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Am I too sensitive

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by kjled6, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    I have been crying most of the day after an aggressive parent shouted at me and belittled me in front of many other parents and staff.
    Headteacher has spoken to this parent in the past due to their behaviour.
    Does anyone have tips how I can not let things like this upset me and ruin the whole of my day.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi kjled6

    It is understandable that you would feel upset but please don't cry over this parent's extreme rudeness.

    You must go back to your Headteacher and speak to them about this matter and ask the Headteacher that in future if the parent wants to speak to you, that they have to have the Head's permission and that the Head is present because of the aggressive behaviour of the parent.

    It would ruin anyone's day so don't worry too much about that. It was probably a shock to the system. No one in a school particularly expects to be spoken to in such a manner.

    Take care but ensure you get some rules in place regarding the aggressive parent.
  3. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    Apparently it went on all the time last year and the parent was meant to be on their final warning.
    I will see if I can speak to the Head about it tomorrow
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Definitely speak to the Head. It sounds as though the parent really crossed the boundary.

    Trust you feel better.

    On a separate note, try making yourself a cup of Golden Milk as a treat before you go to bed tonight. There are a lot of recipes online but basically it is almond, oat or coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla flavouring. You put all the ingredients in a pan and warm it on the hob.

    Just what stressed out teachers need for a good night's sleep.

    If you like it, you could make some and take it in a flask for a treat during the day.
  5. Jazztess79

    Jazztess79 New commenter

    If you felt intimidated, you need to ensure you say this to the headteacher. If you are worried about further occurrences, particularly due to the fact this has happened before with other members of staff, politely but firmly ask the head teacher how they are going to ensure this will not happen again? Maybe they’ll suggest that they will act as the first port of call for this parent....
  6. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    If this behaviour 'went on all the time last year' and the parent is on their final warning, then the head teacher should now ban the parent from school grounds. If the parent needs to discuss something with a member of staff, then contact should be via the head teacher and preferably by email. To protect staff members' wellbeing, no face-to-face contact with individual staff members should be allowed.

    It would be helpful if the head teacher arranged a staff meeting to discuss what is and is not appropriate behaviour by parents and what to do when inappropriate behaviour happens. If this type of bad behaviour by parents is a continuing problem, all parents should be advised that shouting, belittling and other types of aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in the perpetrator being banned from school grounds and reported to the police if appropriate.
  7. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    This is referred to as unbounded empathy. You need to keep a professional distance between what you are professional accountable for and what you aren’t. Failure to do so affects your well being, It is well theorised. Time to create a boundary.
  8. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    Never heard of Golden Milk before I’ll have to give it a try
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    Yes I do definitely. Just take things personally sometimes
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    You must report this remember your employer does have a duty of care towards you but also it needs to be logged and recorded. If this happens often the school can persue a banning order preventing the parent entering the premises but it does require evidence (S206 of the education act 2002) I have seen it done before. Although im not sure how this works with academies as the school was LEA at the time.

    Also never speak to that parent again without a colleague present as you want a witness to everything which happens. If they shout at you again walk off after telling them to make an appointment with the head.
  11. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    Thanks sometimes this school does seem to do things differently to others I’ve worked at as it’s Independent. I am definitely planning to never speak to her alone again
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I can guarantee that you will like Golden Milk.

    I only came across it recently, but the tumeric is good for you. I forgot say that you also need a bit of black pepper in it as that helps the body absorb/use the compound in the tumeric.
    kjled6 likes this.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The school has a duty of care towards you. If they are being reluctant to show this (because the parent is a source of income?), this could be a good time to talk to your union.
    If the loss of a fee paying parent is hard for the school to stomach maybe they need reminding that aggressive parents lambasting teachers in public is not a good advertisement for the school either.
  14. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Feel free to take a copy of this poster in when you see the Head... All schools should have such a poster displayed clearly and then act on it. GPs, dentists, police etc all have such things. Schools appear to be less likely to have them. I do feel sorry for the office staff, too, in these cases, as they are the ones who get it in the neck from multiple parents sometimes.
  15. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It’s easy to say, but hard to internalise- it isn’t personal. But it feels like it when it’s in your face. It’s the parent’s response to a perceived grievance and you’re the one chosen to feel the brunt of their anger this year.

    Everyone is right though.

    Don’t engage with that parent. They have form for aggressive behaviour and you’ve had your turn. The head or leadership need to deal with it.

    If the parent is complaining about something to do with their child, make sure that your interactions with that pupil are transparent and make notes if necessary. Because they are paying for their child’s education, they are under the mistaken belief that they are entitled to special treatment.

    If you are in the position of having to speak to her again, make it clear that you will only do so with someone else present.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Nope, because that is exactly what I'd do!
    Do you have a decent head where you can go and talk to them at break, lunch and afternoon break? Or a fabulous deputy where you can just go and cry in their office? I have both of these and do this when upset... stops things spoiling my entire evening or weekend.
  17. kjled6

    kjled6 New commenter

    To be honest I don’t really see much of the Head or Deputy don’t go and see them just for a chat etc. But I have lots of other nice colleagues who checked up on me so don’t feel alone.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Hold your head high. You are not an arrogant, rude piece of sheet.

    And this is an independent school. Parents should know better. Ghastly person.

    Plus everything everybody else said!
    jlishman2158 and kjled6 like this.
  19. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Some parents are complete tw$ts who project their own issues for whatever reason onto decent human beings who will take the criticism at face value. It is a sad indictment that when I went into teaching, SMT generally tended to back the teacher against aggressive parents rather than the cowardly supine approach that seems de riguer these days.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It's a myth to suggest that people with more money are somehow less likely to throw a tantrum. Affluence has nothing at all to do with parent behaviour. To say that parents should know better because their child is in an independent is a nonsense. No one would ever say 'This is a school in the poor part of town, so you can't expect anything more from the parents.'

    If this is a known problem parent and you have supportive colleagues, then you know it isn't you. It's hard and horrible, but you only have to cope with them for a year. They have to cope with themselves for a lifetime!
    jlishman2158, BW12345 and kjled6 like this.
  21. Aelfric

    Aelfric New commenter

    In no way should a parent be allowed to speak to you like this I’d go to the police. Only if teachers take a stand against behaviour like this will we be taken seriously.

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