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Dd's history lesson this week.

(94 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 19:29:28

Well dd had another history lesson today. Previous thread about last week here.


Teacher came in and told the class she was stressed as she'd just been told the following lesson would be an observed lesson and told the class she hadn't planned the lesson. So she told them all to do a card matching game with some sort of history pictures so she could ignore the class and try and plan for the next lesson.

Dd says no one really knew what to do. Someone started messing about and threw a pen.

History teacher was nearly crying and begging them to behave. Told the, she was really stressed and she needed them to be quiet so she could do lesson prep.

I need to ring up don't I?

radicalsubstitution Fri 23-Nov-12 19:32:20

Er, yes. This is inexcusable.

Floralnomad Fri 23-Nov-12 19:36:44

Sounds like she s completely out of her depth . TBH you'd be doing her a favour if you complain because she obviously needs help .

Well, if it's true that the teacher had been told an hour before a lesson that she was going to be observed that is also inexcusable on the part of the school.

A card matching game with pictures would be a perfectly worthwhile piece of group work, done as part of a lesson with teacher guidance etc.

Teacher saying shut up and get on with things might also be acceptable in some circumstances too.

But altogether, I'd say the teacher isn't coping very well and that the Head of Dept perhaps needs to give better guidance on the scheme of work, resources etc - so it would be worth phoning the school in concern for both the teacher's health and your dd's learning.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 19:43:11

I can see the card matching thing been ok, dd says it was Iron Age pictures which does tie in with the curriculum.

What I think is really poor is the teacher basically ignoring them for the lesson so she can prepare for the next. Is it normal to be doing lesson prep during another lesson?

It would depend, Viva. If a class were doing an assessment, I'd probably be marking or doing some prep and only responding if they needed more paper or had a question. But I wouldn't give them an assessment without warning them in advance. And if they were doing a section of the lesson which they could work on pretty independently, I might again leave them to it for a while whilst I got on with things - but I wouldn't tell them I was stressed and therefore to leave me alone to plan!

She really sounds as if she's struggling and so it's worth you calling with your concerns - she needs some support and only then will your dd be getting a better experience of History lessons.

lljkk Fri 23-Nov-12 19:51:41


VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 20:01:54

They're just going to tell me it's acceptable as she'd given them work to do aren't they? And then I'll get a reputation in the staff room as a neurotic mother.

I'm honestly not, dd got through primary school without me moaning about the lessons or teachers.

No I don't think they would - but how many lessons has dd had with her all told? If only 2 or 3, maybe wait a couple of weeks and see what happens.

cansu Fri 23-Nov-12 20:08:24

Tbh I am more worried that she thinks its ok to tell them she's stressed and appearing to be upset. She does sound like she is under pressure. It's a tricky one if this is a one off I would leave it. If it is part of a series of issues then it might be worth raising your concerns but I would probably raise it more in line with concerns about your dd progress rather than the mental health of the teacher.

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 23-Nov-12 20:08:51

I doubt she was only just told about the lesson observation- I thought a certain period of notice had to be given (even OFSTED tell you the day before.)

But in any case she should have her lessons planned in advance and to plan during another class is inexcusable.

She is also really rather dumb telling the class that is what she was doing...

VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 20:11:44

Dd has three lessons every fortnight with her.

So she's had quite a few lessons. Dd says she does some history and then they watch a lot of videos.

One lesson of watching Nicky Minaj videos, and different Gangnam style versions. Gangnam grandad style, etc.

One lesson playing Chinese whispers, albeit with a slight history slant. The whisper would be started off to do with a historical person. I asked dd if at the end of each round did the teacher at least give an actual fact about that person but dd says not. Though dd now thinks queen Victoria invented silver biscuits and king Henry the eighth invented Sesame Street.

