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Why do some teachers have to be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO defensive?

(129 Posts)
hobbgoblin Tue 22-Sep-09 21:10:47

My son is always in the naughty books. He is lovely, and always commended for adorable polite behaviour with friends on play dates and so on - all my mummy friends love having him over. However, he is naughty in an attention seeking way or when he feels lacking in confidence.

I liaise with the school regularly and we all know it stems from self esteem issues.

This term he has been excellent to date and was very good for me in the 6 week hols.

All good.

However, last week he had to be reprimanded for catching the Head's foot with his chair hmm as he was being silly. Today he had to stay after school to clear up yogurt from the carpet. Apparently he made a mess with it but it was actually another boy who was to blame really and my DS caught the tail end of some shennanigans. The other boy went home, my DS had to clear up.

So, I decided to ask his teacher what had brought about the sudden downturn in behaviour as was disappointed but also to find out why it was only my DS doing the cleaning punishemnt.

Teacher explained that other boy escaped before she could get him to clean up and that she would be telling him off in the morning. I said fine but surely that this means my DS has been the one getting the punishemnt whilst watching the other child 'get off' with the bad behaviour. I said we all know that some of the behvaiour is due to low expectation of self and also DS's view of what others think of him, i.e. 'always the naughty child'. I said they perhaps ought to have been punished together instead of making DS clean up just because he went and confessed to the teacher whilst the other scarpered(she told me he confessed and soon after realised that it was not actually DS's fault at all).

Anyway despite acknowledging all this about DS being branded naughty and avoiding any dodgy ground re. self esteem and expectation she concludes with "it was my decision and it is up to me how I deal with it and I'm not leaving yogurt on the carpet for the caretaker".

I wanted to ask why she didn't flippin' clean it up then rather than making DS do it because that was easier. I didn't, but it makes me so mad that I go in and raise reasonable questions about what happened in a reasonable manner to be met with the response I was.

What do you lot think?

hobbgoblin Tue 22-Sep-09 21:13:29

He's 8 by the way, with frequent regressions to age 2. wink

choccyp1g Tue 22-Sep-09 22:24:14

Judging by my 8yo efforts at cleaning, it would have been easier for the teacher to clean it herself, but she was trying to teach him the consequences of his actions. The other boy will surely get even more of a rollicking tomorrow for "leaving the scene of a crime"

Heidispider Tue 22-Sep-09 22:31:36

Consequences to actions is such an important lesson to learn. Perhaps you should be thanking her.

Morosky Tue 22-Sep-09 22:32:48

I agree with choccy, apart from failing to catch the other student ( which will be addressed tomorrow) I can't see what the teacher is doing wrong.

Why should the caretaker clean up the yogurt?

I have to say if my dd was ever in trouble in school I would only be concerned with her behaviour and its consequences not what was or was not happening to other children.

I am a teacher , maybe i am just being defensive.

Heidispider Tue 22-Sep-09 22:34:04

Me too Morosky - a teacher that is - !

hobbgoblin Tue 22-Sep-09 22:35:52

But the thing is he didn't make the mess. My friend pointed out what was going on because her son told his mum that my DS was in trouble but he didn't do it so I went to see what had gone on. even the teacher acknowledged it wasn't him that made the mess. He was mucking about afaiunderstand but he didn't make the mess and teacher confirmed it was the other child who needed the punishment.

DillyTantay Tue 22-Sep-09 22:36:31

If my kids wa sin trouble at school I would be mortified
not splitting hairs

TheFallenMadonna Tue 22-Sep-09 22:36:35

She's defending, or perhaps explaining, her actions because you're questioning them.

choccyp1g Tue 22-Sep-09 22:39:16

Teacher may have thought that his self- esteem would be raised by being asked to do an important job.

hobbgoblin Tue 22-Sep-09 22:40:41

In defense of my own argument here I must add that we all agree it is really important for DS to have a clean slate and be encouraged to use positive behaviour to gain positive reactions/attention from others. He is a bit slow on the uptake with this so am v that it was quickly assumed that he made the mess and punishment doled out when it was too late to punish the correct child.

Given my DS's personality issues whatver is said tomorrow, some amount of damage has already been done.

Morosky Tue 22-Sep-09 22:43:07

But if he was messing about with the boy and that lead to the mess he was to blame as well. TBH you are coming across as defensive on your son's behalf.

