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Uncooperative Teacher

Uncooperative Teacher           reply
20/01/2011 21:46 - Bullying
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I need help and advise as I dont know what to do anymore.
My two children attend a small country school where school numbers are quite small. The problem I have is with the school or should I say more with the teachers of the school. Denial seems to be the name of the game.

Since school term began last Sept´10 my son had a terrible time. The four boys in his class decided not to have anything to do with him. They decided during school breaks they would not allow him to sit with them and not have any conversations with him. In other words "ignore him". At first he didn´t seem to mind but as time wore on he began to feel isolated, lonely and hurt. In the end my husband and myself began to become concerned about the exclusion. So in November I decided I would go to the teacher to discuss this matter. I found her to be dismissive and did not want to deal with the matter and that I was inconveniencing her as she had other matters to deal with. However, I did persuade her to listen and apologised for the inconvenience. She told me that my son was too sensitive and needed to be alot harder and the lads in question were a lovely bunch of lads. Dismayed by her response I just asked her to observe the situation and we would discuss at the next Parent Teacher meeting. I left that classroom that afternoon upset and dejected. In the end my husband went to one of the parents of the boys involved as things were getting out of hand and thankfully the situation was dealt with immediately.

As for my daughter I have worn a path to the school regarding incident after incident, but nothing would be done. On one occassion when I went to the school I bulletin pointed all the incidents that were happening. She decided to get the classroom involved (as my word meant nothing) . They told her who was been bullied, by whom and the incidents going on. She spoke to the girls in question and things abated. But as soon as a new school term came we were back in the midst of it again. The girls that were bullying my daughter were allowed sit together and were inseperable for most of the school term. When my husband and myself went to the teacher she was uninterested in what we had to say and told us that the problem lies with my daughter. In the end we spoke to the parents of the girls in question and they were wonderful to us, the girls admitted that they were at my daughter and of what they had done
to her. To this day the teacher still denies that my daugher was ever bullied eventhough a classroom of pupils told her, the parents of the girls bullying my daughter told her. What does that say about the teacher???

As soon as you think you have turned a corner it never is as simple as that!
My daughter is now paying the price by the teacher. Last year my daughter had to sit with a boy for most of term while all the girls in her class were allowed sit together. When it came to various school projects she was put with the boys while the girls were put together. The final straw came in December last year when all the girls in her class were taken out to rehearse for a school play but my daughter had to remain in class with the boys. For lunchbreak she had to play with 3rd class girls eventhough she is in 5th class. Around 5 minutes before hometime they decided to let her participate with the rest of her classmates. My daughter came home from school that day inconsolable, distraught and so very upset. It was heartbreaking.

We had a Parent Teacher meeting last week and I voiced my concerns to the teacher. I found her to be dismissive, repudiative and denial again was the name of the game. She told me she hadn´t the time to discuss everything, eventhough I was only speaking to her for less than 10 minutes and was disinterested in what I had to say and just rolled her eyes. So I dont know what to do, there never seems to be a good time, I tried after school, I tried Parent Teacher meeting. Exhaused by it all.



re : Uncooperative Teacher           reply
21/01/2011 11:31 - Bullying
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have you made an appointment with the principle of the school?? If you don´t get satisfaction with your childs teacher you are well within your rights to take the matter to the principle. If she is dismissive and unhelpful write a letter to the Board of Management. If they don´t act on your letter and repremand thoses teacher I would strongly advise you contact the Department of Education, you´d be surprised how often partents are forced to take it that far! It sounds like your little boys teacher needs to be remined of the fact she has a duty of care to your son, teachers are in a position of "Loco parentas" (spelling isn´t the best!!) meaning in place of parents, she has a duty to insure your son is safe and included during school hours. As for your daughters teacher i honestly think she is a bully. Have you kept a diary of all the incidents??? If you have I would definately make a formal complaint. Teachers should never make you feel that you´re wasting their time they are meant to listen to your concerns and help to resolve issues, not make things worse!!!

