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Teacher being unprofessional IMO, AIBU to go straight to Head with this?

(24 Posts)
Theoriginalnamechange Wed 12-Nov-14 19:22:28

I have name changed for this as many details plus my posting history will out me 100%. I just want some objective opinions on this.

My child is 10 and in yr 5, they do well at school and seem to really like their class teacher, a man in his 50's. This man appears to be a bit like marmite, the parents who have encountered him before either love him or hate him, there seems to be no middle ground. I have been told by some that he is highly inappropriate in some of the things he says at times but was willing to keep an open mind.

Over the past 6 weeks my child has been mentioning some things he has said in class which to be honest, I feel are downright unprofessional. I am slowly getting the impression that this teacher thinks he is better than his colleagues. He regularly makes derogatory comments about the teaching capabilities of other teachers at the school eg. "I can see I have my work cut out this year as your teacher last year appears to have run a holiday camp and not taught a class" or "in my opinion the head of KS2 is setting work which is far too hard".

Last week my child came home one night and said that there teacher is sick of being told what he has to teach by his superior who has 8 yrs of teaching under her belt compared to his 20 yrs. Tonight my child told me that the teacher told them that he'd been given a verbal caution by the head as he wasn't paying enough attention to their workbooks and they are bit shoddy! I told my child that this really wasn't any of their concern and the teacher shouldn't be discussing it with them. My child replied that they feel sorry for him that he is being treat so badly.

This now has me really bloody angry if I'm honest as he shouldn't be pulling the kids into office politics, they are far too young and should be concentrating on work. Would I be unreasonable to take this to the HT and demand a stop to it or would I be making further trouble for someone who sounds like they have enough on their plate and are pretty unhappy with their job?

Cantbelievethisishappening Wed 12-Nov-14 19:26:31

Would it be worth speaking to him first to express your concerns? To at least hear his side of it? If you are still concerned you can then take it to the head.

Coolas Wed 12-Nov-14 19:30:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LimeFizz Wed 12-Nov-14 19:32:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KittyandTeal Wed 12-Nov-14 19:32:54

Bloody hell! As a teacher I'd say if it's true then it is horrendously unprofessional.

We're known at our school for making jokey comments about each other to the kids as in 'oh it's October, mrs kitty must be getting the glitter out already' etc.

It seems like these comments are much more than jokey and are quite serious.

I wouldn't bother talking to him, unlikely he'll admit it. You could ask a few other parents if you trust them but a meeting with the head would be best I think.

APlaceInTheWinter Wed 12-Nov-14 19:34:32

I really think a lot of it depends on delivery. He might be joking about last year being a holiday camp so they have to work harder, etc.

I'd need to be entirely sure that he had said all of those comments directly to the class, and that he meant them to be taken seriously. For example I remember a point at DC's school where a few parents were talking about a teacher commenting inappropriately to the DCs. It turned out that it was an older DC who had 'attributed' a comment to the teacher and it had then went round the school in a Chinese whispers style.

If you are absolutely sure that he is complaining seriously to the class and it's upsetting them, and impacting on their work, then I'd speak to him first. Possibly by saying that DD had made a comments about the workbooks being shoddy and you just want to clarify.

I might not be the best person to offer advice on this as this wouldn't make me bloody angry. I'd be mildly confused at best.

Theoriginalnamechange Wed 12-Nov-14 19:37:35

Kitty unfortunately it is true and I'm just in utter disbelief at how unprofessional this is. If I talked to my clients about my colleagues and management in this way I would fully expect to be in a disciplinary. I am wary about approaching him to be honest.

Coolas Wed 12-Nov-14 19:39:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ilovesooty Wed 12-Nov-14 19:41:49

He won't admit it. It seems to have been going on too long and too obviously to be a misunderstanding. I'd go straight to the head.

LuluJakey1 Wed 12-Nov-14 19:46:33

Report it to the Head in factual detail. If it is not serious it will be dealt with in that way. If it is serious- and potentially it is- it will be dealt with appropriately.

It is not your role to discuss it with the teacher and 'give him a chance to resolve it'. Your child is reporting something very concerning - apparently completely unprofessional behaviour. Leave it to the Head to deal with. Just tell her/ him the facts. TheHead has a right to know and to investigate this. If it is true he is bringing the school into disrepute. He is also involved in entirely inappropriate and unprofessional conversations with students.

I am an ex- union rep for a teacher union so you can trust what I am saying. I defended teachers. If it is not accurate, the teacher will not be disciplined.

Theoriginalnamechange Wed 12-Nov-14 19:47:51

There is no jokiness in my child's voice when they are recounting these incidents, in fact you can hear the scorn and disrespect in their voice. This has me really concerned. My child is really honest and the type to parrot things verbatim. I have sat on this for a few weeks in case I was mistaken but I really don't think this is being said in jest.

Cantbelievethisishappening Wed 12-Nov-14 19:55:26

There is no jokiness in my child's voice when they are recounting these incidents, in fact you can hear the scorn and disrespect in their voice.

Can you elaborate on this?

