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Was I wrong to have spoken to DS1's teacher.... warning - long and rambling!

(21 Posts)
mussyhillmum Thu 02-Jul-09 12:49:41

DS1(yr 2) came home from school yesterday very upset. He told me that he had been sitting at a table with 2 girls who were whispering to each other. One of the girls said that DS1 had said "stupid" and that she wanted to tell the teacher but was too frightened. The other girl said that she would go with her to tell the teacher. Both girls went to the teacher and told her that DS1 had said"stupid".

DS1 denied he said this, but the girls insisted that he had. The teacher said that they would have one last chance to tell the truth. My son claims that he was worried that if he didn't tell the teacher that he had said "stupid" (even though he hadn't) that he would get into even more trouble. He therefore lied and told the teacher that he had said "stupid" to himself. As a consequence he lost play time for "lying" (ie denying he had said stupid)and the girls lost a minute for telling tales.

My son was very upset that the girls would make up a story to get him into trouble. I spoke to his teacher to tell her what he had told me and that he had lied when he told her that he had said "stupid" because he was worried that he would get into more trouble. She became very vehement that DS1 knew that he would not get into trouble if he told the truth. Furthermore, she told me that my son had a history of lying.

Although there had been a previous incident with one of the girls whereby she "set up" DS1 and another girl to utter a "forbidden" word, DS1's teacher dismissed this as an example of friction between DS1 and this girl. She then went on to say that DS1 was ALWAYS the instigator and the other girl merely responds. Furthermore, in her view this girl and the other girl would never have got together to purposefully get DS1 into trouble and that DS1 was lying to me as well.

The teacher became quite angry with me and accused me of undermining her authority and of making a big issue out of nothing. I tried to expalin to her that as a parent I feel that I have a duty to support my child when he is upset. I am not a one-eyed parent who thinks her child can do no wrong. I am always on the side of the school when DS1 has been disciplined for something which he has done. DS1 adores this teacher and it is very upsetting that she obviously does not like him! She is very "matey" with his teacher next year, so I am concerned that his new teacher will share the same assumptions (ie he lies and is always the instigator of trouble). It is pointless speaking to the head as she is VERY defensive and always takes the side of her staff.

How do I help my son if the school always assumes he is the problem? Should I limit my involvement to dropping off and picking up?

All advice welcome!

Thanks for reading my rant....

Mussyhillmum drowning in tears

ahundredtimes Thu 02-Jul-09 12:55:35

Why don't you believe the teacher?

I must admit I'd be tempted to believe her if she told me that. I don't think they lie for fun, or have hidden, crazy agendas ime.

Also think lying in Y2 quite common. Also think Y2 girls about four streets ahead of most boys in this kind of thing, so sounds like he needs to stop being caught out by them. I'd tell him to watch what he says around them in the future.

Personally, I wouldn't go to the head. I'd take a deep breath instead.

ingles2 Thu 02-Jul-09 13:01:35

Oh I don't know 100x she says she always supports the teacher when she disciplines, maybe this is the one time when she thinks her son is actually telling the truth and should be quite rightly listened to.
I can't be doing with this "always the instigator" crap... no child is "always the instigator".. you might as well say he told lies in yr 2 so we'll never believe anything he says again.
At any other time of the year mussy, I would be suggesting you wrote to the head if you felt she would be defensive and you were absolutely convinced of the truthfulness of the situation.
As there are only a couple of weeks left, forget it.
But I would be talking to your ds over the summer about how telling lies affects over peoples views and they tend not to believe when he is telling the truth.
I'm sure the situation will be fine in September... the teacher will be professional I'm sure and not be affected by other teachers opinions.

ahundredtimes Thu 02-Jul-09 13:07:17

But why? I'd assume the teacher had a good view on this situation, no?

He probably did call the girl an idiot. And she shopped him, double quick. That's the lesson he needs to learn imo, keep schtum around the girl.

he probably half thinks he didn't do it, too. Mussy went in, gave her side of the story. Personally I would have been persuaded by the teacher's response, I think.

