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French Teacher

(61 Posts)
lottysmum Fri 26-May-17 20:54:30

Just looking for a little bit of advice please....

My dd had her French Oral exam today (Yr10), in previous years she has done great - last year was 100%. The presentation element of the Oral went well - but a couple of sections of the questions werent great - one probably down to DD being TOO laid back because she felt secure in this area so probably didnt revise and another section was weak because they havent fully covered this topic - so dd struggled to improvise ....

However the main issue DD and the other girls are finding is that their French teacher is not very personable and rather than give them encouragement - "slags them off" - including pulling faces during the Oral showing annoyance - when the girls have not answered a question well, so allot of the girls are really lacking in confidence and demoralised (she's not very well liked and has a habit of saying derogatory/inappropriate comments This term she stated in front of all the class that she thought my daughter must be on illegal drugs because she was so lively in class (my DD is a chatterbox).

This morning I did try and say to my DD to try and not look at the teacher during the oral because having met the teacher I know she is very animated - therefore I felt that if DD went wrong in her oral at the start she would know this from the teachers face and just fall apart (other teachers have done the oral in the past). A number of the girls came out the oral demoralised and in tears because the teacher had said in very harsh words they had not done very well - not in an encouraging manner....

My big concern is that I think DD is OK overall with her French oral - learnt a few lessons from this morning BUT DD did state that the same teacher will take them for the GCSE Oral - I personally think she is unsuitable to do Oral Exams because of her negative traits ...

I dont think she's a bad teacher - just lacks interpersonal skills ...Have I justification to ask for her not to do the Oral exams with this class next year?

ilovesooty Fri 26-May-17 20:59:21

I doubt very much that you would be able to stop her doing the oral exam. Who do you imagine would do it instead and how would they justify action like that?

I'd be rather more concerned if the teacher really suggested your daughter takes illicit substances.

Wolfiefan Fri 26-May-17 21:01:14

If you have a specific complaint then make it. You can't control staff in at the school.
She's a chatterbox? Maybe the teacher is pissed off that she disturbs lessons?

lottysmum Fri 26-May-17 21:21:59

My DD is a chatterbox and we have worked with this - this is her personality which is very difficult to change and the school appreciates this and allot of teachers like the fact that she's pro-active in lessons. In the same context this teacher seems to demoralise the children in her class by her mannerisms. My dd is probably the least affected by this but other girls now want to give up French - that is how serious it is ...

There will be complaints made and questions asked because the girls are demoralised - its an Independent School where the parents do voice their opinions very loudly ..

There are other French teachers who can take the Oral - this is the 4th or 5th Oral my daughter has had and scored over 90% in all previous orals and 100% in the last Oral - personally she wont score that highly this time because she was too laid back with the revising of questions on this occasion - BUT I would rather not have this teacher take a public exam Oral because I believe that she should not show any negative emotion during the Oral ...which she has done today ...

I intend to speak to her about the drugs comment - highly inappropriate but that's another issue ...

titchy Sat 27-May-17 00:17:54

Sorry but your dd is a complete pain in the arse. No teacher or school 'appreciates' a chatterbox.

lottysmum Sat 27-May-17 01:41:30

Titchy - thanks that's your opinion ....HOW DARE YOU !!!!!! - If you read my daughters's reports - she is a pleasure to teach - very understated this post isnt about my daughter being a chatterbox - this is about a teacher who cannot motivate her class and does the opposite - I had no reason to mention about my DD being a chatterbox but I wanted to post a balanced view ...I didnt ask for a character assassination of my daughter

I was actually trying to find a way to address an issue where kids are turned off because of the mannerisms of a teacher...ARE you a teacher Titchy ?

Pain in the arse NO...a child that we moved into an independent school because she was bullied YES...Bullied because she had a large GAP in her teeth....bullied because she has Hyper-mobility ...she is a chatterbox (I think she sometimes reacts when she feels bullied again - low self esteem) She is actually FORM HEAD for 2017/18 Year 11 - which is a post given to her by teachers ...because she's a genuine honest caring child ...who relates to her peer group ... She still doesnt have a easy ride in school because we are NOT affluent parents - just parents who want our daughter to have a good education and have a chance of fulfilling her potential ...

I could have barked at the teacher when she made a derogatory comment to me daughter - I didnt because I know this teacher struggles to relate to her students - This teacher started this year by making some statements about NOT being liked ...

The girls considering dropping out are quiet girls - who feel bullied by her - and I think my DD relates to this ....

BarbarianMum Sat 27-May-17 11:06:59

Not everyone your daughter meets in life is going to smile encouragingly at her (this is particularly true if she ever tries her French on an actual French person). Tell her to revise properly, do her best and ignore her teacher's expression. And to listen more in class.

ilovesooty Sat 27-May-17 11:10:57

Well. What a dramatic reaction to the mere suggestion that your daughter's behaviour might be a problem.

dingit Sat 27-May-17 11:22:24

Is it a academy? Ds' French teacher is an utter bitch.

ilovesooty Sat 27-May-17 11:41:55

It's an independent school.

LadyinCement Sat 27-May-17 11:47:26

BarbarianMum grin That was my immediate thought too. Imagine going to France and thinking that everyone's going to be grinning encouragingly when you murder their language.

It doesn't matter whether the teacher breaks out into song every time you get a word right or sits there with a malevolent look on her face... it is an exam !

