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Teachers behaving strangely in PE

(16 Posts)
deliataughtme Thu 17-Jan-13 21:40:01

DD, Yr 9, came home from school fuming.

They had PE today. Two groups so two teachers. They did bleep tests (whatever they are) but which I understand to be mindless running up and down and then the girls take their pulses. At this point the girls were not told they couldn't talk and though they had been put at ease after the running and the two teachers left the gym because there was talking.

They were gone for 20 minutes and then came back and screamed at the girls for their rudeness, the fact that they might as well not be there, no-one noticed they had gone, etc.. The girls were also told they would do really badly at GCSE because of their attitude. The girls were then made to spend 20 minutes running around outside in the freezing cold - some did not have full kit and had to do so in tshirts/shorts in minus temperatures.

Now, I appreciate I have one side of this but there must have been 40 odd girls, some of whom have significant behaviour problems, some of whom have SEN. They were left unattended for 20 minutes. Is that actually acceptable from a safeguarding point of view? I don't think it is. I don't think screaming at girls is acceptable either.

My dd and one of her friends, another mum has been on the phone, think the teachers were out of order and should at the very least have given instructions about whether the girls could talk when taking pulses, etc., should not have left the girls unattended and should not have come back screaming. DD and the friend are very reliable to give accurate recollections of the facts.

All sounds very strange and unsatisfactory. Also, doesn't sound like much of a team spirited PE lesson either.

Any PE teachers, SMT members or teachers generally on here for a view.

Bilbobagginstummy Thu 17-Jan-13 21:42:49

I'm none of those, but it sounds typical of PE teachers.

<had very bad experiences of school PE thanks to teachers like this>

Tigresswoods Thu 17-Jan-13 21:44:03

Sounds like my games teachers when I was at school. I wonder why so many kids don't enjoy PE...?

TaggieCampbellBlack Thu 17-Jan-13 21:47:09

PE is shite and pointless.

jo164 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:06:37

PE teacher here! OK - first of all the bleep test is a valid fitness test used by an awful lot of schools to test cardiovascular fitness, as a one off lesson or part of a block on fitness the activity itself it perfectly good. However your daughter clearly didn't really know why they were doing the 'running up and down', or taking eachothers pulse, so the 2 teachers clearly hadn't explained the lesson objectives very well.
Leaving the room clearly backfired - I assume it was meant to make the girls quiet which it obviously didn't! Very silly to stay out of the room for that long, although I expect they were literally just outside the door. Not something I'd ever try as it most probably would never have the desired effect, especially with some children who probably couldn't care whether the teacher was there or not! The teachers sound very inexperienced to me, they dug themselves into a hole trying to discipline pupils, it backfired and then tried to 'punish' the whole lot by taking them outside for a run.
Nothing wrong in my view with going outside on a day like today, in fact I took my 7 and 8 yr olds out. However what kit should the girls have had on? Mine pupils had full tracksuits, fleeces, hats and gloves! This is a bit of a bug bear of mine - children don't bring correct kit, but then parents complain when we take them out in rain/cold etc.... Should I take them out and teach my planned lesson and hope they remember next time, or should I change my plan completely to suit a bunch of children who can't organise their kit correctly and show them its fine for them to keep forgetting the correct kit as I'll just bend over backwards to accommodate this? I'm not saying this is the case here, but maybe something to consider.
Screaming is never a good way to deal with a class - they lose any respect for you as a teacher if you lose the plot completely!
Sounds like a great deal of inexperience on the part of the staff - maybe a word to H of D to say you were concerned about them being left unattended for that period of time, and that your daughter had no idea why they were doing the lesson as nothing appeared to be explained. A decent H of D would act upon this and 'help/tell' their staff to behave in a more professional manner, and give them some help with their disciplining skills.

And for what its worth its not typical of most PE teachers - most of us have a lot of patience and time for your children and try to make PE a good experience.

deliataughtme Thu 17-Jan-13 22:14:09

That's interesting. It was an indoor PE lesson btw, not a games lesson. Therefore the girls would not have expected to have to go outside but to have been in the gym rather than the field.

Sadly one of the teachers was not only the Head of Department but also the Head of KS3 - not impressive is it?

