Thursday, 8 December 2011


Last night was Nellie's Sixth Form parents evening.  As you may know if you read my blog Nellie does not have an easy time.  She has severe eczema, alopecia and an under active thyroid.  So she has a lot to deal with and deal with it she does.  She has been brave enough to ask me to take her to the wig shop to get her a wig to cover her ever growing bald patches - yes they are big REALLY BIG.  She has been brave enough to agree to see a Counsellor who helps children through their difficulties when they have an illness that is difficult to deal with.  It is working really well and has helped enormously.  She also managed to gain FABULOUS results in her GCSE's although her attendance was really poor.  A*'s, A's and B's.  She has been to her first sleep over at a friends house in years and years - she told her friend she wears a wig, that's a hard thing to do, she also told her that she 'pirates up' with a bandanna when the wig comes off - a hard thing to do - her friend was fab about it and they both had a great night - a normal night for a teenager - the first one in a long long time.  She has now made FRIENDS at school, is more sociable, is taking a pride in her appearance, and is trying hard at school.  So last night I understood when two of her teachers said her absences would make it more difficult for her to achieve but that they understood that she was not 'skiving' that was OK.  We know that it will be harder for her to get to where she wants to be - she works hard and tries her best to catch up and mostly she does catch up.

So when we went to see the last teacher I did expect her to mention her absences what I did not expect her to do was to concentrate on those absences rather than Nellie's achievement.  Not for one minute, did I expect her to say, not verbatim I might add, was 'Obviously Nellie is absent from school for reasons of VANITY, that is with regards to her alopecia'.  I felt like she had hit me in the chest with the biggest hammer ever.  I was speechless for a little while and I then said 'you do know that is not Nellie's hair don't you'.  Really, she said, I didn't know.  I then pointed out that Nellie was not VAIN and that was not why she hadn't been attending.  She said 'well what I meant was it isn't a physical illness is it'.  I will now tell you that this 'teacher' teaches PSYCHOLOGY and is a former nurse.  Maybe teaching isn't for her.  What do you think?  Oh and as we left the room she said - loudly - 'Great Wig' there was a queue of pupils and their parents waiting outside. 

This morning Nellie came into my room and said she didn't feel well. She wasn't going to school.  She didn't want to.  She went back to bed.  Problem this morning she has a three hour Philosophy and Ethics exam - a mock but important all the same.  I lay in bed with my heart pounding, my head racing, sinking feeling etc what did I do.  I decided that I would have to be tough, Nellie was in bed crying, she hadn't slept, she did feel awful.  I told her that we couldn't let this teacher spoil what she had achieved.  I told her, I was cross, that she had to get up, she had to do her exam, and she had to go to school.  She did.  I am so proud of her.   Well done Nellie. 

Well my rant is over, I feel better, I am now going to use all this angry energy to clean up the house, then we shall start adding some Christmas sparkle. 

Phew. Thanks for listening!


Jules said...

It constantly amazes me how insensitive some people can be, and often they are people who should know better!!!good on your daughter for being so brave and not letting that teacher spoil her achievement, I hope she does fantastically in her exams and can enjoy the rest of her schooling without worrying about dumb comments from other people. You go girl!! Hope you have a great week, julie:)

VintageVicki said...

Talk about opening mouth before engaging brain.

Doesn't she realise what achievements your daughter has made under circumstances which an adult would find difficult let alone a teenage girl.

Alix said...

I am almost speechless at the incredible ignorance and insensitivity demonstrated by this teacher. I would be very tempted to complain to the principal but I know I would find it very hard to do so as I would get very upset. I hope that any pupils/teachers who overheard the pysch teacher's pathetic parting shot will show friendship and understanding to Nellie, who is clearly is a girl to be proud of!

Mary Ann said...

I would complain to the principal as that parting remark in front of an audience is unacceptable and unprofessional.

Bee happy said...

What a daft ***! in my opinion you did really well not to hit her!! Comp teachers in my opinion are not very caring at all, hugs to both of you :) hope you get your christmas sparkle up soon.

