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teacher accusing my kids of lying - WWYD ?

(84 Posts)
StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 19:40:28

I have twins in Y4, 29 kids in the class made up of Y3 and Y4 mixed class. The class is organised by ability and they are on the "top table" with 3 others.

X in Y3 was recently moved onto their table because a girl on there was misbehaving so the teacher moved her to the front of the class (regardless of ability). X is known to be a real troublemaker, not in a nasty way just immature fiddling, chatting, mucking about way.

Since the start of term all the kids have been full of stories about the daft things he did and how the whole class was being constantly disrupted. I have helped on 2 school trips and seen for myself that the whole day is spent listening to the teacher randomly shouting "stop it X" "that's enough X" on and on and on.

I didn't pay much attention and told my kids to try and ignore it, but when he moved on to their table the disruption was too in their faces to ignore.

I spoke to the HT briefly who laughed and said that the teacher is just moving X around to try and even out the pain for whichever table he is on!

I spoke to the teacher who said she things it has worked out really well on top table and he is much calmer, probably because they try and ignore him so he has no-one to feed off. I said I could well believe that, but it wasn't fair that they should have to bear the brunt of it in the meantime. She asked for time for things to settle, and I said i would keep an eye on things.

One week went by and they complained every single day about him. On 2 days things were so bad that he was sent out of class completely. I decided to wait until tomorrow's parents' evening to raise this.

Today, M, on their table, came out upset that X had hit her in class and when she told, the teacher said "sit down and stop telling tales". My son then went up to the teacher and said it's true, he has been bothering us all and he did just hit her. Teacher said the exact same thing to him too. Earlier in the day another child from the table had complained about him jabbing pencils on the desk and been told to sit down too. My dd confirmed all of this had happened.

This evening M's mum had her parents evening session and the teacher said that she thinks the kids on top table have taken against X because he has a bad reputation and are making up stories, and she wants them to calm down and show him a good example.

To say I am furious is an understatement. But the teacher and HT both have form for telling children that they are mistaken and telling parents that their kids are confused or exaggerating etc. This time there are 3 kids all saying exactly the same things and they are being accused of collusion. Apart from the fact that I am not happy with them having to put up with X pestering them all day every day I am livid that both my children are being accused of lying and deliberately trying to get another child into trouble.

My parents evening slot is tomorrow, so what do I do if she says the same thing to me?

Viviennemary Mon 22-Oct-12 19:47:19

It looks as if the teacher has put this child on this table as that is where he causes the least disruption. And is just brushing off the complaints of the other children. You can only ask your child is moved away from that table. But this probably isn't the answer. I'd just stand your ground and say you have no reason to believe all the chidren are telling lies.

learnandsay Mon 22-Oct-12 19:48:45

Have a quiet word to the teacher about moving the boy to another table. You could make a huge issue of the being called a liar situation but it's hard to see what good would come of it. The teacher clearly hopes that it'll all blow over and even if it doesn't it's probably not a big enough issue for anyone else to get involved. (If boy X is consistently hitting people that's another story.)

If the teacher won't move boy X somewhere else and you're still unhappy pursue the standard complaints procedure.

StillSquiffy Mon 22-Oct-12 19:50:39

Apart from the fact that I am not happy with them having to put up with X pestering them all day every day... What would you have them do with X? Lock him in a cupboard?

NatashaBee Mon 22-Oct-12 19:54:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 19:55:01

Well shoudln't the teacher actually be addressing this boy's behaviour? That is what I want them to do with X. If the whole class are doing silent reading and he is chanting bouncy bouncy bouncy, why not tell him to be quiet and punish him if he isn't?

I know this is hard in Reception, but in Y4 do you think that actually the whole class should be expected to just listen and put up with this indefinitely? Wow, that hadn't even occurred to me.

coldcupoftea Mon 22-Oct-12 19:55:53

It's not really fair on the other kids to move him to a different table though, is it? Unless she just sits him on his own!

