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To request that DD's teacher stops trying to force a friendship with this girl?

(302 Posts)
madamevastra29 Wed 11-Sep-13 20:53:20

It's a tricky one, I'm not happy with the situation but I don't want to come across the wrong way less than a week in. DD has just gone into year4 in what isn't a brilliant class environment IMO, the school reshuffled the classes for this year and DD has ended up in a very boy heavy class with a newly qualified teacher new to the school this year. DD is luckily with a couple of her friends from her year 3 class, as there is a very limited friendship pool of girls.

There's one girl in the class (I'll call her Daisy) who came to the school last term, in a different class. This girl has struggled to settle in from what I can gather and the year 4 teacher has told DD she has to be her "companion" and look after her at playtime and lunchtime. She is also sitting next to her for most of the day. Perfectly fine. DD, however, isn't happy with this arrangement, she says she wants to please her teacher and look after Daisy, but she wants to have either playtime or lunchtime each day to play just her best friend and her as they normally do, and not always babysitting. She was told off by her teacher today because she left Daisy by herself at lunch- while I can see where the teacher is coming from, I don't think DD should be punished for wanting to play with her best friend.

I'm concerned as the fact DD has been put next to this girl shows the teacher has not put the class on ability grouped tables, DD is very bright and when she finishes work early is asked to help Daisy and other girls on the table. We are aiming for DD to go to a selective independent for secondary, and need her to be stretched if she's going to be on track. I know from one of the other mums who works at the school as a teaching assistant that this girl has a lot of issues, I've yet to find her mum in the playground though so haven't had the chance to get to know her. I'm perfectly happy for DD to be friendly, but given DD is perfectly happy in her existing friendships and doesn't want to be lumbered with this girl 24/7, I don't want DD to be paired up with her more and more by the teacher. AIBU to voice my concerns to DD's teacher?

friendslikethese Wed 11-Sep-13 20:58:18

I've never sat children by ability - I never will, either.

I don't think you are exactly being unreasonable, on the other hand, if there aren't many girls to 'choose' from then it doesn't seem unreasonable for the teacher to try to put them together. I do think it was a bit rotten to leave "Daisy" on her own at lunch.

Talk to the teacher though. smile

LegoDragon Wed 11-Sep-13 21:00:04

YANBU- not talking about ability.

I had this at school. It's completely crap for Daisy and for your dd too. She shouldn't have to reeled trapped by her.

BrawToken Wed 11-Sep-13 21:03:14

hardly 24/7, is it?

Mindfullness Wed 11-Sep-13 21:09:24

"I know from one of the other mums who works at the school as a teaching assistant that this girl has a lot of issues"

How awful that another mum that works at the school is discussing another child's issues shock = sackable offence!!

nennypops Wed 11-Sep-13 21:09:39

Yes, you WBU. You're only a week in, let Daisy have a chance to find her feet. And the teacher really doesn't have to arrange the class to suit your ambitions for secondary school placement.

BackforGood Wed 11-Sep-13 21:14:34

Separate issues. Firstly the TA telling you that a pupil has a lot of issues is seriously out of order and certainly committing a disciplinary offence.

Then - if you feel your daughter is not being stretched enough and is being used to help others, then that is a separate thing.

However, it does seem unfair to expect any child to b a single, constant minder for another child. Surely the school should set up a group of friends to support her between them if they feel some engineering is necessary.

LegoDragon Wed 11-Sep-13 21:14:57

Missed that, Mindful - that's shocking! You should really report her.

Andro Wed 11-Sep-13 21:15:23

What happens in the classroom is one thing, telling your DD she has to be this girl's companion at break and lunch (plus telling her off for playing with someone else) is something else entirely. I don't think YWBU to discuss the playtime/lunchtime situation with the teacher...leave the classroom issue alone unless it becomes claer that your DD isn't being stretched.

Chattymummyhere Wed 11-Sep-13 21:15:59

I would not want my child to be forced to play with one certain child, Infact I would say the teacher is bulling your daughter into doing it by telling her off when she does not spend every second with her...

Sorry but how is daisy going to make her own friends if she hangs on to your dd all the time?

My child started reception on Monday their preschool was the other side of town so knows nobody at their primary school but the teachers are not making people be friends with my dc, it will do daisy no favours you would not start a new job and expect to be babysat to make friends so why do it at school

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 11-Sep-13 21:16:37


I think I'd want to speak to the teacher in a very non-confrontational way about what exactly she is asking of your DD. It may not be what your DD is telling you.

