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Silly things teachers think will work

(370 Posts)
NAR4 Sat 17-Nov-12 13:59:50

One of the teachers at my child's school (he is in sixth form) thinks giving out yellow cards and red cards for 'bad' behaviour in class will somehow motivate 17 year olds.

At my 14 year old's school (a different school) he was asked to write a letter to Father Christmas during an English lesson. The teacher was dead serious. REALLY?

I pressume that nether of these teachers have children of their own, but should surely have been taught at uni that these things were completely age inappropriate.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 00:18:31

Actually, thinking about the writing the letter exercise, quite a few of my tutor group were totally incapable of addressing an envelope when it was time to send reports home. They wrote the address upside down or in the wrong place or even worse didn't even know how to write out an address with formal names at the top.

These all very middle class kids, by the way. Perhaps if they'd written more letters to Santa in their childhood they might have a clue about these things. It's always the teachers who have to do the jobs a parent should have done wink

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 02:31:34

I think this thread shows exactly the problem.

It is a shame when parents talk about the failure's of educators to discipline their children.

A child at that age should be arriving with the social skills and etiquette to be able to sit in a classroom and not be disruptive already instilled from their home.

Teachers have to sadly resort to parenting students as if they are still in nursery because of the failure of parents to teach their children how to behave to begin with.

What you find with most kids that misbehave is a lack of discipline or communication at home. So, in a classroom setting, they are unable to respond to basic verbal reasoning for various reasons. These reasons usually include a lack of boundaries at home or physical discipline which results in school becoming a place of relative freedom as opposed to a place to learn.

Parents are too concerned with discussing the method's of discipline employed by teachers to note that teachers shouldn't be having to discipline their kids in the first place.

BrianButterfield Sun 18-Nov-12 07:26:08

I am a secondary English teacher. If I did the Christmas letter in class, this is how I would use it - I would explain we were looking at writing persuasively. I would given them a short amount of time to write their FC letter (bearing in mind this lesson is NOT about the actual arguments used but the language used to make them). Then I would ask the class for examples of techniques they used in their letters (repetition, hyperbole, metaphor and so on), collect them together and then ask them to use these techniques to write a more "serious" piece.

I don't think some of you understand English teaching at all. Of course students will do the same thing at secondary they have done at primary. Just because someone wrote a newspaper article in year 3 doesn't mean they never do it again, and it doesn't mean they just write the same thing in y9 that they did back then. The curriculum is a spiral - you revisit topics over and over but at a higher level each time. Some days I coincidentally find I am teaching very similar topics to all my classes (for example, using quotation to make a point about a text is something I would cover with every class from y7-13) but the teaching and outcome are wildly different. It doesn't mean I'm lazy, can't be bothered to think of other tasks or don't know how to teach.

kakapo Sun 18-Nov-12 10:56:45

I would have thought one of the points of persuasive writing is to present a coherent argument to anyone, about anything.

There's nothing wrong with writing to Father Christmas or any other topic the teacher pulls out of the air. I doubt the teacher said "write a list of everything you want for Christmas and shove it in this glittery box".

NAR4 Sun 18-Nov-12 12:41:10

There are no consequences for getting a yellow or red card, hence I think it is a complete waste of time. At 17 pupils should be sent out the class if they continue to be disruptive to the learning of others. This is at a grammar school where almost all of the pupils go onto uni.

The relevance of saying these teachers probably don't have their own children, is that if they did, would probably realise they were not using age appropriate methods. They should be taught what is age appropriate at uni when doing their PGCE.

No I am not a teacher, but do work in a secondary school with children who have behviour problems and am a youth worker.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 12:47:04

NAR4 frankly, it's insulting to suggest that not having your own children means you don't realise what's age appropriate.

If anything you realise MORE what's age appropriate than most parents because you work with a broader range of children. I've worked with hundreds of teenagers of the years. Your teenager might find stickers ridiculous and babyish. Many of those I've worked with think they're funny and cute.

NAR4 Sun 18-Nov-12 12:49:22

Just to be clear, I never said the teachers were lazy or couldn't be bothered to plan proper lessons. I simply feel (through no fault of their own) they have been left flaudering to find appropriate ways to control behaviour in the classroom.

This was meant to be more of a dig against the way teachers are taught rather than the teachers themselves. Most of their training only seems appropriate to children who fit nicely into main stream learning and they are given limited information about how to teach pupils who fall outside of this. A lot of teachers don't seem to understand the expertise of others who work in school, but are not teachers and try to correct them or tell them what they should be doing, even though this is not something they have training in themselves. Unfortunately this seems to be because ultimately the education of these 'other' pupils that they are not teaching directly themselves, still falls, unfairly, as their responsibility.

corblimeymadam Sun 18-Nov-12 12:50:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 13:27:55

I don't think some of you understand English teaching at all.

