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To be shocked how children speak to adults at school

(50 Posts)
Jules666 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:30:27

I've just started working in a school as a lunchtime supervisor (like dinner lady but don't have anything to do with the food) looking after the children during the lunch hour in a Junior school and it's been a real eye opener.

They ignore you when you ask them to do something (or not to do something), argue back over little things like telling them to put their coats on as it's raining. Walk away from you when you're telling them off about something. They just have a total lack of respect.

Admittedly it's not everyone but it does seem like a general attitude towards the lunchtime staff. It's in a 'naice' area as well.

Is this normal? Does anyone else find this?

If my kids spoke to me that some of them their arses would't touch the floor!

Jules666 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:31:03


Floggingmolly Fri 23-Nov-12 09:34:23

I wouldn't have thought it was that normal, no. Where are you?

sausagesandwich34 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:36:36

in my experience, I have come across this with SOME pfbs whose parent's place them on a pedestal and let them rule the roost

I have also come across it with SOME children from large families who are copying older siblings

when I'm picking the dcs up from school, the way I hear some children speaking to their parent's is shocking and they either say nothing, or 'wait till we get home' through gritted teeth!

DD1 tried it once when she had just turned 10 and I told her what for infront of the parents and teachers that were around the playground, not shouting but not keeping my voice down either -strangely she hasn't tried it again grin

ReallyTired Fri 23-Nov-12 09:37:12

Its normal and secondary school children are even worse!

I actually think that children in a 'naice' area can be worse to support staff than children in a deprived area. Some of the children I met at special school because they had severe emotional and behavioural problems are politer to support staff than some well off children at middle class primaries.

My son came home with the comment that he has discovered that he gets extra chips if he says please and thank you to the dinner ladies. Unfortunately his class mates have not cottoned on to how my son manages to get extra chips.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 09:38:33

I do lunchtimes occasionally in the school I work in, and I don't think there is an attitude towards the lunchtime staff in my school. The children are respectful to all adults generally.

There are a few children that will push boundaries, and will try to chat back if they are old to do something, but they get told off, they apologise and they genuinely seem to feel bad when they know they have been wrong. They are children and they are still learning. Younger children can't learn what is acceptable without testing to see what isn't IMO.

wonderingsoul Fri 23-Nov-12 09:46:05

not at my sons school you wouldnt. that would be headteacher vist worthy crime.

the school is mainly made up with children from "deprived areas." by that i mean the big council estates and mainly family on benifits.
they are VERY VERY big on manners. my son was caught swearing for the first time at school a couple of months ago. i was called back after school and told about it. had he sworn AT (as in not just saying it or you are a beep beep ) another child or child they will think about suspending you / or making you work out of the class with another teacher.

so yeah that would not go down at his school with out getting into trouble for it.

and i have to add its a lovely school they are also VERY big on praise and encouraging just as much as bad behaviour. which imo is the way it should be.

Jules666 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:47:12

I wonder if it's depends on how cheekyness is dealt with them. With the school I work in we have to warn them twice that if they don't stop then they will lose free time on Fridays (where they choose what they want to do). But only in 3 minute blocks. So someone has to be cheeky 3 times before you can take 3 minutes off them.

javotte Fri 23-Nov-12 09:49:11

Same thing in France. Once I sent a pupil who had called me a "fat whore" in class to the headmaster's office. The headmaster sent him back to class and told me off for expelling him because "there was no immediate physical danger". sad.

Jules666 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:50:27

wonderingsoul - that sounds like what's lacking in this school. There are 2 boys in Y6 who are constantly badly behaved including fighting but nothing ever seems to be done about it.

Jules666 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:51:56

javotte - that's terrible.

I wouldn't like things to go back to when I was at school (cane etc) but think it's gone to far the other way now.

freddiefrog Fri 23-Nov-12 09:52:24

It wouldn't go down well in our school either.

Our school is very hot on manners, respect and treating others as you expect to be treated

I volunteer at school 2 days a week and I've never heard anything but politeness towards any member of staff of volunteer. I'm quite relaxed around them and they know they can be a little bit jokey with me, but it's always respectful and polite.

claraschu Fri 23-Nov-12 09:53:26

I have been shocked at how some lunchtime supervisors treat the children. My daughter (who is overly polite and worried about putting a toe out of line) is scared of some of them, as they shout and don't listen to the children. My daughter is too scared to ask for help (opening her thermos or water bottle etc.). She is normally very good at talking to adults, and not at all shy.

OwlLady Fri 23-Nov-12 09:59:02

My two youngest children got to school in a naice middle class area and I would be horrified if they deemed other people less worthy than them hmm or if they were rude to people. It has nothing to do with area, it's to do with parents teaching their children manners and the school rewarding good behaviour and manners.

