WE all expect teachers to set a good example to our children, and to educate them on what is right and wrong.
However sometimes it’s not actually the children that need to be taught a lesson or two by teaching staff – and shockingly it’s the parents who can be the ones to behave very badly.
The mum-of-two now works support mums-to-be and new mums with antenatal classes, postnatal support and well-being, and had both positive and negative experiences during her time as a teacher.
Surprisingly, some of the worst behaviour she saw was from the parents – not pupils.
She says: “The most rewarding part of being a teacher was seeing children overcome something they’re struggling with.
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“For example, reading and then getting joy and satisfaction from the progress they make.
“I also love seeing the relationships form between little people as they grow into their personalities and characters.
“One of the hardest parts was all the paperwork!
“Keeping on top of all the admin, reports and paperwork in addition to being fully present and engaged when teaching.”
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It also wasn’t easy trying to create workable relationships with all parents – for a variety of reasons.
Lottie says: “Many of the children came long distances and were transported by third party companies, which meant I often didn’t have any direct contact with parents other than at parents evening or via notes on their weekly books.
“On the other end of the scale, some parents were there at the start and end of the day – but many weren’t interested in hearing about anything other than what their child had done well at that day.”
Sometimes this issue escalated, with some hot-headed parents causing more of a ruckus at the school gates during pick up and drop off than their offspring.
Lottie says: “We had to be mindful of the ongoing issues and conflict that happened outside the school between families.
“We had parents fight amongst themselves in the playground leaving us no choice but to call the police.
“We also had parents – and children – call teachers racist names and insults.
“Parents were largely unwilling to work with teachers to support their children’s learning or behavioural development.
“Some would have attitudes like ‘why would we read with them at home when that’s what you’re meant to do?’ and ‘I’ve told her to hit someone harder if she gets hit’.”
As a result, some children’s reputation would precede them.
Lottie says: “As families came through the school we knew of siblings with parents to watch out for!”
Ultimately, Lottie says in order to build a good relationship, parents and teachers need to understand they’re on the same side.
Lottie says: “The key to building a good relationship starts with communicating at the parents level.
“There’s often a disconnect between teachers and parents as there’s a misunderstanding that they want different things.
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“Ultimately, every good teacher wants what’s best for the child’s growth, development and education.
“Sometimes, I believe, parents can feel attacked by a teacher rather than that they’re on the same side.”