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When a teacher dislikes your child--what do you do?

(30 Posts)
Bride1 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:46:51

Have name-changed for this one, but am regular!

My 14-year-old daughter has a problem with a PE teacher. She plays in a team and this lady, new this year, seems to dislike her very strongly. We are not sure exactly why or when it started. But it came to a head when my daughter queried her position in the team at a match last weekend. She says she was at pains to ask the question very politely, and the query had actually arisen because the position my daughter was given was in direct contradiction to what the teacher had told her she ought to be playing. The teacher explained and said that everything would be changing again in the team anyway, the match was shortly to start, so my daughter was keen to get warming up and said 'OK, good'. As she walked away, the teacher shouted at her, 'What did you just say to me?' Daughter repeated. She was told off for being rude. A little stunned, she retreated. Later on she came across the teacher and started to apologise if she had sounded rude, she hadn't meant to. The teacher blanked her. The team bibs were given out and one of them accidentally fell into the mud and became dirty. The teacher gave it to my daughter and told her she could have that one. She played well in the match, really throwing herself into the game although she was in the position she'd been told wasn't ideal for her.

We told our daughter to turn up at the next training session and continue to be polite, willing and keen. But every time she addressed a remark to the teacher,or answered a question, the teacher apparently blanked her. She is one of the stronger players on this team, but feels she is picked on and criticised constantly.

I was keen for her to try and resolve this herself but I am wondering whether she needs to talk to the teacher herself or the head of sport, or her head of year. Or whether we should have a word? Clearly something has gone wrong. My daughter is very organised and perhaps comes across as being too keen. But the way the teacher is responding to the issue isn't really helping them to improve the relationship. I don't want my daughter to get fed up and jack in the sport, as it is one she has worked hard on for some years, attending camps in the holidays, etc, and pretty well the only sport she is in a team for. We have never been told by any other teacher in this school or her primary school that she has been rude, though she is not the kind of person to take what is said by anyone as The Word if she doesn't understand it or it doesn't make sense.

What should we do?

breadandbutterfly Tue 27-Nov-12 20:53:23

Teachers are human and have bad days. Who knows why the teacher was rude - not your dd's fault or problem and she shouldn't have to put up with it but it may well blow over - maybe teacher misheard her original comment, was having a bad day and has since got over it. I'm ateacher and would love to say I'm perfect but am sure there are times I've been short with pupils or inadvertantly rude. Hope your dd is not too scarred. Sounds a mature and sensible girl.

Bride1 Tue 27-Nov-12 21:27:43

Thank you, breadandbutter. I am hoping they have put it behind them now. Fingers crossed.

ItsRainingOutside Wed 28-Nov-12 15:11:36

Interesting to read your OP. My daughter had similar issues with her PE teacher and I encouraged her to treat him in the same way as he treats her. He may now treat her indifferently (as she does him), but at least he knows his bullying has had no effect. Keep a journal of everything that happens to back you up if you need to report it officially.

Bride1 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:51:41

Funny how it is often PE teachers! My own tennis coach can be a bit like this, too. We are a group of about five women and he is definitely more dismissive with some rather than others. He has favourites: those he chats to and those he doesn't. And boy is he moody.

As we are adults, not school children, we just laugh at his strange ways. But some parents in a children's group have been annoyed by his manner. He does things like call a child by a particular unwelcome nickname and, when the child objects, says things like, 'I'll keep doing it until I don't get a reaction'. Erm, why!?! But with other children (my own daughter included) he is really nice.

So my question to PE/sports coaches is: why do some of them do this power game stuff? I know the majority of you are lovely, tolerant people who really enjoy working with young people. I am a volunteer at a sports club (yet another sport) and the coaches are almost universally encouraging and kind to all the youngsters, even the most annoying or untalented. So I do know it's not all of you. smile

PastSellByDate Mon 03-Dec-12 03:40:00

Hi Bride1:

Was just checking out this feed (DD1 in Y5 so getting a 'sneak peak' at life in future) - but this rang many bells.

First off I think you're handling this well - you've raised your concern with the school without making it a huge issue - and I suspect the message will be received.

Having played sports in my deep dark past - a lot of what you said absolutely resonates with me. So in answer to why do some people play these power games? I think it genuinely is because they can. They've got a group of keen kids that want despeartely to make the team - and so they can say what they want, have favourites and be vindictive - often without repurcusions because the kids know if they complain they'll most likely be 'benched'.

I had the temerity to miss 'the big game' and boy did I get it from the coach. But I think the advice of just ignoring it and getting on with it really does work. My dear old Dad said just treat it like water off a duck's back, so I worked hard to not show any concern outwardly (and knew I could sound off about it at home that night). Ultimately my team mates started asking why I wasn't back playing my position - and eventually I was returned to first team.

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