How well do you really know your child’s teacher?

18 Sep

How well do you know your child’s teacher? This Is a question I’ve had to ask myself a number times!

After a recent discovery, I would suggest you ask yourselves that very same question, regardless of whether your child has special educational needs or not!

Here’s why…

A few days back I made a horrid discovery that meant I had to continue on with my day with this great anger manifesting within me.

I had this inability to filter out the hideousness of it all, my blood was boiling and a thousand questions bashed away at me.

  Last year I joined the TES social network and forum. No, I’m not a teacher, however It was during a period of home schooling my Little man as a way to avoid permanent exclusion. I have seen some things on the site that I normally take with a pinch of salt, yet a few days back, on receipt of a monthly newsletter that changed.

The TES website is the main and biggest UK resource for educators or those working within education. It contains job listing, a resource centre, the latest updates in relation to education, a forum covering a large area of subjects up for discussion, downloads including work-sheets etc, and much more.

On opening the email I discovered the updates were all mostly aimed at new teachers in-way of tips and advice. As always I had a quick scoot through to see if there was anything in relation to SEN (Special educational needs) and the pending ‘Green Paper’ when something caught my eye. 

The header read: NQT (Newly qualified teachers) Advice

and under that a link that read,

“Arm yourself with a few of those tried and tested one liners and you’re ready to deal with the thickest pupils” 

 curious I hit the link and was taken to the TES Forum

It was here that I unearthed one of the most disgusting threads I have ever read.

This thread contained over 600 comments from UK teachers, there was over 60 pages and posts,  dated from 2008 to the current date.

This thread contained one liners and put downs provided by teachers, these contained methods of humiliation, bullying, discrimination, sarcasm, abuse, threaten violence and inappropriate  language (including that of a sexual content)

Now before I go any further, please let me explain why this thread had me so mad it had reduced me to angry tears!

First the comments were worrying and the one liners should not be used on ANY child, the way the teachers spoke to each was worrying, and the names they publicly referred to us and our kids, Sickening!

Secondly, My own son with Aspergers has been treated in such away and as a result he has self harmed by smashing his whole body into brick walls, banging his head and scratching his arms till they bleed. He, like many others with some form of autism, tends to take things with a literal interpretation meaning the use of  metaphors and sarcasm are most dangerous.

Below is an example taken from a screen shoot. This key stage one teacher isn’t particularly rude, however the way in which she speaks about her young pupil is cold and frightening. She states he winds her by not sitting still and continuing to touch children and objects (playing with their hair etc) I don’t know if I’m correct, I’m just a parent, but some of what she describes here highlights possible autism traits or SPD even.

All she wants to do, is give him a right telling off, but instead choses to mock him in front of his peers.


If this child does have a condition like those I’ve stated above, or some form of special educational needs, this will undoubtedly knock an all ready low self-esteem.

Is this how you want your 7 year old treated when at school?

Now, Im sorry if this post is rather long, it would have gone on forever if I the time to include the high number of comments that outraged me so much I blogged about it!

I have taken some screen shoots but will not be able to include them all, I shoot over 100, So, I’ve also quoted a few of the so-called “tips”, and hideous boasts provided by what are meant to be highly qualified teachers.

The fact is, that there are over 600 comments within this one thread from Teachers who started commenting back in 2008, when the thread was started and happily continue on today in the same disgusting manner is highly wrong.

There were only a handful of outraged teachers who left comments to state their shock at some of the comments left by those who are sadly in the same profession, however they just responded by mocking them and starting nasty argumentative comments, nevertheless it was comforting to see one or two teachers who cared.

With over 600 comments, what’s the chances that one of these teachers is the teacher of your child?

Maybe not today, maybe not even next year, but one day!

I say let’s speak up for our children!

Lastly, before I share some of these shocking statements, I ask, how is it, that this hasn’t been picked up by the media?

Has it? if so why don’t most know this thread exists?

What ever the reasons, it’s worrying that our teachers are quite openly sharing these sick so-called ‘Tips’ while laughing their arises of at our children.

I warn you, If your easily shocked, then GOODBYE you really should stop reading NOW!

Below is the very first comment (which kicked of the thread in Januray 2008)

‘I’m having a real problem with behaviour at the moment. I’m not very good at quick responses to pupils comments. I know I shouldn’t get in to a discussion with them but I’d like to have one liners to use.
Can anyone think of any common things pupils say, and a quick come back that works. Other than of course just ignoring it, which I try to do with most silly comments.
Here’s one…
“This is boring..”

