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To be pissed off with the PE teacher?

(26 Posts)
nogoodusernamesleft Mon 03-Oct-11 08:48:17

I honestly don't know if IABU or not, and would really value your opinions before I phone this teacher and start ranting. Don't know if I am being a pushy parent here!

Bit of background, DS1 (12, year 8), has always played in the school football team since he started the school in year 5. This year a load of them have gone off to Grammar so there's always a fair number of new children starting the school, including some of the boys that play with him in his club football team. DS knew that this meant there would be extra competition for a place on the team this year, and told me he would be working extra hard at tryouts to try and keep his position. Training sessions have been for the last 4 weeks after school.

He came home from school upset on Friday saying that he hadn't been chosen. Fair enough I thought, maybe the others just played better than him (although his friends told me that they couldn't understand it as he'd played brilliantly * proud mother *)!

What's annoyed me though is that two of the boys that have been chosen to play on the team have not been to any of the training sessions after school and have been going to a different after school club instead. I do know this for a fact as spoke with one of their mums while waiting to pick up a couple of times, and she told me that he'd rather do the other activity and would only be going to a small number of the after school football sessions during the term if he could make it.

AIBU to think that you should only be considered for a place on the team if you actually turn up for the tryouts? I want to call this teacher today and tell him that I think it sends out a poor message to the children that actually do turn up each week but are overlooked in favour of his "favourites", but I honestly don't know if I am being overly pushy, or if i am being swayed by the fact that DS was so upset. Discussed it with DH, who is usually firmly of the opinion that I shouldn't get involved, and was surprised when he said that I should call and discuss it.

So before I make a total arse of myself (not very good at conversations like this), I though I would ask here, and see what you lot thought! Sorry for length, first time posting in AIBU, please be kind! grin

CailinDana Mon 03-Oct-11 08:59:45

Don't go in all guns blazing, but do call and discuss it. It does seem totally unfair to me. There might be a good reason for it, give the teacher a chance to explain. If there isn't, then ask him to rethink.

Groovee Mon 03-Oct-11 08:59:47

Our P5 footie team is only if you turn up to training. If you don't turn up you don't get to play on Saturday. I've heard when they go up to High School they only have 20 places in the footie team so who knows what will happen then.

lesley33 Mon 03-Oct-11 09:11:21

I would leave this. They have obviously decided that they will pick the best footballers. Your DS wasn't the best.

I can see it from both sides. So yours - they should attend training sessions to be considered,otherwise it sends out a poor message. And they should pick best players - after all not DC fault their parents sent them to different after school club. And picking kids who are not the best players over good players, sends out message that other things are more important than being a good player. Both are valid arguments.

I seriously doubt by the way that the teachers "favourites" have been picked.

If you spoke to the teachers and got the decision overturned, then your DS position in the team would be an uncomfortable one. Other kids would know your son got in, instead of better players. I doubt this will go down well.

I think it is actually a good learning experience for your son. Explain to him that there are different ways of choosing people for activities like the team i.e. best versus those who turn up to everything. Its fine to say you disagree with theway this teacher has made a decision. But tell him that sometimes we don't think the rules are the ones we have chosen,but if they are applied fairly we may have to accept them.

AFuckingKnackeredWoman Mon 03-Oct-11 09:14:35

I doubt they were his 'favourites' perhaps they were simply better than your son.

harsh but a fact of life really

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 03-Oct-11 09:22:29

YANBU. I would raise it gently and politely with the teacher, pointing out the unfairness of those that are committed to coming to school practice not being selected for the team.

goinggetstough Mon 03-Oct-11 09:23:22

I would politely ask..... no harm in asking. It might be that your son is not as good as the others, but how would the PE teacher know if he hadn't seen them all play together. At the end of the day a team is made up of a group of individuals who learn to play together rather than a selection of individuals who occasionally pop in for a training session. That is unless the individuals play like David Beckham!
Be prepared to accept there are better players but I'd be querying the selection system and what the boys were told at the beginning of the training sessions four weeks ago and of course what skills he needs to practise to get into the team.

pinkdelight Mon 03-Oct-11 09:24:46

I wonder if it's a factor that they attend a different after-school club. Like, it's not as though they can't be arsed to attend football practice, but perhaps this other club takes priority and the PE teacher is being understanding of that, whilst acknowledging that the kid wants to be on the football team and is good enough to get a place without full attendance at practice? Some kids are good all-rounders and it could be seen as unfair to penalise them because they don't give up everything to commit to footie.

Pakdooik Mon 03-Oct-11 09:30:49

Go and see the football staff and discuss it calmly. Get your son to go to the training sessions even if he isn't in the team at first. This will show willing on both your parts. during the season players will get injured and not be available - if your son is willing, he'll get a game and have the chance to shine.

whatdoiknowanyway Mon 03-Oct-11 09:49:57

I'd have a word. My DD was let down year after year for school colours. The party line was that colours were awarded for commitment and attainment. DD knocked herself out to attend every training session and played in every match but the colours were still awarded to someone who turned up less regularly and played in fewer matches. Teachers are not always perfect administrators and some(not all) do have favourites.

I didn't complain at the time, always seemed too minor an incident nd didn't want to be a fussy mum, but the school sent home a questionnaire with space for more comments and I took full advantage. They did make some adjustments after that.

nogoodusernamesleft Mon 03-Oct-11 09:51:22

Thanks all for your opinions, I really have taken all of your comments on board. When I used the word "favourites" I did wonder if it might seem a bit bitchy, but wasn't meant to be - when a couple of the boys asked why they had been put on the squad they were apparently just told that they didn't have to come to training. The boys in question are talented at sports and do shine, but do so many activities that they obviously can't fit everything in. Which is great, but my feeling is, much like goinggetstough said, that football is a team sport and made up of individuals learning to play together and that you should make every effort to train with the rest of the team.

