The kids are great. They have settled back into the school routine really well and there is a real learning buzz around the place. Staff are getting over their start of term anxieties and hence the settled children.
Some of the parents are not and this manifests in a number of ways…
They want to come into school in the morning to tell the teacher something. We don’t encourage this as it is very disruptive for both children and staff – as SLT we take a message to pass on. The teachers are available for parents at the end of each day. Today it was quite hard to stop some of them. The messages they wanted to give were related to their child either having a ‘bad leg, so they ‘need to sit on a chair in assembly’ or ‘she/he was a little bugger on the way in’, usually said in front of said ‘little bugger’. In other words, nothing that the teacher really needed to know with the urgency that the parent wanted to tell it.
I think that these parents perhaps need to feel that the teacher has their child high up in their mind and this is a way to ensure that. So we do our best to reassure them. I was quite anxious going in this morning as I was expecting a parent in who has some concerns and who I had seen yesterday after school. He didn’t arrive. However the other parent who has been involved in the dispute out on the estate, did. He came in this morning understandably upset and wanting to talk. I brought him into the building and then took him to see my PFSW.
There is something fascinating for me in this dispute. Just as, when talking to children about an incident you get each child’s perspective of what happened, the same is true of these adults. This can seem an obvious thing to say but what is striking is their conviction. The nub of what they are describing matches. However, both see the other as the protagonist, both feel that they have the police ‘on their side’, both are seeking injunctions and both feel that they are in the right and haven’t done anything wrong. Neither of them is lying. Rather they totally believe that their point of view is the right one. Sadly, at the moment, neither wants mediation so I fear this will rumble on for a while yet. Thankfully, their children are getting on well – we are keeping a close eye on them.
The rest of my day was spent working on the data and the SEF again. At lunchtime Cheeky Grin turned up at my door asking if he could have lunch with me. The boy who can’t manage lunchtimes turned up and the same time. He decided that he would sit on the sofa until his sitting as he wasn’t hungry yet so I went and sat with cheeky grin and had my lunch with him and the other children on the table. He had had a great morning and was very proud of his learning.
The rest of lunchtime was lovely and I chatted with various children from my sofa perch. After lunch I wandered down the corridor to check how settled the children were. Interestingly, when I got to Cheeky Grin’s classroom, he was lying on the sofa at the back of the room with a bean bag on top of him. He can change so quickly. However, after a short while of being ignored he rejoined the rest of the children on the carpet. Sometimes the triggers for his behaviour can be very hard to find.
Some of our children don’t feel safe until they have found where the boundaries of each adult are and I found myself with the boy that I had worked with on Monday after school. His teacher had had her PPA and he had not liked the change and despite the support available to help him manage it, he ended up pushing a member of staff. He has had a couple of excellent days since Monday, and he found himself with me again after school. At first he was quite indignant, but soon he was chatting and he seemed relieved. I took him home and when I got there chatted with his dad, who is incredibly supportive, at the door. He felt that we just need to ‘hold the line’ so that his son feels safe. That is exactly what we intend to do.
I had also asked my office staff to contact the parent who hadn’t turned up this morning to rearrange the meeting. So, we will see what tomorrow morning will bring…