OK, guys here are some of the responses and in no particular order! (Note I corrected many of these teachers spelling mistakes, that’s shabby)

“To the usual issue between students with one complaining.. sir he…

‘Hold on….. you are mistaking me for someone that cares….. sort it out without violence’walk away and ignore the 2-3mins of poor behaviour” 

“There a fine line between comebacks and getting aggressive to get your revenge – normally the line depends on how much sleep I’ve  had”

“I teach a mixture of abilities in years 10 and 11. I remember a particular individual being silly and making the odd comment. My reply on one occasion was “how Jovian”. The individual thought this was a good thing. But the brighter students knew. They knew I was referring to the Jovian (as in the planet Jupiter) atmosphere between his ears. . . . Dense and uninhabited.”

“To a very mouthy, arrogant year 10 kid, who constantly demanded my attention “Miss, I NEED HELP NOW!”.

In a gentle, caring voice: “I know sweetheart, but you’ll have to accept it’s going to take some time. I’ve spoken to various pyschologists and psychiatrists, and we’ve agreed that, with a careful program of support and intervention, we may be able to help you”  

“What’s wrong with verbally flattening pupils, showing them up, if it’s what they need?”

“48 – Excellent answer.

22 and 44: “Are you gay?”

1. “No, but thanks for the offer,”

2. “No, but I would be if I thought my next kid would turn out like you.”

3. “Let’s keep that between us.”

4. “No, but I’ve slept with a few people who are.”

5. “Yes, but I only fancy attractive people, so you’re safe.”

In regard to self esteem, if dwarfs can threaten me with violence and imbeciles can call me stupid, I think they’re not lacking in self esteem, merely in contact with reality: if they don’t meet defeat in the safe environment of me answering them back (however uncaring this might seem), then they will in later life when someone less patient punches their lights out (which is rather more uncaring.)”

“Y9 boy, ‘Sir, why do you support Millwall, they’re s**t!’

Me, ‘I know, but you’re ugly & your mum still loves you’.”

Whenever a kid says something along the lines of ‘You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my dad’ I reply:

‘No, if I was you’re dad you wouldn’t be so ugly’

Today a child working said “this is shlt”. My reply was “Your work usually is!

“Ooh, ooh! I just can’t wait for September now I’ve seen this!”

“When some little darling is swearing at you say! Please stop swearing, you’re not at home now”

“To a child who is being loud, unruly, unco-operative etc:
“Look at Brett everybody, he’s forgotten to take his pill this morning. See what happens when you forget your pill”

 “Child: You’re gay sir

Teacher: Even if I was, I wouldn’t  fancy someone as ugly as you! Child: you’re a  crap teacher

Teacher: Perhaps, but at least I can read and write”

“Me muttering when walking away; ‘soap in a sock….leaves no marks…’
they look worried at that, think you have gone mad…”

“This is school, not the Muppet Show. “

“Best one ever was;

kid: ‘Do you use contraception miss?’

during a year 9 PSHE lesson. I was speechless for a second and then responded with;

‘Yes, I usually stick your photo to my boyfriend’s forehead, and it seems to do the trick!”

At which the other kids collapsed laughing and after about ten minutes of looking blankly at his exercise book, the kid in question said ‘Are you saying I’m ugly?”


“one of the best I heard was pupil to pupil.

Pupil 1: you’re f*cking ugly!
Pupil 2: yeah, well your mum ain’t complainin’ !”

“Ah bless, are you finding this really difficult? Usually works…”

“I have also managed to convince my class that the IWB projector, smoke detectors and alarm sensors in the school contain cameras-I’m sure this wouldn’t work with any children older than KS1 …’
Actually it still works with Year 9!”

Just remember that the Government plans to up teachers powers when dealing with behaviour!

Can you just imagine what will happen then?

Click here for the TES website & here for the thread in question.

Please leave your comments to show your thoughts and help get some action.

