Whilst sanding and painting my son’s bedroom floor I started thinking about how a child can be perceived entirely differently by a teacher and a parent.
As parents we are predisposed to be on our child’s side and sometimes we feel our child is being treated unfairly by a teacher. This could be true but it is very difficult to put yourself in the position of the teacher especially when you are often getting the edited version of events from your little angel.
The most important factor in this is that you love your child.
A teacher has sometimes thirty children in a class every year and there might be the odd one that they can honestly say they feel love for. The rest of them they teach and do their very best to make sure they know what the government says they should know by the end of the year. The majority of teachers will do as much as they can to make it interesting and along the way they will try to have a laugh with their class because its more pleasant to pass the working day if you can have a bit of fun with the people around you.
Some children they will start to care for because they know they might be struggling against problems at home or because they have a comical way about them that inspires warmth. Strange as it may seem they often take to the ‘naughty’ child and want to go the extra mile for them, sometimes they even see something of themselves at that age.
There are so many little personalities in a classroom but one thing will always be true in any work place…There is always one person that you can’t stand.
A teacher will always try not to let it show and will teach them day after day, but there will be one child that will haunt their dreams. It could be that cynical kid who takes pleasure in telling the others that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, or the one that spoils every ‘fun’ day by continually hitting the person next to them. But, it could just as easily be the goodie two shoes, the big headed know it all or the whiny tell tale that get’s your back up. It might be that child who’s just got a really really annoying voice!
Anyway, with this in mind I thought that every kid probably gets a turn at being hated by a teacher at some point in their school career whether they are aware of it or not. I started thinking about the annoying traits of my children and how they can sometimes get on my nerves (my son’s constant need to find puns and my daughter’s whinging were at the top of the list) Then I imagined how I would feel about them if I had to spend most of the day in their company but didn’t love them. Try it with your own child, it sparks some unusual reactions.
This also means you and I were probably hated by a teacher at some point in our school career. Which teacher gave a silent cheer when you had to have your tonsils out and more importantly, why?
When I think back its startlingly obvious, my secondary school PE teacher. She hated me and I her. I not only had her for PE but she was my form teacher TWO YEARS RUNNING! It didn’t seem to matter that other girls were wearing make up, it was me that was sent to the bathroom to “wash that muck off your face”. The same with nail varnish, Claire could sit there with iridescent pink claws but I was sent to the chemistry lab to have it removed. Everything I did seemed to get me in trouble. I couldn’t work out why she was like this (I rocked along with most teachers) and true to this article neither could my mum. Together we decided that although I was kind, brainy and all round rather lovely this teacher just didn’t like me, it was her problem not mine.
That’s what parents do all the time, “They just don’t like my child because they’re a boy/girl/energetic/beautiful.” Its very possible but there is usually something else that they do that really grates the teacher so much that they let their professionalism slip enough for it to show. Maybe in class your child is conceited, obnoxious or sarcastic – nothing that breaks a school rule but irritating on a day to day basis.
So why did my PE teacher hate me? Was I just too wonderful for her to cope with? No! If I look at it through unfiltered glasses it becomes glaringly obvious. I had always had an aptitude for sport but as soon as I hit age 13 I got bad skin so wore foundation and didn’t want it to rub off when I got sweaty so stopped running about. When I told my mum the teacher was picking on me I never mentioned that I would spend hockey lessons trying to jump over my stick and encouraging others to do the same. I spent cross country runs walking at the back chatting to my asthmatic friends and had my period every single swimming lesson for a term too! Despite all this she did once ask me to join the netball team but I told her I couldn’t do Saturday mornings because that was when I liked to go to MacDonald’s and look for boys. Can’t imagine what was annoying about that!
I remember my heart sinking when I found out I had her as a form teacher for another year but I’m guessing hers did the same and then some. So it’s taken a while but it’s time for me to say sorry Mrs G and I admit that I actually quite like netball.