Author Topic: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words  (Read 7750 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2012, 11:00:53 AM »
It was a bad choice of words but not something I'd contact the school over if it were my kid.

I think the fact that DS is not really upset over it makes a big difference too. Some kids might be so torn up they didn't want to go back to class. If that were the case a word with the teacher might be in order.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2012, 11:38:06 AM »
I think I'd have to take a "wait and see" approach.  Since your DS wasn't upset it may have been a "one of" where the teacher was frustrated and let it slip.

If it happens again I would address it.

SiotehCat

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2012, 11:44:31 AM »
I would be more upset with DS for thinking that it was appropriate to swing anything around, especially a piece of gym equipment.

ettiquit

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2012, 11:48:20 AM »
How hard does your son slap himself when he does that?

Oh, not hard at all.  He never hurts himself or anything. 

ettiquit

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2012, 11:49:23 AM »
It was a bad choice of words but not something I'd contact the school over if it were my kid.

I think the fact that DS is not really upset over it makes a big difference too. Some kids might be so torn up they didn't want to go back to class. If that were the case a word with the teacher might be in order.

Good point. 

I'm wondering if I should ask DS if the teacher has used this kind of language before, but maybe that's just borrowing trouble?

Moray

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2012, 12:03:20 PM »
It was a bad choice of words but not something I'd contact the school over if it were my kid.

I think the fact that DS is not really upset over it makes a big difference too. Some kids might be so torn up they didn't want to go back to class. If that were the case a word with the teacher might be in order.

Good point. 

I'm wondering if I should ask DS if the teacher has used this kind of language before, but maybe that's just borrowing trouble?

That's definitely borrowing trouble. I'd also like to point out that by age 9, most kids have a pretty clear idea what their parents' "triggers" are. Making the word the focal point with DS could backfire in the long run. It's also worth mentioning that many children have different behaviors at home and at school. If he's slapping himself over something this minor (a perfectly legitimate request not to swing stuff about), it's likely that he's slapping himself over other things, too, even if he isn't frequently displaying that behavior at home. If you wish to approach the school with this, I'd do it from a perspective of "How often is DS doing this, and can we develop different coping techniques/an action plan?" vs. "Teacher used the word 'stupid'"
Utah

JenJay

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2012, 12:39:16 PM »
I have a child who used to do that. I finally got his frustration redirected by explaining that hitting anyone was not okay, including himself, and he would be disciplined the same way for slapping himself as he would for slapping anyone else. Then we talked about other ways to release that built up stress - screaming into a pillow, writing an angry note and tearing it up, etc.

I think I would write an email to the teacher and explain that DS does that because he feels stupid, that I completely understand that he was NOT calling DS stupid, that we've spoken to DS and he understands but that I wanted the teacher to know in case it happens again.

Roe

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2012, 12:42:06 PM »
It was a bad choice of words but not something I'd contact the school over if it were my kid.

I think the fact that DS is not really upset over it makes a big difference too. Some kids might be so torn up they didn't want to go back to class. If that were the case a word with the teacher might be in order.

Good point. 

I'm wondering if I should ask DS if the teacher has used this kind of language before, but maybe that's just borrowing trouble?

Your son might not be upset about it but I'd definitely address it with the coach.  Send him a quick email.  Something to let him know that it wasn't an appropriate word choice.  You don't even have to mention it to your son.  I think it's best to let it go as far as your son is concerned.

The reason I think emailing the coach is a good idea is because I wouldn't want it to happen again.

Zilla

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2012, 12:42:58 PM »
It was a bad choice of words but not something I'd contact the school over if it were my kid.

I think the fact that DS is not really upset over it makes a big difference too. Some kids might be so torn up they didn't want to go back to class. If that were the case a word with the teacher might be in order.

Good point. 

I'm wondering if I should ask DS if the teacher has used this kind of language before, but maybe that's just borrowing trouble?

That's definitely borrowing trouble. I'd also like to point out that by age 9, most kids have a pretty clear idea what their parents' "triggers" are. Making the word the focal point with DS could backfire in the long run. It's also worth mentioning that many children have different behaviors at home and at school. If he's slapping himself over something this minor (a perfectly legitimate request not to swing stuff about), it's likely that he's slapping himself over other things, too, even if he isn't frequently displaying that behavior at home. If you wish to approach the school with this, I'd do it from a perspective of "How often is DS doing this, and can we develop different coping techniques/an action plan?" vs. "Teacher used the word 'stupid'"


This said perfectly what I was thinking.  By going to the principal you can solve 2 issues with 1 visit.  Is there a history of your son doing this that hasn't been mentioned outright to you as a parent and if in fact the gym teacher did use those words, he or she can be addressed by the principal not to use these words in front of the students.

sourwolf

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2012, 01:40:27 PM »
I would be more upset with DS for thinking that it was appropriate to swing anything around, especially a piece of gym equipment.

