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Unreasonable Teacher.....

(118 Posts)
Megmog2000 Wed 25-May-11 21:44:51

Ive had a voicemail message from school today regarding DS2 who is 14 and in Year 9 regarding an incident during an english lesson. He is by no means an angel, but not a total waste of space. He is an intelligent lad when he puts his mind to it, but one subject (english) is his definate week area. He doesnt appear to enjoy the subject, but tries his best most of the time.

He has had the same teacher for the last couple of years, said teacher has never been particlarly complimentary about DS at parents evenings, to which I put down to DS not putting the effort in because he didnt enjoy it.

More recently, there have been several confrontations with this teacher, mainly as DS isnt doing his homework, classwork, messing about, which I suspect is because he has an issue with the teacher. Whilst I do not condone this behaviour and have spoken at length with DS about this, I can understand it to a certain extent.

Ive had many calls from his Year head, all relating to very minor and petty incidents during english lessons, something I would expect any decent teacher to handle as part of normal day to day teaching, I had a letter home about his "immature behaviour" (which incidentally was throwing a rubber at another child).

I had a voicemail message late this afternoon and need to call school tomorrow to find out a bit more, but I challenged DS about what happened in english today and he told me that his teacher said to him, in front of the whole class that "he was a failure, would end up in the bottom set with the SEN kids, would fail his exams and never make anything of himself". DS response was to mutter under his breath that the teacher was a bitch. He has said that the teacher didnt hear him but another child did and blabbed so DS finds himself in hot water.

Now, I only have one version of events, but on the surface of things, I am fuming that a teacher can even contemplate saying these things and humilate him infront of the entire class. This teacher appears to have had it in for DS for a long time and Im tired of it now. She was the only person at parents evening to only have negative comments without any sort of praise at all - not exactly condusive for a positive relationship.

So, the question I have - do I go into school, guns blazing and making a complaint about this teacher, or do I just accept that DS was in the wrong and let him accept the punishment (he was isolated from lessons since period 1 this morning).

My gut feeling is to make my feelings well and truely known, but I suspect the school will defent their staff. DS is due to move to the upper school in september so only has this next half term to go (he is away in paris on a school trip for one week, 3 days induction at the upper school and 2 days on other trips so not even a full half term!). I dont want to necessarily rock the boat either, my DD is in her first year there and has another 3 years to go!!

Thanks for reading - sorry for the waffle!!

Dolcegusto Wed 25-May-11 21:51:24

Sorry but I think yabu. You've had numerous phone calls about his behaviour and now he's called his teacher a bitch. His behaviour in class sounds disruptive to the other students and a complete nightmare for the teacher.

If I were you I'd be cancelling the paris trip till he can prove he can behave. He might not enjoy English but maybe this could be avoid lesson for him to learn; sometimes you just have to put up with stuff you don't like.

Kez100 Wed 25-May-11 21:56:42

Support the school. One day your son will have a boss and he's likely to say much worse if he doesn't apply himself. He should not have reacted as he did and must accept the punishment.

pozzled Wed 25-May-11 21:56:42

Firstly, if the teacher did make the above comments then that was unacceptable and you are within your rights to complain about that aspect. Very unprofessional of the teacher.

However, I think you are very much underestimating the impact that your DS may be having on his English class. You've had 'many calls' all about 'very minor and petty incidents' and a 14 year-old is throwing rubbers at other children in the middle of the lesson. Translation- your DS is consistently disruptive, deliberately distracts others and tries to get a rise out of the teacher. Finally today he called the teacher a bitch. (Yes, under extreme provocation if the teacher made those comments- but still unacceptable).

So not only should you 'let him accept the punishment' but you should make it absolutely clear to him that you support the school, that his behaviour needs immediate improvement and that you will yourself administer x,y or z sanction if he doesn't sort himself out. Oh, and you talk to him about how important it is to get a qualification in English nowadays.

You should then speak to the head of department without your DS's knowledge about why you feel the teacher behaved inappropriately. Would it be possible for them to move him to a different class?

Deaddei Wed 25-May-11 21:57:27

Agree with previous poster.
Your son is disrupting his lessons and not doing what he should be.....do not make a total idiot of yourself by going in guns blazing.
Have you considered what a nightmare he probably is? I would hate a boy like that in ds's class.

Bluebell99 Wed 25-May-11 21:58:04

Sounds like the teacher is at the end of her tether with your son's behaviour. You seem to think your son's behaviour is acceptable and she should deal with it, but actually his behaviour must be really disruptive to the other children who do want to learn. She's probably right with regard to to his future if he doesn't sort his behaviour and attitude out.

Hulababy Wed 25-May-11 21:58:24

The teacher was wrong to make that comment. Unprofessional entirely.

However, it does sound as though your child is being very disruptive in this class, not following simple behaviour rules, not completing homework, not completeing classwork, ...the list goes on.

