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Don't know if I'm over reacting or not?(15 Posts)
DD2 is 5 and has CF as a result she needs a meal time assistant to help with her meds (and more often than not encourage her to eat). Her normal MTA is very good at this.
Today her MTA was not available and her class teacher had to help (this is normal and happened when she was in reception too). However whilst overseeing DD's meds her teacher was chatting with her former teacher, close too or at the table. She moaned about having to "waste her lunch time being in the hall" ( to supervise dd) (who said she had to do it last year). DD2 was (and still is) gutted, she has ears and although she didn't say anything at the time she has internalised it and it came out over tea time. She hates being different and having an MTA, she is already socially isolated as she eats so slowly and misses out on playtimes (we have changed her packed lunches to salad bites to try and help speed things up and give her the very bare minimum). It was incredilbly insensitive given the fact she has no appetite whatsoever (common with CF) she just felt guilty for "wasting the teacher time".
DD loves her class teacher last week she gave up her smiley time to help her stick homework into books (although I worry this was more of a "can I make her like me more" thing). She has never had the (weekly) reward cert from school (now year 1 with 23 in the class ) and I'm worried that due to all the extra stuff they are doing for dd she gets overlooked or seen as a burden. Would I be unreasonable to go into school and have a chat with the head about professionalism and consistancy?
I would be upset as well. Very unprofessional and whatever the teacher's private opinion, to say this in your DD's hearing! I guess the teacher could have been having a bad day, but, bloody cow! Sorry, not very constructive...
Personally, I would talk to the teacher directly about this, ask for a private word and keep it very matter of fact. Unless you feel this attitude is common, in which case I might be talking to the HT or SENCo. It depends on your relationship with them. HTs can be quite defensive, IME.
You may get more robust advice from others, but I'm a bit of a wuss.
I'd put it in writing to the SENCO and the head, but then I struggle with face to face stuff of this type, so would be completely unable to articulate my concerns in person without either getting furious or sobbing I do think what the teacher said is very concerning and very unprofessional.
A paper trail is always useful too.
Poor dd though, that is an awful thing to hear
Thank you both for the replies dh and I started to put it into writing but were struggling. I (despite being fairly gung ho about everything else) really struggle to discuss problems like this with the teachers. The head is the senco. I think we are going to sleep on it over the weekend and then make a decsion (we are away), but something does need to be said.
I'd go and talk to the teacher.
I to would be flustered at this kind of discussion, but I usually just 'fess up and say
"this is hideously embarrassing, because I know we all say things without meaning them, but dd is so upset I feel like I must talk to you about it......blah blah blah".
She will respond with
"I didn't mean it like that, dd has got the wrong end if the stick etc".
Then you say
"yes of course you wouldn't have meant to hurt her but she's getting herself all tied up in knots about it and in a terrible muddle, and she already has (list issues surrounding food)".
She will fluff through a response and be more fucking careful silly old moo.
Meanwhile, would dd manage soup or some sort of sweet slurp to up the calories so you could put less blk in lunch. Perhaps she could finish the drink later in the day?
No you are not over reacting. The teacher was tactless, insensitive and thoughtless.
I would be speaking to her and saying so but that is me lol
Should she come out with the "oh she got the wrong end of the stick" sort of stuff? plainly say in a short sentence yep she may have done but perhaps it would be better that he/she refrain from discussing DD infront of her and then we wouldnt be having another awkward conversation like this and smile.....always .......smile.
Have wimped out dh is going to arrange a meeing with the head, then I can play nice cop (I do all the collections etc) and he can be bad cop (it helps that I wasn't present when dd was talking about it so she told him).
Thanks for the suggestions ZZZ dd doesn't tolerate any custard /soup textures (gags /vomits) atm we are giving her maxijul in every drink which has taken some of the pressure off on the food front, so she can have the salad bites which she does eat (albeit slowly ).
once again thank you I don't normally post in this section as I sometimes feel a bit of a fraud.
Doris, you've no reason to feel a fraud. Your concerns are no less valid than anyone else's.
