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To think a teacher can be too strict?!

(23 Posts)
Classroomblues Sat 01-Aug-15 20:44:20

There are two Reception classes at my Dc's school. Over the years we have had experience of both classes and they are VERY different. I'll call one Purple class and the other red. My dc is going to be in red class next year with a very shouty teacher. I have helped out in previous years and find the classroom is too controlled and robotic. The teacher is too strict with the children. They sit for her on the carpet in absolute silence for ages (you could seriously hear a pin drop) where as in purple class it's so much happier....my dd2 still talks about her time in there 4 years later where as dd3 does not remember red class with such affection. Other parents have said the same about red class - the head is aware but turns a blind eye to it all. I have helped out in both classes and seen it for myself. Even when the children are playing, the children in red class barely talk in anything above a whisper where as in purple class the atmosphere is so much nicer. The teacher is always smiling and happy and the children all genuinely love her. I wanted ds to be in her class but he's not.
I am worried about my ds being in red class. He won't cope well with the shouting and not being able to talk in more than a whisper without being told off.
I know there isn't anything I can do to change the class but I am worried with how he'll cope. He's not even 4 yet and I feel like a feeding him to the lions with this teacher.
AIBU to be worried? What would you do?

Stanky Sat 01-Aug-15 20:49:09

Are you sure that you can't ask about him going in the other class if you are concerned? It might be worth asking. Or maybe just see how he gets on. He might be fine, but if he is worried about school, you could then ask for him to change.

LilyMayViolet Sat 01-Aug-15 20:49:36

That doesn't sound appropriate for a reception class at all. I would be similarly worried. Do you know if other parents have made complaints over the years?

FanOfHermione Sat 01-Aug-15 20:53:20

I personally much prefer a teacher that is stricter but even in my books, the description you are giving is too much.

If you can't change class then the best you can do is hide your feelings about the teacher VERY WELL to him.
Talk enthusiastically about him starting school etc and never mention how you are not keen about the teacher. Maybe even avoid going in to help. He'll be fine, even if it could be better smile

Beautifullymixed Sat 01-Aug-15 21:24:37

I'm a TA in ks1 and really don't like the sound of this. Has nobody else complained, other teachers, TAs, volunteers etc?
Part of the joy in early years is the learning through play, and communication. It's wonderful to hear them, and it's part of the job to talk to them as they play. For example, which car is bigger? What will happen if we do this?
It's important to model language, grammar and pronunciation. Especially to non English speakers or SN children.

Is there singing, laughter, games at all?
If not, I would be voicing my concerns as a parent to the Head, and keeping a close eye if you can.

I'm actually baffled that she can maintain this level of silence. How does she do it? confused

WorraLiberty Sat 01-Aug-15 21:27:17

I'm a bit baffled too.

Are you sure you've got it right OP?

You've helped out a few times, so only seen a snapshot.

Hannahouse Sat 01-Aug-15 21:28:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 01-Aug-15 21:31:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Icimoi Sat 01-Aug-15 21:51:43

Teachers are subject to so much monitoring and appraisal these days, if this woman's teaching was a problem it would have been detected by now. When ds was in infant school there was one teacher who had the reputation of being absolutely fearsome, but ds flourished when he was in her class. I think it was because she kept such good discipline that it helped quieter children such as he was to come out of their shells as they weren't constantly being shouted over by the noisier children.

summerainbow Sat 01-Aug-15 22:20:03

Maybe this teacher get all problem kids so she has to keep a tight hold on everyone.
The other teacher get the easy right .

Beautifullymixed Sat 01-Aug-15 22:23:31

^^ but this is early years. Yes, children have to be quiet at times of course, but during free play how can there be silence?
It's not supposed to be a formal classroom.
I'm a lover of a firm teacher, but there should always be room for laughter and fun in a classroom.

Euphemia Sat 01-Aug-15 22:26:06

Do the children learn and progress with Mrs Shouty?

I have a colleague like this, albeit upper school - I think she's horribly inflexible and does not respect the children, but bloody hell does she get results!

