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to think they could have said one nice thing about my children

(55 Posts)
justalittlelemondrizzle Thu 10-Mar-16 16:19:55

We had parents evening last night and I came out feeling so deflated. I didn't go in there with rose tinted glasses, I know where my dd's need improvement. Dd1 is in year 3 and is a sensitive, kind and gentle girl she was recently bullied by a horrible girl in her class who also bullied her in year 1. She lost her confidence because of this back then due to an awful teacher who blamed it on her her confidence has never returned. I know she is a smart girl, not gifted or anything but pretty smart. The school expect so much and her year group are exceptionally bright. Her teacher didnt say one positive thing about her. Everything was negative then she stood up meaning time to go.
Dd2 is bright but pretty lazy, I know this, I expected this. But again no positive comments about anything. Theyre both polite, helpful and friendly girls. Could they really not find anything nice to say about them. Im so upset. I feel like I have failed them

inlovewithhubby Thu 10-Mar-16 16:29:30

If a teacher can't find a single positive thing about a child, I'd question whether they are in the right job. If it were me, I'd take it further, if only to get a more constructive take on my child's progress. Ask for a chat after school?

vintagefiend Thu 10-Mar-16 16:40:05

please don't feel like a failure, although in my experience it's not uncommon to feel deflated after parents' evening!
I suspect that, in a bid to seem wholly professional/impartial, some teachers take the route of negative criticism.
I've also found that sometimes teachers with kids of their own "get" what it is that parents might be concerned about and know intuitively how not to upset them (disclaimer: this doesn't mean that there aren't wonderful child-free teachers, there are!) whereas happily child-free teachers might unwittingly upset you.
When my son was in reception the young teacher at parents evening stated that he was behind his peers and it was imperative that he catch up- he'd been at school for 6 weeks and had turned 4 the week before starting! She didn't have the nous to make any allowances for that and I was v upset- especially when she suggested he practise letter-writing...he could barely wipe his own bottom!
my friend was upset last parents evening because the teacher used a careless word to describe her lovely son which sent her reeling!
throw into the mix the fact that teachers have a small time slot for each set of parents and it must all be pretty exhausting... and you're often left with a few dissatisfied folk.
i don't go now- my partner attends on his own and gives me a, no doubt highly edited, version of events!
You are not a failure- parents evening is often crap!

justalittlelemondrizzle Thu 10-Mar-16 16:44:03

This was two different teachers though. To be honest, after last night I have been considering not attending anymore parents evenings. They can spend the 10 minutes they would have spent talking to me writing a letter just listing the negatives if they cant spend 30 seconds saying anything positive!
They made me feel like my children are failures and arent good at anything.

ilovesooty Thu 10-Mar-16 16:50:55

So you didn't have any input into the meeting with either teacher?

zzzzz Thu 10-Mar-16 16:51:48

Next time when they stand up say "thank you so much for being so frank, is there ANYTHING positive you have to say about dd?"

ilovesooty Thu 10-Mar-16 16:54:39

Did their areas for development accord with yours?

partialderivative Thu 10-Mar-16 16:57:09

Do you think there was any truth in what the teachers were saying? Or were they just making stuff up?

EweAreHere Thu 10-Mar-16 16:59:05

I would write a letter to the head of the school stating your concerns about how the teachers are prepared for parent/teacher meetings. Tell him not a single positive thing was said about either child, even though they are basically good students. well behaved, etc. And ask how the Leadership Team plans for such evenings, etc., and tell them you would like a response in writing.

And cc the Governing Body.

ButEmilylovedhim Thu 10-Mar-16 17:02:39

We had this last parents evening. The teacher was so negative about my dc and was about every child in the class (the parents that I've spoken to) except the uber clever child. Just complaints about what she couldn't do. Like yours a lovely, well-behaved, kind child. I came home and cried. You take it so personally don't you?

She was completely different this time. Really positive and friendly. I wonder if she was panicking about the new targets or whatever and about how hardly any of the children were meeting them. I also wonder if she got feedback that people weren't best pleased and changed her attitude!

Could you give some feedback about how they came over? I know it's hard to do. You haven't failed them. They are still your lovely dds.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 10-Mar-16 17:07:41

My DD's teacher did this with her. In Kindergarten. If teachers don't know enough about psychology to say anything nice, and don't find children great enough to say anything off their own bat, they should think about whether they should be teaching.

I work with 'troubled', 'challenging' youth and can't find enough positive to say about them. They are awesome, even when they are being utter buggers.

howabout Thu 10-Mar-16 17:07:48

Don't stop going. I am quite an alpha sort of personality and used to overcompensate by being quite passive at parent's night. I have discovered over the years it works much better if I am very assertive and drive the conversation. They are your DC and you know them better than any teacher. The teacher works for you not the other way around.

That is not to say that parents shouldn't listen to what the teacher has to tell them, but it should be a 2 way street.

I don't think many parents would respond very well to an entirely negative conversation about their DC so it doesn't seem like a very productive use of the limited meeting time.

grimbletart Thu 10-Mar-16 17:08:14

Don't take it too much to heart OP. I know this is the Daily hate but have a read

Not all of them are bad but enough are so way off the mark that it shows how stonkingly bad judges teachers can be sometimes.

