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Do fee paying parents think there are no limits..

(122 Posts)
darknessontheedgeoftown Mon 13-Feb-17 17:34:40

..to how much stress they can put teachers under? Have just spoken to yet another example colleague from a private school in an area of London full of high earning parents with massive equity and frankly spoiled and unpleasant children. I do wonder whether the parents know the pernicious effect they are having on teachers constantly expecting the earth and constantly fault finding. I myself left this destructive life behind as I couldn't face another 20 years of the stress and unpleasantness of the job. Admittedly SMT are gravely at fault for not protecting staff either but parents also need reining in.

sopsmum Tue 14-Feb-17 10:16:13

You sound jealous of their wealth to be honest. Nothing wrong with high expectations. They shouldn't be rude though.

Lunar1 Tue 14-Feb-17 10:18:44

The same can be said of some parents in state schools. My children go private, they are neither spoilt nor unpleasant, and I and most other parents have a lovely relationship with their teachers.

Badbadbunny Tue 14-Feb-17 10:43:13

Same can be said of anyone paying for any service (or goods).

I'm an accountant and daily have to deal with rude/demanding clients who just can't grasp that the world doesn't revolve around them and that I have other clients to deal with too!

When I was a teenager, I worked in a newsagents shop and had to deal daily with rude/demanding customers - "nice" people turned into absolute shits if their daily paper had been delivered slightly torn or wet, of if we'd already sold out of their favourite paper!

MiaowTheCat Tue 14-Feb-17 13:53:35

I taught in both state and independent and you seemed to get the same sort of level of ridiculously unfeasible parental requests from both sectors to be honest!

State school parent demanding a full scale search of the school and going up to county hall to demand a council-run enquiry over a lost pair of £3 school PE shorts (the school had offered to buy the parent a new pair of the flipping PE shorts out of school funds but she still continued with the crusade)

HumphryCushion Tue 14-Feb-17 17:52:45

I think you are making a blanket generalisation. Everyone is different and to me the relationship between the teacher and the parent should be a partnership - not a one way street.

It makes me sad that you think of children in that way - it is probably best that you have left, as you probably need to stand in their shoes to appreciate why they are acting in the way they are (for example is it because of lack of communication, or real concern about their child's progress.)

MrsGuyOfGisbo Tue 14-Feb-17 18:50:16

I have worked in loads of school in both sectors - parents same in all schools, some lovely, some rubbish, some selfish & demanding...
But if you have a chip on you shoulder win-win that you have left.

BizzyFizzy Wed 15-Feb-17 11:51:15

These parents just want the best for their children, as do most parents. What they get by parent is more access to teachers. I have a few parents who keep me on my toes - basically asking for extra work for the children. None of their demands is particularly unreasonable and everything is very polite.

The way to control parents is to have a school policy of replying to their emails (they do everything by email) within 48 hours. I tend to reply within a few hours but can manage any uncomfortable situations by slowing down the dialogue.

If I thought a parent was stepping over the line, I would send it up the line. They would rather deal with the Headmaster anyway but are very good at dealing directly with the subject teacher or form tutor n the first instance.

I think the best way is to be proactive. For example, if a student is off for a couple of days, email the work and prep that they have missed. My biggest job as a form tutor is to collate missed work and send it on. I don't wait to be asked.

TheNaze73 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:27:59

You sound very threatened by these high earning parents. Sure the proportion of parents that need reining in, is the same in state schools.

darknessontheedgeoftown Wed 15-Feb-17 21:18:13

I am not threatened by the high earning parents I am angry with their behaviour. I don't like most wealthy people, I find they are generally lacking in empathy, ub pleasant and entitled.

Lunar1 Thu 16-Feb-17 04:31:50

That's ok, I'm sure most people don't like you either, wealthy or not. You'd be getting an absolute flaming for declaring that in a sweeping statement about any other group of people-try saying 'I don't like most people on benefits'. Who on earth are you to declare that most people in one earning bracket fit a stereotype?

ImYourMama Thu 16-Feb-17 04:43:45

You don't like wealthy people?

But everything about your post smacks of outrageous jealousy.

Kennington Thu 16-Feb-17 04:51:04

People are shirty, entitled etc regardless of the industry you work in. Not everyone though.
You need to learn to manage the people and to tell them how much to realistically expect from their children.

echt Thu 16-Feb-17 06:09:30

But everything about your post smacks of outrageous jealousy.