31 Responses to “How well do you really know your child’s teacher?”

  1. SANDRA ELLIOTT September 25, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Claire

    Only just come accross your page!! It is rather worrying that the awareness of the Autistic Spectrum is not reaching mainstreem school!! My son has Aspergers and now I can see how last term he had real big meltdowns! Refusing to go to school!!! I am still learning even though he was diagnosed in May. Comments like the above are damaging they have very low self esteem to begin with this can only make matters worse. These Teachers should be named and shamed!


  2. clairelouise82 September 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Everyone, thank you for your comments and your action. Those who have blogged, big thanks and please link

  3. clairelouise82 September 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    @ Nikkii I fully appreciate your opinion, we are all entitled to them.
    As the author I shall answer your questions and make a few points.

    1)They brag that they have used the one liners in the classroom, not me! (I’m taking it you have read all 600+ comments)
    2) Yes, I do believe they would, why because I’ve seen it first hand!
    3) Why am I not writing about the child’s abuse towards the teacher? SIMPLE, Child & teacher (teacher is an adult) teacher is paid to be there and have child’s best interest at heart.
    3) can’t handle it, don’t teach!
    5) I don’t claim the child who plays with hair is on spectrum, I simply state (WHO KNOWS)? I am not in a position to say he is and YOUR not in a position to say he isn’t.
    6) No referring to your child’s school as not being a muppet show isn’t the worse report, would you rather I share the one that states the child is a RETARD, or was no one that told the child he EATS C*** not rude enough for you.
    7) not sitting still or touching a childs hair isn’t bad behaviour!
    8) Getting children to laugh at their peers isn’t clever it’s bullying
    9) Some of the best hairdressers are male and better paid than a teacher
    10) Please god don’t tell me your a teacher.

    Thanks feel free to comment whenever you like

  4. Nikkii September 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    I’m surprised you believe that these teacher’s actually said all these things. They probably wish they could – if pupils are calling them a cunt and saying they are gay or they are a crap teacher I’m sure they’d love to respond in kind. But I doubt they do. They probably dream up answers they’d love to have delivered and post them on TES instead.

    Why don’t you find the pupils’ behaviour outrageous?

    One of these examples is an (alleged) exchange between pupils so I think you’re over reacting a tad.

    “This is school. not the Muppet Show” – you honestly find that offensive? Most pupils would groan at the antiquity of the comparison or ask “What’s the Muppet Show?”.

    And frankly I think this one is brilliant “When some little darling is swearing at you say! Please stop swearing, you’re not at home now”.

    Your initial outrage at the child twiddling with hair baffles me, the teacher diffused a situation without having to resort to disciplining a child who was clearly not listening to her and they all laughed…. including the hair twiddler. As the mother of a 6yo who won’t sit still and won’t do a thing he’s told I can only sympathise with her. And no he’s not on the spectrum – some kids just won’t do as they are asked.

  5. ghostwritermummy September 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Oh my goodness. I have been a member of TES since I was a teaching assistant and I used the forums quite a bit whilst training and as an nqt. I have to admit to reading some fairly flippant comments from time to time, but always directed towards other users- never children/ Whilst training we were taught that the best way of dealing with negative behaviour was with positive praise, eg: look at so and so sitting so nicely, I bet you can do that too. When it comes to the pont where you cannot be civil to a child then you are ready to leave teachng in my opinion. Society complains about ‘youth of today’ but they are what we make them and as teachers we are role models. If pupils are exposed to one liners like this (and I hope they were secondary teachers) then what do we expect to hear back?
    I have had my own fair share of difficult behaviour situations but I am always able to remember that so many factors go into making a child misbehave. It isn’t always as simple as a child is difficult. I hate the term ‘naughty’ and I never use the term stupid to ANYONE. Lastly I am a parent and yes, I am outraged by these comments. Please remember that the majority of teachers do not behave like this, particularly on a forum that is supposed to provide support to fellow professionals.
    I am wondering why this hasn’t been reported? I shall be contacting TES as this is one forum I have always been proud to be a part of and a place I regularly go to for resources and teaching tips. I’m disapointed.
    The most important thing I was taught during teacher training is that children are individual human beings and deserve to be treated with respect- else, how else will they learn to show it?

    Thanks for your post, I will be sharing this.

