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To want to tell the teacher she is a b*tch?

(51 Posts)
fockingschool Thu 18-Apr-13 17:10:38

DD at secondary school in year 7. She has been attending school sport activity since start of school.

Only 11 people turned up yesterday for practise (usually about 20). PE teacher selected everyone except DD to represent the school next week. Even selected two of the girls who didnt turn up to practise and they only joined the activity a month ago.

PE teacher said to DD, I know it's not fair but I cannot take any more.
Also said "you look upset but there is no need to be".

Someone told DD at school from year above not to bother going anymore as this teacher has favourites so doesnt matter how good you are. Suffice to say the school doesnt do well in this sport when competing against other schools.

I am so angry as DD so upset and loves the sport. Am I being immature in telling her not to bother attending again?

DD also in top science set but has been rejected from a science competition even though it's voluntary. Science teacher is making certain children participate even though they dont want to.

Beginnning to think that this is how her secondary experience is going to be like.

AIBU to advise her not to bother putting herself forward for anything else to avoid her feeling rejected?

TheRealFellatio Thu 18-Apr-13 19:07:58

I don't think you'd be justified in actually calling her a bitch, but you'd be right for thinking it. But that's PE teachers for you. It's not the joining in or dedication or the trying hard that matters - it's all about the winning.

waltermittymissus Thu 18-Apr-13 21:52:21

I think you're all being a bit harsh actually!

From what OP has described her dd was very obviously the only child there not picked. She must have been really embarrassed and upset!

I don't think there's anything you can do really. But I don't blame you for being pissed off!

jollygoose Thu 18-Apr-13 22:03:18

As a mum with my dc all grown up I do remember well feeling just like you. However in the long scheme of things it wont matter a jot and Im sure your dd will have plenty of other triumphs to remember.

Blissx Thu 18-Apr-13 22:30:11

why do some posters automatically believe that the child is not telling the truth?

Why do some posters automatically think teachers are bitches?

The point being, we don't. Hence the posters above then stated to take things calmly and not go storming in with accusations just in case. I've learnt my lesson (on another thread) not to go name calling as a knee jerk reaction. Take stock of the situation and start to think of strategies that could make a positive effect on your DD instead.

cory Thu 18-Apr-13 22:46:35

It wasn't the same teacher who rejected your dd for the PE and the science event was it?

So do you believe these teachers are in cahoots to deliberately pick on your dd (why?)? That sounds a bit conspiracy theory to me. Seems far more likely that there was some other reason.

In any case, the important thing is not why she got rejected but how she handles it.

It is not your job to fight her corners on an everyday basis- she is growing too old for that.

But it is very much your job to teach her how to deal with rejection. If you tell her not to put herself forward because it is so dreadful to be rejected, are you really teaching her the skills you want her to have in life?

BuntyPenfold Thu 18-Apr-13 22:47:33

Sometimes disappointed children do colour their story, but some teachers are bitches.
I heard a Brownie leader tell one (orphaned child, lives with granny, sadly is obese) little girl not to attend the St Georges Day parade, as 'you spoil the look of the group.' Some people are bitchy, there's no getting away from it.

Blissx Thu 18-Apr-13 22:51:08

Brownie Leader = not a teacher. But I agree with your sentiment. That's why OP needs to support DD in another way.

donnasummer Thu 18-Apr-13 22:55:16

I've just had this with ds at primary school. Really sporty but never picked for anything. Have just changed schools and I have to confess it was a delight to see him trouncing his old classmates (who took it in great spirit). His confidence has shot up, too. That teacher was def rude and arrogant, and gave places to favoured dc. We're not perfect!

BuntyPenfold Thu 18-Apr-13 22:56:36

Actually Brownie leader is a teacher, not that I mentioned it I know.

I agree, support your DD in other ways, it is hard to take rejection but it is a good life skill.
It's sad and hurts for them, I know.

donnasummer Thu 18-Apr-13 22:58:11

second those who suggest teams outside school

NonnoMum Thu 18-Apr-13 23:05:37

This is my humble opinion as someone who spends a lot of time in secondary school.

