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To feel sorry for teachers because of some parents

168 replies

abacucat · 27/10/2018 12:37

I suspect the worst part of teaching is some of the parents. Parents who believe their child can do no wrong, parents who bring their child up to be totally entitled, parents who always minimise and make excuses for their child's bad behaviour. It must be frustrating for the teachers.

OP posts:

hollieberrie · 27/10/2018 13:57

It's absolutely the worst part. In pretty much every class there are at least 2 or 3 parents who are ridiculously unreasonable. That and the ever increasing demands of SLT, the Local Authority, and Ofsted. The kids are wonderful.
Every day I do a little dance of joy that I am not longer a teacher Grin


swingofthings · 27/10/2018 14:02

I'm a parent, never been a teacher and feel the same. The way some parents behave when it is pointed out to them that their kid isn't the perfect angel they are so proud of, or parents who expect teachers to be the parent because they are too lazy themselves to be so... Yes I have great admiration with the patience and resilience most teachers show. I couldn't do it.


OhTheRoses · 27/10/2018 14:03

What's annoying are teacher's, actually SLT teams, who claim the school has exceptionally high academic standards and behavioural standards. A top of the league tables school.

Then, when geting there, there are 5/6 feral dc who disrupt, swear at teachers, destroy the learning of and enjoyment of others. Up to the point where a child is beaten up and the police are involved, head denies it. Long term staff leaving in droves, pockets of really poor teaching (denied) and dc's performance bolstered by teaching. Governors making excuses.

Oh yes I was that parent for two years and fortunately abdicated to the independent sector because we could.

That cohort of girls were eventually excluded a couple of months before their gcse's. That head had impacted that cohort for five years. Three girls who left before gcse's are now at Oxbridge. Of those who remained, many brighter than the three, not one girl from that year got into Oxbridge or medicine for the first time in several generations.

It took the governors seven years to begin to acknkwledge and remove that head. The school is doing better under better leadership.

It is not just parents who are wrong or inappropriate. And yes we are customers and many of us have choice about how our children are educated and have post grad quals and careers. There is never a need to speak to a parent as though tbey are an ignoramous. If 6 girls beat up another, there is no need to get the other 84 into a hall and yell at them about acceptable conduct but I suppose it's easier to deal with the compliant 84 than the non compliant 6 who would likely answer back and say fuck off - and get away with it. In those circumstances I reserve the right to ask a head to explain herself and write to the chair of governors. In those circumstances I don't care if the SLT think I'm "that" parent.


SandraTheBee · 27/10/2018 14:05

One parent of a year three child in my class was ranting because her son had come home upset. He had been a little bugger all afternoon, really rude and defiant and I had called him on it.
At school the next day he admitted that he had not told his mother the truth about his behaviour. She was called and when told she slammed the phone down.


OhTheRoses · 27/10/2018 14:06

DC's performance bolstered by tutoring not teaching. Good teaching was diminishing.


Thisreallyisafarce · 27/10/2018 14:08


Any student's performance will be bolstered by tutoring. 1:1 or 30:1 - it's easy Maths, that.


Alieeeeeens · 27/10/2018 14:11

Parents that defend poor behaviour get me but as someone else has said the worst are when parents just don’t care and feel that school is there as childcare and as a replacement parenting service. Parents that don’t attend parents evening, expect you to teach them basic things like personal hygiene and manners, don’t respond to phone calls and emails or comments on reports, it’s another form of neglect in my book (often wealthy neglect from families where the kids are expected to end up in the family business so it doesn’t matter how they do in their exams!). I’m fairly sure that I care more about how some of my pupils do than some of the parents and that makes me really sad.

We run a lot of trips in my school in the holidays and it’s very telling that there’s 2 or 3 pupils who are ALWAYS on at least one of these trips (whether they’re interested in the trip content or not!) because they’re cheaper than childcare for the week.

I love my job and I love the teaching profession - it’s something I always wanted to be and I’m so glad I am but I do get very frustrated at times by the lack of support that comes from home, both for the kids and the staff. And now the government wants me to be a counsellor and able to recognise mental health issues in my pupils...we get training in recognising abuse, potential extremism, FGM, self-harm and absolutely we should be able to spot signs of mental health problems but to do so in an official capacity?! Imagine if you missed something and a child ended up taking their own life! I wouldn’t be able to live with myself! (Sorry this is probably a completely different AIBU!)


