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To bring this up or let it go? Teacher related

(98 Posts)
Lostbeyondwords Wed 05-Jul-17 13:13:10

For background, dd is 11, and having an awful time at the moment and is being "supported" by the school child protection team. She has been finding it difficult to maintain full days at school so when end of year exams came, I was apprehensive she'd manage full days plus exams and the pressure of them, but she did.

She's not generally a snowflake or precious but I'm not sure on my judgement right now.

Dd did a French exam. She's not amazing at it but tries. They got their tests back today and part of it was a standard paragraph about them. They were asked to copy it into their French workbooks. The teacher told dd that because she hasn't done much (hello, my name is..., where she lives, what school she goes to) she had to copy from someone else to put more in.

So dd got a couple of bits from the person next to her but only bits she actually understood. After the lesson the teacher told her and another student to stay behind and do more. She gave them books to copy from. Apparently also "moaned" at them they they should have done more and they were wasting her time, that she was up until 10.30 marking and this was her break too and they should appreciate that.

Dd then added when her birthday was, how old she is, and a sentence with an adjective describe herself. She says she didn't understand other bits and her friend asked about something in the book and was cut short and told that the teacher "didn't want to hear any question, just do it".

So dd didn't want to write what she couldn't understand, and clearly couldn't ask...

Teacher then gave a lunch detention for lack of work.

Aibu to think that's a bit of overkill? Or I don't know, should dd have asked for a French dictionary and translated herself to understand and take it as a lesson learned?

We have a meeting with school tomorrow anyway regarding concerns about other aspects so wondering if this should be brought up or left?

steppemum Wed 05-Jul-17 13:22:00

Hmm, I can see both sides.
really think your dd did well to say she only wanted to write what she understood, that is actually a good thing.
I can see the teacher wnats them to have a written paragraph about themselves (I think this is something they do again ad ends up as part of oral exam? Maybe not)

But given she is having such a hard time at the moment, the lunch detention was definitely overkill.

Does the French teacher know she is struggling and getting support?
If not, then not much you can do. If she does then I think she should have asked her to finish it for homework.

At your meeting I think I would ask it as a question - how much do her teachers know and how much would the school expect them to soften up for her for a few weeks? You coudl give the French as an example.

JimLahey Wed 05-Jul-17 15:41:13

Definitely overkill.

Maybe reach out to French teacher and ask her how your DD can get more support in French? See if there are any resources available to her such as writing mats or stuff online. There's a website called memrise that could help your DD. It helped my pupils get more confidence revising for vocab tests and their overall knowledge of vocabulary improved. There will be courses relevant to the textbook your DD will be following in school on that website.

Skarossinkplunger Wed 05-Jul-17 15:47:53

Does being "being supported by the schools child protection team" mean she is subject to a child protection plan?

notanevilstepmother Wed 05-Jul-17 16:53:58

It's a fine line between telling teachers that a child is struggling so they can be more sympathetic, and being respectful of the child's right to privacy.

I'm going to guess this teacher didn't know. As far as she was aware DD had the time to do it and didn't. I'm also going to guess that the teacher is French. The French system is much stricter.

Normally on detention/catch up the children do try to engage with teachers and ask lots of questions. It's reasonable not to get drawn into this and it answer questions as it isn't meant to be a pleasant time for the children, it's meant to be a boring deterrent.

I think if you could suggest the dictionary for next time, but also remind DD that the teacher didn't say, "only copy stuff you understand". She could have copied stuff she didn't understand, as she was instructed, and then found the meaning later on (dictionary, google translate, ask someone etc etc.). It is annoying when you give a class an instruction and they interpret it to mean whatever they feel like doing and don't do as you ask them.

Pengggwn Wed 05-Jul-17 17:10:24

I think before I complained I would have to be utterly confident that my child did her absolute best, 100%. I would want to look at what she is capable of producing in other subjects. If this looked like laziness I would support the teacher.

tinytemper66 Wed 05-Jul-17 17:15:01

Not every teacher will know that a child is under a 'protection plan'; in some schools info is on a need to know basis. I would definitely bring it up in the meeting that you were concerned about French. Then it can be addressed.

Ceto Wed 05-Jul-17 17:18:28

Arrrggh, don't "reach out" to anyone unless you're one of the Four Tops. But you could talk to them.

Pengggwn Wed 05-Jul-17 17:22:04

And I agree that an instruction to copy something is an instruction to copy something. Your DD shouldn't be putting her own spin on the instruction.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 05-Jul-17 17:24:13

It's hard to know.
If dd tried her absolute best and always does, then this is unfair.
If the teacher has gone over and over this in class, and was at her wits end that they still couldn't do it, then it's not unfair.

AmyJessicax26 Wed 05-Jul-17 17:42:57

what is the point when she has no idea what shes writing ? clearly she didnt understand enough otherwise there would have been a sufficient amount of work and the teacher would have had nothing to complain about , seems to me that the teacher should either want to teach or not and it seems like she just cant be bothered if im honest , copying is all good and well when it is your spoken language. if i was the parent i would complain to the school and ask that the french teacher is spoken to .

