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To think class teachers don't need to know...

(78 Posts)
LemonDrizzleDisco Fri 20-Jan-17 17:55:16

Name changed but frequent poster.

Aibu to think that only pastoral team at school need to know personal details about a child going through tough times and class teachers should only be told that the student is going through a difficult time and XYZ might make them emotional.

smilingsarahb Fri 20-Jan-17 18:00:12

I'm not really sure how a class teacher, certainly at primary level, can really provide the support a child needs without knowing a little of what's going on. Bit different at Secondary when hundreds of people would need to know and they don't have the child all day everyday.

IamHappy1976 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:00:26

I agree with you! Where I work the parents are usually asked how much information they want shared with class teachers and then it is up to the teacher to liaise with the pastoral team if we notice anything out of the ordinary. I'm secondary, btw.

Hulababy Fri 20-Jan-17 18:00:53

It really does depend on the age of the child, how closely the member of staff work with that child, and in what ways they may be affected really. Whilst the most personal details may not be necessary sometimes teaching staff need a little bit of information to work on, so they know potential triggers and what they should/should not say/mention when speaking with the child.

natwebb79 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:01:47

As a teacher it completely depends on the issue. Class teachers understand that such information is strictly confidential as much as pastoral staff and the more details we have the easier it is to avoid anything in lessons that may be a trigger for the pupil.

LemonDrizzleDisco Fri 20-Jan-17 18:02:15

I should of said. I'm talking about secondary school.

Am I also being unreasonable to think it shouldn't be announced to the class that the student won't be attending the lesson because they're having a bad time and to treat them extra special in the next lesson

Hermanfromguesswho Fri 20-Jan-17 18:02:26

In primary I would say the class teacher is the most important person to know all the relevant information

Phantommagic Fri 20-Jan-17 18:02:29

As a classroom teacher, sometimes a child does just need a bit more compassion or careful handling so I like to know. Secondary here.

SuperPug Fri 20-Jan-17 18:02:57

I agree but in some particular cases it would have been better to have known further details if lesson content would be directly linked to this.
I would also trust most teachers to keep this confidential.

Starryeyed54 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:03:31

I'm a teacher myself. I'm not always told all of the details about a child's situation which can make it a little tricky sometimes when supporting the child. It is helpful to know as much as possible, not because I want all the gossip but because I want to support that child as much as possible.
I completely understand your point of view though.

SuperPug Fri 20-Jan-17 18:03:53

OP, announcing it to the class is completely unacceptable.

Wolfiefan Fri 20-Jan-17 18:04:14

Depends on the child and the issue. I agree that no persona information should be shared unless there is a need but I've taught kids who have experienced death in the family or been abused in a way that means if they need to go to the toilet then they need to go now. Poor kid. If the topic of my lesson will upset a child I would rather know and if a child may self harm then id rather know.

walruswhiskers Fri 20-Jan-17 18:04:19

While I agree with you in principle, in practice, it can be hard when we are not told. I'm an English teacher and have had children upset and angry on numerous occasions because the text we are looking at that day has touched a nerve. Like the day we read a poem about a suicide with the lad whose dad had killed himself in the room (I didn't know). Or the girl who ran out when the book hinted at an abusive stepfather...guess what she was living with? Again, I didn't know.

The children's privacy is the main thing. But it is distressing for all concerned when the above happens. And teachers are professionals - we are usually very discreet and unobtrusive.

KittyOShea Fri 20-Jan-17 18:04:28

It can be relevant. As a history teacher we sometimes teach controversial and traumatic subjects. The same would apply to other debate/ discussion based subjects like RS or English. To ensure we are sensitive to what that pupil is going through we need to have some idea of the situation.

However the pupil's privacy is always respected and information is communicated in a respectful and sensitive way to those who need to know.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Fri 20-Jan-17 18:04:57

I think the class teacher should know.

The absolute range of potentially triggering issues that come up in day to day on the classroom is immense.

Something could easily come up in a lesson that the teacher then isn't able to properly prepare for and also wouldn't be aware that they need to follow up any after care for that child.

noblegiraffe Fri 20-Jan-17 18:04:59

Not knowing details can lead to teachers inadvertently putting their foot in it, leaving themselves vulnerable, or vital signs of problems not being reported. My school does not share details with teachers (and I understand why) so I have seen all of the above happen.

smilingsarahb Fri 20-Jan-17 18:05:23

It sounds badly handled. Hope your child is ok. I'd be mortified if my teacher had made an announcement to class saying be nice as I was having a hard time.

KittyOShea Fri 20-Jan-17 18:08:31

Having seen your update an announcement to the class is not appropriate.

IN one case we had a pupil who did wish his classmates to know what was going on but did not want to be there when the class were told. In his case he agreed a script with the head of pastoral care who briefed the class using the words he had chosen. The pupil was the one who made all the decisions- when and if other pupils were informed.

LemonDrizzleDisco Fri 20-Jan-17 18:08:36

DD's science teacher announced it to the class when she had a day off school and since then she feels like other kids are treating her differently,especially the science teacher

OrangeSquashTallGlass Fri 20-Jan-17 18:12:39

That sounds particularly badly handled OP and not the norm.

Salmotrutta Fri 20-Jan-17 18:19:30

I agree with KittyOshea - we have had one or two instances where classmates were "briefed" about situations with the full consent and involvement of the pupils and their parents.

Other than that we tend to only get told about bereavements or family illnesses etc.
But we are expected to acquaint ourselves with the additional needs profiles (up here additional needs can cover all aspects of a child's life) where any specific requirements may be detailed but the reason for the requirements are not shared with classroom unless deemed necessary.
So, for example, if a child had a need to be allowed out to the toilet then that would be shared but not necessarily the reason why.

Salmotrutta Fri 20-Jan-17 18:21:00

"*not shared with classroom teachers *" that should say!!

Salmotrutta Fri 20-Jan-17 18:22:32

I'd complain about that actually LemonDrizzle - very poor form to share that unless specifically asked for by the pupil and parents/guardians!

LemonDrizzleDisco Fri 20-Jan-17 18:28:19

But I'm not really sure about complaint . The reason why wasn't mentioned to the other students. Just the fact that dd is having a day off because she is having a tough time and to be extra nice when she comes back

insan1tyscartching Fri 20-Jan-17 18:39:40

I don't know tbh to me it sounds like the teacher had good intentions but handled it clumsily. Dd misses some lessons because she has a phobia. It's better when the teachers know and remember so that dd doesn't even go to the lesson rather than her having to leave after arriving. So in RE today the teacher told her that next lesson would be covering something dd would find uncomfortable and so dd will go to the library next week. I think if it's something that will impact your dd in their class then they probably need to know tbh.

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