There seems to be a bit of , for want of a better word "gossip" informing your feelings about the situation and I think I'd want my facts straight first.

Your concerns about your DDs happiness are valid, not so sure it's right to assume she's being held back academically

BrokenSunglasses Wed 11-Sep-13 21:17:42

Yanbu to communicate with the school about how they are stretching your dd academically if you have have concerns in that area, but you cannot expect the school to support you in wanting to exclude a child from play.

I can understand why you aren't comfortable with the situation, and I think a teacher would be wrong to tell off a child for not choosing the 'right' person to play with. But I'd guess that you really don't know exactly what happened, even if your bright and articulate dd has given you her account of things.

School is not for playing alone with one person, especially if it means a troubled little girl is left feeling isolated.

Encourage your dd to be kind, and give her lots of opportunity to have a nice time alone with her friend away from school. Helping your dd to learn to be kind and tolerant will benefit her in the long run, even if she doesn't always like it now.

friendslikethese Wed 11-Sep-13 21:18:35

There is a massive difference between a child starting at reception, along with lots of other new starters, and a child starting in the juniors.

I don't think that the issue was the OP's DD was told off for "playing with someone else" but for leaving 'Daisy' on her own

And, there is a limited pool of girls - as the OP concedes. The OP's DD has been asked just to ensure Daisy isn't alone at break/lunch - I don't think that's unreasonable.

And I was allocated a "buddy" when I started a new job. She's lovely! grin

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 11-Sep-13 21:18:42

And yes. That's seriously unprofessional behaviour from the TA

TheFillyjonk Wed 11-Sep-13 21:19:11

Turn it around and imagine you're Daisy's mum, and the other girl's mum was complaining about her daughter "having" to befriend Daisy. It wouldn't seem very nice, would it?

waltzingmathilda Wed 11-Sep-13 21:19:29

* DD is very bright and when she finishes work early is asked to help Daisy and other girls on the table. We are aiming for DD to go to a selective independent for secondary, and need her to be stretched if she's going to be on track*

Im sorry but I had to laugh at that pretentious comment. DS is a grammar child - I am the only parent I know who did not buy in tutors nor chuck my toys out when he had to sit with and help the less able children. We both knew his destiny and he worked to make it happen - I suggest you get a tutor >mirth< if you cant rely on your child pulling it out of the bag when she needs it.

And you both need a dose of compassion

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 11-Sep-13 21:20:16

Oh - and you wanting to get to know the other girls mother is neither here nor there. Smacks of social engineering when you put it like that

BrokenSunglasses Wed 11-Sep-13 21:23:32

By the way, getting a more able child to help others can benefit both children. By having to explain things and articulate them is a skill in itself, and your dd is getting a chance to do that, as well as consolidate her own learning.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 11-Sep-13 21:24:39

Good posts BrokenSunglasses

lisad123everybodydancenow Wed 11-Sep-13 21:25:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ragusa Wed 11-Sep-13 21:26:03

Could you suggest to your DD's teacher that your DD and her friends all try and include 'Daisy' a bit more?? Then the whole burden will not fall on your DD.

I have sympathy for your DD and also for the teacher, and of course for 'Daisy'. Being the new girl sucks, and being the new girl with issues really sucks. Your DD sounds popular and bright, which is probably why she's been singled out for befriending.

It is rather unprofessional of the person who works at this school to relay info about the new girl to you.

The other issues about sitting ability groups together is a completely separate issue, isn't it? Just because the teacher is an NQT, it doesn't mean s/he doesn't have good reasons for structuring her class teaching in the way she is doing. Grouping by ability is a bit of an old-fashioned thing to do, isn't it?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 11-Sep-13 21:27:13

"DD is very bright and when she finishes work early is asked to help Daisy and other girls on the table. "

This is unacceptable.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 11-Sep-13 21:28:14

In the first week, the tables may not yet be sorted anyway.

LemonBreeland Wed 11-Sep-13 21:31:44

It has only been a short time, it seems the teacher wants your dd to be a buddy forDaisy for a little while and help her out. if the teacher expects it long term then say something.

Your TA friend should learn to keep quiet. And the stretching yyr DD thing is laughable.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 11-Sep-13 21:31:58

It seems unfair for your DD to spend all her play time having to look after another child. I would speak to the teacher about this and ask if a more collaborative arrangement can be made with more of the girls involved.

Re 'we need her to be stretched' - you don't, you want her to be stretched. The school isn't working to the same aim and isn't obliged to be. You will probably need to put the time in yourself on stretching her.

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