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How would you deal with this - teacher absent VERY often.

(19 Posts)
admylin Tue 04-Sep-07 10:12:57

DS joined his school mid way through year 2, he has just gone into year 4 and has had the same teacher all the time. In the half of year 2 that we experienced, the teacher was off atleast half of the time but she got alot of complaints at the parents evening etc and we all thought she would maybe be better in year 3. She was, but she was still off sick maybe a third of the year at one and two week intervals. We've now been back at school 1 whole week and she is already signed off sick.

It would be OK if she would atleast send work in for the class but they have spent their time doing crosswords and word searches and just being supervised.
Am I right in being very mad?

We are in Germany and although he is still only in primary school - they filter them out soon and put them in 3 different kinds of secondry school. To get into the best one you obviously have to do well in the last years of primary, after that it's alot harder to go up a level.

Tortington Tue 04-Sep-07 10:15:49

you are right to be upset - but how you overcome this problem - i don't know

McDreamy Tue 04-Sep-07 10:16:22

I feel a bit worried for the teacher, it sounds like she could have something quite serious going on.

As far as your son and his class is concerned though I would expect the headmaster to address this and be providing some kind of continuity for these poor children. I too would be complaining about the situation.

SSSandy2 Tue 04-Sep-07 10:17:07

...waves sympathetically....

Hurlyburly Tue 04-Sep-07 10:19:13

Are you right to be mad? Don't be mad, that's not going to get you anywhere. Focus on what you can do.

Don't know what that is, really. How about one/two/all three of the following:

- go to the school/educational system and see whether parent power pulls any weight in arranging proper teaching
- change schools
- arrange for private tuition

admylin Tue 04-Sep-07 10:23:19

Thanks, I have to ask things like taht on here because somehow th eother parentsdon't seem bothered or atleats none seem to be. Atleast I know I'm not going mad, I'm justified in being angry mad though!

I think there is no way around trying the headmisstress - it is her job to arrange it all and I've sorted out some private tuition as I'm not perfect enough in German to teach him what he's missing.

Hi Sandy I emailed you!

Emzy5 Tue 04-Sep-07 10:23:51

the headteacher obviously isn't dealing with the situation. i would go and talk to her/him (calmly!).

admylin Tue 04-Sep-07 10:25:27

Calmly, I'll try!

Emzy5 Tue 04-Sep-07 10:40:54


Peachy Tue 04-Sep-07 10:47:41

I can understand your concerns, i think i'd share them, but you don't kmow why she's off- she or a family emmber could be quite ill, for example, and you wouldn't know. if that's the case she's entitled to exactly the same level of time off etc as anyone else in employment. I would assume as she ahsn't (that you know of) been disciplined on this, that there are quite good reasons.

What I would have the bigger issue with is the lack of cover / care in her absence. That is the responsibility of the Head, not the Teacher, and as such I woudl approach the Head to enquire.

My Lecturer at college btw went absent for a whole term... only I knew why, as I knew her anyway: her Dh had cancer.

admylin Tue 04-Sep-07 10:52:53

Peachy, that is why I have stuck it out so long really, I understand she could have some serious issues to deal with at home, we don't know. She could have migraines or whatever, I see I should be madder at the organizational side of the situation and not her but on the other hand I feel as if she is letting the kids down and if after so many years she can't get her problems sorted she's maybe in the wrong job. She is only part time as it is.
Off to practise calmly complaining in German - how I wish I was back in the UK as I wouldn't have to think about how to say things!

SSSandy2 Tue 04-Sep-07 11:06:50

I've been told the problem here in Berlin is they have no system of supply teachers, so if a teacher is off sick even for a considerable time, other teachers at the school have to cover where they can but they don't necessarily TEACH. It is a problem in all state schools here.I don't think the headteacher can resolve it. I know there is a primary near us which is supposed to be good but I've heard many parents complain about the same situation you have.

I think the cover problem will remain after your talk with the head. However suggestions re arranging work material for the dc etc would be reasonable on your part. In my experience, the schools/teachers are not amenable to CRITICISM generally. Shame your Elternsprecher are crap. How come one of them doesn't speak German? How did they get elected? Think I would ask for ADVICE and make SUGGESTIONS but I wouldn't be too smiley and nice about it.

Fun ahead, eh?

SSSandy2 Tue 04-Sep-07 11:10:16

Could you build say a gang of 4 and approach her together about it? And if one of them is German, they could do the talking.

admylin Tue 04-Sep-07 11:29:10

Yes, I am trying to get a 'gang' together! Only 14 kids in ds's class though and the majority don't seem to bother. The trouble is no one wanted to be the parent representative and I said I would have done it but felt silly having to get things translated and not being able to write perfect German, then one of the few real Germans said OK they'd do it and the other woman said she'd be second.

SSSandy2 Tue 04-Sep-07 11:41:54

Nice class size at least.

You can do it admylin. Good luck with it but don't expect too much.

admylin Tue 04-Sep-07 11:44:56

I know, it could be a dream school really! Small class, no violence (for an inner city school not to be taken for granted), no racism and newly renovated building with nice playground.

SSSandy2 Tue 04-Sep-07 11:53:10

I sent you an email admylin - of course !

Look, could you go the track off - I am happy to do the photocopying, distributing, coordinating etc etc

I know it's a pain for you as a non-German to have to do it when it would be so much easier for the others, but if they're a bunch of loons who don't care about education you could wait till the cows come home, and they wouldn't tackle anything.

Think these types of German schools /classes are only as good as the parents make them. You need those strident, bossy type parents who get very involved in everything and without a few of them about, I don't think much happens

SSSandy2 Tue 04-Sep-07 11:54:58

sorry about the tipos. My eyes seem permanently glazed over with tiredness these days!

hawesmead5 Thu 06-Sep-07 10:43:43

Hi there
I am a teacher currently on maternity leave. I had a lot of complications with my pregnancy as a 20cm tumour was found at my first scan. As you can imagine I had to take a lot of time off work and did not wish to tell the parents why. I had a barrage of parents complaining at parents evening and some parents were ever so rude asking why I was taking time off and if I planned to continue taking time off. As you can imagine I was very upset and also felt very angry as I wondered if people would be that rude to the postman, banker or infact any other profession. I had also been continuing to plan work for the supply teacher throughout my pregnancy/illness and my head teacher was great. She made sure that the class was run as smoothly as possible and held an after school discussion with the parents. Your headteacher should be taking control of this unfortunate situation. I would go and speak to her directly stating your concerns.

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