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verbal punchbag/parents

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Happyregardless, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Am being a little paranoid and after over 18 years of good teaching, I've brushed off most parental comments like proverbial....'dust!
    I am a supply teacher and on longer term placement (leaving soon :) )

    The staff are great there, really supportive and the children/ethos of school overall are okay. I was there covering a different teacher a while back and no problems whatsoever.

    This time, from the word go I have literally been 'demonised' by parents? Usually, I would go and 'meet and greet' or at least stand out by the door as parents come in and also when the kids leave to show a presence etc? Due to the 'atmosphere' and what I've been subjected too during this placement, I have to admit I've avoided 'showing my face' because of the perceived 'hostility' that AND the children being old enough to go home alone etc...

    One of SM phones parents if anything and it's kind of seen as though, ' she has to phone them for me' - or maybe this is just how she sees it. She is lovely, but equally I've overheard her saying to the HT, " yes but she doesn't have children.. etc" - referring to me,as I don't have my own family, kind of insinuating that I don't really know how to treat the children because I'm not a mum" which I've had in so many different formats from society at large and everywhere anyway I usually just shrug off as "someone else's perception" now? I could 'choose' to be insulted by it, but overall, it's more like 'let them think what they like'

    Parents have an attitude of 'little darlings can do no wrong' and I feel like I am 'treading on eggshells' if I 'dare' to tell any of their children off, or even follow the school's behaviour policy like any other teacher there?
    Tonight, I had one mum ranting at me because I'd said (in a good humoured, jokey way) in class, but making it clear it was not acceptable for this particular boy to be calling out/talking over peers/teacher and to not stop talking when given several warnings, constantly interrupting others trying to share, that 'anyone would think he had verbal diarrahea?" - he was then told to 'be quiet' and we got on with learning.

    I was told by here that I shouldn't be using words like that to primary-aged children, ( these are year 6s!) that she shouldn't be having to explain to her daughter what it meant ( it's in the dictionary/look it up?!)

    I was told ( ranted at) that I was being verbally abusive, she wasn't the only parent who thought so etc etc

    AM I being verbally abusive by saying I will tell the children if they are being rude? AM I being verbally abusive if I say I will go by behaviour policy/give them warnings, regardless of what they tell their parents about me?
    (this said because several had played the 'poor me' card and gone home to 'demonise' teacher to get out of/pre-empt trouble themselves)

    I was told by here that I shouldn't be using words like that to primary-aged children, ( these are year 6s!) that she shouldn't be having to explain to her daughter what it meant ( it's in the dictionary/look it up?!)

    I know some people don't understand why I don't have a family. I don't explain, I let them make their own minds up - but it's always hanging in the air. Especially in s 'Christian' school where you have to do x,y and z and if you haven't got kids yourself you must be a bit weird?

    I come from surivivor background - quite a minor but potentially serious abusive brother - which somehow I had the sense to stop so nothing 'serious' happened, aged 10/11.
    I'm definately NOT a victim, I proved that by sticking up against pervet brother and speaking up and I am not 'victimised generally in life. HOWEVER But because of the fact that I was then 'victimised' by rest fo family to 'cover up', I sometimes still finds that, that patterns repeats in every day adult life - ie - people can behave like complete *****s and then attempt to somehow blame me for it?!

    I mention this as It terrifies me that I would become abusive in ANY way - NOT that i feel I would - because like I said I was the one who stopped anything happening, I stood true to myself in the face of a family who was trying to make me the crazy one for speaking up, I've become very independent and very strong because of it and stand up for other people who have been in similar situations and also see myself as VERY aware of what and what isn't abusive because of this. I know how horrendous 'family life' can be for some children and see my role as a teacher as being someone who can also be there when they have noone else to talk to. Even though 'on supply' I've had two children disclose stuff that I've then passed onto HT re home situations.

    BUT when anyone wants to slag me off for using strong words, or that I've upset a child because I've told someone off... I sometimes doubt myself rather than just thinking 'silliness/usual politics of school/brush it off'?

    One parent went over my head to HT and complained about homework not being marked, yet the boy had not handed it in on the right day, but on same day new homework was being given out, so how could I mark it?

    For all the parents who complain it seems to be THEIR children who are the worst behaved in class?!

    Found myself ruminating and mulling over parental comments over the weekend when I'm doing school work or when I should be relaxing? It's different from 'day to day supply - when you literally go home and let the day fade away - here I find it's occupying more and more of my home time - especially as I live alone.

    I think this is yet another reason why I will stay on supply and not return to permanent contract - too old and expensive now anyway! -

    Just feels a bit like I'm being 'bullied' by them?
  2. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    I've seen the sort of situation you describe and it is bullying. Bullying by parents. It's a dreadful situation to be in but don't let this make you question yourself. The children will divide and rule if the school and the parents allow this to happen. Just reassure yourself that you are doing everything by the book. You now need the school to back you up. If they don't, won't, can't or if it all becomes too much, I'd walk. That's one of the up sides of supply.

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