  6. cassie.k September 20, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    i have just read the thread and i am truly discusted, its left me worried to evan send my child to school as i know my son isnt the easiest child at times but i would never expect him to be subjected to abuse like this from the teachers, im very gratefull to the woman responsible for exposeing this for us mums to see… and i definately expect for something to be done about this…….! I think there should be stricter guidelines when assesing teachers for the job especially when working with our young children while they are at such an impressionable age and they are building confidence, a childs confidence should never be knocked by a teacher….. this whole thing to me is just absolutely SHOCKING!!!!!

  7. NotMyYearOff September 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Omg!! These teachers expect respect after talking to the kids like that?

  8. LagosMum September 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I am quite disgusted by what I’ve read! I was a primary school teacher for 10 years and SENCO for three of those before becoming a SAHM. NO child, regardless of whether they have special needs or not, deserves to be spoken to the way some of these teachers have spoken to their students.
    Yes, children’s varying behaviours and attitudes can be frustrating, but this… This is not acceptable. A child’s teacher has so much to do with the way they grow up and their self-esteem and it breaks my heart to think that a child might become self-conscious or a little introverted because they’re unlucky enough to have a teacher who doesn’t deserve to be in the classroom.

  9. Jazzygal September 19, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Shocking. These people shouldn’t be teachers. A child’s emotional well-being is part of a teacher’s remit. I had to stop reading half way through, too appalling.

    A site frequented by pupils to ‘rate their teacher’ was slated a while back. theire were similar comments on there too but they were by kids! This site needs to be taken down and teachers rreprimanded. I hope the Department concerned has been informed? Perhaps sent the link to this post? 😉

    xx Jazzy

  10. Jade BP September 19, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    As a parent of 2 children with Autism I am appalled at some of the comments made here. I have friends that are teachers and I know its a stressful job, but to tease, bully and make such upsetting comments about the children you are meant to be teaching is more than wrong, there is no justification for it.

    I really hope that those teachers who made such comments are traced to their schools, and the parents get to find out what type of person is teaching their children.

  11. Lucy September 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    And sorry for the absolute essay…… 🙂

  12. Lucy September 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I am a primary school teacher and am completely disgusted by some of the comments. It is a tough job but I see myself as a role model for the children and if I can’t deal with a situation by talking it through fairly how can I ever expect the children to do the same.
    I do think that some of these comments could be seen very differently in different contexts. I’m pretty sure that in certain schools, with certain classes and certain pupils some of the quick quips may well actually work. But I’m talking here about some of the schools where teachers spend the larger part of their day crowd controlling rather than actually being able to teach. Believe it or not, some kids are brought up to have a twisted kind of respect for this kind of treatment.
    However I have to say, even with my desperate urge to defend my profession I cannot defend the behaviour of the teachers and their comments in this thread. On top of their already inappropriate behaviour, they have decidedly to completely inappropriately share their behaviours on what is known to be an open and public forum.
    Ultimately these sorts of stories make me feel really sad. I do my job with the sole purpose of educating, supporting, caring for and helping children, and their families. I do my job because I like children. I want the best for them and I want them to happy at school. Yes stories like this lead to a certain amount of teacher bashing, which is a shame because I honestly feel that the vast majority of teachers feel as I do. However this story also tells of a parent and a child who were miserable and made to feel so unsupported and desperate in the mainstream school system, and that is the real epic fail here. Everyone is under pressure: heads, teachers, parents and pupils but the pupils should always be the most important element of the equation. And it’s such a shame that this isn’t always the case. But it always will be in my classroom, I am there to serve the needs if the children, not the other way around.

  13. susan September 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    I had to homeschool in the end because school totally damaged my child. I have read many threads on that site and can’t believe its allowed to be left up. My daughter was homeschooled in the end due to bullying, mainly by pupils by there was one particular teacher that seemed have it in for my daughter. In the end she self harmed ie pulled her toenails off, picked her fingers and lips until they bled and pulled her hair out. Another pupil with SN was asked if he was gay infront of the class. Many stories i could tell and it is a shame for those that do a good job because i am sure there are some out there.

  14. The Real Supermum September 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    All I can say is OMG …….

  15. fighting for my children September 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    unbelievable and totally inappropriate! If I ever find out a teacher or SEA is talking to my child this way I will have reported them to their superiors and make sure my kids get someone else. I live in Canada, would It still help if I go to that website and tell them how appalled I am?

  16. Rachel Dove September 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I am a degree student and mother of 2 who is training to be a primary school teacher and was until recently an SEN TA full time. I am disgusted by this thread, I would NEVER act in this manner and would report those who did as well! This forum should be taken down and the teachers reprimanded severely. Thanks so much for showing us this!

