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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

joanbyers Wed 28-Nov-12 02:29:54

Is he at a middle school or a prep school? Just curious why he is in y8 and you are thinking about a next school?

Kez100 Wed 28-Nov-12 03:40:27

No, I wouldnt complain. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Homework wasn't done (for whatever reason - you only have one side of the story).

These things happen and sometimes teachers make mistakes (other times parents get an embellished story from the student). Have to go through with it though as its dangerous to undermine the teachers authority.

cory Wed 28-Nov-12 08:33:06

I think you're overinterpreting. A black mark in his report isn't like a criminal record that is going to follow him forever. Can you imagine a future employer/university/whatever actually wanting to know?

But if you teach him to have a chip on his shoulder and worry in case other people don't get as punished as he does, then that attitude could follow him a long way and make his life difficult.

Your job is to teach him the difference between real injustices, which it is the duty of every citizen to fight, and the minor annoyances of life, for which you use your sense of humour.

fwiw dd had lots of totally untruthful statements on her junior school reports- and some that would put the legality of the school in question of anyone ever bothered to read them. They don't.

Me, I wouldn't be worrying so much about undermining the teacher's authority- but I would be worrying in case I was encouraging an attitude of touchiness and feeling-hard-done-by which could do my child harm in the future. -Never mind, dear, is a very useful phrase.

annh Wed 28-Nov-12 08:55:20

A black mark on his report? Really? How detailed do you think the reports which go to the next school will be for two errors in one subject in the first term of Yr 8 to follow him through his school career? You are overthinking this.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 10:24:14

joanbyers middle school - three tier system

Kez100 - have already gone through with it when he was punished with a detention. Actually ds not one for embellishment and a very honest child - too honest for his own good sometimes.

cory - Ds completely oblivious to our annoyance. As for fostering any hard done by feels, forget it, we're a tough get on with it family.

trinity0097 Wed 28-Nov-12 12:16:17

Things like suspensions will get carried into the next school, and internal detention for homework will not be relevant to the next school. They will not care one bit, or even know!

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 12:46:13

Next school will probably not even look at his report, let alone care that he had one low mark on an otherwise glowing report.

They have hundreds of kids to worry about, some with real issues.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 12:49:13

noblegiraffe - no need to be patronising

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 13:16:07

Sorry, but this really isn't anything to get worked up about.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 13:37:15

noblegiraffe - not worked up so much as annoyed and just wanted no know if people thought the teacher had been heavy handed with her assessment.

Kez100 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:02:47

You also asked if you should raise a query. My answer, no, you should let it go, as you are a tough get on with it family.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 15:33:15

Kez100 - did you mean to sound quite so rude

annh Wed 28-Nov-12 16:12:21

Treas that put-down really only works outside MN, not here where it was invented! grin

diabolo Wed 28-Nov-12 16:19:31

I understand your concerns OP and not sure why you seems to be getting a tough time.

I work in a middle school with good friends in the Upper school we feed - I promise that unless your DC is a serious trouble maker with exclusions and / or behavioural problems - they won't be advised about this.

We certainly don't copy our reports to the upper school and I can't imagine many other schools having the time or resources to that either.

smile

purits Wed 28-Nov-12 17:21:24

Have to go through with it though as its dangerous to undermine the teachers authority.

Care to explain that further?

Kez100 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:07:27

The context matters here. The matter in question is 'should my son have been given a cause for concern homework grade?'. Teachers are tasked with this subjective assessment. It is their remit. A parent, or child, can privately choose to think 'in our opinion they were wrong' on this occassion but to actively query such a minor assessment gives an impression to the child that every battle should be fought. And to fight one so subjective too, is not a calculated move. Battles should be carefully chosen and some things in life, let go, move on. One day, you may need that Teacher to go the extra mile.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 28-Nov-12 19:14:40

No, the assessment was in my opinion fair.

1st homework.
Your son had not managed to find out how the work was supposed to be delivered in a way that it could be retrieved. Should it be emailed? Burn a dvd or a cd - how to do so to make it compatible with the schools systems, ie what format or version, or on a USB stick? The subject was IT and even my 11 year old boy would find out how to hand his soft copies in before bringing anything in to school.

2nd homework.
He misunderstood and did it wrong, plain and simple.

What your son needs to learn from this is research how his homework should be done and what is expected.