Glad your DH is going in. No matter how tired or flustered the teacher was, that was such an insensitive comment to make.
On the subject of good cop:
it's worth making it known you're requesting HT makes better arrangements for lunchtime back-up
'so the class teacher doesn't have to work right through, skipping her own lunch'
It's not ideal for your dd to be the child whose needs are met in every sickness absence by CT doing a voluntary job on top of her teaching job.
She was way out of order... but might be better to let her realise that bit herself so she's totally rather than defensive
The classroom teacher was very insensitive. I would inform the head teacher about what was said and ask that whoever has to cover for the MTA has it written in their job description. I think the role for someone to cover when the MTA is absent needs to be formalised so it isn't seen as an inconvenience but part of their formal workload.
I would be tempted to write a note on your DD's behalf on how she feels about having to have a MTA. I think the teacher should be made aware of what it is like for your DD.
The MTA could be trained to 'hide' what she's doing for your dd within a fun activity for a table-full of children. Lots of dc hate the playground and love adult attention, so why is your dd being isolated. They could call it a lunch club, with dd as a founding member .
This could make your dd a sought-after playmate, and not wanting to stand out could actually be her incentive to eat. For example, if they were all playing snakes and ladders, dd could have a pre-arranged discreet signal to take another bite... and only get the verbal prompts if she misses the discreet ones.
And while you're at it, get them to do her an IEP about confidence, and some proper whole-class work about 'we are all different... and we are all the same'. There are loads of resources suitable for KS1.
doris, I don't have any practical advice but know exactly how you must be feeling. My 5 yo DD also has CF and has to have the TA sit with her at lunchtime. This is also for safety reasons as she has a severe dairy allergy (she had two nasty anaphylactic reactions 18 months ago) and of course schools can't ban dairy products as no-one would have anything to eat ....
She has been conscious for so long that she is different to all her friends. I remember vividly doing her physio one morning when she started crying saying 'I wish I wasn't allergic, I wish I didn't have to have physio, I just wish I was the same as all my friends'. To say it broke my heart was an understatement.
You absolutely need to have a word with the teacher as she was being completely insensitive. Do you have a CF nurse at your centre who could perhaps make a visit to the school to have a chat with the staff? It might be good for them to hear from a professional just what CF entails and how it impacts psychologically on children.
I really hope you get a good outcome from your meeting. Keep us posted
Update: Thank you all for your replies. Dh rang the school on Fri and
ranted talked with some feeling to the DepH. The DepH apologised profusely and about half an hour later the class teacher rang back. She was v apologetic but also said there was a misunderstanding -she was upset that no one had helped dd to undo her lunchbox (dd IS quite happy to sit back if no one encourages the eating so possibly part of it!) However I am not entirely convinced of this as dd also related the reply given by her previous teacher who said she had had to do the same the previous year... However ultimately she is a good teacher who has had a lapse of judgement (she was mortified so does "get it"), so we accepted the misunderstanding line and she apologised to dd.
The school were obviously aware of the problems prior to our phonecall as her normal MTA had approached me at drop off to say "there was a problem yesterday when I was on a course and can I train another MTA" (a big yes from me!).
We also used the opportunity to point out in the 18 mths at the school dd's work has never been celebrated, teacher said oh no she had one on x October, and dd said errr no! I've never had one so hopefully that can be rectified and will cheer her up.
Minty- I know the helpless feeling, when you wish you could just take it all away- heartbreaking is totally true.
We've spoken before as dd1 and dd3 are dairy free (although stomach cramps constipation rather than anaphylaxsis). Which in an odd way helps dd2 as there are things her sisters can't do /have which she can. We had the CF nurse in at the start of reception and I have an individual teaching session with each new teacher (4 years at uni doing nursing not completely wasted!)
All in all we are feeling better that we got it off our chest and had the discussion and that the school were prepared to put their hands up and say sorry. We do have a good relatiuonship with the school,so long may that continue! Thanks for all your support!
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