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Will writing to head make me unpopular with child's teacher? Is it worth the risk?

(19 Posts)
jaded Tue 07-Dec-10 14:57:20

Hello everyone. I have posted on here before about the total lack of information we receive from the school about what my daughter is learning, how she's doing and how reading etc is taught. Last night my daughter said they were doing spellings and sentences at school and she was finding it hard. My initial response is: what are the spellings? I'd like to know so that I can help her at home. I know that other schools in the area send home curriculum newsletters every half term about what they're doing (some schools list all the subjects which is great because I never hear much about numeracy and science)and how you at home can help. I was thinking of writing to the head with examples of these newsletters to see how she would respond. My question is: will my DD's teacher get the hump? Will I be seen as a nuisance? There are other parents who also want to know more and I am hoping they would sign the letter so it doesn't look like I'm the only troublemaker!

StillSquiffy Tue 07-Dec-10 14:59:11

In answer to your qn, yes, of course writing to the head will make you unpopular.

seeker Tue 07-Dec-10 15:01:36

Have you gone to talk to your dd's teacher about this? What happens when you raise these questions at parents' evening?

BlockedPoster Tue 07-Dec-10 15:01:59

Why don't you go and speak to your dd's teacher first? Ask him/her how your dd is doing and say how much help it would be if you knew what she was learning in class so you could support her at home?

Goingspare Tue 07-Dec-10 15:04:34

I'd avoid looking as if you're setting up a petition, but I don't see why you shouldn't approach the head yourself with ideas you've heard about from other schools. Is it just your DD's present class there's an issue with, or is could the whole school do with a boost in the communications dept.?

RustyBear Tue 07-Dec-10 15:09:30

I don't see why suggesting ways in which the school can improve communication with parents should make you unpopular, unless you're rude about it.

We are desperately trying, at the school I work at, to get ANY feedback from parents - a recent questionnaire sent to the parents of our 211 children asking for feedback (What would you like the school to continue doing, what would you like it to stop doing, what would you like it to start doing) recieved 7 replies....

IndigoBell Tue 07-Dec-10 15:11:31

It will almost certainly make you unpopular with the head - which is much worse than being unpopular with the teacher.

Just don't do it - unless they actually ask for your opinion.

c0rns1lk Tue 07-Dec-10 15:12:07

I would be wary with this one I think.

RoadArt Tue 07-Dec-10 16:15:30

the teacher has to be the first person to talk to. Ask for a meeting, you could advise what you want to talk about so taht she is prepared.

Some teachers dont think its necessary for parents to know this information so dont offer it.

Have you had problems getting the info from the teacher?

If your DD is struggling then this is an ideal time to talk to the teacher.

schoolsecretary Tue 07-Dec-10 19:38:45

Also think about approaching one of your parent governors, they are there to be your voice.

jaded Wed 08-Dec-10 16:29:49

Thanks for all your suggestions. Think I will leave it to another parent to raise this issue with the Head. I don't want to become unpopular and I think I have to accept that schools generally don't tell parents anything. It is a shame that I don't feel involved with my child's education but as long as she comes home to a relaxed and happy environment that's probably the best thing I can do for her!

heppy23 Wed 08-Dec-10 20:00:05

I recently sent a long email to the head about my sons progress. Concerns about reading, supervision of a newly qualified teacher etc.
I got invited to a meeting with the head, she couldn't have been more helpful, it went on for an hour. She of course had to speak to current teacher and teacher from reception to assess my sons progress.
Hard to tell if current teacher upset with me as I find him distant and quite aloof but no more so than I did before.
If there is a problem, don't assume someone else will raise an issue.
Several parents in my sons class aren't happy with the teacher but I'm the only one who has done anything. One won't because she works at the school as a dinnertime helper and doesn't want to rock the boat.
Bottom line is that this people are public employees paid out of our taxes and are accountable.
Last thing I would do is some sort of petition. Everyone will get upset that way.

orangepoo Wed 08-Dec-10 20:10:36

Write to the head anonomously. Job done!

EvilTwinsAteRudolph Wed 08-Dec-10 21:19:38

Why are so many people scared of bringing things up at school? Teachers are people, FFS - you're not 7 any more, and you're unlikely to be made to stay in at playtime.

OP, I wouldn't write to the head, in the first instance, I'd make an appointment to talk to your DC's teacher. Keep the conversation relevent - ie about your own child, rather than going in with the whole "Here are some ideas for improving your school", which would, no doubt, cause offense - how many of us would be happy with someone doing that, whatever our job is?? Ask the teacher what the spellings are, and explain that you'd like to help. No teacher is going to get the hump with a parent who wants to help their own child's learning.

As for the rest of it -not all schools do a curriculum newsletter - ours certainly doesn't. But that's the kind of thing to speak to the parent governer about. Let them bring it up at a governer's meeting. For goodness sake, don't get a bunch of mums together and sign a collective letter - that would look bonkers.

Getting involved with your child's education does not make you a trouble-maker. Telling the head directly how to do his/her job is a little out of line though.

cat64 Wed 08-Dec-10 21:35:19

Message withdrawn

NonnoMum Wed 08-Dec-10 21:43:59

This is the type of thing to ask your parent governor to take up with the school. If it's a whole-school thing you are trying to introduce, you can't expect the class teacher to immediately implement it.

Immediate concerns - class teacher. Huge worries - HT. longer term/strategic thinking things - governors.

And don't worry about being popular/unpopular. Be courteous, civil, polite, flexible.

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Wed 08-Dec-10 21:46:00

Why would you be worried about being unpopular?! This is your childs education in question. Do everything. Speak to her teacher regarding her spellings. Then write to the governors and the head suggesting a newsletter. You are showing an interest in your childs education. Why would this make you unpopular?

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 09-Dec-10 10:27:55

I would always speak to the teacher in the first instance, but I would only ever speak about my own child. In my experience it is a bad idea talking about other parents/children and what they think.

You shouldn't have any other trouble speaking to the teacher. Perhaps the teacher had never thought about sending the spellings home. Perhaps the school does things in another way.

I hope your meeting goes well.

I note you say in your second posting that you don't feel involved in your child's education. Did you not go and speak to your child's teacher?

jaded Thu 09-Dec-10 12:57:55

Eviltwinsrudolphe-I would never dream of telling the Head how to do her job - don't actually think I implied that! Cat64 - I like your suggestions and the language you use to talk to head. I have already spoken to the governors about this issue and they don't see it as a priority. I didn't really see the letter coming from parents as a petition, just a way for some parents to get their 'voice' heard. Other parents have also mentioned asking teachers for more info and getting no response. santasnowyou...- you are right that I should be interested in my child's education but unfortunately it won't be seen that way. I had a chat in the playground with her teacher yesterday and she said my daughter is doing well. I asked her what spellings they were learning and she told me they did lots in the day and she doesn't know which ones my daughter is referring to. So at least she's doing well.

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