Then they had a lesson where they were all drawing moustaches on people on the white board and all the kids were taking photos on their phone. Just random people, not even try and draw a caveman, etc.

changeforthebetterforObama Fri 23-Nov-12 20:14:20

God, poor woman! I was observed by the Deputy Head today. I worked till 6.30 at school yesterday and worked 8pm to 2am to make it all Ofsted-tactic. I have to say my lesson after was a bit shit (do you always work outstandingly well?) but the kids had no idea why.

I am sorry your daughter is in this situation. I am also sorry that thousands of committed teachers are being driven to the brink of despair by leadership. I actually think I did OK today - plenty of room for improvement but I have been doing the job for 9 weeks FGS! I wish parents would wake up to the fact that bullying and demeaning teachers really isn't going to have a good effect on their children's education.

I think you need to ring and ask if you can see the Head of History - or email, if they are that sort of school. It sounds pretty shambolic all round.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 20:25:36

Sorry Obama, I don't understand if you think it's me bullying and demeaning teachers or management bullying teachers in general?

I've got nothing against teachers and wouldn't get involved in teacher bashing at all. That wasn't what this thread was meant for.

I'm sure teaching is a high pressured and stressful job. If today had been a one off I'd have just thought that she's having a bad day and not been bothered. But as its come after tales of watching Gangnam videos, etc I'm a bit concerned.

I hope you get good feedback on your observation lesson.

changeforthebetterforObama Fri 23-Nov-12 20:31:47

No not at all! Sorry if it wasn't clear. I mean head teachers and senior managers, Michaels Gove and Wilshaw. I completely understand your concern about your daughter (mother as well as teacher).

BrianButterfield Fri 23-Nov-12 20:32:37

If she was really given an hour's notice of an observation that is shockingly bad practice on the school's part. I have also been known to sneak in a bit of lesson planning while teaching - time management like that is what makes teaching bearable. But certainly not while leaving a class to their own devices - most teachers should be able to pull something out that will occupy a class in a decent, educational way for half an hour or so and indeed it's expected that students should be able to work on their own for such a length of time. I wouldn't expect a class to be able to do an activity like card-sorts on their own though - it would be an extended writing or an assessment task.

What I'm saying is that the situation, although not exactly brilliant, is not unknown and could be managed tolerably well. But it doesn't sound like it was on this occasion and I would be worried about the accounts from other lessons (for example, I did put Gangnam Style on in the last two minutes of a Friday, period 5 lesson, as a 'reward' (!) for a well-behaved class. Which is very different from watching many different videos in the middle of a lesson).

VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 20:36:11

Dd is scatty and vague at the best of times and can be prone to exaggerating. It is possible that this teacher is just doing a 5 min reward video at the end of the lesson. I have asked dd if its this and she says no, but that's not to say dd is right.

cory Fri 23-Nov-12 20:36:40

I would ring up out of concern for the poor woman, not to criticise her but to make sure she gets help. She really sounds as if she needs proper support. I'm sure there are ways you can phrase it that make it clear you are worried about her.

lljkk Fri 23-Nov-12 20:38:15

What Cory said.

BrianButterfield Fri 23-Nov-12 20:39:43

VLB - hmmm, it's a problem, isn't it, when they exaggerate! I know I've heard accounts of things from students that were wildly different from what I knew happened. The thing in this case is that the non-exaggerated version of events could be OK (apart from the phones/whiteboard thing which is really not OK).

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 23-Nov-12 20:40:35

I think she needs help, she sounds really stressed and like she isnt coping well at all.

Ugh to the Michaels - flesh creep time.

Totally agree with Cory.

squeezedatbothends Fri 23-Nov-12 21:43:27

You must ring...this is really unprofessional. Whatever pressure you're under, you should never pass that on to the children and it is never acceptable, never, to be planning your next lesson when you should be teaching the current one. I'm stunned that there are teachers on here saying they do. You really must ring - you've not done anything wrong. You've had concerns, waited and taken advice. You need to let the school know your concerns.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 23-Nov-12 21:43:50


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