And whose fault is that? Maybe if there was more engagement wth parents then there wouldn't be such a problem. I know we have come on leaps and bounds from the days when parents were't allowed to cross the line in the playground but there is still a long way to go.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 13:50:08

More engagement with parents? Let's just add that to the bottom of the long list of things teachers have to do, shall we?

titchy Sun 18-Nov-12 13:50:54

Whose fault is that - well given that the job of teachers is to teach kids, not parents, coupled with the fact that a quick google search will tell you all you need to know about the English curriculum, I'd say it was the parents 'fault senua.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 14:05:23

As a parent and a wife of an English teacher, it never fails to amaze me how ignorant other parents can be when it comes to the role teachers are supposed to play in their child's life.

senua parent's who make comments like yours are so infuriating. My DH works six days a week. Saturday's because he has no choice but to bring work home. He is an ofsted rated outstanding teacher, but to be outstanding, he has to work from 8am till 8pm everyday. Most days he doesn't even have a lunch break and comes home overworked and weak from exhaustion. He then spends half of his Saturday when he should be off and spending time with his family and child, emailing parent's and students, marking work and researching for future lesson's.

He is underpaid and over worked. Then after all this, he has to deal with being a substitute parent and babysitter because of other parents failings when it comes to raising their children adequately.

In all this, where do you expect him to find the extra time to further communicate with parents?

I think many posters on this thread should actually take the time to understand what their children's teachers are having to deal with before passing judgement on how they do their job.

Stop passing the buck when it comes to your children's discipline because it is not something a teacher should be having to deal with at all. A teacher is an educator, not disciplinarian. Maybe that is why they don't focus on teaching age appropriate disciplinary method's on teacher training courses. They are too busy teaching future educators how to educate, not be a substitute parent.

They do go over various disciplinary methods during PGCE training but there is no 'one size fits all' solution for these things. Children respond differently to different methods of discipline.

LDNmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 14:11:03

If teachers had the authority to exclude even half of the disruptive student's they have to deal with on a daily basis, there would be a national outcry by hard done by parents and their children as to how the educational and teachers were failing to do their jobs properly.

FermezLaBouche Sun 18-Nov-12 14:15:19

Couldnt agree more, LDNmummy

Clary Sun 18-Nov-12 14:18:34

YY BrianButtterfield. I teach MFL and one of the modules coming up for GCSE is talking/writing about your family (in German or French). Oh hang on, they did that in yr 7 - well yes, but at a much more basic level.

Then they were saying who their brothers and sisters were and how old they are; now they will be talkign about how well they get on with them and why, conflicts between older and younger family members, what thye did in the past and will do in the future, etc.

Looking at a familar topic will often help put students at ease and thus help them feel freer to develop their own language skills.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 14:50:10

LDNMummy Absolutely. I am doing a PGCE, but have been teaching English as a foreign language for years. I have to say I bloody hate the discipline side of the job. Keeping a class quiet, fine. However, I am SHOCKED by the number of children who are perfectly happy to sit in a classroom, doing nothing, disrupting others, refusing to share, kicking, pushing, touching. These are not tiny little kids I am teaching. Some of them just haven't been brought up to behave properly and as a result stop others from learning.

But yeah, it's the teachers' faults, obviously.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 15:00:44

I really don't understand. Some teachers seem to have picked up this refrain that some parents think that they are no more than a babysitting service. Yet when we say we want to be involved, we are told off for impinging on the teachers' time.
What exactly do teachers want from parents because it seems that whatever we do is wrong.

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 15:09:06

"Picked up this refrain"? How patronising. Are you implying they cannot think for themselves, and merely repeat what they have heard?

Parents should support the school's policies and bring up their children so they behave appropriately in class. If they want to know what their children are studying, they can check the school's website or moodle or even - gasp - speak to their own children. Beyond that, unless their child is struggling with a certain element and they want to know how they can help them, I don't think parents need to be involved.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 15:16:10

There is a difference between what teachers want from parents and what you suggested. Top of the list would be to send them in properly fed and equipped with at least their book and a pen, second would be to back up the school in its attempts to maintain order instead of: phoning and texting their kids during lessons, complaining when said phone is confiscated, saying Little Johnny won't be doing detentions, and when Little Johnny tells the teacher to fuck off, bollocking Little Johnny themselves instead of complaining that the teacher picks on him.
You seem to think that teachers want to teach parents the English curriculum do that parents can tell teachers that they think their lessons are shit.

ravenAK Sun 18-Nov-12 15:19:32

<is nicking idea of FC letter for GCSE English Language>

<& ignoring all the depressing teacher-bashers who know not of what they speak> grin

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 15:29:15

"Picked up this refrain"? How patronising. Are you implying they cannot think for themselves, and merely repeat what they have heard?

Not at all, but it is a constant on MN.

Why on earth don't you want parental involvment when surveys show that parental support boosts pupils' outcomes? example here

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 18-Nov-12 15:31:29

Ah, there, you see - parental support and parental involvement. Two entirely different things.

senua Sun 18-Nov-12 15:34:49


And there's another refrain. Teachers cannot take criticism, it is always seen as 'bashing'. It's almost as if they think that they should not be questionned.

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 15:59:41

No problem with being questioned, but rest assured we get told all the time how shit we are by parents, pupils, SMT, the government and the papers.

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 16:02:03

Colouring in spelling homework. Actually?

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