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My son's ex teachers are sulking with me

(180 Posts)
caitlinohara Fri 22-Jan-16 10:18:13

I'll try to be brief.

Recently moved ds2 (Y2) to another school because he was deeply unhappy in the class he was in. It was a class of 30 and there were numerous ongoing behaviour problems and he was coming out of school angry and frustrated and often tearful. I raised a few concerns over the last term with the teachers but they were pretty dismissive, although one of the TA's was lovely and really seemed to try to look out for him at playtimes. Eventually decided to move him to a new school and was as open and diplomatic as I could be in the circumstances.

My older son is still at the old school because he is very happy there and will leave in July anyway.

Ds2's old class was a job share and I know both teachers pretty well, since one of them has a son in ds1's class, and the other has a daughter who plays with ds3 at nursery. Since ds2 left, both teachers have barely acknowledged me, although I see one or the other every day when I'm picking up ds1. I texted Teacher 2 the other day to invite her daughter round to play with ds3 and got a curt refusal. Neither has even said hello to ds2 or asked him how he was getting on at his new school. Took Teacher 1's son out the other weekend with mine and she got her dh to drop him off and pick him up and hasn't said thank you when I have seen her since.

I'm not sure what I expected, but I'm struggling to see their attitude as anything but petty and rude. I was really careful not to criticise them as teachers to the head because I wanted to try to stay on good terms with them for everyone's sake but it looks like they have taken offence anyway. I have been very involved in said school over the years. Regularly help out on school trips, run stalls at school fairs, etc etc. It's not me, is it? They are being dickheads, aren't they? hmm

TiddlyFitShaced Fri 22-Jan-16 10:21:24

Well, if someone was "deeply unhappy" with your work and stopped being a client/customer/pupil etc, you wouldn't exactly being meeting them as friends for a nice chat, would you?

No, they are not being dickheads, its an entirely normal response.

BackInTheRealWorld Fri 22-Jan-16 10:23:39

Did teacher used to come round for play dates before this?

caitlinohara Fri 22-Jan-16 10:23:57

So what you're saying is, there was no chance of me staying on good terms with them, so I might as well have spoken my mind instead of trying to be tactful?

Do you not think it's rude not to acknowledge a 6yo who you taught for an entire term?

honeysucklejasmine Fri 22-Jan-16 10:28:04

It is rude, but it's also understandable. Having a child removed from your class for any external reason (i.e. not a child's illness or a change in circumstances) is deeply upsetting. There's no real way not to take it personally, as you are supposed to be in control of the classroom environment so if someone's not happy with that, it really is your fault.

caitlinohara Fri 22-Jan-16 10:28:12

Teacher 1's son has been round here loads of times, yes. Teacher 2's daughter hasn't been round before but does play a lot with ds3 at nursery and gets really excited when she sees him out and about so I am pretty positive that she would like to come and play and that her mum just doesn't want her to.

Tartyflette Fri 22-Jan-16 10:28:32

Yes, it seems rude and unprofessional. Why would they take this so personally? It can't be that rare for a parent to switch schools when a child is unhappy or not doing as well as they could.

CremeBrulee Fri 22-Jan-16 10:28:36

I think they are being very unprofessional not to acknowledge you and DS2. You are still parent & sibling of a child attending their school, why wouldn't they speak to you? Sounds like they are taking his removal personally which seems odd.

PacificDogwod Fri 22-Jan-16 10:29:22

I think they are feeling as awkward about the whole situation as you are.

They are not being 'dickheads', and you did an entirely reasonably thing in the best interest of your child, but I can see how things may be a bit strained.
Take a deep breath, smile and let some time pass. It'll all be fine.
Storm and tea cup comes to mind.
Teachers are people too, wart an'all.
Disclaimer: I am not a teacher, but a daughter of one (retired)

caitlinohara Fri 22-Jan-16 10:29:55

Yes I think that feeling upset about it is understandable. I think I just expected them to be more professional and not take it out on the kids involved that's all.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 22-Jan-16 10:33:45

I think this is all very unprofessional. You were worried about your son and aside from the TA who looked out for him at play time. Nothing was done. Well some would say. Had their jobs been done properly. You would not have moved him.
This is what happens when you start getting too close for comfort though. Oh and yes its very rude and unprofessional to ignore any child.

TiddlyFitShaced Fri 22-Jan-16 10:33:58

Think of it this way: you removed your child from their class, telling them they are not suitable to teach or mind your child. So why then would you think it a good idea for them to have playdates in the teachers home, or their children to yours? You can't have it both ways.

sure it would be nice if everyone just got on, but people aren't like that in general.

PacificDogwod Fri 22-Jan-16 10:39:19

So, is the expectation that professional are professional ALL the time? Even when not in their professional role?
I accept that that might be something to strive for, but surely not a realistic expectation at all times?

