Friday, August 28, 2015

Result Day

All week I have toyed with publishing this post. In the end I've gone with it as it's something I wanted to record. It might eventually find it's way tucked into a layout for future reading.

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Last week was a long week. I'd been in a bit of a state. Trouble sleeping, headaches, and welling up whenever someone mentions exam results. I blabbered when I met the girls. They all laughed at me. They told me I was worrying over nothing.  And you know what? they were so right.

I don't remember being like this when I waited for me own exam results. I just wanted all his hard work to pay off for him. And you know what? It did.

We couldn't be more prouder. I just hope he knows it. He has always been such a lovely boy and is growing into a wonderful young man  (maybe, a little too laid back at times, but hey ho you gotta have something...right!).
I'm still looking for year 1&2 photos :( 

We are a long way off from when he started secondary school and we had our first parents evening. I remember it well - in fact I don't think i'll ever forget it. He had been chosen to attend a special english trip with a handful of others from his year group, the hubster was working so it was little ole me at parents evening, all on my own.

I visited all the teachers in turn. Reports were glowing and he was on or exceeding all his targets. The teachers thought highly of him and said I should be proud of him. All the things you want to hear.

Then...oh yes...then... I get to the English teacher. I sit down and in a rude tone, her opening words to me were... "He is silly, not a disruptor but gets encouraged and goes along with the disruptives, he is an under achiever who really should not be in my class...."

Whoal....

Needless to say I was flabbergasted. My first words to her were..."...are we talking about the same child?" - Bearing in mind not one of the previous eight or so teachers I'd seen, had a bad or negative word to say about him (and neither had any of his former primary school teachers).

Well you can imagine how the conversation went from then on. I bombarded her with questions, I said I would be talking to my son and at that point asked her why he had been selected to take part in this english project...considering he was such a silly under achiever! She couldn't answer me. I asked her what she was going to do to bring him up to target. She said nothing! (she actually did say the word "nothing") She said secondary school did not offer any help to children who fell behind target.

Well....I was all of a tizz, I can tell you. So much so I forget my appointment with the last teacher and had to email him when I got home to apologise. His email back to me was glowing.

At home, I spoke to my boy, his first words to me when I mentioned her name was "I don't think she likes me". And you know what. I think he was right. We discussed the class, his behaviour and his work. He asked me if she said anything nice about him (Sob!).  I spoke to the parent of the boy he sat next too and she had exactly the same experience as me.

After stewing on this for a few days I eventually typed a really nice email to the head of English. I'm not one who thinks my children are perfect. I'm not one to complain and moan to the school. But this really was eating away at me. I sent my email about ten pm on a Sunday evening and she telephoned me at seven am the next morning to say she would be looking into it.

I had several telephone calls from her throughout the day. After airing my concerns and speaking to her I felt better. Him not so much. As he now knew for sure his teacher did not like him. It's not a good relationship to have.

All went calm, he kept his head down and came home a few months later to say...someone asked her if she would be teaching the same class next year. Her answer was "yes..some of you but I have asked not to have certain people in my class" Well we all knew who that meant.

So for year 8 he was moved class and down a level. She left the school later that year. Thankfully.

Where is she now I wonder? On the day he receives his English GCSE results and achieved both an A in English Lit and Language. I say... where is she now!!! Would you believe he has chosen English Language for one of his A levels.  I'd like to think maybe he wants to prove her wrong too, although I think it's more to do with the fabulous english teachers he had after her.
Sorry for such a long post. I wanted to record this. This is my only negative experience with any teacher with any of my children. Personalities clash I get that. But it could have gone so wrong for him. He could have lost faith. I think it is important for children to have a good relationship with their teachers. It really cannot be an easy job and I admire anyone who decides to teach.

16 comments:

  1. Congratulations to your son on his wonderful results Louise. You must both be very proud of him. I found you post very touching and can only imagine what you went through when all this was happening. Credit to you for how you handled things at that time and to your son for working hard and achieving. Barbxx

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  2. All credit to the pair of you! I'm glad you wrote this and I bet lots of others will be too. It is sure to encourage someone in a similar situation. The best blog posts aren't about everything going right..they're about being human and dealing with challenges and being honest about how it makes us feel. Those are the ones everyone remembers and the ones which do some good. So good for you.

