Sports teachers one is lazy and one is nasty

Hi , i just had to post this as its really bugging me and i am keen to know if its typical or not .

My Daughter is 12 and has been in college since September 2012 - her French is above average however she can struggle to understand people who do not communicate clearly ie Rural Mumblers !

firstly the lazy one takes a 2 hour lesson and the current "sport" is wrestling and once the kids are in groups and everything underway he is sat at a desk "doing stuff" and doesnt really get involved , kids switch groups and mess about etc, at no point is there any teaching of technique or coaching etc

so i think its just laziness on the teachers part ...............

The 2nd one Mr Nasty however has continually found fault with my daughter from day one , ie every week a few kids forgets there trainers and its no big deal - but when she forgot them she was singled out for criticism in front of her class and told if it happens again you will fail your report.

today he walked in and noted none of the kids were getting the badminton nets ready and again singled her out for criticism,i am beginning to feel its an anti english attitude and need to nip it in the bud by arranging to see him next week and hope i can get my point across without wringing his neck !

but in the meantime would be very interested to hear your thoughts ...........

just realised i hadnt updated since meeting the teacher , it went well and we learned that he was not told by the school that my daughter was not French so presumed she wasnt enthusiastic/ interested in sports etc and although he never admitted as much i realised this could be rather one day whilst he was trying to explain something another girl mentioned that my daughter was from the uk therfore perhaps couldnt understand.

so the upshot is he is aware of the need to explain things clearly / check understanding and offer a little support - which he agreed to so we will see how things progress.


Very interesting. We had various things we expected. We straight away got the answer from the inspectors on an EVS for the class where there is a boy with severe problems. She showed us their email saying there is no budget allocation left for this year but OK for next year - when the boy is no longer at the school. On the other issue, three classes going to Paris without safety issues properly dealt with we got quite a big climb down. One of the other parents who 'complained' is the local lawyer and legal adviser to local schools and gave them what for. Our real reason for being there was to preempt us going to the inspectorate about our daughter who is being a bit 'victimised' by her teacher. That is to say, she is being marked down unfairly so that the teacher's favourites remain unchallenged as top of the class. We did not expect it. So were a bit dumbfounded. My OH went in quickly and said that now we have been told about it what was the school going to do? The directrice told us that she was now second marking several children in that class, looking at points being taken from children as punishments and any possible favouritism. It seems that the parents of the girl who is always top caught her with things stolen from other children that one of the boys was accused of doing. They went to the teacher but although the things were returned their daughter was not punished but the boy accused did not have his points returned. So now the two sets of parents are in conflict with each other and the school over that and when the head spoke to children our daughter told her that she had had points taken off for correcting her teacher's English grammar. So it is the teacher causing problems rather than children. I think the bottom line is that actually we really do not care whether our child is top or not, it is rather a silly status thing that means very little in real terms, but it also means the teacher is less likely to pick on her any longer.

Perhaps she imagined our daughter had told us, however it raises a new question about confidentiality. I was a governor in Swansea for several years and had the head spoken to parents about other people's children as we heard today, then she would have been in serious trouble. Here it a bit too casual for my liking.

It simply looks like a school that is not functioning as it should because of bad teachers in some classes. I also understand why one of them who is my 'mate' who I take a beer with regularly is getting fed up with his job but would not say. Unless people stand up to what is going on, which only a minority will ever do here, what happens is just put up with as part of school life. Bad teachers are functionaries with a job for life and as long as they do not beat a child half to death or do other unmentionable things, almost nothing can happen to them.

So Steve, best of luck with yours. Grit your teeth and go straight to the point - as Tracy says rightly, it is never easy. On our form today it can also be the unexpected!

Hi Brian

look forward to an update , fingers crossed for you.

Best of luck Steve. We have our 'meeting' with school head this morning at nine, so are preparing for sparks if not a fully inflamed fire!

Umm, sports is a tricky one - one of my last school reports stated 'Tracy is so slow in games she is almost motionless!' Did hate the subject though :-) Good luck Steve, it's never easy.

hi and thanks to all who shared their experiences and thoughts.

current situation is i have a rendevous with the aforementioned teacher later this week to discuss my daughters progress in sports.

so will report back !


Brian, I cannot second you enough. There have been so many incidences of teachers simply deciding to like some children and not others here, it just isn't funny. I wish you all the best, I really do, and hope we can learn something from your experience, even if that happens to be how not to proceed (in that we can learn from others mistakes/misfortunes). Keep us posted!