This must be a new meaning of word jealousy that I am not aware of.

unicornsIlovethem Thu 16-Feb-17 06:28:36

Surely it's a good job you don't work with wealthy people then op, if you generally dislike all of them.

BizzyFizzy Thu 16-Feb-17 07:59:58

Those wealthy people are paying your wages.

Can you give us some specifics about how they upset you?

OhTheRoses Thu 16-Feb-17 08:11:46

If you don't like wealthy parents don't work in the independent sector then. Ex SW London parent here. Am sure (in fact I know) the head of the formerly elite state school dd attended for two years thought I was difficult and demanding. I complained about: Violence, disruption, bullying by a member of staff, lack of pastoral care, attitude in office to pupils and parents. Governors let the head destroy a bit more of the school for six years until the lack of leadership blew up in their faces.

The independents. No, never need to see the staff. The heads pour me a glass of wine on parents' evenings and that's about it. Well run, staff can teach, good pastoral care. If there's a problem it gets sorted out.

You'd hate me though OP, we are literally rolling in it. But I'm the scruffy one in the modest car grin

Athrawes Thu 16-Feb-17 08:17:07

These parents are paying for a product. They are paying for the best grades and entrance into the best universities. That is why they have chosen that school. You need to get your head around the harsh fiscal reality of the private sector. You are expected to produce that product, just as anyone working in the private sector as a consultant or engineer or manager, is expected to produce the goods. If you don't like that, work in the state sector. You would at least there have a leg to stand on when you complain about the demands of the parents.

HumphryCushion Thu 16-Feb-17 12:07:34

"I don't like most wealthy people"

I really hope you are not one of my child's teachers. This is not the type of influence I would like my child to have.

Replace wealthy with something else and you will realise how awful that sounds

darknessontheedgeoftown Thu 16-Feb-17 12:10:25

I have just recently been in touch with an ex colleague who still works at a private school with a significant number of the characteristics I mentioned. She is intelligent, able, dedicated and works very very long hours to produce the best possible materials for her students. She hates her job and desperately wants to leave. This is because of the outright abuse she has got from some parents of students who do little work themselves, are not cognitively as bright as their doting parents think, & go home complaining their teacher does not help them when it is they that are at fault. I have observed and know this individual well, and I also know the warped mentality of some of the parents in question and there is simply no excuse for the suffering she is being put through which has begun to affect her health. If it upsets some people to hear that these are the effects of the actions which they themselves have perhaps self-righteously engaged in in the past well so be it. As for the post about teaching being about producing a product, firstly I don't think you can or should be able to simply buy a place at university or in a middle class life. If anything the government should enhance as much as possible the life chances of working class youngsters who are up against it with none of the equity, savings, contacts for work experience nor generational sense of entitlement that many London based privately educated middle class kids have. I also don't think you can reasonably expect even the hardest working and most gifted teacher to get an unmotivated student who does not work hard enough nor show any initiative themselves into the course of their choice. I realise that the kind of unreasonable and entitled parent I am talking about is not used to anyone calling them out on their misconduct, which is presumably behind the more vituperative responses.

NewIdeasToday Thu 16-Feb-17 12:14:32

Your friend needs to find another job as this one clearly doesn't suit her.

HumphryCushion Thu 16-Feb-17 12:16:28

To be clear, my view is concern for a child's education is understandable. It is not ok to hound people or be so demanding that you are stressing people out. What I didn't like about your posts was how you tarred all wealthy people with the same brush. It seems to me that part of this relates to the school governance of parent/teacher communications rather than how wealthy people are

darknessontheedgeoftown Thu 16-Feb-17 12:16:57

Well perhaps it is the job and the expectations of the parents which need to change, rather than the individual change her job. The school would struggle to recruit even more than they already do if more prospective applicants knew what the job was like.

darknessontheedgeoftown Thu 16-Feb-17 12:20:50

Re wealthy people perhaps I could more accurately express my views like this. Of the wealthy people who I have encountered I have come across little or no evidence of empathy nor warmth towards those in a less secure position than themselves. I have encountered a significant amount of arrogance and entitlement. I have therefore not been able to truthfully say I have liked the majority of wealthy people whom I have encountered.

ohdarling Thu 16-Feb-17 12:21:46

Those wealthy people are paying your wages.

Ugh. Yuk. What a revolting thing to say.

Sadly, it works that way in the state maintained sector too. Parents think that because they pay their taxes, then they're paying the teachers' wages.

No wonder this country is finding it hard to recruit teachers.

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