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To be annoyed at this teacher regarding parents evening?

(222 Posts)
Blownspeakersandvolcanos Thu 20-Apr-17 20:47:32

My dd is is in year 9 and had a parents evening tonight which she came along to.

When it was our turn to approach her art teacher, he had to ask dd what her name was again.

There was an instance in his class where she asked him for a fresh piece of paper and he had a go at her because he had assumed she had come in from the classroom next door and should have therefore asked her teacher hmm

I get in secondary school that you obviously teach many children, but he also taught her during year 7 too.

I just didn't want to listen to his report on her because he doesn't seem to have a clue who she was!

Moanyoldcow Thu 20-Apr-17 20:51:46

That's fucking ridiculous. I'd be pissed off too.

UppityHumpty Thu 20-Apr-17 20:51:52

Is she definitely going to the lesson?

WonkoTheSane42 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:52:46

Yeah, it's not great. How many lessons a week does he see her? He may teach hundreds and hundreds of kids once a week, as it's not a core subject. He may have a poor memory for faces. But he needs to make a concerted effort to memorise kids' names - it makes discipline easier for one! And it avoids embarrassing moments like this one.

Blownspeakersandvolcanos Thu 20-Apr-17 20:53:22

Yes she's going to her lesson. There's never been an issue with her absence.

Siwdmae Thu 20-Apr-17 20:54:04

How many lessons a week does he teach her? I have my groups 3 hours X a week, 10 groups (fortnight timetable, so some groups spread out more) so I see them a lot. If it's less, I can understand not knowing every child's name.

It occurred to me today that some children are almost 'invisible' because they're extremely passive or quiet that they don't get much attention. I'm not saying this is your child, maybe her teacher is just crap with names to faces. I spend a lot of time getting to learn names/faces, helped by stringent seating plans, tho for the first few weeks, I might not recognise them outside of the classroom!

OffRoader Thu 20-Apr-17 20:55:39

The thing is momentarily forgetting someone's name doesn't mean you have no idea who they are.

I can see why it annoyed you though.

RupertsMum2 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:59:10

I agree, it's not great, but possibly better than the "ah, so you're Rupert's mum" or "yes, everyone knows Rupert " that I usually get.

UppityHumpty Thu 20-Apr-17 20:59:35

Hmm... she might just have one of those personalities then. I used to be able to skive certain lessons and the teacher never really noticed - if I told him he got the register wrong a previous day he'd go back and fix it because he genuinely didn't 'see' me. I still got an A star though lol.

DumbledoresApprentice Thu 20-Apr-17 21:06:14

Today I forgot the name of a student. I teach her 3 times a week and have taught her for years and she's one of the big characters in the class too. I do know her name but just had a sudden blank. blush I make an effort to learn names and know my students pretty well but sometimes, especially out of usual context (like at lunchtimes, bumping into them in Tesco, or at parents evening) you just forget. That being said I have a colleague who makes zero effort to learn names and I find it really irritating and disrespectful. Did what he had to say about your DD ring true at all or do you think he was just completely winging it with no clue who she was?

Maggy74653 Thu 20-Apr-17 21:07:30

I'm just wondering if it could be a rotation system in that dept? In our school the art/design/textiles etc dept change classes every 6 weeks and it can be impossible to learn all names under those circumstances - however having said that he should definitely recognise her visually.

Blownspeakersandvolcanos Thu 20-Apr-17 21:15:11

The thing is momentarily forgetting someone's name doesn't mean you have no idea who they are.

True but shouting at a child for being in your classroom when that's exactly where they should be is very wrong imo.

CrowyMcCrowFace Thu 20-Apr-17 21:15:32

I once told some parents at length how brilliant Lucy was. Hard working, conscientious, exceeding all expectations, polite, delightful in every way. Lucy, I told them, was an absolute star.

Couldn't understand why they (& Lucy) were glaring at me throughout.

Then Lucy & her dps turned up half an hour later & the penny dropped that I'd actually been talking to Lucy's bff Sarah & her dps.

They always sat together in class & looked spookily alike! Both fantastic students.

Just a total brain fart at the end of a loooong Parents' Evening.

Since then, I'm careful to have my markbook open on my iPad. It links to database so has thumbnail pictures of the kids.

It does happen. Not great, I agree.

(I emailed Sarah's parents after that particular fuck up & they were fine & saw the funny side, albeit pointedly reminding me next Parents' Evening that 'hello, we're here to talk about Sarah, but we're off for a pint with Lucy's mum & dad this weekend if you want to let us know how she's getting on? grin).

Is your dd taking the subject to GCSE? My understanding with Art etc colleagues is that they teach practically everyone for one lesson a week at KS3, & only really get to know their KS4 classes well. Totally different from my core subject where I see every kid 3-4 lessons a week & have no excuse!

