crap teacher - should I do anything?

(75 Posts)
freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:00:22

Went to dd's parents evening last week, dd in year 9 and lots of comments about her being v bright but disorganised/distracted/homework late etc <sigh>

All fair enough. Except for the biology teacher. She gave me the same spiel, but prefaced it by saying that "she is a talky teacher, likes to talk a lot in class and if dd doesn't find this interesting, she shouldn't talk or distract others, but should open her book on the correct page, and read it. If she can't find her book, there is a pile at the back of the class, and dd should sit quietly and read that in class."

WTAF??! I am a teacher [in adult ed though] and I'm not saying I never do classes that involve me talking too much and ignore students who are not engaged/understand what's going on - but I certainly don't state to my pupil's parents that this is the only way I teach and if they don't like it, they can eff off and teach themselves (but quietly, mind, so they don't interrupt my flow of speech!!). angry This is something I would not admit to in public, and know I should be working on.

I'm not a massive fan of Ofsted. but any teacher who taught like this would get an immediate fail in an observation and that is as it should be. It's the teacher's job to engage the pupils, not my dd's to teach herse;lf from a book because the teacher is so boring!

Should add, it is a very academic girls' school and maybe the teaching methods are more 'traditional' and 'old-fashioned' than the average - but there are limits!

Should I complain? And if so, who to and how? Don't want to piss off all my dd's science teachers (she's not exactly flavour of the month anyway, thanks to lack of work ethic, as above) but this teacher just shocked me...

Thanks for all advice.

Mrswellyboot Thu 05-Dec-13 11:03:13

This is a hard one. The teacher sounds poor but being honest, they could throw back your dd homework issues etc.

givemeaclue Thu 05-Dec-13 11:10:52

Not seeing problem? Sounds like dd is distracting others when teacher is talkin

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:15:06

The problem is that it is the teacher's job to teach all pupils - not just the quiet ones. Yes, it's annoying if a pupil is talking in lessons and that is my dd's fault. But that does not mean the teacher is absolved of all duty to teach her.

Teachers who just talk at pupils = crap teachers.

Teachers who tell bright but disengaged pupils to shut up and read a book, rather than try to engage them = crap teachers.

That's why.

petteacher Thu 05-Dec-13 11:17:07

well, teachers are not Gods they are just humans. Like footballers there are some poor ones.

Not many Sqarez level teachers. But teachers shud not bite the pupils necks. "Eh Miss, stop it, I like it"

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:17:40

I wouldn't mind and would agree with her if she'd said dd should shut up - she should. But I don't agree that all pupils (not only my dd) are best served by a teacher whose only teaching methods is non-stop talking. This is biology, too - I'd expect practicals, visuals etc - not just talking. And it is the teacher's job to ensure all pupils are engaged - not just those (are there any?) who learn best by listening to a teacher talk at them for lesson after lesson.

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:20:09

I don't think ~I expect teachers to be superhuman. hmm I am one. I just expect them to at least make an attempt to teach all the pupils in the class, including my dd. They might not succeed every lesson, but I'd like them to at least have a go. hmm

So should I complain, and if so, who to? As I asked originally.

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 11:20:39

most schools have a few crap teachers, complaining about them will get you nowhere

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:21:50

Hmmm - that may be true. But as a teacher, as well as a parent, I was pretty horrified.

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 11:22:08

my daughter has a science teacher who does no practical work, and if one pupil says anything out of line or giggles, the whole class copies pages from a textbook for the rest of the lesson. lazy arsed teacher.

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:23:26

shock

And you haven't complained??!

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 11:31:24

no there is no point, it would reflect badly on my daughter, and nothing would change anyway.

I complained about a crap teacher (to the key stage subject coordinator) and by the next lesson the teacher had been observed, talked to and had changed her lazy methods. However, we've just had a new head who seems to be shaking things up, and we're being encouraged to complain contact the school if we have any issues.

How I phrased my email was to not back the school into a "must defend our staff" corner, but give examples of exactly what wasn't appropriate for that particular class and why. And we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve (that the teacher get a boot up the bum and actually teach the class) rather than the general "it's all dreadful, the school is so rubbish" whinging that other parents had done. Sadly for DD this now means she gets homework in that subject, but she is now actually covering the work.

I'd complain, but either to the head of that subject or the tutor (if that's how your school is set up), and be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Do you want to know why your DD is being told to sit quietly and read a book (ie have the school established that lots of talking at the DC works most efficiently), or do you want the type of lessons changed, or do you want her switched to a different teacher, that kind of thing?

Also IME you get further by asking the school how you can work with them (so "DD doesn't feel that Mrs Xs teaching style works for her, and we know that she gets distracted when she's not focused on a specific task. How can we solve this together?").

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:35:21

Great advice, thanks. Yes, you're right about focusing on why complain (sense of outrage not a good reason...) and on approaching it from point of view of how to resolve it together. There are issues - dd disengaged but I also agree it's not all the teacher's fault!

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 11:38:58

Nigella - there is a point - a whole class (several classes) would actually learn something in those lessons. That seems like quite a big point to me. Plus your dd would learn that her dm sticks up for her and that she doesn't need to accept crap teaching/service/etc but can challenge the status quo and improve it. The same way I don't want my dd to grow up accepting crap boyfriends or crap bosses - I want her to have the knowledge that you can challenge these things and shouldn't have to just 'put up with' them.

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 11:43:37

"Plus your dd would learn that her dm sticks up for her and that she doesn't need to accept crap teaching"
I always fight my children's corner and do not really like the suggestion that I don't tbh - however last time I complained about her engineering teacher (for sexism) the HOY came to find my daughter and shouted at her for 'trying to get teachers into trouble'.

Wolfiefan Thu 05-Dec-13 11:47:28

The teacher didn't say she does nothing but talk for the whole lesson. The teacher talks. Your child starts chatting. Total PITA for the teacher. Not acceptable. I'd leave the teacher alone and deal with your daughter's lack of work ethic, disorganisation, homework etc issues. "Sigh" is not a helpful response.

SummerPlum Thu 05-Dec-13 11:48:19

Is it a selective school, OP?

If this biology teacher's exam results stack up, no one is going to pull her up on overusing chalk and talk...

freeezing Thu 05-Dec-13 14:24:43

Wolfiefan - I'm trying to deal with that - but part of that is recognising that bright pupils may be unengaged in crap, boring lessons. Yes, my dd needs to pull her socks and knows that in no uncertain terms - but so does the teacher. Routinely delivering substandard lessons is not what she is paid to do.

SummerPlum - don't know, and don't think it would be possible to find out, as teachers usually change every year and there are lots of science teachers - so don't know which of the year 11 or 13 sets she took, if any, nor for how long. And there is streaming - so a lower set wouldn't be expected to get as good results as higher ones which means it's hard to extrapolate from the teacher to the results directly.

Rpeg Fri 06-Dec-13 12:52:31

The teacher hasn't said that she doesn't do practical work or use visuals. She's said that she uses teacher talk, and when she does that, your DD is disruptive, and perhaps she could read the corresponding information in the book instead. Not the best solution, admittedly, but the real problem here is a badly behaved student. The "she's bored because she's clever" thing is a tired excuse. The teacher may well not be the best, and might be a bit boring, but suggesting that this gives your DD the right to disrupt the learning of other students is ridiculous.

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 06-Dec-13 12:56:30

It sounds to me like the teacher was trying to be witty (and perhaps failing) whilst saying that your daughter is a disruptive influence on other students.

I would be focussing on my child's behaviour in class if I were you, rather than this "crap" teacher.

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 06-Dec-13 12:58:00

Oh, the whole "bored because she's not engaged" thing is risible.

Teenagers are bored as part of their job description. It's a defence mechanism when they get pulled up because of bad behaviour. Especially when they know helicopter mummy is going to rush to their defence.

davidjrmum Fri 06-Dec-13 13:07:49

I think the "bored because she's clever" excuse is pretty lame too. My dd - y10 - is doing well at school but gets fed up of lessons being constantly disrupted by some of her classmates. Of course some teachers are better than others at engaging the whole class but frankly that's no excuse for bad behaviour. I think you would be sending completely the wrong message to your daughter if you try to tackle this from "the teacher is crap" angle.

freeezing Sat 07-Dec-13 12:55:44

Lots of point-missing going on here. I am a teacher, and of course I know how annoying it is if you have a student mucking about, not paying attention - but frankly if I gave a shit-boring lesson and all my students were restless, looking out the window etc I'd realise that I needed to improve my lesson-planning/delivery pronto.

Believe me, I have given my dd merry hell about her behaviour, had chats (ongoing) with head of year etc - there is no remote likelihood of my "rushing to dd's defence".