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 01-Aug-15 22:39:24

Prior to opening your thread I was going to say and What may I ask is wrong with discipline,
But what you are describing Is not being strict it is suppression and control.
FGS. They're 5 and 6 year little babies. Curious and wonderous and eager to learn about the world around them. How do they do that if they are just made to sit silent on the carpet.
So no you're definitely not being unreasonable

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 01-Aug-15 22:45:11

I think you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you want the best out of people. Not just teachers with children, but parents with their children. Employer with Employee.
I remember my year 6 teacher. Goodness I was in awe of him. I absolutely adored him. It was the only time I was truly happy on school.
He never shouted at any of us once. He never had to, because he was such a good fun interesting informative and nurturing teacher. We wanted to be good for him.

Greengardenpixie Sat 01-Aug-15 22:53:50

She may have had difficult children in the past. We had a little girl that i used to go in and teach to let the teacher go for her planning time. Noone could control her. She was only 4 with behaviour issues. I dreaded it. We had no support. The class teacher was at her wits end. Not only did she behave in an outraggeous manner but she swore constantly and would run away. Its hard when you have to deal with children who have varying backgrounds. This is teaching nowadays with all the inclusion. Maybe she has had a similar experience.

BathshebaDarkstone Sat 01-Aug-15 23:17:32

YANBU, I'd ask for my DC to be moved.

AnnaFiveTowns Sun 02-Aug-15 04:41:58

My ds had a similar teacher in yr 1, in fact she sounds identical. There had been lots of complaints about her over the years but the head was too weak to take action. I complained but action was only eventually taken when a parent helper, who happened to be a child psychiatrist, got on board and complained and got the LEA involved and eventually the teacher "retired" early. I still feel extremely angry with the T.A that worked in her class, witnessed the emotional abuse of these children, and turned a blind eye.for the sake of all the children in her class, please speak up and make your fears known to the head. With regard to your own ds, I would move him to a different school if that teacher remains. I regret leaving my child to suffer for a year in

AnnaFiveTowns Sun 02-Aug-15 04:43:09

...that horrendous environment.
You really should speak out OP;those poor kids ��

AnnaFiveTowns Sun 02-Aug-15 04:45:18

Oh, and crap (emotionally abusive) teachers can and do slip through the Ofsted monitoring net. This teacher was evidence of that.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Sun 02-Aug-15 08:20:31

People that should nt be in a profession as they are/ borderline bullies are often successful at bullying other staff including staff senior to them.

Expecting a TA to put themselves in a difficult position, unless it is clearly unacceptable practice, is naive. They have little power. Sadly ive seen worse practise than this justified as differenr teaching styles.

Spartans Sun 02-Aug-15 08:28:06

Personally I prefer strict teachers.

However this does sound too much and I wouldn't be happy. Not sure what to do about it though.

I absolutely hate teachers who shout at entire classes because a few have misbehaved. I remember it happening when I was at school and even though you know you weren't misbehaving it's still horrible and usually cause the 'naughty' kids to be isolated. Because everyone is upset they got shouted at because of them.

Doesn't help anyone

mugglingalong Sun 02-Aug-15 08:36:58

If he's not even 4 then I would consider deferring his place until Easter 2016. I know that socially it is a pain, but you are entitled to do it, and then he would only have a term of her before going into yr1. You can tell the HT why you are deferring and that in the interim you would accept a place in purple class.

tiggytape Sun 02-Aug-15 09:56:02

I prefer strict teachers too and many children benefit in that kind of class - I don't just mean the ones who need a bit more discipline but also children with sensory disorders or other conditions that mean a free-flowing, noisy classroom isn't great. One person's "happy and relaxed" is another person's "unbearable chaos"

However actual aggressive shouting is obviously not on. And hours spent sitting in silence is also not on.

I highly doubt you will be able to swap though. The way you phrase it suggests everyone wants Purple Class so if they allow one to move, they'll open the flood gates.
Also, the law for that age of children means they cannot exceed 30 per class. If they are up to full numbers they won't be able to move one to Purple without taking one out of Purple Class and forcing them to go to Red Class. Again, that sounds like it would set off a storm amongst the other parents.

The best bet is to raise your concerns in a neutral way but to be specific. So don't tell the Head that the Red teacher is mean and the Purple teacher is lovely and smiley. Be specific: you are worried about the time spent sitting in silence, you are worried there are no times of the day when children play creatively, the children are not encouraged to cooperate or speak loudly enough to interact....

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