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Advice for an upset teacher?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by SmileySmiley, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I waited a day before sending this so I wasn't too cross when i sent.
    I'v been in my current for a few years now. It's an outstanding school and I enjoy working in such a big school. We had parents evening last week and all the parents were really impressed with the progress the children were making as well as the way their children enjoy school etc...

    However.....there was one parent who I was with for 45 minutes who basically told me that she wasnt happy with how her son behaves in school and the way he was working/things he was doing in school. This particular child has behaviour problems (he can't sit still and he just can't listen, any question I ask him he justhas no idea because he just doesn't listen). He is very low ability in both literacy and maths, working at a p8/level 1c in both (Year 2). We have a doubke intake school so have set the children for literacy and numeracy. The lower ability children (12 in total) have been put in this smaller group to give them the input they need in order to push them for a L1/2C in the SATs. Within this group are a mixture of mainly boys, with some girls. They come into the average ability maaths and literacy set for inout and main teaching then go with a HLTA and a TA for focus number work, phonics, writing, independent and guided reading.

    When I spoke to his mum she wasnt happy with this as she refuses to believe that her son is below average and that this group is, quote 'a group for stupid children who's parents don't care about their children enough to do anything at home with them". She went on to say that all the 'stupid' children have behaviour problems and she constantly sees them kicking and punching each other and that she has seen thim in lessons (how I have no idea!!!!) fighting (which obviously doesn't happen. Some children in this group do have behaviour problems but none are worse than her own son, with most being very well behaved and wanting to succeed. She wanted him moved out of this group and placed in the average ability group with the teacher (me) sat with him (meaning the other 22 children get no support!) as he isnt low ability he just needs a little extra support (he couldnt spell his own name until christmas!)

    She then continued that she didnt get any support at hime as she is seperated and she has her son 24/7 and she knows he can be difficult. I did a good job at calming her down and showing her the work he was producing 9with and without support) and the levels he was achieving. She got upset about her home life and I offered to speak to the SENCo who may be able to offer supprt - she said she didn't want any support at home. I was, by this point getting incredibly frustrated and after making losts of suggestions for childcare to give her a break (her mum, her exs mum, after school clubs, free weekend clubs that run in our area) and comforting her when she cried that I was ready to cry myself as she didnt seem to want any of this. Then shed change her mind and ask what she could do!!!

    After she left (in what i thought was an OK mood, agreeing that the work her son was doing was at his level and that she agreed he struggled (he never reads at home or does his homework - EVER) that a small group was probably best for him.

    This little boy is lovely and he makes me smile every day. he always has a beam on his face and when he worsk hard he is so proud of the work he does. I reward him no end for trying and he enjoys my class.

    I get in to work on Friday morning (after speaking to the SENCO as promised and her saying she would call mum) to find out (indirectly - the head didnt even come to me) that he was being removed from my class into next doors class as mum thought this was best and that he wasn't to be put in the small group but in to the average ability maths and literacy group and have the teacher sit with him so he could keep up (bearing in mind there is no TA in the class). The reason we have set the children is so we can more accurately plan and teach for SAT levels like the head wants. There was no discussion with me about this, no meeting was arranged to try and solve this problem, the head never asked my opinion or to see the work/levels/tracking of this little boy, just moved him.

    Im angry to say the least but am not sure what i can do? Any advice?

    Doodles
     
  2. Hi,
    I waited a day before sending this so I wasn't too cross when i sent.
    I'v been in my current for a few years now. It's an outstanding school and I enjoy working in such a big school. We had parents evening last week and all the parents were really impressed with the progress the children were making as well as the way their children enjoy school etc...

    However.....there was one parent who I was with for 45 minutes who basically told me that she wasnt happy with how her son behaves in school and the way he was working/things he was doing in school. This particular child has behaviour problems (he can't sit still and he just can't listen, any question I ask him he justhas no idea because he just doesn't listen). He is very low ability in both literacy and maths, working at a p8/level 1c in both (Year 2). We have a doubke intake school so have set the children for literacy and numeracy. The lower ability children (12 in total) have been put in this smaller group to give them the input they need in order to push them for a L1/2C in the SATs. Within this group are a mixture of mainly boys, with some girls. They come into the average ability maaths and literacy set for inout and main teaching then go with a HLTA and a TA for focus number work, phonics, writing, independent and guided reading.