PropositionJoe Wed 28-Nov-12 19:19:35

Yes the teacher might have been a tiny bit heavy handed. No, you should leave it.

cory Wed 28-Nov-12 19:47:21

"cory - Ds completely oblivious to our annoyance. As for fostering any hard done by feels, forget it, we're a tough get on with it family. "

There is your answer. wink

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 21:18:45

annh - tongue was firmly in cheek when typing that, but it does feel good saying itgrin

NotQuintAtAllOhNo - actually homework 1 was a continuation of a previous powerpoint, not IT, so ds had handed it in once already on the dvd and it had been retrieved ok by the teacher. He then had to add to the original powerpoint and saved it in the same way. This time teacher was unable to retrieve the work. So ds's research was fine.

homework 2 - 13 out of a class of 20 did the same as ds, so over 50% got the wrong end of the stick, which suggests the teacher had not communicated her instructions in the best way.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 28-Nov-12 21:30:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 21:35:23

Since starting this post I have found out from ds that the teacher concerned walked out in the middle of the parents consulation, leaving the parents of a child who had told her their child was not enjoying her lessons stranded.

Unfortunately, I don't think we are the only parents who have had concerns (minor though ours were).

Think the school are best off looking into things themselves and giving the teacher the support she needs.

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 21:58:48

Perhaps playground gossip isn't the best way to assess if a teacher is any good or not.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 22:05:22

noblegiraffe - no but personal experience and history with a teacher sure goes a long way.

LondonMother Wed 28-Nov-12 22:05:29

I think I may be living in a parallel universe. If I had told my parents that I didn't enjoy Miss X's lessons I would have got no sympathy at all. Some lessons are enjoyable, many aren't. They aren't there to have fun, they're there to learn.

Different, of course, if the reason the kid isn't enjoying the lessons is because Miss X is picking on him [bends over backwards to see both sides of the question - slips disc...]

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 22:08:17

LondonMother - here have a cold compress for tha back of yours grin

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 22:40:19

treas you're going on 'personal experience and history' over minor annoyance to suggest that the school needs to get involved and 'support' this teacher, you've got your DS coming home and telling you tales of this teacher which you have seemingly lapped up without any critical consideration. An excessive worry over a 'black mark' on a report that you fear might blight DS's secondary school career and a consideration that you should phone up the school and argue to get it revoked.

I think you need to start to back off a bit. Your DS is getting to an age where he should be able to handle the odd detention and annoying teacher. If you really are of the 'tough, get on with it' mentality, then focus on what's important. And it's not 'is my kid being entertained?' it's 'is my kid being educated?'.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 22:57:06

noblegiraffe - you seem quite determined to see the worst in everything I have written.

Since the teacher abandoned parents in a parents consultation, then why would the school not support her and find out what is wrong?

Yes I did ask whether we should raise a query - at no point have I actually said that we were going to, especially now that she seems so troubled.

Also the personal experience and history does not refer to one single incident, but hey ho you've decided you know everything from the few comments I have made on this post.

* Think the school are best off looking into things themselves and giving the teacher the support she needs.* - was an indication that we would not be adding to the teachers concerns by raising an additional issue.

Maybe you should be the one backing off

GlitKnit Wed 28-Nov-12 23:03:36

Christ op. have you got a rl job?
How do you know the number of kids who didn't hand it in? Abdvtonbe blunt , why do you give a fuck ?

GET A LIFEand man up FFs

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:06:05

GiltKnit - unnecessary

GlitKnit Wed 28-Nov-12 23:08:58

You need to step away from the school.

Move back. Wait till you have a real problem.

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 23:11:40

Also the personal experience and history does not refer to one single incident

Oh, I thought you said in the OP that you didn't plan to drip feed. hmm

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:13:00

GiltKnit - have you actually read anything I've said?

I have already stated that I wouldn't be dealing with the school.

Not sure why you feel the need to get the boot into me - don't think I actually deserve it.

vigglewiggle Wed 28-Nov-12 23:15:05

I do think that you are taking a giant leap of faith to take everything that a 13 year old says as gospel. If these two incidents had involved my child I would certainly be making a mental note that there may be an issue, but I would not be troubling the school with it at this stage.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:16:39

noblegiraffe - really? I have given the complete details of this particular incident so was not drip feeding, also haven't given details of other issues because they were not necessary for the original question.

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 23:21:44

If there is other 'history and experience' then it might well explain your reaction to the minor incidents in the OP, or why your DS was noted as a cause for concern.

It also might explain why you are willing to believe what your DS has said about the parent teacher consultation without considering that a) it might not be true and b) the parents might have been rude enough to warrant walking out on.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:24:14

vigglewiggle - am not troubling the school with it, I asked the question on here not at school.

