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to want to choose which teacher dd2 gets next year?

(27 Posts)
peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:20:07

I'm inclined to feel that this would be rather selfish behaviour, but I still feel quite tempted...

My dd2 will start school in September. There are two potential teachers. DD1 currently has one of them.

The basic issue is that although DD1 has basically had a good year at school, I feel that the teacher's behaviour is sometimes rather unreasonable (with my dd1), and sometimes outrageous (nearly always with little boys).

An example of the former would be threatening that the devil would come and take away the naughty children in his sack and cut them into little pieces.

An example of the latter would be tying a little boy to his chair because he wouldn't sit still. When his parents found out they withdrew the child from the school immediately.

The teacher is also very strict about things like being able to colour in nicely and will happily show an example of messy work to the other children so that they can ridicule it.

Do you think it is reasonable for me to make a request to the head teacher that DD2 be put in the other class? Or what would you do?

mumblechum Tue 02-Jun-09 12:22:09

I think before you say anything to the head you need to be absolutely sure of your facts about this teacher who does sound incredible.

Rafi Tue 02-Jun-09 12:22:23

I think this teacher should have been sacked long ago! I'd talk to other parents & get as many of you as possible together to make an official complaint.

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:24:04

I forgot to mention that we don't live in the UK. The head knows full well what is going on, but doesn't seem to ba able to take any action. Not sure why..

hippipotamiHasLost33Pounds Tue 02-Jun-09 12:25:05

Wow, that is one scary teacher. But why, following the tying-up-of-the-boy incident was teh teacher not reprimanded / dismissed?
Surely the head must have done some sort of investigation?
The fact that the teacher is still there tells me that either the teacher is not as bad as you believe, or, the head condones this type of behaviour in which case I would be more than a little concerned....

islandofsodor Tue 02-Jun-09 12:25:11

YABU for wanting to choose the teacher. it doesn't work like that. Schools have enough planning headaches without having to pander to the whims of individual parents.

However YANBU in not wanting this teacher anywhere near your son IF and only IF, these allegations are founded. You need to check your facts and raise this with the head/governors.

islandofsodor Tue 02-Jun-09 12:26:20

Ok, yo are not in the UK.

In which case if the head is allowing this to go on I would be looing at the ethos of the school as a whole and deciding that it is not where I want my children to be.

Remove them immediately.

hippipotamiHasLost33Pounds Tue 02-Jun-09 12:26:30

Ah, cross posts.

How odd the head is unable to take any action.
Not sure what to suggest really.
I suppose you are perfectly entitled to request a certain teacher, but whether your dd will actually get this teacher is a different matter all together.

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:29:24

I think that probably I have a fair idea of what the teacher is really like: in some ways she is a very good teacher. She is very motivated, knows the children well, always does interesting things with them, and DD1 has learnt lots of good things.

its just that the teacher seems to think that public humiliation is a reasonable method of discipline.

Obviously she is not tying up children every day, but this definitely did happen.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 02-Jun-09 12:29:56

No I don't think you should get to choose which teacher your DD2 gets. Its a sound principle that parents should not interfere in class allocation.
BUTut I would be engaged in a VERY assertive dialogue with the HT and Chair of Govs if necessary about the classroom practices of this teacher. Both of the incidents you describe would be serious breaches of most schools' disciplinary policy. TBH, I find it difficult to believe that a teacher could have a history of this sort of behaviour and not have faced disciplinary action.
I think you should have a meeting with the head not to request a different teacher, but to make your concerns clear over your DD1's teacher.
(Then your DD2 will probably get the other teacher anyway)

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 02-Jun-09 12:32:24

Oh sorry, xposted, you are not in UK.
Then ignore what I said, but do have a meeting with the headteacher and discuss your concerns.

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:32:37

Usually there is about one child a year where something goes badly enough wrong for the parents to withdraw him. That seems like quite a lot to me.

But we don't have a massive choice of schools, so it would not be that easy to find another school.

The other teacher is great, and the school in general is not too bad.

Rafi Tue 02-Jun-09 12:33:10

I'd be equally bothered by the part about threatening them with the devil. That would give my DD nightmares, whether it was said directly to her or not, & is the kind of thing that would definitely make the papers in the UK when you remember the furore about that praying nurse... are you in a country where that kind of thing is more acceptable?

Congrats on 33 pounds, hippipotami.

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:37:17

I was pretty irritated about the bit about the devil. My 4 year old DD told me that she was scared to go to school and didn't want to go at all. She told me that she is always well behaved, but she couldn't count on the other chidren not to be silly.

I managed to explain to her that the teacher was making it up, and that it definitely wouldn't happen, and after that she was alright, but she went on talking about it for a couple of weeks.

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:40:44

She's in a French school, but not in France.

the bit about the devil came from a story which they had been learning about at school.

foreveroptimistic Tue 02-Jun-09 12:44:51

I would not allow my child to be taught by such a monster. I was taught my someone with similar teaching methods and to this day I still have panic attacks when I have to speak in public. She was also fussy about colouring in and wrapped me over the knuckles with a ruler because I wasn't neat enough (I have dyspraxia). When a boy soiled his pants she rubbed his face in it.

Childhood is too precious to be damaged in this way.

popsycal Tue 02-Jun-09 12:46:49

I think the issue is not choosing the teacher but ascertaining whether this is true in the first istance then raising the issue with the head if it is

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 12:52:39

Apart from not having seen it with my own eyes I have no reason to believe that this is not true.

What concerns me is that the children in the class seem to reagrd this as normal because she is their teacher.

When one little girl was asked by her mother what had happened to the little boy, she said "the teacher tied him to his chair. The teaching assistant had to help her because he was kicking too much".

When the mother looked a bit shocked she replied, "well, its normal, he couldn't sit still".

The teaching assistant is now in another class.

That is the action the school has taken.

Sassybeast Tue 02-Jun-09 12:56:55

I would be looking for another school.

Rafi Tue 02-Jun-09 12:58:05

Me too. Are there any viable alternative schools, peasandbeans?

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 13:05:01

Thank you all for your answers.

I'm not really the type of mother who relishes making a complaint to the head teacher, and i slightly feel that as the incident didn't directly concern my child, and that action has been taken (I'm not exactly sure what has been said to the teacher in question), that I am not really in a position to complain.

But I do not want my dd2s first year at school to be a disaster, though that is a rather us-centred way of dealing with it.

As for other schools, there is another school I could send dd2 to, but dd1 would be too old in a year's time, and I'm not sure I can handle having two different schools. I also have a baby boy, and the school run is already fairly nightmarish.

wannaBe Tue 02-Jun-09 13:11:02

Can I ask, what country are you in?

Because while talk of the devil etc might not be considered to be acceptable practice in this country (and I frankly would be quite horrified if someone spoke to my child like that), if you are in a country that has say, deeply religious roots, then it might not be beyond the relms of normal practice to speak of such things to small children, which might be why nothing is done about this, iyswim? I grew up in South Africa for instance, and went to a very deeply religious school, where talk of satan and retribution and hell wasn't out of the norm. Not condoning it btw, just trying to shed some light on why this might be happening seemingly without any consequence.

Wrt the tying up of the child, that is truely horiffic behavior. However, you really have no idea what the school may or may not have done, or be doing about it. Often things do happen within schools that the parents don't know, and nor do they need to know if it doesn't involve their own child. So it's possible that action may have been taken against this teacher but that you're simply not party to that information.

You wouldn't be within your rights to request your child be in a different class though.

funnypeculiar Tue 02-Jun-09 13:12:38

Bloody hell, she sounds horrific.

Could you talk to other mums in the class (perhaps some of the boys mums?) and see if there are a group of people who would be happy to write a joint letter to the head? Less scary if there are a few of you and it's written rather than having to talk in the first instance? Other mums may feel happy to do it given that it's getting to the end of the school year (so no fear of unofficial 'reprisals' for their kids)

Suspect that if you've made a formal complaint, the head might well make sure that your ds was kept in the other class anyway.... (not officially, mind you, but I bet that's how it would 'fall out' smile) But yes, personally, I would also ask for ds not to be in that class (from the perspective that you've lost faith in the teacher/would find it difficult to create a joined up home/school dialogue etc etc)

MummyDragon Tue 02-Jun-09 13:15:30

Tying a child to a chair sounds much more awful than the other school-punishment-standing-facing-the-wall thread on here ...

You probably don't have the right to request another teacher. I can see why you would want to though ... definitely worth seeing if other parents might agree to discuss the teacher with the head with you - agree with funnypeculiar.

peasandbeans Tue 02-Jun-09 13:15:56

As I said, the bit about the devil came from a local legend: if the children are good they get presents at Christmas, if they are bad they get taken away by the devil.

But the teacher is French, and the school is French.

And the teacher was clearly playing on the children's fear as she showed them her mobile telephone several times and said that she had the devil's number and would call him if they didn't behave.

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