BUT two wrongs don't make a right. The fact that dd is disorganised and distracted doesn't mean the teacher has carte blanche to teach rubbish lessons. That is not only going to affect my dd - that will affect all the dsc in the class: even the organised and silent ones will be bored silly.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 07-Dec-13 20:59:51

This was exactly how I was taught O-level biology (compulsory) in my very academic girls' school all those years ago. Yes, it was a bit dull, and I would often look at the textbook instead. BUT we all got As, and early too. It would have been hard to complain that we had a 'crap' teacher. Even if we found chalk and talk a bit boring, she pointed us in the direction of the materials that would help us do well in the exams, and it was kind of up to us. In an ideal world all teachers would be like Robin Williams in The Dead Poets Society but it's not an ideal world, and anyway teaching is a two-way street. Your DD needs to take responsibility for her own learning, and if she won't learn by listening to the teacher, then reading the textbook seems a reasonable alternative.

longingforsomesleep Sat 07-Dec-13 21:59:42

A comment from the teacher that she likes to talk a lot does not equate to talking all the time and does not mean that she does not employ a range of teaching methods. I'm gobsmacked that from this comment you've deduced that she delivers "crap boring lessons". The only problem seems to be your disruptive dd.

freeezing Sat 07-Dec-13 22:29:44

No, should add that in the teacher's own words "I am a talky teacher" - "I like to talk a lot" - -plus the fact that a lot of her comments were about dd sitting by the window, staring out - dd pointed out (to me, later!) that clearly the biology teacher didn't have the foggiest who she was, as dd sits at the very furthest from the window it is possible to sit!

I can only assume the people backing up this teacher are not teachers and have not set foot in a school for the last 20 years or so. Notably, no other teachers have been on to say this is a perfectly fine way to teach...because we all know that anyone who professed to this 'method' to Ofsted/head of year/head etc would be out of a job immediately. hmm

As a teacher, I don't know whether to feel relieved or profoundly depressed that so many parents have such low expectations for their dcs' teachers... Bit of both, maybe.

freeezing Sat 07-Dec-13 22:33:11

Certainly, my job as a teacher would be much easier if I could just sit at the front of the class and talk at my students for lesson after lesson, and tell all the bored ones to shut up and teach themselves from the coursebooks. hmm Especially if I knew my students' parents thought this was an appropriate teaching method. Niiice.

And back in the real world...

longingforsomesleep Sat 07-Dec-13 22:56:06

Sorry, did she make a comment about being a talky teacher (which doesn't preclude interaction with students) or did she say she stands in front of the class and talks AT the students all lesson, every lesson and tells the 'bored' ones to shut up and teach themselves?

You seem to be reading an awful lot into a single comment.

longingforsomesleep Sat 07-Dec-13 22:58:50

You also sound very aggressive and quite frankly rude. I have very high expectations for my children thank you and yes, I do set foot in schools regularly.

freeezing Sun 08-Dec-13 00:19:48

Clearly your idea of high expectations and mine differ... I regard a teacher who tells a pupil to get a book and read it during lessons rather than trying to actually teach them = a crap teacher, yes. As is one who doesn't know the names of her pupils but makes up stuff about them.

I can assure you I was the soul of politeness to this teacher - but so far, I've only had one helpful comment on this thread. So forgive me if I sound a tad bad-tempered - I'm just astonished by the number of people who seem to think that only quiet, perfectly-behaved children deserve teachers who can teach. Or that don't see any link between poor behaviour in the classroom and poor teachers.

As a teacher, I should be skipping with joy - sod wasting time preparing decent lessons, when I can just tell the kids to read the textbook to themselves while I read it aloud at the front. hmm Save me loads of hours, that would. smile

sashh Sun 08-Dec-13 05:32:52

she is a talky teacher, likes to talk a lot in class and if dd doesn't find this interesting, she shouldn't talk or distract others

Your dd sounds like someone I attempted to teach who would interject, 'this is boring, can't you talk about anything more interesting?'

Not very helpful when you are trying to introduce a lesson.

Yes it is my job to engage the students and to accommodate different needs but I still have to take a register and actually tell you what we will be doing today.

madwomanintheatt1c Sun 08-Dec-13 05:49:51

Your dd sounds like a right pita, freeezing. And you sound like the sort of parent that defends their pita kid rather than passing on the message that they are being a distracting pain in the butt.

I'm also struggling to work out how you have managed to get a clear idea of the lessons from the teacher saying she talks a lot. I talk a lot. Freely admit it. Love the sound of my own voice. But I also use an awful lot of other methods (quite often whilst I'm talking'.

It's still a pita if some kid insists on talking when I need everyone's attention on me, if they have any interest in learning the knowledge that I am imparting grin

Your rude brat wants more talking to, preferably by the HOY. Or just to shut up and read her book, like she's been asked to if listening isn't how she prefers to learn.

And the drip feed about where she sits in class? Pathetic. Sorry. I'm sure the teacher was using 'just stares out of the window' as an interesting correlation to 'talks over me so the other kids can't hear'. It's code for 'your child doesn't pay attention and distracts others. Sort her out.'

I'd say it was a warning shot over your bows. You are going to look like a loon if you complain.

Kenlee Sun 08-Dec-13 07:58:15

steady on there....

Theres two ways of looking at it....If your child is a pita at school then as a parent you should make it abundantly clear to your child that it isnt unacceptable.

