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Why do parents think it's ok to talk to teachers like shit?

(58 Posts)
StuffezLaBouche Mon 18-Mar-13 19:39:20

Horrible parent today. Why aren't I entering her child for a certain test? You can't be bothered with the hassle, you don't like him, it's ok for you - you get in at nine and get to go at three, etc. etc.

If someone was so rude in my private life they'd get a firm and strongly worded mouthful. I just felt shaken after, as it was quite an outpour. Now I just feel really, really angry. I work my bloody arse off for my class and am so pissed off by the attitude that teachers can be talked to like that. I know all teachers will feel like this at some point... Today just got to me. (Not helped by the fifteen mile round trip to pick up a Gumtree item and the woman deciding not to sell after all.)

Sorry for this rant, just over stressed and a bit upset.

Phineyj Fri 22-Mar-13 17:31:25

I had a couple yell at me at an open evening because they said I didn't know what was in the syllabus (my school teaches a different qualification to the one they were talking about). I figured they probably yell at service people in other areas of their lives and generally don't do their research. I just kept smiling and saying 'yes I do know what's in the syllabus'. Their poor DS, he looked like he wanted to die.

MidnightHag Fri 22-Mar-13 17:54:48

I've been a teacher for over 20 years, but this term has been the absolute worst for rude parents, difficult phone calls and generally being questioned on my professional judgement. sad
I would love to make a sharp rejoinder, but don't dare. Maybe I look like a "frightened rabbit" BettyBlues ? hmm

MidnightHag Fri 22-Mar-13 17:56:25

I've been a teacher for over 20 years, but this term has been the absolute worst for rude parents, difficult phone calls and generally being questioned on my professional judgement. sad
I would love to make a sharp rejoinder, but don't dare. Maybe I look like a "frightened rabbit" BettyBlues ? hmm

MoreBeta Fri 22-Mar-13 18:07:13

Stuffez - why did you not enter the child for the test?

Did you explain that you were making that decison and why?

Perhaps the parent felt your decision was arbitrary and unexplained and they had no way of getting it reversed or changed?

It is not fair to shout at you but have you examined why the parent was angry?

Parents feel powerless sometimes over the way their children are taught, like they can't ask questions and that teaching and schools are just full of jargon and decisons they cant understand.

Hesterton Fri 22-Mar-13 18:09:56

My school is in an area of considerable deprivation with a large number of EAL new arrivals and parents are generally great. Not good enough at coming in, and scared to become involved with the school life of their children because they aren't confident with their English quite often... we have the opposite problem!

Hesterton Fri 22-Mar-13 18:11:51

Sorry,I made it sound like it's great that they're scared to come in- didn't mean that. We'd love to see more of them.

claraschu Fri 22-Mar-13 18:24:14

I have found that a certain percentage of parents are rude and horrible; a similar percentage of doctors, business people, and teachers are rude and horrible.

These days people are less intimidated by authority so they are more likely to say what they want to teachers (and doctors); sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it is just offensive.

Some teachers (and doctors) can't bear to be questioned or challenged, no matter how wrong they are.

claraschu Fri 22-Mar-13 18:26:52

I'm not implying that you were being difficult OP, by the way. On the contrary, this mother sounds very rude (though I would be curious to hear the answer to MoreBeta's question).

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 19:22:22

Lol @ Stuffez's stories.
I have very politely managed to make DD's teacher feel like an idiot this week.
But I promise that I was very polite about it. grin

Anyone who wants to know more about CupofTea's DD might read the archived threads on here, it's a wonderful if sad story.

ipadquietly Fri 22-Mar-13 22:27:11

Because they know we can't tell them to f off, and must maintain our rictus grins.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 23-Mar-13 08:08:47

More beta, i didn't enter him for the test (a wholly optional test I must add) because he is working nowhere near the required level. Annoyingly, at the point she came in and was rude, I hadn't entered anyone for the test yet.

If she had come in sensibly, I would have been absolutely fine, but to question my professionalism by suggesting I didn't enter him for a test because "I don't like him" is beyond insulting.

Even more irritatingly, her son has been taking advantage of my free, early morning booster classes all term. So - free tuition, free breakfast, free transport to extra curricular activities..but no, I've "got it in for him."

God I need to let this go!!

nkf Sat 23-Mar-13 08:13:13

I think these people probably have rows with everybody. Not much comfort but it's probably not personal.