Mind you Einstein's teacher is a classic example. From his report: "He will never amount to anything", 1895.

Not saying at all that a your DCs will rule the world of course smile

LittleCandle Thu 10-Mar-16 17:13:47

DD2 had an horrendous old bitch of a teacher on a job share. The other teacher was young and took DD2 under her wing and helped with her dyslexia. The other teacher told DD, in front of the class one afternoon, that she was 'stupid'. I removed DD from the school and sent her elsewhere.

Fast forward a few years and I met said old bitch when at work. I knew her fairly well, as DM was a teacher and had known this woman. Old bitch was all over me like a rash, asking about both my DDs and when I mentioned DD2 was doing a joint degree at university, she gushed 'Didn't I always say she would go far?'

That was the last straw. I just replied, "no, she was the one you insisted was stupid." And walked away. Petty - probably; nasty? Yeah, but oh so very satisfying! She had never had a good word to say about DD at parents' night either.

HexU Thu 10-Mar-16 17:15:40

Did you ask what you could do to support your child - or help with the situations? Did you ask where they are doing well?

I've had two teacher parent meeting like this - two different teachers and two different children.

Not good years for my children. One teacher think was burnt out they went away for a year came back and were a brilliant teacher to another of my children. Another was just a awful teacher who didn't know my child at all.

In both cases found we weren't the only parents who had bad teacher parent conferences.

In first just accepted situation in second the end of year report was dire and out of the blue dire so we politely but frankly commented and the head teacher had words with us and her. Found out later several other parents also raised concerns.

GrumpyOldBag Thu 10-Mar-16 17:15:55

Opposite problem at ds's school.

Teachers all says he is doing great, when I know he's not trying hard enough.

ppeatfruit Thu 10-Mar-16 17:19:15

Yes so true about teachers grimble and Andrew Carnegie (who made millions and millions from a very poor background) only had 4 years of schooling. So try not to take it so seriously.

ilovesooty Thu 10-Mar-16 17:19:29

I presume LittleCandle that you would have had the same opinion of those teachers regardless of their ages?

HexU Thu 10-Mar-16 17:22:42

I've had that problem as well GrumpyOldBag more dismissing the problems they have because overall they were doing okay.

I found that difficult and it's then hard to know if your child really has a problem or if we were worrying to much - though next parent evening I have experienced same teacher suddenly deciding it's a major issue as was all along and can't remember saying otherwise hmm.

Still those two being so negative and having no positive - no shit sandwiches just shit and no suggestions about how we could help at home or do as parents - were really upsetting.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 10-Mar-16 17:24:55

Me and DH disagree with this!!

Three kids all fairly bright helpful kind etc -

Parents evening all about what they can't do - let's say DD can't tell the time can add up in columns - forgetting that she is working two years ahead and tip of the class - all about "next steps". DH sees this as a way forward and therefore positive

I in the other hand would like a stop and look at what she has achieved -

She's doing well in maths - she kind and helps her peers - she enjoys sport - blah whatever

I agree all seems negative but it's they way teachers minds work!!

PosieReturningParker Thu 10-Mar-16 17:26:58

Dear OP.

I have been in the opposite position where it took me a while to realise that good teachers make you feel like they really like your child, I thought (for the first couple of years) that all teachers favoured my children blush. So if you come out of a parents evening without feeling like they like your children there are two things to consider:
1) How can two teachers feel similarly about two different children, is the school very over stretched or were they directed to say certain things.
2) Should you go and see the Head?

I go for both.

I've seen good teachers say lovely things about complete and utter little shits children who are pretty badly behaved.

SmellsLikeMiddleAgeSpirit Thu 10-Mar-16 17:28:39

These are crap teachers with no awareness. There is always something positive to say about a child, and any negatives can be presented as something that teacher is already working on in a way that is particular to that child, and and the progress thereof.

I am a teacher myself and always keep parents evenings positive and productive, with constructive rather than negative comments.

Your DDs sound lovely, by the way.

Emmiy Thu 10-Mar-16 17:31:09

I would be writing to the school (write a letter as they have to deal with it then, a phone call does not give any written evidence) to ask that teacher and the head teacher for their plans for your daughter to help her improve before the next evaluation. Put it back in their court. Its their job to build confidence (as well as yours) and help all children achieve their potential. Unfortunately it doesn't happen very often though. I home schooled for a couple of years because I wasn't happy with the school. Best thing I ever did. My children came on leaps and bounds and when they entered back into the education system they were more confident, questioning and articulate children who went on to do well.

bigbuttons Thu 10-Mar-16 17:34:31

I would consider moving schools. Imagine what sort of negativity they are getting when you aren't around if they are prepared to say that to your face.

I would suggest that your dd1's confidence is not just being knocked by the bully but by the teachers. How sad.
i am a teacher btw and there are ALWAYS positives even to the most difficult children and your children hardly sound difficult.

Gobbolino6 Thu 10-Mar-16 17:34:38

I think the key is to go in with a list of specific questions. Even just what is she good at, what do we need to work on and how?
Last year with two reception children we had the opposite problem. Very wishy washy 'they're doing fine' stuff. It's been very much better thus year.

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