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Teacher's sarcastic remark re DS2 - follow up or let it go?

(33 Posts)
NormaSnorks Thu 29-Sep-11 09:54:33

DS2 (9) is an anxious child. Youngest in class. Hates being singled out or getting into trouble.
He had some homework from one particular class and thought he'd misunderstood what to do, as another child had done something different.
He was getting quite worked up (tears) about it, as this particular teacher has a reputation for being horrible to the kids, and he didn't want to get on the wrong side of him.

I would probably have phoned another Mum, but I was out, and DH was helping with homework. So DH (being a practical sort) decided to give teacher a quick call to check understanding. It's a small-ish school and we're supposedly encouraged to raise any questions or issues directly with teachers.

Anyway, Ds2 came home upset yesterday, and said that his teacher had told the class to listen 'very carefully' to homework instructions. Then said "DS2 clearly didn't listen very carefully, as I had HIS DAD phone me up to ask about it" At this point the whole class laughed at DS2, and he was mortifed.... sad

Am really angry that he raised it like this. DS2 does have some problems processing auditory information (has seen the senco a couple of times about it). In his last school report, his Head of year said "DS2 must not be afraid to ask for help or clarification, when he needs it"

This bloody teacher is undermining all that!

I can't decide whether to say anything, or just leave it. It's not his form teacher, but a subject teacher he has once a week. However this particular teacher does has a reputation for low level nastiness.......This is the first time however DS2 has been directly affected.

ravenc Thu 29-Sep-11 09:57:46

I would be going to see the head, teachers are not there to humiliate children i would be livid.

LittleMissWoodscommaElle Thu 29-Sep-11 09:58:20

You must say something espeically in the light of the Head's comment about asking for help.

The teachers need to be re-inforcing what has been reccomeneded - not undermining it.

pictish Thu 29-Sep-11 09:59:37

I agree. Out of order. What a nasty teacher.

Pagwatch Thu 29-Sep-11 10:03:28

Given his auditory processing problems and the heads comments I would be seeking a meeting with the head and the teacher asking how they view the support he is being offered given what happened in class.

seeker Thu 29-Sep-11 10:15:06

Completely outrageous. I would need to check that that is exactly what happened- kids are not always the best reporters- but once I was sure I had all the facts, I would be hammering on the Heads door.

MangoMonster Thu 29-Sep-11 10:18:33

Definitely go and see the head. It's unacceptable to humiliate your ds.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Sep-11 10:22:31

I would speak to the teacher in this instance. As your son has problems processing auditory information, he may have misunderstood how the comment was meant. If it happened again, I would speak to the head.

Dozybear Thu 29-Sep-11 10:23:45

I agree - go and see the head.

fluffystabby Thu 29-Sep-11 10:31:01

I would be spitting bullets and would go to see the head but try to keep as calm as possible and probably fail

2BoysTooLoud Thu 29-Sep-11 10:37:04

With everyone else - talk to the Head. What a snide bully this teacher sounds.

NormaSnorks Thu 29-Sep-11 11:55:37

I think Seeker & SoupDragon may be right - i need to try to find out exactly what happened? But how?

I suppose I could ask to speak to him, and ask him what happened, to see what his side of the story is. I'm finding it hard to imagine in which circumstances that sort of comment is acceptable though.

I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is the same teacher who asked a child on the sports field what he was' snivelling about' - only for him to be told that child's grandfather had died and his parents were at the funeral that day... hmm

I'm not sure I can get to school today to speak to him face-to-face. Could I send him an e-mail, or is that likely to make it more inflammatory?

Could anyone help we write it. I still feel a bit too angry I think.

MangoMonster Thu 29-Sep-11 12:01:08

I don't see how it's acceptable in any form. The teacher probably thought he was being humorous, however it was at the expense of you son... I guess you could talk to the teacher direct but if you're likely to get annoyed them it might do more harm than good to your relations. Head teacher is a better bet as they can act as mediator.

lollington Thu 29-Sep-11 12:03:33

I would (and have in a similar situation) challenge her directly and tell her not to make any more comments like that and to be aware if we need to ring her to check homework, we will.

But I am a ball breaker like that.

Miggsie Thu 29-Sep-11 12:06:40

Your DH needs to tackle this, after he he did the sensible thing, he sought clarity over instructions, patently there were no written instructions from the teacher? Therefore not only your son but your DH was publicly ridiculed.

