Friday, January 9, 2009

Soooo Angry - Need Advice Please

DD goes to our local school and is doing very well there. The school itself isn’t high in the league tables and has struggled in the last few years although it is improving, and to be honest we didn’t want her to go there in the first place. But that’s how it turned out and we’ve made the best of it, and as long as she is happy and doing well we are fine with that.
School send home a spelling book with spellings to learn each week, a reading book and a diary that we as parents have to fill in after we’ve read the book with her, and a library book of her choice. The reading book and diary are in one clear bag with her name on and the library book another. She then has a school bag which we always keep both of those bags inside, along with her spelling book and any other bits and pieces.
Everyday after school I check her bag for letters etc, new books and homework. If we take anything out it always goes straight back in as soon as we’ve finished with it.
Before the Christmas break her reading book bag and library book bag disappeared from her main school bag and DD said they had all been collected in by school. Which leads me to this week and her return to school. I’ve been asking her each day what they’ve been doing as no new books have appeared in her bag. Fast forward to yesterday and she came out of school with a label stuck to her t-shirt saying “please send me back with my reading book”!!!!! I immediately went to her teacher and said that we had returned all her books etc before Christmas. She responded by saying “well it isn’t in the classroom so will you please check”. I know 100% that we returned that book, but I said I would check and came home and checked in her bedroom and where she keeps her bag just to make doubly sure.
When I took DD to school this morning I went to see her teacher again and said that I had checked and was certain the book had been returned to school before Christmas. Her teacher again said it wasn’t in the classroom so “there must be a gremlin taking things”. I didn’t expect to hear anymore, but this evening DD has told DH that everyone got their reading books and diaries back today but she didn’t get hers “because it’s not been returned to school”!!!
I am absolutely livid and even more so that it’s Friday night and there is nothing I can do til Monday morning. I know from the school newsletters etc that a lot of parents don’t return books when they should so I understand the school’s point of view, but DD has been there for 18 months now and I have never failed to return books etc on time. I KNOW those books were returned to school, but DD is being punished for something she hasn’t done and is missing out on learning as well.
Before Christmas she was off one Monday when we got back from Lapland and so on the Tuesday I sent her to school with lunch money for 4 days in her usual bright orange envelope. That evening on checking her bag I found a note from school chasing us for her lunch money, which was in her school bag when they put that note in...... See the organisation that is obviously in place there, not?
So what do we do? DH says I should speak to her teacher on Monday morning and say that we know we returned the book to school but appreciate they say it isn’t in school, and that our main concern is DD gets a book so doesn’t miss out on learning and we want to know what can be done to make sure that happens immediately.
I want heads to roll for DD being singled out when she has done nothing wrong, but I think I will try DH’s suggestion first but if I don’t get a satisfactory result quickly I’m going to take it further with the headmistress.
Any advice would be very appreciated as I feel like this is out of my control. I don’t want to make relations between us and her teacher difficult, but I’m not prepared for her education to suffer.


Rachel said...

Having dealt with an incompetent teacher last year (1st grade and WAY more than she could handle), I wish you strength, courage and luck.

Bev said...

Go straight to the head teacher, you have spoken to the teacher and have told her that you have not got any books but she is still insisting you have. I work in a school and know things get mislaid all the time, kids are always picking things up that are not theirs and not realise, so this teacher treating your daughter like this is unfair. the head may not even know about this but will deal with it a lot better and quicker, and she should have definately have not put a sticker on your child, so any parent could have seen it, i would raise this as well, do they not know of pen and paper? hope it goes ok

Claire said...

I have chatted to you with my views on this. Hope it goes well on Monday!

Angela said...

Ok difficult one for me as an ex-teacher I know she (DD's teacher) may well be caught between a rock and a hard place. If the teacher is new to the school this year and possibly in her first year of teaching she may not feel able to go against the school policy on reading books etc. The sticker and attitude to reading books being returned etc certainly smacks of a school policy rather than something a teacher would instigate themselves. I would suggest you try one more talk with the teacher stressing your concern that your daughter is now missing out on reading and try to find out if this is school policy rather than just the teachers policy. Also insist that your daughter doesn't come out with a sticker like that again. If it is the schools policy to label children like that I'd get her out of there as fast as possible. Stickers should only be used as rewards to highlight behaviour etc worth celebrating and NEVER in the way they were with your daughter.

Dinner money isn't always dealt with by teachers especially when as you said DD returned to a school a day late. In fact I have never yet worked in a school where any member of staff would go into a childs bag looking for dinner money. It is usually the responsibility of the child to hand the money in although the teacher should have been aware enough to ask DD about it on the day she returned to school.

Please don't misunderstand me there is a lot about what has happened to your daughter that sounds very very wrong to me. All I'm saying is that it might be the school policy rather than the teacher that is creating the issues. In which case is this the right school for your daughter.

Danielle said...

I would go above the teacher's head also and go to someone higher. You have spoken to this teacher twice with no result. How awful for your DD!! I don't have kids, but I do have a 3-year-old sister and I can just imagine my blood boiling at something like this happening to her once she's in school. Please let us know how it turns out.

Hazel said...

The sticker issue is awful and totally unacceptable. They can let you know in other ways - by letter or phone. Speak to the head re your issues. xx

Stitcher said...

Hi Lisa

Go straight to the head, and say that your daughter is missing out on learning My dd had a book go missing at school, this was a text/note book though, with all her work in, she was about 11/12yrs at the time. She had handed it in, and the teacher said she hadn't, she was made to buy a new book(well I had to pay), and a couple of months later, her missing book was handed back to her by the same teacher! I was not happy.

Stitchingranny said...

I would go to the head. You have spoken to the teacher who is choosing to ignore what you have told her so I see no point in going to her again. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Marion has a reading diary, which has her spellings inside and she has an area where she has to fill it in at home each night and school in the day. There's also an area for her guided reading and I have to write in it when she's read to me.

That goes in her reading folder, as they call it (her bag), along with her spot books, homework and letters. I check it daily, like you, for any letters from school and to get her doing her spellings.

About two weeks before Christmas the head sent a letter home to the parents asking them to put any books their child may have at home back into their reading folders and the teachers would collect them out of the bags.

As for the sticker, I have to say I would have said something there and then and made sure that if anything like that happened again, I'd rather they write me a letter or phone me.

It is possible that, just because you and I both go into our daughters bags each day when they come home, not all parents do (I read with my daughter's class and there are letters in some bags from back in September for the school trip and forms the parents were supposed to fill in and return), so it is just possible that it was done to make sure Erin's parents noticed. Completely wrong and humiliating for child and parent alike, I completely agree and I would have gone in guns blazing.

But like Angela has said, if Erin's school is anything like Marion's school, for things like homework, dinner money, school trip money, etc, if the child doesn't hand it in, the teacher doesn't go searching because it is the child's responsibility (I know, at the age of 5/6, it's not fair) to hand the things in. I would say that's probably why you got the letter demanding the money for school dinner. The letter would have been handed to Erin by her teacher to put into her bag, not put in there by the teacher (who would have noticed the money if she had done).

I tell you Lisa, it's the whole reason why Marion comes home and I have to practically iron the paperwork before she can do her homework because she just folds it up, or screws it up and chucks it in.

I do hope you get it sorted Lisa, but please keep on at them and go to the head to get it sorted if you have no joy with that teacher.