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Favouritism in the classroom - what is acceptable from a teacher?

(18 Posts)
Noellefielding Sun 24-Jun-07 20:21:35

There's been some talk among friends of mine about teachers showing favouritism in ds's school. When I was at school we had a sense who was favourite but it was rarely explicit.
What are the 'rules' so to speak for a teacher - are there any broad guidelines?

Is the appearance of impartiality still the aim?!

HonorMatopoeia Sun 24-Jun-07 20:23:54

Oh God yes, or at least in my school and most others I know of! Of course there are some that are easier to like than others but I would be so upset if I thought I'd ever shown that to the children. In the end, they are only children ( young!) and I'd be upset if they said they didn't like me so I can't imagine it would be any different the other way round!

Noellefielding Sun 24-Jun-07 20:35:09

thnx Honor! the incident I'm thinking of is a teacher who went to a child's birthday party with a present. the parents had not expected the teacher to appear, the child had asked the teacher in class as a young child might! I can't imagine what message the classmates at the party must get from this. And this was not an isolated example of preferring this child very strongly.
I think it shows a worrying lack of judgment from the teacher and I'm secretly hoping ds isn't going to get this person next year!
Is it unacceptable in your book?

HonorMatopoeia Sun 24-Jun-07 20:37:16

Totally unacceptable IMO! I know colleagues who have popped in to smaller childrens parties but in each case the parent was a friend so I think that is slightly different. Also they made sure the present giving was discrete for the very reason they didn't want their other pupils to see.

Noellefielding Sun 24-Jun-07 20:41:10

Not at all a friend of parents and the gift was not particularly discreetly given.
I feel it's wrong too - it's depressing for the other teachers for one child to be so ultra- special isn't it? They all want to feel special don't they? What if they all asked this person to their parties and the teacher started to pick and choose which to attend?
Should I mention to anyone? I am a gov and can easily do so. I just can't bear informing on people. It seems nasty. And yet I honestly think it shows a loss of a sense of professional detachment and therefore maybe a sign of all not being well. Or is that going too far!! I value your opinion!

Noellefielding Sun 24-Jun-07 20:41:34

sorry, I meant 'it's depressing for the other children....'

cat64 Sun 24-Jun-07 20:56:44

Message withdrawn

Noellefielding Sun 24-Jun-07 21:08:50

the teacher is very experienced, I would have thought in the region of 20 years experience.
Yes I could easily mention it discreetly to DH.

schilke Sun 24-Jun-07 21:16:36

When my ds2 was in reception his teacher popped into his party. We are not friends with the teacher ... however it was an inset day and we live 2 minutes from the school. Ds2 asked her if she wanted to come and have a piece of cake, so she did.....Never seen a bunch of children go quiet so quickly!

Could it be there were some exceptional circumstances? Teacher being nearby etc...
Is it favouritsm? Perhaps it was the first child to have asked her?! She might have been passing when the party was on? I can see why you feel uncomfortable, but I never felt my ds2 was a "favourite".

wheresthehamster Sun 24-Jun-07 21:23:52

DD1 and her friend had a joint disco party in yr2 and they gave an invite to their teacher (whom they adored). She turned up about halfway through with a box of chocs, danced a couple of dances with everyone then left. Everyone thought it was great!

I'm sure they were NOT her favourites.

Noellefielding Sun 24-Jun-07 21:31:31

actually those party visits do sound fine, this incident was told to me by the parent whose child's party it was and the parent thought it was odd and described that it was only part of a pattern of pretty obvious favourtism, I thought this parent would be pretty objective given that it's in her interest in some way.
I just thought it was generally ideal to avoid any striking actions that could be construed as favourtism.

schilke Mon 25-Jun-07 10:07:07

I suppose if the parent thought it was odd then it is more worrying. I wouldn't really know how to proceed. You say you are a governor - is there anyone you can have a quiet, low-key word with?

If it was me I have to say I'd probably ignore the whole thing ..... stick my head in the sand!

filthymindedvixen Mon 25-Jun-07 10:13:16

my ds had a teacher for whom he made a card and bought present with his own money at end of term beause he liked her. he got a printed out slip with 'Thanks for the Present' on. His best girl friend (who is very able and sweet and pretty) got a handwritten letter which (his bf showed him) said ''Thanks you so much for your kindness what a thoughtful and lovely present, i will treasure it, what a joy it has been to have you in my class etc etc''. My ds was gutted and now refuses to buy/make a card for any teacher.
I think it's hard for teachers but as a preschool worker, I would have mortified if any parent or child had been able to work out who I enjoyed working with and who I didn't. (and yes, some children are more enjoyable to be with for various reasons.) One child, who I found very difficult, still comes running up to me 2 years later when she sees me in town and hugs me

TheApprentice Mon 25-Jun-07 10:18:09

I'm a teacher and am surprised to hear about some of these stories! Its always a tricky issue, because inevitably there are some kids you like more than others, but I think teachers should try hard not to make it obvious.

I have been invited to parties etc but have always politely declined telling kids I am busy, and explaining to parents that I would love to come but can't go to one child's party and not another.

ipanemagirl Mon 25-Jun-07 14:03:15

Sorry, I am the OPoster - I have just reverted to my usual name for no particular reason!
Thanks for these points, it seems there is an assumption that impartiality is the ideal - I think I will have a low key word but I will phrase it very carefully.
Is there any actual guidance for teachers about this in their training? Or is it something just understood?

Littlefish Mon 25-Jun-07 14:21:58

I don't think there's anything in the training. Or at least there wasn't when I trained 12 years ago.

Impartiality is definitely the ideal.

I've been invited to many parties over the years, but have always declined politely with a brief note to wish the child a happy birthday.

There have been parents in the past who I knew I would get on with, and once their child has left my class, I have arranged to meet for coffee. However, I would never dream of doing it whilst their child was still in my class.

cat64 Mon 25-Jun-07 18:43:10

Message withdrawn

babygrand Mon 25-Jun-07 18:48:13

I know a particular teacher who would go to parties, but I think most teachers have the good sense to maintain a distance!

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