MrsTwix Thu 20-Apr-17 21:19:45

Teachers of art etc might see almost 300 different children in a week. Not everyone can remember all those names all the time. Parents evening is quite likely after a full day of work when your memory isn't at it's best. Quite often you remember the child visually but the name won't come back when you need it, like when a parent is in front of you and you panic. It is even worse when they come to parents evening out of uniform, I didn't recognise one girl because she looked so different and grown up in her own clothes. I'd rather embarrass myself asking for confirmation of the name than lie and pretend I knew.

Lonelymummyof1 Thu 20-Apr-17 21:21:05

In year 11 I once snuck in to the art class to talk to my friend, I had not taken art in 2 years and it took 20 minutes to notice me at the table and he said
" show me your work because for the amount your talking you must be finished "
I showed him my friends work and he said
" right now carry on "

70ontheinside Thu 20-Apr-17 21:22:57

No excuse, but it happens. Especially in non core subjects where you see hundreds of kids once a week or less. Obviously not great, but if a teacher doesn't seem to know your child it usually means one of two things:
1. Your child is a middle of the road student and doing ok.
2. Your child is skiving.

Catch583 Thu 20-Apr-17 21:31:33

I had an invisible child. At every parents' meeting it was obvious that most teachers knew nothing about him and didn't even recognise his name. When he later took to skiving then dropped out altogether nobody apparently noticed or cared.

apotheke Thu 20-Apr-17 21:44:06

Ok, imagine a scenario. You work in an office where you have hour long meetings with 30 clients at a time. 5-6 meetings a day, on a 2 week rotation.

Some of the junior clients only meet with you once a fortnight. Due to pressure from your boss and company, all emphasis is on the more senior client groups who have been with your business longer as you must deliver specific, measurable outcomes for those clients, complete extensive paperwork and meet deadlines.

Unfortunately this means that the infrequent junior client groups feature relatively low on your to do list and get least preparation for meetings and reports. They come, you present to them, help with their questions, give feedback on their work and then move back to the more pressing senior client business.

You have roughly 50 meetings per fortnight, only some feature repeat clients. The junior clients change on a quarterly rota. You manage over 600 clients a year.

Do you honestly know all their names?

Some people are great at faces. Some of them happen to be teachers. A great teacher may be terrible at faces and if they teach a subject like Art/PE/ICT could feasibly teach every KS3 pupil. It's easy to come on here and teacher-bash, and the in-class incident is less than ideal, but it's not hard to comprehend how it could happen given the way things are in schools.

CrowyMcCrowFace Thu 20-Apr-17 21:51:19


leccybill Thu 20-Apr-17 22:03:15

apotheke That's brilliant.

No, it's not ideal but it happens. I frequently get pairs of nice quiet hardworking girls who sit together mixed up, and I can't for the life of me recall who is Jessica and who is Emily despite all my little methods and clues. Sorry.

Feckitall Thu 20-Apr-17 22:04:50

This happened to me in 1984 OP..
5th year I had a form tutor who was a history teacher. In lower 6th he became my history teacher for A level. He asked my name as I walked into the classroom. I presumed he was joking and walked past him and got shouted at! He had no idea who I was! sad angry

HopeClearwater Thu 20-Apr-17 22:07:29

Secondary schools are TOO BIG.
That is the problem.

wonderingagain21 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:19:04

As someone who teaches but really struggles to remember names, I can assure you that it is perfectly possible to have a very good knowledge of a student's work & achievements even if you can't recall their name as any given moment. Did you get any sense that they knew your child's skills or issues?

SparklyUnicornPoo Thu 20-Apr-17 22:26:46

DS (year 8) does 1x 2 hour art lesson a fortnight, as do all of KS3, there is only one art teacher who teaches KS3, which means they are teaching around 600 ks3 kids plus whatever GCSE and A level students they deal with, that's a lot of names. I work in a primary school so have far less children to worry about but I know that the first names I learn are the ones i have to tell off every 5 minutes, the ones who are exceptionally good at something, then the ones that I am worried about, then ones that talk a lot, actually the fact he didn't instantly know DDs name suggests that she is behaving and doing ok, just not the greatest artist he's ever seen.

Not recognising she was in his class can happen, I've got confused about which class people are in on playground duty, but he should have handled it better, i.e. 'aren't you in the other class?' rather than launching straight into having a go at her.

TheZeppo Thu 20-Apr-17 22:27:39

siwdmae they're often referred to as 'ghosts'.

OP- your child is well-behaved and probably on target. We rarely miss those that are disruptive, struggling or bright.

apotheke = genius and spot on.

My own anecdote: I once taught the most beautiful girl- I mean that in all senses. Clever, bright, friendly, kind. Taught her fur two years straight and DID notice her. Not a 'ghost' child.

At the end of year 8, they rolled the timetable forward, so we got our year 9 classes. Lovely student asks if I'd like her to hand out the books. I asked her her name blush

Point is, we're all human. And that teacher had massive balls to ask her name at parents evening grin I have my own trick for that!

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