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To feel humiliated.

(259 Posts)
Tomatefarcie Fri 15-Jul-11 18:08:49

This morning, while dropping DD1 (7) off, I overheard her say something nasty to another little girl. I was just on my way out so came back to the little lobby where they hang their coats. I gave her a gentle telling off, she apologized to the little girl, but a 3rd girl joined in and started having a go at the other girl.

I asked them all to stop, which they did. They went in their classroom, and I started making my way out. I then overheard the girls starting to bicker again, so walked in the classroom, smiled at DD's teacher, said to her (with a smile), "the girls are bickering". I then turned to the 3 girls, and said "come on girls, it's a beautiful day out there, don't waste it bickering, shake hands and smile!", in a very light hearted manner. The girls did just that, smiled and went to sit down.

The teachers were almost next to me, heard the whole thing (which lasted 2 minutes). They smiled at me and off I went.

At 2:15 this afternoon, I received a phone call from the headmistress. Basically, DD's teacher felt overwhelmed by me talking to the girls, it should not have happened, and gave me a stern telling off. I was so shocked that I didn't even think of anything to reply. I did say that the teachers were next to me almost, and I made eye contact with them, and smiled. She kept on nonetheless.

So at pickup earlier, I went to see DD's teacher. the conversation was very awkward on my part as she had huge mirrored aviator sunglasses on, which prevented me from seeing her eyes completely. Anyway, she said that I shouldnt have done what I did, that I intimidated the children by telling them off, was loud, and made a show of it. I was - and still am- stunned.

I was in such good mood, didn't tell them off as such, just playfully asked them to shake hands and stop bickering, which took me less time than it did typing it just now.I had no idea that what I was doing was wrong, (was it?), let the teachers know what it was about (the bickering), and was smiled at the both the teacher and the TA.

The way DD's teacher talked to me at pickup time made me feel that big <shows tiny space with fingers> (I got treated to "make sure it doesn't happen again" for example), and I thought a huge mountain had been made out of a molehill by involving the headmistress. I did ask her why she didn't come and see me straight away, or at least sort of signal me to stop, or come over and ask "is everything ok?". she said "because it was the morning".

I must admit to having this humiliation feeling, and I'm honestly dreading September as she will then be DD2's teacher!

I'm sitting on my hands not to write an email to the Head. AIBU?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 15-Jul-11 18:11:41

Don't write an e-mail. I think I would have asked for a quick word with the teacher and pointed it out then, not pointed it out to her in front of the class.

You didn't do anything wrong but I think that teachers are so worried about parents coming in to lay down the law all the time that they'd rather keep the lines drawn.

I'd leave it, chalk it up to experience and leave it there, uncomfortable though it undoubtedly is.

squeakytoy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:11:49

Yes, you were being unreasonable actually.

You should have left it at "the girls are bickering" and let the teacher deal with it. Not decided to play at being in charge, in HER classroom.

DrGoogle Fri 15-Jul-11 18:13:43

what squeakytoy said.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 15-Jul-11 18:14:03

Wait, wait.... don't write to the head! Just give it a bit of time to settle. I was fuming about something to do with the way the headmistress spoke to me recently about my DD being upset at going to school in the mornings sad I was all ready to go in and see her, but ( my much more sensible, calm and less emotional DH) thankfully talked me out of it.

YANBU to be upset as you thought you were only doing the right thing, but TBH once in the classroom I think it's the teachers domain about how they handle it.

frazzle26 Fri 15-Jul-11 18:14:48

Unfortunately in these politically correct times, the teacher obviously felt that she had to report the "incident" to her superior i.e. the headteacher. Whilst you felt that you were being joky and friendly, and I'm sure you were, at that point in time you were not the position of authority and perhaps she felt undermined. Perhaps it would have been better to have taken your concerns to the teacher so she could have dealt with it as she saw fit.

I do agree that the headteacher shouldn't have made you feel so bad though.

MsAnnThroppy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:15:47

Well, I don't have school age children, but surely once the children are in the classroom, they are the teacher's responsibility, and it is the teacher's responsibility to discipline them as she sees fit. You undermined her and did not give her a chance to deal with the girls' behaviour. Which may have made her look weak or not in control of her classroom. So I think yabu, even if you had the best intentions.

worraliberty Fri 15-Jul-11 18:17:43


This was the teacher's place of work. It's her job, not yours to sort the pupils out.

All that was needed was a heads up and then you should have left her to deal with it.

I must say I'm surprised parents are allowed in the class. Ours are led in by the teachers.

