School stress

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My daughter is in year 8 at an independent school and has told me she is unhappy at school as she feels the teachers expectations are too high and it's making her feel inadequate. It seems some teachers are quite blunt and say things such as 'its not good enough' or ' you need to try harder' . One teacher said something along the lines of ' your parents expect more because they are paying'. The last comment I personally thought was a bit unfair. My daughter apologized for wasting our money so I think she feels guilty.I have reassured my daughter we chose this school because we thought it was the best for her. We don't expect any more or less because we are paying.

I'm not sure what to do. Is my daughter being a bit too sensetive? Are the teachers really putting too much pressure on the kids? I have thought of exploring different schools but I'm not sure that's the solution. All of our local schools are rated below average academically and behaviorally. I think she might be exchanging one problem for another if she moved.

I'm thinking I need to boost her confidence and foster some resilience but what if she really is truly unhappy and I'm doing the wrong thing? I don't want to ruin her childhood. Any suggestions?
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  • powerful_Rogue
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    Is it any different to what she will hear in the real world of work if she doesn't perform?
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,751 Forumite
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    Have you contacted the school and the teachers involved? You are paying and I would expect the teachers to perform better than that.
  • Fireflyaway
    Fireflyaway Posts: 2,766 Forumite
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    Is it any different to what she will hear in the real world of work if she doesn't perform?

    This is exactly what came into my mind! I even told her that you will sometimes be given feedback you would rather not hear but that's life. It happens in the workplace too.

    I guess I don't want to brush it off if it's bothering her more than I realise.
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,056 Forumite
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    Yes, your daughter is being too sensitive. No, the teachers aren't putting too much pressure on the kids. The local schools ran below average because the teachers there DON'T expect too much from the kids.

    I went to an independent school specifically because my mother was scared of what would happen to me if I went to the local state school and too little was expected of me by the teachers in the school. I was pushed because I needed to be pushed - I had messed around and avoided work in primary school because it was possible, and easier, to do so. I left school with 7 O Levels, and went on to get A levels and a degree. I'm convinced that had I attended the local school I would have left within no qualifications and no prospects.

    I think the teacher that made the comment was only being honest, and was trying to find something to get through to your daughter that she MUST apply herself. No one can learn for you, you have to do it yourself. It is hard and this is what separates people and will continue to separate them through their lives. The ones that can't or won't apply themselves will always struggle, whereas those that apply themselves when they are young tend to have easier lives as they get older.

    I would tell your daughter that the teacher got it slightly wrong, you don't expect MORE because you are paying, you expect MORE because you know she can do more. Kids don't know what they are capable of unless someone pushes them, and very often they are surprised at just how much more they can do than they imagined.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Fireflyaway
    Fireflyaway Posts: 2,766 Forumite
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    comeandgo wrote: »
    Have you contacted the school and the teachers involved? You are paying and I would expect the teachers to perform better than that.

    Not yet. I did think about emailing her form tutor who seems really nice. My daughter did say this has only become apparent since last term. Interestingly that coincides with the appointment of a new year teacher.

    It's just hard to know what is unpleasant but actually just life and what oversteps the line.
  • Fireflyaway
    Fireflyaway Posts: 2,766 Forumite
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    tacpot12 I found your post really interesting. I agree with your comments and it seems that we share your mother's reason for avoiding our local school. Our catchment area school has a GCSE pass rate of just 23%. It's known for poor attendence, drugs and a constant change in management. It's been mainly at the lowest Ofsted rating for years. I attended a local upper school and was never encouraged or challenged. There was so much messing about that most of the time I was too distracted to learn. I didn't do A levels or go to Uni. I really don't expect my daughter to be a brain surgeon or a super high earner. I just don't want her to not achieve her best due to being in a poor environment.

    When I questioned my daughter it seems the comments have been made to the class in general, not her personally.
  • ibizafan_2
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    It reminds me of the time at Grammar School in the sixties, when our biology teacher addressed the whole class, saying ‘If you lot are the cream, God help the rest’. We all laugh about it now, but it certainly struck home at the time, as she wasn’t to be messed with. I think it’s sad that a lot of schools appear to have such low expectations of their pupils (sorry, students). It’s one of the reasons we moved to a grammar school area when our sons were small, to give them a chance to have the kind of education that I had experienced. They were both quite lazy academically, and the high expectations of the Grammar school certainly helped.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,933 Forumite
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    How long has she been there for?
    Just wondering if she's struggling with being used to being towards the top of her class previously and now finding that other children who are more used to the system and have been in the independent sector are performing better. Which would be a confidence issue not an ability issue.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Fireflyaway
    Fireflyaway Posts: 2,766 Forumite
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    edited 16 January 2019 at 11:13PM
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    She has been there since Sept 2017. She joined in year 7 as did probably half the other year 7's (mostly also from state schools). Mainly due to the poor secondary schools.

    Reports suggest she is doing ok. If anything I'd say she has improved since starting secondary. I do think she is sensitive to criticism though.
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,347 Forumite
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    Also, how hard is she working and how well is she doing? If she is putting in a lot of effort and not getting anywhere she perhaps needs help in learning to direct that effort better. If she isn't applying herself fully in class and doing a minimum out of class perhaps she should be doing more and you can help her find a dedicated study time and space.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
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