Teacher calling DD “Thing”

(252 Posts)
ThingDDUR Mon 18-Oct-21 20:31:12

In the context I have no issue with it but ExH does so wondered if I’m UR?

Parents evening, chatting away and the teacher says “But generally (DDs name) is such a funny little thing, we’re always laughing when she’s in the room” then starts smiling and laughing while telling us some funny stories about DD (nothing naughty or bad, more pulling her jumper on after PE and shouting “Oh look here I am again” with a massive grin on her face or asking the headteacher if she’s old or very very old now on her birthday)

ExH wants me to complain to the headteacher tomorrow about the use of the word thing. I think it’s absolutely fine as she wasn’t calling DD “thing” in a derogatory way and it was just a clumsy choice of word.

So who is UR? Me or ExH?

DD is 7, just started Year 3 if it helps. The teacher also referred to DD a lot by her preferred name (a short version of her name) and this was the only time she said thing in reference to DD, otherwise it was always her full name, her short name or her full name (say her names Elizabeth Smith, teacher called her Elizabeth Smith, Elizabeth or Lizzie apart from when saying about her being a "funny little thing"). DD is also smaller in height than her friends so that might be where little comes from as I have heard her classmates call her Little Lizzie and similar as there is another Elizabeth/Lizzie in her class (obviously not her actual name thats just for example)

YANBU - You're right the teacher was fine to use "thing"
YABU - ExH is right report to HT

OP’s posts: |
rrhuth Wed 20-Oct-21 09:32:45

If he's your ex, and you live in different households, he can make his own (ridiculous) complaints.

You need to mentally separate from him a bit.

Do you think he maybe doesn't like your DD being happy?

MsTSwift Wed 20-Oct-21 08:47:13

Cecilie we used to host students learning English the very advanced Scandinavians wanted to learn phases like “on the pill” which native speakers know and others wouldn’t do that woman a total fool.

2lsinllama Wed 20-Oct-21 08:22:42

If I had a pound for every hour I’ve wasted worrying about an off hand or under pressure comment I’ve made to a pupil, and will their parents complain then I’d have been rich enough to leave the profession long before I did. One parent came storming in as I’d been talking about Eastenders in class (Y5) and her daughter wasn’t allowed to watch it. Another girl had said ‘ Did you see EE last night miss?’ and related what had happened to a lesson we had had recently (about Islamic traditions) The daughter wasn’t even part of the conversation and it was at the end of registration. But as a PP said, the Head of Year had to investigate and report back to the mother. Utter nonsense.

notacooldad Tue 19-Oct-21 10:58:00

Your ex is shit stirring and looking for situations to embarrass you in. That's why he wants you to complain, not him.
Exactly. I know loads of people who like to make bullets for you to fire!!
Just nod and ignore works for me with these tossers!

CecilieRose Tue 19-Oct-21 10:54:57


This is why I am glad I left the profession. It's a shame, but having to watch every word takes it's toll. You'd have a kid laughing like a drain in class and the next day hauled into the head's office for using humour with the kids.

Most underpaid, underappreciated job in the world imo.
At least op has some sneaking sense she's being unreasonable. Most parents who are like this don't.

I taught ESL to adults for a long time, at a private language school. I once asked them what they wanted to learn on the last day of term as a treat, and they all said they wanted to learn about swear words and British slang.

I had a great class with them, teaching them all this cultural stuff. The following Monday I was dragged into my manager's office and asked to explain myself. One of the students was an 18-year-old girl staying with family and her aunt had taken a look through her notebook and was appalled to see what we'd done in class that Friday. She was very religious and conservative and didn't think it was right to learn this kind of language. I explained that the students had requested it, and that it was completely justified to teach them, as they'd be living and working in the UK. Swear words and slang are useful to know even for people who wouldn't use them.

What annoyed me most was that my manager didn't tell the stupid pathetic woman to fuck right off and get over herself, and that the world didn't exist to pander to her. I was treated with suspicion and made to explain myself, when all I'd done is put loads of effort into a delivering a fun, interesting class which was supposed to be a treat. From then on, I stuck to the textbook. No fun, no jokes, no treat lessons, because I didn't want to risk another complaint. My students got far less out of the classes. No cultural stuff, no slang, just boring lessons from the textbook they could have done at home.

This is what happens when people make stupid complaints.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Tue 19-Oct-21 08:38:31

Your ex is shit stirring and looking for situations to embarrass you in. That's why he wants you to complain, not him.