I agree she shouldn't have accused your DC of lying though. She clearly needs to find a way to deal with his behaviour.

Mollydoggerson Mon 22-Oct-12 19:56:25

I think you should send an e-mail in advance of the parent teacher meeting saying you want to discuss the situation. Mention the accusations made against your children and your umbrage in relation to same.

I think the teacher and ht will take things a little more seriously and perhaps stop making up stories in order to make their lives easier, if they believe you mean business.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 19:57:28

Well it isn't fair on any table is it, that is the problem. But that is because moving him doesn't solve anything does it? The point is that she needs to try and control him some way but she doesn't appear to be doing that, she is just burying her head in the sand and pretending that it isn't happening.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 19:58:32

Yes, I think an email putting this down is a good idea too. Also I will make it clear that I have discussed this with M's mum and we are aware that 3 kids are being sucked into this and all being accused of lying.

helpyourself Mon 22-Oct-12 20:04:09

Stay away from the whole 'you saying I'm a liar?' it makes you sound like fishwife and concentrate on the learning issues.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 20:06:26

Hmm yes, I am in real danger of turning into a ranty fishwife, and you are right that I mustn't let that happen.

But either X is disruptive or he isn't. The teacher is saying he has calmed down nicely, and 3 kids are saying no he hasn't. It is hard to address that clearly without saying that basically someone is lying. Or "mistaken"?

lisad123 Mon 22-Oct-12 20:07:14

Thing is he is part of their class and clearly no table is happy to have him.
It doesn't matter of your child is at the top table, the children further down need the quiet too.
The teacher need to manage his behaviour but not clearly she isn't.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 20:10:14

I am not saying he should be moved, of course all the children have an equal right to peace while they work, absolutely, regardless what table they are on.

So I am not demanding that he is moved because that won't fix the problem, just move it on.

I just feel that they aren't actually doing anything with this boy, and if they deny that he is causing trouble then they clearly don't have any plans to fix things do they?

slambang Mon 22-Oct-12 20:13:09

Sounds like X has behaviour problems. Poor teacher is probably tearing her hair out trying to control him in a class of 29 and ideally he would have one to one support.

But it is not an ideal world. X will not get one to one support and the teacher and class will have to find a way of putting up with managing his behaviour. Strategies may include placing him with the children least likely to encourage or join in with him, moving him around from place to place to share out the disruption and rewadring/encouraging positive behaviour and ignoring the more minor negative behaviour.

Just thank your lucky stars that there is only one X in your dcs class. In most classes there are 5 or 6.

On a more constructive note I would go into the parents' meeting to discuss your dcs and their learning and that alone. Don't mention X by name but explain that both your dcs have been very unhappy the last week and feel they are not being allowed to concentrate. The only bearing X's behaviour has in the meeting is in relation to your dcs well-being and learning so focus on that.

Does the 'top' table stay consistent for every subject? Surely there are movements for different lessons so X will be in other seats at times? (am a bit surprised that it's a 'top' table in the first place tbh).

cansu Mon 22-Oct-12 20:15:59

OK top table or not all children have to work alongside others who may not be as hard working or mature as they are. I think that making sure that all the children work with X is the fairest solution. I am sure the teacher is dealing with X but she will be unable to stand next to him all day every day to prevent him from being fidgety or annoying at all times. It is also unfair on X to sit alone all day with no peers to work with. I cant help thinking that you would be quite happy if X was either sitting alone or sitting on another table with less able children. However, I would like you to imagine that X was your child or that your child had been sitting on the same table as X for the whole year because he couldnt sit on the top table as theparents of those children make too much fuss. Focus instead on your child and their progress. perhaps encourage them to ignore X when he is silly and then deal with any individual incidents that affect your child on an individual basis.

helpyourself Mon 22-Oct-12 20:17:07

Rant away here, it's just to get a good outcome for your dcs, keep it here. grin

HoratiaWinwood Mon 22-Oct-12 20:17:28

Um, doesn't "telling tales" mean "being a telltale" rather than "being a liar"?

