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to want to know what parents can do about the teaching crisis?!

(295 Posts)
BrightRedSharpie Fri 22-Apr-16 17:40:53

I'm in Scotland, btw, but I know there is a similar problem in England.

My DD's school is really understaffed. The P1 teachers have both been off all week, which has caused absolute havoc. They have had different teachers for mornings and afternoons because there are also no supply teachers available. P7 had to be split up for a teacher to come and take the little ones.

2 classroom assistants are also off on maternity leave, which either isn't or can't be covered. That's left 3 classroom assistants for around 300 children.

I know the school are doing their best. I've written to my MP and MSP. Is there anything else a concerned parent can actually do?

IThinkIMadeYouUpInsideMyHead Fri 22-Apr-16 18:27:01

If you want to keep teachers, stop adding to the stress of their jobs in the following ways:

In the short term, stop criticising and second-guessing the teachers and the school. I just skimmed throught the thread where a parent is complaining about the school's handling of a fucking bomb. There is no possible way a school can have a plan for every contingency. Start praising your child's teacher and support his/her decisions, and demand that your child appreciate and respect the person who probably spends more time withbyour child than you do.

It is impossible to remember every one of the needs (both real and imagined) of every child in every class, so, instead of getting directly through to the Head, be a bit forgiving if a teacher makes a genuine error. Stop scrutininsing every word and action (both in school and outside) and demanding perfection at all times from your children's teachers. Start putting the onus on your child, and let the school management team scrutinise the teacher. Respect the teacher's personal life outside of school and their right to privacy.

Stop treating education as a consumer commodity. Schools are not factories which take identical inputs and churn out identical products. 68% of any population will score in the average range of any test. Your child is much more likely to fall into the average than not, and we can't magically imbue your child with aptitudes. Assume that the teacher knows more about education than you (they have trained in it, after all) and trust them to teach your child in a way they, the expert, have deemed most suitable.

Good, experienced, committed teachers rarely burn out because of kids...

allowlsthinkalot Fri 22-Apr-16 18:38:59

Wow, Ithink - bloody glad you're not my child's teacher!!!

lateforeverything Fri 22-Apr-16 18:41:45

Great points Ithink. Very well put.

acasualobserver Fri 22-Apr-16 18:47:41

Brilliant post, Ithink. I was very glad to retire from teaching and not least because of the relentless and corrosive personal criticism from parents.

incognito26 Fri 22-Apr-16 18:47:45

IThinkIMadeYouUpInsideMyHead your post almost brought me to tears.

As a stressed teacher, this is the support I would really appreciate.

WonkoTheSane42 Fri 22-Apr-16 18:47:48

I'm a teacher in Scotland, and I don't think there's anything anyone can do at this stage. Council budgets have been cut to the bone. My school has to lose between 6 and 10 FTE posts at the end of this school year. The problem is:

a) Tory cuts down south which lead to a reduction in the Scottish budget due to the Barnett formula
b) The SNP's frankly disastrous policy of freezing council tax for the last seven years.

I am an SNP supporter but that policy, to me, is indefensible. We're seeing the results now where the service is on its knees and it seems sudden, but it's not. It's just that schools and - often - individual teachers have been papering over the cracks for a long time. It's unsustainable. And it's going to get worse next year. I feel so sorry for kids going through the system now.

IThinkIMadeYouUpInsideMyHead Fri 22-Apr-16 18:49:19

Thanks for illustrating my point nicely, allowls. I'm glad I don't teach your child.

FarAwayHills Fri 22-Apr-16 18:51:12

Education in certainly in crisis and teachers are leaving in droves. This resignation from a head teacher speaks volumes.
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36106778

FarAwayHills Fri 22-Apr-16 18:51:46

Sorry wrong linkgrin

FarAwayHills Fri 22-Apr-16 18:53:17

www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/primary-headteacher-resigns-saying-government-forcing-schools-factory

manicinsomniac Fri 22-Apr-16 18:55:49

Train as teachers themselves?

Not feasible for many, I'm sure, but lots of the mums at the school I teach in don't work and don't have money concerns so could easily retrain to help out if they are really concerned about the crisis. It's a very family friendly job and a good salary.

If they can't do that then following Ithinks post would be a good thing to do.

chickenowner Fri 22-Apr-16 18:56:22

I recently thought a father was going to hit me when I couldn't find his 4 year old daughter's cardigan. Everything is always my fault!