ScottyDoc Sat 23-Mar-13 08:27:35

My dh is a teacher and I see the amount of stress and the insane amount of work and preparation that goes into lesson planning for one. There are grade targets to be hit as well as very intimidating observations from time to time. If I saw or heard any parent giving unnecessary rudeness to a teacher, I wouldn't hesitate to pull them up on it. Half the time, from dh's experience anyway, the kids can't be bothered to listen or to do the work, and there's a big lack of discipline at home. This backfires on him unfairly when the deluded and entitled parents are moaning that their precious darling hasn't got the grades he/she should have! I wouldn't do it for a job and I have the utmost respect for those that do it.

MoreBeta Sat 23-Mar-13 12:38:54

stuffez - did you explain all that to her or did she not give you the chance?

She may be very anxious about her son's progress or very ambitious and it boiled over. Not an excuse but I think you need to get into her head or it will blow up again.

BettyBlues Sat 23-Mar-13 15:59:51

MidnightHag - aaahhh. Now I understand why the staff hate me. It's because I 'question their professional judgement'


I can't stop doing that given some of the things that have happened. But I can at least understand why they hate me.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 23-Mar-13 16:22:43

Betty, I'm to speaking about your situation here, but in my experience, the frustration teachers have with parents boils down to the fact that the only child you give two hoots about is yours. Understandably. Whereas the class teacher has to share those two hoots between thirty children, all of whom are the apples of their parents' eyes. It's not easy and most teacher do their best.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 23-Mar-13 16:30:56

I'm NOT speaking, not TO!

CaramelLatte Sat 23-Mar-13 16:46:09

I'm not a teacher, I am a parent and fwiw I think teachers do not get anywhere near the credit they deserve. I wonder how many of these difficult parents would cope with the job, I know I couldn't. Ok you get more holidays than most but I have seen for myself the long hours that are put in, not only on normal school days but residential trips for days at a time, on duty 24/7. So thanks teachers, I for one am grateful for your input into my children's future.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 23-Mar-13 16:52:57

That's a nice post, caramellatte. ANYONE who drags themselves out of bed and works hard at whatever it is they do deserves recognition and credit, IMO. But teaching does seem to be one of those jobs that attracts a disproportionate amount of shit. (Coincidentally these are often jobs that involve extended interaction with the general public..!) grin

Untrusty Sat 23-Mar-13 17:07:28

Stuff - I know the teachers think that I only care about my DC.

It's not true at all. But the teacher comes to the conversation believing I believe that.

I do however think school really should do everything that can be done to teach a child to read and write. Whether it's my child or another one. I am equally horrified by other kids who leave Y6 illiterate.

Pretty much the only thing I try to discuss with school staff is that one of my 3 DC can't read or write and has made no progress in 2 years.

Which, now I see, they interpret is 'questioning their professional judgement' as opposed to me trying to work out what else can be done so that they don't leave primary school illiterate.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 23-Mar-13 17:36:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 23-Mar-13 17:38:41

See your point, untrusty, but there are so many reasons why kids leave year six illiterate, and some aren't comfortable to hear.

Some have been let down by poor teaching. Undoubtedly. There is a teacher in our school who I know is letting their children down. Unfortunately they are my superior. One of the members of staff has a child in that class. Very awkward all round and wrong that its happening.

Some children haven't had the benefit of parents who give a crap. By not reading with children; not playing with them; not talking to then even, children's brains just don't develop the connections required to learn, retain and apply.

Also, some children just aren't bright. They can be lovely, kind, engaging children, but they just don't "get it." And if they do "get it" they don't apply it in their own work. This seems to be the great "taboo" in teaching, as obviously you wouldn't say tat to the child's parents.

WRT the "professional judgement" thing. I don't think any sensible teacher believes they are above questioning - but parents don't always know the "bigger picture" behind teachers' decisions. In the case that inspired me to write my OP, it was the fact the mother came in all guns blazing bt had totally the wrong end of the stick.

I can't think of circumstances where a school wouldn't do everything they could to ensure a child cold read and write.

Sorry for all the quote marks in my post; it's "one of those subjects!"

StuffezLaBouche Sat 23-Mar-13 17:39:29

That is an excellent point, schmaltzing!

heggiehog Sat 23-Mar-13 20:05:40

"WRT the "professional judgement" thing. I don't think any sensible teacher believes they are above questioning - but parents don't always know the "bigger picture" behind teachers' decisions. "


Unfortunately, unless you have been a teacher yourself, it is almost impossible to understand the bigger picture and all the hundreds of little things that contribute to every decision teachers have to make.

Fairyliz Tue 26-Mar-13 21:23:27

The thing is you are dealing with the most precious thing in my life. Yes I get irritated if my food delivery is wrong or the dry cleaners ruin my dress; but don't do the best for my child and you will feel my wrath!
Yes I do know what its like working in a school as I work in one, like all places there are excellent employees and terrible ones.

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