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To bring this up or let it go? Teacher related

97 replies

Lostbeyondwords · 05/07/2017 13:13

For background, dd is 11, and having an awful time at the moment and is being "supported" by the school child protection team. She has been finding it difficult to maintain full days at school so when end of year exams came, I was apprehensive she'd manage full days plus exams and the pressure of them, but she did.

She's not generally a snowflake or precious but I'm not sure on my judgement right now.

Dd did a French exam. She's not amazing at it but tries. They got their tests back today and part of it was a standard paragraph about them. They were asked to copy it into their French workbooks. The teacher told dd that because she hasn't done much (hello, my name is..., where she lives, what school she goes to) she had to copy from someone else to put more in.

So dd got a couple of bits from the person next to her but only bits she actually understood. After the lesson the teacher told her and another student to stay behind and do more. She gave them books to copy from. Apparently also "moaned" at them they they should have done more and they were wasting her time, that she was up until 10.30 marking and this was her break too and they should appreciate that.

Dd then added when her birthday was, how old she is, and a sentence with an adjective describe herself. She says she didn't understand other bits and her friend asked about something in the book and was cut short and told that the teacher "didn't want to hear any question, just do it".

So dd didn't want to write what she couldn't understand, and clearly couldn't ask...

Teacher then gave a lunch detention for lack of work.

Aibu to think that's a bit of overkill? Or I don't know, should dd have asked for a French dictionary and translated herself to understand and take it as a lesson learned?

We have a meeting with school tomorrow anyway regarding concerns about other aspects so wondering if this should be brought up or left?

OP posts:
littlebird77 · 05/07/2017 20:04

Penggwn - I don't think you are following or understanding the thread - which in itself is a worry.

I am not sure how many times you have been told that the child did not describe her teacher's instructions as 'absurd'!

If you continue to think that the child did describe it this way then naturally you aren't going be very impressed as a teacher obviously, but this is where the misunderstanding is stemming from...

I am grateful the teachers in our school encourage questions and debate and not just at specified times of their choosing, and they do not terrify their subjects into silent submission, this teaching sounds like it is from another century. I am sure you will be calling for the return of the cane any minute now...

littlebird77 · 05/07/2017 20:05

Staples - killed the enthusiasm stone dead, 'do it and shut up' is now the gold standard for teaching, I think not.

Pengggwn · 05/07/2017 20:08

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StaplesCorner · 05/07/2017 20:09

Penggwn! You're a teacher?! Are all the children being deceitful liars who need to know their place again? Ohh they are pesky.

StaplesCorner · 05/07/2017 20:11

littlebird. Its your own time you're wasting ... Wink

Pengggwn · 05/07/2017 20:12

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StaplesCorner · 05/07/2017 20:13

I've been on threads with you before Pengggwn Sad

littlebird77 · 05/07/2017 20:16


I fear you are right...

Pengggwn · 05/07/2017 20:17

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littlebird77 · 05/07/2017 20:20


My sympathy lies entirely with the children you teach.

I am sure it works for you, I am sure you are a very inspirational, devoted and all round teaching super star much loved and cherished. If you are not that is rather immaterial too - teaching is challenging professionala and undervalued in my view. Either way my comments are not personal I just don't agree with you thats all.

Pengggwn · 05/07/2017 20:22

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littlebird77 · 05/07/2017 20:25


I don't know you to be personal, you could be teacher of the year for all I know, but I do not agree with a 'do it and shut up' teaching method. I make no apologies for this, whether you take this personally is entirely up to you.

It is worth remembering that they are small little human beings with feelings, and are not robots. They have terrible things that happen to them, they have wonderful things they want to share with the world.


WyfOfBathe · 05/07/2017 20:38

I'm a French teacher (who is English but when to school in France). I, and my colleagues who are French, have all learnt about the English system and follow British pedagogy.

If a student at the end of year 7 had only written 3 sentences about themselves, and didn't ask for help, I would assume they couldn't be bothered and probably keep them back to do more work. If I had been told that they had other issues out of school, I would be more sympathetic, and find an appropriate solution.

Lostbeyondwords · 05/07/2017 20:44

littlebird thank you, I appreciate what you're saying. I think it's a hard line between teaching children to be inquisitive and getting them to follow orders and sometimes that line is blurred. Even as parents you want them to questions some things and blindly accept others, and I don't see it as being any easier for a teacher at times.

