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Is normal for teachers to call children stupid?

(25 Posts)
Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 21:45:55

Without wanting to give too many details, I've been working with a teacher who I have overheard call students stupid and an idiot. It's not said viciously, but it is said as a definite reprimand (I.e. not a joke). I was a bit shocked, but I don't have much experience of teaching. Would this be normal and/or acceptable?

Munxx Mon 20-Nov-17 21:47:18

No. Absolutely not. Not that it should matter but what age are the children?

Greenandcabbagelooking Mon 20-Nov-17 21:49:23

I wouldn't call a child am idiot, but I might say "stop behaving like idiots/an idiot". Probably in private through, rather than to the class in general.

I do call children lemons/noodle/plum in jest when they do daft things like forget to add the charcoal when doing reduction with carbon...

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 21:49:49

Secondary age.

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 21:53:15

Green, I agree there is a difference between 'stop behaving like a....' and 'you're a....'
This was the second. In front of whole class. Child had admittedly been behaving badly, but also there was v poor behaviour management.

noblegiraffe Mon 20-Nov-17 21:54:51

Labelling behaviour is ok, labelling the student is not.

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 21:57:11

sad Feeling worried now. This person is going to be training me.

Crumbs1 Mon 20-Nov-17 21:58:19

They’re secondary age. Their self esteem should already be developed. They’ll cope with the odd teacher telling them they’re stupid. Poor teachers have a hard enough task without fellow staff turning the knife.

tinypop4 Mon 20-Nov-17 21:59:03

I would say that a child's behaviour is stupid/silly. I wouldn't call a child stupid. Is it definitely the latter?

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 22:00:59

"That's because you're stupid."

Valerrie Mon 20-Nov-17 22:03:00

No, it's not OK.

noblegiraffe Mon 20-Nov-17 22:21:45

Crumbs is incorrect, secondary school pupils often have low self-esteem and we should not make assumptions about what they can cope with in terms of flat-out insults.

As a trainee, probably best to learn from it as something not to do at this point. What type of trainee are you?

GerrysSuccessor Mon 20-Nov-17 22:26:25

Agree with others. ‘That was a really stupid decision’ or ‘that was idiotic behaviour’ is okish, although there are ways of getting the same point across without necessarily using those terms. ‘You’re an idiot’ or ‘you’re stupid’ are never ok and in my school if over heard would at the very least lead to a talking to from a line manager

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 22:27:22

I don't want to go into details re course etc. because I obviously don't want to be identified. I am the usual sort of trainee: panic-stricken and stressed smile

Coolaschmoola Mon 20-Nov-17 22:30:10

Utterly unacceptable. I teach GCSE English in FE. The vast majority of my students have been called stupud by a teacher (I ask them). That's the point where they give up trying.

I tell them the only stupid person in that situation was the teacher. The damage that word does is massive.

Coolaschmoola Mon 20-Nov-17 22:31:00

*stupid grin

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 22:32:30

Coola this would be my gut feeling also. It doesn't seem professional let alone kind.

seven201 Mon 20-Nov-17 22:32:34

I personally don’t even say “your behaviour was idiotic” etc. As I live in fear of being accused of being ‘unprofessional’. I once had a parent complain higher up about me for calling her child a liar. I had actually just asked her daughter if she was lying when she gave some ridiculous excuse for not having her homework. I know some people would brush that off but I worry about being labelled as a crap teacher.

The teacher who trained me was a twat. He advised me to not be consistent with behaviour management to keep the kids on their toes! He often stank of booze and got a sixth former pregnant and left

Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 22:33:12


Mijkl Mon 20-Nov-17 22:34:38

The really poor behaviour management is also a big worry. It's good in my current school so I can see the difference.

ChipInTheSugar Mon 20-Nov-17 22:36:14

I’ve heard “So, you’re stupid, you’re a liar, and a sheep!” from a Teflon-coated member of SLT confused Incredible how they get away with it.

mineofuselessinformation Mon 20-Nov-17 22:43:06

Absolutely not acceptable.
But, how you go about raising it as an issue may sadly be an altogether different story.

elephantoverthehill Mon 20-Nov-17 22:50:01

Mijkl on the positive side, you have been put in a situation where you are questioning, learning and therefore honing your own skills.

noblegiraffe Mon 20-Nov-17 22:55:22

What specifically are you worried about? If it’s your second PGCE placement then you’ll be mostly teaching not observing, and this person won’t be telling you to insult students as a behaviour management technique.

Acopyofacopy Wed 22-Nov-17 19:01:41

Don’t be so sure about that, noble! I was “taught” some behaviour strategies fairly recently, one of them being “you need to shout a bit more”. hmm

OP, see if you can change mentors. It’s a bit awkward, but it can be done.

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