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teachers who shout

(30 Posts)
debs40 Fri 06-Feb-09 18:41:59

Hi

I wonder what your thoughts are on shouting at children?

I moved my son from a school last year because of various issues. It was a pretty glum place and I know alot of the teachers shouted at the kids - 'how dare you' etc that sort of thing. He was in reception and I always thought shouting at children that small was unnecessary and unfair (and probably conterproductive) although I accept many parents find it acceptable.

Anyhow, my son (now in Y1) enjoys his new school but he has become worried about his teacher who he says is getting more 'shouty'. He shouted at him the other day for not finishing his part of a class colouring project.

My son is hypersensitive to sounds, smells and is waiting for a referral to a paediatrician so he finds shouting very stressful.

My son says that the teacher shouts at other children quite alot. He is the deputy head and is quite a stressy type and he has just had to become acting head while our own head goes to take over a school 'in trouble'.

I think things must have been stressful in school for the teachers recently.

I just wondered if others found shouting acceptable/the norm. Am I being unrealisitic about this?

thanks

cory Fri 06-Feb-09 19:13:03

Hard to tell without hearing the teacher in action. My ds was very frightened of his first junior school teacher and indeed I could hear his booming voice as I turned the corner into the road where his school was. But it all had an explanation when I had to go in and see teacher about something different and found out that he was quite deaf and had no idea how he came across. Once ds realised there was no bad intention, he absolutely fell in love with this teacher.

verygreenlawn Fri 06-Feb-09 19:14:31

I can understand a teacher raising their voice to be heard by an entire class, so for me I wouldn't object to volume in itself - but I would object to a teacher raising their voice AND being critical IYSWIM. Unnecessary and I would've thought counterproductive.

A friend of mine heard her ds shouting away at his toys in the garden saying things like "you won't go out to play until you've finished you naughty boy" and when she asked what he was doing, he said he was playing at being Mrs. X (his reception teacher). Now that would trouble me.

Wonderstuff Fri 06-Feb-09 19:20:01

IMO there is a difference between being loud from time to time for effect, which can work well, but will be challenging for a child who is hyper sensitive, and shouting in anger, which is ineffective and shows a lack of self control.

We all have bad days and I will admit that I have been in the second category on occasion, but there is a difference between a bad day and consistently bad teaching.
I would go in and discuss your concerns, could the teacher be unaware of ds's noise sensitivity?

Littlefish Fri 06-Feb-09 19:27:51

At the school where I teach, no-one raises their voice to a child (unless to warn them of danger.

However, in previous schools, I've worked with some very shouty teachers. It was their dominant classroom management technique sad.

debs40 Fri 06-Feb-09 19:49:27

Thanks - that is really interesting.

The guy seems quite a softie; down to earth and has kids of his own and my son has always said he likes him.

I think it might be a response to stressful times. He seems the type who would become a bit overloaded and some people are just better at handling that (no criticism - I'm crap when stressed myself!).

I had heard from someone else that he is a shouty type but hadn't heard any evidence until now.

i will keep an eye. I have flagged the sensitivity issues up for him. I'll see how ds goes but I've explained that he's not to take it personally and that's how some people manage being busy and needing to get kids to do stuff etc

verygreen - I do think shouting is counterproductive in the long run (if it's a technique rather than a one off) because it's a short term fix and gets the child to do what you want because he's scared not because that's what he should do.

just my opinion

scienceteacher Fri 06-Feb-09 19:49:50

If a teacher shouts as a normal way of teaching, then they probably need to work to limit this. Some of the most effective teachers I have seen are the softly spoken ones - the kids have to concentrate to hear them, and of course the teacher is able to speak louder if occasionally necessary.

However, a small child will often say that their teacher shouted at them. My Y2 DD told me that her teacher shouted at her last week. Knowing the teacher, I just could not picture it at all. When I asked DD if her teacher really shouted at her, she admitted that not really. She just looked at her in a disapproving way (which I can picture).

Ingles2 Fri 06-Feb-09 19:57:04

ds2 has a shouty teacher.
He loved him but it is waning now, and tbh I don't think it'll be long before he dislikes him.
In the last week he's shouted for not putting a capital letter in his sentence, then a full stop, and also for being slow.
Now ds2 is not that academically inclined but he is very contrary. He has actively decided not to put any capital letters or full stops for this teacher. So, the shouting has really worked then.

debs40 Fri 06-Feb-09 20:00:50

This guy is the deputy head so there is little chance of getting him to change his manner of teaching if he is a 'shouter'!

I will raise it with him if ds gets upset (after confirming this is shouting and not just being 'told off' which my ds has confused before). He is a hypersensitive soul and would probably pick up on these things more than most.

