Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Taking the rough with the smooth

Something happened at work on Monday that has left me still upset days later and probably forever. At the moment, being in the top class, we are very much in transition mode, getting all thirty cherubs ready for big school. Several cherubs need enhanced transition and I've been working closely with my colleague to bring on an outcome that's best for the pupils. Most of the parents are so supportive and appreciative it's wonderful to work with them. I say most. I'm going to say ALL of them. Except one. 

I've never been made to feel so brushed off and embarrassed and mortified EVER in my whole 147 year career in education. This parent was incredibly rude and dismissive, I'd say to my face, but I wasn't even given eye contact as I was nicely trying to explain how the day was going to pan out. I was talking to their shoulder. I do have a thick skin and hear my colleagues when they say not to take it personally but it's hard. What made this worse is that this rudeness took place in the foyer of the new High School where I'd gone ( out of my way and earlier than I get paid for ) to meet the pupils who were attending. Not only was this rudeness acted out in front of the staff, but in front of the pupils. I was FURIOUS. But, I let it go. I wasn't there for the parent, I was there for the pupil who throughout the time was looking and waving at me for reassurance the whole time. 

Now, if you think I'm overreacting, it gets worse. 

Whilst sat in the hall with the new intake from all of the areas surrounding primary schools, I felt like I was being spoken about. Ok, I may have been left shaken by what had just happened, and could have been experiencing a touch of paranoia, but no, the Deputy, the Head and the SENCO were definitely talking about me. The SENCO asked me to wait behind when all the children were taken to their new formrooms. I felt like a naughty child having to 'See me' 

Turns out, once I'd left the foyer with the pupils, the parent had complained about me, saying that they hated me, ( seems to be true ) and that their child hated me ( completely untrue ) and that they wanted me to have no part in this transition day and didn't want me anywhere near their child. 


I felt horrified. I went with the SENCO to try and answer their questions. I honestly have NO idea why this parent is so hostile. I have never had to speak to them regarding incidents. I have never had a cross word with them. Never. All I have done is support their child for two years. This child can now read independently. This child accesses the curriculum. This child has ways of calming themselves and dealing with social situations. 

I'll say this here n now on my blog, if I did tell this parent what I actually thought of them, then their hatred would be justified. They are useless. In my opinion. I won't go into it here because I think it could possibly tip me over the edge. But I'm still feeling raw. HOW DARE THEY make me out to these other professionals to be a horrible person. 

Fortunately, the High School staff were shocked. Not by my horribleness. But the vileness and spite this parent showed. They reassured me that I was to stay and support the pupil as they were not being dictated to by a parent like that!

 It's the pupil in question I feel sorry for. 

Cut to today. I'm off very shortly escorting another pupil to a different High School. The response, support and genuine appreciation I feel from this parent makes it all worthwhile. I'm not in this game for reward, don't get me wrong. But the genuine gratitude from this parent totally cancels out all of the above. Feeling valued is important. What's also important is to reiterate the fact I don't treat either of these pupils any differently. But to feel like what you do makes a difference to the whole family is just great. 

Anyway, I best get a wriggle on else I'll be late! Big school starts earlier!! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *worst TA ever/best TA ever* Radiostar xxx 

45 comments:

  1. I am horrified too. No professional should be treated like that. It's an utter disgrace and I am delighted that your colleagues supported you. Perhaps they (parents) have never accepted that their child requires support. enhanced provision, etc, and have sort of visited their feeling about it onto you who is at the interface, so to speak?
    I don't know about that but I do know there's never, ever any excuse for that. If there are perceived problems, by all means deal with them in appropriate ways but not like that.
    ((((many hugs)))) for you.
    J x

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    1. It's quite the opposite Joy, it's one of these parents who will sing from the rooftops about how special needs their child is and what they expect etc all the while doing sweet fa to support their child with homework, taking them to after school clubs and situations that would help. Instead this child who is supposedly SO in need and vulnerable is left to bring themselves to school everyday and walk home alone a good fair distance involving major roads. This child goes home, straight to their room, is on the Internet/playing 18 games on the Xbox all unsupervised, eats in their room and puts themselves to bed well past what I would deem a suitable bed time, this child has no books at home, no games and is not allowed to play out ever etc etc yet school s rubbish in realising what needs to be done to help their child etc etc etc. This child has never been allowed to go in school trips because we cannot be trusted to keep them safe. Interestingly this child has been to three schools already and been removed due to the incompetency of the schools. This parent has already complained about the high school - that they chose without ever going on the y5 open day/ y6 information evenings. The first time this child saw the school was when we took them. I think no school ever stands a chance and we just give this child the best chances we can whilst they are in our care.