1. Your daughter is very sweet and willing.
2. The behaviour of the other students is not as good as hers.
3. Teacher(s) are under huge pressure to be 'inclusive' and encourage the, ahem, not very sweet and willing to get involved in extra curricular stuff.
4. They pick those students above your daughter as they know those other students might not ever do anything like that again, but your DD will have enough resilience and family support to keep going.
5. That makes for an upset daughter for you to mop up.

Fair? no. Character building? debatable. Your daughter can either keep plodding onwards and you can keep wiping the tears away or she can give up.

stayathomegardener Thu 18-Apr-13 23:09:03

Is your DD at the same school as mine? Cheshire?

Same situation and I left it and supported DD,it culminated in DD not being chosen for javelin in competition despite having the furthest throw in the year and documented throws at competitions outside school-DD throwing 18m,girl chosen throwing 11m and when queried was told we have to be fair and give everyone a chance.

DD does sport outside school now,is recognized for achievements and loves it and school wonder why they can't get full teams in year 9

MidniteScribbler Thu 18-Apr-13 23:57:49

As I teacher, I can tell you that the usual direct translation of "playing favourites" is "didn't pick MY child". Can I assure everyone that there is a huge amount of thought and consideration that goes in to it when you have to select only a certain number of students for something, and it's certainly not done with "favourites". It may be a child that we feel needs the extra encouragement, it may be the child that has shown a greater effort towards improvement, it may even be a child that we know has a horrible home life and needs something good to happen, it may be about selecting the right mix of children to attend something, or it may very simply be that one child is better at the activity than another. It's rarely black and white and it takes me literally hours to

There's also a big difference between primary and secondary. In primary, I will be responsible for picking 95% of anything that involves my students (outside of a couple of interschool sporting teams). I can make sure that children all get a chance at participating in at least one activity that they will enjoy and want to participate in. In secondary, where there can be a different teacher for each subject, and sometimes even for each sport, they are just dealing with the students in front of them without thought of what other activities that child might get to do.

What you need to teach your daughter now that she is in secondary is to start asking why she hasn't made the teams. Maybe she missed out on the science one because the teacher doesn't think she is very dedicated to the subject and only does the bare minimum (not saying that is case, I don't know her, but just an example). It may be that the teacher suggests that she undertake some extra readings or experiments to show her enthusiasm. For her sport, the teacher might not think she trains enough or shows enough dedication, and she has selected students that may not necessarily have as much raw talent as your daughter, but who work their guts out to get better.

But one things for sure..... you're not going to help your daughter in her many years ahead of her at the school by going in and calling anyone a bitch!

BurningBridges Fri 19-Apr-13 00:10:19

DD is in year 7. When she started she was representing her trampolining club, which is run from her secondary school, at county level. A few weeks into 1st term some girls from year 7 were selected to put on a trampoline display for parents' evening at the school. None of them were club members, in fact some had never even been on a trampoline before so most did not know the routines, or how to jump safely etc., whereas DD actually could have have performed a few routines to make it more interesting. About the same time her PE teacher asked her what level she'd like to aim for in PE by the end of KS3 and when DD selected an average level, the teacher said oh no, I think you need to aim lower.

DD sadly told me "all the PE teacher does is make us feel bad about ourselves and our bodies".

BTW, DD never went back to the trampolining club after that. We have our own parent's evening soon. I shan't be calling the PE teacher a bitch, but I will be telling her what I've just told you and asking her if she feels she does her best for all her students. Sometimes, teachers have favourites and it shows and everyone knows it.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Apr-13 00:20:01

I know it's upsetting to see your child upset OP

But honestly, in 18yrs of being a 'school parent' I've come to learn that "The teacher has favourites", is something many parents tell their kids to 'soften the blow' of them not being picked.

This could be why the kids told your DD that (because their parents had told them).

what does your DD want to do? Does she want to continue or not?

I think that's the most important thing here.