If I queried something with a teacher I would not expect to have this talked about sarcastically in front of the class. It is a basic lack of respect.

After all, the teacher's instructions cannot have been clear if another child interpreted them in a different way from your son. I fail to see how this teacher can be competent if he ridicules someone for checking their understanding of the task in hand.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Sep-11 12:16:19

Dear Mr Twatface,

I am writing concerning Angelic Son who was rather upset at being singled out yesterday.
You may be unaware but he has problems <<insert technical details about auditory stuff here>>. I (this is best sent from your DH) made the decisn to email you about last weeks homework in order to discretely check that Angelic Son had not misinterpreted the homework since he was concerned that another boy had apparently interpreted th instripuctins differently.

If you have any questions about how to handle this kind of scenario with Angelic Son in the future, please do not hesitate to ask me or <<head's name>>.

Blah blah blah, pleasantries, lots of love etc.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Sep-11 12:17:15

You may wish to change the names and correct the dreadful typos!!

seeker Thu 29-Sep-11 12:28:06

Actually, it doesn't matter if your ds has processing issues or not. I would go and knock on the head's door this afternoon.

Hello, Mr Head- could I have a word? AngelSon was a bit upset last night. Now I'm sure there must be some misunderstanding, but he says that Mr Twatface said [recount incident]. Obviously something needs to be done to make su nothing like this happens again- what do you suggest?"

SoupDragon Thu 29-Sep-11 13:04:38

You're right, it doesn't matter. However, I would always approach the teacher in the first instance to try to sort it out.

for example, DS2 came home in tears once because the teacher had told the class that if no one owned up to balancing the pencil on DS2s shoulder then DS2 would have to stay in tomorrow lunchtime. No one owned up and so she said he had to stay in. When I chatted to her the next day, she was mortified as she had meant to explain to DS that she wasn't really going to keep him in but was trying to get the culprit to own up. She apologised profusely to him. Going to the head would have been wrong in the first instance... Had it not been sorted out I would have gone to the headship team.

Having said that, I knew that the teacher hadn't meant it as it did not fit her character whatsoever.

tethersend Thu 29-Sep-11 13:13:45

seeker is correct, this comment is unacceptable to any child, regardless of AEN.

I would use key phrases like "I am writing to express my concern"; "I am disappointed"; "I expect"; "I look forward to hearing from you"; "I trust you will resolve this matter".

In this instance, I would not approach the teacher first. Your DH has already approached him; look how that turned out.

Say in your letter that although you would normally contact the teacher in the first instance, due to his actions, you no longer feel it is appropriate to do so.

CombineArvester Thu 29-Sep-11 13:13:58

What a bad teacher. One of my parents once made me ring my teacher AT HOME IN THE EVENING. They dialled the number, said hello and handed the phone to me to make me ask him a question about homework which I had to be fair been snivelling about all evening.

Now that teacher would have been well within his rights to gently take the p* out of me the next day as I was 15 and my parent had ruined his night. He kindly refrained (must have realised I was a bit daft over-sensitive). No decent teacher would humiliate a 9 year old in front of the whole class.

Actually with a 9 year old and a teacher with a rep for being a git I wouldn't even say to the HT there must be a misunderstanding, I would say my son feels embarrassed and scared to ask questions because of Gitteacher's behaviour.

tethersend Thu 29-Sep-11 13:15:33

Oh, and if the teacher had set homework which your son did not understand, then he needs to differentiate more appropriately.

Homework should be set at a level appropriate to the child, allowing them to complete it independently.

Baconsarnie Thu 29-Sep-11 13:21:41

I would talk to the headmaster. That is NOT ON.

Iamseeingstars Thu 29-Sep-11 22:20:08

A child has the right to go to school and not be humiliated or bullied. This is the expectation from other children so there is no way and adult should be allowed t do it.

I can understand a teacher being annoyed at being contacted in their own time - this is something teachers can help parents with by giving clear instructions so that parents know what is it expected.

We all know that kids dont listen, or think they hear but then forget. It is normal, they are usually told to do something as the bell has rung and the kids are running out of the classroom.

I personally would take this issue further, and say to the school that if the teacher has an issue with the parent ringing, to take it out on the parent not the child.

SOme teachers think that humiliating children will toughen them up but it does depend on the child.

wantadvice Fri 30-Sep-11 06:55:42

I am usually for going to see the teacher and getting their side etc etc but in this case I'd be going straight to the head.

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