Goblinchild Fri 15-Jul-11 18:18:25

Better to nip officious parent behaviour in the bud.
You walked into the classroom and disciplined the children in front of the teacher. I don't do that when I meet parents and their children in the playpark, it's not my business to take charge in that location.
Good to know that you are capable of embarrassment OP.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Jul-11 18:18:56

I think you need to just let this go - obviously you were trying to help but re-entering the classroom and telling the children off is WAY over the line in my opinion. I'm not surprised the teacher was unhappy and I think she was right to alert the head tbh.

MsAnnThroppy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:19:00

WTF has "political correctness" got to do with anything? I wish people would try to understand that term and use it properly.

Goblinchild Fri 15-Jul-11 18:19:17

1. Assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, esp. with regard to petty or trivial matters.
2. Intrusively enthusiastic in offering help or advice; interfering'

JamieAgain Fri 15-Jul-11 18:20:21

I feel for you. Try not to stew on it. I think involving the headmistress was way OTT. I can see your POV - this is how a mum sorts things out, but it's overstepping the mark in the classroom.

TakeMeDrunkImHome Fri 15-Jul-11 18:21:21

I have to agree that you were BU. I can see you had good intentions but it was up to the teacher to deal with it and by having a parent discipline 3 pupils in her classroom it undermined her authority in front of the whole class. I'd let it go and chalk it up to experience if I was you.

MsAnnThroppy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:21:27

Look at it this way, OP. If, upon leaving the school gates, your DD got into your car and started misbehaving; and this teacher, seeing this, got into your car and started disciplining her - undermining your role as parent - how would
you feel?

SeenButNotHeard Fri 15-Jul-11 18:22:08

Ok, my thoughts...

You were not being unreasonable to pull your dd up for saying something nasty.
You were not being unreasonable to pull the other girl up for being nasty if you were right there at the time.
You were being unreasonable to enter a classroom and chastise the children (nicely or not). The only possible exception to this might have been if you knew that the teacher was not there and they were unsupervised. If I were the teacher, I would have been right royally pissed off too.

TakeMeDrunkImHome Fri 15-Jul-11 18:22:16

Oh I meant to add, I think the teacher was a bit over the top involving the headteacher. If she felt so strongly she should have caught you after school and had a quiet word but either way I wouldn't lose sleep over it. It's Friday - here -> wine grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 15-Jul-11 18:22:42

I wouldn't bother e-mailing the Head either; the Head obviously has agreed with the teacher. If you give 'your side', it just makes more of an issue of it than it was.

You were feeling good, having jumped in to 'sort out' out a problem and it's bit you on the bum and left you feeling deflated. Don't make more of it than it is, just apologise to your daughter's teacher when you're on your own with her and leave it at that.

I was a bit irked at your statement that you worry because this woman is your daughter's teacher from September.... do you really not trust her judgement to be professional, that she would even remember this trivial altercation with you and take it out on your daughter?

Sorry, OP, but I think you need to take the teacher and Head's comments on board and just not do that again. You were in the wrong.

pigletmania Fri 15-Jul-11 18:22:51

YANBU, if the teacher was there why the hell did she not say anything at the time hmm. I personally would have pointed it out to the teacher, and let them deal with it. Its ridiculous, are teachers not able to handle the situation themselves, do they have to go running to the head at every given opportunity.

JamieAgain Fri 15-Jul-11 18:23:10

Am wondering about the shrinking violet of a teacher who felt upset by this, and why she couldn't talk to the OP herself.

AnyFuleKno Fri 15-Jul-11 18:23:36

erk, I am cringing on your shouldn't have walked in to the classroom and intervened.

worraliberty Fri 15-Jul-11 18:24:45

And not only that, but if your DD and the other girl were being nasty to the little girl, I'm sure the teacher would rather you told her about that so she could punish them...rather than telling her they were 'bickering' and telling them to shake hands.

That's a bit like sweeping the whole incident under the carpet isn't it?

pigletmania Fri 15-Jul-11 18:24:54

Why did'nt the teacher just say to you "thanks very much Mrs/Miss Tomatoface, I will take it from there.

Goblinchild Fri 15-Jul-11 18:25:12

Parents are tricky though, especially those who are assertive enough to feel able to do that sort of thing in your own class. Proper way to deal with an incident you feel a bit unable to cope with on your own is to pass it up the line and ask for advice and support. Maybe you intimidated the teacher?
Sounds like the head has got her teachers' backs, and that's worth its weight in the gemstone of your choice.

squeakytoy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:25:35

Piglet, from what the OP says, she didnt give the teacher any opportunity to deal with it herself, she just waded in and took over.

The teacher clearly didnt want to create even more of a scene and was probably glad to see the back of the OP once she had finished her two minute speech.

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