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Need some advice before tomorrow - regarding how I approach teacher

8 replies

ishouldbeironing · 28/03/2007 12:53

My DD is in year 7 and yesterday I received phone call from school saying that teacher and head teacher were concerned about her.
DD had gone to school and had written swear words on her hand which the teacher noticed.
School concerned cos DD is normally extremely well behaved - achieves good grades - elected onto Pupil Council etc etc
I was with DD and said that I would deal with it.
However on speaking to DD last night she started to sob and didnt really stop until bed time.
She says that she is v. unhappy because she does not like her teacher who shouts a lot and she feels belittles pupils in the class unless you are one of the "favourites ".
My DD has said other pupils in the class fear him but are too afraid to speak up.
She actually gets upset on behalf of others who she sees getting a hard time and the writing on her hand was a release from all the anger and frustration which she feels inside.
I have a meeting with the teacher tomorrow and I really dont know how to handle it as it is going to look like a personal attack on him if I repeat what my DD has told me.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I should approach this.

OP posts:
helbel3 · 28/03/2007 13:00

Yes, be honest. Tell the teacher how your daughter feels, perhaps write it down first and re-read so you can express yourself in a sympathetic positive, so you arent directly having a go at the teacher.

Explain that she feels other peoples pain and this was the realse mechanism she used.


ishouldbeironing · 28/03/2007 13:09

Thank you helbel3 - that was helpful about writing it down.
I spose my main concern is that I either lose it with him or I start to cry!!
It is also a bit complicated cos I am vice chair of the PTA and a parent helper so I dont want to cause upset at the school - I just want him to stop terrorising my DD.
I am also that he chose to give her a bollocking for her behaviour yesterday - surely teachers are trained to spot unusual behaviour

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Mumpbump · 28/03/2007 13:16

Can't believe how pc they are nowadays! I distinctly remember being about 6 and using all kinds of swear words because they were naughty and exciting. Admittedly, I was only overheard by a teacher once, but they just ignored it. Within a couple of weeks, the swear words had lost their attraction... Mind you, I swear like a trooper nowadays!!

Sounds like an over-reaction on the part of the teacher to me! I would view it as a natural interest in language, if it were my child...

Pinkballoon · 28/03/2007 23:28


I'm a teacher and a parent.

My advice to you would be to approach this meeting with an open mind. Your natural inclination is to side with your daughter. However, as you will be aware, there are two sides to every story and frequently the teacher will see the side of a child that many parents are either not aware of or do not want to be aware of. Unfortunately, kids (regardless of academic ability, social class etc) are a totally different 'ball game' in a class of 30 others, away from their parents and amongst their friends learning subjects that they may not be particularly interested in.

I have also been depicted in the way that your child has depicted their teacher. Quite frankly, the vast majority of teachers do not have the time or the inclination to be picking on kids etc. There is so much to get through in a lesson that taking time out to focus on one child in this way is nigh on impossible. (Remember that many teachers have difficulty finding the time to get to the toilet or eat their lunch during the day, such are the pressures on their time)

I have listened diplomatically to parents on the phone telling me how their child is being 'picked on' by me whilst at the same time remembering the volleys of verbal abuse, chair kicking and tantrums that I have had to endure from their child. (Not saying that your child's behaviour is in anyway comparable here!)

The fact that the school are contacting you indicates that they are being pro active about something that they see as an issue. This is a good thing. If they hadn't picked up on this issue, then you would have more cause for concern.

My instinct on this one? Your daughter may be under pressure from the others in her class because of the good grades she is achieving and her work on the Pupil Council. Some high ability pupils will go through stages of trying to fit in with the rest of their class - hence the swearing and having issues with teachers. I may be wrong, but I have seen this on a number of occasions.

Hope this helps and good luck with your meeting.

bubblicious · 28/03/2007 23:47

Pink balloon I think you are correct,I should be ironing, I am not saying your DD is at wrong here honestly, I have a DD who is in yr8(and I have just had parents evening for her, most of teachers said what a delight!- the other few have said what a nightmare!) I noticed with DD is if the teacher was young then DD played her up- big time, but if teacher had been teaching many a year- DD was fine and gave then acknowledgement and courtesy.(sorry cant think of the word that I want!!!

The way I always approach things by talking to some of the teachers is by saying this is what I have heard is this true! Also sometimes asking for another member of staff to be present may help ie head of year.

Good luck for tomorrow will be thinking of you!

ishouldbeironing · 30/03/2007 15:14

Thanks to all who responded.
Having mn to vent was very helpful before meeting and I was actually quite calm and open minded when I approached teacher.
He recognises that when he raises his voice that my DD doesnt like it (funny tho cos she manges to ignore me!)
Having spoken to him I was able to see that my DD is struggling with the pressures of this year - last year of Primary in Scotland - and the pressures of growing up .
Having said that she puts pressure on herself as she wants to succeed in EVERYTHING she does - and tends to focus on what she hasnt achieved.
Anyway I came home and told my DD that I had a lot of sympathy for her teacher and that she should be more supportive of him!!
Just looking at all the hormonal boys and girls in DDS class made me shudder and realise that he has a tough job.

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Pinkballoon · 30/03/2007 15:37

Ha! Ha! - wait to you see the raging hormones in the Year 9 classes.

Year 7 is a tough year (in a Secondary) - they all seem to change rapidly about now, in preparation for being Year 8s. I've had real little sweeties come trotting in in September, not a peep out of them in class (other than to politely ask if they can help with things!), fantastic homework etc., then something changes about now and they are tutting, muttering, dirty looks, make up starts going on, homework is rushed or not done etc. One of them was really fantastic and I put her forward for so many awards. Then I found a note she'd wrote to her friend: "I hate Mrs xxxx" I can genuinely say that I was upset! Just a stage - one of many!

Glad it seemed to go well

ishouldbeironing · 30/03/2007 16:05

When I went to see teacher he told me how approachable and friendly he considers himself to be.
I had to keep a straight face as my DD tells me that most of the class hate him and would NEVER approach him to discuss a problem.
He is in his early thirties and I felt quite sorry for him in the end.
AAAAH who would choose to be a teacher!!!

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