BrightRedSharpie Fri 22-Apr-16 18:59:15

That's absolutely awful, chickenowner.

I would be a rotten teacher- I am quite happy to entrust my child to them and give them a bottle of wine at the end of every term!

camsie Fri 22-Apr-16 18:59:20

Brilliant post Ithink. flowers

You have articulated everything I wanted to say but can't as I'm utterly knackered after a LONG week of teaching.

Wish there was a Like button here sometimes!

chickenowner Fri 22-Apr-16 18:59:30

Manic - sadly not as family friendly as it used to be. Teaching involves 10 hour days (or more) in school, plus many hours working at the weekend and during the holidays.

chickenowner Fri 22-Apr-16 19:00:29

Thank you BrightRedSharpie!

Jaimx86 Fri 22-Apr-16 19:01:16

A thank you now and again. Last year I worked tirelessly with a child to help him gain a C in his GCSEs. His missed out by one mark. I was heartbroken and felt I'd let him and his mum down. Despite his grade, she brought me chocolates and a thank you card on the first day back in September. That small token of appreciation meant the world, even though I felt I'd let her down.

capsium Fri 22-Apr-16 19:01:20

Ithink

In the short term, stop criticising and second-guessing the teachers and the school. I just skimmed throught the thread where a parent is complaining about the school's handling of a fucking bomb. There is no possible way a school can have a plan for every contingency.

It should be a prerequisite that schools have emergency evacuation procedures in place.

Start putting the onus on your child, and let the school management team scrutinise the teacher

I do, where responsibility lies with my child. However teachers are not beyond reproach.

It is impossible to remember every one of the needs (both real and imagined) of every child in every class, so, instead of getting directly through to the Head, be a bit forgiving if a teacher makes a genuine error.

I thought you wanted the parents to let the school management team deal with the teacher? So who can parents approach, regarding their child's progress? You seem to be of the opinion that parents should not be allowed to question a school's actions.

Assume that the teacher knows more about education than you (they have trained in it, after all) and trust them to teach your child in a way they, the expert, have

But they are not necessarily the 'expert'. Especially in the case of additional needs few have had very much training at all. Parents come with a huge range of qualifications. There could be child pschologists, paediaticians, lecturers on teacher training courses, teachers and head teachers. Added to this they will have known their child for a lot longer than you.

camsie Fri 22-Apr-16 19:02:39

Allowls......another one here who is glad I don't teach your child....

storynanny Fri 22-Apr-16 19:04:39

Ah yes, the missing cardigan...... " how difficult can it be to find her cardigan? It's your job" is what I was told by an angry mother a few weeks ago. When I asked if it was named, she replied " No, I haven't got time"
Seriously though, parents can't really do anything. An angry parent shouting at me about a missing cardigan is extremely minor compared with all the other nonsense going on in education.

CitySnicker Fri 22-Apr-16 19:08:36

We might benefit from academisation in England in the next few years. I think pay has to be adjusted in line with local living costs and area 'attractiveness.' Christ down follow the current or prospective English model. If they started salary payments by results I'd be out like a shot!

IThinkIMadeYouUpInsideMyHead Fri 22-Apr-16 19:16:25

Capsium, there are ample opportunities to "reproach" teachers. The OP asked how a parent could help. I'm suggesting a little bit of empathy and understanding of the complexity of a teacher's job on the part of parents. The vast majority of parental complaints are unreasonable, unnecessary and selfish. The most difficult bit of my job (and clearly many other teacher, if you look at other replies on the thread) is parents.

CitySnicker Fri 22-Apr-16 19:16:33

Whoopsy...parents don't have much influence on those fronts!!!
What "Ithink" said!

TaIkinPeace Fri 22-Apr-16 19:20:31

Everybody went to school so everybody thinks they can teach.
THEY CANT

For decades PGCE courses at Universities churned out enough teachers
but Michael Gove called them the blob
limited their numbers and put his faith in shite like Teach First
and then he treated Teachers like toddlers.

Put Teacher Training back into the hands of the teachers

Put Education policy back into the hands of the academics

Use EVIDENCE BASED DECISION MAKING

And then fuck ups like posting the SATs paper onling might not happen as often

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