There is nothing more unsettling than a heckler.

The teacher nowadays really has no recourse as they are unable to control the class by fear of pain...nor sarcasm (whilst a comedian could). So go to the back read a book although not ideal smacks of a nice teacher who really reached the end of her tether.

I suppose the teacher could make her classes more entertaining for the kids but some subjects are so boring.

You still have to suck it up and concentrate even more so because it is....

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 08-Dec-13 08:10:47

"I can only assume the people backing up this teacher are not teachers....."

I was last in the classroom yesterday.

And will be again tomorrow.

And you've had lots of helpful comments. Thing is, you've only had one comment that has agreed with your PFB point of view. That's different.

longingforsomesleep Sun 08-Dec-13 10:07:13

I'm still really struggling to understand how you've managed to glean so much information from a single comment about being 'a talky teacher'!!!! Does that really mean she reads aloud from the text book each lesson?!!! That's quite an assumption!!

We've got the point that you're a teacher - you don't need to keep saying it. But that doesn't mean you can make such sweeping generalisations about another teacher's teaching style.

Maybe the teacher's comment about her liking to talk was a subtle way of saying "your daughter talks too much in class, well funnily enough, being the teacher, I like to talk a lot too and I'm finding it difficult with your daughter interrupting me...."

Kenlee Sun 08-Dec-13 10:18:29

I actually am not a teacher. Although I do know that most teachers are polite and tend to soften the blow to the parents when it comes to parents evening. They usually say if your child is a spawn of the devil...as your child can be quite boisterous at times. The correlation no one knows but thats teacher talk for you.

So her being talkative in class could mean she is disruptive. In a polite manner. If my daughter was disruptive in class I give her whats for.... because she is not only ruining her own life but the lives of her peers too.

If you are a teacher then you understand that the hecklers in class spoil a good lesson. I think sge was actually lucky to be told to read a book opposes to standing outside the classroom doing nothing.

Im not clear about how discipline is administer nowadays but we usually had a ruler across our hands...

I think a quite word with the teacher would be better than an abrasive all guns blazing approach.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 08-Dec-13 10:53:57

And it is the default defence mechanism of any teenager caught out behaving badly is it not? Rubbish teacher, can't teach, can't hold our attention, everyone plays up because......

No, teenagers play up because they are badly behaved. Because they think it's dead funny to get a rise out of the teacher.

And, no kind way to put it OP, but adult ed, wonderful though it is, is hardly standing in front of 30 "bored" teenagers.

I have just opted, given a choice of 2 extra-curricular courses at my school, to do the languages course for the adult ed part of the school, rather than the kids. Why? Well d'oh. Because it will be an easy ride of course! Because the adults, for whatever reason, (and yes, some are doing the course as semi-obligatory) are doing the course because they want to, not because the government is saying they have to.

Please don't think that just because you are a fandabbydoozy adult ed teacher, you could cut it in a classroom full of narky and hormonal 16 yr olds.

Actually, any teacher with such high opinions of themselves as you seem to have, well, I'd buy tickets to observe a lesson quite frankly. Because despite being a teacher for 19 yrs now, there is not a day goes by when I don't question some element of how my day has gone. And the day I stop doing that, will be the day I know I need to change jobs. One of my classes is the school "class from hell" and even though I love each and every kid unconditionally, I breathe a sigh of relief when my hour with them is done. And this afternoon I am going to sit, as usual, trying to work out how to be a better teacher for them. I imagine your daughter's teacher is doing the same.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 08-Dec-13 10:56:28

Obviously, if this teacher is "routinely delivering sub-standard lessons" then I presume all the other parents in your daughter's class are aware, and also up in arms. As will be the teacher's head of department, head teacher, governors, and Ofsted themselves.

I take it you are taking your concerns about this teacher to all of the above?

Or is it only your daughter and yourself who have noticed this glaring elephant in the room?

NigellasLeftNostril Sun 08-Dec-13 11:38:27

thats a good point dranksangriainthepark - what encouraged me to complain about the science teacher who doesnt prepare any practical lessons and routinely has a GCSE class sitting in silence copying from the text book was the fact that at least two other parents were also putting in complaints about her.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 08-Dec-13 11:53:20

I have also (against my will if I'm honest, but when needs must) advised a parent of a boy I tutor to have a word about his languages teacher as she clearly has no clue. The boy brought me an exercise book last week, copied from the board, of grammar rules which were completely and totally utterly 100% the wrong way round. I told him he must have copied wrongly from the board but it transpired the teacher really has taught them this. Not only this, but he is first year secondary, and bizarrely, the work he is doing is from a GCSE level book. I honestly wonder if this teacher is aware of how old (young?) these kids are in this case!

(anecdote just to show I am not a kneejerk supporter of teacher no matter what...)