Though agree, nearly the end of term etc.

bumpybecky Thu 02-Jul-09 13:07:27

if there is history between your son and one girl (or even two) in particular, I'd ask that they not sit on the same table as each other next term. I'm slightly surprised that the class teacher hasn't done this already tbh

whereeverIlaymyhat Thu 02-Jul-09 13:37:13

I'd be annoyed if I was the mother of the girls loosing a min for "telling tales" too, this is why my daughter comes sobbing through the door most days because she's bullied and told not to tell tales when she reports the unkindness to the teachers, in our case they just dismiss her but if she was loosing play too I'd be fuming.

GingerIgnoramus Thu 02-Jul-09 13:40:02

yes why do people think teachers always have time to get involved in kids stupi whispering campagins...

Well said 100

GingerIgnoramus Thu 02-Jul-09 13:40:54

and lol at teachers conspiring to be unkind to ds next year.
really
they are professionals with MORE to worry about.

ingles2 Thu 02-Jul-09 13:49:47

well exactly... teachers don't have time to get involved in whispering campaigns which could mean that this is the time he didn't lie... particularly if the teacher is aware he's a regular lier lyer god how do you spell that? ...
Anyway, dry your tears mussy, forget it.... but do start taking steps to stop the lying.
oh and I think the girls lost a minute for telling tales because the teacher probably couldn't be sure of the situation and tale telling is a pain in the arse wink

GingerIgnoramus Thu 02-Jul-09 13:50:30

All kids lie.
I remember a parent saying to me" my son aint a liarer" once
How we laughed.

MIAonline Thu 02-Jul-09 13:51:29

Try not to let it worry you. You and the Teacher are coming at it from a different angles. You are both probably right to some extent.

It is relatively minor, though I can understand why you are upset. Just tell your DS to stay away from the girl. These things are always happening and if you make a big deal out of it there is a chance your Ds will do it more to get your attention.

It will be such a minor issue to the current teacher in the grand scheme of things and I wouldn't worry at all about the next teacher.

MIAonline Thu 02-Jul-09 13:54:52

Sorry, should have said, no I don't think you were wrong to talk to her but I also don't agree that because she doesn't believe your DS this time that it means 'she obviously does not like him.'

mussyhillmum Thu 02-Jul-09 14:00:13

Thanks for all your replies!

I do believe the teacher when she says DS1 told her that he had said "stupid". What I wanted to explain to her was that he had only said he had said "stupid" because he was worried that he would get into more trouble if he continued to deny it.

The reason I believed DS1 was because he was soooo upset - lots of tears as to why these two girls wanted to get him into trouble. If he had committed the crime in question, it would have been more typical of him to have come home in a "kick the cat" mood and rant about the "unfairness" of losing play time. Believe me, I am not the mum who moans to the school whenever her child has been disciplined. I am more of the "serves you right for misbehaving" kind of mum.

What I found upsetting was the teacher's assumtion that 1. the girls were incapable of deliberately getting him into trouble 2. DS1 was lying because he had lied in the past (apparently he had pinched someone at the beginning of the year and had denied it) 3. DS1 was always the instigator of difficulties.

I guess I am just shocked by how obvious it is that DS1's teacher does not like him. sad

madwomanintheattic Thu 02-Jul-09 14:04:23

i can't believe the teacher didn't say 'ok girls, that's enough. everyone back to work' and carry on with life.

surely the teacher has a lot more important stuff to do than supervise a 'he said, she said' argument between a bunch of 7yos? i think she probably couldn't believe you'd waded in as well tbh - which caught her off guard and made her a bit crosser than she would otherwise have been.

it's hot, it's the end of term, and kids bicker. (particularly yr 2 girls lol)

have a cool drink in the shade and let it go.

