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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:

MaisyPops · 28/10/2018 08:25

I agree.
I think the thing that's always worth repeating is that the vast vast majority of parents are wonderfully supportive and are polite when raising concerns or complaining.
It's always the loud, unreasonable minority who take up the most time and who stay with you.
It's easy to remember the parent who screamed in my face and and threatened to get me disciplined (for suggesting her child actually needed to work to pass the course).
The parent who calls up at the start of the year and says 'We've got a message saying James has a detention but I think you got the wrong James on the behaviour system Our James is james smith and he sits at the back of the room and loves your lesson but James Brown sits at the front and DC says other James was the one who was sent out. Could you remove the detention point please?' doesn't stand out because they are so reasonable (and I was really mortified I'd got their surnames wrong Smile)


Anasnake · 28/10/2018 08:30

Sunshine - what utter bullshit Hmm


glenthebattleostrich · 28/10/2018 08:30

Yes, I have several friends who are teachers, lots on SMT. The stories they tell.

One parent wanted the flu spray cancelled because she didn't agree with it, bit didn't want her children to feel left out. She suggested that the head do her research into the foreign bodies introduced into the human body and the damage they do. Would have been taken more seriously if said parent didn't have fake lashes, nails, hair and boobs. Oh and regular Botox.

Parent who wanted school to pay for a 1-1 on a school trip for her NT child (and yes definitely no problems I'm good friends with the parents and told them they are batshit!) so said child wouldn't wander off.

The parent demanding out of school provision be extended because she likes to go shopping after work and it's not enough time to get back and collect her child. Same parent demanded to know why her 'super talented' son wasn't on the y6 football team. That would be because he's year 2. Also bragged to everyone that her child was getting additional reading classes because he's so advanced then found out what it actually was and tried to have the programme cancelled because if her some found out why he was there it would make him sad. Also wanted the school fayre cancelled because she wouldn't give permission for her child to be taken around it and he'd be sad to be left out. I could go on but would be here all morning.

The parent who demanded more painting be done at school because her child loves to paint but she doesn't want to do it at home (met with the head to request a total curriculum change, suggested moving literacy).


Thisreallyisafarce · 28/10/2018 08:34


No offence, sunshine but what are your qualifications? I have an MA from Oxbridge and a PGCE with Distinction plus QTS.

Salaries have to be judged against how hard you had to work to get into your profession.

Perhaps you will say you have similar qualifications, in which case I can only sympathise.

However, I used to work in industry and was paid, fifteen years ago, more in my first job than I can hope to earn at retirement without taking on additional responsibilities.


sunshineNdaisies · 28/10/2018 08:40

BA, PgD, PGCE, Msc about to start a PHD


sunshineNdaisies · 28/10/2018 08:41

Also studied at Oxford, in addition to two Scottish unis


Thisreallyisafarce · 28/10/2018 08:42


Then I sympathise Grin

You are clearly underpaid as well. Well, depending on the actual role. What is it?


Piggywaspushed · 28/10/2018 08:44

Ah well, in that case sunshine, may I recommend teaching? Perhaps you could explian why - given you have the qualifications - you don't teach?

We get home at 4 every day: it's great.


RolyRocks · 28/10/2018 08:51

Ha ha sunshine, when I read things like that, I wonder, (a) if ‘they’ are the said teachers I was referring to upthread that leave work for everyone else to do or (b) they just work at times when you don’t see them; my friends and family don’t ‘see’ me when I work at odd times, why would they?

