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Opinions please, is this teacher over reacting?

(20 Posts)
sandyballs Mon 13-May-13 21:33:16

DD is in year 7. She was great at primary school, high achieving, well behaved. Year 7 she has changed and seems to treat it all as a bit of a laugh, desperate to fit in with peers. I've posted before on this.

Had a phone call this evening from her music teacher to inform us that DD had behaved terribly in her lesson today, she said "I have never experienced a child behaving like that in all my teaching career". I was listening, horrified thinking what the hell has she done.

DD had been asked to come to the front of the class to scroll down on the computer as the class sang a song. She was dared to type in the word 'monkey' on the song sheet, which she did. I know it's annoying and disruptive and must piss the teacher off, but a phone call home?

We haven't told DD we think she over reacted, obviously and I do think perhaps this was the last straw in a long line of silliness. We have punished her, no phone, guides, footie.

We live in south London so it is a mixture of kids at this school, just can't quite believe she hasn't experienced worse!

I'd welcome opinions.

CatelynStark Mon 13-May-13 21:38:03

I would have laughed at that, if I was the teacher. I suspect the teacher has led a charmed life in the classroom or is lying for dramatic effect.

Either way, I'd rollock my daughter and then dine out on the story for years! smile

AuntieBrenda Mon 13-May-13 21:41:25

Does this teacher want to do an exchange with me? Dear lord if only that was the worst thing I ever encountered! Teacher is barmy! In fairness, I think good on you got punishing dd for being generally silly. As a parent, I'd back the school to dd's face and pull the grinconfused face about the situation with DH in private

Ilovegeorgeclooney Mon 13-May-13 21:55:05

Well if this destroyed a carefully planned lesson I would be furious especially if it was part of a low level 'drip feed' of disruption from a particular pupil. These 'class clowns' are often the worse , able enought to sail through without effort but clearly damaging the chances of others. This disregard of poor behaviour is seen as a licence to repeat it by pupils. Your dd sounds like she is at a crossroads, you clearly understand the importance but so many people find it 'amusing' until Year 10/11 when suddenly the impact is on their child not others.

scaevola Mon 13-May-13 21:56:22

What was the song? I can think of contexts where it could be very offensive.

tiggytape Mon 13-May-13 22:28:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MomOfTomStubby Mon 13-May-13 22:42:59

The teacher wasn't black was she? If yes then that might explain why typing 'monkey' was such a major event.

BackforGood Mon 13-May-13 22:49:59

What tiggytape said.
tbh, regardless of if it's the worst or not, I would be very pleased that the school was letting me know if any of my dc were behaving badly in school.

sashh Tue 14-May-13 07:45:14

It could be a very racist term, or it could be nothing.

You need to find out which to judge whether the teacher was over reacting.

Branleuse Tue 14-May-13 07:47:32

she obviously takes no shit, and quite rightly. I think in a secondary school she probably needs to not start letting disrespect set in.

Branleuse Tue 14-May-13 07:48:59

and its not really up to you whether she overreacts. shes the one trying to control a class of 12 year olds. not you.

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 14-May-13 07:49:06

Low level disruption and cheekiness can be frustrating and wastes teachers' and pupils' time, but I'm not sure why the teacher phoned you. Does the school not have a system of sanctions or consequences for inappropriate behaviour?

sandyballs Tue 14-May-13 07:50:57

Thanks all. No racist intent, I'm pretty sure. The teacher isn't black and I would be very surprised if DD behaved in a racist manner. She's silly and a bit hyper and wants to impress her mates but not nasty. We have had problems with other kids daring her to do things and endless bloody conversations with her about ignoring them which she has stuck to for the last couple of weeks but obviously not yesterday.

I am glad the teacher has informed us and I think it must be the last straw kind of thing, rather than that incident alone. I think I might email her learning coach today.

sandyballs Tue 14-May-13 07:51:56

She has a detention this evening.

senua Tue 14-May-13 08:27:20

What is DD's opinion of all this?
If she thinks that detention is warranted then OK but if she thinks that it is OTT then she is going to lose all respect for school and its authority - you risk getting into 'might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb' territory.

scaevola Tue 14-May-13 08:35:12

Your DD might not have intended to be offensive, but the term "monkey" can definitely be used/interpreted as racist.

You say she did it as a dare. This is an opportunity for her to learn about resisting peer pressure.

Vivacia Tue 14-May-13 08:56:39

The teacher is not over-reacting. You and your child need to understand that your daughter doesn't have the right to disrupt the teacher's lesson or other students' learning.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 14-May-13 09:00:24

There's no evidence that this was intended or seen as racist, so I wouldn't get distracted by that. BUt - and I know it's a cliche - I probably wouldn't take dd's word that that was all there was to it either.

Things said or done, when repeated carefully to remove some nuance or context, can sound a lot more storm-in-teacup than perhaps they were.

macreturnofthe Tue 14-May-13 09:09:59

if that's the worst phone call home you've got nothing to worry about. Sounds like a perfect family tale for when she's older.

Well done for keeping a straight face telling her off!!

Whitewineformeplease Tue 14-May-13 10:18:34

The best teacher in my old school did this kind of thing with all the first years. The second they stepped out of line, she phoned home in the first few weeks of term. Let the students know that she wouldn't take any bad behaviour. Her classes completely respected her; to walk into her classroom was to enter an oasis of calm. Low level disruption can be the absolute worst, especially in a subject which involves a lot of practical stuff. I'd say give her the benefit of the doubt.

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