But in this case dd was not ignoring or dismissing what was being asked of her. I did wonder if I didn't explain properly which is why I tried to clarify upthread...

Asked to do a paragraph, if there's no set amount of sentences then how can any number not be enough? There is no sense in that.

But anyway, I will take on board the suggestions given, and simply have a civil, enquiring conversation about it and see where it goes from there. I really didn't want or anticipate such bad feeling and arguing against each other. Thank you to everyone who chipped in, regardless of your opinion.

OP posts:
Lostbeyondwords · 05/07/2017 20:46

WyfOfBath that sounds a sensible approach.

OP posts:
Lostbeyondwords · 05/07/2017 20:49

Originally though it had come from an exam, it wasn't a whole class time of work. Extra was asked to be written towards the end of the class as dd had "not written enough" during the exam.

OP posts:
FrToddUnctious · 05/07/2017 21:45

On the odd occasion when dd hasn't completed enough work in class (she is well behaved but a slow writer) it's been sent home to finish and take to the teacher's office the next day. The benefits to that are the teacher doesn't miss their break, the work gets done in the child's own time and they can look up what they don't know, parents wouldn't question it and can help out if needed.

RainyApril · 05/07/2017 21:46

'Asked to do a paragraph, if there's no set amount of sentences then how can any number not be enough? There is no sense in that. '

Generally teachers expect to see a certain amount of work within the time given.

If everyone else did 10 sentences in half an hour, and the weakest pupils did 6, and your dd did 3, and if every time the teacher looked over she was chatting or looking out of the window, and if she ignored warnings to pick up the pace, then she didn't do enough.

Lostbeyondwords · 05/07/2017 22:28

RainyApril yes your example is what I would expect to be the accepted norm in general. That's how I always experienced it. However they did regular work, let's say for 40 minutes of a 50minute lesson. Then were given 10minutes to copy from their exam into their workbook, with dd being asked to do extra. Which she did, but apparently not enough.

That's where the paragraph question came in as that's what they'd been required to do, a paragraph, rather than having the lesson to do it and her only ending up with three sentences compared to, for example, other people's ten. and from dd's description I'd think she managed what most would class as a paragraph-if not before, then at least by the end of being kept back.

I don't know, it's easy to say but if it were me I think what I would've said, after seeing not as much as I expected at the end of lesson, is "you need to have at least x amount of writing" rather than just that it's not enough. It's hard to work to an undefined goal.

Might be an unpopular opinion but I don't think kids need to know or be made to feel bad because a teacher has been up until whatever time doing marking. If a student said a teacher should appreciate their participation in class because they'd been up all night doing their homework I can only imagine they'd be told to manage their time better. Not saying the teacher should manage her time better, I don't teach so can't say I know how it is. But I don't think a child who doesn't normally have issues in the class should be told they're wasting their teacher's time either. Perhaps she was having a bad day. We all have those.

FrTodd more of a punishment that way, isn't it? The parents see what dc haven't done, and dc lose their free time outside of school. Maybe it's harder to keep track of whether the work is then done so it's easier to do it there and then at school, which would be good if they were allowed to ask questions...

OP posts:
FrToddUnctious · 05/07/2017 22:46

I wouldn't be bothered about the teacher saying she'd been working til 10.30. It sounds like she was overworked and knackered and needing a break and was having a moan. We all moan sometimes. I wouldn't bring that up with the school.

Pengggwn · 06/07/2017 05:49

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youarenotkiddingme · 06/07/2017 06:46

This sounds like a case of goalposts being moved.

So pupils were asked to write about themselves. Your DD did that issuing her knowledge. She's told to copy some sentences from her neighbour to bulk it out a bit. Why?
Then even though she did this it wasn't enough and told she needed to write more by simply copying sentences from a child's book into her own.
Again why?

If they wanted her to learn about how to introduce herself why was she copying sentences that introduce another child? What did the teacher want her to learn from this?

Personally I imagine they didn't do well as a class in the assessment and they needed to tick a box saying X number of students have achieved this by end of year 7. The teachers reaction imo shows she's under pressure. The truth is that teachers are under pressure and have pay related performance.
Why else would she need a comprehensive bunch of sentences in a book that actually are not relevant to student and that she just wants copied in there?


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