“My mum is gonna come sort you out!”. This is one of the milder threats I’ve received over the years as a teacher. However, it is these mild ones that can turn out to be the most lethal. Fathers tend to rant but then come down off their high horse. But mothers….oooh they aim for the jugular!
As a parent I am fully empathetic with regards to the unconditional love one has for one’s own flesh and blood. I do struggle though to understand how a parent can defend let alone justify some of the actions and behaviours of their children.
Love often prevails over all and love in many instances can be incomprehensibly forgiving. Nonetheless, I can not and will not accept that being told to “Fuck off” by a child is a reasonable response to being asked to follow some basic instructions. More shockingly, I am forever at a loss when a parent responds thus; “Well it’s your fault cos you pick on her”.
Parents, purleease! We are professional adults! Really, we don’t “pick on” our students. If they are given after school detentions it’s because they have failed to do as they have been asked. I don’t know any fellow teacher who actually enjoys dishing out detentions! In fact on the contrary; it causes us yet more unnecessary paperwork that I personally am quite averse to!
When a child is causing disruption and preventing a teacher from teaching, I really don’t need a parent to come and ‘sort me out’. What I would expect is us to work together to support your child. Actually, on second thoughts, why don’t you simply discipline your child and stop blaming others! Stop blaming teachers! We are there to teach! Some folk seem to have the view that schools are responsible for the upbringing of children. We should teach Citizenship and all sorts! I even heard a celebrity say on a recent programme that ‘confidence’ should be taught in schools!
Is confidence a ‘skill’ that can be taught? Is confidence an ’emotional’ that can only be felt? Teachers forever endeavour to teach an amalgam of skills to children through various activities and lessons. But we cannot conjure up magical qualities! If your child won’t behave and cooperate and has your backing with this, we don’t stand a chance!
We also have standards and expectations which is surely what parents want for their children? If a teacher can stand up to thirty children in a class why are some parents unable to stand up to one or two, these being their own children? Why do teachers carry the can for the general behaviour of children. Interestingly it’s when children are unruly, it’s the schools fault! I don’t hear much much credit and praise for us with regards to the majority of fantastic children in this world! No, the parents want all the credit for that. And you know what? Quite right too! However, we do a damned good job educating and supporting a lot children!
The child of the mother who was going to come and ‘sort me out’ also, astonishingly, told me it’s my fault she’s naughty! I couldn’t begin to respond to that!
The most interesting incident was when a parent tried to run me over in her car! Yep! This happened some years ago! A car skidded up to me, a voice that could only be compared to a Corncrake screached at me; “Are you Mrs *****?”. Before I could do a Peter, cock crowing three times thing and deny it, the front of her car was forcing me backwards into a hawthorn hedge! She had a heart though and after terrifying me for a few moments and informing me that I’m a; “Stuck up bitch”; a “Snotty fucking cow”; and that her son didn’t steal my phone, she drove off.
Maybe I’m I’m getting old and grumpy but I always wanted my children’s teachers to teach them, academically. My role was to bring them up and when they went to school the manners etc. were already instilled.
So parents, please understand, we are teachers, we are at work! There is never any justification for your child to tell us to; “Fuck off”. Sat that to your doctor and you may get struck off their patient list! Say that to a shop assistant you may get escorted off the premises! Why do we have to tolerate it? You have no right to try to run us over! If you can do better, educate your child at home.God in Heaven please do! But preferably, most of all, work with us because you love your child and we also care very much about your child and you for that matter.
If there is any ‘sorting out’ that needs to be done, it’s clearly you and we can help or find help! You have to accept that children lie in an attempt to avoid being in trouble!
So to conclude, when a child behaves inappropriately, it bloody well isn’t my fault! If you can’t discipline them and bring them up to be good citizens stop breeding more or look at alternatives! Sort out the one’s you’ve got!
In the words of St. Francis Xavier; ‘Give me the child until he is seven and I will you the man’. Those early years at home with you are the key!