Author Topic: Befuddling Teacher Utterances  (Read 2177 times)

Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« on: May 15, 2015, 12:16:53 pm »
In fact, a TA.

K, in Y6, was given some cash to get himself some breakfast on the way to school. He got a Subway and some cookies for £7.50, apparently. He put it with all the other lunch boxes and the morning passed as usual. Come lunchtime, he found that a girl in Y3 was eating his Sub! There was no possibility that she'd mistaken it for her own, as she had nothing similar. Not only that, but she'd taken his 50p change. K was, understandably, pretty upset. The fuss was smoothed over by the head getting K an identical Sub out of his own money. But the befuddling statement — in fact, not befuddling but laughably, transparently, untrue and (as the kids say) inappropriate — was the TA trying to calm things down with "It's just the same as if your brother had taken it." No. No, it's not. Because "If it was my brother, I'd share it with him because he's my brother." Bullshitting to kids, even with good intentions, just makes TA look like shit.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2015, 12:24:38 pm »
I'm obviously out of touch.  That schools (or at least the adults that inhabit them) have little respect for children's property, usually regarding it to be a nuisance, is hardly news.... but £7.50!  That's befuddling.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 12:36:08 pm »
I'm guessing that's a "£5 Footlong" plus some extras — cookies were definitely mentioned — and a bit of exaggeration. Could be that £7.50 was the amount he was given. And no, I don't think it's a great lunch in any terms, but this wasn't my child, so not my business.

It wasn't the school having little respect for his property, it was another child who ate it. Kids are trusted to identify their own lunch and believe it will be tastier than others'(!) and it usually works(!).

Little respect for the TA is now the result of this.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2015, 12:52:23 pm »
Here's a guess.

10 year old child sent out without breakfast might mean a lack of decent parenting. Might mean that as a consequence said child manifests lack of care by extreme reactions.

Maybe said TA was trying to calm down an angry \upset kid by whatever means necessary.

Its just a guess, but it is as well-informed as anybody else's here.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2015, 01:08:47 pm »
It wasn't the school having little respect for his property, it was another child who ate it.

Well yes, but it wasn't "Yes, Y3 Girl stole your things.  Stealing is wrong.  She's going to be punished in a manner appropriate for a small kid.  Now, what are we going to do about your lunch?"  It was effectively "You're a child and it's to be expected that other people will help themselves to your property from time to time, you wouldn't make a fuss if your brother had done it[1], so it must be okay. Now calm down."

It's all part of the "property causes bullying" trope.  I see why it happens, but that doesn't make it right.


[1] I've had a brother help himself to enough of my things over the years to fail to see the logic to this one.  Surely siblings are going to be the main perpetrators of theft from children, so it's hardly surprising if they end up with a grudge.  Anyway, as per the OP, a well-trained sibling would have asked.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2015, 03:44:05 pm »
What used to make me the most angry when I was teaching was dishonesty (come to think of it, it still does).

Some time in the early 1980s a small girl came to me because a packet of sweets had disappeared from her desk. Within minutes, I noticed a boy who sat near her with an identical packet of sweets. When I asked Boy if they were Girl's sweets, his sullen red-faced silence told me everything I needed to know. My line of questioning was not "Did you steal them?" but "Why did you steal them?" An innocent party would have denied the act of theft, the guilty knows he has been rumbled.

I didn't manage to get any answer from Boy as to why he stole them, but I like to think that the hugely uncomfortable afternoon he spent would have been some kind of a lesson. I think that if that has been my problem these days I would have sent for/written to Boy's parents, but then was a different era and my head teacher was a useless lazy git who wanted nothing whatever to do with children other than take their money off them by selling crisps to them at play time.
Basses lower the tone.

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2015, 04:11:14 pm »
It's all part of the "property causes bullying" trope.

Not something I've come across. Either an occasional inmate of a school or as the parent of current inmates (for whom it seems that anything that goes to school becomes vaguely communal property - "first up, best dressed" appears to be the motto for clothes)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2015, 04:29:57 pm »
You've really never encountered:

"Miss!  $bully stole/broke my $thing!"
"Well you shouldn't have had it in school."
"..."

:o


It's an important lesson in victim-blaming, that.  Bonus points if the thing in question is  a) expensive  b) related to actual lessons  or  c) disability equipment

It's also one of the arguments people like to trot out in favour of school uniform, which amply demonstrates what a festering pile of crap it is.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2015, 05:00:37 pm »
That wasn't the argument here, though, Kim. "You shouldn't have lunch in school" ??? The argument was meant to be — as far as I understand and bearing in mind I'm only hearing eyewitness reports — "You wouldn't mind if your brother had taken it (and another child in school is almost like your brother — and anyway, you've got another sandwich now)".
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2015, 05:04:55 pm »
Here's a guess.