And regarding salaries, for a post graduate professional qualification plus experience, to have that as the pinicle ceiling pay (starting pay is way way lower) is actually very low in comparison to similar careers


blackflyinyourchardonnay0 · 28/10/2018 08:56

I generally think that teaching must be an awful job.
Most of the posts I see on here about complaining about teachers I immediately think ‘one of those parents’.
I mean potentially there are some some circumstances where the teacher really has been unacceptable, but I think the majority of the time it’s parents being ridiculous.
I think teaching could destroy your life if you let it. Take your self esteem and your confidence and turn you into a nervous wreck!
Parents just ready to jump on you and rip you to bits, I mean look at the thread on here recently, a parent meaning because a teacher pronounced Samuel peeps wrong.
Uuuuh no just couldn’t deal with it I think it has the potential to be a really draining job.
Not the most draining and certainly alongside others such as healthcare jobs, but not a job I’d want to do.


unlimiteddilutingjuice · 28/10/2018 08:57

At my kids nursery school, there's a little clique of mums who seem to complain about everything. Doors open 2 mind late, kids come home dirty, some tiny issue about snack time.... Bitch, bitch bitch.
The thing is though... the staff are universally extremely patronising towards the parents. The nursery is in a poor area, the staff have all been to the GIRFEC and SHINARRI training and they all seem to have emerged with the sense that the mum's are somehow barriers to their own children's happiness. It's like they have a white saviour complex towards the kids. And it comes across in the way they talk to us. I'm sure they are unaware of this and would be horrified to learn that they come across this way. But they do.
I personally deal with it by nodding and smiling and reminding myself that this is all for DS's benefit-not mine.
But I can absolutely see why it gets people's backs up and why they might respond with seemingly petty complaints.


MsJaneAusten · 28/10/2018 08:59

Teachers do not realise how lucky they are

Well it sounds like you have the appropriate qualifications; you know what you could do with them.


noblegiraffe · 28/10/2018 10:21

Why would someone with a PGCE need to refer to ‘family members’ to talk about how easy the job is? Wouldn’t they refer to their own experience? Confused

None of our PGCE students ever talk about how easy teaching is.


Thisreallyisafarce · 28/10/2018 10:45

parent meaning because a teacher pronounced Samuel peeps wrong.

I remember that one. Ridiculous. Hmm


sunshineNdaisies · 28/10/2018 11:25

it is really amusing how a PP tried to bring up their qualifications, where they studied as if it justified their need for more pay, better treatment etc.

I, like many others in the UK, have more qualifications yet lesser pay. I do work in an education related area and I enjoy my job but I am significantly underpaid and undervalued. No one is marching or sticking up for us though but we are people your kids NEED before leaving school and are thus just as important


Thisreallyisafarce · 28/10/2018 11:34


Sorry, sunshine, but better qualifications DO justify better pay. Not better treatment, but generally, the better qualified you are, the more you can expect to be paid. You are obviously an exception.

Are you going to answer any of the questions raised here?


Shockers · 28/10/2018 11:38

Organise a march then!


BalloonSlayer · 28/10/2018 11:41

A mum i knew from school was ranting because her DD had chewed the cuff of her school cardigan and ruined it. She asked her why she did it and the DD had said she "was bored." Cue the rant about the school being so useless they couldn't keep her DD engaged, so the poor mite ended up chewing her cardigan out of sheer boredom.

My DD chewed hers too. I said to her "you're not a dog, do that again and the next replacement I buy comes out of your pocket money." Never happened again and it would not have occurred to me to make out it was the school's fault in a million years.


tinytemper66 · 28/10/2018 12:51

But the beat part of the job are the 99.99+% of pupils - they make it all worthwhile!
I except it is the same in most jobs- a tiny minority of people ruin it for you!


tinytemper66 · 28/10/2018 12:51

Or even expect!


Piggywaspushed · 28/10/2018 13:48

As we do keep pointing out to you, sunshine, your skills and qualifications would be most welcome in teaching . But presumably you are more content although you don't sound it sitting slagging us off, rather than supporting us, even though you work in a closely related field.

Nothing like solidarity, eh, comrade?

The getting home at 4 thing bugs me. Sure, yeah, I do many days. But I arrive at work at 7.45 and (apart from a derisory 35 minute lunch break) work pretty much solidly through and I am not a martyr. Teaching is intense and I don't think all parents appreciate this. But , generally, they are supportive.