I suspect something got lost in translation and escalated unnecessarily.

Viviennemary Mon 22-Oct-12 20:20:36

Well I'd be worried about a teacher who discourages telling tales about hitting. Isn't that how bullies thrive.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 20:21:18

I don't know if X has behaviour probs, he just seems v immature and a bit of a class clown. Sadly though he has become really unpopular too because the other kids who used to find him funny perhaps now all join in telling him off. It didn't help that the teacher spent a month or so giving the whole class punishments for his misbehaviour, so they all turned on him for making them miss out. Very disastrous policy.

They are clearly trying to move him around, and place him with those least likely to encourage him. he also does get rewarded, more so than any other child in the class - another thing which unfortunately has made him unpopular apparently.

Top table does not change at all. There is a massive gulf in the class between 5 kids at the top, 7 or 8 who are massively struggling and a group in the middle.

I agree that the focus must be all about my kids and their learning and what they are up to, but it is hard to cover that without bringing X up. But yes, i agree that I must not march in and start a row all about X, lying, who said what and allegedly conspiring 8 year olds.

slambang Mon 22-Oct-12 20:24:38

'^The point is that she needs to try and control him some way but she doesn't appear to be doing that^'

How do you know that? The teacher obviously wouldn't share with the children or other parents what strategies were in place already, would she? You're making some big assumptions based on what you are being told from a child's point of view here.

balia Mon 22-Oct-12 20:28:28

Perhaps what is being suggested is that the 'top table' children try to be kinder to X? That they have skills that X needs to see in action? That they even may learn something about themselves, life and other people by trying to help X instead of seeing him as some kind of terrible disruptive monster? He's just a kid, FFS.

Doubtless there are numerous interventions being put in place for the child, but unless you want yr 4's to be in charge of the class, you have to take the word of the teacher (who may just have a better overview of X's behaviour) than a group who have got a bit comfy with being 'top table' and are treating him like an annoyance.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 20:30:08

I am trying to keep focussed but I do have an issue with the whole telling tales thing that will be hard to control.

I don't think X is a bully, I don't think he is a bad kid really, although I can't fathom why he behaves this way. But he is annoying and silly and disruptive.

The kind of thing he does are tapping his pencil on the table constantly, deliberately emptying his tray on the floor, deliberately reaching over and moving other kids' arms or books while they are working, singing and humming while they are reading or working, asking to go to the toilet repeatedly and then saying he doesn't really need to go, pretending he has dropped things, moving his chair backwards and forwards for no reason, and up close to others on the table so he is touching them. Silly stuff that drives the others mad when they are supposed to be working.

If they are treating him like an annoyance that is because he is an annoyance.

Of course there may be strategies in place that I don't know of, but then I have to go back to today's incident. If she was attempting to help X and deal with his behaviour why did she ignore 3 kids separately complaining about what he was doing and then say they are "telling tales". So basically they should be quiet no matter what he does? Even hitting?

sittinginthesun Mon 22-Oct-12 20:40:17

Hmmm, if I were in your position, I would bounce it back to the teacher.

Explain that your dcs have been really upset this week, and that you feel it would help if they knew what was expected of them. What do they do if they are hit in a lesson? At what point does the teacher want to be told about bad behaviour?

If you appear that you are supporting her, rather than attacking/criticising her, she may be far more open about it.

StickyFloor Mon 22-Oct-12 20:45:14

Yes, again, I can see that I mustn't be attacking. But how do I do that?

We spoke last week and we agreed that she would keep an eye on things as would I, and that twins' would talk to her about any probs. Today ds did that and was told not to tell tales. So what next?

She tole Ms mum that she should encourage m to report any future incidents and Ms mum said what for if you tell her off for telling tales - teacher said that she always listens and just avoided discussing today's trouble.

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