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Teacher - Parent Breakdown

(20 Posts)
squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 10:34:41

There's a problem with my ds's primary school teacher. We have complete communication breakdown and I'm not the only parent who is p*** off with her but don't know what to do to remedy the situation.

It's a new teacher to the school and I tried hard to get her to feel welcome - but you can tell she's inexperienced, but that's fine.

Problem is her communication with parents is poor - she never comes out of class to chat to us. And then the bad thing happened when I found out she accused me of hitting my son when i didn't! She picked up on an erroneous comment made during play and referred it to the (more experienced) welfare teacher who hauled me in for a meeting. It was all cleared up and she apologised for how it was handled.

Now I wanted to tell my ds's teacher that she needed to communicate with me better, if she had any concerns of my son's welfare - that he was upset BEFORE any talk of 'hitting' then she should have told me. I also wanted to clear the air with her cos I have the whole year to go. The meeting didn't go well as she was so defensive and was concerned about taking notes and saying that she was right to do what she did. It all made me angry (which i wasn't before the meeting) and now I don't talk to the teacher at all.

What to do? mediation or just leave it?

redskyatnight Thu 29-Nov-12 10:51:46

Schools have policies about safeguarding. In this case it sounds as though the teacher has simply followed school policy and reported a comment she was worried about. The safeguarding teacher has followed it up and found it to be nothing. Possibly the school has been heavy handed, and this may be down to the teacher's inexperience, but I think you should let it go - you have nothing to be gained by following up other than making the teacher even more defensive.

learnandsay Thu 29-Nov-12 10:54:08

You should read the other active thread about mothers hitting their children. (I know you've said you didn't hit.) But in that other thread it explains why the teacher should not tell the mother.

squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 10:56:14

another parent has told me that he had a meeting about reading with this teacher and her response to the parent was also defensive and not constructive and has led to him also not wanting to talk to the teacher. so i know it's not just me who has a problem with her attitude to parents.

squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 10:57:20

learnandday - i don't understand what you mean

squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 10:58:59

redskyatnight - i suspect you're right to leave it though as that's really what i've done, i haven't said anything else and it's been over a month or so now , just want to be able to talk to my ds's teacher!

learnandsay Thu 29-Nov-12 11:02:47

If the teacher tells the parent that she suspects there is abuse taking place at home if there is no abuse the parent will be upset, and if there is abuse the parent will probably be abusive and upset. Either way, if the teacher tells the parent it will turn out badly.

redskyatnight Thu 29-Nov-12 11:02:51

I'd suggest talking to her in a casual positive way if you want to reopen lines of communication. Mention that DS is really enjoying the term's topic. Say that you're pleased with his progress in maths, but is there anything else you can do to support at home?

Basically anything that doesn't sound like a criticism.

I don't think you can rely on playground gossip as a reliable indicator of anything. You have no idea how the conversation about reading went.

FlibberdeGibbet Thu 29-Nov-12 11:03:41

I agree with Red and Learn - the teacher was absolutely doing the right thing by reporting her concerns to the safeguarding officer in school, who then dealt with it. Of course the teacher felt uncomfortable in the meeting; it would be a difficult situation for her to endure, as I am sure it was for you.

You don't say what age your DC is, but I'm not sure I would expect the teacher to come out of the class to talk to parents - if there was an issue you needed to discuss, I am sure it would be better dealt with in a pre arranged meeting, rather than surrounded by other parents in the playground!

I think from the teacher's POV, she's probably keen to have a professional relationship with parents, and might be wary of getting to friendly by chatting in the playground - it would then make things very awkward for her if she had to deal with difficult issues, eg bullying, or allegations (such as happened to you).

I think you need to focus on what is best for your DC - you don't need to be chatty or best friends with the teacher, you just need to be sure and confident that she is has the best interests of your child at heart, and is doing her job of teaching well.

squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 11:16:29

yes ur right, i need to try and re-open lines .my ds is 5 and i know that he likes her and enjoys class and everything .. i hope that she is teaching del, it's frustrating as a parent not to know more about the day, last year his teacher was so excellent - always telling us stuff, getting us involved. it's just a shock to get this one who is pretty much the opposite of that

squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 11:16:53

i mean teaching well

squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 11:17:44

learandday - you're right, i know the school are in a difficult position

learnandsay Thu 29-Nov-12 11:18:44

Leave things for a while. Your upset will pass. After that just behave normally. I don't think think it's a big problem.

gwenniebee Thu 29-Nov-12 11:19:15

She did the right thing telling the school's cpo. It's what she is required to do. It's not her fault the cpo chose to haul you in, in my school it would have been handled with more sensitivity towards you, but, if a child intimated their parent was hitting them it would have been investigated.

I've just written a massive long thing which I decided not to post as it would probably out me. All I can say is that I had a miserable time recently teaching a class of kids a few of whose parents made it clear they didn't like me/my teaching style. I dreaded pick up when I would have to go and face them. (Their children and I got on well, incidentally, although sometimes the parents told me differently.) Maybe your son's teacher is just scared of coming out to chat because she thinks you'll all have a go at her?

I'm sorry, but to me this smacks of simply being against the new, young teacher.

learnandsay Thu 29-Nov-12 11:25:17

No, gwenn, it's not simply being against the new teacher. The OP did have a reason to be upset. It's just not a particularly good reason. And she is currently in the process of realising that.

DeWe Thu 29-Nov-12 13:39:15

Having done a certain amount of child protection you go to the child protection officer and let them take it from there. You don't even talk to the child and try and find out more, because that can be seen as contaminating the evidence.

If you go to the parents and they have been abusing, they may well hide evidence etc.
There have been cases where the abuser has been tipped off by an accusation and they have successfully hidden it enough for there not to be enough evidence for the acusation to stand, and the abuser has been free to continue.

I wouldn't expect a teacher to come out and chat to the parents unless there was something particular they needed to chat about-and then it would probably be done in a classroom to stop everyone else earwigging in. grin

cansu Thu 29-Nov-12 18:23:46

I think that you being upset about the allegation of hitting has meant that you disliked the teacher. I can understand how you feel. I would also be very set and probably angry. However I think you need to take a step back and focus on the present. I don't think you need to chat with her everyday. It seems that your do is getting on well in her class so I am not sure why you feel you need to talk to her everyday. I would focus on being polite, friendly and non confrontational. If you have a concern speak to her about that and let the past lie. She is not going to apologise because she probably believes she did the right thing in reporting what she heard to the teacher in charge of safeguarding. In fact she has in all likelihood followed school policy in doing this and upsetting as it is our being upset w ont change this.

redskyatnight Thu 29-Nov-12 18:41:44

It's also worth noting that now your child is in Y1 (presumably) some of the differences you are seeing are not down to the teacher but the more formal set up of this year group compared to Reception. Reception is still early years, the staff are very nurturing and focussed on helping the children to settle in and tend to remain in very close contact with parents. In Y1 the staff are still nurturing but there is more focus on academics and the children are taking steps to be more self sufficient. Although the staff still work closely with parents I think they do take a slight step back.

It's quite clearly demarcated at DD's school. In Reception you are allowed to bring your child in in the morning and take time to look at their work and staff tended to tell you bits about your child. In Y1 you were still allowed to bring your child in but encouraged to leave as soon as possible and staff tended not to talk to you unless you spoke to them first. By Y2 parents are not allowed in school and you are asked to request to speak to the teacher if you need to.

squareheadcut Fri 30-Nov-12 10:11:25

thanks everyone, i said a few friendly words to the teacher this morning yay!

gwenniebee Fri 30-Nov-12 13:28:55

I'm sure you both feel better for it, too smile. Well done!

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