I agree.  That's very dangerous behavior and someone could end up getting hurt quite badly.

I'd have a talk with son about the importance of behaving appropriately in gym class and then (since he's not upset) let it go.

I do like Twik's suggestion of finding someone who can help him figure out less damaging ways of reacting to stress. 

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2012, 02:07:41 PM »
I wouldn't say anything.  Kid now has an outsider's perspective about his poor way of handling stress.  Let that do it's work without trying to make it better for him.

ettiquit

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2012, 02:13:21 PM »
I'm not concerned with the idea that he's doing it a lot at school, although I may bring it up to his teacher just in case.  We just had parent/teacher conferences this week and spoke in-depth about how he deals with frustrations and neither teacher mentioned him hurting himself.

I'm kind of wondering if the gym teacher yelled at him instead of just talking to him.  That wouldn't bother me since the teacher was reacting to a potentially dangerous situation.  DS doesn't generally get that upset when he's disciplined in a calm way.

That being said, I really appreciate all the advice about the face-slapping (truly!), but I'd prefer to focus more on the gym teacher's language and how to politely discuss his choice of words if I decide to address it.   :)

sourwolf

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2012, 02:14:41 PM »
I'm not concerned with the idea that he's doing it a lot at school, although I may bring it up to his teacher just in case.  We just had parent/teacher conferences this week and spoke in-depth about how he deals with frustrations and neither teacher mentioned him hurting himself.

I'm kind of wondering if the gym teacher yelled at him instead of just talking to him.  That wouldn't bother me since the teacher was reacting to a potentially dangerous situation.  DS doesn't generally get that upset when he's disciplined in a calm way.

That being said, I really appreciate all the advice about the face-slapping (truly!), but I'd prefer to focus more on the gym teacher's language and how to politely discuss his choice of words if I decide to address it.   :)

I think your son would have either mentioned it, or been much more upset if he had been getting yelled at as opposed to being spoken to about it.

Yvaine

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2012, 02:49:01 PM »
That being said, I really appreciate all the advice about the face-slapping (truly!), but I'd prefer to focus more on the gym teacher's language and how to politely discuss his choice of words if I decide to address it.   :)

Well, it's tough to separate them out, because I think what the teacher was reacting to was the unwise horsing around with gym equipment. This piece of equipment may be light and plastic, but other items used in class won't be, and it's not a good idea for anyone to be in the habit of hitting themselves or other kids with gym equipment. It's just not safe. And while "stupid" isn't the kindest word to use, (a) it was applied to the act of hitting and not the child-as-a-person, which I do think makes a difference, and (b) I don't think it's offensive on the same level as, say, a swear word or a slur. My guess is that either she panicked and used an undiplomatic word impulsively, or that she was using a dramatic word to convey how important it is to not hit people with gym equipment.

Sharnita

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Re: Unhappy with gym teacher's choice of words
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2012, 03:29:28 PM »
That being said, I really appreciate all the advice about the face-slapping (truly!), but I'd prefer to focus more on the gym teacher's language and how to politely discuss his choice of words if I decide to address it.   :)

Well, it's tough to separate them out, because I think what the teacher was reacting to was the unwise horsing around with gym equipment. This piece of equipment may be light and plastic, but other items used in class won't be, and it's not a good idea for anyone to be in the habit of hitting themselves or other kids with gym equipment. It's just not safe. And while "stupid" isn't the kindest word to use, (a) it was applied to the act of hitting and not the child-as-a-person, which I do think makes a difference, and (b) I don't think it's offensive on the same level as, say, a swear word or a slur. My guess is that either she panicked and used an undiplomatic word impulsively, or that she was using a dramatic word to convey how important it is to not hit people with gym equipment.

I think there is some confusion about the chain of events.  Don't know if it is mine or not.  My understanding is that:

1) Son messes with equipment
2) Son is reprimanded for that
3) Son reacts to that reprimand by slapping himself in the face (behavior some people want to evaluate and OP would rather not discuss any more)
4) Teacher responds to the face slapping by calling the behavior stupid