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To ask teachers a question

(25 Posts)
gerardbutlersthighs Wed 24-Oct-12 20:18:19

With all the threads on here about how many parents dislike the school run and the playground politics how do you feel about it all?

What are your honest opinions of the PTA power mums?

And most importantly what do you do if you find one of the kids in your class is being bullied by exclusion due to parental playground politics?

Aibu to wonder this?

Euphemia Wed 24-Oct-12 20:20:51

I've never experienced any of these things in the dozen or so Scottish schools I've taught in - perhaps they are confined to certain types of school?

stargirl1701 Wed 24-Oct-12 20:25:19

It really doesn't impact my teaching tbh. It's not part of my experience in school. I'm not in the playground with the parents. On the rare occasion a child is suffering because of social exclusion I try to help by approaching individual parents to see if they can help. It doesn't usually work tbh. If a child is labelled 'bad' in the school community it is incredibly difficult to help other parents see the good in that child - children are far more willing to believe a person can change.

missmapp Wed 24-Oct-12 20:25:39

i'm a teacher, and not aware of the 'power mums' . Sometimes family arguments can slip into playground issues involving the children, but as in my school this is generally about who's shagging who, I think I teach in a very different catchment area to your school!!

kim147 Wed 24-Oct-12 20:27:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MamaBear17 Wed 24-Oct-12 20:28:04

I am secondary but I haven't really experienced anything like this either. Parental politics do sometimes influence children's relationships, for example, a parental fall out might mean that the kids then fall out and the argument takes place in school. However, it is my job (as a head of year) to speak to the parents honestly and put into place rules of behaviour for whilst the pupils are at school. Not always an easy conversation to have with a parent but it needs to be done.

Never met a PTA power mum, not really sure what one is!!

gerardbutlersthighs Wed 24-Oct-12 20:31:58

They're the mums who make it their business to know everyone else's business and are mainly on the PTA or board of governors. They're the mums who, in the case of my dc's school have stopped a group kids from experiencing a fantastic opportunity through the school because they felt it unfair that the school wouldn't fund parent and supporter transport so they asked the school to stop the opportunity...which they now have.

gordyslovesheep Wed 24-Oct-12 20:33:23

well you could join the PTA or Govs and join in - maybe influence things

Might be more productive than giving people silly names and getting cross about the decisions they make

and no I am not on the PTA!

gerardbutlersthighs Wed 24-Oct-12 20:33:24

Sorry I'm slightly bitter

Euphemia Wed 24-Oct-12 20:35:13

I'm on the Parent Council at DD's school and we're all completely normal. smile

We don't have boards of governors or anything similar in Scotland, so I've no experience of those.

MamaBear17 Wed 24-Oct-12 20:37:48

I'd be bitter too. And angry that the head is weak enough to fold to a set of pushy parents instead of weighing up what is best for the children.

ladygoldenlion Wed 24-Oct-12 20:45:25

My DS came home the other day and said "Mum, xx's mum is HEAD OF THE PTA!"

He was very impressed how important she is hmm

Raspberrysorbet Wed 24-Oct-12 20:52:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Oct-12 20:53:37

When I was chair of the PTA nobody gave two hoots, including the teachers.

It was my job to make sure there were plenty of volunteers to run fundraising events. That was about it.

I certainly didn't have undue influence over any decision making processes within school.

Even when the other trustees and I closed the PTA run swimming club (due to it being impossible to get insurance) there were no repercussions for any children in the playground.

OP your set up sounds a bit bizarre. Are you sure anyone really has this power? Have you been told by the head why the decision was made?

WorraLiberty Wed 24-Oct-12 20:57:16

So basically 'power mums' are those who give up their free time to help the school?

Nice label hmm

clam Wed 24-Oct-12 21:07:43

What is a "power mum?"
In our school, if parents give up a lot of their time to help the school and are pleasant and supportive, we like them. Even if they're unable to help much but are pleasant and supportive, we like them.
The implication that some parents in any way influence proceedings because they run the annual jumble sale, is crzy.

lovebunny Wed 24-Oct-12 21:17:16

meh! this is about primary. i preferred last night's r e thread.

we do have a 'power mum' though. she works in the school as a t a, so does her brother and i think some other relatives too. her three children came to the school. they're all ok though, so it doesn't matter.

filetheflightoffancy Wed 24-Oct-12 21:18:13

Maybe it is because I work in a school in an affluent area, but us teachers know exactly who the 'power mums' are in our school. Yes, they give up their time to help out and so always seem to be in the school building, but they also use this to have a sneaky peek at which child is on what reading level, or find out who is in which swimming group, or find out the security code for the reception door etc. They are also horrendous gossips and very cliquey.

I know who many of the PTA members are, and to be fair most of them genuinely are there just to give up their time and help out. However, there are definitely 'power mums' (and a couple of dads actually!)

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 24-Oct-12 21:30:10

If we find out the security code, it's only so we can set up things without constantly hassling the receptionist or the head.

Ok actually we don't have a code, but I do dodge in and out without using the main door.

I don't give a monkeys what reading level others DCs are on. I know DD2 is the best reader in her class, HT told her do a d DD1 is probably the worst and she doesn't care.

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 24-Oct-12 21:31:04

And I'm dyslexic like DD1 and that last line is rubbishblush

3LittleHens Wed 24-Oct-12 21:31:22

No you are definitely not being unreasonable - I think you are very astute to actually acknowledge that this goes on. I am not a teacher, but if you have any views on the following I would very much like to hear them.

Without going in to any boring details, myself and another mother who has a very forceful and controlling personality fell out. Coincidently she is very involved in the PTA.

On a couple of occasions I have observed her manipulating a parent/child against my little boy as a way of getting back at me.

It is very hard to deal with because if someone has a problem with you you can deal with it, but it is heartbreaking when it's taken out on an innocent child.

I think in a way because she is meaningless to me, she has to try and get my attention or wants me to react.

The way I deal with it is to just literally carry on as normal. I suppose I am quite brazen in that I do not scurry off the playground, I stay until my son has finished playing with his friends. If any poison has been spread about, I think the proof is in the pudding, and people with any nouse will eventually see what she is doing, and that actually we are okay.

It can be hard though, and I wouldn't like to know how many man hours I have spent thinking on how best to deal with the situation.

My son is only in Yr1 and I had absolutely no idea what a minefield a lovely place like a playground can actually be.

Ihatecobwebs Wed 24-Oct-12 21:55:17

Well, having just been co-opted onto our school's version of a PTA, I don't know of any other of our parents who are on there just for a "power trip". Its too much aggro and hard work. The school is reliant on fund raising to be able to offer the trips and extras, so the committee is constantly planning, organising, arranging etc.

stargirl1701 Wed 24-Oct-12 22:14:12

Tbh teachers have a hell of lot to be thinking and worrying about - no time left over for parent fall outs.

ItalianForSnow Wed 24-Oct-12 22:30:21

Oh god, I'd love it if a power mum turned up at our PTA, I'm fed up running around shopping, organising and most of the time it's the sheer physical work of humping tables, BBQs, and all sorts of crap around.

No power mums here though, and I have the guilts when I see the head so can't seem to extricate myself from it. Am looking forward to secondary when I will refuse to ever go into the school grounds or speak to the head and I never get myself involved in anything like this again.

It is well out of my comfort zone, I keep telling myself it is good for me, and will look good on my cv when I go for that till job at tescos.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Oct-12 22:36:12

I do get fed up with the way PTAs are portrayed as if they want power instead of being the muggins who do the work!
As a teacher I am quite unaware of it although it does make me smile when people get all funny about the school run- they are women just like you and they view you in exactly the same way. Just go and be friendly- you don't have to be best buddies.

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