Also have not taken ds's word on it as gospel, as far as he's concerned the teacher is right.

vigglewiggle Wed 28-Nov-12 23:28:50

"So was the teacher heavy handed and should we raise a query?"
"DS of Course feels it is unfair..."

Sorry, I must have misunderstood. hmm

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:30:53

noblegiraffe - cause for concern is exclusive to these 2 homework issue according to the teacher herself in the last 2 and a bit years that she has taught him.

Unfortunately, the parent consultation problem is true, know the parents involved.

As for b) the parents might have been rude enough to warrant walking out on personally think you may very well be right as the couple involved have a reputation for putting teachers backs up.

cansu Wed 28-Nov-12 23:32:55

Ok here's what I think
1. No you shouldn't make a fuss about the homework issue. Your ds didn't get these two bits of homework right and the teacher noted this issue in her report. Get over it. It won't follow your ds into his future. You really can't micromanage your ds at school in this way at his age. Save your energy for serious issues.
2. You are going on here say about the incident of teacher walking away from parents at. Parents evening. For all you know said parents were being aggressive and rude and she walked away to inform senior management they would have to step in. most parents evenings have very short appointment times if a parents has a real beef to take up then teacher would probably refer them to SMT. If they continued to sit there she may well decide to leave rather than risk a confrontation.

cansu Wed 28-Nov-12 23:37:15

One other thing occurs to me and that is your statement that your ds is hard working. He may well be hard working but you have to consider that the purpose of these monitoring reports is to give you the teachers view. Maybe the teacher doesn't think your ds homework has been up to standard relative to his ability. Rather than focus on whether you can prove her judgement to be wrong or heavy handed, maybe gently suggest that our ds may need to work a bit harder on his homework. Or ask her what she thinks he could do to get better marks in future.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:39:43

vigglewiggle - yep you've misunderstood. "So was the teacher heavy handed? And should we raise a query?"

Two separate questions looking for peoples opinions on here. Nothing raised with the school and have stated in later posts that we are not raising it with school.

Ds is 12 so as par for the course thinks it unfair - most children would think that. But this is something he has said to us his parents, not the teacher - he'd be too scared to do so.

vigglewiggle Wed 28-Nov-12 23:46:30

OP, you have asked for opinions, however you seem to be dismissing the majority of posters who are telling you that there is no major issue here. You are obviously very wound up by what has happened, but I think you need to bring some of that "tough, get on with it" spirit to the fore.

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:54:12

Hi cansu - seems your post crossed with the one I wrote to noblegiraffe saying I can well believe that the parents involved were rude although to give them their due not aggressive.

Have already stated won't be raising an issue with the school - although the teachers failure to retrieve the homework from the disc we are going to have to disagree about it being ds's fault.grin

Re: standard of ds's homework, this is not the issue as teacher has stated he had produced GCSE standard work and he has received HT certificate for it.

As for the need to for him to work harder - he'll chose to complete homework rather than invite a friend round, so could really as more from him, although I'll not be letting on to him about that wink

treas Wed 28-Nov-12 23:57:13

vigglewiggle - no not dismissing posters saying it is no major issue. Yes am a bit wound up but think it better to let off steam here than in RL.

Sometime you just feel the need to vent - so thanks, hope your not too batteredblush

Blueschool Thu 29-Nov-12 00:08:00

OP, I actually think your teachers criticisms of your ds are very unfair as they were a result of both genuine human error combined with fault that also was part of the teachers to blame.

It seems unfair not to allow error for these reasons- and a little odd.

If it were me I would be more peeved at the unjust criticism than anything else.

On the other hand if thats the worst she can find to say about him then it shows he is doing well!

treas Thu 29-Nov-12 00:18:09

Blueschool - Thanks, glad you can see where I was coming from.

Ds is actually v. laid back about it all, just me that is riled (possibly raised a few injustices I went through myself at school if I'm honest).

Anyway I've had my vent and taken my kicking here rather than RL so all well and good.

Blueschool Thu 29-Nov-12 00:23:27

Don't worry we all get riled when it comes to our children, its utterly natural. I think you were entirely justified in your feelings though.

