it was badly thought out by a bad teacher. But I'd want to see some evidence for that.

And red and yellow cards is good enough for adult footballers so why not for teenagers? What other way would your ds prefer to be disciplined?

At the same time, I do sometimes find myself a little disconcerted by the assumption that because you are a parent you can't possibly know anything else: you can't possibly be the person who wrote the latest work on behaviour management technique or speaks fluent French or lectures on medieval witchcraft. Because if you're a parent you know your own child and nothing else. Other people have professional lives and know things, not parents. In particular, it never ever seems to occur to many teachers that the parent facing them across the table might actually be an experienced teacher. Which is odd. Because it is a well known fact that many teachers do indeed have children. I'm the child of teachers myself. Why would you assume that none of them would ever turn up at parents evening?

cory Mon 19-Nov-12 11:39:24

The only really bad lesson of the Father Christmas type I have come across was the one given us as 17yos by a would-be-modern teacher of psychology. He wanted to demonstrate the power of peer pressure so asked any girl to put up her hand who would be willing to come with him to the shops and try on denims and let him buy her some. When we all squirmed and looked at each other uncomfortably, he used that as proof that teenage girls are swayed by fashion and peer pressure.

Now that was a seriously bad lesson, not because it used an example to illustrate an idea, but because he was a naive man who had not thought through the issues of child protection and inappropriate behaviour, whereas his class of 17yo girls were not quite so naive. But hard to imagine that happening these days.

Arisbottle Mon 19-Nov-12 20:49:32

Brycie we are parents, so unlikely to have an issue with other parents. I suspect most of us are marrried or in a relationship with another adult who is a parent but not a teacher.

I am a teacher with responsibilty for behaviour across school and I will often ask parents for advice. There are times we make mistakes and I admit it and apologise. I have had parents come into school to talk to classes, to run teams and to talk to staff about their child.

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 21:08:14

smile Aris

Arisbottle Mon 19-Nov-12 21:12:31

Is that a declaration of love brycie? grin

Brycie Mon 19-Nov-12 21:19:30

Yes I do actually heart your measured tone and your attitude. Also the fact that you have capitalised your name and it's quite clever. These things matter grin

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:50:29

How the heck can teachers and parents stay up so late arguing, don't you have jobs/children to get up in the morning for!

Anyways, I would like to add an informed thought I had today which is relevant to my point of view. The director-general of the Confederation of British Industry today said and I quote, "employers were being forced to provide remedial tuition in the three-Rs to as many as one-in-five new recruits – including those with good GCSE grades – because pupils have been “failed by the system”. That's the informed bit, next comes my thought which is only informed by my (and my friends) experience.

So I would like to suggest that these 'silly' (only in relation to the OP) techniques teachers use to entertain children might, in teachers opinions, work but in terms of equipping children for the real world are a huge big waste of time.

FYI: I am a parent, have previous teaching experience and training, but never in a secondary.

RainbowsFriend Mon 19-Nov-12 21:58:18

I went to bed. Too knackered.

I have to teach to get pupils through exams. 'Cos that's what parents demand and the school demands.

Unless they go on to have very specialist jobs, pretty much all I teach them will never be used again except in pub quizzes. Not my fault though - I'm doing what my job requires of me.

They do learn how to spell respiration, photosynthesis and the importance of a healthy diet and body though. Oh and about consequences for missing deadlines (I HATE getting work in late). Does that help?

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 22:05:46

I don't think anyone can blame teachers, specifically. It's the system that's at fault. I found the things the CBI had to say really interesting. The thing is, until the government stops using league tables in their current state, then schools will have no option other than to teach to the test.

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 22:08:27

Oh, and DH works for a major management consultancy. He sometimes vets CVs and covering letters, often from graduates of to universities. The standard of English so poor that his company runs courses for employees to brush up on their writing skills.

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 22:08:50

Doh- top universities.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:23:23

Before anyone swears at me I am NOT blaming teachers, I to think it is the system to blame and teachers are just on the front line so take the flak.

The solution I have advocated and believe in is selection by ability. As RainbowsFriend said many children are taught stuff that are an enormous waste of time and would be better spent teaching them to read and write. The only way to do this is to figure out (maybe age 14) which kids have the aptitude for academic study and which have the aptitude for more vocational study.

So perhaps anybody would care to put forward suggestions as to their realistic solutions, given that we are never going to just scrap exams of any kind. Scrap GCSE's and just do A-Levels?

