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Have I done something really awful? I took off a child's shoe because he was constantly fiddling with it instead of listening to me.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by byronipuss, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. byronipuss

    byronipuss New commenter

    I know I was in the wrong. I spoke gently to the child when I gave him back his shoe (approx 5 mins later) and carefully explained that he had been distracting others with his fiddling - he had been warned many times. He was fine about it - or so I thought - otherwise I would have spoken to his mum about it at the end of the day.

    Now the head has texted me to say the mother is very unhappy about the incident and I have to attend a meeting with them both first thing monday morning. So now I have all weekend to worry about it.

    Now I know that I was in the wrong - it was the straw that broke the camel's back - but I realise that there's no good excuse. BUT could I lose my job - or end up facing a disciplinary hearing?

    Has anyone been in a similar situation?
  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I have taken childrens shoes before for fiddling with them!!!!!!! If they have had a number of warnings and have persisted in fiddling (Particularly the velcro kind are annoying when you're doing an input) then yes I have had a child remove his shoes and put them at the front of the room, for the duration of my input and then put them on again after. How long did you make him leave them off? Your head should back you up or she is agreeing that it is acceptable to distract other children by playing with their shoes. I can't believe you think you're the one in the wrong? Unless you kept them off him for hours and made him walk about outside with them off then I don;t think yo uare!!
  3. God no! Stop worrying! Have a chat with your Head about it in the morning and explain exactly why you did what you did. They are sure to understand. On Monday, the HT should take the lead in the meeting with the parent and make it clear that they back you. Even if the parent can't understand why you did it and wants to take it further (which is unlikely), they won't get anywhere. You didn't hurt the child either physically or emotionally - at worst he may have just been a bit embarrassed - but you did not do anything to warrant any kind of action against you. Put it out of your mind.
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    unbelievable - a text!

    surely this could have waited until monday or was worth the courtesy of actually speaking to you.
  5. I'm sure I've done things that could be described as similar. I know! Making children kneel up on the floor when they keep swinging on their chairs. Never lost my job over that one. I know a teacher who will only give out pens in exchange for a shoe - no pen back at the end of the lesson, no shoe!
  6. byronipuss

    byronipuss New commenter

    Ah! Thank you so much - you've been really reassuring.
    Unfortunately, our head rarely backs up her staff - and the mother concerned is known for complaining about teachers - by going straight to the head. She's not in school tomorrow so I have to wait till the meeting to see her.

    I just needed to know whether I'd done something unforgivable.

    Thanks so much for your messages.

    Wish me luck . . . .
  7. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    No, it's not awful, it's quite reasonable. You are there to teach and other children have a right to learn and if someone's fiddling is stopping that happening, then you are perfectly within your remit to deal with it. I've told many children to remove their shoes for velcro ripping. It's terribly irriating. I also remove little toys that they persist in bringing to school which should not be there. Oh and there is one boy (7 year old) who insists on wearing massive clonkly plastic earrings. They get confiscated too. But then I am an old bag.
  8. I do wish you luck, but you won't need it.Just stand your ground (and look for another job with a more supportive head!) Enjoy your weekend and really, really don't let it prey on your mind.[​IMG]
  9. I too have taken away shoes for this reason- and like you, gave a warning. You must always follow up a threat and if you warnd him and he carried on fiddling, and thus distracting you and other children, then he deserved to lose his shoe! Stick to your guns. For goodness sake, some parents!!
  10. You won't need luck, but I'll send you some anyway [​IMG]. Have a nice weekend and don't, for heaven's sake, let it prey on your mind.
    (Just a suggestion - have you considered looking for another job - one with a
    Head who does their job properly and backs their staff?!)
  11. Sorry to post that same message twice - it didn't look like it had taken the first time!
  12. byronipuss

    byronipuss New commenter

    Bless you for that.

    Yes, I have been looking round for another job.

    So please wish me luck with that too!
  13. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    You gave the child a warning and he chose to ignore it. Hence you moved to the consequence, which was to remove the shoe. The reason for this was that the constant fiddling was forcing you to stop addressing the whole group to deal with this individual child. The effect of this was that the learning of the other (majority of ) pupils was adversely affected. The action you took was appropriate, because your prime concern is the education of your pupils.
    Ask the parent, "The class was being disrupted by your child, so I acted to deal with that.Can you understand my position? " Once they have mumbled "Yes," ask them, "How else could I have dealt with it, without further disruption to my class or any other class?" I predict mumbled, "Don't bleedin' know..." Then move in for the kill, " So, you agree that my action was reasonable, given the circumstances?" End of. Start counting the days till the bleeder moves onto the next teacher.
  14. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I would say you are looking for a 5-7 year stretch. You could probably serve 3 years with good behaviour.

    If the head doesn't back you on Monday you should be thinking about looking for another job. Nothing worse than a head that doesn't back/trust their staff.
  15. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I constantly have to remove children's own items from their possession because they're fiddling with them, including silly putty, keyrings, marbles, football cards etc. Not to mention making them stand up for some of the lesson if they persist on rocking back on their chairs or not sitting properly. No parent has ever complained.
    Good luck with it, stand firm and know that you have done nothing harmful to this child. I'm sorry your head isn't supportive, hope the job search goes well.
  16. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    When the childs shoe was off, did you spot if was wearing a toerag?
  17. I wish you luck in finding a better school/Head.
    You have not done anything which warrants a parent going over your head to the Head. The parent should have asked you about this after school, or sought to speak to you first, and only go further to the Head if not satisfied. I had a Head once who absolutely insisted on parents following this process (unless the matter theoretically was too severe).. The one thing you don't know yet is what story the child has told the parent.
    Good luck finding a new job!

  18. I do this all the time, don't stress out. My children get a warning and if they're still playing with their velcroed shoes, I confiscate them. Once I forgot to give the shoes back and the child went out to play time with no shoes, oops. Slightly sticky moment.
    If it's because of the annoying velcro noise then tell the parents to get their child some proper shoes and they can learn to do their laces.

  19. byronipuss

    byronipuss New commenter

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Mum couldn't look at me today & stayed well away. The child came skipping in with me, chatting about this & that as if nothing had happened. Hey ho.

    Everyone at school has been lovely today - and they've all responded the same as everyone on here.
    I still have to face this on Monday morning but it will be a lot easier now.

    And yes . . . of course the woman should have spoken to me first and you are absolutely right that the head should have told her to do so. Unfortunately, it's one of those mothers that cause all sorts of trouble & have six or seven children at the school - somehow that gives them some kind of power, does it?
    Need I say more?
  20. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I've never understood this phenomenon! It drives me mad cause they're usually mothers who have nothing better to do than pop out kids by different men, who don't have a clue about what actually goes on in school!

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