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An old friend becoming DC's teacher

(137 Posts)
EthicalEni Sun 20-Oct-19 11:54:15


I have a weird dilemma here.
I have an old friend (know her for 15+ years), and had just received a letter from the after-school club my children are attending with the introduction of a new instructor for their group for the next half term. And yes, it is her.

I was surprised that I had quite an adverse initial reaction to it. It is her first job ever (she's been a SAHM since graduating), and I had never heard about her having an interest or any involvement in this topic before, even as a hobby (it is quite niche / specialised, let's say chess, but at the primary school age appropriate level). The club is a bit on the expensive side (I pay close to £50 for two for a 40 mins session), and now I am asking myself whether I'd paid her that for a 1-to-2 private tutoring in the subject and the answer is a clear no. I am also a little bit uncertain about her being in a position of authority over me in some way (she does not approve of many of my life and especially parenting choices, we learned by now to leave these topics silent in our friendship, but not sure if a formal teacher-parent relationship is going to help).

AIBU to consider cancelling the club? Or am I greatly overestimating how qualified instructors for 7-8 years old usually are?

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 20-Oct-19 11:56:14

Yes you’re being really weird.

sheshootssheimplores Sun 20-Oct-19 11:58:20

Are you paying for an after school club so basically childcare or are you paying for a specific specialism ie some level of tutoring and thinking your friend isn’t up to it?

highheelsandbobblehats Sun 20-Oct-19 11:58:42

Depends on the club. You're so vague, it's hard to give specifics.

How long has it been since you've actually seen or spoken to her? Could she have received training that you are unaware of?

My DC do music lessons. I certainly don't feel that their music teachers are in a position of authority over me. I think you're projecting.

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-19 12:00:00

I'd feel quite comforted if an actual friend of mine was spending time with my child in an after school club in any capacity.

I'm not sure why you're wondering about the money side though?

walkintheparc Sun 20-Oct-19 12:00:03

She isn't the issue, your insecurities are the issue.

Do you usually investigate the instructors or just this time when the person has 'power' over you?

I'd say it's lovely that it's someone you know and trust looking after your children in a club you actually want them to attend!

spanieleyes Sun 20-Oct-19 12:00:48

She's not a teacher, she is running an after school activity. Quite why you have so much angst over it is a mystery!

EthicalEni Sun 20-Oct-19 12:01:26

It is a specialism, not childcare. Not something where you need to have very specific skills (e.g. instrument tuition), but at least an active hobby interest in the area. Robotics, chess, art - along these lines.

EthicalEni Sun 20-Oct-19 12:02:25

How long has it been since you've actually seen or spoken to her? Could she have received training that you are unaware of?
Less than 24 hours, so unlikely.

funnylittlefloozie Sun 20-Oct-19 12:03:28

Yes, you are being incredibly weird. Plus, since when does an after-school club instructor/ supervisor have "power" over a paying parent?

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-19 12:03:57

Well she's been given the job so give her a chance.

You haven't mentioned what your children think about it?

To me that's really the only important thing here.

Cat1nthehat Sun 20-Oct-19 12:05:17

Gosh it’s primary school children. I’m a secondary teacher and expected to teach out of my subject area so helping out at a club of primary school children is fine, I’m sure they will give her some training. You are being weird about it, I teach lots of my friends children and it’s always been fine. Nice, actually.

HillRunner Sun 20-Oct-19 12:05:58

This is about your insecurities. She won't be in a 'position or authority over' you, that's insane.

Are you used to feeling superior to her, as she doesn't work? And now the dynamic is going to change, and that scares you? Are you worried your DC may start to look up to her?

EthicalEni Sun 20-Oct-19 12:07:17

Maybe I am weird only because we really don't agree on the parenting approaches, she's been extremely critical of my choices before (like vaccination, state vs private education, working vs SAHM etc) so I feel strange that she's becoming my children's teacher / tutor / instructor. And my mind tries to frame it as a competency issue.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 20-Oct-19 12:07:17

Your issue seems to be that you fear she would make comments about your parenting choices,
that up to now you have been able to avoid discussing further

Would those choices be relevant at all to the class ?
If not, she should keep her beak out

However, if they are about expected standards of behaviour, saying no, etc
then this could cause conflict
- but that could happen with any instructor if your DC are NT but outside the expected behavioural norms.

HillRunner Sun 20-Oct-19 12:07:32

And just because she didn't mention any training when you last saw her, doesn't mean it hasn't happened. The school clearly thinks her skills/experience are suitable for this.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 20-Oct-19 12:07:57

"vaccination, state vs private education, working vs SAHM"
definitely keep her beak out

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-19 12:08:46

Are you used to feeling superior to her, as she doesn't work? And now the dynamic is going to change, and that scares you? Are you worried your DC may start to look up to her?

I must admit, that's kind of how it's coming across.

EthicalEni Sun 20-Oct-19 12:09:00

Are you used to feeling superior to her, as she doesn't work?
No, absolutely not, it was the other way round actually - I am a single parent so did not have any choice but to work, and her DH is quite a high earner, so she was constantly reminding me that my children are parented by strangers.

HillRunner Sun 20-Oct-19 12:10:28

In that case she's not your friend. A friend doesn't rub your nose in it when you make appropriate choices to put food on the table for your kids.

seaweedandmarchingbands Sun 20-Oct-19 12:11:15

If you don’t like it, take them out. 🤷🏻‍♀️

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-19 12:11:37

I love the average Mumsnetter's 'friend'.

They're always so bitchy, overbearing, judgy, jealous and spiteful.

I'd love to meet the average Mumsnetter's enemy. That'd be a real eye opener.

spanieleyes Sun 20-Oct-19 12:11:38

"vaccination, state vs private education, working vs SAHM"

I'm sure she will try to avoid in-depth conversations with your children on these topics whilst teaching them robotics/chess/art confused

HillRunner Sun 20-Oct-19 12:12:03

It's actually the opposite isn't it? You feel that she sees herself as superior and looks down on your life, and this new aspect of the relationship may reinforce that dynamic.

Blubluboo Sun 20-Oct-19 12:14:07

You don't know everything about her. She will have been interviewed and will be presumably training for what she needs.
I don't know what your issues are but you need to leave your friend alone and let her get on with her job.

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