Jules666 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:25:24

claraschu - it's not good that your daughter is scared of some of them but unfortunately you get people who are bad at their job in all professions. As to the shouting then yes we do shout because sometimes you have to. When you've got a room full of noisy children and the dinner ladies can't hear what food the children are asking for then do have to shout to be heard to tell them to keep the noise down.

As to the not listening then I've been guilty of that myself. When you're trying to sort out an argument between 2 children and you get the busybodies coming over to nosy and give their opinions on who is to blame then I've told them to butt out.

Your daughter being too scared to ask for help is obviously not good. Have you spoken to the school about it?

claraschu Fri 23-Nov-12 10:34:11

She is getting better now; I didn't talk to the school because I thought she just had to deal with it (it wasn't terrible and she needed to toughen up). I just feel that adults are often rude to children too, and that will make the problem worse.

I think the problem starts because some children are used to being shouted at and bullied by adults, so they become desensitised.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:39

That's sad to hear claraschu. sad

One of the big problems I have noticed in the school I work in is that there is very little continuity between what goes on at lunchtimes and what goes on during the rest of the day. It's something I'm trying hard to sort out at my school!

Lunchtime supervisors are often just Mums looking for some pocket money, they have no experience of working with children, and because they don't spend time within the school during the rest of the day they have no opportunity to take their lead from teachers and classroom staff. So they set their own boundaries about what is acceptable, often with very little guidance from the school. Schools, in my opinion, don't give enough attention to what goes on at lunchtime because its not formal learning, and they fail to realise that it is actually a huge learning opportunity for children and for them, it's on of the most significant parts of the day where they often need the most support. The playground can be tough! Teachers who are brilliant and dedicated to the children they teach do need a break, and simply don't have the time to increase their workload by communicating effectively with lunchtime staff and overseeing what goes on. I think head teachers need to take more notice of lunchtimes.

Anyway, I could rant for far too long on this subject, so Ill stop there! smile

mam29 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:47:46

well in last school child broke her ankle in accident in playground and dident tell teacher she fell of some equipment.

She then sat in class all afternoon in pain until her mum picked her up discovered what had happened and took her to a & e.

dd would have minor bumps and no accident form to sign.

A lot of fallings out with freind seems to happen at lunch.

I do think its quite skilled.

I havent seen any kids be rude to support staff.

I would go to head with concerns.

remember as akid our primary supervisors were scary strict used to send people to stand in the corner with hands on head.

But secondry ones were dire always swearing refusing to let us go libary just genrally hated kids.

Auberginestripes Fri 23-Nov-12 10:48:51

OP, absolutely agree with you. I got conned into doing lunchtime supervision at school for a while. When the children had finished their lunch, they were supposed to scrape their plates into a large waste bowl and stack their trays. There was a 9 yr old girl there that I had had a run-in with once before (she used to kick my son under the table in class because he was new). It's another story but I once re-enacted a scene from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle with her when I knelt down beside her and whispered "do you know who i am? I'm Henry's mum. I know you have been kicking him. You are a bully. My children do not get bullied. If you don't stop immediately, you have no idea how much trouble you will be in with us. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?????!!!!". Worked like a dream.

Then one day the same girl walked towards me holding out her tray after lunch. I said no, you have to do it yourself. She actually said "if you're not here to scrape my plate, what are you here for?". I said how dare you speak to me like that. I'm reporting you to the headmistress" and marched into the staffroom, (bet the head was thrilled) and repeated what this obnoxious child had just said. Child was publicly berated, reduced to floods of tears and had to write me a letter of apology. The thing that always surprised me was that her mum was a teacher.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 11:19:28

Are you for real Aubergine?

I can't believe you have written any of that post with a tone of pride behind it! shock

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:25:38

Woah, Aubergine! I don't think you are in any position to be judgemental of a child who "bullies" when you're an adult behaving like a bully!

The little girl might have been a tad obnoxious but I do think if you behave that way back you've totally lost your moral high ground.

Seriously, you're not doing your DC any favours, behaving like that!

kim147 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:28:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:28:15

And OP, my DD has only started reception this September so I don't really know if there is a problem in her (middle class, naice school) but I do think if you are having any issues with the general attitudes of children at the school you work at, you should take it up with the head. They need to come down quickly on that sort of behaviour and disrespect imo. If I found out my 5 year old was rude to any adult (or child) she'd be in trouble.

Auberginestripes Fri 23-Nov-12 11:29:27

Am absolutely for real! Am a lioness around my children, who isn't.

Tincletoes Fri 23-Nov-12 11:31:13

Thank goodness you have implied you no longer do that role Aubergine. Talk about totally abiding your position.

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