Head Teacher's award(10 Posts)
This is the first time I've ever posted but need some opinions as I'm getting so wound up! This'll probably be a bit long...
My daughter's school give out an award to a child from each class every week, by the end of the year every child should have received one. As we're approaching the end of term and my daughter hasn't received one yet I thought I should check with the teacher that she hadn't been accidentally missed. After talking to him he was adamant she'd already received it, that she got it in the first week of school in September. Parents are invited to the assembly so I knew he was mistaken but told him fair enough and I'd check to see if she remembered as I didn't remember that at all. Unsurprisingly she is as certain as me that she's not had it and got quite emotional about it.
Feeling very akward (like telling a boss they're wrong about something!) I contacted a close friend who is a teacher at the school to see if there's anyway of checking who's had it. She phoned me back to say the teacher is still adamant she's had it but they'd checked a record and her name hasn't been ticked off. She said to leave it and he'd probably speak to my daughter about it the next day.
He didn't speak to her so my daughter approached him at the end of the day to say she'd not received it and got the same answer, that she'd had it in the first week. I have now been through the school newsletters as each week it states who has received the award. That first week a different child is named and also in the following weeks. Brilliant I thought, he'll realise now he's made a mistake. So today I have been in and he's said the same thing, that it was a long time ago so I probably can't remember her getting it, so I showed him the newsletters which he said must be wrong. He then said my daughter was very rude when speaking to him the other day and she more or less demand the award. Now my daughter is really quite shy and not bolshy like that at all but I let it go. Anyway, he's begrudgingly said he'll give it to her but she'll have to share the award with someone else.
My problem is I still can't let it go!! I am not a mother who intervenes with what goes on at school. I don't like to put my head above the parapet and complain but I feel he's just not listening to me and I feel really wronged! I suppose I expected/hoped he'd realise his mistake and would just be along the lines of 'whoopsie, my mistake, we'll sort it'. I really didn't expect a simple query to get so emotive. I've not gone in demanding she gets an award (although I suspect that's how he's viewing it) it's the principle of it and I don't want her to miss out unfairly because he's made a mistake that he won't accept or look into.
I now want to complain to the Head about how he's handled it and I desperately want him to acknowledge she hasn't had the award rather than making me feel like I'm making him do it. My sister's told me to let it go, that I've got what I wanted but I'm still so cross!
Would you complain or just get over it??!!
I don't think you have got what you wanted though! It's not really about you DD getting a piece of paper or a trophy, it's more about recognition for some thing/esteem/achievement. The way this has been handled has robbed her of all of that. The piece of paper will now just be 'lip-service'
Now the teacher is on the defensive, I'd tend to reply by email to him and the head and just point out how disappointed your DD is that she hasn't been picked out and recognized for anything. I'd also ask if there is an underlying issue that she isn't putting in required effort.
I really feel for your DD I have first hand experience of going unnoticed and know how much it can affect self esteem. She's lucky to have you fight her corner.
Thanks for your reply. At least I know I'm not being completely irrational! I think I'll have a chat with the Head just so I can draw a line under it knowing I've done all I can to get the Teacher to understand the difference between demanding an award and letting him know my daughter's been missed.
I think the awards where every child gets it over the year are particularly meaningless anyway tbh. Even if you hadn't gone in and moaned but your child had got it just because they were one of the few children that hadn't got it this year so far would that have been so much better?
How old if your child? I'm guessing infants age, as by juniors they tend to abandon "the every child gets the award" idea and give it out on merit ,which actually means that if your child is the quiet unobtrusive, just gets on with it type, they are even less likely to get it, so actually if I was you I'd concentrate on explaining that "every child gets an award" is a bit meaningless, that teachers make mistakes, and that just because she hasn't got an award doesn't mean she's not doing well!
I don't think you should escalate it.
I'm surprised he was quite so defensive about it. I think you'd have been better to tackle it direct with him in the first place rather than getting his colleague, your friend, involved. That might have got his hackles up and made it harder for him to back down. Or he genuinely thinks he's right. Either way I think you need to focus on making sure she gets an award. That's important if everyone else is getting one, and it's the only "victory" that actually matters.
Thanks again for the replies.
Over the weekend I've calmed down a lot and don't think I'll speak to the Head. I've realised that was more about me than anything else. I didn't want him to view me as a pushy mum etc and felt the need for someone to explain this to him. I don't want to unnecessarily get him in trouble.
I think involving my friend didn't help but hadn't planned on her speaking to him just to let me know if there was another record that could be checked. We've both been surprised how much he's dug his heels in about it but he apparently sees me as dictating when she should get the award. My friend said as teachers they get this a lot and he can't see that that's not what I'm actually doing/saying.
She's getting the award, even if whatever he says will be through gritted teeth at the assembly, that's the main thing.
I will talk to my daughter though to explain teachers make mistakes and he obviously thought she deserved it in the first week even if she didn't actually get it. I just wanted to prevent the upset of her being the only only one without an award due to an error but in hindsight I've probably made the while siuation worse and should have just had the above chat with my daughter and left it at that.
You live and learn!
Thanks again for the replies.
I hate those awards. My DC say that the way to get them is to "be really naughty for a while and then have a good week".
Not great for those that are basically "good" all of the time. Ridiculous.
I am not a fan of the awards like this either - they are basically meaningless, but they cause angst for the kids (well, mine at least) who try and work out how to win them.
Youngest didn't get one in all of Reception. Like you we realised with a few weeks to go that she hadn't had it, and mentioned it to the teacher, who insisted she had had it earlier. We said otherwise. What got me was that the award is given out to everyone, so some get it twice anyway, and there were 4 more to go when we mentioned it, so it would have be fine to give it to DD because she's very well behaved (according to her reports!) and even if she had received it once, some were always going to get it twice. But no, she didn't get it, and she was upset about it.
Don't talk to your child to say teachers making mistakes, at least, not if your dc actually gets the award. Because otherwise you're explicitly saying to your child they only got the award because you went in.
Of course, if your dc doesn't get the award, then you can have chat about teachers sometimes making mistakes. Otherwise I'd see this as being a conversation for another time (fwiw, I think letting dc know that teachers are very fallible is a good thing.... just not at this point).
It sounds odd of him but your daughter is chasing the teacher for an award you've convinced her she's entitled to because err well because she is. I know they get it for no particular reason, and it seems unfair for her to be the only one missed out (if she is) but to have her chasing the teacher and feeling like that doesn't seem very nice.
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