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I need to blow off steam - very very long, sorry

9 replies

StellaDallas · 03/07/2008 10:34

OK, namechanged for this as too many people know me in RL.
I am really upset for DD1 so can someone please help me get this in perspective, I want to know if I should speak to this teacher or not.
Basically, DD1 is leaving primary this year and for the first time every has been given a decent-sized part in the school play. She is over the moon - or was until the rehearsal earlier this week.
I picked her up from school and as soon as we were out of sight of her friends she burst into tears and howled hysterically all the way home.
Apparently one of the teachers who was helping with the play had laid into her about her performance - it wasn't good enough, she tried and tried but couldn't get it the way the teacher wanted it and she just kept getting shouted it. It wasn't an issue of not knowing the words - she was word perfect, it was the acting that was the problem. Then the other teacher who was directing came along and the first teacher complained to her that DD was not doing it right and so she laid into her too. All this happened in the school hall in front of about 100 children including DD2. Then DD was called to a music lesson and the first teacher took over her part and said to everyone - right, now I'll show you how to do it properly. (Which actually is the bit that annoys me most. I can't see why it is OK to mock a 10 year old like that in front of half the school.)
The next morning I went to the teacher who is directing the play and explained politely that DD was very unhappy about the rehearsal, that she wanted to improve her performance but didn't know how and could she please tell me what the problem was so that I could help her at home.
The teacher said that DD was speaking too quietly, too fast and without any expression whatsoever. We worked on it together at home and I think she will be fine now.
So - deep breath - is that it? Should I just leave it. I know the first teacher quite well, but she is not DD's class teacher. We have an excellent relationship with the school, the DDs are very happy there and I have never complained about anything before, but this has really upset me because it has made DD so very unhappy and really knocked her confidence.
Thanks if you made it to the end of this.

OP posts:
stitch · 03/07/2008 10:39

i think you have already sorted the problem out/

StellaDallas · 03/07/2008 10:41

I have sorted out the problem yes, but the fact that DD was bullied horribly in front of half the school is what is bothering me.

OP posts:
overthemill · 03/07/2008 10:48

write a letter out to the year head/headteacher. wait a whole day - re-read it and see a) if it still feels like something you want to take forward, b) does it still say what you want to say? c) do you want to rewrite/tone down letter and still send it?
also, is your dd still sad/upset - ytake a cue from her but dont let her reticence to do anything prevent you from saying what you want to say
good luck

batters · 03/07/2008 10:53

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ingles2 · 03/07/2008 11:11

no, I think I'd write a letter saying that dd was thrilled to get the part, you thought it would boost her confidence, you appreciate she may not be the greatest actress, however you would like to know the schools policy on "bullying" (because that's what it is!) and humiliation in front of peers. and that you would never have let her take part if you thought it would be detrimental to her self-confidence.
This would never be allowed in any other subject, imagine if it was in class and was maths or english, or on the sports field...why should it be ok to humiliate this child because it's the school play!!!

iheartdusty · 03/07/2008 11:27

I would wait until the show is over before doing anything more.
see how DD feels about it, and how the teachers behave when she performs.

she might even receive some kind of apology or praise from them, which could be the best outcome.

StellaDallas · 03/07/2008 14:42

About to head off to school with some trepidation. I just hope it went better today. FWIW she didn't seem that bad to me anyway, although I must make allowances for the maternal devotion warp factor I suppose.

OP posts:
unclefluffy · 03/07/2008 15:18

Reminds me of my last school play at primary school. One person on stage had to offer someone else some vegetables. The line was: "Parsnips?" In rehearsals, the girl who was supposed to be saying the line couldn't do it to the teacher's satisfaction so the teacher made every child in the room have a go. No-one got it, so the teacher leaped up on stage to demonstrate. Never has so much effort gone into one word. I have no idea why teachers get so caught up in their directorial role!

StellaDallas · 09/07/2008 10:50

Update - the play was last night. She did so well. They all did and I was so proud. It was a huge play (90 minutes long!!) with a cast of 60 so the teachers must have been incredibly stressed and DD is really happy to have taken part and has forgotten all about the incident. (Apparently, her class teacher, who witnessed what occurred, made a point of taking her outside the next day to tell her he thought she was doing really well.)

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