Buttercup54321 Tue 19-Oct-21 08:38:06

Exh is a ridiculous twat. No wonder he is an ex!!!!

BelleOfTheProvince Tue 19-Oct-21 08:37:03

This is why I am glad I left the profession. It's a shame, but having to watch every word takes it's toll. You'd have a kid laughing like a drain in class and the next day hauled into the head's office for using humour with the kids.

Most underpaid, underappreciated job in the world imo.
At least op has some sneaking sense she's being unreasonable. Most parents who are like this don't.

liveforsummer Tue 19-Oct-21 08:34:17

Obviously you aren't going to complain but I hope he doesn't either. It could really damage the relationship with the teacher who would probably only give you basic facts going forward rather than this lovely exchange you currently have. This could possibly follow her through school too as no doubt the teacher will caution next years teacher to save her getting a complaint. I don't know if it will make him more determined if you try and stop him though. I know with my ex that kind of thing would. I'm just pleased he's an ex.

Tal45 Tue 19-Oct-21 08:19:44

If she'd called her a thing I'd be horrified. Funny little thing is completely different though, it's a phrase and sounds like the teacher was meaning it in an endearing way and that your dd is always making her laugh with her antics. Definitely not something that you need to kick up a fuss about!

gofg Tue 19-Oct-21 07:20:09

If your ex wants to complain then tell him he can do it (how dare he tell you to) - he will never be taken seriously again, and it will be a good laugh for the school staff.

He's a dick.

TheAverageUser Tue 19-Oct-21 07:02:22

This is one of the more ridiculous things I've heard on MN. It was meant affectionately and your ex wants to complain about a good teacher who's speaking affectionately about your daughter.

SkiingIsHeaven Tue 19-Oct-21 06:58:08

If he is not happy, let him complain. Why should you when you are not bothered by it.

Thatsplentyjack Tue 19-Oct-21 06:55:23

And if he has a complaint, why does he want you to make it for him? Is it because he knows ots fucking ridiculous? What a twat!

Thatsplentyjack Tue 19-Oct-21 06:52:55

He doesn't sound very bright.

CovidCorvid Tue 19-Oct-21 06:52:53

If he does complain please put in a counter statement saying you have no issue with what was said.

freckles20 Tue 19-Oct-21 06:47:26


Both native brits, but ExH likes an excuse to complain about anything to do with the school.

Well if he has a job I suggest he resigns immediately- with that attitude his complaining habit will become a full time job as your daughter moves through the education system.

Or maybe he would like to retrain as a teacher, and show them all how it's done. I give him 5 minutes before he's on his knees!

Howshouldibehave Tue 19-Oct-21 06:47:08


This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read on mn. The sad thing is that the HT will be obligated to waste time talking to the teacher and then crafting a polite response to your insane complaint, and the lovely teacher will be forced to defend herself. Honestly, she'll spend the day going over the conversation and wondering what she did wrong. She'll wonder whether the Head completely believed her explanation. She'll be guarded with you from then onwards. You are the parents that make our jobs so much harder and less enjoyable than they should be - your xp for obvious reasons, and you for entertaining the possibility of a complaint when you should've laughed in his face.


Are you ever coming back @ThingDDUR?

Coffeeonmytoffee Tue 19-Oct-21 04:41:56



How unusually vitriolic?!

Yep! They deserve it.

Saoirse82 Tue 19-Oct-21 03:36:06

Your Ex is absolutely bat shit! I'd have to question if you're slightly off your rocker too of you didn't immediately shut this lunacy down! Totally normal turn of phrase, not clumsy and meant affectionately. Have you both been living under rocks your whole lives if you had to question this?

Justilou1 Tue 19-Oct-21 01:47:23

She is being kind and affectionate, not remotely aggressive or nasty. (Which I have had from teachers - even downright hostile.) DH is being a twatwaffle.

Thedogscollar Tue 19-Oct-21 01:40:31

Beyond unreasonable. Your husband not you OP.
He sounds the type that just loves to feel offended.

Namechangedforthethousandthtim Tue 19-Oct-21 01:38:05

This is by far the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my entire life. You win Mumsnet. Your ex is an actual lunatic.

Jux Tue 19-Oct-21 01:29:20

It's a completely standard phrase in this sort of context. Let your ex complain himself if he can actually be bothered; I expect he expects you to do it, though.

JellyTotCat Tue 19-Oct-21 00:45:23

The teacher sounds fond of your daughter. How kind of her to take the time to share nice stories about your dd. I don't suppose she'll bother in future

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