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What's the protocol here?

(6 Posts)
Worried123456 Sun 29-Sep-13 22:01:58

DS has been at school for just a month and whilst is very happy there for the most part, is feeling v got at by one of the v strict male teachers. He's been really bawled out by him twice (possibly for valid reasons-eg once for forgetting a piece of PE equipment which got him a detention and a real bollocking) plus lots of sarcastic comments, but possibly rather OTT in the first couple of weeks.

He is now absolutely terrified of this teacher and is having difficulty sleeping/eating with lots of stomach aches and really really does not want to go to school the night before or in the morning. I'm sure this teacher is just maintaining his reputation as Mr Scary Teacher and DS has just been unlucky to be the only one to have forgotten anything so far, but he really is v v unhappy and would happily now just leave and go to a different school. I know he's just blown this up out of all proportion in his head and we've discussed strategies for keeping your head down and out of trouble (he has never been in trouble-was head boy at his primary) but he is utterly miserable and almost depressed about it. I totally understand the teacher just wants the children to do as they're told, bring all their kit to school and to obey the school rules which is great, but what do I do with DS?

Does he just have to man up? Is it worth me having a chat to his form teacher (obviously this would mean a phonecall/email or appointment being made as secondary school teachers aren't so accessible as primary teachers) which feels like I'm working it up into a huge thing. Though, tbh-it is huge in his head-absolutely enormous and is really affecting him. Will the teachers be bothered or will it just mean some head of year has an eye-rolling conversation in the staff room with this teacher about precious young Jones in 7P who's a big wuss and the teacher will make even more sarcastic comments which makes things worse? I just can't see what they can do as a practical measure to help him, but I don't want to see him so unhappy. I've suggested that if it doesn't get better-he goes himself to speak to the head of year in private, but to just try to live with it for a bit longer and keep organised and out of this teacher's way.

Can any secondary school teachers help?

MadameDefarge Sun 29-Sep-13 22:26:38

No, not a man up situation. Talk to his form tutor...He is caught in the hideous nightmare of first term at secondary, with a shouty teacher. You need to flag it with his form tutor.

Sarcastic comments are a form of bullying, and should never be used by tutors.

You need mention it.

Worried123456 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:02:39

Thank you- I just am not sure what to do. He has had tears streaming down his face all morning. I expect the teacher is just trying to sort discipline but it has gone a bit far the other way now. He's been happy going to school since he was 2-this is just horrible sad

How does one get hold of secondary teachers? Ring the office, I suppose? I'd rather go in than speak about it over the phone, tbh.

BehindLockNumberNine Mon 30-Sep-13 08:05:32

Pop into the office this morning and ask to speak to either ds's form tutor. It may be quite possible they can't see you this morning but they should give you an appointment for this afternoon.

longingforsomesleep Mon 30-Sep-13 10:48:44

This is not a small thing and please don't let anybody at school make you feel it is. The size of the problem should be measured by the impact it has on your son - not how it would impact on you or me or even another child. It is clearly having a profound effect on him so it is a major problem.

We have a teacher at our school who is very unpredictable and kids either love her or hate her. She's very fond of put downs and my kids tell me she has her favourites and those she picks on. My youngest had when he was in year 7 and it was a good couple of months before I realised that the recurring tummy ache/feeling too unwell to go to school coincided with her lessons! I was in the fortunate position of having a friend work at the school who was able to take the teacher aside and let her know what effect she was having on my son. I think she was quite embarrassed.

But there are several ways you could approach the school. You could go into the office or ring the office and ask for an appointment to speak to your son's form tutor or head of year (I would suggest form tutor first so they don't feel they are being bypassed). Or if you feel brave, the bullying teacher himself! If our school is anything to go by, they will ask you what it concerns so be prepared to answer this question.

Or, you could do what I do sometimes which is email the school (their main email address will be on their website, letter heading etc) and put at the top "For the attention of Mr/Mrs .............". I sometimes find this a better way of doing things as you are able to be more careful and precise about what you say (and I might get a bit wobbly if my son was being made so unhappy!). I would expect an email though to be a prelude to a face to face meeting or a phone call to discuss things further.

I think it's fairly common for year 7s to get a hard time from some teachers - I think they're trying to knock them into shape before they get too old to answer back! But some teachers undoubtedly go over the top. If I was in your shoes I would be asking for my son to be transferred to another class for this subject if at all possible.

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 30-Sep-13 17:46:19

Tbh, I would email the form tutor, explain the situation as you have here, and ask his/her advice as to how to deal with it. Chances are, they've seen it all before and will be able to have a quick word asking Mr Scary to tone it down.

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