Pengggwn Wed 05-Jul-17 17:47:01

AmyJessicax26

Teachers hear 'what is the point' blah blah blah every day. The teacher gives the instruction because they are the ones who know the lesson plan. The students follow the instructions because they are the learners. There is always a point to what I ask the students to do. I don't always have the time or inclination to re-explain the point to students who decided to do otherwise.

user1497480444 Wed 05-Jul-17 17:49:28

As a teacher I would definitely want to know she is being supported by the child protection team. Wouldn't need to know any further details, but we all know that pushing for hard work and discipline IS importnt, HOWEVER, there are occasions when a bit more TLC is more appropriate.

i was dishing out detentions regularly to one year 7 boy who rarely worked, and rarely attended his detentions. When I discovered he was homeless, and had to meet his mum outside his sisters school each day to find out where they were spending the night, it obviously changed everything. I understood he was not in a position to do home work reliably, or attend detentions, or concentrate for long in class, and amended my approach to him to a far more constructive one. Detentions and follow ups are the right course for many students, but not all

KittyVonCatsington Wed 05-Jul-17 18:02:07

Repetition is a very valid form of learning and for your DD to have a copy of a much better paragraph that she could later learn/memorise from in her own exercise book, sounds fair. To pick and choose what she does, isn't always in her best interests.

However, your DD is obviously going through something terrible and may well explain why she did what she did.

I don't think what the French teacher did was overkill at all but I would ask in your meeting tomorrow, what your DD's teachers know about her situation and what is to be expected of her re: detentions/work etc. otherwise your DD might start finding whole days at school a struggle again (she did well to get through her exams).

JimLahey Wed 05-Jul-17 18:12:32

Ceto had to Google that reference as The Four Tops is so ancient. grin

Lostbeyondwords Wed 05-Jul-17 18:16:31

Skarossinkplunger there's an incident outside of school that has meant school and homelife has been quite disrupted. I informed the school and police and ss contacted them after to ensure she would be supported in school to it. There's been no official wording in that sense, no.

But the cp team, deputy head and house team have all been told what happened. All of her teachers have been informed dd is being supported by them and has a timeout card in case she needs to leave the lesson. She also had a very reduced timetable recently and would've been missing from this class during it. So all of her teachers know there's some kind of issue but obviously not what exactly it is.

I also don't see the point in copying something when you have no idea what it means and are told not to ask, and also don't think trying to make a child feel bad because a teacher was marking at whatever time if night is right.

Lostbeyondwords Wed 05-Jul-17 18:19:26

I mean, in english, I get it, but another language doesn't seem very fair.

arethereanyleftatall dd loves school and hates that she's had to be absent through no fault of her own. I do honestly think she normally tries her best.

Pengggwn Wed 05-Jul-17 18:22:31

Lostbeyondwords

I think your DD may be getting the 'I don't see the point' from you tbh. How about asking the teacher what the exercise was for?

Lostbeyondwords Wed 05-Jul-17 18:23:23

We've talked about it more so I could get a clear picture. Apparently the teacher looked at her friend's work, who had done a little more than dd by her own admissions, and told her it was "disgusting" and that she was "disgusted with this". Then that she laughed as she said to dd "is this all you've done?" Probably more out of annoyance than at her iyswim. I would hope so anyway.

notanevilstepmother Wed 05-Jul-17 18:26:07

She is obviously behind the rest of the class, she should have copied it and then found out what it means as catch us work. As her mum you could help her do this perhaps. It isn't pointless to write it down, because then it is there for her to refer back to and find out about, and if she doesn't write it down she won't ever know the other words will she.

Pengggwn Wed 05-Jul-17 18:26:44

Sounds like the teacher was very annoyed. Without being there it is hard to comment on whether this was justified, but when I ask students to copy something out and they don't, to me, this is a choice not to follow instructions. It is the easiest thing I could ask of them.

notanevilstepmother Wed 05-Jul-17 18:28:41

Disgusted isn't a nice word to use, but was she disgusted at the work, or that they were clearly wasting time and not doing as they were told?

Issues or no issues, children are expected to do as they are told. Equally I'm not hearing that the other child asked for help at the right time, but sat doing very little when she could have asked if she actually couldn't do it, but probably was being lazy.

Lostbeyondwords Wed 05-Jul-17 18:33:22

Pengggwn really? I don't see how you're coming to that conclusion. I never said that to her, only on here, and only after she's told me about it.

I do see a point in learning. Totally. What she was asked to do was copy someone else's work, in a different language, without being able to ask what it meant. That, I don't see the point in.

Lostbeyondwords Wed 05-Jul-17 18:35:15

Ah ok, I see where you're coming from there, in that sense

RainyApril Wed 05-Jul-17 18:36:05

To me it sounds as if the pupils wrote a paragraph about themselves in an assessment and underperformed, so were asked to copy it into their workbooks to edit and improve their paragraphs.

The teacher would've given some input to start them off, but when she noticed that your dd still hadn't done much she suggested she use ideas from her friend's work.

I guess the disagreement is that the teacher felt your dd didn't do enough work in the allocated time due to lack of effort or focus, while your dd insists that the unacceptable amount of work was due to not understanding.

The teacher then kept her in at break time and pointed out that she was also giving up her own breaktime in order to supervise, which I don't think is an inappropriate thing to say.

It is unusual for a teacher to punish a child for not understanding IME but it's hard to say without being in the classroom.

Given the other issues, why not ring to clarify?

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