SlumberingDormouse Fri 19-Apr-13 00:51:55

Life can be bloody unfair. Like your DD, I was in top sets throughout secondary school and put myself forward for all sorts of things. Sometimes I got them; other times I was passed over because I wasn't good enough or, if I was, 'to give someone else a chance' (something the teachers actually admitted a few times). Teachers are only human and they have their own preferences, prejudices and insecurities. I thought not getting/winning certain things was awful at the time, but in the grand scheme of things it's really not a big deal.

Praise your DD for her excellent grades and reassure her that life isn't always fair but hard work does pay off eventually. Pick your battles. This isn't worth spending any more time or emotion on. I second the idea of finding an activity for your DD outside school. I did a lot of music outside school. The school hated the fact I wasn't doing it in school and I experienced some hurtful decisions as a result, but ultimately it was worth it as I'm now a professional musician.

sashh Fri 19-Apr-13 02:50:10

Rejection is part of sport though isn't it? She should keep up the activity if she enjoys the training or do something else outside school.

What is it about PE teachers?

I was a chubby kid and was never picked for teams unless it was that thing where the teacher picks two captains and they have to pick the rest of the class. I would be last or near last.

But what the teacher didn't know was that I did Ju Jitsu twice a week, Karate once a week and went swimming after both. The warm up for martial arts classes usually involves sit ups, press ups etc.

When I was about 14 she decided we all needed to do 10 situps to start the class, I did 10 and stopped.

She hadn't seen me do them so asked why I wasn't doing it, I told her I'd finished, she very sarcastically told me to do another 10.

So I did, without any of the huffing or panting that her 'stars' were doing.

I did them properly, not throwing myself from the floor.

I did them quickly, I'd finished 20 and had a break before the 'stars' had done 10.

And there was nothing she could do about it.

I hadn't been cheeky, I had done exactly what she asked, quietly and calmly.

I can still see her face. It remains one of my most satisfying moments of my life.

kiwimumof2boys Fri 19-Apr-13 03:21:24

Man this brought back memories for me . . . aged 12 trying out for the schools dance group, having done dance lessons for years . . . but only the pretty popular girls got in. I remember passing by watching them practise, and seeing the teacher helping the most popular girl with a basic step which i had no trouble doing. I wished my mother had quietly inquired as to why . . . ah well. Sorry, back to OP - maybe quietly ask the teacher why ? and explain how upset your DD was.

MrRected Fri 19-Apr-13 03:23:39

We had a similar situation. My DS2 was placed in the top team for a sport. At the end of the grading season - teams were graded into divisions (rather an individual players), my son was dropped to the lower division team.

I was pretty pissed off, but soon realised that DS isn't as strong as the other players and will benefit from playing in a less pressurised division. The coach is clearly out to pull together winning teams and at the time I thought this was his only priority, so I chose to talk to him about it. I asked him why he'd dropped DS2 and told him how that had made him feel (I wasn't mean but I was quite direct). He was quite open and honest about wanting to field the strongest possible teams in each division but was able to clearly demonstrate that the choices he had made for DS2 were the rights ones for him as an individual too.

Playing sport is more than just athletic ability, I truly believe that it teaches children resilience. Whilst I secretly seethed, I think this will be a good lesson for DS2 in the long run.

MidniteScribbler Fri 19-Apr-13 03:34:09

Kiwimum I also applied for a dance group in high school and was not picked. I was really angry, because I had just recently become junior national champion in my dance style, so couldn't see why there was any reason I shouldn't be picked first. The teacher pointed out to me that whilst I may have been the best dancer in the school, that there were several reasons I wasn't chosen. For one, I danced every day of the week outside of school, and the school would rather I expand my interests than do what I was already doing, secondly, that there were student who never got the opportunity to dance outside of school, and it was their only opportunity to get some training, and thirdly, she pointed out to me that I never really put as much effort in to the school group, as I was coasting along on my skills, whereas other students may not have been as good, but they worked twice as hard to make the group.

You know, she was absolutely right to make the decision she did, as much as it stung my self centered teenage self. It's not something we like to hear when we are a teenager, but it's a lesson that we all need to learn.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 19-Apr-13 05:14:32

So your daughter has been told she is mature, you are not. Maybe you're not going to be the best role model for her unless you sort out your own attitude.