    When I spoke to his mum she wasnt happy with this as she refuses to believe that her son is below average and that this group is, quote 'a group for stupid children who's parents don't care about their children enough to do anything at home with them". She went on to say that all the 'stupid' children have behaviour problems and she constantly sees them kicking and punching each other and that she has seen thim in lessons (how I have no idea!!!!) fighting (which obviously doesn't happen. Some children in this group do have behaviour problems but none are worse than her own son, with most being very well behaved and wanting to succeed. She wanted him moved out of this group and placed in the average ability group with the teacher (me) sat with him (meaning the other 22 children get no support!) as he isnt low ability he just needs a little extra support (he couldnt spell his own name until christmas!)

    She then continued that she didnt get any support at hime as she is seperated and she has her son 24/7 and she knows he can be difficult. I did a good job at calming her down and showing her the work he was producing 9with and without support) and the levels he was achieving. She got upset about her home life and I offered to speak to the SENCo who may be able to offer supprt - she said she didn't want any support at home. I was, by this point getting incredibly frustrated and after making losts of suggestions for childcare to give her a break (her mum, her exs mum, after school clubs, free weekend clubs that run in our area) and comforting her when she cried that I was ready to cry myself as she didnt seem to want any of this. Then shed change her mind and ask what she could do!!!

    After she left (in what i thought was an OK mood, agreeing that the work her son was doing was at his level and that she agreed he struggled (he never reads at home or does his homework - EVER) that a small group was probably best for him.

    This little boy is lovely and he makes me smile every day. he always has a beam on his face and when he worsk hard he is so proud of the work he does. I reward him no end for trying and he enjoys my class.

    I get in to work on Friday morning (after speaking to the SENCO as promised and her saying she would call mum) to find out (indirectly - the head didnt even come to me) that he was being removed from my class into next doors class as mum thought this was best and that he wasn't to be put in the small group but in to the average ability maths and literacy group and have the teacher sit with him so he could keep up (bearing in mind there is no TA in the class). The reason we have set the children is so we can more accurately plan and teach for SAT levels like the head wants. There was no discussion with me about this, no meeting was arranged to try and solve this problem, the head never asked my opinion or to see the work/levels/tracking of this little boy, just moved him.

    Im angry to say the least but am not sure what i can do? Any advice?

    Doodles
     
  3. You just need to get over it. You can't win them all and this parent sounds like she didn't even really know what she wanted or what her son needs. You are a good teacher which is evident from how you have written about him and what you do for him. His mum wants something different (in reality she's probably in denial about her son's problems and it's easier to blame you than help with his homework) and has got it. In about six months time she'll be making the same fuss about the next teacher.
    It is a real shame that this wasn't discussed with you as the head could have made you feel so much better about this. Maybe your issue is with the head and you could just let them know that you feel upset and wish they'd talked to you first. As for the little boy, you really are just going to have to let is slide - frustrating as this is. It's happened to us all. It's a shame for the little boy.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Ahhh you are well rid of the mother...let the other teacher deal with her and take comfort she isn't your problem.

    Depending on your relationship with your HT, you might want to pop in and see them on Monday and explain how you feel about her actions. Or just move on.
     
  5. I think you just need to forget it and move on. You have tries to do your best but mum obviously can't see that. She ha done herself and her child absolutely no favours whatsoever and he will really struggle.
     
  6. To be honest, The head wouldn't give a s**t (excuse the language). All he cares about is the levels. He sides with parents over staff every time and every time I've been to see him he brushes me aside. another boy in my class ( new addition after christmas) is physically hurting other children (iv had to send one child to hospital with a split head a while ago) and the head just said "boys will be boys"!!!!!!

    I was absoloutly appaled. I kept the little boy in at playtimes (he kicks whoever is outside regardless of age (year 6s, 3s, and year 1s!). The head came to see me and said to send him out. Every time he has hurt some1 (and I mean quite serious, not just the kiddi stuff like falling out and a little push, Im talking punching in the face, slapping round the face, spitting at children and throwing pencil sharpenings in childrens eyes) the head just talk to him which clearly isnt working.

    The head just cares about the levels the children are getting, My class were angeles last week of term so as a reward i gave them 15 minutes extra playtime, got the jump ropes and footballs out and them have fun (we had done a mock SAT week). The head came out on to the playground and said could I take them inside and do some extra reading/writing/spelling with them as some children performed poorly in the the reading test (bearing in mind they did it cold having never seen the style of paper before etc..).

    I just feel so unsupported at the minute. The same has happened in the parallel class with a little boy who was being bullied. the head took the side of the bully because the parent complained...he just doesnt want confrontation.

