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Is normal for teachers to call children stupid?
33

Mijkl · 20/11/2017 21:45

Without wanting to give too many details, I've been working with a teacher who I have overheard call students stupid and an idiot. It's not said viciously, but it is said as a definite reprimand (I.e. not a joke). I was a bit shocked, but I don't have much experience of teaching. Would this be normal and/or acceptable?

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Munxx · 20/11/2017 21:47

No. Absolutely not. Not that it should matter but what age are the children?

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Greenandcabbagelooking · 20/11/2017 21:49

I wouldn't call a child am idiot, but I might say "stop behaving like idiots/an idiot". Probably in private through, rather than to the class in general.

I do call children lemons/noodle/plum in jest when they do daft things like forget to add the charcoal when doing reduction with carbon...

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 21:49

Secondary age.

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 21:53

Green, I agree there is a difference between 'stop behaving like a....' and 'you're a....'
This was the second. In front of whole class. Child had admittedly been behaving badly, but also there was v poor behaviour management.

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noblegiraffe · 20/11/2017 21:54

Labelling behaviour is ok, labelling the student is not.

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 21:57

:( Feeling worried now. This person is going to be training me.

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Crumbs1 · 20/11/2017 21:58

They’re secondary age. Their self esteem should already be developed. They’ll cope with the odd teacher telling them they’re stupid. Poor teachers have a hard enough task without fellow staff turning the knife.

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tinypop4 · 20/11/2017 21:59

I would say that a child's behaviour is stupid/silly. I wouldn't call a child stupid. Is it definitely the latter?

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 22:00

"That's because you're stupid."

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Valerrie · 20/11/2017 22:03

No, it's not OK.

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noblegiraffe · 20/11/2017 22:21

Crumbs is incorrect, secondary school pupils often have low self-esteem and we should not make assumptions about what they can cope with in terms of flat-out insults.

As a trainee, probably best to learn from it as something not to do at this point. What type of trainee are you?

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GerrysSuccessor · 20/11/2017 22:26

Agree with others. ‘That was a really stupid decision’ or ‘that was idiotic behaviour’ is okish, although there are ways of getting the same point across without necessarily using those terms. ‘You’re an idiot’ or ‘you’re stupid’ are never ok and in my school if over heard would at the very least lead to a talking to from a line manager

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 22:27

I don't want to go into details re course etc. because I obviously don't want to be identified. I am the usual sort of trainee: panic-stricken and stressed :)

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Coolaschmoola · 20/11/2017 22:30

Utterly unacceptable. I teach GCSE English in FE. The vast majority of my students have been called stupud by a teacher (I ask them). That's the point where they give up trying.

I tell them the only stupid person in that situation was the teacher. The damage that word does is massive.

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Coolaschmoola · 20/11/2017 22:31

*stupid Grin

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 22:32

Coola this would be my gut feeling also. It doesn't seem professional let alone kind.

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seven201 · 20/11/2017 22:32

I personally don’t even say “your behaviour was idiotic” etc. As I live in fear of being accused of being ‘unprofessional’. I once had a parent complain higher up about me for calling her child a liar. I had actually just asked her daughter if she was lying when she gave some ridiculous excuse for not having her homework. I know some people would brush that off but I worry about being labelled as a crap teacher.

The teacher who trained me was a twat. He advised me to not be consistent with behaviour management to keep the kids on their toes! He often stank of booze and got a sixth former pregnant and left

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 22:33

:-o

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Mijkl · 20/11/2017 22:34

The really poor behaviour management is also a big worry. It's good in my current school so I can see the difference.

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ChipInTheSugar · 20/11/2017 22:36

I’ve heard “So, you’re stupid, you’re a liar, and a sheep!” from a Teflon-coated member of SLT Confused Incredible how they get away with it.

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mineofuselessinformation · 20/11/2017 22:43

Absolutely not acceptable.
But, how you go about raising it as an issue may sadly be an altogether different story.

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elephantoverthehill · 20/11/2017 22:50

Mijkl on the positive side, you have been put in a situation where you are questioning, learning and therefore honing your own skills.

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noblegiraffe · 20/11/2017 22:55

What specifically are you worried about? If it’s your second PGCE placement then you’ll be mostly teaching not observing, and this person won’t be telling you to insult students as a behaviour management technique.

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Acopyofacopy · 22/11/2017 19:01

Don’t be so sure about that, noble! I was “taught” some behaviour strategies fairly recently, one of them being “you need to shout a bit more”. Hmm

OP, see if you can change mentors. It’s a bit awkward, but it can be done.

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nzeire · 31/10/2018 05:52

I’m in the office at a school and heard a teacher calling a child stupid at least ten times today. She was shouting at him in a breakout room, it was horrifying. The child is about 7, and had behaved badly. It went on and on and on and ON. I went and got a leader and said something had to be done. The principal went in and it all quietened down. I’m traumatised. Want to lodge a bullying complaint to the board.

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