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Why do teachers favour certain kids so obviously?

(196 Posts)
Zhan Fri 28-Apr-17 11:42:30

Just thinking back to when I was at school - primary especially and it was always the same kids that got a decent shot at stuff.

School plays it was always the same 3 kids that got the main parts every single year despite other kids (myself included) desperately wanting a go at being in the limelight. PE, again the same kids getting chosen as captains every single lesson. Music - the school had a limited number of decent instruments - guess who got the guitar/drums/keyboards EVERY lesson and guess who got the fucking triangle.

I know it's natural to have favourites but to make it so obvious and so unfair to the "less popular" kids who also want a shot at the good stuff???

Seems like not much had changed when my kids started school. The same kids getting the good parts in the plays, the same kids getting to play the decent instruments and the same kids getting chosen to "edit" the school mag. The same kids winning Easter competitions, the same kids winning "pupil of the month" etc etc ....

Who do they do it?

I feel quite bitter about my school experience and am disappointed to see that nothing has changed 20 years later.

Can any teachers shed any light?

NatureIsAWhore Fri 28-Apr-17 11:48:17

I see it in my dc school too, but I don't think most is favourtism. I think a lot is for ease.
My ds is never and probably will never be chosen for main roles in school plays, or to read during asemblies (can't spell it!) as his reading isn't up to scratch like others in his class.

I do hate class merits & headteacher certs though, mainly because, in 3yrs in the school ds has only received 2 class merits and none of the other.

Blimey01 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:51:45

My DC school has open class votes over the roles of responsibility - class monitors and class representatives. So the popular, confident kids get it each year and the less popular kids that could benefit from a confidence boost don't. Some get no votes for all to see. I've often asked myself how is this right and fair? How can the teacher/ head allow this to happen? The heads allows the children to think fairly who to vote for and it reflects the real world. Oh right yes... I reckon most 7 yr olds will just vote for their friend of course?!?

halcyondays Fri 28-Apr-17 11:53:34

But if they didn't have the vote, then people would complain that the child chosen was a teacher's favourite. so they probably can't win.

Blimey01 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:54:36

And I agree with the poster above, it is for ease. Large class sizes means half the teachers job seems to be crowd control!

DramaInPyjamas Fri 28-Apr-17 11:56:30

It happens at all schools. So just more noticeably than others. In my child's primary class this year the same pupil has got head girl, sports captain, representing the school in a poetry competition, playground leader, head of the pupil council and a main part in the school show.

Really disheartening to the other children especially as it was all just seemingly given to her, no ballots or auditioning etc. Many just won't bother trying hard as they know it won't achieve anything.

Blimey01 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:56:44

hacyondays I suggested names out of a hat in front of the class. Completely fair and no chance of favouritism

HelsinkiLights Fri 28-Apr-17 11:58:27

Signs of a crap school & crap teachers.
Several of my good friends are teachers or in/or previously in the teaching profession. Have discussed this topic with them & they all say yes you can sometimes prefer certain pupils over other pupils BUT you remain professional & keep those feelings to yourself. You treat all children equally.
Though occasionally it can be testing when pupil x is deciding to test you. Yet you remain professional.

sailorcherries Fri 28-Apr-17 11:59:26

I've tried my hardest to never do that.
- I picked a school nativity which meant every child in my class had the opportunity to get on stage and speak. Yes some had more lines than others but those roles were auditioned for and given to those who performed the best. But every child still had their own time on stage.
- class helpers get rotated each week to allow every child the chance to perform a job.
- star writers were never the best writer overall (as that would consistently limit it to a few children) but looked at how children achieved their individual targets and celebratinf that.
- pupil of the week type awards, every child got it at least once for their contribution to the school/class/lesson. So Timmy might get it for being a supportive friend while Bobby got it for workkng hard at his times tables. Both are achievements in need of celebration.
- p.e. I've never had team captains or let children pick their own teams. Random number allocation is all I use.

However it can be very hard. There are times when you need the best at sport or the best readers for a particular task/activity and there is no way of getting round that.

Mari50 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:00:43

My DD actually asked her teacher why the same people were chosen all the time, the teacher gave her some flimflam about that not being the case. Obviously DD didn't argue the point but she came home and gave me several good examples and raged against the injustice of it- I think the allocation of dojo points to people chosen to do a task tipped her over the edge. It is always the same kids who are picked but I'm not sure what you can do about it.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Fri 28-Apr-17 12:03:48

DS's primary school teachers favoured his bully.

This kid who scream, throw furniture, kick, bite, punch and tear clothes.

Teachers all thought he was an adorable little tinker.

They're at different secondary schools now. Bully recently got a police caution because he threatened DS with a knife, the delightful little scamp that he is.

Awwwww! So cute!!


TheRealPooTroll Fri 28-Apr-17 12:04:23

I doubt it's favouritism. It's probably more that the year 3 teacher doesn't know what parts each child had in the year 2 Christmas play.
Also if a child is being chosen for something where they will be representing the school they are likely to choose the more able/easier to manage kids more regularly.

