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Thread: Predicting problems with next years (grade 6) teacher

  1. #1

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    Default Predicting problems with next years (grade 6) teacher

    My DD's teacher for 2006 was announced yesterday. The teacher was actually the other grade 5 teacher this year and I recall feeling relieved that my DD didn't have her at the start of this year when we attended the introduction evening. This teacher (Ms R) is quite young, very outspoken, loves the limelight, talks over students and her colleagues and is just plain manic. My DD was soooo fortunate to have Ms H this year: a mature, calm teacher that actually picked up a hearing problem with my DD that had been overlooked all her life. At the orientation class today where my DD was with Ms R the situation I sensed would occur between them did. My DD has to ask more questions than other students because of her hearing issue and apparently everytime she did Ms R snapped at her saying "Oh work it out!" etc in an impatient way. My DD says she's not going to bother asking her anything next year!!!

    I don't want to be a "difficult parent" and make a fuss... but next year is going to be tough enough as it is with me having our 3rd child etc. DD's school is also private and we're making a lot of sacrifices for her to attend but does paying $10,000 a year entitle me to demand she has the other grade 6 teacher?

    I've made an appointment with the junior school headmistress on Monday but I'm just not sure how far I should push the issue. I know there would be a lot of assertive parents out there would do what ever ha to be done etc... but I want to respect the teaching staff (I was a teacher's assistant once and the teachers were always being given a hard time by parents not respecting their training etc).

    Anyhow, please be candid... if you think I'm being over protective just let me know... any suggestions would be appreciated... should I wait and see how things go?


  2. #2

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    Its hard I know, my younger siblings in yr 2 had the same drama last yr. It even got to the stage when they were faking sickies just so they didnt have to see her! They were 6!!!
    They go to a public school, and my mum didnt have any worries about approaching the school principal, and demand meetings to discuss the matter at hand!
    Speaking up had worked, and continuing speaking up guarenteed they never had her as a teacher again.
    They now have this teacher as a science teacher, and now makes a special effort to ensure they are enjoying her class.
    I would say speak up, just cos' your child goes to that school gives you all the right as a parent to speak up on the welfare and education of your child.
    I say go for it!

  3. #3

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    OMG! You definitely need to make a fuss. I'm sorry but that is NO WAY to speak to anyone, child or otherwise, absolutely disgusting IMO. And also considering how much you are paying I would be definitley making a fuss and a big one at that.

    One question? Do you think the teacher is respecting your daughter if she's talking to her like that? Yes I believe that you should respect the teaching staff, but don't allow them to behave inapporpriately either. And I'm sure you could ask any teacher on here on BB and they wouldn't be happy with another colleague treating a student like that iykwim? This is your childs education, and if she has a hearing problem and has already said she won't bother asking questions do you think that she's going to enjoy the next year, or benefit from her education? Don't feel bad sweetie, you are definitely doing the right thing and definitely NOT being over protective!

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  4. #4

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    Thanks girls Just an update: the junior headmistress rang back later that afternoon (I had made the appointment with her assistant). She said her assistant had mentioned my concerns (I had to briefly explain the nature of the meeting which was hard in itself!) and the headmistress didn't want me dwelling on it all weekend so said we could have a chat about it then (it was 6.45pm! I felt bad that she was still at work!). So I told her what my daughter had said. I said I felt extremely uncomfortable "putting down" this teacher on the phone but she was very encouraging. She acknowledged that Ms R has a very "dynamic style" (hmmm) and that she had also received a lot of positive feedback from other parents this year (I know the way team leaders always support their staff... so took this with a grain of salt). However she heard all my concerns and asked if DD might like to have a meeting with her too. I said she would, and i think the teacher meant just one-on-one but I think I'll sit-in on it just in case! The tricky thing about the scenario is that a lot of my daughter's more "*****y" (for want of a better word) friends are in the other teacher's class so I don't want to necessarily push for a change either.

    I agree with being a little more outspoken though girls... I'll monitor DD's situation very closely and be on MS R's case next year. Perhaps we can turn a negative into a positive and the teacher will evetunally make sure (just like you said naomi) DD feels extra comfortable in her class. I probably need a lesson in assertion myself and maybe this is why this is happening too! (Just me being philosophical) Thanks for your advice again girls... I feel a lot more confident tackling this issue now