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  3. ps..I love the series of photos. I took my last first day of school picture yesterday

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  4. Wonderful news for your son, Louise, it sounds like there is much to be proud of!

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  5. I'm so pleased for your son, he showed her. What a bad teacher she must be to be so negative and being prepared to do "nothing". I've had my ups and downs with teachers but nothing like that. You must be so proud now xx

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  6. Wonderful, heartfelt post Louise. Your son is very fortunate that you did speak up on his behalf. Teaching is difficult and yes there can be personality differences, but an adult (teacher) needs to rise above and beyond. Being a kid is hard enough without having to cope with a teacher that can't get it together. Well done Son #1.

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  7. Thank you for sharing Louise. AS a teacher I really DON'T understand that woman' attitude - I we are so influential in the futures of the children we teach. One of my son's had a similar experience at Primary school - I think his teacher preferred girls. He struggled to write neatly.. it was only a few years later that he told me how she had instructed him 'not to bother joining up as he was wasting his time'. THANKFULLY the following year he had the most wonderful and supportive teacher and his handwriting went from illegible to what would be expected at his age then (Y4).

    Well done to you and your son for having the strength to come through this situation - and a big congratulations on his fabulous results. x

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  8. I too had a bad week when the Higher results came out. Whilst I am pleased my son got the results he needed - I am apprehensive about him starting uni in a week. Doesn't take much for me to well up at the moment.

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  9. Part of me feels sad for the teacher! She's missed out on knowing what an exceptional young man he's become. Seriously, how can you pick and choose who you teach? I think you should see if she's still at the school, or if the head that received your email is still there. They should know what a mistake they made.

    Be proud of him, but also be proud of you and hubby, you've done a fabulous job with your children.

    I adored that photo roll xxx

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  10. First and most importantly, big congrats to your son AND you, the momma :) And second, I think that all of us with "older" kids have encountered one of these teachers during their school years... And we never forget about it...mine was a 5th year teacher and her contribution was very similar to yours... she made him cry in front of me!

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  11. Oh wow, well done fantastic result. Yes teachers can be so destructive. I was told in year 1 that if Amanda left school being able to read and write her name it would be a miracle!!! She now has 3 A levels and in her 3rd year at uni. Some teachers should not be teachers!!!! Good luck with college. xx

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  12. This post brought back memories of my brother at school, his teacher really didn't like him and on the last day of term he was so happy because he wouldn't have her the following year, he was crushed when he found out that she was also moving up a year and would be his teacher again. It's such a shame when you get a horrible teacher like that and thankfully it's so rare. It would be lovely to see her face if she ever found out how well your son did xx

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  13. This is interesting for me to read as an English teacher myself. Recently we have found parents complaining more and more and expecting a lot out of us as teachers. However I do agree that there is personality clash sometimes with teachers and students and a fresh start can be the best one. Clearly your son is really gifted at English - we love boys taking a-level as its usually only girls who take it!

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  14. As a teacher in my 'previous' life I know only too well that some people go into the profession for all the wrong reasons and end up making life miserable for some of their pupils...I'm just so glad. To hear it didn't put him offff and ended up with such great results! Xx

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  15. That's a wonderful series of photos :). And well done to you both for persevering and not allowing the opinion of one person to damage a love of learning.

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  16. First what a brilliant set of pictures - I'm inspired to share the same for Alex! I also live the addition of the beard on your youngest - you need to scrap that lol! Secondly I can so identify with that story. Josh has had a similar experience with his science teacher in Tear 7 and after many conversations and a meeting with the head we finally got him moved to a different class and not drop a set as she wanted. Now he is in Year 10 and one of the few that have been selected to do triple science - a big demand on him but only given to those that have the acumen and the focus. Stick that in your pipe Mrs P (she too is now teaching at another school lol!)

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