Why does DD get teachers behaving like this?

(37 Posts)

I don't get it and want to finish it.

My DD has always been a confident chatterbox, its always been brought up at parents nights but in a benign way, I always got the impression she was one of many. She is not Mumsnet-Bright but keeps up academically, hands in work on time, gets good reports for effort etc. I never got the impression she was annoying or disruptive to the class. Since starting Secondary, however, she seems to be getting labelled that way. She says in nearly all teachers are using technique of joking at her and trying to incite the class to laugh along if she has to be picked up on something, also only having words with her even if she is one of many or has not been doing anything at all. She says it is only or mostly her, not other kids they use this with.

I haven't taken much notice so far, thinking it all due to the differences of Secondary teaching and her indulging in some self centred griping. I asked her who doesn't get this kind of attention and she said the boring kids. I suggested she model them for a couple of weeks to see if it makes a difference, but she was unwilling. So, I think it is likely it is her behaviour, but what exactly is it and what should she do?

Also, what if it is not bad behaviour on her part( or not any more than any other occasionally chattery girl in class), but something else causing her to be picked on and scapegoated? It has gone on too long, a couple of years now.

I don't know and wonder if anyone has experience to offer or advice in this situation as my daughter is getting very down about it. Its not just one teacher and some have downright shouted and thrown things at her. The worst one is in her worst subject and she feels she cannot ask the teacher for help when she is stuck.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 28-Oct-13 23:49:39

Ok, well firstly if she is being publicly humiliated and assaulted (things thrown at her!) then you need to get down the school and talk to the head sharpish.

If however, teachers are trying to 'banter' her into behaving. It's probably not 'just her' - kids are rubbish at reporting the truth on this, largely because they don't recognise it! She probably comes across as a confident, robust child who can take it- and could stand taking down a peg or two.

I suspect what she sees as 'fun' and 'interesting' is coming off as cocky, impertinence/rudeness. If I were you I'd be talking with her about how her behaviour can be interpreted by adults rather differently than she imagines and giving her strategies for how she ought to be behaving. (Including ways to get positive attention from staff at school).

Ok that's kind of what I suspected, but she is not as confident as she appears and it feels to her they are using her to get the rest of the class on side.

I need to speak to the school about her worst class anyway as it is her worst subject and I don't see any positive improvement happening with that teacher.

What strategies are there to get positive attention and get rid of this" banter"?

Ilovegeorgeclooney Tue 29-Oct-13 09:38:14

Sounds to me that she is disruptive, one of those pupils who wants to be the 'class clown'. The teachers are probably highlighting to her how disruptive her behaviour is before they take more draconian measures. If they are set at secondary she is probably one of the few in a top set who behaves like this.

You need to explain to your daughter that she has to adjust her behaviour. You are enabling her by not taking this more seriously. Explain to her that it is the 'boring' kids who will be successful. As a teacher it is her use of the adjective boring that demonstrates her attitude to learning. Maybe mentioning that being considerate, respectful to all and allowing others to work is not boring but mature might help. It would be odd that any school had so many teachers behaving badly. It seems that it is your DD who is at fault.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Oct-13 09:43:18

I agree that it sounds as if your DD needs to learn that classrooms reward boring behavior! She needs to learn to adjust her behavior according to circumstance.

cory Tue 29-Oct-13 09:49:47

I would organise a meeting with the HoY or tutor, yourself and your dd to find out what is going on. I would go in with a totally open mind, explain that your dd feels picked on, but make it clear to the school that you are not prepared to make your own mind up until you have heard both sides. It may be that you will get a very different story from the school and you have to be prepared for this.

For instance, when the teacher gets the class on his/her side, is it because your dd is already trying to challenge and outclever the teacher and gets put down? Or gets put down because she is being disruptive and talking? In which case could it be that the other pupils laugh because they secretly agree with the teacher and wish your dd would just shut up?

It may be that every single teacher your dd has to do with is insecure and needs your dd as a scapegoat. But it would be unusual to have a situation where this is so widespread.

You need to be aware that in secondary school, being an ordinary chatterbox is not regarded as unproblematic. It means that other students are prevented from learning and may have their results adversely affected. It is inconsiderate behaviour up there with snatching somebody's pencil or pushing in ahead of them in the dinner queue.

My ds is a polite and well behaved chatterbox who never says an unkind word to anyone. He has been on report several times. Because however sweet and kindly you are, it is not ok to ruin other people's education. I think the message is finally beginning to sink through.

