Sunday, 14 February 2016

What REALLY Annoys a Teacher!

As you might of gathered teachers are a strange breed! As teachers we have to ensure that children learn, and half of that battle is won when we have attentive children. That is not to say that we all want little singing and dancing robots, some teachers actually like lively children, but the one, one thing that is guaranteed to get the blood pressure raising is a class that will not stop talking! Trying to start a lesson, trying to help other children, even, heaven forbid, turning to write on a board....and the noise, continuous noise of talking children is a lesson breaker. While we of course have our tricks to try and settle a class, teach your child to be quiet when asked, will sort out so many problems. An annoyed teacher is not a productive teacher!

Ahhhh and equipment! Even in this day and age, I still find it incredible that children attend school without basic equipment. A pen, pencil, rubber, ruler, for starters would be so good! Time spent handing out and collecting equipment that quite frankly costs pennies, eats into productive time. An annoyed teacher is not a productive teacher!

Uniform. We all know when we grow up, that we realize that not having to decide what to wear every day, would be bliss. Uniform may make those amongst us adults think that it smacks of Big Brother, but it does serve a very useful purpose, honest! One that all the children look the same regardless of the social class they belong too. Two, taking children on a school trip? It is so much easier to keep an eye out for groups of students, especially if they decide to wander!  Three, discipline. Believe it or not, the better the school, the better the uniform is monitored. So, it is not all about turning children into robots, but the discipline in keeping to a uniform is part and parcel of developing children into good adult citizens. So if your little prima donna insists that 3” stilettos are allowed.....think again! Oh and do a quick check in the school bags...I have caught many a child re-dressing out of a parents view!

Make up. If I could have a pound for every time I have asked a child if full evening make up is appropriate for school I would be so rich, teaching would be a distant memory. Keep to the school rules. No make-up, means no make-up. Teachers have a handy box of make-up removal gadgets, and purposely are usually the cheapest possible brand. Done on purpose of course!

Back to the classroom, children who express an opinion are mostly accepted. (Remember there will always be those teachers that do not actually like children expressing an opinion!) Some of the topics we need to cover are boring. We try. Honestly. We try so hard to make areas that we need to teach as interesting as possible. A child who turns around to a teacher who has spent hours trying to make a lesson as interesting as possible, stating “Oy that was boring”, is the most devastating opinion that can be spoken. Not helpful, and the child should remember that annoying a teacher that marks coursework, or homework, is not a pleasant idea. We have ways of getting our own back, and most of the time we do!

It is not possible thought to provide a key that will stop a teacher getting annoyed.  Teachers are human, we are individual, and have different morals, personalities and characters. However hard Heads try to turn us into clones, different things annoy different teachers. While the above is important, it is up to your child, and you to establish what 'sort' of teacher they have for a class teacher, or individual subject teacher. 

So, we want atmospheres of keen learners, children who actually listen in class, shut up when asked, have perfect uniforms, no make-up, equipment and are grateful that teachers try to teach as best as they can.

Ha!  One of the most interesting conversations I had was with the mum of a child who was a real pain. He would interrupt in class, shout, do as he wanted, and at every opportunity complain about everything. In the end, I asked the mum to look through the window while I was teaching him. (Well-hidden of course!) Without actually seeing it for herself, she would never have believed what I had said. I of course, was told off by the Head for doing such a thing, but it did work. So, if you don't agree with a teacher, ask to see for yourself!  I believe that so many problems would be diminished with allowing parents time to come into schools and watch their offspring being taught. Hello, Government, are you listening?!

It is though pertinent to mention that not all teachers are sane, level headed individuals.  But as in wide society, children will have to deal with all sorts as they grow up. But, if you feel that your child is being 'picked on', appears to be switched off, appears to not have regular teachers, comes home stating that they are not being taught, do what you have to do. Complain. If that does not work, then go up the ladders to the Governors. And if all fails try contacting the Local Education Authority, or even the local press! You have a right to make sure your beloveds receive the best education possible, Insist on it!

This is actually true. (And I hope diminishes the 'I am being picked on by my teacher', sometimes it is true!) At Primary School I spent two years being bullied by the Head. Honestly! This person would take any opportunity to humiliate me, shout at me and call me names. But he was a Head? Who would believe me? I eventually told my parents, who of course thought I was imagining it all, and making it up. It was not until a brave Form Teacher actually told my parents what had been happening. As I am over 30 (clears throat!!) this was in a day that the Heads word was law. (Actually little has changed!) This brave teacher did her best to shield me from the Head, to the point of hiding me as he strode into a classroom, but as my parents believed nothing could be done, this bully was never challenged. Now I am not some special person, but the reason I have told you this, is that you should listen to your child, I am sure nine times out of ten it is your child's imagination, but there just might be a grain of truth.....

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