Theoriginalnamechange Wed 12-Nov-14 19:58:47

If my child is recounting a story then I've noticed that they tend to do it in the tone of voice used, also in this case with the accompanying eye rolls, tuts and shakes of head.

Worksallhours Wed 12-Nov-14 20:51:31

I would tread carefully here.

This could just be an approach that allows him to state certain things without becoming the enemy of the pupils.

As a former teacher, I find the idea that a male primary school teacher with years of experience would get a verbal caution by a Head over shoddy workbooks to be ... erm ... slightly hard to believe. Male primary school teachers are like gold dust; no Head would risk pissing them off over something so minor.

Again, I taught for years and I don't think anyone apart from myself, my pupils and their parents ever even looked at our exercise books.

I also recognise certain things he says: "I do not run a holiday camp" is a favourite of gruff 50/60 something male teachers.

Worksallhours Wed 12-Nov-14 21:01:57

And I will just add ...

"I am slowly getting the impression that this teacher thinks he is better than his colleagues."

He probably is! grin

Twenty years of teaching experience means he will have seen it all, and knows what works and what doesn't. Some of the best teaching mentors I had when I was an NQT were 60-something teachers coming up to retirement. They were the ones who gave me practical advice and told me to ignore the latest "fashionable" ideas, saying "we did that back in the 80s and it was a load of rubbish then".

rollonthesummer Wed 12-Nov-14 21:07:09

As a former teacher, I find the idea that a male primary school teacher with years of experience would get a verbal caution by a Head over shoddy workbooks to be ... erm ... slightly hard to believe. Male primary school teachers are like gold dust; no Head would risk pissing them off over something so minor.

You haven't taught recently then! We have book scrutinies every 6 weeks. If they are not up to scratch, the road to capability beckons...

ilovesooty Wed 12-Nov-14 21:13:03

Again, I taught for years and I don't think anyone apart from myself, my pupils and their parents ever even looked at our exercise books

I echo what rollonthesummer said.

FloatIsRechargedNow Wed 12-Nov-14 21:14:16

The best teachers nowadays are the 'oldies' - the ones that have taught since the overuse of the word "professional". Yep, itsa shame he's so pissed off that he's talking "unprofessionally" but he's doing his 'swansong' and hoping to leave his pupils with some wise words to remember. Hopefully they will remember and things can start to change from this robotic marching in a never-ending circle of mediocrity, for it hasn't always been as bland as this.

Obviously, I'm an 'oldie'.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Nov-14 21:17:51

I think it all should be taken tongue in cheek. Especially the holiday camp stuff. I don't think he's doing very much wrong. Have a word with him if your child is upset by what he's saying but don't go straight to the head.

clam Wed 12-Nov-14 21:27:10

"Male primary school teachers are like gold dust; no Head would risk pissing them off over something so minor."

WHAT?! shock Did I read that right?

rollonthesummer Wed 12-Nov-14 21:37:41

Heads clearly don't expect poor scatty men to have to mark books!!

Worksallhours Wed 12-Nov-14 22:12:08

rollonthesummer ... "We have book scrutinies every 6 weeks".

Seriously?! Who scrutinises what? You mean you sit down with the Head who goes through your pupils' exercise or work books, and gives you a caution if they are not neat enough?

Woah ... shock

Shit, I don't know what to say. I didn't think things had got that bad. Tell me I have got the wrong end of the stick here. Where is the trust in your professionalism as a teacher with things like this? If you have a pupil whose work is a disaster, you know about it; you don't have to be told, ffs.

I didn't stop teaching that long ago; it was only the mid-noughties (shit, that was quite a while ago, come to think about it).

And that last year was the year where I could no longer ignore the overwhelming sense that the actual process of teaching and learning was somehow secondary to a huge array of other concerns, such as litter, dress, assemblies, break-time rotas, art work for the bloody walls, charity "events" ...

I am derailing OP's thread. Sorry, OP. I will remain silent now.

Theoriginalnamechange Wed 12-Nov-14 22:24:30

I hear and appreciate what a lot of you are saying about being oldies and being disillusioned, I have no doubt he is a good teacher that gets the results from his class. I also work in a profession that is notorious for disillusionment and it's numbers turning their backs on it, I can see that that is probably at play here and have kind of acknowledged that at the end of my OP. What I'm angry about is that the children are being brought into it and are too young to understand it all. The terminology my child is using is not something that they would come out with "8 years teaching under her belt" and "shoddy".

rollonthesummer Wed 12-Nov-14 22:25:54

The SMT (we have lots) come in and take a sample of your books away (primary-so all subjects). They sit in a room for hours (you are not present because you are actually teaching) and look through them all checking you have the learning objective in the right place and colour, check you have a piece of work for each lesson, the child's targets stuck in the back (with each target dated 3 times when seen to be achieved) and you have spent at least 45 squillion hours marking each book according to the marking policy. They then get your planning file and check you've done what you said you would in each day by checking in your books. Then, they observe you and see if you're not lying in the planning file and the books, and then they look at the data/levels for your class and check you haven't lied about that.

Professionalism?! Ha-we are allowed none.

These same SMT refuse to deal with poor behaviour in the class and then suggest you're crap if you send a child out.

I need to leave.

Sorry, OP...

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