But as I said, go in with a totally open mind. I have been in both situations: found that a dc was wrong, and found that the school was wrong. Don't tell your dd off either until you know what is going on. But do keep reinforcing that talking in class is frowned upon.

cory Tue 29-Oct-13 09:51:45

And talking of the hardworking pupils as boring sounds borderline bullying to me. Do you think it is possible she could be turning unpleasant if her antics are not appreciated?

weneedtotalkaboutkettles Tue 29-Oct-13 10:01:09

I am presuming she has just started Year 7.

While I take on board the comments others above have made, I also think there can be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy in this sort of issue, both in the sense of teachers believing they are clamping down on a potential troublemaker prior to this becoming a real issue, and in the sense that your DD will see herself through their eyes and actually become one.

I think you need to let the teachers know:

- your DD doesn't like being laughed at
- she is keen to achieve her best
- she lacks confidence when asking for help.

I think you need to let your DD know:

- teachers don't always know best
- arguing (even if the teacher was in the wrong) is a no-no
- 'work quietly' means just that.

I think role play can work well here. I always respond to a child saying politely, "Miss, I wasn't talking then," but I find myself getting cross as "WHA'? It weren't even ME! Oh my GOD!" Child then takes away "I was told off for talking and I didn't!" but in fact they were told off for their subsequent attitude and rudeness. I'm definitely not saying your DD is doing this but even non verbal gestures - the spreading the hands apart, the slack-jawed amazement, the looking around incredulously - can be really irritating.

Is there a teacher who strikes you both as firm, but fair and with a sense of humour who could give it to you straight? smile

NotYoMomma Tue 29-Oct-13 11:37:41

I had this as a teen and it was obvious. I was a good student but used to frustrate teachers as I would chatter and joke and 'look' like I wasnt taking it in.

when questioned I coukd repeat back word for word. it got a few peoples backs up and I got annoyed as well - it was like no win for them or me.

it got to the point with one teacher where we kept a close eye on my marks as I was sure her personal dislike impacted on the mark she gave. me and my best friend told our parents and submitted the exact same piece of work - I am talking word for word.

her mark was higher than mine by 15 points.

my dad went in armed with evidence at parents evening and told her that her opinion meant nothing to him blush

I also had a maths exam when I got exactly the same marks as my friend on the same questions - we had both been moved sets together, recised together, shopped together etc. she got her mark. I got red pen calling me a cheater and it would be shown to the head (probably because friend looked studious whereas I was a bit of a coaster tbf)

well I lost my shit then, went to head, my mother lost her shit (in a hyacinth way) and we botg had to do another test - same result again.

got an apology.

it is sooooo frustrating!!!!

Ilovegeorgeclooney Tue 29-Oct-13 11:41:20

I think the issue is that teachers have to think about what is best for the whole class. If this was just one teacher I would be more sympathetic but as both a teacher and a parent I know what parents think of as 'chatty' often tends to be disruptive. It also seems your child has decided that being hard-working and attentive is in someway a negative thing. I would look at her friendship group. Has it changed since she arrived at secondary?

One of my clearest memories as a teacher is a 'chatty' child asking a 'boring' child to write in her leavers book and the 'boring' child saying " Well if you want me to say I wish you never came here and you have messed up loads of lessons I will". I felt for both of them.

Palika Tue 29-Oct-13 12:08:32

what is the point of us speculating what is annoying the teacher? Just get down to the school and talk to the teachers. They will tell you straight away - no speculating needed.

I my humble opinion you should have done this already twice (2 years, 2 parents evening). You need to ask yourself why have not done this already.

kilmuir Tue 29-Oct-13 12:11:50

? Tell her to shut up and stop chatting?

cory Tue 29-Oct-13 12:38:24

And during all this time, NoYoMomma, did it not occur to your mother to lose her shit at you for disrupting the other pupils' learning?

Ilovegeorgeclooney Tue 29-Oct-13 13:26:46

BTW OP I love the way you talk about 'that teacher' perhaps he/she is less able to deal with your DD's disruption? There seems to be a common denominator here, your DD.

felicity1971 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:42:45

We had a problem like this with my DD and a female pe teacher. She clearly didn't like DD (who is no angel but no worse than many other girls and we had no problem with any other teacher). The teacher took to ridiculing DD in front of the class, on one occasion playing and replaying a video where she fell over in a dance class. We complained to the head of pe who had a meeting with my husband and the teacher. The teacher came back with a whole log of so called misdemeanors, all trivial and was very aggressive. The Head of PE said nothing during the meeting but walked my husband back to reception and said that several other parents had complained about the teacher and there was currently a disciplinary going on. She took early retirement at the end of that school year! DD now loves PE and wants to take it for GCSE so it's not always the child at fault and definitely worth looking into.

Thank you all for the input. I have asked on here for different views because it is confusing, and these perspectives help. NotYoMomma that is sort of what my DD is saying without the blatant discrimination.