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 22:32:29

Chloe, whilst I see your point, I don't agree with it. Selecting by aptitude at 14 would do a massive disservice to most kids. What about those whose lives mean they are unable to focus on academic study? What about kids who are simply late developers? Or lazy? What about those who are bright but have a passion for something "vocational"? It's surely a retrograde step- back to the days of grammars and secondary moderns?

I do think that there needs to be appropriate pathways for all- especially given Gove's desire to introduce his rigorous exams which plenty of kids will have no chance of passing, but I don't think that the "selection at 14" route you are suggesting would work.

As for alternatives? I say scrap selection. Make all kids go to their local school and bring back proper comps grin

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:54:26

Selection at 11 or 14 indeed might indeed let down some children but they are being let down now, the question is which system lets down the least. I don't imagine any system will ever be perfect.

Children whose lives mean they are unable to focus on academic study - whether by intellect or circumstance the reality is they can't focus on academic study and should do something that will make a positive impact on their lives.

The kids who are simply late developers - We cant hold the rest back for a few late developers, if they really are late developers then they will just have to catch up. Isn't that called real life?

Those who are bright but have a passion for something vocational would be given an advantage by selection, they could develop their vocational skills to a high level and be as successful as any 'professional'.

No-one is suggesting a return to the old days of grammars and secondary moderns. It is possible to select for skills in a positive way and not just winners and losers. Academic study isn't for everyone and it isn't the panacea for a wonderful life. Most scientists get paid less than teachers and have worse pensions (sorry a personal comment there). Countries like Germany manage it and vocational schools are valued as much if not more than academic schools.

At the very least why are we pushing children who are not academic to stay in school until 18, and do A-Levels? A-Levels should most definitely be for academics and I think many of the comments in this thread are about children who shouldn't be doing them.

How about we stop so many children doing A-Levels and just teach them to read and write? And while we are at it way to many go to uni, its totally pointless.

ET - are you suggesting we ban selection by faith? stopping all Grammar schools? Closing all Private schools? I can see its possible but how do you stop selection by moving house to expensive area?

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 23:03:23

Chloe, I agree that too many go to and that A levels are not for everyone. Unfortunately, we live in a society where vocational qualifications are thought of as pointless. BTECs, for example, are rubbished, often by people who have no idea what the syllabi contain, simply because they're not GCSEs. There would need to be a complete shift in perception before a selective system such as that you are suggesting would be seen as anything other than win/lose or succeed/fail.

And you're right of course, there is no way we could ever have true comprehensive education- things have gone too far now. I would like to ditch league tables and grammar though.

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 23:04:45

Too many go to university, that should have said!

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 23:19:17

Yes ET I guess we have come to the pivotal reason, perceptions. Why do the 'English' look down on vocational skills. I really don't know, other countries don't. I certainly don't, perhaps we should teach everyone a MFL. But I will hypothesize from local experience, when I want a plumber/electrician/tradesman etc you cant find a good one, they don't come out for days and when they do they are Eastern European. I know several tradesmen that earn 100k a year, it doesn't make sense. I will quite happily pay for a good job but we don't have a nationwide system of training experts in the various trades that I can trust. And I would be as happy to pay for decent work, just as much as I pay my doctor, architect or lawyer. I think if a government was brave enough to radically reform the vocational education so we could trust the quality then perceptions would chance. You could even make the choice of school voluntary and I think it would work. A plumber earning 100k salary and zero debt would be a much better career path than a scientist with 40k student loans and a 20k salary.

If you get rid of league tables, how would you identify and deal with failing or coasting schools? There are plenty.

EvilTwins Mon 19-Nov-12 23:25:18

I think that league tables are part of the problem. Schools teach to the test because those test results will be published. In trying too hard to increase the exam results, too many basic skills are missed. Perhaps league tables should be changed- again, it would need re-education of the general populace. I woul far prefer a reporting system which focused on levels of progress, say, than the % of kids getting 5 A*-C grades. Until we get over the obsession with "passing" exams, any alternative would be sneered at.

I, for one, value BTECs for what they are. In some subjects, they are a more appropriate qualification. Try telling that to most people though... angry

chloe74 Tue 20-Nov-12 00:29:35

ummm ... arent the league tables already based on "the % of kids getting 5 A*-C grades"

EvilTwins Tue 20-Nov-12 06:53:43

Yes, but I don't think they should be!

danebury Tue 20-Nov-12 07:03:09

Star girl, the GTC was disbanded last year. Just saying. You can work as an unqualified teacher in private education - or the new 'free' schools.