I am most concerned because the year group contains some very badly behaved girls; some of whom have been temporarily excluded for violence. I am really not amused that the girls were left alone. Presumably if a fight had broken out in the circumstances, the school wouldn't have had too many legs to stand on.

jo164 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:21:32

Ok - so no not appropriate to take them outside if they were timetabled to be indoors. No its not impressive behaviour from a H of D and I would in that case probably pen my note to the Headteacher as that kind of behaviour is unacceptable and lack of experience clearly isn't an excuse.
Leaving pupils alone is definitely the biggest breach of safety here and I would attack from that angle. If your daughters friend and her parents also feel able to write, or request a meeting if you want to take it that far, then It would certainly add more weight to your complaint.
No they wouldn't have had a leg to stand on if something had happened when they should have been supervising.

Loshad Thu 17-Jan-13 22:44:24

we are assuming here that DDs account is totally accurate, ime as a parent and teacher there is always a "leetle" bit of embelishment and exaggeration in these circumstances. Human nature to a certain extent, but what actually would still be a genuine concern gets altered beyond recognition for extra sympathy.

deliataughtme Thu 17-Jan-13 22:54:17

DD is generally reliable in the recounting of tales and is not a teller of tall stories. I am inclined to believe that some girls behaved badly but that the two teachers concerned behaved no better and bearing in mind they are salaried professionals probably behaved worse than the the majority of the girls in the context of proportionality.

I have talked this through with dd and we have agreed she and three friends (the four reliable girls in the class - two of whom are sport and who are also "outraged") will talk this through with their class teacher tomorrow.

stanleypj Fri 18-Jan-13 18:18:59

Sounds very sensible - hope they had a productive conversation.

As a retired secondary head, I'd say that this is bizarre behaviour. It's the kind of thing that was more common when I were a lad aeons ago but, although I came across some strange attitudes from PE teachers, I hope and believe that PE teaching has come on leaps and bounds.

prettypolly1 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:21:36

Get over it.

prettypolly1 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:24:18

Get over it.

cuggles Sat 19-Jan-13 22:44:25

Another PE teacher here and I can only echo what jo says so I won't repeat it. The best way to approach this is from the leaving students unsupervised angle - completely unacceptable and unsafe - if an accident had happened they would have been completely at fault. Also, ideally you punish the students creating the problem, not en masse. The screaming is in my opinion unacceptable too and I find it only serves to wind the teacher up more (think of the raise in your bp etc when you scream!) but it is difficult to quantify how much went on and what is ok or not as it is subjective. I would also urge a little caution as Loshad says! However your dd sounds very mature in her desire to handle this herself, well done and good luck to her!

cricketballs Sat 19-Jan-13 22:59:54

I'll be completely honest and know I will be flamed! but the fact that your DD doesn't want you to get involved despite her complaining to you how awful this lesson was is a red herring to me.

I understand that you believe her completely as she is your DD; but are you 100% that this is the absolute truth? If you were then I am sure you would not leave this to your DD given the lack of supervision (the running around the track is just a sideline which is justified given it was a PE lesson) if you felt that strongly.

madwomanintheattic Sat 19-Jan-13 23:07:52

Omg. They were expected to actually do sport and take their pulses in a pe lesson? And shut up and get on with it? Deffo complain. Pe is for chatting, obv.

The bleep test is an interesting one if it's done properly. I'm betting they all gave up and wandered off to chat, instead of actually working to their max, which pissed off the teachers and led to the outdoor thing.

A few minutes of running around outside at about freezing won't kill them, but it might remind them to concentrate next time.

The teachers walked off and left the class for twenty minutes?

Yeah. Ok.

madwomanintheattic Sat 19-Jan-13 23:13:25

Oh god, and sorry but 'team spirited pe lesson'?

Totally not the point of an individual max exercise. grin

I hadn't realized pe was solely about being with your friends and had lost the individual fitness angle completely... I now understand why are struggling with the idea of the teachers being upset at the general rowdiness and chatting.

How far did dd get with the test, btw? Presumably she was still running for ages after the rest had stopped and were chatting? Ditto with the other three well behaved gels?

The problem with the bleep test is if you do it with a mixed ability group, half of the finish ages before they should, and way before the keeners who are actually a) fit, and b) doing it properly. Hence the chatting. But that shouldn't have stopped dd getting on with it and continuing with the exercise?

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