"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Some reading for a snowy day

As we have been advised to stay at home today and avoid the treacherous weather, I imagine that you will all be following that advice and may be casting around for something to fill your suddenly vacant hours, so here's to the rescue. (Don't say I never do anything for you.)
Younger Daughter teaches in a secondary school Somewhere in England. Early last week she was faced with a pupil who, despite several warnings, had spent the whole lession not doing any work. On being reminded that, as a result, he would have to stay behind, he took out his mobile phone and began to use it. YD asked him to give it to her, in accordance with school policy, which he refused to do. He picked up his bag and headed towards the door, but YD got there first and stood in front of him with her hand on the handle, whereupon, he pushed her roughly out of the way (all five foot two, seven and a half stone of her) and opened the door.
As luck would have it, the head teacher was passing by and witnessed the incident and the other 30 pupils in the class all supported her account of what had happened so he was told to go to the behaviour unit the next day as he was not allowed back in class. When he didn't do so, that meant a phone call to his mother. As she found herself quite unable to believe that her cherished son could possibly have behaved in this way, she insisted on a meeting with all the staff involved directly or indirectly. So on Friday, three or four staff spent an hour of their time meeting with the mother and her son, challenging, among other things, his assertion that actually YD had 'assaulted' him.
YD, of course, spent the interim days worrying about the possible outcome of this meeting (She has already been diagnosed with high levels of cortisol - at 25 years of age) because she knows from experience, that she does not always get the support she needs from senior staff where behaviour is concerned.
And the boy? Eventually and very grudgingly, he apologised. Sanctions? None.
Possibility of further disruptive behaviour? Very high.


J.J said...

Sounds like something off of Waterloo Road - and massively depressing. Some parents make me sick.

Hope YD is OK.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

GRRRRRRR! THAT MAKES ME SO ANGRY! That little ba*!$rd needed his ass kicking and so did his mother! Mind you...it doesn't surprise me. There's too much listening goes on. In the red corner there's YD and in the blue corner there's Mr Lazy! They paint it like an equal disagreement. It was not. The headteacher should have had the guts to say - No I am not listening! Your son is in the wrong and he is going to be excluded from school for three days! Then when he returns he must sign an agreement about his future conduct or he will have to find another school. So sling your hook missus!
Instead they are laughing at the system! GRRRRRR!

Rosie said...

I feel sorry for your daughter but sadly this seems to becoming all too common behaviour in schools nowadays. I work in a primary school and we have them starting in reception with an attitude. They have little respect for anyone or anything.

Jennyta said...

JJ, YP, Rosie, I can only say I agree with you all. It's very sad and makes me fear for the next generation.

Ellee Seymour said...

I so admire teachers today working under these difficult circumstances. I am glad that YD retained her dignity. I feel sorry for the boy and his poor home life. He has obviously not been brought up to show respect.

Silverback said...

So schools have 'behaviour units' now ?? Is that detention rebranded ?

Who'd be a teacher ? Less and less young people looking for a career, I'd have to think. They'll soon be giving statistics for the 'life' expectancy of a teacher like they do with (other) dangerous jobs.

I'm with YP and his grrrrrrr. Who is to blame ? The parents, the system, society, the kids or all of the above ? Certainly it's rarely the teachers who are increasingly becoming expendable cannon fodder facing a modern PC society that says little Jimmy is just expressing himself with his nail clippers and then wonders why he's being sent down in his early 20's for stabbing his teacher with a 6" blade.

Jennyta said...

Actually, Silverback, teachers do not have a great record on longevity after retirement. I'm hoping to buck that trend!
Ellee, I'm afraid I would have felt considerably less sorry for the boy if my daughter had been injured.

Daphne said...

A third grrrr from me! Schools didn't used to listen to children enough - - now sometimes they're STILL not listening to the right ones and listening to the wrong ones too much. (NB I'm not blaming teachers for this in any way, I'm blaming too much political correctness). As YP says, it shouldn't have been a discussion - it should have been a case of look, sonny, you're in the WRONG so apologise and make reparations, and fast!
On another note, I work from home - am I still allowed to have a day off because of snow? - - No, thought not.

Jennyta said...

Working from home is a breeze, Daphne, so stop complaining and get on with it! ;) Now me, I have to get myself to Chester this morning for my supervision. (It will take me for ever to get all the snow off the car!)


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