And I'm not sure what you mean by saying that teachers haven't been traine in College for years? Do you mean like a B Ed? Because every year we have ITT students from te local teacher training college affiliated with the University.

I don't think I'd use the cards (I have them for younger students) but I do find that Y12s have their phones out and are a bit too chatty). The teacher's sanctions are up to them and will/should be part of the whole school behaviour policy.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 07:20:48

People who favour selection always bang on about Germany as if its school system is great. Germany's school system has been roundly slated by the UN for perpetuating social inequality. Somehow it's the better off kids that end up being 'academically selected' for academia, and the disadvantaged kids that end up being set on the vocational path. Its PISA scores aren't particularly great either.

titchy Tue 20-Nov-12 08:05:19

There's a MNer based in Germany who started a thread recently asking for advice on UK boarding schools - that's how bad the German system is!

RainbowsFriend Tue 20-Nov-12 18:42:28

As a teacher I think the league tables have A LOT to answer for.

I also think pupils should be able to opt out of school as soon as they have taken GCSEs as long as they have an apprenticeship to go to - and have to return in they drop out of the apprenticeship before completing 2 years.

Teaching to the test takes all the fun out of it sad

Leonas Tue 20-Nov-12 19:26:11

There are a large number (which is steadily increasing) of pupils who are at school because there is nothing else to do - not Uni material, no college courses available and no jobs. Also, some subjects in some schools are compulsory and so not only do they not want to be at school, they don't want to be doing the subject. Sometimes a reward/ points/ card system does help with seniors and you cannot assume that they all know how to behave of care enough to do so. If you know it isn;t working then, by all means, complain but if you don't know its effects it really isn't your place to judge.
Teachers are not taught any of that stuff at Uni - they are ultimately left to work out what works for them/ their classes themselves.

squeezedatbothends Tue 20-Nov-12 21:14:14

Hmmm, it would be good if you could just say to the 17year old 'you're not prepared to work so leave' but colleges are judged on their retention rates by ofsted. It's a brave head who throws away that criteria. Red and yellow cards are culturally recognised as a strategy with adults on the sports field so not so patronising really.

Arisbottle Tue 20-Nov-12 21:52:06

If teaching to the test is taking the fun out of it just stop it, or do it less.

There is a time and a place for teaching to the test but there should be time to do so much more and I suspect grades would be better if we taught to the test less.

Getting pupils to pass exams is only a part of what I am employed to do. The day my job becomes about teaching to a test is the day I go back to my old job .

chloe74 Tue 20-Nov-12 23:08:35

There we go again: Quote "Somehow it's the better off kids that end up being 'academically selected'" - noblegiraffe. That's whats wrong with this country, the rush to the bottom, we shouldn't stretch a section of society's kids because they are 'better off'. The constant rush for equality at the bottom. Nooooooo

AViewfromtheFridge Wed 21-Nov-12 07:00:37

No, no, no. The point is that if they are separated at, say, 11, or even later, there is no opportunity for fluidity of movement between sets/ courses etc.

In the comprehensive school, there are children in my top set year 10 who came to us with level 4s and were put in set 3s - essentially, bottom sets. Over the years they have worked and worked and, in some cases, just "got" it at some point, which has enabled them to end up where they are.

If they had been sent to a different school and set off on a vocational course, that wouldn't be possible. Why should they be denied that opportunity?

And to suggest children aren't "stretched" is not only rude but ignorant.

AViewfromtheFridge Wed 21-Nov-12 07:05:09

For example, the average CAT score across our top three sets is the same as that at the local Grammar school - children are set by ability and their teaching is tailored to that, but there is still flexibility of movement between sets which is not possible for the children who didn't get into the Grammar school.

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Nov-12 07:26:55

"we shouldn't stretch a section of society's kids because they are 'better off'."

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that we should stretch the all kids who are genuinely academic, and not just simply the ones who are better off who managed to impress (or jump through a hoop) at a very young age.

In Germany it is very clear that who gets into the Gymnasium or the Realschule or Hauptschule depends on their social background. International research is very clear that selection perpetuates social inequality, with the earlier the selection, the worse the effect.

If you are concerned about stretching the academic and not merely the children of the already advantaged in society who appear to be more academic at an early age because they've been tutored or given access to more resources or haven't just arrived in the country, or had medical issues or undiagnosed SEN etc etc you cannot support selection.

picketywick Fri 23-Nov-12 12:10:57

I dont believe in 11-plus. On "stretching" There was one headmaster who should have been stretched on the end of a rope. But it was all some time ago .Things have changed. Nil desperandum

socharlotte Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:26

'In the comprehensive school, there are children in my top set year 10 who came to us with level 4s and were put in set 3s - essentially, bottom sets. Over the years they have worked and worked and, in some cases, just "got" it at some point, which has enabled them to end up where they are.'