AwaywiththePixies27 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:04:54

I saw it in my DCs old school too. Not just with the kids. With the parents too.

Despite several children being talented (not talking about my own), the same child was always picked for the main part in the Christmas play.
Despite there being several parents on the volunteer rota for trips and swimming lessons, the same parent always got asked to come to the safari park/science museum/other cool place.

Both my DCs were there for years and I had put my name down to help. I was contacted once to help out with swimming when no other mug one else was available with about thirty minutes notice. I refused on principle.

ppeatfruit Fri 28-Apr-17 12:06:52

I reckon the best way is alphabetical.Then every pupil gets a chance ; if there's a register on the wall then it's easy to see if one child has missed out by being ill or whatever.
This means that ALL the children get a chance to shine.

BalloonSlayer Fri 28-Apr-17 12:08:31

Sometimes I think it can be because there are certain students the teachers know are reliable.


We cast X, Y and Z in main parts for the nativity play in reception. X didn't turn up on the night, Y did it all fine, Z burst into tears (this was DD).

We cast A, B and C in the Year 1 play. A was off sick on the night, B couldn't remember any of the lines and C picked her nose. We asked Y to replace A at the last minute and she did it all fine.

We cast D, E, F and Y in the Year 2 play. D did it all fine, E's Mum was a nightmare, F was OK and Y was good.

So Y ends up being seen as a "safe pair of hands" and being the go-to student, not because they are so talented but because they:

- don't have a nighmare parent who inists on 6 costume changes
- turn up to all rehearsals
- bother to learn their lines
- don't pick their nose
- don't get stage fright
- don't have a loud extended family who turn up in droves straight from the pub and piss every one else off by standing up in the front row taking photos and/or a small sibling who cries through the whole performance and never gets taken out.

And I say this as someone who has suffered agonies at my child never being picked (and then the triumph when he finally was and everyone said how fab he was - ner!).

Zhan Fri 28-Apr-17 12:08:49

Kingjoffery- my sons school also had the "cute hooligan".

He would cause absolute chaos in school and would trash rooms and beat kids up. He once nutted my son in the last year of primary and when I went in to play merry hell the teacher said "oh I know, it's difficult isn't it, he can be a bit difficult but he does try very hard" !!!!

Well same kid is now 18 and is in and out of "the cells" on a weekly basis. His record includes burglary, car theft, driving without a licence, robbery and assault. He's a horrible bastard and always has been.

HelsinkiLights Fri 28-Apr-17 12:09:49

Sailor you could be one of my friends or one of my DD's teachers.
Though you probably are not, I would just like to say you are a fabulous teacher flowers

HelgaHufflepuff76 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:10:02

At my kids school at least, I always got the impression that it was the kids whose parents were involved with the school in some way, or were friends with the teachers. Also it's usually the kids who were the most confident already and didn't really need the boost.

sailorcherries Fri 28-Apr-17 12:13:54

Helsinki thank you. My approach can be seen as unpopular for some parents "but my child is more deserving", but I could never forgive myself if all the children didn't get the same opportunities.

yourcarisnotadiscovery Fri 28-Apr-17 12:16:10

Sadly this happens too in my son's class. He is an average student but has had some problems with gross motor skills so is pretty much left to get on with it but gets picked on for being slow/dreamy. He is getting v fed up with it! week after week, the teacher picks her core favourites - one of which is the bully too! and a few others who deserve the praise for good work. It is annoying but don't think there is much you can do about it.

DramaInPyjamas Fri 28-Apr-17 12:22:29

Yes, the bullying type seem to be chosen quite a lot for the 'good stuff'. There are four house sports teams - all four of the 'mean girls' are the captains this year. Just what you need, giving them more power over the rest hmm

TheNameIsBarbara Fri 28-Apr-17 12:23:44

Our school do rewards through the register (they also do special awards for kids who do achieve a long standing goal or something outstanding). I can tell because my child usually gets a random award - I think the last one said that they do everything asked. Which seemed like a quick lets think of something to write award, but it makes my child happy. I am happy because it means that every kid gets an award - yep even that kid thats a pain in the arse, and it keeps them motivated.

I haven't noticed any favourites for plays etc, but they tend to allocate quite well, so that everyone will get role regardless how big or small. They also do small group events that gives shy children a chance to shine on a smaller scale which is lovely.

Music is dependant on who takes lessons with the school. Out of school music players won't get any performance time comparatively to those who play for the school. That might upset some parents, but its about contribution to the school, and I understand that argument for it.

yourcarisnotadiscovery Fri 28-Apr-17 12:24:34

dramainPyjam yes - they don't need real power!

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Fri 28-Apr-17 12:24:43

Might be partly because the teachers are afraid of the child or the child's parents.

FrenchMartiniTime Fri 28-Apr-17 12:24:59

It was the same at my school. Always the same children picked for plays, sports, on school trips they got the first pick of rooms etc

A lot of their mums were on the PTA so that could explain it!

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