ItsBiggerOnTheInside Sun 08-Dec-13 12:07:56

Actually, as a Biology teacher, I entirely agree with freezing. If this was a teacher in our departments a lot of support would be going on behind the scenes to encourage more diverse learning styles.

If you genuinely believe that this is the case here (and only you do so I'm taking your word for it) then an email to the Director of science.

ItsBiggerOnTheInside Sun 08-Dec-13 12:13:38

Sorry! Lots of sentence errors there...which I am blaming on the hangover!!

friendlyduck Sun 08-Dec-13 12:18:42

I am a teacher in high school. Your DD's teacher was politely telling you that your daughter is a disruptive pita. That when she is talking your daughter is not listening and disrupting the learning of others. She offered a solution, that if your daughter is not prepared to be taught and will insist on being disruptive she will be given a text book as a means of shutting her up. I am quite sure that the teacher in times of PRP, OFSTED, observations etc will have been notified if she is 'crap'.

Teaching adults and teaching disruptive children is very different. Ask for the teacher to put DD on a monitor that comes home to you, with comments about DD's behaviour - support the teacher in disciplining your child, seems to me like you are shooting the messenger

Only1scoop Sun 08-Dec-13 12:25:40

Op it sounds as if you have already decided you need to complain, and have asked re how to go about doing this. I'm sure as a teacher (be it of adults) you have a knowledge of complaint procedures etc. Is it a private school (girls only)?

Hope you get to the bottom of it and are happy with outcome.

ItsBiggerOnTheInside Sun 08-Dec-13 12:27:52

It all comes down to how well op is interpreting this situation. None of the rest of us can possibly know.

I agree with everything you have written, friendly duck, if op is in denial about her dd's behaviour here,as you suggest.

In op's defence though, rubbish teachers do exist, no other teacher seems to have reported disruptive behaviour in other subjects, and teacher led activities should be kept to a minimum to encourage independent learning. And not all teenagers make stuff up when reporting problems to adults.

I personally am going to assume that op knows what she is talking about and the dept head can investigate the realities of the claims if she does write in.

friendlyduck Sun 08-Dec-13 12:44:34

Bigger - in the OP she says that there were lots of comments from teachers about her daughter being disorganised, disruptive and late with homework - the only thing the OP seems to have latched on to is the fact the teacher is a 'talky teacher' and seems to be overlooking the fact that her daughter is the same in most subjects

ItsBiggerOnTheInside Sun 08-Dec-13 12:49:53

Not disruptive.

friendlyduck Sun 08-Dec-13 13:06:10

Distracted sorry. Teacher talk for disruptive - not concentrating, not on task etc. OP needs to be working with the school not against it - her daughter clearly has a problem and it is this that needs to be addressed.

I know that some teachers are not great, however the only implication that the teacher in the OP is rubbish is down to the comment that she is a 'talky teacher' . This does not mean she is rubbish, does not do anything else or gets bad results. Her 'talkiness' may be effective questioning, instructions etc. we only have the viewpoint of one parent, who has been told her daughter is not an angel.

I would class myself as a 'talky teacher', mixed with independent learning, mixed task, get great results etc. OFSTED obviously liked my style as they awarded me outstanding last month ....

nkf Sun 08-Dec-13 13:07:38

All your daughter's teachers said the same thing. There are issues across the curriculum with your daughter's work and attitude. Why focus on this talkative biology teacher?

ItsBiggerOnTheInside Sun 08-Dec-13 13:16:25

As a teacher, I use the phrases 'disruptive', 'disrupted' and 'distracted' to mean different things from each other.

But I can see how your interpretation works. Guess all the other teachers did say the same thing.

insancerre Sun 08-Dec-13 13:24:09

Sounds like your dd is bright but is not interested in school.
You say she has 'a lack of work ethic'
So she is disrupting other children in most lessons and maybe the teachers are a little bit fed up with this and a little bit frustrated too, if she is capable of doing more than she is.
The teacher was trying to tell you this, but you are not listening.

freeezing Sun 08-Dec-13 17:44:19

Wow! Loads more messages since I last looked - must be a slow day. smile

Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate it's been a long and tedious thread, but can I just repeat from page 1 for those who skipped it:

Believe me, I have given my dd merry hell about her behaviour, had chats (ongoing) with head of year etc - there is no remote likelihood of my "rushing to dd's defence".

There is no way I think dd's behaviour is fine - far from it. And she knows that. And I have discussed that on other threads (under other names, sorry). Clearly she needs up stop being an arse, distracting herself and others - but this thread is on a different topic. Not because I don't think it's important - I do. But I wanted to discuss something different in this thread.

