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We are well aware that we are probably in the minority here, but unfortunately we have had a particularly unpleasant experience with teachers and teaching assistants at our local school.
Particular teaching assistants and teachers alike can make your child's life hell and naturally the parents life as well. They know that they will be supported by the school itself and we, being the parents are sullied. What can you do as a parent if a member of staff takes a dislike to the parents and then is able to get up to all kinds of mischief to hurt and upset the child and this in turn affects the parent which they very well know. When the school constantly shines with their academics and trophies, how are you as a parent able to convince anyone that it is a few members of their staff that are making your child's life miserable?
My child was made to pick up rubbish and to mop walls...
I have only just recently discovered that my child was made to pick up rubbish under hedgerows and in the fields of the school (decided by the Headteacher) and to mop walls in the infant playground. The dinner ladies spraying goodness knows what on the walls and then informing my child to get on with it - my child is only seven. How is a seven year old suppose to know the difference in what is safe to pick up and what is not. A dirty pan was found and on it, I hope was just grease and nothing more sinister, because it was picked up in such a way that it ended up all over bare hands and took some time to wash off. This is an absolute breach of trust and a major concern for my child's health and welfare. When cleaning the wall they only provided my child with a mask upon asking for one, and only after the wall had been sprayed - they apparently wore a mask themselves. This is absolutely extreme and I am sure they would deny that it has nothing to do with the fact we had complained about a particular teaching assistant because she had spent half the year shouting and seem to think it was okay to grab my child's hand tightly whenever she felt like it and squeeze.
This very same assistant had decided my child needed to go to the Headteachers office and was being so naughty over another incident that it was my child that needed to be made an example of. How vindictive and cruel. In the all the years I have been a part of primary school life as a parent, I have witnessed and experienced some of the staff take advantage of their control and power and abuse their situation. They have used that same position to vilify and damage parents and children alike if your face doesn't fit in their world.
I have seen them hide behind their titles, have experienced their smirks and their condemnation. I have seen first hand the "What can you do about it, you're powerless, I'm not. If I have to, I'll rally my colleagues and just say another parent has complained." or the "They think "Parents just don't understand how hard we work how much we have to get through. I am the teacher or the assistant here, I can cover this up and just say your child is so naughty!" kind of attitude.
How easy, for the few staff that although, maybe qualified to teach, have no people skills and to simplify are just plain mean and get away with bullying children and their parents alike. As a parent you don't want to rock the boat and cause any disharmony, so you let many things go. You say to yourself 'they are just trying to do their job under difficult circumstances.' We are all aware it's not easy being a teacher today. Parents are constantly accused of not bringing their kids up right, but what if you are trying to do just that and someone in a supposedly respectable position is making sure people think exactly the opposite? What I ask is: if there are parents who are bad apples according to school grapevine, then wouldn't it stand to reason there are some bad apples that spoil the basket in every school, some teachers or assistants that take advantage of their situation? As human beings in a civilised society, are we not allowed to question teaching methods without fear of retribution?
When you have a concern about your child, you'd think that you have every right to talk to the teacher and air your concerns. Not always so apparently, because some will make you pay if they don't like you. It's always the little things, not quite noticed by anyone else, just the child and yourself.
For instance your child hands in their slip to join a club and yet is not able to do so. Why you ask? No spaces maybe? A valid point, could be; but that doesn't explain why other children get into the club after your child has been told there is no place for them. When the teacher asks the whole class who wants to join a club, 'put your hand up' and your child is literally reaching for the sky and still is ignored. You go into the school (a place where apparently all parents are welcomed) smile congenially, ask politely if there might be a chance in the future and they respond with "As I said to your child there are no places as yet." What do you do? Argue? No way! As a parent you can leave but your child can't, so you remain quiet and hope for the best. This is only one of the many problems we have been faced with and haven't know what to do, or more importantly who to go to to.
You can accuse me of being overly sensitive and just another parent who worries about their child too much, however I know what my duties are as a parent. I try to bring my children up to have respect for people and to have empathy and consideration for the feelings of others. The consequence of all this has been that my child had to be removed from a school which has excellent Ofsted reports and isn't something we decided lightly. My child complained of stomach ache, cried, and complained of feeling unwell. This has been a dreadful situation, and completely unjust. People working in a school should not be allowed to get away with using a responsible position as a smoke screen for their own misdeeds.