Ktown Sat 27-May-17 11:48:47

It is tough but your child will have to learn to deal with all sorts in life and will have to adapt accordingly.
It will be hard but tell her not to take the eye rolling too seriously.
As for chatterbox unless she is disruptive, which it sounds like she isn't, then that will likely calm Down With age.

ilovesooty Sat 27-May-17 11:52:26

We had external examiners when I did language exams. I'm sure there was no suggestion of vetting them to check how personable they were.

swingofthings Sat 27-May-17 12:21:30

Is the teacher of French nationality or lived in France for a long time? French teachers are not taught to be friendly and encouraging, so this kind be a culture thing. That doesn't mean they are likely to score lower, it just means that they expect pupils to be challenged rather than encouraged.

Tell your DD that what the teacher says (verbally or non verbally) is irrelevant because she should feel confident about what she says regardless of feedback. Don't tell her to avoid eye contact, it's rude. Just tell her to do her best and that's all that matters.

lottysmum Sat 27-May-17 13:54:38

She's not French (or foreign) and I dont expect her to grin but I do know that there will be a deterioration with this terms Oral exams as apposed to previous exams when the girls felt so at ease ... I think all exams are stressful without having a frowning teacher sat in front of you ..apparently she was in mood after the second Oral session of the morning because one girl turned up late ....(which must be annoying but ...she should be professional and not take this out on the following girls)

Surely it is in the interest of the school to get the best results from the girls by putting them at ease...

I am sure my DD will be fine because she's focused on wanting to continue her education by doing the IB programme after GCSE's so she knows she needs to do well in French but I just feel so sorry for these girls who have been completely switched off.... My DD is doing a French exchange shortly so hopefully that will inspire her...

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-May-17 14:07:18

Sounds to me like your dd is covering her arse in case things don't go well.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-May-17 14:09:23

Ktown
As for chatterbox unless she is disruptive, which it sounds like she isn't,

She is a chatterbox
She is doing this in lessons
She is disruptive

lottysmum Sat 27-May-17 16:37:27

She doesn't have to cover anything - BoneyBackjefferson .... your obviously a teacher .... If my DD wanted to drop French she could in my opinion (although the school doesnt give her a choice with this) I would much rather her study subjects she is engaged with and where teachers dont make the students feel dumb! DD doesnt want to drop French because she wants to go the IB route in Sixth form - her decision ... I'm not a parent who wants to hot house her child - I just want her to have the best education she can and have the opportunity of doing as well as she is able ..if this means stating that I am unhappy with this teacher doing the French Orals then I will !

PS No where on her report does it state she is disruptive in class and no one has stated this on parents evening ..although I know she is a chatterbox.... The only comments made are that she has great enthusiasm, confidence and energy ...although I can see how these attributes might annoy a very moody French teacher !

ilovesooty Sat 27-May-17 17:12:56

If you go into school and request that this teacher is removed from the oral examination I shall be extremely interested to learn what the school's response is.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-May-17 17:20:12

of course she is
she has talked through class and missed bits
she is overconfident and hasn't revised.

It is a shame that you can't see this.

swingofthings Sat 27-May-17 20:15:39

Surely the fact that she knows her, and therefore knows what to expect means that it is unlikely she will feel intimidated by her in 12 months time?

You say that she didn't do as well as expected because she didn't revise as much as should have and struggled to improvise, so really, her lower than expected grade (if that's what she gets) will have nothing to do with the teacher's manieurism but with her lack of good preparation?

The only difference between this teacher and another if she doesn't hide the fact that pupils are not responding as they should, but surely she can't be blamed for the fact that they don't if they haven't prepared well.

It sounds like a massive cope out to try to divert from the real reason why the oral didn't go well. What are you going to say? 'Can you make sure that this teacher doesn't sit the orals because she is too good at knowing when a pupil tries to improvise because they haven't studied the subject and the lack of her encouraging poor response isn't acceptable'?

QGMum Sat 27-May-17 20:18:46

OP- Do you usually express opinions on the duties teaching staff should carry out and does the school take these opinions into consideration?

Eolian Sat 27-May-17 20:26:51

'Chatterbox' is an interesting choice of word. It is a polite way of describing a child who persistently disrupts lessons because they will not shut up. I fail to see how you can be a chatterbox in class and not disrupt lessons. Otherwise what do you actually mean by 'she's a chatterbox'? Such pupils often do less well than they should, because they are not actually paying attention in lessons (and dustract others too).

lottysmum Sat 27-May-17 23:38:02

Firstly - I call her a chatterbox - not the school....the school has made no reference to her being a chatterbox ... my DD is projected to get A's A*'s in most subjects not sure what grades on new system because most exams will still be A-G IGCSE - she's already working at this level in most subjects ...most teachers describe her as a pleasure to teach !

Thanks to all of you for your replies - my mistake for addressing an issue where you can only interpret circumstances and perhaps some of my comments would lead you to make your comments . However , I have a knowledge of both my daughter and the teacher and its a real concern. Teachers should not be undermined but when there is a possible detrimental affect in a public exam then views need to be aired.

Redsrule Sat 27-May-17 23:55:14

If your daughter was so lively a teacher suggested she was high it is a concern, especially when you state she was overconfident. It is difficult, but do remember teachers use euphemisms in reports and lively means pain in the butt!

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