My point in this thread was that in this day and age I was truly horrified at this particular teacher's reaction. Not at the reaction of any teacher who dared to criticise dd - others did it that evening, were entirely justified and I agreed with them. What made this teacher different to all the others I spoke to at that parents' evening wasn't the fact she criticised dd - fine by me - but the fact that she specifically went on at length (more than I have reproduced here) about how all she does is talk. I was flabbergasted. Honestly. Capped off with the suggestion that dd read to herself when the teacher was being dull. Added in the fact that she was the only teacher all evening who clearly didn't have the faintest idea who dd actually was, and I was left with the impression of a very unprofessional teacher.

For the record, BTW, I teach at an FE college - mainly adults but have taught classes of cheerfully rowdy 16-18 year olds too, so I do have plenty of experience of teaching students who don't want to be there. Certainly far more discipline issues than any teacher at my dd's naice school has ever needed to deal with, frankly. And yes, I've taught some shit lessons, of course I have. But the difference is, I'm not proud of them and I certainly don't go around claiming that shit lessons is all I'm prepared to do, and anyone who doesn't like it can go and teach themselves.

An appropriate reaction to a dc misbehaving in class is to threaten (or follow up on) sanctions; or to discuss why they are misbehaving and how they can re-engage (dd's bad behaviour is v recent - she was a model pupil, top of the class until a few months ago). This is what other teachers did, and I am grateful for it. I want dd's behaviour to improve, dearly.

But if she is taught by sub-standard teachers, I see that as less likely to occur, sadly. It is also unfair on all the other pupils in the class.

freeezing Sun 08-Dec-13 17:49:32

And to all those who said that if there were major problems with this teacher, then other parents would have complained - I must assume you have far more contact with the parents of children in your dc's secondary school than I do.

Unlike at primary, where I knew all the parents, at secondary I know only one parent well, whose dd is in a different form to my dd, and know none from dd's form (she was the only one from her primary to go to her secondary). So I have no idea if every other parent has complained or none. I just have to rely on my own judgement - and the collective MN wisdom. smile

nkf Sun 08-Dec-13 20:13:03

The thing is I don't think there is enough evidence that the teacher is "crap" and teaches "shit" lessons. She said she is talky. She might have been softening up the bad news by saying she knows she isn't perfect. You may be 100% right and she is a terrible terrible teacher. But what you wrote doesn't automatically suggest that. Not to me anyway. I think substandard teachers often know they are and won't admit it but that's just my impression. I wasn't there. Nor was anyone on this thread. If you think she was telling you even indirectly that she was a poor teacher and your daughter might as well ignore every word she said and learn from a book instead (do you really think she was saying that?) then you might have a good reason for going ahead and what? Complaining that she talks too much? But from what you've written, that's not what I understand.

friendlyduck Sun 08-Dec-13 22:49:22

reezing - the point is that your daughter is disrupting the class. The teacher has a duty to all the other pupils too, so has offered your daughter an alternative. Reading the OP again it strikes me that your daughter may have said something to teacher about being bored/her being boring and this is her wAy of disciplining your daughter. You have two options, blame the teacher or deal with it. I would go back to the teacher or the form tutor and ask for your pupil to be monitored with the monitor coming home daily so you get a good idea of what is happening.

longingforsomesleep Sun 08-Dec-13 23:22:23

OP - your original post said the teacher told you, "she is a talky teacher, likes to talk a lot in class".

In your latest post you say that, "she specifically went on at length (more than I have reproduced here) about how all she does is talk".

There is a good deal of difference between your two statements. So which is correct? Did she make a throw away comment that she likes to talk a lot in class (which is what your op seemed to say) or did she go on at length about how all she does is talk?

fluffypillow Sun 08-Dec-13 23:46:35

Clearly she needs up stop being an arse, distracting herself and others You said it freezing, and I totally agree.

You get to judge the Teacher when your DD turns up to her lesson ready and willing to learn, and the Teacher doesn't deliver. Until then, your DD is in the wrong, and this should be made very clear to her.

She is acting in a very wreckless way, and putting not only hers, but her fellow students education on the line. That is SELFISH.

To be honest, I have little sympathy for her situation. My Son has spent most of his time at High School having to put up with kids like your DD messing about in class, and it is disgusting. Just a few kids in the class have made it impossible for the staff to teach the class as a whole, and that is very wrong and unfair. It is only this year ( he is in year 11) that the School seems to be putting the students that are there to learn first, and I am very pleased about that. He is doing very well now, dispite the disruption caused by a few individuals, but how much better would his grades have been if he had been allowed to have Teachers that didn't have to 'baby' disruptive kids through their lessons? I'll never know.

Tell her to respect her Teachers, and stop making excuses for her. She is making a choice to behave this way, don't encourage her to blame others for her own selfish behaviour. You are not doing her, or the other children in the class any favours.

wordfactory Mon 09-Dec-13 08:54:53

Whilst it's always natural to take our DC's side and try to fix any problems they have, it's often not that helpful.