Give it a few months and it will be fine.

caitlinohara Fri 22-Jan-16 10:40:56

I didn't say they were not suitable to teach my child. If anything, I said that my child was not suited to their class. I specifically said that I couldn't thank them enough for what they had done for ds1, who made good progress with them and throughout the school as a whole, but that ds2 was a different character and was struggling in a large class. I DID raise a couple of concerns last term about a school trip I was on where a handful of children were misbehaving because I considered it a genuine safety concern. I am not the sort of parent who goes round telling teachers how to do their job, but neither was I prepared to say nothing about something I thought could lead to a traffic accident.

kaitlinktm Fri 22-Jan-16 10:41:34

I was really careful not to criticise them as teachers to the head because I wanted to try to stay on good terms with them for everyone's sake but it looks like they have taken offence anyway

They should have acknowledged your son, that was bad of them, but there is no way of knowing how difficult things might have been for them since he left. Although you tried not to criticise them to the head, they are in charge of the class and you have no way of knowing what the head may have said to them because of this - I know of someone who was given a formal warning over a similar incident for example.

I might as well have spoken my mind instead of trying to be tactful - so you see, you do blame them really, and that would probably have been evident from whatever you did say - however diplomatically.

Yes, teachers should be paragons of virtue and selflessness, they should set a good example to others, but this must have been a very difficult situation for them and they are only human after all.

Berthatydfil Fri 22-Jan-16 10:42:01

They may be upset or insulted or they may be trying to avoid an embarassing situation. They no longer have a "professionaI" relationship with you any perhaps they don't want to encourage a personal one either due to these events. Things may get a bit better when your oldest has left.
I would be cooling it off with both of them. I wouldn't be encouraging the youngest to play at my home - it's unlikely that they will be good friends anyway in future so I would look for new friends.
With regards to the oldest he is old enough time have friends independent of his parents and will increasingly do so as he gets into secondary. I see nothing wrong with his dad doing the picking up. So maybe you won't be great pals with his mum in the future but the kids can carry on being friends.

deepdarkwood Fri 22-Jan-16 10:42:11

Much of your sense that they are 'sulking' is about their response to playdates. Bear in mind that the teachers may have had some additional training/guidance about how to behave if their children are in the school - that's always a tricky one to balance at the best of times (speaking as a teachers child), and I can imagine any teacher might pause a little about becoming/continuing 'out of school' friends with a parent who they know isn't happy with their school.
I think it's understandable that they are taking a step back for a while - I'd cool your jets and let it blow over.

And no, not professional to ignore a child you've taught - BUT I often think we assume that teachers have a stronger attachment to our little darlings than they maybe really do - after all, they do teach 150 over a 5 year period...

Msqueen33 Fri 22-Jan-16 10:42:34

It's probably hard not to take it personally and also you don't know how the head teacher dealt with them. Even if you were polite about why you've removed your son it doesn't reflect well on them and also you don't know if they've got a dressing down from the head.

pinkdelight Fri 22-Jan-16 10:43:56

"there was no chance of me staying on good terms with them, so I might as well have spoken my mind instead of trying to be tactful?"

I don't think that's what people are saying. It's not wrong that you tried to be tactful, but it doesn't mean that they can necessarily take this in their stride. Perhaps if you'd spoken your mind it would have been a lot worse. This way is still relatively civil. You didn't do anything wrong, and yes they could be more professional but it sounds like the professional/personal lines are v blurred here and where people's feelings are involved things can't always be kept nice. It takes time. Let them sulk, see other friends, drop off and go, as long as your DCs are all now happy at their various schools, that's the main thing.

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 22-Jan-16 10:46:32

How is DS2 doing at the new school, op?

kaitlinktm Fri 22-Jan-16 10:47:10

I can imagine any teacher might pause a little about becoming/continuing 'out of school' friends with a parent who they know isn't happy with their school


This - absolutely - in fact they may well have been warned off specifically by the head.

caitlinohara Fri 22-Jan-16 10:51:29

Yes that's true and you are right pinkdelight. As others have said, I have learned a valuable lesson about not being too involved with school. The fact that my children play with both teachers' kids does blur the lines and I can see how that can then lead to problems when this sort of thing happens. I don't really blame them for my son's unhappiness - he was unhappy in Y1 and most of Reception as well, and I am probably more annoyed with myself for not doing something sooner but I kept thinking they would settle as they got older. As a class they simply do not gel, and I think anyone would struggle with them, it just so happened that ds2 was in their class at the point when we decided enough was enough.

Lancelottie Fri 22-Jan-16 10:51:38

Just for balance:
We moved one of ours from a (secondary) school where he was unhappy. His previous form tutor wished him well, kept in touch over the next month to check if he was settling in, and then said he was delighted the move had worked out.

If he was seething under the surface, he hid it beautifully.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Fri 22-Jan-16 10:52:38

I raised a few concerns over the last term with the teachers but they were pretty dismissive,

They didn't take your concerns seriously and ignored your boy's distress. I think a distance between you and them is a good thing, the fact they ignore you and your child speaks volumes about them.

Perhaps they got a bollocking off the Head and blame you.

TiddlyFitShaced Fri 22-Jan-16 10:54:55

I didn't say they were not suitable to teach my child

You did though, when you took him out of their class, and the school. Of course you did.

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