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labelling my child

(58 Posts)
offtoschool Sun 20-Oct-13 00:34:08

My daughter came home from school on Friday with a printed sticky label attached to her uniform. The label reads-

Please would you help your child to pronounce 'th' correctly as in thin or the NOT 'f', thank you.

My daughter is only 4yrs 3months and is in reception class.
Unfortunately I only read the note after i overheard some older children asking her to say 'the' to them in the park after school. (i presumed the not would be a general school notice)
I didn't mention the note on the walk home, i was very upset and i could tell my daughter was also.

I don't understand why anyone would stick a label to a child highlighting what they cant do, nor do i understand why the teacher thought that this was an appropriate way to tell me that my child can not yet pronounce 'th'.
At home we have been practising 'th' sounding words as we already know she says f but we were trying our hardest not to highlight it or make it an issue.
Later i asked my daughter about the special sticker? Trying not to say it was a negative, i wasn't entirely sure she knew about what it said? She replied "oh mummy it wasn't a special sticker, i threw it in the bin, it says i cant say 'th' i say 'f' and i mustn't say 'f' not at school." I cried!(alot) and i have questioned myself as to Am i over reacting?
My daughter is kind, loving, happy, caring, beautiful, confident, outgoing,, bright as a button a fabulous big sister the list of positives is endless.
i hope the teacher wont mind me sending her in with a extra large printed label saying so!!

PedlarsSpanner Sun 20-Oct-13 00:38:08

Iirc th comes v late, as late as age 7

Hopefully a SLT or reception teacher will be along, maybe tomorrow, with proper advice

MrsCakesPremonition Sun 20-Oct-13 00:38:24

How odd - you should come to Essex where most people seem to say "f" instead of "th". The school doesn't encourage it but they certainly don't set out to humiliate children who use the local accent.

southeastastra Sun 20-Oct-13 00:38:47

i would be tempted to day thuck off

PedlarsSpanner Sun 20-Oct-13 00:39:43

Fish label outta the bin, photograph it if too grim, ask sch for an explanation.

smorticus Sun 20-Oct-13 00:45:01

That is disgusting. I would be furious. My dd is 7.6 years and has only just mastered the th sound and that is after lots of help from a speech therapist.
I agree with previous poster, dig the sticker out the bin & demand a full explanation and apology by the teacher in question.

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 00:45:04

On a sticker shock. How distressing. The public humiliation of that is beyond awful. I would certainly be wanting to talk to the teacher about it.

I don't know enough about children's speech to know when they can say "th" instead of "f".

As an aside BIL always says "f" for "th" and OH and I laugh about the fact that he chose a name for my niece that ends in "th". He has named her after the top of a house smile

tethersend Sun 20-Oct-13 00:46:44

That is fucking disgraceful.

You don't stick labels on children FFS.

I'd speak to the head about this one.

joanofarchitrave Sun 20-Oct-13 00:57:04

I feel homicidal just reading your message.

Keep the sticker somewhere.

Ask to meet the teacher to find out what she now thinks of this method of informing a parent, and whether she feels she would do this again. The aim of the meeting will be to be sure she understands that in your opinion she has not met professional standards for teachers requiring her to treat a child with dignity.

If you're not satisfied, say so and write to the head teacher requesting a meeting with them. I would want evidence that the teacher really understands what they did wrong and that they do not intend to do it again.

Incidentally, evidence shows that saying 'f' for 'th' is within normal limits up to the age of 7, and of course in some areas is normal dialect anyway. So she's also ignorant, but that really is beside the point.

joanofarchitrave Sun 20-Oct-13 01:00:15

Best approach re th vs f is for your daughter to do lots of listening work at her age - look for stories that have th vs f words. Or make mistakes - read Jack and the Beanstalk and start saying 'Thee Thigh Tho Thum - oh dear I mean Fee Fi Fo Fum' and then get her to 'correct' you every time you get it 'wrong'. Make it a giggle.

I still feel homicidal. Just so you know.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 20-Oct-13 01:03:43

That is awful [shocked]

Mine isn't at school yet but id be shocked and so upset about the treatment of the child.

Photograph it then take it in to see the Head and ask their opinion on whether this is good teaching practise, and whether this has been done before in the school.

I'd be asking them what a child might feel being labelled in this way? And ask what they thought would happen when the other children read the label? What message it gives the children about your daughter, and about the way the teacher treats her?