Encouraging her to ask the teachers why she wasn't chosen and what she could do to improve her chances for the future would be a good response.

Storming into school abusing people because your precious darling didn't get what she wanted would set her up for a lifetime of embarrassment (with you) and rejection, if she follows your example.

Is it possible she's just not as good as the girls who were chosen?

OkayHazel Fri 19-Apr-13 06:49:27

Is it possible that your DD is just not good enough at the sport to be selected, no matter how much she loves it. And the kids that were chosen despite missing practice were chosen based on superior sporting talent? A school not performing too well at sport would want to put out the best team possible.

Just a thought.

fockingschool Fri 19-Apr-13 09:50:57

Thanks for the many comments received.

Just to say that I may "want to tell the teacher she is a bitch" but in reality I wouldnt.

So i need to toughen up. Regardless that it was my DD that did not get picked, I would have felt the same had it been another child. I feel it was the way it was done. DD was embarrassed and it turn that will affect her confidence. Yes, I know it is up to me to build her self esteem. Life is a bitch and all that.

midnightscribbler - you sound like a good teacher and very fair. I would like to think DD's teacher was thinking the same but I doubt it. There are comments from other posters who have experienced incidents from certain teachers. There are some teachers who wouldnt consider various factors that you do.

Spoke to a couple of mums this morning who suggested my DD is probably not mouthy enough. Their experience of the teacher has been the loud, stroppy girls stand out more and likely to get picked. Apparently the unfairness of the selection process is why lots of children start dropping out in year 8. (some already have that I'm aware of).

The school is very acamemic but infortunately they dont perform well at sport when competing.

DontmindifIdo Fri 19-Apr-13 10:07:39

I would definately get her in clubs outside of school.

There are a lot of good teachers who are dealing with pushy parents, but similarly, teachers are human and will make mistakes.

There is also what draws different teachers to help in after school clubs, the assumption you are making is the teachers do this because they want to win - but as you said, the teacher who runs this group consistantly seems to make choices that leads to the school not winning, so it might be she is more motivated by building up the confidence and teaching team skills of DCs who do behave badly in academic classes or aren't committed to things, using the team as a tool to teach them better behaviours. If the teacher isn't actually all that interested in having a winning team, then selection will have been based on other things. If your DD isn't seen as needing help, then she could be worthy of playing this sport at national levels but they would'nt pick her.

Look at outside clubs for these things - some schools think that glory of the school winning stuff matters, but most state schools genuinely don't care if they win or lose stuff.

MidniteScribbler Fri 19-Apr-13 12:24:55

OP, I echo the suggestions of developing her skills out of school. I was the girl at school that was never really great at any of the school events and I wasn't mouthy or pushy enough (and didn't have a mouthy, pushy mother either!). I couldn't see the point of running or swimming fast, and I wasn't good enough at any of the team sports to make the school teams. It was my own mother who kept reminding me that whilst some girls can swim fast, or debate better, or kick a ball through a net, but I could dance, and I could do it well and I didn't need the school to validate that. High school (and high school sports) was just something to get through. I even worked out that if you volunteered to help out with timing or scoring during sports carnivals that they seemed to forget that you hadn't participated ;)

If your daughters school isn't that great for interschool sport results, then tell her to give it a miss and concentrate on just getting through high school ("smile and nod" was my mothers mantra). It's not going to give her any real benefit in her education to play whatever sport for the school, if you are able to give her that same opportunity outside of the classroom. Even if she's outstanding in her sport, she will have better opportunities if she's going to apply for a sporting scholarship or wants to play professionally to have worked outside the school with a professional coach, rather than the school PE teacher who may not specialise in that sport (and can actually be detrimental to her progress).

School teams are not the be all and end all, and I actually find that those students who have access to a sport or activity outside of school hours to be more well rounded and open to different learning techniques, time management and working in teams. It's important to have interests outside of the school, just like it is for adults to have interests outside of work. I'm also not a fan of school lunch breaks being filled with sport and team practices and meetings, I'd rather students take a break, relax and refresh for the afternoon of learning.

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