This teacher is right to pss on his concerns of this continued misbehaviour and failure to comply to the head of year. It has nothing to do with no controlling the class, etc. If a child - who you say desn't put in the effort in this class - is underaching as a result of his own behaviour and lack of work, then this needs flagging up each and every time for it to be monitored and chased. Your child has had numerous warning and still not changd his attitude or behaviour.

Rather than getting cross at the school I'd be getting cross at the child right now. He needs to toe the line and get his head down, show shcool that he is capableof being a resposible Y9 pupil.

Not being interested ina subject is a rubbish reason for not behaving!

pozzled Wed 25-May-11 22:00:55

Oh and when you speak to the head of department, start by saying that you realise your DS was very much to blame, and that you want to work with the school to sort out the issues. Ask them how they feel that you can help to improve your son's attitude and behaviour. You will get further than if you go in, guns blazing.

Megmog2000 Wed 25-May-11 22:05:43

Thanks for your comments, and yes you are right, his behaviour isnt acceptable and after every incident to which he has instigated I have been very supportive of the school and their sanctions. I have also imposed sanctions at home to reinforce the fact he cannot continue in this way. I guess that at 14 he should know better.

Today, I have told DS that he has to write a letter of apology to the teacher for his poor behaviour and inappropriate language, and I in no way condone this at all.

I guess that part of me thinks that this teacher is picking on him to a certain extent, blaming him for things that he perhaps hasnt done, the negative comments at parents evenings (Im a great believer that there is always something positive about everyone!) and the humiliation in the lesson was out of order and I will be addressing that. Its odd that it is only english where he seems to have problems, no other teacher/lesson causes any issues and he is excelling in other subjects. There is definatley a personality clash going on.

Dolcegusto - I have threatened him with not going on the paris trip - but Im trying to use it as a carrot to improve his behaviour.

Kez100 Wed 25-May-11 22:09:04

Sometimes there are personality clashes. Even my well behaved daughter has a difficulty in her French class. However, while she isn't perfect in it and struggles to do well, I still expect her to behave, try her best and respect the teacher. Whatever she thinks privately about her is fine but private it stays.

herbietea Wed 25-May-11 22:09:38

Message withdrawn

YummyHoney Wed 25-May-11 22:25:04

I agree with Kez.

I think it's a personality clash, and that the teacher was unprofessional, but I also think throwing a rubber at someone is childish too.

I think most DC are unfairly punished/singled out at times during their school life and that it's a good lesson to learn to let these things go.

If you get cross and take it up with the school, you are, in a sense, feeding his bad behaviour. (I'm not saying he's a bad kid).

I think you should support the school and say to your DS, something along the lines of

"look, I think she MAY have it in for you, but you need to try and get her on-side and just live with it until the end of term, so don't give her any ammunition."

I don't think it's a good idea to go against the school - you have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

gingeroots Wed 25-May-11 22:45:35

Sorry but actually I don't think it should be an accepted fact that
"most DC are unfairly punished/singled out at times during their school life" .

That's all ,as you were .

IHeartKingThistle Thu 26-May-11 01:35:50

Teachers do not have time to phone parents over "minor and petty incidents". Believe me. If they say his behaviour is a problem then it's a problem. Nor do they sit at home plotting ways to annoy kids they 'have it in for'.

FFS.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 26-May-11 09:01:15

Having had a DS who has been disruptive in the past, I can only say to you that you are deluding yourself if you think it is only minor stuff that your DS has been doing. This kind of low level disruption stops everyone learning.

I also think that you and your DS need to realise that he now has a reputation as a disruptive influence and will get blamed. He can turn it round (my DS has), but it will take loads of work. He will have to not answer when his friends or others call out in his lesson. He will have to face the teacher during all lessons, he will have to not say anything to anyone apart from the teacher during the lessons unless it is working together. If it is, he will have to curb his instincts to play around. So you see, it is possible, but it's hard, much harder to become a well-behaved pupil and be known as that than to become known as a disruptive pupil. I have said this many times, it took a teacher to tell my DS that he had been kept down in the lower sets due to his behaviour rather than his ability. That shocked my DS and led to his instant improvement in behaviour. We, the parents, always backed the school completely.

YummyHoney Thu 26-May-11 09:15:04

Ginger - I may not have articulated my post very well. smile

I was thinking of my DD when she was younger - she would say things like

"so and so is always talking in the lesson and never gets told off, whereas I say one thing and the teacher pounces on me" or

"the teacher told me to move because I was talking, and I WASN'T talking"

(Of course she may well have been - I don't know)

I didn't mean anything more serious than things like that.

GiddyPickle Thu 26-May-11 11:25:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cuckooclock Thu 26-May-11 11:40:33

If you don't support the school on this one the message that you are sending to your son is that it is acceptable to behave like this, and that you will side with him whatever he does. Whatever the teacher allegedly said is not important at the moment. You need to get the teachers version of events first before "going in all guns blazing" (your words). You know the pattern of your son's behaviour and yet you think that the teacher is at fault on this occasion. If your son behaves like you already know he does now, what will it be like when he lives in the real world.