Thisreallyisafarce · 28/10/2018 14:02


I know! If we don't know how lucky we are, why doesn't sunshine want to cross the Rubicon? Grin


Bananacakes · 28/10/2018 14:11

@Piggywaspushed many of the teachers I’ve known through my children have been amazing, theyvwork long hard hours, run clubs in breaktime and lunchtime, put on rehearsals and performances in half terms, they are really amazing. I got really hacked off with my daughters school putting rehearsals on in half term as we can never usually go away in the school holidays and one time we could. They had organised 2 rehearsals. I was annoyed. I did find out they weren’t paid for this and thought it was so awesome. I was still upset about our holiday but communication is the key to understanding.
My daughters form tutor last year suddenly left and they saw him working in Lidl. He was dreadful though.


Piggywaspushed · 28/10/2018 14:23

And Lidl may well have paid not that much less if he was young!

Sadly, I do know some young teachers who ahve been bullied out because the support isn't there to help them become better teachers. More time was spent on early career teachers once upon a time. Now, it feels a bit like you have to hit the ground running. And there is little to no training on how to deal with difficult parents!


Lioness82 · 28/10/2018 14:36

Sorry to derail, but teaching in Scotland has changed drastically in the last 5-10 years. It might not be as bad as elsewhere, but it's getting worse.

  • building the curriculum passed to individual schools and teachers. The curriculum is little more than a catalog of hopes for children. (Google it. There are 5 documents on building the curriculum for schools)
  • responsibility for schooling passed to LA. No longer parents responsibility to facilitate education. It's the school's, so now we have to go to houses and collect school refusers.
  • Presumption of inclusion: all children expected to attend mainstream until proven unable to cope. All meetings, referrals, action plans, child's view, wellbeing triangulation work done by class teacher. On average 6 children out of 30 will need a plan throughout school. (English friends say there is an SENCO who does this, or a SEN Payment if they do it)

-Widening of ASN definition. Now children whose parents are separating or pet dies are in need of support and need a plan. All children expected to need at some point. (A wellbeing profile to be created for each child).
  • Devolved leadership - all teachers have an area of whole school responsibility. Eco school, rights respecting school, maths co-ordinator. (Again , this seems to attract TLR payments elsewhere)
  • career progression brought to complete halt. Chartered teacher scheme abandoned, PT posts cut right back. Many schools have either a PT or a DHT.
  • annex E removal.. no classroom assistants. No one to copy, laminate, do displays, administer lunch schemes.

-'profession enquiry' : requirement to engage critically with and carry out research into practice.
  • ban on schemes of work. All lessons to focus on multiple experiences and outcomes, and be created using the 7 principles to lead to the 4 capacities, taking account of the school's vision and values without using the benchmarks. Don't forget to plan for achievement too (not attainment, which is academic achievement or added knowledge. Personal, transferable skills achievement)

-skills based curriculum not knowledge based. No longer teaching about Romans, instead we're teaching children to use sources, evaluate the bias, compare their lives to people in history. Asking children what context they'd like to do that within and hoping that they pick something you know something about.
  • teachers need to create own assessments. Holistic assessment is preferred (in context, using multiple strands. But don't create a tick list. If you do, you're missing the point.)
  • 1+2 languages. All children to learn 2 foreign languages by the end of primary school. One from p1-7, the other p5-7 (although L3, second foreign language is vague. Some schools have interpreted that to mean different things).

It's not the career I signed up to. More and more has been shoved onto my plate. £36k is a good salary, but people forget that isnt £3600 a month, we see £1950 of that net. ( Higher NI, difference in Scottish tax bands means we pay more tax, student loans (all teachers are graduates in Scotland. There's no other route in)). Plus we still pay GTCS fees and are accountable to the GTCS so required to log and evaluate all CPD.

Personally, no, parents aren't the worst part. They want the best for their kids. Trying and failing to meet the the emotional and mental health problems the 6 year olds in my class have, is the worst part, without any specialist input or even another adult in the room.
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