10 year old child sent out without breakfast might mean a lack of decent parenting. Might mean that as a consequence said child manifests lack of care by extreme reactions.
It was lunch — he'd been given money to buy his lunch on his way to school — but your point is valid. Not that I know anything about this child's parents.

Quote
Maybe said TA was trying to calm down an angry \upset kid by whatever means necessary.

Its just a guess, but it is as well-informed as anybody else's here.
That is what the TA was trying to do. The point is their comparison of Vaguely Known Child to Your Brother was seen as rubbish — because kids feel differently about little brothers and unrelated little children — and so had the opposite effect from that intended. As well as demeaning the TA in the children's eyes.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2015, 05:23:46 pm »
That wasn't the argument here, though, Kim. "You shouldn't have lunch in school" ??? The argument was meant to be — as far as I understand and bearing in mind I'm only hearing eyewitness reports — "You wouldn't mind if your brother had taken it (and another child in school is almost like your brother — and anyway, you've got another sandwich now)".

The idea that children shouldn't expect to have their property (or lunch) respected is the common though.  Choosing to share your lunch is not equivalent to having it stolen.


But teachers or TAs or whatever don't have time to think about this sort of thing.  They're overworked, underpaid and fighting fires on all sides, and aren't thinking about what they're inadvertently teaching.  They just want to calm the kid who's had their sandwich nicked down so they can go back to worrying about the afternoon's lesson, or Planning or SATS or whatever.  Possibly even their own lunch, though the TAs I know barely get time for that.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2015, 05:28:28 pm »
You've really never encountered:

"Miss!  $bully stole/broke my $thing!"
"Well you shouldn't have had it in school."
"..."

:o


It's an important lesson in victim-blaming, that.  Bonus points if the thing in question is  a) expensive  b) related to actual lessons  or  c) disability equipment

It's also one of the arguments people like to trot out in favour of school uniform, which amply demonstrates what a festering pile of crap it is.

Bollocks.

Complete and utter.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 05:50:37 pm »
Being old-fashioned and having no kids means I feel schools should have very low tolerance for Theft, which is Wrong.
Schools are there to educate and not stealing Others' Stuffs should come in years 1 or 2.

TA might be in position to judge if stealing kid is hungry and arrange food for both kids but victim still merits a nice lunch and an apology.

The lack of apology would MADDEN me if I was 10!

Kids have a strong sense of Right and Wrong and TA's failure to address this makes me want to Scream and Scream and Make Myself Sick!

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 05:55:17 pm »
That wasn't the argument here, though, Kim. "You shouldn't have lunch in school" ??? The argument was meant to be — as far as I understand and bearing in mind I'm only hearing eyewitness reports — "You wouldn't mind if your brother had taken it (and another child in school is almost like your brother — and anyway, you've got another sandwich now)".

The idea that children shouldn't expect to have their property (or lunch) respected is the common though.  Choosing to share your lunch is not equivalent to having it stolen.
That's the point. Expecting a 10 yo. to agree that it's the same thing just makes them lose all respect for you.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2015, 07:58:11 pm »
You've really never encountered:

"Miss!  $bully stole/broke my $thing!"
"Well you shouldn't have had it in school."
"..."

:o


It's an important lesson in victim-blaming, that.  Bonus points if the thing in question is  a) expensive  b) related to actual lessons  or  c) disability equipment

It's also one of the arguments people like to trot out in favour of school uniform, which amply demonstrates what a festering pile of crap it is.

Bollocks.

Complete and utter.
Someone else's experiences are complete and utter bollocks. Well done Flatus.
Basses lower the tone.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2015, 08:21:57 pm »
I assumed it was the lessons I chose to learn from said experiences that he was taking issue with.

(I accept that some people will disagree with me on the matter of school uniform.  Those people are, of course, wrong.  But since they're no longer compelling me to wear one, I don't actually have to care that much.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2015, 09:51:29 pm »
You've really never encountered:

"Miss!  $bully stole/broke my $thing!"
"Well you shouldn't have had it in school."
"..."

:o


It's an important lesson in victim-blaming, that.  Bonus points if the thing in question is  a) expensive  b) related to actual lessons  or  c) disability equipment

It's also one of the arguments people like to trot out in favour of school uniform, which amply demonstrates what a festering pile of crap it is.

Bollocks.

Complete and utter.
Someone else's experiences are complete and utter bollocks. Well done Flatus.

When extrapolated to this:

That schools (or at least the adults that inhabit them) have little respect for children's property, usually regarding it to be a nuisance, is hardly news.

Then yes.

But hey, what do I know. I've only spent every working day of the last 23 years of my adult life in schools.

Re: Befuddling Teacher Utterances
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2015, 09:04:45 pm »
I think that's just a(nother) example of the gulf between child and adult perception, and some of the problems in overcoming it.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)