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Difficult parents

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by mswisdom, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. mswisdom

    mswisdom New commenter


    I have set of boys that constantly talk over me, talk cross the class and produce inadequate work. When I called home to raise concerns a mum told me that she wants a meeting because her son feels like he is being picked on. She has demanded a parent meeting. I feel nervous and feel like I am the bad guy. I feel like resigning as the school does not have proper sanctions in place. It’s a culture in the school where by most teachers feel the same.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Pass the request up to senior management and let them deal with it.
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Exactly. Remember the pupil concerned will be spinning their own story, carefully embroidered, to parents.
    simonCOAL and agathamorse like this.
  4. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Yes. All of the above.

    Get senior colleagues involved. Ensure that you give them all of the facts so that they are prepared for the meeting. Leave nothing to interpretation.

    Dealing with conflict should be part of initial training. I say that having been involved in it for several years. It’s the sort of thing new teachers worry about a lot. I remember it well.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I think that Rott Weiler is wise to suggest that it would be a good idea to have a member of the senior management team present at the meeting.

    Make sure that you have followed the school's behaviour policy (if there is one). Make sure that you have facts (times and dates) available. It would also be good to have (in writing) an example or two from some of the other teachers of how this little ******* has mucked about, played around and general done little or no work. My guess is that some of the other teachers would be only too happy to give you "chapter and verse" for this little ****.

    As for being "picked on", I would reply that the boy is picking on your lessons to misbehave, break the rules and distract the other students. He is the "bad guy", not you. If you have followed the schools policies, then you should smile sweetly and say, "Well, if you do not like what the headteacher has put in place with regards to discipline, perhaps you would like to discuss these matters with the headteacher. Would you like me to arrange an appointment for you?"

    Make sure that you have his exercise book(s) with you, so that you can show the parent or parents concerned the child's laziness, slovely work, poor presentation and general lack of effort. As the icing on the cake, you could also have a few GCSE papers to hand, so that the parents can see for themselves the standard that is going to be required from their little darling in a few years' time and how far below that standard he is now and how he will most probably remain way below it, unless he starts taking his academic work a lot more seriously.

    On the other hand, mswisdom, it might be that you are teaching at the wrong school. Maybe it is normal at your present school for the SLT to give no support to teachers. Perhaps it is standard practice for students to muck about, be rude and disruptive and then lie through their teeth to their parents and get away with it. Perhaps there are virtually no sanctions whatsoever for those students who just want to spoil the good work of their teachers and their classmates. Maybe your SLT just want to keep the parents happy and so they give in at every turn, instead of supporting their teachers.

    Have you ever considered teaching in China?
    mswisdom and agathamorse like this.
  6. streetno9

    streetno9 New commenter

    My sympathies. I had a similar experience in my training year and this is what I did (and still do).
    Essentially, I very deliberately write "TIME ADDED ON" on the white board. I say nothing. I then continue to add on a minute as I see fit (I'm flighty like that). Eventually, one of the kids twig.

    "What's that sir?" one will say.
    "This?" says I "This is how long all of you will be staying in until I get what I want."
    "You can't do that!" says one
    Adds another minute to the board.
    "I have to play for the school football team after school!"
    Adds another minute to the board.
    "I'm telling my mum!"
    Adds another minute to the board.
    [Repeat until they sit in silence]
    "Thank you." I say, removing one of the minutes.
    "The more I get what I want, the more of these minutes I will take away. You have the opportunity to work them off. If you decide you are going to part of a class that talks over me, then you will lose your personal time. All of you. If you don't like this, then I suggest you take it up with those doing the talking."

    This conversation, and versions of it, have been happening in my classrooms for years now. You know you've got them when the class turns on the students causing the minutes to be added. You can hardly be seen as unfair when the whole class is being treated equally. Hopefully this helps.
    mswisdom likes this.

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