I suppose I just wanted to put my thoughts forward to the teacher, wasn't planning on insisting he include DS (much as I'd like to grin ). I guess I just think that at 12 years old it should still all be about the team part of it - maybe I'm being a bit naive? confused

lesley33 Mon 03-Oct-11 10:18:28

I think at 12 most sports teams will be more about winning than taking part. Yes they have to work as a team, but the boys chosen but not going to practice may already do this. At this age, working together as a team is more about kicking the ball to those in better position than you and not trying to hog the ball. In professional football playing as a team is knowing each others strengths and weaknesses, but imo they are too young to learn to play as a team this way.

Tell your DS these boys are better at football than him and thats why they got picked.

lesley33 Mon 03-Oct-11 10:19:35

And I have a friend who plays sports at county level. She plays 2 different sports and isn't expected to go to every training session. She still gets picked to play as she is so good.

ajandjjmum Mon 03-Oct-11 10:24:14

Might your son benefit from joining an 'out of school' football club, where he'll get extra practise but is perhaps more likely to be selected for one of their teams? I know how you feel though - DS was always a second team player!

bibiane Mon 03-Oct-11 10:36:29

Try being Goal Keeper. Since my daughter was asked to try out, as no one was interested she's played in every match! Now she loves it. She is OK at football but wasn't guaranteed every match as the better players are always picked. The lesser players are just subs and given a turn later. After all the aim of the game is to win.

seeker Mon 03-Oct-11 10:43:13

I would ask the teacher what your son has to work on in order to have a chance of being picked next time. This might open q more informative conversation.

For what it's worth, at both ds' school and town team, if you don't train you don't play. Which means that a couple of people who thought themselves indespensable have had the occasional shock come Saturday, and a few less "starry" types have had a game or two. No bad thing!

FantasticVoyage Mon 03-Oct-11 10:52:02

Haven't read this fully, but YANBU because PE teachers are twunts.

nogoodusernamesleft Mon 03-Oct-11 10:55:58

ajandjjmum he does play a lot of football out of school, 5 days out of 7 (he is a bit obsessed!) - has played for his local club since he was 6 and trains at the Development Centre for the local "big" team as well. One of these lads plays with him in his club team as well. So I guess he is an experienced player - I have been told he is technically quite gifted, but I've always pretty much left him to make his own decisions with regard to how much he plays.

Aargh, now it looks like I'm drip feeding! This is the first time I've ever considered poking my nose in, honestly! In his workbook at school they had to write their goals for this year, and the only thing he'd written was "get into Year 8 football team", so am gutted for him. sad

Is never nice to see your child disappointed is it? I know they do have to go through it in their lives, I guess it's natural to want to protect them from it though...

nogoodusernamesleft Mon 03-Oct-11 10:58:24

seeker that's a good suggestion, thank you. It would be helpful to know where he's lacking, then at least he can work on improving.

FantasticVoyage grin too true, too true!

schilke Mon 03-Oct-11 11:15:53

I would not get involved with this. He is in year 8 - too old for parental involvement in something extra-curricular - you might really annoy pe teacher, after all you weren't there and friends are not often the most reliable or neutral judges!

Tell him to keep going to training and he might get picked again. Perhaps, there are a surplus of good players and the pe teacher is giving the new ones a go.

ajandjjmum Mon 03-Oct-11 11:17:22

Bless him - can understand why you're both bothered about this, as football is obviously a big interest.
I suppose it's a lesson that life isn't always fair, and it could be that the teacher does have 'favourites'.
I think a word when you're feeling calm about it might be a good thing, if only to get the teacher to re-evaluate his selection procedure.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 03-Oct-11 14:48:29

Agree with both Fantastic Voyage and Schilke. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not unknown in my DC's school PE Department. They think they're fantastic, but compared to other schools in the area, they aren't. They definitely do have favourites and even let certain favoured pupils pick the teams so that if you're not in that friendship group you won't get picked.

Agree that you shouldn't get involved as it might cause trouble for DS, but do feel for you and him.


FantasticVoyage Mon 03-Oct-11 15:47:00

And another thing - you know that saying "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."?

Those who can't teach, teach PE.

If it were me, I'd take it up with the school because this message the PE teacher is sending out is contrary to the message of education as a whole. But that's because I have a default position of disliking PE teachers, so I'm not suggesting that the OP does the same.

If the lad still wants to play football then the best option may be to find an out-of-school club (but do ask around for advice as some will unfortunately operate in the same way).

lesley33 Mon 03-Oct-11 15:50:04

ime there are 2 kinds of sports/football clubs. There is the type that is really just about getting kids active and doing something they enjoy. Such clubs will care moree about commitment and trying hard.

The second kind is competitive and wants to win. This kind will choose the best players. And it is reasonable to do this.

nogoodusernamesleft Mon 03-Oct-11 17:02:05

Well I thought I'd update you all! Couldn't leave it alone so left a message for the teacher. He called back and we had a very reasonable conversation. grin

He said that he still had DS in the forefront of his mind to play on the squad this year, but that he didn't feel he had made much effort at the last two training sessions, and felt that he was giving the impression that he was a sure thing for the squad. He suggested I have a chat with him about putting more effort and enthusiasm in, which I agreed with.

I asked him about the other boys not going to training and being picked, and he said he wasn't prepared to penalise them for not being able to come to training.

So he still stands a chance of getting in the team, just needs to put a bit more effort in. Thanks all for your words of wisdom, you really helped me clarify things in my head - still not sure if I was BU or not though!

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