Thanks. I wanted to check I wasn't the only one who would think shouting wasn't necessarily that effective.

scienceteacher Fri 06-Feb-09 20:12:48

Maybe he started his teaching career in a noisy school, and developed shouting as a tactic to be heard (although often counterproductive as it can make the children even noisier).

Do you think he is shouty in the dealings you have had with him? Some people, such as my DH, have incredibly loud voices - without shouting. I am always telling him not to shout, even though he isn't. He just isn't using an indoor voice. I am sure that strangers will often perceive him to be shouting.

debs40 Fri 06-Feb-09 20:20:07

No, he's quite quietly spoken but seems a bit of a nervy type - a little bit stressy/overly sensitive.

nomoreamover Fri 06-Feb-09 20:40:21

I would have thought (but not qualified in primary so don't flame me...) that younger children - of reception and yr 1 age can't really respond to reason in the same way as older ones and so maybe shouting is the only way to get through to them at times? LOs have real issues with listening and understanding consequences...do you think maybe the teacher is just doing what most teachers do when they have had enough?

Teachers are human you know and although saintly - not of endless patience

NotPlayingAnyMore Fri 06-Feb-09 21:03:03

There are 2 classes in DS's year 3. Every time I have seen the other teacher, she has been impatient with and shouting at the children, regardless of the situation.
If he'd been due to be in her class I would have refused, to the point of withdrawing him from school if necessary.

I'll admit to shouting at DS but nowhere near all the time. I'd feel sorry for any kids in her class who get shouted at all day at school by her and then all evening and weekend at home by their parents

verygreenlawn Fri 06-Feb-09 21:06:24

But surely if you are a shouty person it just lessens the effect of what you're trying to say?

I know with my dcs that if I have to resort to shouting (yes occasionally I do - not proud of it but I do) I always end up thinking they didn't hear what I said, they just saw mad shouty mummy.

Ds1's teacher has a fabulous approach - she gets down on his level and says what she needs to say calmly but firmly - and I swear you can almost see what she is saying sinking in. Now if she was yelling at him not to run out into the road I would absolutely respect that - but day to day I just don't see it working.

debs40 Fri 06-Feb-09 21:27:26

I completely agree about the effectiveness (or lack of it) of shouting.

I also understand and agree - we are all capable of it!

Normoreamover - I hope my posts seemed to contain an element of sympathy for the teacher. I know it's a hard job and I'm sure he's having a particularly tough time at the moment but I'm also aware that my views aren't necessarily those of everyone else, so i wanted to see what the general consensus was (if there was one) on shouting as a policy (if that's what it turns out to be).

DS has another teacher for three days a week now and he seems to have warmed to her as she doesn't shout! He can list those that do in descending order though....!

poshwellies Fri 06-Feb-09 21:46:18

We are having the same problem Deb,ds (just 6) is in Y1 and really isn't getting on well with his teacher (he has named her Mrs Angry [hmmm]).
He is also very sensitive. I don't feel he is getting on because of 'barking' -last week he came home upset as he said she had snatched his work out of his hands when they held it up for collection,these sort of brash behaviours,really knock his confidence in class.

He is being really effected by her way of teaching,he likes the TA's in his class and speaks warmly of them.

Very interested in the opinions that have been voiced on this thread.

Heated Fri 06-Feb-09 22:09:26

I always wonder if the teacher on 'Big School' (Milkshake, Ch 5 about 8.45am) has to be that loud?

Maybe get your ds to do a comparison!

And I am going to be sexist here, but I think a male teacher shouting can be more intimidating too.

Toomuchtodosolittletime Sat 11-Jun-11 19:39:47

As fore-mentioned, what we need to remember is that teachers ARE only human. They have a lot of patience, but they do have bad days as well! Saying this however, although there are certain situations in which children do need a firm hand, I would never accept shouting just for the sake of shouting. As previously said, it is counterproductive in the long run. I have four DC who all love their teachers, but sometimes I have to question what they say is truth, as children can get confused sometimes or say things when they feel as though they have been subjected to unfairness and can make things up. But then again, if they have done something wrong in order to be 'told off' e.g. had more than one-two warnings, then I don't see the problem in them having privileges taken away from them. If their teacher told them more than twice to get their work done and they did not do it, then I have no qualms in them being kept behind to do it. At the end of the day, it eats into the teacher's break as well, so I know they don't like doing it either! Children need to have boundaries from a young age in order to flourish as people and learn respect for others that way, and if they've been warned, then they know they shouldn't be doing it, even if they're of a very young age. Also, teachers have to abide by behaviour policies and sanctions as well, so is the 'telling off' being put on a red card or something like that?