  17. abandonculture September 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Two videos that validate your concerns.

  18. 2steps September 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Discussing that it happens and even more so that these people we trust to educate our children are doing it and discussing it like it doesn’t matter and is even funny. Sadly my own son has been victim to this kind of treatment

  19. Tinuke September 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I know teachers are human beings and must get frustrated at times but their comments are plain rude.
    They had a choice to become teachers and find a proffesion away from chIldren if they find them such a bother!?
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention

  20. Ker September 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Makes you wonder what goes on when the classroom doors close doesn’t it? I can understand sometimes wanting to take a cocky rude kid down a peg but the fact is if you can’t control these kids without resorting to tactics like humiliating them in front of their class mates then maybe the teaching profession ain’t for you.
    when my daughter was six she came home sobbing saying her teacher kept calling her an idiot and stupid for not understanding her work. I went in and asked to see the teacher but she refused to meet me and the headteacher basically told me she thought my kid was a liar!! No ones kid is perfect but my daughter was a very quiet and shy kid. To cut a long story short that teacher got fired after other parents complained of how she’d acted to their kids but my daughter put up with months of that womans shit! It makes you so mad and they get away with it too. I urge any of you who read this blog to post this on your facebook accounts, post on that thread and let these so called teachers know your feelings on this.

  21. Sara September 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    This is truly awful. I admire you for bringing to peoples attention.

  22. Love In The Nest September 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Its terrible that this is going on. I myself was on the receiving end of “making fun” by teachers at school, some mild and some really upsetting and over the mark, I saw it happen to many other pupils too. It’s disgusting. I hope my children are never faced with such incidents. However its important to remember the majority of teachers are not behaving in these ways and do have our childrens best intentions at heart and their actions reflect that.
    Very interesting post x

  23. Deb at September 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Claire. Very upsetting. I know my son has been hated by mainstream teachers who then turned on me and blamed me for his behaviours. It is so easy to assume that a child who doesn’t concentrate, who is argumentative or destructive is the byproduct of bad parenting. Sometimes this behaviour is the result of a hidden disability or mental health conditions. If quick assumptions are made and teachers treat all these children in the ways you highlight then no wonder we have a worrying incidence of mental and emotional health problems in our children. The humiliation of children in class is a massive concern to me; what messages does this send to the other children – that its OK to bully and intimidate others? We have a big problem in this country with disability hatred; its time the schools took more time teaching our children about all kinds of disability and setting an example by treating pupils with respect. I realise there are unruly pupils who need to disciplined but not like this. Deb

  24. Mum in Meltdown September 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Hi Claire

    I wasn’t aware this site existed until your comment on Twitter the other day. I know each profession has their own way of dealing with their work ( my OH is Police and his sense of humour can be off the wall sometimes) however they need to show they are still professional and not write their stuff on that site for all to see. This is really worrying. As you know my eldest has traits of mild Aspergers and he takes everything you say very litterally so I know some of the above comments would have an effect on him. Good for you raising awareness of this…….it really makes you look at Teachers in a different light. x

  25. Zoe Hankey September 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Very saddening & I too can relate as it could have been Tom they were talking about

  26. Carolin September 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    That is horrible, I can’t believe it. Is there any chance these teachers can be identified? I’d seriously consider gettin Ofsted involved. This is such damaging behaviour. I know students can be terrible having worked in a school myself, but as a teacher you should never lose control and get down on your students’ level…

  27. Anna September 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Hello Claire,

    Yes I have seen a couple of these comments before however, did not do as much research as yourself . my campaign autism and bullying is on my autism and Dance DVD Step in the Right Direction and their is a section on Autism and Bullying .Our children are not only being bullied by other children but by staff too mainly I have discovered in Mainstream Schools.. Hence my campaign with Childline in November during antibullying week.

  28. Rebecca September 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Cannot believe some of the things I have just read on there. It is so sad and hard to believe anyone who has contributed has still got a job in teaching. I hope at some point they have children who experience difficulties in some form as perhaps then they might understand how their behaviour is disgraceful. I was training to be a teacher but numerous issues at the time meant I never fulfilled my dream. However I would be horrified if I had and heard colleagues come out with any of that drivel.


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