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My own DC is being incorrectly taught MY subject!

(22 Posts)
BlessYourCottonSocks Mon 08-Oct-18 21:50:06

A WWYD Q folks. My Y10 DS has chosen my subject (History) as an option at his school. They take the same exam board and units as I currently teach. I am a HoD with 20+ years experience. I was irritated that the teacher assigned to him is a non specialist, but thought that I could always help him out, and hey ho - we all know how schools work. We've all probably ended up teaching a subject that's not our own at some point.

Tonight he has come home upset and struggling with an exam style question because he doesn't understand it and the teacher's PP guide and Q makes no sense to him. And it really doesn't. I've looked at it. She's invented a Q that makes no sense whatsoever as far as the exam spec goes. And then told them to structure it in a way that is frankly completely wrong. It is clear she doesn't understand at all what is required. For any History specialists, she's asking them to write an 8 mark analytical narrative account - which requires a chronological analysis of what consequences events had in a specified date period - except she has not provided any dates, just a vague question asking 'why did x help y?'

WWYD? Do I contact History HoD at her place and express my dismay that they are being taught how to structure GCSE exam questions by someone that doesn't understand how to? And is wrong? I don't want my DS to spend the next year being fed incorrect exam technique - and I'm also bloody irritated that she clearly hasn't read or understood the exam spec. I understand it's hard teaching out of your comfort zone - but as a professional you should ensure that you have done the necessary work to ensure you CAN teach a GCSE class correctly.

And yet....we all know 'that parent'....

Advice, folks?

OP’s posts: |
Unicornandbows Mon 08-Oct-18 21:53:22

I'd contact the Head of department and explain the situation.

I think this will also help other students.

HollowTalk Mon 08-Oct-18 21:56:30

I think the teacher will feel incredibly uncomfortable teaching a subject they're not familiar with, but I'd still complain. It might get the teacher extra support.

PierreBezukov Mon 08-Oct-18 22:00:57

I wouldn't complain. I'd just coach my son myself.

AlevelConfusion Mon 08-Oct-18 22:03:46

I wouldn't complain. I'd just coach my son myself.

But what about his classmates?

TheFallenMadonna Mon 08-Oct-18 22:04:08

I would talk to the HoD as it is their responsibility to put in place the appropriate support for a non specialist and monitor how they are getting on.

AppleKatie Mon 08-Oct-18 22:07:03

I think you have to politely go to the HoD with this one.

We all know it’s probagly not the HoDs fault and the poor teacher probably has a degree in French or something BUT it needs addressing before it goes on and on...

BlessYourCottonSocks Mon 08-Oct-18 22:07:56

Thanks folks. I'm thinking I shall have to contact the HoD to raise a query at least. If one of my dept members was giving a GCSE class such poor teaching I would want to know.

Pierre I don't want him confused. And honestly I don't really have the time/energy spare every week to re-teach him something that's been taught incorrectly. It's become clear on questioning him that she doesn't have the subject knowledge and he's fairly confused over much that has been taught this term. Also, grin can you imagine the poor little sod having to spend the year completely ignoring all her instructions and saying "Mummy says I have to do it like this"...

OP’s posts: |
SunnySomer Mon 08-Oct-18 22:09:07

You need to contact the HoD and they need to coach the teacher. Ultimately they will want the school to be producing good results.
And it would be quite harsh on the rest of the class to coach only your son. As a parent I wouldn’t know if my child was following the right approach and it would’ve awful for everyone if the issue only emerged on results day...

elephantoverthehill Mon 08-Oct-18 22:13:55

I would talk to the HoD, perhaps they need to step up and provide professional support to someone out of their comfort zone. Do it as gently and positively as possible.

Noname99 Mon 08-Oct-18 22:14:10

You are not “that parent”
“That parent” causes a ruckus about the inconsequential or because they have misunderstood or assigned themselves as the ‘expert’ when in fact they are no such thing.
You are an expert - you absolutely have not misunderstood as you have seen the tasks; discussed the teaching and it’s hardly inconsequential.....it’s a gcse class.
Go see the HoD immediately!!!

KennDodd Mon 08-Oct-18 22:21:00

I think you have to prioritise the children's education and exam results over a teacher's hurt feelings. Any good teacher and school should realise that.

Screamqueenz Mon 08-Oct-18 23:26:12

You don't have time to coach your own child?
I get your other reasons for wanting to approach the school, but why wouldn't you give your son an advantage.
I run a business, but still find time to help the kids.

BackforGood Mon 08-Oct-18 23:30:25

I agree with those saying that you should speak to the HoD. For all the reasons given - that the HoD would want to know, and that all his classmates should also be given the support they need.
It isn't being 'that' [arent at all - you can be empathetic to the situation, but the school really won't won't a whole cohort not being taught well enough to pass their GCSE.

SpoonBlender Mon 08-Oct-18 23:30:56

It's totally fair not to have time to re-teach an entire GCSE subject, Scream. Not to mentiont that it wouldn't help the rest of DS's class. Get off your high horse.

BlessYourCottonSocks Tue 09-Oct-18 21:43:36

Thanks folks. I have phoned to leave a message that I would like a word with HoD at lunchtime today. Both our teaching timetables make that difficult but I'm going to phone again at end of school tomorrow. Awkward as the conversation will be it is easier (hopefully) than emailing in.

Scream they have 3 hours of History per week. 3 hours where he is being given confusing information by the sound of it - and so it is difficult to undo this - without mixing him up entirely. I do have time to 'coach'' him and give him extra help if he needs it - but would rather add to what he is getting, not have to contradict it (if that makes sense).

OP’s posts: |
samlovesdilys Thu 11-Oct-18 20:22:20

I would (and have) been you - I would definitely speak to the hod. And - to be fair, if one of MY faculty was doing this I would definitely want to know so I could support them...

MaisyPops Thu 11-Oct-18 20:46:49

You are not “that parent”
“That parent” causes a ruckus about the inconsequential or because they have misunderstood or assigned themselves as the ‘expert’ when in fact they are no such thing.
You are an expert - you absolutely have not misunderstood as you have seen the tasks; discussed the teaching and it’s hardly inconsequential.....it’s a gcse class.
Go see the HoD immediately!!!
Agreed with all of the above.

Piggywaspushed Fri 12-Oct-18 17:03:39

Off topic slightly but what is a PP guide?

BlessYourCottonSocks Fri 12-Oct-18 23:16:40

Sorry Piggy - she had emailed them all a Powerpoint guide with 3 slides on it - the question, an (invented) mark scheme and a guide on how to answer!

OP’s posts: |
NotANotMan Fri 12-Oct-18 23:19:03

I get your other reasons for wanting to approach the school, but why wouldn't you give your son an advantage

There is a difference between extra coaching and re teaching the entire syllabus!

Piggywaspushed Sat 13-Oct-18 08:00:34

Aah! PowerPoint! You never know with teaching these days! So many acronyms!

On the subject of teaching your son at home : I agreee. That way madness lies.

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