I have two daughters in primary school. One is in a CLIS class which is almost certainly an issue for another time. It is my other daughter's teacher who worries me.
My nine year old daughter is in CM1, she came home rather fed up yesterday and explained what happened. It appears they had an English lesson, then moved on to geography whereby the teacher chose the British Isles as her topic. Both were a mess. Because we moved here after my daughter had only had two classes of primary in Wales, she had not learned English grammar. Therefore we bought books that teach it from the point of view of learning from the French. So yesterday it started with them being taught how to write the date: 'Monday, the 12th of November, 2012'. My daughter knows that this form was taught to me in the 1960s and that by the end of the 1970s was more or less redundant and thus she said that it is better as: 'Monday, 12th November, 2012'. When she came home we spent a while online together really thoroughly checking and established without doubt that the old habit of always having the day of the week is long since gone except in particular very formal letters that require it, the 'th' (etc) optional and the comma also. How far out of date could this teacher be?
Then it went from bad to worse with use of 'got' which is problematic enough without it being taught wrongly. The teacher was telling them an example that was 'I have got a sister'. My daughter knows that got = to get and that is prendre or obtenir, so that one can say 'I have got an apple' but only ever 'I have a sister'. I have made a note to the effect of all of that in the contact book with reference to the English homework last night.
Anyway, geography. Firstly she said the countries of Great Britain are England, Scotland and Ireland. Three hands went up. My daughter, Corentin who is totally into everything about England and London and Matthew who is Welsh. She was informed that she had forgotten Wales. My daughter threw in that Northern Ireland is in the UK but not Great Britain which is the name of the island on which the other three countries are found (I had just been having a debate about that on a heated post so my hackles rose) and that the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK. The teacher said that her dictionary said that it was the four countries she had named, not admitting forgetting Wales or correcting to Northern Ireland, so therefore it was right.
So she came home and we started all over again. I say that because recently we had homework with a map that showed the border of France along a line of the Rhône and Rhine conjoined. My Swiss wife firstly laughed her head off and pointed that the two rivers are far apart and there is no imaginable way that they could join. So wrong. Then she also pointed out that in recent changes to the French language the circumflex in Rhône should be replaced by an unaccented 'o', thus Rhone.
During that same week, English lesson and days of the week and her insistence that the class prounounce the middle day: Wed-nez-day, not the modern form which is Wens-day. Oooof!
Then she did a class that totally confused all children who had done the topic last year. Charlemagne. She referred to him as a French king! Sorry? Was he not king of the Franks, born in what is now Belgium, ruled from Aachen where he is buried that was then the capital of Franconia? It is now in Germany and was never French apart from during the Napoleonic occupation. At least, when I helped my daughter last year and bothered to find out, that is what we found out. He contributed to the founding of what is now France, and only part of the country at that, but what he never was is a French king. So terrible teaching, low marks there for her.
On the English she is up against it because she has too many parents she knows speak or have a good working knowledge of the language, plus others she does not know about. One is a colleague in the school with a child in her class, his English is fluent. So she has decided to minimise the classes and not evaluate which some of us find incredibly unfair on the rest of the class and undermines the curriculum that stipulates a minimum of 54 hours of a 'modern language' over the school year.
The school has had terrible problems getting parent-governors this year and CM1 has no parent at all. The teacher has also refused to see parents who are similarly disturbed by the quality of her teaching and she has made it clear that if anybody complains to the inspector she shall exercise her right to refuse to have him/her in her class or examining her preparatory work. We are now finding out that these are errors she has made in previous years and that to put it in the simplest terms she appears not to be preparing her teaching although that is required of her.
Do other parents see these things happening. French education is not the most creative in the world but by far from being the worst. Teachers are public servants with a job for life so if they are as bad as she appears to be there is little that can be done about it. I think it is a topic worthy of discussion and comparison on this forum.