Bee happy x
Have a delicious day!

Mad about Craft said...

I have come to the conclusion that some teachers end up as teachers because they are no use for anything else, also as a nurse myself I'm horrified that another nurse (even ex nurse) could be so insensitive.

Neither of you let one negative get the better of the numerous positives!

Go girls!!

Sconch Textiles said...

Gosh - at the point of the 'nice wig' comment, I'd have slapped her!

Well done for your daughter for being so brave, and well done you for being so restrained!

Sam x

Diane said...

I can see why nursing wasn't for her either! As ive been priveleged to have met Nellie, I can confirm that she is indeed a beautiful, amazing, clever and lovely lovely young lady and its easy to see why you are so justifiably proud of her. Unfortunately, lifes paths are littered with IDIOTS, Dross, Cows like this!. They are not big, or clever - though they often think they are. I'm so proud of Nellie for not letting this moron stop her going in - thats a huge step! You really ought to write to the principal and let him know how insensitive, cruel, unprofessional and damaging her comments were. Insist on any other parents day interviews being conducted in private due to your lack of confidence in her. Remember to praise the other 2 more professional tutors. And next time, grab a great clump of her hair and pull it out and see how she feels.(Perhaps ignore that last bit, but I think she's lucky you didn't!) Sending you lots of love. xxxxx

lemonade kitty said...

Good job I wasn't in your shoes 'cose I would have punched her in the face with all my might, the nasty b*****d!! I would certainly make a complaint to the head about her as this is a lovely young girl's life we are talking about. I hope Nellie puts this incident behind her and goes out and get's what she want's and show's that old hag up, big hug's to Nellie, lucey x

Kia said...

What an amazing daughter you have. I hope if I ever need to be, I can be as brave as Nellie.

Karen said...

Your daughter is an asset to her school - not only because of her good results but as a mentor to other students who have to struggle in for a whole variety of reasons. Her courage (and yours) is inspirational to others. That teacher is a dying breed in my profession and should be challenged. After a few days I would certainly take that interview up with a head of year or indeed the headteacher. Your daughter has a right to go into school and feel safe - with other students and with that member of staff, this is a safeguarding issue. Sorry if I am coming across all serious but schools have a duty of care & I care about this passionately.

To mad about crafts - please try not to tar all teachers with the same brush. Many , many teachers go into the profession because they have a passion for their subject and really enjoy working with our young adults and work very hard to help them achieve their best.

Carol said...

I'm stunned, what an obnoxious woman. No, she shouldn't be teaching, at least not until she has been on a course to find out how to act like a decent human being.
No wonder you are angry, I'd be livid in your shoes too.
I think Nellie is an amazing young lady who has faced her problems with dignity and courage.
Hope she doesn't let this one person have any effect on her whatsoever.
I would definitely be reporting this so-called teacher to the Head.
Carol xx

mandycharlie said...

I am afraid I would be reporting her to the head mistress/master and writing a letter of complaint to the school governors and just about anyone else that will listen. Her behaviour was more than appalling, it was borderline bullying - especially the wig comment on the way out the door - I am disgusted that she should be able to teach.

Disgusting, absolutely disgusting, take it to the highest levels just to make sure it doesn't happen again.

love to you all,


Jane said...

OMG I'm sat here with tears in my eyes, I know how proud of nellie you are and her think a professional could say such stupid things... I'd have slapped the F**king cow!! She wants reporting. Sorry everyone my language is awful..Love to you all. Jane xx

Mandy said...

Nellie youre a star! Never let anyone stop you achieving your dreams! This woman needs to change her job and watch out for the bad juju that will surely bite her on the ass very soon. Debs I'm sending you both a hug. What a horrible experience for you both.Lots of love, Mandy x

Ticking stripes said...

To Nellie - go girl! I'd complain to the head officially in writing. This is bullying and totally unacceptable. What a crass and insensitive individual. I complained about one of Niobe's teachers after a lot of heart searching-and she was relieved of her post - apparently other parents had also had issue with this individual. You may well find the same...