      Rant over!!

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    2. That's all you can do, isn't it. The poor kid doesn't stand a chance.

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  2. What a horrible nasty thing to have to go through. But at least your colleagues, friends and the children all know the truth and support/love you. You won't have been the first (or the last) to get such a nasty response from this parent - I bet they make a habit of it. Their nastiness will come back and slap them round the face one day, I'm a firm believer in karma. Meanwhile, the genuine lovely parent has come along to help wash away the horribleness.

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    1. I too believe in karma! It's the child I feel sorry for and what sort of future they will have. Thank you for your kind comment of support!

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  3. That was a truly awful situation. What makes it worse is that you feel so impotent, there is little you can do about a parent who is obviously rude and spiteful but without giving a reason. I'm not sure what SENCO stands for, but those above you in authority should support their members of staff in the very least and also find out what the problem is and listen to both sides of any argument. Thankfully, another parent was appreciative.
    I used to feel angry at work. I also worked in Education, but as a secretary. I had six lovely people I worked for in succession and then bully boy came along. I hadn't known about office bullied in those days, but obviously this is what he was. I couldn't do anything right. If he wanted to contact, say, computer companies to make enquiries about new equipment he'd get me to do this, but if I phoned that would be wrong because that would be expensive on our limited budget, but if I wrote to them that would take too long! This was in the days long before texts and emails, in the days of Amstrad word processors. I was always on a hiding to nothing, but had been so worn down by this constant sniping, him handing me more work that I could cope with for my part-time hours, that in the end I became ill and left. It was the best thing I could do. We found it had to manage without my small salary, but I never regretted it. So I do understand some of the anguish that this incident has caused when all you do is try and do your best for all concerned, just as I did when I was working.
    Margaret P

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    1. Thanks Margaret. I'm sorry you went through office bullying. Some people are just truly horrid. SENCO stands for Special Educational Needs Co Ordinator. So they are the person directly responsible for any children who have Educational Health Care Olans which used to be known as Statements.

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  4. Poor you being treated like that, there are many horrible people out there who are not happy unless they bitch and moan, you are doing a fantastic job, bollocks to the nasty parent, don't let it get you down, xx

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    1. Aww thank you. Getting off my chest has helped a lot, plus 21st July is so close now! I'll just smile and be aloof next time I see them!

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  5. Rachel....I am shocked and disgusted by that parents behaviour and I am so, so sorry that you had to go through that.
    I don't know you personally but you come across as a very dedicated and special person for your pupils.
    Reading between the lines I am thinking that maybe jealousy was at the heart of it.
    Sending you a huge squidgy hug darling girl-x-

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    1. Much appreciated Sheila! Thank you xx

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  6. Gosh, that's awful x I love home educating my children but I don't think I could ever be a teacher, what with new regulations, parent apathy and ever changing exam needs I think I would do my nut! Well done for keeping your cool. Just remember how much good influence you'be had on their child and hopefully later on life when that child is having a conversation looking back on school life they will say Mrs *Radiostar* was my favourite teacher.I know you won't witness it yourself but I'm sure a lot of your little cherubs will be saying it. X

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    1. This child has already told me that! So I know it's like a big two fingers up to the parent! I'm chuckling at you being a home educator and complaining to the teacher!!!!

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  7. I worked as a classroom assistant for years. I've also been the target of such abuse from a parent. The child was wonderful and he made real progress. After a "gob full" from his mother, who was a vile person who prided herself on being as objectionable as possible, a couple of other mothers put her in her place by pointing out what I'd done for the boy. What I really wanted to do was deck the bitch. Her reputation went before her and as her kids passed through the school, other staff had been on the receiving end of her tongue.
    Don't worry, she has now put herself on the radar of the new school staff.
    I think these people are blaming someone else for their own shortcomings. Hugs

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    1. I do too and thanks for popping by my little bit of the Internet and giving me support! I've had hideous face to face battles with parents before ( see my hyenas post a few years back ) but this aggressive passive aggressiveness behind the scenes stuff is just awful! School would be brilliant if every parent was like the majority of supportive ones who genuinely wan the best for their child. I'm sure this one is almost like Munchausen's by proxy. They love to tell anyone how awful their child is with their needs. Ugh.

