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parent complaining about NQT

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by suef11, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Firstly, don't spoil your well earned break by fretting over what this parent might say. As a HoD I hear from far too many parents trying to tell us how to do our job. You had a clear objective for setting the homework. If their daughter managed it swiftly and correctly then they can be confident that she has mastered a basic skill which will provide a solid foundation on which to build further skills. If she struggled/got some wrong then it has highlighted a basic skill which she needs to practice. I'm glad your HoD was supportive and I'm sure they will be again if needs be.
  2. Hi James,
    I'm a new teacher too and I had a problem with a girl's parent disagreeing with the way I'd sanctioned her daughter. Parent's evening was coming up and I was a bit nervous, but it turns out that everything was absolutely fine. I had emailed the mum with the daughter's targets and extra work, and had made the conversation about her learning, and the mum couldn't argue.
    You wouldn't have set that homework if it wasn't what the girl needed to practise, right? So I doubt you will have any problems. My advice would be to talk to the girl on the first day back to see how she got on with the homework, and if she found it too easy, make a phonecall home and email some extra work targetted at the girl's individual needs, and the parent won't be able to complain because you've made an extra effort.
    Good luck!
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    This is not a criticism of you - being an NQT is hard enough without that. However, I think it best to avoid being defensive. Instead of trying to justify yourself, listen to what the parent has to say and decide if their is something better you could have done. It is all part of the learning process, and it is likely to make the parent happier if you discuss their thoughts and how you might deal with the child in future. The parent may be talking nonsense, but there may well be a germ of truth in what they have to say.
    I am inclined to defensiveness if criticised, but I know that I benefit when I can avoid this and consider comments objectively.
    I hope you have a good break, and that the parents' evening goes well. There is still a good chance that nothing will be said about the homework. Don't worry about it - it sounds like you have a supportive HoD.
  4. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'd have a copy of the school's marking procedure to hand in
    case the parent refers tp their original complaint. Also be confident as to why you set the homework. Don't refer to the compaint unless they do. If they do explain that you were following the marking policy ( whack it onto the desk) and that you're mire than happy to discuss this with them. Also that you're happy to talk about any issues they have with your teaching and would they like to make a separate appointment with you and the HOD? Show them you've nothing to hide.
    The first compaints are always difficult, they're testing you, and yours tired as an nqt. You take it to heart because teaching is so personal and you care.
    Do not let it spoil your holiday, don't presume that because they teach they know everything, be assertive and confident when you meet them and if you feel at all threatened by them stop the meeting and say " I'd like to get my HOD to discuss this with you."
    It gets easier.
  5. Just to back up what others have said, it's easy to take these things personally but please don't. I can't think of any teacher I've met that hasn't had to put up with this kind of thing at some point.

    Think positively in that you have done everything correct and improved on something to the extent you are following the marking policy to the letter. In addition, you have the support of your HoD, which is absolutely fantastic and just the way it should be.

    In an equivalent situation in a company you would have some call centre help line staff fielding the questions and the chances are the criticism would never even reach you. Teaching can be a bit harsh in that respect and contact with parents can be the worst.

    I'd follow curlygirly's suggestion about the marking policy, go on the offensive and get all the important stuff about learning and progress in first and I'm sure all will go well.

    As others have said, hard as it might be to forget, please don't let this ruin your hard earned half term break, you deserve the rest and to enjoy yourself, so do it!

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