What i've found is that some people do forget that teachers have more than a handful of children in their class. Imagine having to control and look after a large amount (usually in larger schools from 15-32) little personalities. Although naturally they are making sure that their needs and personalities are accommodated for, it isn't easy, and as we all do, they sometimes lose their tempers too.

Anyway, sorry for my little rant! Have you tried discussing with the teacher how they are responding to certain issues? It might just be a simple case that he doesn't realise he is doing it. Also, you say that your DS has confused 'telling off' and shouting before, which is understandable with young children, as I know mine do quite often! Are you sure he fully understands the difference between the two or is he just being hypersensitive?

DisparityCausesInstability Sat 11-Jun-11 20:16:27

I have over heard shouting at school - shouting that I'd have described having undertones of violent intent - and that was from the Head. Of course teachers are only human and the maybe over step the mark ever now and then - some aren't very patient, some shout every day. The shouting scares the kids in the class who are well behaved - who can become quite nervy and don't want to participate in class, while those who are shouted at become very much used to it.

Shouting to be heard over the buzz of classroom noise is not needed either - clapping a rhythm and expecting the rhythm to be returned is very effective - or sing a rhyme like - "One two three - eyes on me"

As adults we won't put up with some one shouting at us - we'd describe it as workplace bullying - why we we think it's ok to shout at a child - teachers are professionals, they are doing a job - losing it on a daily basis and shouting at children should be very much discouraged, they won't be allowed to do it in any other job!

georgegeorge Sat 11-Jun-11 21:09:46

My DD is very sensitive and does not do well at all with teachers who shout. Luckily she has only had one teacher in primary which was year 4 who shouted and was quite agressive. I just used to expain that the teacher was probably stressed . Although I am not sure if that was true, I got the impression that she either did not like her job or did not like children!

That year DD really disliked school and did not seem to make much progress. She said the teacher continually shouted at children (not my DD) and this made DD very anxious and nervous. She never put her hand up in class(as per school report). This was the first time (and last) had ever been said. Many parents had the same complaint.

DD went back to her old self when she had a new teacher (male). If my other child ever has to go into theat teacher's class I will ask her to be moved. I would even go as far as changing schools!

Elibean Sat 11-Jun-11 21:24:24

I don't think shouting is an acceptable norm.

I do think occasional shoutiness is probably acceptable/normal, as long as its a) occasional only and b) not over the top or aggressive in nature and c) in a reasonably understandable context.

Example: dd1's Y2 teacher, who clearly loves the kids, is occasionally shouty, but is unscary with it - if that makes any sense. She never shouts at sensitive or quiet children - only, when pushed and on a bad day, at some of the more frustrating behaviour of loud and bouncy children. Its not really acceptable, and she knows it, but she is human, and loud by nature, and sometimes forgets herself.

They all adore her (including dd, who doesn't like 'shouty people' - Mrs X, in her opinion, is 'not a shouty person - just sometimes she shouts when she gets really frustrated with x z or z'). The children accept that kind of shouting.

OTOH, they once had a temp teacher who was stressed and uptight, and snapped irritably at children on a regular basis. No one liked her much, because she didn't have a good relationship with anyone sad

DisparityCausesInstability Sat 11-Jun-11 21:24:57

We moved schools, a shouty teacher was one of the reasons - avoiding her made the decision so much easier.

I did talk to the Head about it but that didn't go down well, as the Head was rather fond of agressive shouting as a method of crowd control too.

DisparityCausesInstability Sat 11-Jun-11 21:31:55

Can you imagine the stress on a child - sitting there everyday waiting, worrying about when the teacher is going to lose the plot - I remember teachers like that at school - it was awful and although they never attacked me verbally, I was petrified of screwing up accidently - thankfully these teachers were at secondary school so I only had them on a limited basis - but I have never forgotten the stress they put me through.

Teacher401 Sat 11-Jun-11 23:26:00

Does the teacher shout or speak firmly?

When I speak to some of my class for doing things wrong, I'll be quite 'stern' and explain what they shouldn't have done and what will happen as consequence. They will often say 'Mr.... shouted at me' which just isn't the case. I'll say to them 'This isn't shouting, you haven't heard me shout'. As a teacher you do end up telling children off. I've found it much more effective to say 'come outside here for a word' and when we go into the corridor I'll have a quick discussion with the child. I'm not fan of humiliation, which is what screaming/shouting at children infront of a class is.

Ingles2 Sat 11-Jun-11 23:31:06

guys, do you realise this thread is from 2009?

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