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  8. There is always one, having never been in charge of a class of juniors, but have been a teachers helper, I feel for you and the child. I can't really think of any more to say, you and I mean all teachers do a wonderful job, much more than any CV shows, please say positive, we really do need people like you xxx

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    1. I'm going nowhere Marlene and will keep calm and carry on!! Thank you xx

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  9. There's no words to describe some people is there?
    Cross out Worst TA please as I'm sure you are NOT!
    Summer hols approaching quickly

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    1. I will do! July 21st is almost coming too quickly as I've so much to do!! Yet I can't wait for the time to be at one with my garden/housework/crafting/family ! Not necessarily in that order!

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  10. I am sorry that you got treated so badly by that particular parent. I am glad that such lack of appreciation is the exception. xx

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    1. It really is MMC and I'm not the first person or the last to be targeted. I hope I've had my turn for a while now!

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  11. There are rude, ignorant people everywhere. You have done your absolute best for the child concerned, who will never forget that. Focus on the good and caring parents and let the rest stew in their own rancid juices.

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    1. I will concentrate on giving this child my all between now and July in order that they are the most prepared they can be for high school and that they gave the best last few weeks.

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  12. Easy to say but do not allow the actions of one person (I use term loosely) to bring you down lass, I only know you electronically m'dear but I do know what a wonderful and caring person you are lass and you have my total support if or when needed. Oh and if you need this person 'taking out' I am sure it can be arranged.
    John 'new career in assassination' Wooldridge ;-)

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    1. I'm sure, in time, this person will bring themselves down without the need for your new highly doubtable career venture but I'm glad of your support!

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  13. I've met my fair share of the awkward ones in my time and yes it does get to you and you begin to doubt yourself but you know that you are doing the very best for the child and it's the child that counts. Enjoy your last few weeks before the holidays and try to forget the incident ever happened.
    xx

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    1. It's already forgotten Mum. I'm a bit naive in my disbelief at what some people are like. It never fails to surprise me.

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  14. As you imply, you are probably not the first to be subjected to this person's ego-centric antagonism with the world. It is nevertheless painful for someone who carries out their work with professional commitment. Keep focused on your belief in the latter and although I bet you find it difficult, try not to ruminate on the episode.

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    1. Thank you Philip, I guess it was just my turn.

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  15. So sorry that you have had such a rough time. I hope that today has gone much better for you. Hang in there and know that the child has appreciated and benefited greatly from all that you have done and they are the most important one!! Try not to think about it too much, although I know that is hard. Just look forward to the summer break!

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    1. I am looking forward to a bit of unencompassed freedom!

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  16. It's funny how one very nasty incident can feel as though it wipes out all the good that you do and makes you feel bad. Well done to you for keeping calm. What a bit of luck that the mother behaved so badly in front of other people and the high school suported you. Sounds like the said child only gets love at school and I hope he makes the right friends at high school so that too is a happy place for him.
    Carolx

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Whoops! Deleted my own comment! I was just thanking you Carol X

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  17. Rachel, trust me when I tell you that those kinds of parents exist everywhere! I also know what it is like to be falsely accused and raked over the coals. I really feel for you. The key to all of this is how you answered Joy (the first comment) when you told her that this child has been to three schools already and each school has been complained about. Some people are not to be pleased by anything or anyone, but not willing to do the work themselves. Don't start to question your own competence. It is they who have the problem. This too shall pass. -Jenn

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    1. I'm sorry you experienced this too Jenn X

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  18. Rachel, I can't even really answer because I'm so annoyed on your behalf. I've seen how parents are with teachers and been on the receiving end of them myself. It makes my blood boil. I also know when you've done nothing wrong how awful something like this can make you feel and yes, that feeling can last for days. I'd take great pleasure in the fact you remained professional and dignified throughout their tirade probably wound them up even more. xx

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    1. That's my strategy! Smile and carry on regardless!!

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  19. I feel for you I really do, I would have felt hurt to the core but they are really just pig ignorant how dare they! I would say ignore them and move on, I feel so sorry for their child having parents like that. :) xx

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    1. I'd adopt the child in a flash just to get them away from their hideous home life

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  20. You are not only a fantastic TA because you think about how best to help these kids (for many more hours than you are paid for, I'd like to add); but a kind, gentle, funny and generous person who does not deserve being treated badly.
    Sad for the kiddy concerned, but kudos to the staff at the big school for seeing your worth as a consummate professional.
    It is a privilege to be able to count you as a friend xxx

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  21. Hey nobody talks to my sister like that. There is one blessing that as of the 21 July you won't have anything to do with that godawful woman anymore. I would write sweary words but I don't want to bring the tone of your lovely blog down. Poor child, poor high school, poor you! Ahhhh I can't do it....... What a bitch! Oh bugger I've gone and said a sweary word! You are far too good for the likes of ppl like that xx

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