Im glad you feel better now though smile

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 10:04:45

I am sorry OP you are getting all this negativity. sad

Why all the jobs on Earth are subject to criticism except teaching? Why should you back off?
Some teachers are sloppy in their markings and assessments. They are giving out detention right and left without any consideration to the ds or their feelings.
How many teachers out there put a 2 on every single ds attitude to learning without even looking at the names?
Why should you let it go, the next one lets go and so on? Where does it lead?
One of my friends moved from the state sector to the private sector at the beginning of the year. On his first day of the job the HM made sure to point out the difference for him and remind him that the parents at the private school if they are not already lawyers, they can certainly afford to appoint them!

treas Thu 29-Nov-12 10:22:54

pastoralacademia - yes, I think there has been a display of laziness by the teacher in assessing ds as she doesn't appear to to have looked at the situations concerned only the fact that he had two black marks against his name.

I understand that teachers have to deal with large numbers of children - but surely they can judge individually as well.

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 10:29:42

treas That is exactly what has happened; I have witnessed it too many times.

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 10:36:31

It also might explain why you are willing to believe what your DS has said about the parent teacher consultation without considering that a) it might not be true and b) the parents might have been rude enough to warrant walking out on.
Oh it’s all one sided...it is everybody’s fault but the teacher, Really? I know you are a teacher but are you a parent as well?

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Nov-12 10:58:50

Yes, I am. I didn't say it was everybody's fault but the teacher. And it turns out that it was entirely possible that the parents had been rude, so it wasn't really wrong to make that comment, was it?

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 11:12:19

Don’t you think she was unprofessional by walking out? She can handle the ds but not the parents!! Parents evening is a part of the job and you don’t walk out!

confuddledDOTcom Thu 29-Nov-12 11:48:59

I've been reading the posts on here trying to figure out how the son got his first homework wrong hmm I can see two incidents where the teacher has blamed the child for her mistake or an IT problem.

I got marked wrong once for a teachers mistake and I was the first person in years to get the answer right, it was only when I pointed it out to the teacher she realised. I could easily have just said it was one wrong on the whole paper but why should I be marked down for her getting it wrong?

I agree with pastoralacademia.

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Nov-12 12:27:06

Was she unprofessional to walk out? Not necessarily. If she did walk out (going on hearsay!) then it would depend entirely on what led up to it.

Teachers have a right not to be threatened, harassed or abused. In those situations it is perfectly acceptable to walk away, or to go and fetch a more senior teacher.

If you don't think she could possibly have been abused or harassed or threatened, then I suspect you do not deal with members of the public!

It's also not unprofessional to call short a meeting which is clearly unproductive.

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 12:47:47

I have witnessed ‘colleagues’ accusing parents of being monsters when they were extremely polite asking valid questions. These ‘colleagues’ were offended about the fact that the parents were daring to ask them questions! Some teachers have no social skills, defensive and frankly incompetent, they hide in the this noble profession angry
Some teachers spend their time posting comments on chat room and answering emails during class as well!

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Nov-12 13:16:15

I daresay there are poor teachers out there, just as there are poor parents.

Luckily I have only ever witnessed my colleagues behaving professionally. Have you reported your concerns about yours?

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 13:48:39

Are you sure you haven’t seen any unprofessional teachers?! Are you a keen observer? Do you talk to your students, TAs, parents? Obviously you have seen rude parents hmm
Well if you really haven’t yet hmm give it few more years, keep your eyes open then you’ll see it all.

treas Thu 29-Nov-12 14:04:30

noblegiraffe - Not hearsay at all, event actually occurred.

At no point was there a mention of threats, harassment or abuse by the parents.

The rudeness I refer to is the fact that they actually told the teacher their son wasn't enjoying her lessons - not something I'd say to anyone although might think it.

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Nov-12 14:11:56

Treas, you said you 'found out from DS' making it hearsay. I'm assuming your DS wasn't actually there either.

Pastoral - yes, I'm sure I haven't witnessed teachers being unprofessional. I think if I witnessed a teacher calling a parent a monster I might step in. What did you do?

treas Thu 29-Nov-12 15:01:47

noblegiraffe - eye witnesses also. Ds heard from the parents involved son who was actually present when his teacher left.

GlitKnit Thu 29-Nov-12 16:19:48

most schools internet dont allow chat rooms or tbh anything bloody useful to come up.

Ours had ebay banned at one point which was bloody annoying

vigglewiggle Thu 29-Nov-12 16:35:17

Still hearsay. You didn't witness it, you have been told about it. The reason courts usually don't allow hearsay evidence is that it is notoriously unreliable as the story often gets twisted and exaggerated with each telling.