That is why the 11+ selects on academic potential (ie reasoning ability) and not current attainment. So these children you describe should (in theory anyway) have been picked out for their latent ability.This is why the 11+ throws up so many unexpected results because it doesn't discriminate against lazy, badly taught or late blooming kids.

socharlotte Fri 23-Nov-12 13:27:31

But wrt to the OP.
Ok I don't believe either of the ideas mentioned are particularly good, but teachers have to try out new things to see how they work otherwise their teaching will become stale and never progress.

noblegiraffe Fri 23-Nov-12 17:32:12

That is why the 11+ selects on academic potential

But that assumes that the 11+ is an accurate predictor of academic attainment at age 16.

We know from statistical analysis that the current 'best' predictive tests of academic attainment at age 16 (CATs, MIDYAS, London reading test - don't know about 11+) only offer a correlation of about 0.7 (with 1 being a perfect predictor) between results at 11 and results at 16. Let's say you look at the top 25% at 11. You think this means that they will still be the top 25% at age 16 and send them off to a grammar school suitable for their obvious academic ability.

Unfortunately, statistics show that 22% of students will have gone to the wrong school based on your prediction. 11% will have failed at 11 when they are in the top 25% at 16, and 11% will have passed at 11 when they are not in the top 25% at 16.

So, 1 in 5 children misplaced as a result of selection at 11 isn't great really.

AViewfromtheFridge Fri 23-Nov-12 17:33:08

You're right - they should, but a lot of them have below average non-verbal (i.e. reasoning) CAT scores, too. I think data is useful to a certain extent... but children are not machines!

socharlotte Fri 23-Nov-12 23:20:43

But 4 in 5 are correctly placed.I think that's good!

Incidentally do you know how 11+ results correlate to A level results? Just curious because I have known lots of boys bloom in the 6th form

socharlotte Fri 23-Nov-12 23:22:18

..and of course a large factor in academic success is hard work.No test can predict whether a teenager will go off the rails during the next 5 years!

noblegiraffe Sat 24-Nov-12 12:54:48

22% of kids being in the wrong place is a huge problem! In a comp, if they are setted then they can move sets relatively easily. If they are stuck in the wrong school (under the secondary modern model) then you get bright kids with a ceiling placed on their achievement, or a not so bright kid struggling and failing in a grammar when they might have thrived elsewhere.

And there's nothing to say that the majority of the 78% of kids allocated the correct school wouldn't have done just as well in a setted comp.

RoboRabbit Tue 27-Nov-12 13:51:27

I think one of the main issues here is that the teaching and behaviour of students you get in a grammar is on the whole better than you get in a comp and to an extent this is what enables greater academic progress. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic comps - I went to one myself, but in general they need to be better run and students need to disciplined more. I know many people who would be fantastic teachers but who wouldn't touch it with a barge pole because of the working conditions and the constant scrutiny from all sides.

Socio-economic background is a huge determiner of whether someone gets into a grammar school. It shouldn't be, but it is. Students from wealthier backgrounds are more likley to have parents who are educated, have books at home, talk about intellectual subjects and have a wider vocabulary; thus these children will fair better in verbal reasoning because their minds have been exercised in this way before sitting the 11+. Let's also not forget the amount of children who are tutored into the 11+, another factor determined by cash flow. These children will also be more likely to work harder either because parents are pushing them or because they are used to working harder because they will have gone to a better primary school which fosters a good work ethic.

The main issue here is that while many schools do a very good job and there are many excellent teachers, the education system is not fit for purpose. Lots of schools do not provide a good education for students because they are not being run properly and because the government allows this to happen through their mismanagement. The education system is vast, complex and unwieldy and teachers are at the front line of it trying their best to deal with an ever-changing set of demands while ministers indulge in ad-hoc policy making. Comments such as that of the original poster are really not helpful in what is a very difficult set of circumstances. We are all stakeholders in the education system because we all should be stakeholders in our future. Therefore, if it is to work successfully, people need to understand that while we live in an age of entitlement, everyone needs to take responsibility including parents and students.

In short, give teachers a break. Be enquiring about your child's education, but try to understand rather than being unhelpful or accusative.

EvilTwins Tue 27-Nov-12 18:24:36

Excellent post Robo

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