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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. Our local primary school has a no shoes indoors policy. The children change into black slip on plimsols (sp?) whilst inside the building. No annoying noises & no mud on carpets.
  2. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  3. Can you do that? That's genius! My pens are always going missing, I literally hand out about 15 per lesson and it drives me insane. If I say I have no pens they are happy because they think they can then do no work! If I took a shoe I'm sure I'd have them bringing in pens :)
  4. netmum

    netmum New commenter

    Typing error - was tired spent all Sunday supervising children on a theatre trip and didn't get home til 3am!
    It was of course meant to be no SOCKS on hall or similar slippy floors
  5. I know this message started a while ago, but I just had to add. I did two weeks work experience recently prior to starting my PGCE in September and can totally understand why you'd want them to remove their shoes as there were times when the class were sat on the mat (Yr 1) and I could hear the shoes over the teacher! I was surprised nothing was said but maybe the teacher had got used to it. I think to give a warning then ask the child to remove the shoes if he doesn't stop is a very reasonable request. As a parent of a Yr 1 boy I would totally accept the teachers actions as long as it wasn't forcibly removed by the teacher.
    And as for the toys bringing into school and the shoes with the annoying toys they are just as annoying for the parents! My child when at nursery had a strict rule of nothing personal being taken in and strangly enough it worked; then at school there was a show and tell day where they'd all take something in, in the hope they'd get to speak about it! (they then think every day they might get a chance....etc!)
    There's one shoe shop that also trains their staff to bring out all the flashy light shoes, trainer like shoes and every other sort along with the pair you ask for; even though I insist I want "proper" school shoes for my son, not the ones that look like trainers. I then had to explain to my very teary 4 year old, who was just starting reception, why he couldn't have the other ones! So last year when I took him I just firmly said "take away everything but the ones I asked for before my son sees them, he has other shoes I just want the ones I asked for" I probably seemed a bit scary parent but it seemed to work! and I managed to just buy his school shoes without any upset and they are the shoes that last him a whole school year!
    Well that's my moan for today lol!
    Hope your meeting went well! [​IMG]

  6. I've never heard such rubbish in all my life: lose your job for doing your job? How does the parent, and for that matter the headteacher, expect you to maintain discipline and teach if any measure you adopt can you mean you get carpeted? Also, what kind of Stalinist head sends you a text message summoning you to a meeting with the boy's mother at the beginning of the following week? That is both serious mismanagement - as another poster has pointed out, this creates the chance of a confrontation, which is the worst possible outcome - and gross professional discourtesy - as yet another contributor has hinted. Your headteacher requires a reprimand. Have you considered getting your union involved, or do teachers in the U.K. no longer have recourse to that in circumstances such as these?
    I gave up teaching in Britain more than twenty years ago, and barely a week goes past without my feeling very glad I did. Stories like this merely serve to confirm that sentiment.
  7. theNavigator

    theNavigator New commenter

    Ha! I work in secondary, and if I have to tell a pupil 3 times not to swing back on their chair, then I take it off them! If you can't sit like a civilized human being then you can't have a seat! 5 minutes trying to write an essay when you are STANDING UP is usually enough to train them around to my way of thinking. Anyone out there who is moronic enough to think this a barbaric act should be aware that I am taking away a clearly dangerous object in order to prevent said little darling from falling backwards and smacking his delicate little skull off the desk behind. Health and Safety angles must be covered. What else can I do? They won't allow public floggings any more. ...or a couple of hours in the stocks... ...sigh... However, if I WAS a primary teacher, I might be tempted to use the mob against a child playing with their shoes in an irritating manner: "Right, that's it, EVERYONE take off your shoes and line them up by the wall." Now a parent can't complain that you've singles their little shi... darling out.
  8. By now far too late but please consider:
    1 You are not in the wrong, if he had been fiddling with his trousers and they had been removed she may have a point; shoe, no.
    2 Children are not allowed at any reasonable institution to distract others; you did the right thing.
    3 If your head texted you at home he/she is harrassing you as he/she has no right to fix up a meeting without your consent, you are a professional not a serf. Ask if the mother has gone through the school complaints procedure, if not the head should ignore her complaint. Usually this means her speaking to you at a time that is convenient to you, which is NEVER before school.
    4 If the mother is genuinely unhappy...tough, get over it. Her paranoia is her problem not yours.
    5 Talk to your Union in future, or if you really want to frighten your head, bring a solicitor to the meeting - will cost a packet but will concentrate his/her mind.

  9. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    I really want to know about the outcome of the meeting with the mother and head teacher. I keep checking - please put me out of my misery.

    Hoping it all went well and that stupid parent and headteacher are put firmly back into their respective boxes.
  10. Yes me too tell, us how it went! Hopefully your head will have read the thread over the weekend and realised the error of his/her ways!
  11. I too am following this and await the outcome - velcro is the best thing for shoes - speed and independence but the WORST thing during input time - cannot believe the head in this situation would communicate via text in this way, do hope the teacher was vindicated.
  12. Me too, please let us know what happened!
    Good luck on the new job front if you decide to go that way.
  13. Don't worry about it. I threw a child's shoe out of the window because they wouldn't stop messing with it. Not the wisest thing I've ever done as it nearly caused a riot.
  14. byronipuss

    byronipuss New commenter

    WELL, WELL, WELL . . . guess what? The bloomin' meeting NEVER TOOK PLACE!!!!!! The events unfolded thus . . .