I agree with Dilly.

hobbgoblin Tue 22-Sep-09 22:44:20

He was being silly nearby after mess was made <possible semantics alert>

cat64 Tue 22-Sep-09 22:47:47

Message withdrawn

mathanxiety Wed 23-Sep-09 17:13:45

I agree with OP; I think her child is being punished for his reputation. I think the teacher could encourage good behaviour in this child by giving him some responsibility in the classroom that would allow him to be accountable to her for his performance, rather than hopping on him for accidents. Children do muck about and sometimes the consequences look worse than the behaviour would normally produce. (Mucking about without yogurt is not really going to cause any major problem). Some teachers (and mums too) are more annoyed by mess than others.

I also think the custodian probably had to do quite a lot of work that evening to get the 'cleaned up' yogurt out of the carpet.

Kez100 Wed 23-Sep-09 20:24:55

Children have to learn life isn't fair. Also, that adults sometimes make mistakes. Often children who don't actually do something were involved somewhere, and being involved sometimes means you are the one left with the blame. Sometimes you can get into trouble for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's life.

What isn't helping your son, is flying into school sticking up for him in such situations. He needs to learn to deal with things himself (be they fair or unfair). If he knows he didn't do it, then he can clean up, satisfied in the knowledge the teacher has made a mistake. By the sounds of it, was doing a pretty good job.

hobbgoblin Wed 23-Sep-09 20:58:54

i haven't flown in on or on numerous occasions or stuck up for him. the teacher is choosing not to be fair - just because life isn't always does not make that ok.

i don't think self esteem battering blame because of assumptions is acceptable but it is clearly an accepted part of school life hmm

i consider myself a measured person

mathanxiety Thu 24-Sep-09 04:58:24

Maybe the teacher could take the DS aside and apologise to him for the unfairness -- teach the DC how to own up to your mistakes and try harder next time?

franklymydear Thu 24-Sep-09 06:00:34

he's naughty - and he got in trouble because he was caught - the other kid ran and will be in trouble tomorrow and that's nonoe of your business

don't worry about someone else's child worry about your own and be glad he's getting consequences for his actions because that way he has a chance to learn

anbd by the way "cathcing the Head's foot with his chair" sounds awful - why was he playing with a chair in the first place?

Stop making excuses and continue to work with the school

"self-esteeem issues" sounds like a big excuse - and parents on play-dates over-praise difficult children when they know the parents are having problems with their behaviour because they want to make you feel better

Kez100 Thu 24-Sep-09 11:34:05

You are sticking up for a child that you know can be naughty and silly. If he learns that being naughty, or being caught close to silly action has consequences, that will help him identify the boundaries at school.

You feel he is being hard done by and I don't see he is. The other child is none of your business; it is usually the case that all naughty children have at some point managed to get away with something. Children need boundaries and, as far as I am concerned, you are clouding them.

My son had self esteem issues when he was a similar age. His didn't come out in naughtyness but in stress and panic attacks. We analysed the reasons for them (lack of ability in one particular but important subject) and we made a conscious decision to further encourage him in an area he was very good at to become the best he could at it - that improved his self esteem a million times and the symptoms ceased even though he is still not very able (it's the way he is made) the subject he struggled in. Might be worth trying to get to the bottom of the self esteem issues and working on those.

thedolly Thu 24-Sep-09 11:56:13

Cleaning up a mess that he felt partly responsible for will not damage his self esteem.

You are over reacting.

'Well done DS for doing the responsible thing' may have worked wonders for his self esteem on this occasion.

hobbgoblin Thu 24-Sep-09 12:55:56

i give up
nobody is recognising he DIDN'T DO IT

Bucharest Thu 24-Sep-09 13:05:07

No, but you said yourself that he made a mess with it. (your OP)
I'd say you were the one on the defensive, rather than the teacher.
As pps have said, I'd be mortified, me.

OrmIrian Thu 24-Sep-09 13:13:25

I don't think she sounds defensive, just explaining herself.

holdingittogether Thu 24-Sep-09 13:15:05

As a parent of a child who suffered from anxiety and self esteem issues I can understand your frustration. It takes along time to build them up and they can get knocked back down in an instant and then you are back to square one.

I wonder of teacher fully understands or has a different view on your ds problems. It is difficult and frustrating but also very important to let the teacher do what she thinks is best too. It's a tricky one.

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