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Getting told off for ‘telling’(14 Posts)
Dd is in year three. There is a girl in her class with some additional needs, I’m unsure of her exact diagnosis but she has a one to one and the children are aware she cannot help her behaviour. Dd has learnt to just ignore but some others in her class are still telling the teacher when incidents occur. The old teacher was good at acknowledging their feelings and moving on but they have a new teacher now who is stricter and actually gives out punishments for those who tell her about swearing, offensive comments etc.
Just to be clear, I don’t have a problem with the child (though it isn’t nice, I understand if she can’t help it) , I do feel uncomfortable with children being told to ‘just ignore’ being called a cunt for example.
Wwyd as a parent or a teacher?
It is a hard one and I am only a trainee teacher but from the perspective of a parent, I would not be impressed. I have and continue to have my children reporting the same kind of instances and it certainly feels like they are being brushed off.
However from a teaching perspective the reality is often quite different. The offending child will usually do something and the teacher will have several children reporting the incidences at once and often at the most inappropriate time and this in itself distracts the class. When you have 30 children that you are trying to focus and suddenly Sarah raises her hand to report that John called her a name during break, it is not practical to go into depth about it there and then. Also some children seem to be frequent reporters and I admit that I do tend to get dismissive and tell them to ignore it. I have eyes, I can see it and don’t need Sarah telling me.
I agree though that it is frustrating for all concerned. It’s not right at all but the red tape is ridiculous and if you have a child intent on doing it and they do not have a 1-1 then the teacher is between a rock and a hard place.
If it is something that is frequent and upsetting your child then there is no harm in pointing this out to the teacher. I would expect them to be much more observant of the situation. I have recently been in a similar position and ended up writing formal letters as it became so frequent that I demanded the school adhere to their bullying policy. The child was moved the next day.
Thank you for your reply. I completely get it, I’m a childminder so I definitely have the perspective similar to a teacher. It’s just so difficult that I have to put my mum hat on for this.
Dd isn’t actually one of the ones doing the telling, but for me this isn’t a good thing. She’s already been conditioned to learn that her voice won’t be heard when she’s being verbally abused. It doesn’t sit too well with me.
She’s already been conditioned to learn that her voice won’t be heard when she’s being verbally abused.
You're conflating two massive issues here, and it's not helpful or useful to view it like that. I'm 95% sure that this little girl cannot help her behaviour. She probably is not targeting a specific child, she is distressed.
The teacher will be totally aware of what the other child is doing. The child's 1-1 will also be totally aware of it. It will be all recorded.
The child may become more distressed when the other children repeat what she has done.
The other children need to learn to leave the other little girl well alone when she is distressed and I suspect this is what the teacher is trying to achieve.
What about the other children who are distressed at hearing such language? What do we do?
I'm not a teacher but I've been reading up on social stories on this to help my son, who is autistic.
The line suggested is to suggest the 'teller' reflect on whether it is really important and urgent - more or less, is someone being hurt? If so, it is the right thing to tell right away. If not, it is not their job to tell the teacher. They should trust that these things will normally get found out in the end, and concentrate on their own learning.
It is a real challenge for a child to just ignore their peer. My son is told to ignore his friend, who struggles with boundaries, and this is a significant stress for him. I would not be happy if he got punished for "failing to ignore". He is expected to do his best and he is supported in that by being separated if his friend is crowding him too much. Obviously it can't be perfect all the time but I think this is a good balance. He is expected to put up with it to a significant extent, but he is not being ignored. It's not either/or.
It may well be that the teachers have been advised to ignore or otherwise very subtly manage the child with the additional needs.
I've spent most of my working life teaching children with behavioural difficulties. The area is complex, but it's very rare that picking up on every instance is effective - especially if there's an element of attention seeking. We learn to note, manage quietly or later, distract ...there are a multitude of strategies. But if another child draws attention to the behaviour whenever it happens, those strategies can't work.
And of course, in a mainstream classroom, the flow of teaching is lost if the teacher is having to stop to manage every incident with a child like this. In general, it's their children's teaching being disrupted by SEND children that parents dislike most. So it's very likely that the teacher would rather continue the lesson than be interrupted.
It's not that this child is being 'pandered to'. There will be a lot more going on regarding her management than your child is aware of.
My problem isn’t that the child is not disciplined, I completely get that a behaviour management plan will be in place for her and pulling her up on every instance isn’t helpful. My issue really isn’t anything to do with this child.
The fact is, the other children are being disciplined for speaking up about hearing words or actions that are upsetting to them. Consequences such as moving them down a traffic light system or taking marbles out of the class jar (things that mean a lot when you’re 8 ).
I think this thread has kind of confirmed my thoughts about how teachers approach this anyway.
Thanks everyone for your replies.
I agree with you, OP. Children should not have to sit there and be verbally abused.
Thank you Hercule, it’s such a shame we dismiss children’s feelings like this.
It's one thing to have a particular action plan for a child with additional needs and quite another to sanction students for telling a trusted adult if they have been hurt or feel upset by the actions of another child.
The teacher's response to those telling (assuming it is for just telling and not for repeatedly telling and disrupting after being told it is being dealt with), is communicating to those children that their feelings of safety come second to another child and they should accept whatever a child does ' because reasons'.
Children don't need to know the details of anotjer child's plan, but they do need to know the adults in charge who are responsible for them have their interests at heart, care for them and value them. Otherwise why would they want to tell a teacher if they were being bullied or being harmed at home if they're risking punishment for speaking out?
Without being sat in there with them, we don't know exactly how this is playing out. We have a student with additional needs and other children LOVE to wind her up so she blows then run to 'dob her in'. It's really unpleasant and takes careful management. Could these other children be winding this girl up and then trying to get her in trouble? We won't know the answer but something to consider.
If she has a one to one she should be removed from the classroom when she starts swearing.
Nothing about inclusion means that other children should be subjected to inappropriate language or physical violence. The school has a statutory duty to all children. There are some kids whose needs are not best met by mainstream school and certainly the one my dd attends is quite honest about this at times.
We had a parent presentation on PANTS yesterday and one of the running messages through it is that children need to speak up and they will be listened to. This teacher seems to be actively doing the opposite. I would consider an informal, confidential discussion with the safe-guarding lead to point this out and express a view that hopefully it will be managed better going forward.
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