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Pupil says I hate him

Discussion in 'Primary' started by PeggyB123, May 8, 2011.

  1. A parent came to see me the other week and told me her Year 4 son says I keep telling him off, that once I told him not to "show me up" in an assembly and that he keeps saying "I know she hates me".
    I am distraught. I never thought I would come across as hating a child. I tried to explain as best I could to the parent, saying I don't hate any of the children in my class (which is true) and I would never tell a child not to show me up. I'm not sure she believed me. I said that it's possible the boy has been affected by the fact his dad is very ill and that perhaps it just seems I have been telling him off all the time. He is not a child who is continually playing up.
    So I spent last week trying to be nice to the boy, smiling, choosing to ignore minor things he was doing (like just watching me work with the reading group instead of reading his own book) and hoping that he sees I don't hate him. But I don't want to be afraid to ever tell him off.
    I'm just not sure what to do. I've been feeling guilty ever since his mum told me, wondering if I have told him off too many times. I haven't told anyone at school. I'm embarrassed that I've made a child think I hate him.
    Does anyone have any suggestions/words of wisdom? I feel like a failed teacher, just two years in.
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I think the best advice would be to not give the slightest hoot what this child or his parent think of you, if as you've said, you've always behaved with the appropriate level of professional decorum.
    Inform your head of the chat you had with the parent just in case it rears its head again at some point in the future, move on and carry on as normal, treating him as you would any other child in the class, and don't give the matter any more thought at all.
  3. lrw22

    lrw22 Senior commenter

    Don't worry this happens from time to time. I agree with the last poster, don't make any allowances for this child just continue to treat him the same as the rest of the class.
  4. No advice but just to let you know that you're not on your own.
    A child in my class has accused me of picking on him and his mother now believes that I am vindictively targetting her child. She has walked into the classroom and shouted at me across the room and clearly talks about me infront of her son as he has begun to repeat things she has said. I too am really upset that a child might think that I dont like him. However, his behaviour is awful and I cant just ignore how he is behaving. I find that the nicer I am to him the worse he behaves.
    I have made sure that I have spoken to my HT so that she is aware of what is going on and doesn't think I'm trying to hide anything . I have also started a diary of his behaviour and the action that I have taken to deal with it.
  5. Not sure if others would agree, but I'd speak to the boy about it. You can phrase it all in a nice way e.g. saying that your mum came to see me and told me how you feel etc. This way, you could then maybe ask why he feels that way and it may get to the bottom of the problem. I would definitely sugggest somehow trying to find out why he said it, otherwise he might carry on saying it to his mum!
    I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to not tell him off or treat him any differently though...one rule for all and all that!
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I'd suggest this is a case for asking the parent not to speak to at all you any more, if she is unable to be civilised. Refuse to deal with her and direct them to the head. You head should support you in this.
  7. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

  8. Do others agree with Lightbulb that I should speak to him? After his mum had seen me, my first thought was to speak to him the next day. But then, somehow, once there I couldn't do it. He's polite enough that he would just say what I wanted to hear and shrug and not say anymore. I didn't want it to blow out of proportion.
    I forgot to say before that apparently I also spoiled his day before the royal wedding by making him miss two of the games during the afternoon "street party" because he came in after lunch and wanted to go to the toilet. I am strict and tell the children they can't go during lessons, but if the child is desperate say to them they must make up the time, either at a lunch/break or by missing golden time. As we weren't in school Friday and it was already Thursday afternoon, I told him he could go but he would have to miss a few minutes of one of the games. Mum said this upset him greatly, that he missed two games (he didn't), that he wasn't thinking about going to the toilet during lunch and waited fifteen minutes after coming in before asking (it was about five) and that it ruined his whole day.
    So, while part of me feels like I was in the right, I am still feeling guilty for ruining the experience for him. He is generally nice kid.
  9. No, don't speak to him.
    Don't feel guilty about it either. So what if you 'ruined his whole day'. He'll get over it.

  10. dc521

    dc521 New commenter

    You've already found the cause of the problem: this child has a seriously ill father and is taking out their anger / concerns on you.
    Chat to the HT about what has happened and point out that the mother is on the war path due to the child over exagerting classroom incidents (the wedding games is a great example). Start a log (cover your back) and get on with the job.
    As for the family situation, that's the root of the problem.

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