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 18:41:11

most schools internet dont allow chat rooms or tbh anything bloody useful to come up
Ours allows a lot even to the dc.
yes, I'm sure I haven't witnessed teachers being unprofessional. I think if I witnessed a teacher calling a parent a monster I might step in. What did you do? STEP IN? and do what?

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 18:47:50

btw, At a school where a friend of mine works, the HT has set up a meeting for the staff but no one bothered to turn up! What authority does he have let alone do something about a sloppy teacher....

WRT PowerPoint, was he supposed to burn it onto a disc?
Because my older DCs do these all the time and its either emailed, or on a USB.
maybe that was why the teacher couldn't see it?
Did everyone else hand in discs?

The second part, well, he got it wrong. Its irelavant how many other people also got it wrong, you were there to talk about your child.

It's not a big deal. No school is even going to read these black marks.
It's not going to hold him back is it?

And IMHO, in year 8, you do not need to be pulling the school up on things like this, it's your DS responsibility to prepare his homework.

pastoralacademia Thu 29-Nov-12 19:07:59

in year 8, you do not need to be pulling the school up on things like this When should she? and what could she?
Accountablility ? When? I wish more parents get involved and ask questions.

treas Thu 29-Nov-12 20:18:48

TantrumsAndBalloons - Yep disc was perfectly acceptable been doing this for 3 years for the teacher.

Therefore, discounting the dvd issue this left the problem of having learned something rather than write it. If the teacher had been clearer in the setting of the homework ds would have written the sentences required rather than learn them.

We are not worried by the other children doing it wrong also but surely this showed the teacher miscommunicated her needs from the homework.

Yes I get that it may have been miscommunication on the teachers part but some of the children did get it right?

I guess we all have different opinions on what would constitute getting in contact with the school, I would be more inclined to say to my son that if other children in the class understood he must not have been paying attention.

treas Thu 29-Nov-12 22:01:54

TantrumsAndBalloons - don't worry, he's learnt his lesson.

7 pupils wrote sentences, 13 didn't. Teacher could have been clearer.

That said ds is going to write everything from now on.

confuddledDOTcom Thu 29-Nov-12 23:41:51

As I said in my previous post, my teacher in Y10 had been teaching one question wrong for however many years she'd been teaching it and I was the first one to ever answer it right. Is it the fault of the pupils who all got it wrong as someone (me!) actually managed to properly read the question for themselves and get it right or the fault of the teacher for the way she has communicated it?

lecce Fri 30-Nov-12 21:37:34

If I had ever told my parents that a teacher had walked away from my friend's parents having been told that said friend did not enjoy the lessons, I would have been told, very sharply, that I wasn't there and that it was none of my business anyway. My parents would also have probably said something about our being in school to learn, not be entertained. I cannot believe the way this story is being repeated as fact and the assumption being made that it is somehow proof that this teacher is not coping. OP, I really hope you have discouraged your son from gossiping like this about his teacher.

As a teacher, I have once been told that a child did not enjoy my lessons. I was an NQT in a fairly tough school and this child never shut up talking and, as I recall, took particular offence at not being chosen to answer questions if he had his hand up. I still remember that awful sinking feeling as I realised that this parent was not going to listen to any of my concerns about her ds's behaviour and was, in fact, blaming me. Yes, I was inexperienced and have since developed strategies for dealing with pupils like her son more effectively, but the way she dealt with it was inappropriate. I didn't walk away, but I certainly felt like it.

Teachers are not right all the time, no one is, but I don't think some parents realise the damage they do when they fail to see that it may be their child in the wrong. Btw, I know OP has said she will not complain to the school about the homework stuff, but I don't like the way this parents' evening is being viewed.

pastoralacademia Sat 01-Dec-12 00:54:34

My parents would also have probably said something about our being in school to learn, not be entertained. They don’t have to be bored to death either or waste time in a class that is badly managed.

If I had ever told my parents that a teacher had walked away from my friend's parents having been told that said friend did not enjoy the lessons, I would have been told, very sharply, that I wasn't there and that it was none of my business anyway. a bit VICTORIAN don't you think?

I think if I witnessed a teacher calling a parent a monster I might step in. What did you do? How would you step in? What would you do really? I am still waiting for your answer

pastoralacademia Sat 01-Dec-12 01:04:03

I can hardly hear myself think because ‘my colleague’, next door, can’t stop shouting and is completely out of control. I feel sorry for her classes! Some of her parents mentioned that their dc don’t enjoy her class, she was offended.....*really*?!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

above not about, sorry for any typos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AViewfromtheFridge - why quibble over semantics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have never had a difficult parent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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