On the one hand she is hard working and ambitious, on time and neat in her work, understands it well for the most part and seems to respect her teachers and says they are "good" apart from one. On the other she is not in the top sets though maybe could be if she chatted/ disrupted less, and the attitude of the teachers suggests she is doing something irritating that she doesn't recognise. It could simply be body language- she does a good line in eye- rolling. I agree some sort of negative attention thing is probably going on, but I find teachers don't really answer my questions, just praise her up to keep working hard.

I have been to parents nights at which my DD is expected to be present so perhaps teachers don't want to say too much, none have said she is disruptive or hinted at bullying issues though. The most I ever heard was that she is chatty. Her reports have been good, more for effort than results.

She has changed friendship groups, she makes friends easily and with different kinds of people but seems to now have a core of similar minded girls who are somewhat reserved but hardworking and ambitious. She has cut off her best friend who was non academic and got in a lot of trouble.

I have always emphasised that even chatting is disruptive to quiet classmates or ones who need to concentrate more. I will question her more closely about how the "boring" ones feel about her but suspect she won't care, she doesn't care if not everyone likes her. Perhaps that is it, she expects the teacher to respect her for who she is on the same level as a classmate.

So far the only strategy I have come up with is for her to model the quietest students to see if that changes the teachers behaviour. She is in a Drama groups so role play will come easy. Are there any other suggestions?

Tell you something, hard as it is to raise a teenager I wouldn't be a teacher unless fully medicated and paid a fortune!

NotYoMomma Tue 29-Oct-13 14:41:24

she did if I wad disruptive.

as I explained I wasnt particularly disruptive but often looked as though I didnt pay attention, off in dream world or doodling on my book as they explained equations etc, bacause I found it easier to concentrate that way.

itgot their backs up understandably but my mum only ever lost her shit when they discriminated against me in regards to marks unfairly

NotYoMomma Tue 29-Oct-13 14:43:58

I still do it now :/ even last week dh was like 'did you hear me?'

me: 'errr yes'

dh: 'what did I just say then?'

me: 'word for word repeatition'

dh: 'arghhh!!! stop it!'

cory Tue 29-Oct-13 15:47:31

"I will question her more closely about how the "boring" ones feel about her but suspect she won't care, she doesn't care if not everyone likes her. Perhaps that is it, she expects the teacher to respect her for who she is on the same level as a classmate."

Does she respect her teacher and classmates? It doesn't really sound like it. Perhaps it might be an idea to point out that respect is a reciprocal thing. You win it by respecting other people. If she is sending clear signals that she doesn't care about the opinion of others because they are "boring" and not important, then she will get less respect from other people. You could even argue that she is being respected "for who she is"= somebody who doesn't have a lot of respect.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Tue 29-Oct-13 18:52:52

The problem seems to be OP that you feel it is a school problem hence the title of your post. Whilst it is clear NotYoMomma had problems her amazing memory did not stretch to English lessons.

NotYoMomma Tue 29-Oct-13 20:58:18

I actually have a 2:1 degree in English

and fat thumbs and a shit phone.

No manners. It is the internet hmm

NotYoMomma Tue 29-Oct-13 21:00:17

I am only sharing my similar experiences to try and help the OP as maybe her daughter is disruptive, but sometimes it isn't always the case that they mean to be.

WhizzFucker Tue 29-Oct-13 21:13:44

It is very easy to get cast in a role at school, so the teachers may not instantly start treating your DD differently when she does make an effort to not be the chatty / clowning around kid.

noblegiraffe Tue 29-Oct-13 21:14:53

I'd be very surprised if most teachers were bantering with her in the way she claims, teachers vary quite a bit in how they manage their classrooms, especially in Y7.

I'd also be wary of any child who claims that they are 'picked on' when everyone else is misbehaving as well, or when they are not doing anything. The vast majority of the time, the child is simply deaf to any rebuke that doesn't include their name and will assert that you are singling them out when you have told off five other kids that lesson already.

She is feeling got at, but that doesn't mean she is being got at. If she wants to stop teachers 'picking on' her, she needs to stop giving them things to pick on. Being chatty (aka low level disruption) is an utter pain in the arse and she needs to rein it in.

Teachers shouting at chatty kids is one thing (kids also often say they are being shouted at when it is merely a stern word or slightly raised voice) but if your DD claims that teachers (more than one?) are throwing things at her, then that warrants further investigation.

Floggingmolly Tue 29-Oct-13 21:19:01

If she doesn't want to be one of the "boring" kids, (hmm) then she'll have to take the flack that goes with being an attention seeking pain in the arse, won't she? If she's as bright as you think, she won't find that too difficult to understand.

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