KOKOagainandagain · 27/10/2018 14:12

There are undoubtedly parents who are problem for teachers ranging from disinterested to over invested. There will also be parents with 'nasty' personalities that are rude and threatening who are probably as nasty to shopworkers, hospital staff etc. In the same way there will be dedicated teachers, poor teachers and individuals that are just not very nice - teaching qualifications do not make people morally superior.

But one of the groups of parents that are a problem for teachers are often those with DC going through the long drawn out process of diagnosis for dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD etc. I can understand that teachers don't like to be lectured by those less well informed but equally parents acting as advocates for their DC are dismayed when teachers think that they know better than experts (EP, SALT, OT, community paediatricians etc).

This is usually not down to the individual personality of the teacher but seems to be a required whole school policy which leads to teachers not working in partnership with parents and ignoring professional recommendations. These are requirements of the job. At worst this leads to falsifying records, giving false reports to investigating medical staff, blaming parents (secret emails to LA, malicious reports to SS) to avoid the child receiving support/EHCP or if this is granted, non-delivery of statutorily required support.

DS1's primary school were a nightmare and insisted he was fine. They no doubt thought parents were a nightmare. The difference was that being a polite but insistent parent was fully justified whilst there was no justification for their behaviour. Their actions delayed diagnosis (ASD, dyslexia, and 6 others) and resulted in School phobia. He was 12 before SS was agreed following failed secondary transition and that placement broke down a year and a half later. He has barely left the house in the last 3.5 years.

He was failed by the whole education system but individual teachers played their part in that. I doubt they loose sleep over it now he has left their class/school. On the other hand I am now a full time carer and he struggles to survive each day.


OddBoots · 27/10/2018 14:16

I am only a parent but I have heard other parents undermining the teachers "It's a pointless subject anyway" or "just ignore 'teacher' they don't know what they are talking about" or giving negative messages to their child "yeah, I was no good at 'subject' at school either" - that must be tough as a teacher.


Shadowboy · 27/10/2018 14:20

I find the expectations of parents to answer their emails at 10pm each night unreasonable. Last week a parent sent an email at 9.48pm. I saw it but didn’t reply as I was in the middle of a PPT- but the time I’d finished creating the presentation it was half 10. I got to work at 8.20am the following day to another email asking when I was likely to reply- I planned to answer at break. I was teaching at 8.45am. She rang apparently during first lesson. What did she want to know? If she could have a kit list for a trip that we are going on in 5 weeks time (I had given a hard copy to her son already and he had lost it)


Tomatoesrock · 27/10/2018 14:25

Yes definitely. There was one mother and every single morning the teacher came to collect her class line she would be waiting to pounce.

I do write notes though which I am sure is annoying. My DD has some SEN homework is a nightmare and isn't always complete. I always get them a nice present at Christmas to say I appreciate extra time it takes up.


OhTheRoses · 27/10/2018 14:26

But things lime kit lists coukd and should be on websites.


Tomatoesrock · 27/10/2018 14:32

Shadowboy That is completely unacceptable, I wouldn't acknowledge any email after office hours. How rude and inconsiderate.


isittheholidaysyet · 27/10/2018 14:34

Emailing parent was unreasonable.

But kit lists should be on a website or similar. (Kids lose things like letters)

5 weeks is not much time, only 7.5 shopping days, if the child is in school full time. If things like walking boot and sleeping bags are needed they are big ticket items which made need 3 city shopping trips to buy.
And that is only 1 pay day.


abacucat · 27/10/2018 14:39

Your class teacher will not be the one deciding what goes on a school website.

OP posts:

ThumbWitchesAbroad · 27/10/2018 14:40

Keepon - so sorry you had that experience :(


Piggywaspushed · 27/10/2018 14:42

ohtheroses, I am assuming that amazing tutor was also a qualified teacher, working their backside off outside of school hours...Confused


Alieeeeeens · 27/10/2018 14:43

@keepingon - I’m so sorry your son was failed by so many. Personally I don’t think SEN provision in mainstream schools is ever going to be ideal, especially for those with extensive needs, partially from underfunding, partially because there are so few people fully trained and partially because a lot of SEN departments are small but flooded with requests from parents to test pupils to get them extra time in exams (when actually a lot of them don’t need that extra time!) and this detracts attention from those who really need the help.