Bit awkward grammar there but my point would be, ask the head the questions to see if they can see what is wrong with what's happened. I'd want to get into that discussion with the head without prior warning for her/ him as its less likely they'll try & cover up and justify it.

On here people usually recommend doing the softly softly approach first but this seems so, well, so bizarre I'd want to know the schools reaction to it as its just so against any good teaching approach.

Tbh it's rather like sticking a 'kick me' message on a child and then being surprised when the other pupils thinks its fair game to kick and bully the poor little one.

MidniteScribbler Sun 20-Oct-13 01:11:37

Who the hell put the sticker on her???

lottieandmia Sun 20-Oct-13 01:29:37

How awful and how utterly bizarre. I would be so angry if my reception child came home with a sticker on her FFS. It's normal for children not to be able to pronounce things perfectly at 4.

NoComet Sun 20-Oct-13 01:32:05

I would explode. I used to get teased for this I probably still get it wrong, I can't clearly hear a difference.

lottieandmia Sun 20-Oct-13 01:32:08

Is it possible that another child has stuck the sticker on her? It seems like a mean thing another child might do. If a teacher did it I'm shocked.

TaraKnowles Sun 20-Oct-13 01:39:49

I would be instigating a meeting with the guvnors. Something is wrong in your dds school.

Poor little girl.

BrianTheMole Sun 20-Oct-13 01:48:03

Putting the label on her isn't right, of course its not. But how come you didn't notice it?

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sun 20-Oct-13 03:21:57

I too think taking a photo of the label and asking for an explanation is a very good idea. How infuriating.

Amy106 Sun 20-Oct-13 03:33:09

I am so sorry to hear this happened to your dc. That is just so wrong on so many levels. Please let us know what the school says and does about it.

rundontwalk Sun 20-Oct-13 03:41:50

I second everything double said. That is unbelievably awful! Your little girl sounds fab by the way. Don't stand for this.

PastSellByDate Sun 20-Oct-13 06:10:31

Hi offtoschool:

Totally agree if this was indeed a teacher sticking the label on your child (age 4) Wow! Very poorly handled by teacher & yes complain.


Just being devil's advocate (and because DD2 did come home with a sticker on her back) - beware that it wasn't a case of the teacher prepared sticky labels to go into children's workbooks and gave your child the sticker and she didn't stick it into her workbook, but stuck it on her dress. Remember there is a certain amount of chaos in Year R (accidents, illness, falling over, fights, upset, etc... - so often teachers/ TAs get interrupted half-way through doing something).

Also - the label may have been for someone else and one of her classmates (who may not be able to read it) just stuck it on your daughter (as kids do).

So - my advice is don't go see the teacher angry & ready for an altercations - go in and ask calmly for an explanation of whether this sticker (and yes photograph it) was intended for your daughter.

At the end of the day the teacher was trying to help - and trying to communicate relevant information to you in a timely way - she was trying to point out that she wants your support teaching your daughter how to pronounce 'th' - which isn't awful in itself. It's just that what seemed an easy way of communicating that message to you had some unintended consequences.

I know my daughter had terrible trouble with saying 'f' for 'th' for years (well into Year 3) - so it is a common thing and at teh end of the day this was a teacher trying to help not harm.


BoundandRebound Sun 20-Oct-13 06:20:14

Go armed with the knowledge that this is wrong.

Children don't develop the ability to form the letters "th" on average until age 7

Please print this and take with you

Labels on children is inherently wrong

Ask first, listen and if what you suspect is true I would be extremely cross! And involve head to ensure this doesn't happen again

Jaynebxl Sun 20-Oct-13 06:33:46

This is disgraceful but Pastthesellbydate has written a good post. I would definitely take a photo and then take the original label in to school, start calmly with the teacher and then see the head if I wasn't satisfied. Is the teacher an NQT? If so she may have stupidly thought this was a good way to communicate with parents but will soon realise it isn't!

tumbletumble Sun 20-Oct-13 06:35:34

This is so wrong that I'm tempted to agree with PastSell that it might have been a mistake.

lunar1 Sun 20-Oct-13 06:50:44

Get a sticky label and write on it

Please remind me not to be a cunt

Monday morning find out who stuck that to your dd and stick the label on them.

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