    Im at my wits end. All i want is for the kids to enjoy school. Personally i couldnt care less about the levels if I know the children are having fun and making good progress and enjoying actually coming to school and learniing!

    doodles
     
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Find another school with a more sensible head would be my advice then. You won't change him staying where you are and will just stress yourself out.
     
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Get over it.the child is no longer your problem...prove yours is the best by your teaching and ignore such parents...there are always a few in every school.
    The head has made a decision, unfortunately your other teacher has to cope...and it might so happen that he/she will. I have 2 of mine removed to another teacher and now they are doing better..am i bothered//nah....Just get on and do the rest.
     
  9. In addition to the sound advice above, I'd add the perspective, "Life is a long song", the move may address the real problem so the parent may be unhappy again in the future, and school levels may not be improved.


    Tragic that "professionalism" has come to this, I'm so glad I also taught in times when class teachers were respected more, HT were not afraid of vociferous parents and decisions were in the genuine best interests of the children.
     
  10. Sorry, meant to write, "May NOT address the real problem...."
     
  11. I think I may have phrased it worng when I said i couldn't care less about levels...that's not what i meant. what I meant is for a child to get the levels the head/school/ofsted want the child 1st needs to be happy and confident and be having fun. The head is asking for silly levels this year becasue the teachers in year 1 least year (both NQTs) felt they had to put at least 2 sublevels of improvement over the year....so I aparantly need 15 level 3 writers from my class and none below a level 2c!!!! For maths (which is poorer in my class I am expected to get arounf 18 level 3!!! These are impossible targets to meet but now the head has moved this child into a class where is now upset in a morning and refuses to work....and put a child from that class into my class (who is acting the same...just wont work, upset that he is not with friends etc...) the whole balance of 2 classes has been upset! I'v had 2 children leave this year (moved counties/countries) both who were 2A/L3 children and the chldren that have replaced them are both low levle ones...yet this iisnt reflected int he levels the head wants to see at the end of the year.

    I think it's crazy that some heads see levels as being more important than the happiness of the child.

    However I have spoken to my union and thay have pretty much said what posters on here have said to move on and that the child isn't my problem any more (they know about my school and head.

    Doodles
     
  12. Well, I feel really sorry for you.
    It's absolutely maddening when these ghastly parents think they can come in and shout the odds, telling you how to do your job. Fortunately, I have always been supported in the past (at the very least with a few cheering "Oh, God, she's an [insert insult]" in the staffroom) and can't imagine how angry and upset I'd feel if a parent was acting so appallingly and I was getting no help from the Head.
    Unfortunately, like others have said, I can't see what you can do. There's no-one higher to take it to than your Head, and he sounds like a bit of a spineless plonker, just kowtowing to unreasonable parents like this and shrugging off casual violence.
    You can tell by how upset you are that you work hard and you care for these children. (I also sneakingly sympathise with your lack of interest in levels... They help no-one but politicians...) So surely the only thing you can do is get out and look to work somewhere else?
    I always like Good and Satisfactory schools better than Outstandings. In my limited experience, schools with problems are more forward-thinking and supportive. I've got an interview tomorrow at a Satisfactory and I reeeeeally want it. [​IMG]
    For now, may I prescribe: step away from work, take a white hot bath - lovely. Enjoy something delicious and comforting for yer tea (yes, I'm thinking takeaway or I'm thinking bangers & mash), then later a glass of wine the size of a swimming pool while you enjoy the final of Crufts! (Cute dogs! And far less troublesome than kids!) Hope school looks better tomorrow. xxx
     
  13. Thank you Lilybett,

    I was angry and upset and to be honest i still am but since the head doesnt seem to give a flying (insert naughty word) neither do I and from speaking to a few other members of staff I know they have a similar attitude at the minute. He is taking the parents side ith EVERYTHING at the minute, they are getting exaclty what they want. My class has 6 different kids in it form the end of the year. The level 2a/3 childre have left have been replaced with p level and low level 1 children but the head still wants the same number of level 3s and 2a!

    Iv kinda said screw it, Im not doing anything different or pushing the kids who I know cant do it becasue it only sets next years teacher up to fail.

    Grrrrrrr,
    Im gonna stop ranting and go eat fruit (covered in chocolate)
     
  14. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I'd look for another school unless your head is likely to leave soon.
    I'd also consider asking for this to be pulled as unless you have changed details you will be in serious trouble if the mum or head reads this and identifies you. It has happened to other posters.
     

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