Advanced search

Would you speak to the teacher?

(74 Posts)
Ispini Tue 19-Mar-19 12:39:57

I don’t know if I’m overreacting or not but I am quite miffed by this. The other day my DD (secondary age)was in English class and they were doing some Irish poetry. The teacher spent the first ten minutes speaking in a ‘leprechaun’ (as she described it) Irish accent. For the rest of the day the kids kept saying stupid things like ‘top of the morning to ya’ etc. She came home and asked me what that meant! I have to say I was irritated and feel that if it was poetry from another country he would not have done this. My DD is well travelled and seemed quite baffled as she has never encountered something like this before. FWIW I am a teacher and wouldn’t dream of doing this. WWYD?

InnerCircle Tue 19-Mar-19 12:49:01



Is it somehow bad to speak with an accent which isn't yours? Some kind of "appropriation"?

Tunnockswafer Tue 19-Mar-19 12:51:51

Would the teacher have used a fake Caribbean accent, for example? It’s not ok.

JustHavinABreak Tue 19-Mar-19 13:10:10

@InnerCircle, It's hardly giving the Irish poet the respect that his or her work deserves though is it? By turning the focus of the lesson into some faux "top-of-tha-mornin" nonsense, it just becomes a complete circus.

cariadlet Tue 19-Mar-19 13:12:18

I would tell my dd that the teacher was behaving like an idiot and that if there was an Irish pupil or pupil of Irish descent in the class they would probably have felt quite upset by it.

I wouldn't bother speaking to the school - although I would mention it to the teacher if I happened to see them in the not too distant future eg if there was a parents evening coming up.

InnerCircle Tue 19-Mar-19 13:28:46


Centering me in the toxicity of the conversation (I hope I'm hitting the right buzzwords), I couldn't care less.

I spent a decade growing up in Belfast before moving to Derry 'some' years ago and really couldn't care less if someone used a faux accent reading some Shimmy Heany.

I do enjoy seeing people outraged on the internet so "Ach, go on, me mucker" / "quit ye gurning" / "get tae fuck".

I guess I'm calling out people who think work "deserves" respect. No one deserves it. The thin skin of people annoys me.

yanboo Tue 19-Mar-19 13:37:53

I would only speak to the teacher in an accent drawn from Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 19-Mar-19 13:41:58

Is it possible that the rhythm and lilt of the poem is different when spoken with an Irish accent? To me that would be a good reason for the teacher to use one.

After all when performing Grease as a school musical they like the performers to use an accent then.

Is performing different from poetry? What about performance poetry?

bringbacksideburns Tue 19-Mar-19 13:42:05

Dear god. Seriously?

Yes you are over reacting.
It's a very hard world out there, switch on the news, get perspective and actually worry about the things that matter.

But no doubt there will be plenty of people to cone along and tell you it's cultural misappropriateness and to complain to the Head.

NWQM Tue 19-Mar-19 13:44:07

I’d consider dropping a note to her head of year.... assuming they are not the same person or the head of English. Ask for context and see what they say. Make the point perhaps without a confrontation.

Pinkyyy Tue 19-Mar-19 13:45:21

For god's sake. Let me guess- this was Irish appropriation?

Noonooyou Tue 19-Mar-19 13:49:46

Oh my goodness please tell me you are joking? Yet another reason I am NO longer becoming a teacher. They can't do anything right.

tinytemper66 Tue 19-Mar-19 13:55:07

As a student I was told that I needed to say some of the poems we studied in a posh Queen's English accent so I could get the beat of each syllable right. My accent meant I was adding syllables eg in the way I say flower!
I read many novels with my class in the accents of the characters - not always successfully.
So no whisky it probably wasn't their finest moment it is not worth kicking up a fuss.

tinytemper66 Tue 19-Mar-19 13:55:53

Whilst not whisky or those from the drinking on trip thread will be after me!

LaBelleSauvage Tue 19-Mar-19 14:02:13

Do nothing and stop trying to micromanage your child's school.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 19-Mar-19 14:11:37

Some prose and poetry is meant to be said in the accent - how on earth can you read Address to a Haggis in the Scottish dialect - surely no one is saying you should read only the English translation of it if you're not Scottish?

Or 'Be nice to your turkey' without the Jamaican pronunciation?

Dottierichardson Tue 19-Mar-19 14:19:58

Calling it a 'leprechaun' accent I would find offensive, very condescending. Also Irish accents vary, Cork very different from Belfast for example, so very inaccurate/sloppy.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Tue 19-Mar-19 14:21:52

the teacher sounds stupid and ignorant. I would find it hard to respect anyone in authority who thinks this is fine.

Bluntness100 Tue 19-Mar-19 14:26:13

I'm not Irish, but I am Scottish, and if someone wished to read rabbie burns with a faux Scottish accent and the kids decided to pretend they were Glaswegian afterwards, I can't say I'd see it as anything more than amusing,

The question here was there any malicious intent here, if not, then really, find something else to get your knickers in a twist about.

WhatchaMaCalllit Tue 19-Mar-19 14:31:51

I'd go with what @yanboo suggests. If you are speaking with the teacher do it in a twee Irish accent, similar to the one demonstrated in this awful educational video on Youtube:

As for teachers being unable to do anything right...the vast majority are doing a fantastic job and will continue to do so. There is always one or two (or a few hundred, or maybe it is the same one or two that keep popping up in threads on MN) that do push the acceptable norms and this is not an acceptable norm. There is no reason to speak with a twee Irish accent if you're coming up to St Patrick's Day or if you're studying the works of GB Shaw or Seamus Heaney or Oscar Wilde.

cantbebotheredtoday Tue 19-Mar-19 14:33:44

God, you really have too much time on your hands. This would not in any way offend me, it wouldn't even enter my head to become upset over it. There's nothing to get upset about! How bizarre. confused

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Tue 19-Mar-19 14:38:48

so, everyone saying this is fine, you'd all be OK with the teacher doing a fake Indian accent or Nigerian accent or Chinese accent? Still have too much time on their hands?

There is a history to the Irtish being treated as second class citizens in the UK. 'No blacks, no Irish' was a standard sign in many pubs.

AuntVanya Tue 19-Mar-19 14:42:39

I would just think it was a mildly amusing attempt to bring something lighthearted to the lesson and thus make it memorable. Not making fun OF anything or anyone. Do we all have to be completely humourless these days?
( I'm of Irish descent..... and not in the least offended.)

Starlight456 Tue 19-Mar-19 14:44:40

Do you know I get so tired of the comments teacher did something I don’t agree with . Talk to your child about your opinion if you wish . Be offended if you wish but please stop trying to tell the teachers how to do their job .

I am sure as parents we all do things we could of done differently , will do differently to friends, family.

Teach your child to have her own opinions but not every single one has to be shared

cantbebotheredtoday Tue 19-Mar-19 14:46:10

@WeepingWillowWeepingWino oh but the teacher wasn't doing it in a malicious way or to offend someone and I'm sure if she thought she had offended anyone she would be thoroughly mortified and apologetic.

Yes I would think it was fine should she have put on a Chinese accent or Nigerian accent or any accent. She wasn't doing it to upset anyone, she was having fun with the kids.

Like a PP said, I'm Scottish, I wouldn't be offended in the slightest if someone put on a Scottish accent? Why would I?

I seriously just think some people (especially on mumsnet) look for things to get upset or self righteous about and this is one of them. It's ludicrous tbh.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »