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Teachers - could use your advice please.

(17 Posts)
Earlybird Sun 14-Oct-12 13:11:20

DD got in the car Friday afternoon and was upset. Math is her favourite subject, and once a week she voluntarily attends math club during her break. The woman who teaches math club is older, and burnt out - she should probably have retired already.

As the math club students were filing out of the room on Friday the teacher said 'goodbye creep.......I mean, dd".

DD was upset and completely bewildered at this sort of behaviour and treatment. Presumably it was meant as some sort of joke, but perhaps I am making excuses for the woman and her comment.

There is a bit of history with this woman. Earlier in the year, there was an incident with this teacher where she mis-handled something badly that directly affected dd, and the head of school got involved (and even personally apologised to dd).

What would you do as a parent? What should I advise dd to do?

I'm at a loss with this one.

DD is 11.6, and fwiw is a good student (good enough to be one of 4 selected from her year to attend a maths competition).

Felicitywascold Sun 14-Oct-12 13:15:13

I would say it was an ill judged joke. I would arm DD with a witty response if she is called it again 'goodbye grandma' or 'goodbye favourite teacher' with a hmm face would do it. Don't make it into more of an issue, I'm sure the teacher meant no harm by it.

Earlybird Sun 14-Oct-12 13:26:58

Hmm - I get your point, but is that really the best way to handle it? Simply coach dd to 'give as good as she gets'?

First, I think dd was shocked and hurt, and didn't know how to respond in the moment (even I don't know how to respond, which is why I'm on here looking for perspective/advice!). Second, she is naive and generally believes people are 'good' and 'fair', and that she should respect adults/teachers.

I'm not looking to create a scene, but should this really be allowed to pass - with just the hope that the teacher will be kinder and more reasonable in future?

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 13:29:45

move on ignnore

shockers Sun 14-Oct-12 13:31:34

An adult calling a child a 'creep' is awful. It's as though she's saying that whatever your DD does that's good, or well intentioned, she won't take seriously.

Perhaps it would have been different if they'd been engaged in banter... I don't know.

I quite like the 'Goodbye favourite teacher' suggestion for if she says anything like that again!

cansu Sun 14-Oct-12 13:36:06

Either it was a very poorly judged joke or your dd misheard. I would contact the teacher and say that your dd is upset as she thought she heard you say ... And see what the teacher says. I can't believe it was said to be unkind or I would seriously doubt her mental health! I sometimes think that secondary teachers who are used to bantering with students can easily go over the line of what is OK. However this wouldn't normally be the case with an experienced teacher. Could your dd have misheard? Perhaps the teacher got her name wrong and your dd misheard the 'creep' bit?

Felicitywascold Sun 14-Oct-12 16:33:34

Early if I thought the teacher was deliberately being horrible I wouldn't advise the same approach. But I genuinely think the teacher thought it was banter so I would advise banter back.

Now it's not something I would say to a student- well not a new year 7 I didn't know well enough anyways... But I think your DD will have to get used to a more robust banter type relationship with some teachers- she will come accross this a lot in secondary. Teachers tend to not be as gentle in their approach as primary teachers. It's part of her entering a more grown up environment.

noblegiraffe Sun 14-Oct-12 18:29:17

Creep sounds a bit of a weird thing for a teacher to say to a student, even as banter. I'd wonder if your DD misheard. The amount of times kids have accused me of swearing or saying something inappropriate when I've said something completely different that sounded a bit like it is more than you might expect. They don't always listen properly!

Suggest she writes it off as a misunderstanding but flags up if anything else happens.

mrz Sun 14-Oct-12 18:59:16

Are you in the UK Earlybird?

Earlybird Sun 14-Oct-12 19:04:46

No, not in the UK. Why?

mrz Sun 14-Oct-12 19:16:53

Sorry it was the "Math" that made me wonder. . . so really opinion based on one system and culture may not reflect that of another country.

Cat98 Mon 15-Oct-12 08:48:55

I wouldn't be happy about this at all and would tell the teacher it upset dd to be honest. Don't think it's appropriate even as a 'joke'.

Earlybird Mon 15-Oct-12 12:42:52

DD has now told me the teacher was angry that a group of them were late to Maths club (they were in a meeting held by their form teacher that ran long). So, Maths club teacher was moody and snappy. She barked at dd once for helping 2 girls sitting at dd's table who were stumped by the problem and asked for help (not a surprise they didn't want to ask the teacher!).

As the children were filing out of the room, evidently teacher 'playfully' swatted dd on the head with a rolled up paper and said 'goodbye creep.......I mean X'. So, perhaps she did mean it as a joke - but severely misguided imo. And dd was very upset by it, as she was singled out. She also was in tears because she feels strongly that this teacher simply doesn't like her - which is bewildering and painful (perhaps a life lesson experience?).

I don't want to make a huge thing of it, but also don't think I can just let it pass. I've told dd that perhaps she shouldn't go to Maths club in future so she isn't subjected to this teacher. But dd loves Maths and likes being with her 'geeky' group of friends. <sigh>

MaureenCognito Mon 15-Oct-12 12:45:59

oh earlybird you need to stop obsessing about this - she can man up and cope

PrimaryTutorBlog Tue 16-Oct-12 10:12:58

Hi - as a teacher (and Maths leader!) I would suggest 2 options;

Hopefully teacher was just having a bad day / didn't intend to upset the child / probably regrets it / would be mortified if she knew etc. Not an excuse and no teacher should ever upset a child but people make mistakes.

Make an appointment to see the teacher after school in private - don't make a big deal of it but calmly explain your concerns and share that child was upset. Then either;

a) Teacher expresses regret / will fix with child / it doesn't happen again (and give them time for this, a week or two at least)
b) They don't express any remorse. If you're sure of your child's version (and no reason not to be) then make an appointment to see the Head and share concerns again.

(b) is totally unacceptable so I'd have no qualms about raising it with the Head.

Good luck. And try to regain DD's love of maths!!

noblegiraffe Tue 16-Oct-12 10:43:32

As a secondary teacher, I'd just like to point out that making an appointment to see a teacher after school is making a big deal. Parents very rarely rock up to school and it is an absolute pain in the arse to organise. More appropriate, if you are determined to make something of it would be to phone the school and ask for the teacher to phone back.

wordassociationfootball Tue 16-Oct-12 10:43:33

It would be different if they had a strong rapport and DD was used to being praised by her but it sounds like a real off-note and humiliating.

Is it possible that DD could talk to the teacher? That, to me would really redress the status quo and be a good lesson for her. Something like

'I didn't like it when you swatted me with the paper and called me a creep. I didn't find it funny and it upset me.'

If she didn't want to do it herself, I would be inclined to leave it but tell DD to let you know if anything else happened.

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