I remember Catharine's post too and agree something must be done. Meeting teachers seems not to work from our experience. Firstly, my teacher friend whacked a child during the year one of our daughters was in his class. It was, incidentally, in front of one of his own children that year. Our little one told us. Next time I was having a beer with him I broached the topic. I pointed out that it is against the law to which he responded by saying that when children step over the line then there is no other choice, that is what was done in his time, etc. I took a ridiculous chance and asked if the law should turn a blind eye when people became so poor they found it easier to steal than ask for social security cover. He instantly said of course not. So I threw back the fact that striking children is against the law and therefore he had broken that law. He sulked for a couple of weeks. My OH had a similar go at him, he did the same with her. But he got over it. Talking to us since he said that French parents do not challenge on such issues because that it what they got in their time. My response was to explain how our headmaster had a selection of different canes and a dozen of the thinnest one that I received several times was hell, that all teachers had canes or gym shoes, that prefects had the right to carry out various kinds of physical punishment so we needed to be tough if we were not going to be a timid, quiet sheep at school - which I was not. For all of that I do not justify physical punishment of any kind or let it go, that the law forbids it is for good reason and if teachers do not comply then the local maire, the rectors and inspectors will receive written complaints to that effect. That includes it happening to anybody else's child. He looked sheepishly at my OH who said that her signature would be on the complaint along with the other people who do not let these things go. I suspect he values friendship above losing his temper at work, so seems to have not done it again.

It is not always foreign antipathy. We get to hear about our own children. Some of these teachers have particular children they victimise. Children tend not to tell parents unless there is the kind of relationship with offspring you, Catharine and James and we have with children. Many people seem not to. Ask your daughter if anybody else gets bad treatment? If so, try to get together with their parents and discuss it. You might well find at least one set of parents on your side. If it is just your child and prejudice then start by going to see the school director to discuss the matter but finish it with a gentle threat of how high your complaint(s) will go if no action is taken. If nothing happens then a formal complaint in the customary registered letter with receipt form to rector and inspector.

We are part of two actions at present where the school is doing nothing to solve a crisis caused by a violent child who has mental health problems that have even led to the teacher being hit and left with a long term nagging injury. The classroom assistant has been off sick all of this year although has been seen out shopping in apparently good health. The school says it cannot replace her although they are obliged to have her to keep an eye on that boy. He has bullied one of our daughters and nobody acted for children like her. One girl has now been, it appears, sexually assaulted by him. So a group of parents has complained to the regional inspectorate. Because we are part of another complaint about the school that we organised the directrice has now called us in. Tuesday at 0900 we are summonsed to her office. We shall both go and will lay all cards on the table, the two things we are part of and all others we know of. She knows we are specialists in the study of childhood, are 'experts' in children's rights and that OH is very conversant with both child abuse and education and imagine she wants to try threatening us. One of us will carry a voice recorded, transcribe the meeting and copy the recording and if necessary send them to the inspectors.

The point of this account is that schools imagine themselves being above the law. The teacher in Catharine's account is rather typical and bearing in mind that there have been far worse things happen to children than we are discussing, they rarely get fired. they are functionaries for life. They know it and feed on it. I do not want to make this into an anti-French rant or an indictment of education, but the fact is that there are laws that are flouted far too often. Prejudices are accepted for no good reason and action hard to achieve, however the act of complaining shows how serious you are although the chances the inspectors or rectors will act are low. However, as said, ask around and find out if it is the teacher's attitude toward more children and go for collective complaint. As for the lazy teacher, you are stuck. It seems that inspectors announce visits, teachers have the right to refuse them access to their class but they tend to tidy up their act for the inspection and go back to normal next day.

Teachers bullying kids because they are foreign makes my blood boil, especially because I can relate so strongly....

I would say, go to the principal state the occurences and explain as clearly as you can how your daughter, and you as parents, feel about this. Sometimes this can help. I would advise being as neutral as you can, concentrating on the fact that it is bewildering for your daughter and that she really wants to integrate (a magic word in France, although I really feel allergic to it...) and that you as a family feel that this attitude, albeit certainly with the best of intentions, makes her feel very different. If you feel you are getting nowhere, get in touch with the rectorat and, depending on how badly your daughter is affected, ask for her to be withdrawn from these useless classes. That should make those teachers sit up and pay attention.

This was our experience ....