  5. #5

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    Bathsheba - my parents used to stick their noses in all through my education to ensure I got the better teachers at a public school. She did it for all of us, and well - she got a bit of reputation. Which doesn't worry any of us, but I'm not sure it worked out for the best.
    For example - she made sure I got the strict mature deputy principal in my grade 5 year (standard 4 in NZ - 9-10years old) and he was really strict, taught really well etc. Theother teacher was OK too - but just much more laid back.
    Anyway - Mr B ended up having a stroke halfway through the year and we had 25 relief teachers over the next 4-5 months. And one stayed for 6 weeks - so work that out!! It was a complete waste of a year, and had I been in the other class, things might have been better.
    Another example - I was put in Ms S's class in Form 1 (10-11years) and that was cool - cause she was the young funky dynamic teacher. We had that teacher and class for 2 years. Well she won the "tulip queen" beauty pagent, and spent the second year of my intermediate in Holland being a beauty queen!!! Again we had truck loads of relief teachers, including a couple that were old and mean and I hated!!!
    In highschool I was in the best maths class with a certain teacher. Mrs C was a complete cow, but great at maths. Anyway, we had a falling out over marks, and I stopped playing netball as she was the senior coach, and have never forgiven her for that (I was really good as a kid at netball.....)

    So - yes I think its great to say to the head mistress that you want an eye kept on her, but sometimes if we meddle with our kids schooling, it ends up backfiring on us one way or another. You may find that being with a young dynamic teacher who doesn't neccessarily let kids have their way completely may be just the thing your daughter could use in a school sense (not home of course) - ie humility, taking no for an answer etc. It may be very character building for her.

    Thats just my 2c. Another perspective on it. It doesn't matter how much you are paying for school fees - you have the right to help out in your childrens education either way.

    Fi

  6. #6
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    Bathsheba - I think you have totally gone the right way about everything. You have voiced your concerns but you have also shown a willingness to compromise. To me, you are not being a difficult parent at all.
    I also agree that the way your DD's teacher spoke to her was uncalled for. Did you actually see the teacher speaking that way or was what she said second-hand? I only ask because kids tend to exaggerate a little - especially if they are feeling uncomfortable or hard done by. It doesn't mean that your DD made it up... just that, perhaps, the teacher spoke to her in a way that she didn't mean to come across?? I know it has happened to me. I have really upset a couple of children without meaning to. Either I was insanely busy and it all came out wrong or they have misinterpreted what I meant. Still, I was glad when their parents approached me about it so that I could apologise to the child (and the parents) and explain myself.
    I worked with a teacher once that had a very different style of teaching! She would say things to kids that I would never imagine saying in my wildest dreams (not in a degrading way though..) and, uno what, most of the kids responded really well to it! I had a parent put in a request for her to be her son's teacher ( due to behaviour difficulties). Yet, to an outsider, her the manner in which she teaches would seem harsh...
    Anyway... my point is, sometimes pre-conceived notions get challenged once you get to know the person. I know I had a good few parents checking me out when I took over my class in term 2 last year. I knew I was being compared to the teacher I took over from (who had a good 15 years on me!). By term 3, everything settled down. By the end of the year, I can safely say I had some very happy parents that were glad I was their child's teacher!
    Just remember, teachers are only human. They all have their own little quirks. Sometimes personality clashes happen... however, if your DD's teacher is truly a professional, she will adapt.

  7. #7

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    Bathsheba, I would say let the year begin and monitor the situation closley. Maybe make an appointment with the teacher to ensure she is aware of your daughters hearing problem, and why she will ask more questions.
    One way of monitoring the situation is to try and do a bit of in class help at the beginning of the year, I know it is tough as you have another child and you are pregnant, but at least you will be able to monitor first hand. If after the first couple of weeks at school you are still unhappy then make the request to move your daughter.
    Give young dynamic teachers a go, as this is what I got labelled by the other staff when I started my job last year, because I wanted to try new things, and do things a little bit differently- but at the end of the day, I had one of the highest rates or attendence over the year, my kids all learnt something over the year, and I had challenging behaviour problems under control within weeks.

    But at the end of the day it comes down to doing what makes you and your daughter comfortable- and if something is not right and your daughter is not learning, then you are well within your rights to say something and insist on a change!

  8. #8

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    Thanks Dee and Ali I've decided to let the year begin and just see how things so... only placing demands if a personal meeting with the teacher fails to reveal empathy etc. My DD is somewhat thin-skinned however she does report situations acurately even "confessing" easily if she's done the wrong thing. DD also says the girls that had Ms. R seemed to really like her so even she is keen to just wait and see what happens next year. She does admit to acting "a bit silly" when she is with the friends in the other class.

    I totally understand the "humanity" of teachers as a few 4yo's really got the better of me when I was working at the ELC too! I worked through morning sickness (last pregnancy) with angry little boys kicking me in fits of rage as they tried to prise free from my grasp! Usually i would have known what to do/say to de-escalate the situation but some days it's just not in you.... who knows maybe this newly-wed Ms. R has m/s!!! I wouldn't be surprised if that happens and DD ends up with another teacher next year anyhow! Anyhow, thanks for your perpectives girls

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