Obviously, if there's a real issue with school, then parents must step in.

But for the most part, as our DC get older, it's better to step in less and less. It certainly doesn't make us bad parents if we insist that our DC man up to their own behaviour, and understand that thhe world cannot be styled around them.

I don't teach at school, but I do teach at university, and let me tell you, the young people who believe that the world revolves around them, who have no experience of analysing theirt own actions, who are used to thewir parents fighting their corner, have a very very torrid time of it!

wordfactory Mon 09-Dec-13 08:58:33

And yes, lectures often involve someone standing at the front of the hall and talking!

StrokeOfBadLuck Mon 09-Dec-13 10:42:03

I just wanted to comment on your thoughts about lessons being all talk. When I was at school (obviously a long time ago!), our best teacher in what would now be called Year 9 was our history teacher who every lesson sat on a desk at the front of the class and delivered a lecture about eg the Chartist movement, while we took notes and asked questions. She always knew the answers. We wrote up our notes for homework. Everyone loved the lessons, because she was just so interesting, and was always recommending books. She was a great fan of Georgette Heyer - well, it was a girls' school. Talking doesn't always equate to a boring lesson, although under current trend, her lessons would perhaps have failed Ofsted inspection.

It is difficult to hear bad things about our children, and that is when you need to work with the school to sort it out. You are always going to get bad teachers - although I don't see any evidence for it in this case. However, children and young people will find that jobs aren't all entertainment either. Do you blame the teacher, or get the young person to take on responsibility for herself?

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 09-Dec-13 12:24:43

You and the teacher clearly didn't hit it off. But I have to agree with others, it sounds as if she was trying to explain gently that a) your daughter won't engage with the class b) her lessons involve a lot of talking and discussion with the class c) under the generous assumption that your daughter is being a pain because listening/discussing isn't her favourite learning style, she will point out to her where she can find the same information in writing (textbooks) which might suit her better. It sounds like she irritated you and you are taking that and your frustration at your daughter, and making it into a big blame session on the teacher. She is probably a fine teacher. If you're worried, why not speak to the head of year to try and get a feel of what the teacher's lessons are really like? You have zero grounds for complaint while your child is behaving badly and still being catered to in a variety of ways, which is the case at the moment. What would you prefer she did ? Stop talking to the whole class to come and sit by your daughter and ensure she's enjoying herself?

Rpeg Mon 09-Dec-13 13:59:16

And it's wrong to say that OFSTED are completely against plenty of teacher talk. Michael Wilshaw has stated that he thinks there is room for a wide range of teaching styles, including pretty old fashioned didactic delivery, provided students are making progress.

But I don't think the OP is going to listen. She's decided, with no evidence, that this teacher is "crap" on the basis of one brief conversation, and even the content of that has been reported inconsistently across the thread. So much easier to blame somebody else than deal with the real problem. All this talk of taking her DD's behaviour seriously sounds like bluster. The kid is a PITA across the school, and focusing ire on a specific teacher is a nice distraction.

RiversideMum Tue 10-Dec-13 06:59:52

TBH, it sounds like the teacher was trying to let the OP down a bit more gently by suggesting she was partly to blame for the DDs lack of engagement. Given that similar behaviour is seen across all subjects, I'd say the issue rests with the OPs DD rather than the teacher.

Fairenuff Fri 13-Dec-13 22:50:22

I am surprised that 'as a teacher' you would resort to asking on a public form who you should complain to. Surely any teacher knows the complaints process?

HamletsSister Fri 13-Dec-13 23:00:17

I am a teacher and never fail to be astonished by how truly shit some of my colleagues are...really. Truly shit. My HT has lessons where he talks non stop for up to an hour, occasionally pausing to give an instruction. Others who are worse. My son's Maths teacher: he is doing a completely different course to the rest of the class (2 years ahead - tiny school so no setting) and she hadn't spoken to him or checked his work for a month.

So, OP, if you are confident that you have a case, I would take it up with the HT. But, I would very, very much doubt anything will be done. It will be even harder if your DD is not a model pupil as this will be the excuse.

NearTheWindmill Sun 15-Dec-13 20:00:23

Agrees entirely with fluffypillow. Pupils need to behave in class whether the teacher is outstanding or otherwise. The majority will learn more if the minority start behaving themselves. I believe Michael Wilshaw has had some apposite comments about this published this week.

It is a privilege to attend a "naice" high performing school. They generally have high standards of behaviour. IMO if a handful of children can't conform once they get there; there are alternatives available which allow more freedom of spirit disruptive and selfish behaviour

Ingrid1964 Thu 26-Dec-13 02:21:56

Its pretty lame blaming the teacher for your daughter's poor behaviour in class. That is the sort of nonsense trotted out by SMT / OFSTED / HMie......

