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How to handle a delicate situation?
3

Chesterpaws · 11/07/2021 18:12

Hi all, So, I have a problem that I really need some advice on. I am a TA in the same school that my child attends. I have been spending 3 afternoons a week in a class where I feel the teacher is highly critical, overly authoritarian and seems to get something out of humiliating the children. I have watched quietly over the past few terms feeling torn between wanting to protect the children but not wanting to cause problems. Now I have found out that my child will be in her class in September. I have requested a meeting with the deputy head but I am very anxious about how to handle things. I want to ask that my child be placed into one of the other classes but I know this is going to raise questions and will make waves and I don't want to come across as just an anxious parent! Any constructive advice from anyone who has experienced a similar situation would be very gratefully received.

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mafsfan · 12/07/2021 20:53

Not this situation but I teach in the school my DC attend. I get my DH to deal with any more serious parent business. It's just easier.

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ProfSprout · 12/07/2021 21:29

This is very difficult. Essentially you’re saying it’s ok for other children but not your own - I doubt it will go down well.

I would think really carefully about what you hope to achieve. I would be incredibly surprised if they agree to move your dc now the classes have been announced - it sets a difficult precedent, even more complicated because you work at the school. Might be better to see how your child gets on next year, monitor the situation and raise it if there are specific issues. At the moment you’re essentially saying ‘I don’t like this teacher’ and that’s not really ok (I do appreciate you’ve seen the teacher at work but presumably haven’t felt you needed to raise concerns on behalf of other children…so you’re anticipating a problem that might not appear for your dc). It may well be that your dc is totally fine with this teacher. I’d also expect slt to be fully aware of each teacher’s style, strengths & areas for development so you need to be prepared for them to see it as a criticism of their employment / leadership decisions as well.

Ime this is one of the difficulties of working at your child’s school…sometimes you know too much and it’s harder to be ‘that’ parent because you need to maintain professional relationships.

Like mafsfan says, my dh deals with any difficult school conversations, does the parents’ evenings etc. Keeps things a bit more separate. Is that an option for you?

And tbh sometimes my dc get a bit of a raw deal (my dd in particular had one really tough year for a variety of reasons & I probably would have dealt with things differently if I didn’t work at the school). It’s offset by all the benefits of me being at their school so works for us but it is a challenge.

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Chrissy1986 · 13/07/2021 18:28

It's a really hard position to be in. I would talk to a trusted member of SLT and tell them your worries as a professional, rather than a 'parent'. It will reflect better on you for raising a concern as a vigilant colleague rather than a complaint as a worried parent. If this issue is on the SLT's radar, they will look for it in their next observation, then the constructive feedback will come from them, and hopefully will positively impact your child's experience in the class.

Additionally, as a parent, I would have a chat to my child about how to build their resilience and how some people may make us feel sad, but that isn't a reflection in your child etc. I had a similar chat to my kids as we were in a similar predicament. It did help. My eldest was quite anxious about school but after a few chats and preparing them, they were happier and it built their confidence. When the teacher was overly critical of them, they just shrugged their shoulders and didn't dwell on it.

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