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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:05 pm
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Ok folks, need some advice here. I'm struggling with my naughty Jiminy Cricket again.

My Y6 son has a leavers assembly on friday when all the Y6 children have to give a brief speech in front of all the school pupils, teachers and leavers parents. They are supposed to mention the one outstanding memory of all their years at the school.

My son has written instead....

" I have loved my time at this School. I used to tell my Mum that I wanted to live in 'xxxxx' when i grew up so that I could send my children here. My best memory of the school is that I have been incredibly lucky to have had some fantastic teachers. I would like to thank Mrs x, Mrs y, Mrs z, Mrs a, and Mrs b for helping me academically and for being great teachers."

Lovely eh?

Unfortunately, the glaring ommission from this list is his current Y6 teacher. Being totally honest she has been an absolute disaster for him. He's actually told me he has learnt nothing during the whole of Y6. As she has openly said she prefers the girls my son and his friends have had a completely miserable time this year. None of the parents were happy with her but I guess we all thought it wouldn't be as bad as it has been. Up until this year he has had amazing teachers and an overwhelming positive school experience.

The other problem is that my daughter still has another 3 years at the school, and if things stay the same is quite likely to end up with this particular teacher. I also run a school book club and have quite alot of contact with the many of the teachers.

So my question is, should I let him say this or try to get him to find something more positive to share ?

Well let's put it another way, I know what I should do, but why is my evil side contemplating telling him to go ahead ! He says he's just being honest ( true) but i don't want to encourage him to be vindictive or forget all the good times.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
logic32 wrote:
I would like to thank Mrs x, Mrs y, Mrs z, Mrs a, and Mrs b for helping me academically and for being great teachers."
Your problem is the last bit, and it does come across as being a wee bit vindictive, I'm afraid. If he can name each teacher for something specific, rather than generalising, he might get away with it, e.g.

Mrs x for helping me with maths
Mrs y for the wonderful art lessons
Mrs a for her help with history
Mrs b for inspiring me to read
Mrs c for being such a kind and nice teacher

That leaves Mrs Awful as "non-specific", rather than out in the cold. However it does also turn it in to a bit of an Oscar speech as well. Possibly cut it down to the 3 most recent teachers?

Quote:
The other problem is that my daughter still has another 3 years at the school, and if things stay the same is quite likely to end up with this particular teacher.
If she prefers girls then maybe you will be OK, but I would be careful. We put a question about DS1's progress to the Head - very politely, copying the teacher on the letter so it was clear that this was not criticism of her. Despite that, she never forgot or forgave and was thoroughly unpleasant to DS2.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Just my opinion, but diplomacy is an important skill for life.I would get him to reword it to incorporate some acknowledgement of a positive kind to his yr 6 teacher, even if he is more enthusiastic about others. Teachers know that they are more liked by some than others so she will surely accept some varying levels of accolade.

No doubt others will disagree but I have always put a premium on tact and diplomacy.

Hope that helps :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:17 pm 
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I do agree with Chelmsford mum. He may have loathed her but it's highly improbable that he learned absolutely nothing that year. If he can think of one thing, however small, he can include her - it maybe damning with faint praise, but it's better than ignoring her which is incredibly uncouth if he mentions the rest.

Be unfailing nice to your enemies. It stymies them. That's not a bad lesson to learn...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
I tend to agree as well, better to be polite than absolutely honest. Better to say more generic things about enjoying the school and leaving out the individual teachers in his speech, perhaps he could give a little thank you card or something to the others he liked better instead?
Learning that you don't always get on with your teacher is a life lesson,as we can't always like people we have to work with etc, and how he deals with this now is quite important actually, I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Thank you everyone - I know your are right.

It was just so tempting for about 5 minutes !

I was quite shocked he had come up with this anyway, as he's normally unfailingly polite. But I think all the boys are in cahoots as apparently there's a few 'interesting' speeches to come.

I would much rather all the other teachers were left with their good impression of him than get a dig in at Mrs Awful ( thanks Sally-Anne - Perfect description).

I shall make a silent protest by not buying her a bottle of wine. She may not notice but I will !

But I will add that it's been more than a personality clash with this teacher. I won't bore you with the details but she's been fairly appalling.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:38 pm 
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I would agree that tact and diplomacy are great lessons to learn, doesn't mean he has to say anything he is unhappy about but it might work to say (as S-A has suggested)

"I would like to thank all my teachers for their help, especially Mrs X for maths and Mrs Y for art" - I would leave it at 2 teachers so that there are many others who are not named.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Thanks herman,

I think I'll have to persuade him not to mention the teachers at all as he has genuinely loved all of them and wouldn't be happy to leave anyone out ( except the obvious!)

I liked the suggestion of writing them a little thank you note, at least then he's not offending anyone in public.

Perhaps he can talk about the time he forgot to wear underpants to school in Y5 ? on second thoughts..........


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
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Location: Buckinghamshire
logic32 wrote:
" I have loved my time at this School. I used to tell my Mum that I wanted to live in 'xxxxx' when i grew up so that I could send my children here. My best memory of the school is that I have been incredibly lucky to have had some fantastic teachers. I would like to thank Mrs x, Mrs y, Mrs z, Mrs a, and Mrs b for helping me academically and for being great teachers."
Could he just change the last sentence to "I would like to thank all the teachers who have helped me over the past x years" without actually naming names? He (and you) would know who is being omitted from the list but he is not openly "dissing" Mrs Awful.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:06 pm 
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I agree with HM - just name 2 teachers with specific remarks as to what they helped him with. Perhaps these could be teachers from lower down the school who would be pleased to have been remembered even though he had moved well beyond those years? That could be really nice for them, tactful and not involving him telling any untruths.


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