@oddboots - all of those things REALLY rile me. I teach MFL and the number of parents who have told me “we mostly holiday in France so Spanish is irrelevant to DC”. Or “everyone speaks English there anyway so I don’t see the point. I was never any good at it at school and we get on fine at our house in Benidorm...all you need is Google translate anyway 🤨” cue me banging my head on a desk


Miscible · 27/10/2018 14:44

Surely the worst thing is the government changing the goalposts, OFSTED demands and the lack of money?

This, according to my teacher friends and relatives. Particularly money: decent funding would mean that children with SEN could be properly supported, there could be resources for children with behavioural issues that actually work, there could be a reasonable amount of non-contact time for preparation, and teachers wouldn't have to fund basic supplies out of their own pockets.

Stopping the practice of throwing money at the Conservative party's friends to set up academies would be a good start.


Alieeeeeens · 27/10/2018 14:45

I email kit lists directly to parents and kids...they don’t read them and about 40% of a trip will email me the week before asking for a kit list. “I sent you one 4 weeks ago but here’s another”...”oh I must have missed it, I’ll look through my emails.” 🤦🏽‍♀️


MaisyPops · 27/10/2018 14:48

Running out of glue sticks but needing to have a bazillion SLT decided sheets glued into every new book is the worst bit Grin

Though seriously, a minority of parents take up the majority of time.
It's the types you see on here who think their DC was genuinely put in isolation for only asking a perfectly reasonable and relevant question, who'll minimise disruptive and poor behaviour, tell everyone to go frothing to the head etc who are irritating and difficult to work with (and ultimately it's the children who pay the price for their parents attitude because the children end up feeling arrogant and untoucable).

The vast vast majority of parents are totally reasonable and are very supportive.
I'll still remember the year one of 'those' parents was horrible to me and tried to intimidate me and caused me to get behind. The sympathetic and supportive looks from other parents meant a lot and one even sent their child to the PTA stall to get me a cup of tea. I still don't think that parent knows how much that act of kindness meant.


catkind · 27/10/2018 14:49

Worst part was Senior Management - they were awful.

Not a teacher but I have a number of good friends and family who are, and this is what I pick up. Senior Management seems to be the make or break thing and what I hear the most grumbles about by far. That is what people I know have left jobs over, never the kids or the parents. Parents barely figure, even the most difficult kids they feel sorry for (and their families by extension). Most of a teacher's time is spent with kids, and when they can't teach or discipline the kids properly because of lack of support - that affects them all day long.


OhTheRoses · 27/10/2018 14:50

Tutor, paid for, outside of school hours. Essential because of disruption and poor teaching. Not sure what's so confusing.


tiredgirly · 27/10/2018 15:40

See also: Running out of glue sticks.

At my dcs school students have to bring their own glue sticks to school every day as part of essential stationery equipment. And scissors and staplers and hole punches and lined paper.


ReverseTheFerret · 27/10/2018 15:42

I'm about as supportive of the school as you get and incredibly grateful to the teachers for all they do and how genuinely superb they are - but at the same time I'm not going to stand for the crap that DD2's class teacher tried to pull at the start of this year where she refused to listen to what she was being told about how DD2's difficulties affected her (while she glaringly obviously has her diagnosis - she doesn't fit the traditional stereotype and we've put so much in place she functions a lot better than most) and was trying to refuse to let her use adapted equipment to help her function... we also had a really shit provision plan returned to us that I picked apart in terms of what was waffle and what was down as happening that hadn't started yet and needed clarification on start dates... I'm not naturally assertive and I hate having to fight "against" the school so it really did take its toll on my mental health. We got there though, and seem to have it working well for DD2 now - but it was totally unnecessary to alienate a parent who really really did want to support the school (to the extent I was down there helping to freshen up displays and tidy up when they got the Ofsted call) the way things went on initially.

Mind you the contrast's fairly clearly shown by what went down last week. DD1 and her friend had a silly "plan" going to run away out of school and basically bugger off to the friend's house to play all afternoon and eat candy floss. Never a plan that was going to go anywhere and DD1, with her wonderful history of having no filter whatsoever between her brain and her mouth, blabbed it to one of the adults in school. Both kids spoken to and the importance of how school is there to keep them safe etc etc reinforced - very low key, very calm and not in any way a "telling off." Both sets of parents get told at hometime and I'm very much mildly bemused by it, but take the "well that was a bloody stupid idea you daft sod" view (couched in slightly more child appropriate language) with DD1 and that the school dealt with it pretty much spot on. Other parent is screaming blue murder and yelling that she's going to go to the head and complain about the teacher being ridiculous and telling her child off.

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