Kenlee Thu 26-Dec-13 04:42:16

Parents of disruptive children always feel that it is the school that has let them down. It is always the teacher that is unfair. The teacher is crap.

A crap teacher is one who follows a formula for teaching...One who does not understand the material ..One who informs rather than teaches ....

I can't see any suggestions of this in the posts....Being disruptive is great fun....I use to do it...especially to the soft teachers ...who wouldnt rat on you.....

My daughter had a crap teacher at primary for English ..She could not distinguish a food (chicken) and a dish (curry chicken)....It was frustrating but we told DD not to disrupt the class and listen you still may have things to learn ...

Its not about the teacher being crap its about the social behaviour of your child....

Youorns Wed 01-Jan-14 21:43:03

chalk and talk is rubbish teaching. I switch off if people talk to me for too long. got to complain to the school. lazy teacher needs a kick up the backside.

Charlie2000 Thu 02-Jan-14 14:13:16

My daughter has recently told me she feels 'picked on' by a teacher. She is a bright, hardworking girl who has always had fantastic reports and parents evenings. I have never had any complaints about her behaviour. The teacher seems to be telling her off for talking when she isn't, telling her she will be in detention, shouting at her that she will 'feel his wrath' and saying she is showing off. I don't think my daughter is an angel but I really can't believe she is being such a problem! She has been awarded prizes for effort and attainment and even her friends agree that she is being picked on. To complicate matters I know the teacher as I used to work with him and I have always liked him. My dd says that this is only recent - b4 he praised her work and seemed to like her. Should I go into school and see him or do you think this will make matters worse? He is also a deputy head so I will see him at prize-givings etc

cory Sun 05-Jan-14 12:24:07

RiversideMum Tue 10-Dec-13 06:59:52
"TBH, it sounds like the teacher was trying to let the OP down a bit more gently by suggesting she was partly to blame for the DDs lack of engagement. Given that similar behaviour is seen across all subjects, I'd say the issue rests with the OPs DD rather than the teacher."

I was wondering this.

Basically, all the teachers were saying the same thing.

The only difference was that all the other teachers said "it's your dd's fault". This one teacher tried to be generous and said "well, maybe it is partly my fault but that does not absolve your dd". So you make a complaint about this one teacher?

To me it sounds like a clumsy attempt to find common ground and giving your dd the benefit of doubt. It wasn't a good idea, because it gave you less confidence in her. The other teachers didn't bother, so they don't get any judgment from you about their teaching style.

You need to think longterm here. You haven't seen any evidence that this teacher is either better or worse than any other teacher: they just didn't comment on their own teaching style. The teacher will already be subject to inspections on the same lines as her comments. Your dd has not reported any specific problems with this teacher until she annoyed you at the meeting, and the HT already knows there is a problem with your dd. In other words, it is unlikely that your complaint will do very much.

On the other hand, it will compromise the message you need to give your dd at this time. She is at a stage in her life where she is increasingly expected to take responsibility for her own life. Sitting down and refusing to do your part because the other person isn't doing hers is basically a ghastly career move. This teacher won't be in her life for very long, but the attitudes she learns now will stay with her. It is more important to think about the self image she is building up than about this one teacher.

I remember my niece had a very similar attitude at this age: "if the teacher aren't entertaining they can't blame us if we don't want to learn". We tried to point out gently that the learning was not actually to be done for the benefit of the teacher but for her benefit, but it took several years of working in a call centre before she realised the truth of this.

NoComet Sun 05-Jan-14 12:46:21

I'm sorry, I fail to understand why the OPs DD being disruptive stops her being allowed to flag up one particular teacher who she feels isn't doing a good job.

I was generally chatty, cheeky and a smart Alec. Non of which changed the fact that our French teacher was unbelievably shit and in these days of Ofsted I would certainly have got my DDad to email.

NoComet Sun 05-Jan-14 12:48:12

Believe me, it's often the disruptive DCs who could give the SLT the best list of teachers to pay a visit.

cory Sun 05-Jan-14 18:25:44

Starballbunny Sun 05-Jan-14 12:46:21
"I'm sorry, I fail to understand why the OPs DD being disruptive stops her being allowed to flag up one particular teacher who she feels isn't doing a good job."

Because the only reason she has for thinking this teacher is not doing a good job is the teacher's polite attempt to shoulder part of the blame by a possibly over-generous comment during parent's evening.

If there had been any other evidence that this teacher was bad (such as earlier complaints by the dd, an unexpectedly poor result in her subject, failure to communicate previously), then I think the OP should certainly complain. I just don't think this is enough.

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