Sorry, this doesn't mean to sound as harsh as it does, but you really do need to listen to the school.

curtaincall Thu 26-May-11 11:55:21

I went through a stage of disruptive behaviour at school. It was low level stuff, whispering 'clever' remarks to my neighbour, passing funny drawings around and squirting orange juice at the girl in front through a hypodermic syringe and when she bent forward, spraying the teacher instead. I am deeply sorry for the disruption caused to fellow pupils with my rubbish attitude to school. I was arrogant and thought I knew better than the school. I don't know if a good talking to would have worked at the time as I was 'right' and didn't really care anyway. We did have alot of problems at home sad

Sorry, no suggestions - just sharing.

curtaincall Thu 26-May-11 11:58:40

And am sorry to the teachers too, though if you read another thread on Queen's College i posted on, you may not judge me too harshly!

Jamillalliamilli Thu 26-May-11 13:30:19

My SEN son thinks your son's teacher's out of order.

He says the idea that SEN kids should have to put up with the likes of your son is typical and bang out of order, and he should simply be excluded from subjects he feels he can't be arsed to behave in.

His view is your son should apologise to the class and the teacher for disrupting everyone elses learning, and the teacher should go and apologise to the SEN pupils for even suggesting that they were so unworthy as to deserve him.

I don't disagree with him.

Credit to you for talking to others before making your descision though.

Megmog2000 Thu 26-May-11 17:45:43

Well, I spoke with the Year head this morning, very calmly and matter of fact. I acknowledged that the behaviour was unacceptable and that I do not condone this at all. DS has written a letter of apology and verbally apologised to the teacher. He is also being put in isolation with the headteacher for the remained of the week. I am fully supportive of this.

After speaking with the year head, the class teacher DID say what I mentioned in the OP. The year head also agreed that it was unacceptable and this will be addressed by the school and (hopefully) an apology for DS.

I have spoken to DS about how his behaviour impacts on everyone else in the class and disrupts the learning. He has been warned that if it continues there will be further consequences. He has to tolerate and work with people he may not generally choose to spend time with but thats life and he has to learn that.

Justgettingonwithit - I TOTALLY agree with you on this one, the teacher was derogatory about SEN children, its not fair to label SEN children as inferior to those without SEN.

I appreciate all of your comments, I probably did come across as a bit defensive of DS, but also realise that he has to take some responsibility for this. I am satisfied with the way its been handled by the school, hopefully there will be no repeat performances from DS otherwise he will be in BIG trouble.

He isnt a bad kid really, there havent been the constant stream of phone calls from school, perhaps 1 or 2 a term - but even so that is still too many!

Goblinchild Thu 26-May-11 17:47:49

I'd like to buy your son a cake of his choice, or whatever other treat he likes JustGettingOnWithIt.
Beautifully put. grin
I hope the teacher gets a boot up the bum for his choice of phrase.

freerangeeggs Thu 26-May-11 17:56:21

I find it difficult to believe that the teacher said that. I'm not saying your son's lying, but like all teenagers I imagine he's being selective when he paraphrases.

One of my teacher friends had her life made an utter misery by a child telling his mum that she had called him a 'special needs child'. My friend did not do that. The boy was being disruptive and she asked him if he was disrupting because he found the work difficult (she knew he wasn't).

Anyway, his mum went in 'all guns blazing' as you say and got a nasty shock when she was told that her son was causing low-level disruption across the board and realised that she clearly had a problem on her hands. It must have been quite embarrassing for her and she backed down quickly when presented with the evidence (to her credit).

If the teacher did say that she was being unprofessional.

Megmog2000 Thu 26-May-11 18:08:26

Well, I spoke with the Year head this morning, very calmly and matter of fact. I acknowledged that the behaviour was unacceptable and that I do not condone this at all. DS has written a letter of apology and verbally apologised to the teacher. He is also being put in isolation with the headteacher for the remained of the week. I am fully supportive of this.

After speaking with the year head, the class teacher DID say what I mentioned in the OP. The year head also agreed that it was unacceptable and this will be addressed by the school and (hopefully) an apology for DS.

I have spoken to DS about how his behaviour impacts on everyone else in the class and disrupts the learning. He has been warned that if it continues there will be further consequences. He has to tolerate and work with people he may not generally choose to spend time with but thats life and he has to learn that.

Justgettingonwithit - I TOTALLY agree with you on this one, the teacher was derogatory about SEN children, its not fair to label SEN children as inferior to those without SEN.

I appreciate all of your comments, I probably did come across as a bit defensive of DS, but also realise that he has to take some responsibility for this. I am satisfied with the way its been handled by the school, hopefully there will be no repeat performances from DS otherwise he will be in BIG trouble.

He isnt a bad kid really, there havent been the constant stream of phone calls from school, perhaps 1 or 2 a term - but even so that is still too many!

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