When I came up with the idea for #askyerfather, it was supposed to a lighthearted problem column, but i’m actually going to be begin with one of the most serious posts i’ve ever made and i’m devoting the whole blog post to it.
So, now you’re sitting comfortably. How would you handle this?
My son is 10 and feels bullied at school… by his teacher!!
We’ve been aware that he’s been unhappy going into school on a friday, for a while now and haven’t really known what if anything to do about it.
Our child has always been happy at school and all of his teachers have always given him (and us) nothing but praise and good reports. However for the past few months he’s had a different teacher every Friday and she seems to be constantly shouting (properly shouting) at him. It seems to be for two reasons. Firstly, we know he’s a little bit of a chatter box and so it was no surprise to hear that he gets told off for talking. I support the teacher for telling him off for this but EVERY WEEK? It feels a bit like because he was a bit chatty at first that maybe he has become the class scapegoat for talking. He tells us every week that he has been screamed at for talking and it is almost NEVER him and other class mates have even told his teacher this but she insists on blaming him every time. Surely if he was being this disruptive then he would be doing it mon-thursday as well, and his other teacher would have at least mentioned to him (if not us). He’s never been told off by his main teacher or any other teacher. Seems suspicious. If the issue was with the other teachers as well then we’d be certainly supporting them and speaking to our child about his behaviour (which we still have done).
If it had just been this issue, we’d have just chalked it up to having a strict teacher who’s not particularly nice and maybe a clash of personalities (she being a strict one and he being a little sensitive). However our son’s dyslexia has also become an issue with this teacher.
We’ve had our child privately tested and confirmed for dyslexia but the school has so many worse SEN cases that they don’t want to test him themselves (time and money i guess), however they are aware and help him with it, with overlays, extra time etc (in fact it was his previous two teachers that spotted a problem and were amazing in getting help and systems in place). This teacher though? Our son tells us that because he is dyslexic that he sometimes mutters the spelling of words under his breath as he is trying to write them down, mostly because he is too scared to ask this teacher because he because she HATES that he can’t spell and shouts at him to ‘just get a dictionary’ (which as anyone with a dyslexic child knows, won’t help).
Now, we didn’t know any of this until recently (our son didn’t want to tell us) but we became aware of a problem independently when we saw this teacher at parents evening, where she said his talking was disruptive (which was a total surprise for all the reasons mntioned above ). She then mentioned his ‘little problem’ and rolled her eyes – ACTUALLY ROLLED HER EYES !!! She refused to call it dyslexia and what she said to us is that “he just needs to use a dictionary and if he doesn’t get a grip on his spelling by the time he goes to secondary school then he will be labelled a failure and so he needs to sort himself out” (and from that tone we inferred that she has already written him off as a failure). Both my wife and I came away from the school silently, turned to each other and said ‘I’m not happy with that teacher, something doesn’t seem right’. We then spoke to our son and it all came out.
There have also been a couple of incidents where my kid or one his friends have been beaten by the year problem child and they’ve been told that they just need to be nicer to this child as he has issues. In every case where there has been a problem, it has turned out to be this same teacher on duty at the time. There is never an issue at any other time or with any other teacher.
So what do we do now? Anything? Are we being too sensitive? We can’t take anymore upset and hysteria and begging not to go to school on thursday nights/friday mornings.
So dear readers? What do you think this parent’s next move should be?
Obviously we’re keeping this anonymous for everyone’s sake but please comment below.