Please don´t let this matter drop or don´t ever feel like you are annoying the teachers. I´d be down at the school every morning until the matter is resolved. Children are so sensitive and the damaged caused by exclusion or a vendictive teacher will stay with them always. It is most definately time to take the matter further.





re... : Uncooperative Teacher           reply
21/01/2011 13:44 - Bullying
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Mairead.. Thank you for your reply and your advice as I´m at my wits end with all of this. There is no point for me to go and see the Principle as she is one of the teacher´s involved (teaches daughter)and cant accept my daughter was ever bullied and the other teacher is the Deputy Principle (teaches son). On every occassion that I have gone to the school I have outlined to them about there obligation as a school to provide the highest possible standard of care in order to promote the childs well being. They just look at me as if I have two horns growing out of my head. I could write a book on all the different approaches I have tried with this school;the softly approach, the understanding, the stern, lets all be proactive approach, you name I´ve tried it! So I guess my next step has to be a letter to the Board of Management which I doubt will make any difference as the Chairperson of the Board of Management son´s is one of the boys who was involved in the bullying with my son. Im hitting a wall before I even go to the next step. I personally believe everything that my daughter has gone through in school has affected her, she has a very low esteem of herself, which is sad. My son on the other hand will be going into secondary school in Sept and is able to tolerate the school until then. My husband and myself believe the best thing for my daughter is to take her out of the school when the school years ends and enrol her in another as we just have had enough. And then I will write my letter to the Board of Mangement and outline everything that has happened and see from there.

Its a pity that the likes of Joe Duffy on Liveline or some media like that doesn´t have a programme on schools and the uncooperative teachers ( not all of them are like this) that exist in schools. We have discussion on banks, the government, health etc., why not about schools. It would certaintly bring it to the fore and more awarness and I doubt that would be bad!!!!

Sorry this is so long......





re... : Uncooperative Teacher           reply
22/01/2011 17:12 - Bullying
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Fair play to you for being so proactive about your son and daughter they are very lucky to have you....It sounds like the teachers have taken a dislike to you and you will have to go to whoever is patron of your school and if they refuse to do anything then it will be time to get in touch with the likes of Joe Duffy they may be interested in what you have to say.



re... : Uncooperative Teacher           reply
22/01/2011 20:28 - Bullying
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I think you should put your concerns in writing and address your letter to the Principal. It is important that you label your letter Private and Confidential ( on the envelope also). Take care not to say anything too personal about the teacher but state clearly how this is having a negative effect on your child and that it is a far cry from the "child centered" approach that you expect. It is important that you follow the procedure. If you are not satisfied with the Principal´s response you will have to write to the Chairperson of the Board of Management. In my case the Board of Management were woeful and I am about to take my complaint to the to the patron of the school.

You will need to be extremely patient and trust that what you are doing is right for your child and you are also protecting other students who might be affected by bullying in the school. The teacher needs to give the matter careful consideration and at the very least we expect teachers to show a willingness to listen to such a serious matter as bullying.

From my experience I have learned that it is essential to bring a witness with you for support but also because some of the ways that the staff will defend each other will beggar belief.

Stay with it. You´re doing the right thing standing up to the bullies.



re... : Uncooperative Teacher           reply
23/01/2011 21:10 - Bullying
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Thanks to everyone who took the time to give some advice and words of encouragement. I dont hold out much hope when I lodge a letter of complaint with the Board of Mangement but I will have the satisfaction of knowing that a complaint has been lodged and maybe when an Inspector ever comes and visits and reviews procedures he will see this and ask questions. As for going to the patrons of the school (in my case, i.e. The Church) it would be no good, there strategy of dealing with complaints is either a "misunderstanding" or "it never happened" we read that all the time in newspapers of incidents that happened in the past. A friend of mine suggested that I should discreetly bump into new parents who´s kids are enrolling in the school and wish them the best of luck with there kids joining the school and casusally mention my encounters with the school and not to sound too begrudgingly to the school or the teachers but plant the seed in parents minds. What do you think ??



re... : Uncooperative Teacher           reply
09/07/2011 17:21 - Bullying
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To be fair to the teachers, the type of bullying you describe, while it is horrendously damaging to the child, is almost impossible to deal with. If one kid hits another, then there´s something seen, tangible, and a proper response to be taken.
But - exclusions, nasty looks, name calling, - that´s harder. Because unless the teacher actually sees it there isnt a lot she can do.
"Johnny! Do not look at Jenny like that!" "Like what miss? I only wanted a pencil... she won´t play our way..." it is hard to deal with. And yes it is far more damaging than a slap might be.

Your school needs to tackle this on a whole school basis, but it is a very tough one to manage. Just because you do not see any action doesn´t mean that they aren´t trying.
And most of the stuff that the "experts" recommend for schools in this situation is pure rubbish - it just teaches the language to use.
Good luck.




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