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Aggressive/defensive teacher

(4 Posts)
heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 08:37:37

We seem to have got a teacher who cannot get on with the parents very effectively.

Thankfully she is leaving for a while after Christmas but until then I'd appreciate any tips on how to manage communication.

So far this term she's fallen out with at least four of the parents - well perhaps not fallen out in a major way but she's upsetting people and making them quite unhappy. You just can't talk to her.

So what we/I would class as a perfectly normal question about a child's ability gets taken as a personal attack, so that one of the most passive parents I know was actually accused of being 'aggressive' by the teacher (!); My questions about possibly needing senco involvement were dismissed entirely, I mean literally 'face/palm' dismissed - and when I went to speak to the senco anyway I was met with total understanding and concern.
These are just two incidents. Unfortunately she isn't a new teacher and is also, bizarrely, deputy head.
How does this happen? How does a person with such a confrontational attitude get to be in this position?

Another friend's child was in her class last year and brought home six months of work totally unmarked when he finished the year. He also didn't go up at ALL in terms of grades/whatever they are called, things like 3c, that you get on the report. He went up six grades in the previous year.

I'm not too concerned for the time being as clearly it's not just me, everyone is having a problem with her. And she is going at Christmas. But there is word that she might be back in the early summer.


whatdoItellher Sun 02-Oct-11 08:43:59

I would be very wary of people reporting jumps in levels or sublevels like that - children making average progress are expected to make 2 sublevels progress in a year (ie 3c up to a 3a or 3a up to a 4b). Six sublevels progress would equal 2 whole levels - in other words a level 2 to a level 4.... which is expected in 4 years.... very very very unlikely.

Having said this, there is clearly an issue with the teacher and her relationship with parents and I would fully advise you go to speak directly to the head teacher. We had an issue like this in my school a couple of years ago and the parents in question discussed it in the playground and spoke "informally" to the parent governor but never actually went to the head. This meant she could do nothing at all - you cannot call someone into have a chat about life based on playground tittle tattle.

Good luck - make notes about what was said and when before you go.

whatdoItellher Sun 02-Oct-11 08:46:26

She could be going through some sort of personal trauma that is affecting her reactions to things too... Teachers are human wink smile - could be she has been very successful and lovely in the past but has been going through marital strife/ family bereavement/ financial worries... any of the above!!

heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 08:57:24

Thankyou...I understand it's unlikely, but the child in question has some difficulties and I believe the previous teacher put a great deal of effort into helping him, so I guess a big jump is possible if you're suddenly given the right help. No reason to doubt the friend who told me this.

My son has similar difficulties and that's why I suggested I speak again to the senco but she just held her hand up and said 'not necessary'. I was like this shock so spoke to the senco anyway who is going to do some testing.

Yes, perhaps she has some personal stuff going on but surely to have arguments with four parents in the space of as many weeks is really giving it something smile

It was the very mild, very shy and pleasant parent telling me she was worried about being accused of being 'aggressive' that made me think 'we have a problem'.

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