(i do understand how upset you are - i have been there - dd1 spent 4 hours crying her eyes out at school and at the childminders after she and a friend got told off for apparently calling another girl 'fat' (not witnessed - a teacher came up out of the blue and ripped into them). she then came home and i ripped into her for being involved. i didn't believe she'd done it, but my viewpoint was to explain that if being involved with x meant y, don't be involved with x, because it will get you into trouble, and everyone will think you are a nasty bully. i wasn't tempted to speak to the teacher at all lol. dd1 ended up at a party with the 'fat' girl and i told her she had better apologise and ask if everything was ok, even if she hadn't done anything. the other girl said, 'oh, it wasn't you anyway, it was x' and they tootled off quite happily.)

they are all mad, and it is all a storm in a teacup. i thank my lucky stars i'm not a teacher with 30 of them to corral.

let it go x

mussyhillmum Thu 02-Jul-09 14:09:12

Just read new messages.

No, I don't think teachers "conspire" but they do pass on information from year to year about pupils.

WhereverIlaymyhat - Huge sympathy - DS1 was also bullied in Reception and Yr1 and we met with the same response. Perpetrator would deny it and DS1 would get in trouble for telling tales.

For those of you who suggest I forget it - you're right. I need to suck it up, but really, really hard to hear that someone whom your child adores thinks he is a liar and troublemaker.

2kidzandi Thu 02-Jul-09 14:13:02

mussyhillmum You know your child. NOBODY knows your child better than you. Since you say you are usually on the side of the school when disciplining, the teacher should certainly give you the benefit of the doubt on this ocassion. I also think that missing play as a punishment for something where (since she neither saw nor heard directly, it being a case of one persons word agaisn't anothers) the truth is not 100% certain or possible, was wrong. IMO missing a playtime in a 6 hour day is a punishment carted out too many times in schools.

However, do take a breath and try to put it down to experience. Encourage your DS to see that sometimes teachers can't always see and sort out everything, and teach him to stick by the truth regardless of the consequences.

Also have worked in several schools and yes the names of very disruptive children do get bandied around. However, this I think was a relatively minor incident (not trying to downplay how it affects you or ds) and his new teacher, i'm sure, won't show bias agaisnt him at all. Remember most teachers like children and want to get along with them and their parents since it makes their work easier. The year is nearly over so I'd let sleeping dogs lie and look ahead.

sanae Thu 02-Jul-09 14:43:19

It is very difficult not to get involved, isn't it. My DD keeps coming home with stories about how a particular girl is nasty to her and her friends, but feels that they are the one's getting the blame. Nothing like this has happened in her previous 2 schools so she is certainly not a natural trouble maker. I have been itching to speak to her teacher about what is going on, but think I will get involved in a "she said, well she said this" conversation that may just be unhelpful and upsetting so I am trying to keep out of it. Fortunately this girl is probably moving schools September

GingerIgnoramus Thu 02-Jul-09 14:55:21

I sometimes think teachers do knwo all sides of kids better tbh

morningsun Sat 04-Jul-09 23:18:16

Yes because they see them functioning in a group situation,day in day out,fitting in and some days off colour,losing games,etc etc.
school life is a lot more demanding than homelife in that way.

scienceteacher Sun 05-Jul-09 05:29:26

The teacher is correct - you are making a big issue out of nothing.

TEJQ Sun 05-Jul-09 08:22:48

I used to help out when DS1 was in infants, and by Y2 I had a lovely insight into the differentce between boys and girls!

Some of these lovely, DELIGHTFUL, sweet, cutesie little girls were closet vixens - I witnessed several occasions where by subtle whispering and name calling, a few of the sharp wee girlies manipulated situations and actually worked a situation around where their 'victim' was the one who ended up being the one who got in trouble because they retaliated noisily to the nasty whispering.

They are all in their 20's now and have grown up into lovely young people, but my goodness, their capacity of unpleasantness when they were 6/7 was breathtaking for a parent of boys who were relatively oblivious to the complexities of relationships and worked on a WYSIWYG basis.

Boys unfortunately rarely have such developed logical thinking skills IMHO at infant age, by and large girls are just so much sharper. Sounds like your DS is having to learn this the hard way unfortunately.

You also get to know which teachers either just prefer girls and find boys a PITA, or which just don't like your kid. There is a seriously 'girl favouring' teacher in Y1 at my kids school, she's been married for several years now and is in her early 30's so I'm hoping when DS4 gets to Y1 she might be starting a family (fingers crossed).

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