    1) I got into school early on Monday morning - a bag of nerves, to be honest - but a lot stronger for reading all the great messages of support on here. My head - whose text had been really curt, cold and formal - seemed to be quite relaxed about the whole thing and said the mum probably just wanted reassurance etc. She said she didn't know what time the meeting would be (ie: whenever the mum turned up?)

    2) So I went back to my classroom and tried to concentrate, knowing that the door could open at any minute for me to be summoned . . .

    3) Head appeared at about 10.30 to say that mum had rung to put it off until after school (nightmare!)
    However I was, by this time, a little less nervous as the head was being quite nice (maybe she does read this forum?)

    4) After school, I was due to go to a planning meeting so I went to the office to find out/get it over and done with - only to be told by the secretary that mum had put her head through the door & said that she was too busy to speak to the head and that she would just speak to me after school.

    5) It is now Tuesday evening and no word from mum. When she goes past my door, she makes sure she is as far away as possible and looking in the opposite direction.

    6) Stay posted . . . my worry has turned to contempt and I am all the stronger for it.

    THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for all your messages and support. It just goes to show how much power the children have nowadays, doesn't it? A storm in a teacup - that cost me a lot more than a whole weekend.

  15. Elsie Teacher

    Elsie Teacher New commenter

    I would print some of these suggestions and show them to your head! Our parents are encouraged through our 'open door' policy to see the head over every single trivial thing. It used to be the case that parents would discuss concerns with the class teacher, rather than bother the busy head. The favourite now seems to be sending lengthy emails to the head , criticising teachers' practice without breathing a word to the class teacher to discover the facts. So we are the last to know, usually by being hauled into the head's office! A parent from each class is designated Class rep. so parents can find out info. on dates homework etc. A good idea in principle, but now parents are asking the class rep about their child's academic progress (she helps out in the classroom) rather than asking the teacher. So as teachers we feel remote, undervalued and rarely consulted , like unapproachable Ice Queens, while the parents tittle tattle to the head every 5 minutes.
    Sorry to ramble on. I hope your situation resolves itself. At another school, I once sat a child on a time out (naughty) chair for stamping her foot and sticking her tongue out at me. The parent complained and the head arranged a similar meeting to yours. She sat the smug little brat on her lap and gave her lollipops, while I had to justify my actions to this wet week of a mother. I felt so small, and the 4 year old got great satisfaction from seeing her teacher being 'punished. ' I left that school pretty quickly. But the message kids are learning is the same everywhere: If you are told off at school, whinge to your parents and they will email / text the headteacher, so we can sort that stupid teacher out!!!! One parent said to her cheating child in front of the head 'Just don't get caught next time will you?!'
  16. dunkiep

    dunkiep New commenter

    Very, very typical. I'm sure we've all been there with threats from parents who couldn't be ***** to attend the 'DISCIPLINARY HEARING!!!!!' that you've been made to sweat over. It just shows how insignificant the whole thing was. Put this down to experience and don't waste a second worrying next time.
    Some years ago I was (wrongly) accused of prodding a child in the chest during a PE lesson. I spent the summer holidays waiting for the police to interview me, cos the family complained to social services. I was in bits. They never came because the case was dropped.
    The police told me off the record that the family hid behind the curtains when they went round to take a statement, so they knew it was made up and therefore didn't bother to interview me. They said that *** who make things up in order to discredit a teacher / claim 'compo' usually get cold feet when the law turn up on their doorstep.
    ... just another thing we have to put up with in the caring profession!
  17. dunkiep

    dunkiep New commenter

    Gosh, I only said "***". Is that a banned word? Rhymes with rumhags by the way in case that gets 'starred' out as well. LOL!
  18. Oh Elsie how dreadful!!
    I once had a parent complain to the head because their child hadn't got a certificate for being punctual all week (I was given (by the head!) 1 for every child who had been on time all that week -I didn't have enough for 1 each). It was reception and I didn't agree with it really (hardly down to the child whether they're on time at that age) but was NQT on temp contract so didn't say anything. The child said (as they do at that age) the next morning, mrs HT said you and miss nursery nurse were very silly! We fumed!
    To the OP (sorry can't remember your name [​IMG]
  19. Glad it never came to anything, but sorry for you that all that heartache was over nothing. Hope your head has realised the error she made.
    I thought of you today actually as I threatened a child with removing their shoe. They stopped fiddling, it was ok, no removal happened!
  20. bacardibreezer

    bacardibreezer New commenter

    This sort of thing really annoys me and I too have experienced the worry and sleepless nights due to parents' willingness to belive every silly thing their child tells them about their teacher.
    From experience, I would recommend that you approach the parent in this instance. She still thinks she is holding all the cards by 'postponing' the meeting, otherwise she would have called it all off for the stupid farce we all know it to be. Next time you see her sloping off, call her over. Ask her to come and see you at the end of the day to discuss the matter - don't let it just drop, otherwise she and her child will think it's ok to do this agian.
    I actually had a parent apologise to me when I tried this tactic - most satisfying as her son was there to witness it.
    For the record, is the kids still fiddling with his shoes? If so, don't change your procedure just because you're worried that his mum might tell you off. Stick to your guns.
    I would also make an appointment to see your HT to discuss the matter and establish exactly what she expects you to do in similar situations; I'd be tempted to ask for it in writing. And make sure she's fully aware of the anxiety she's caused you.

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