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A schools definition of ‘encouragement’ differs to mine.

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I spoke to the deputy head at my daughters school this afternoon.  She had spoken to my daughter, questioned her about why she did not want to go to school then made her apologise to the school staff for her behaviour.  Frankly I am SO ANNOYED.  I have always told my daughter never to hit first however she can lash out  in self defence.

The deputy head at the school said the staff members actions were of ‘encouragement’!!!!

Thanks to thefreedictionary.com I have a definition of encouragement;

Noun 1. encouragementencouragement – the expression of approval and support

commendation, approval – a message expressing a favorable opinion; “words of approval seldom passed his lips”
abetment, abettal, instigation – the verbal act of urging on
cheering, shouting – encouragement in the form of cheers from spectators; “it’s all over but the shouting”
advancement, furtherance, promotion – encouragement of the progress or growth or acceptance of something
fosterage, fostering – encouragement; aiding the development of something
goading, prod, prodding, spur, spurring, urging, goad – a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something; “the ceaseless prodding got on his nerves”
incitement, provocation – needed encouragement; “the result was a provocation of vigorous investigation”
vote of confidence – an expression of approval and encouragement; “they gave the chairman a vote of confidence”
discouragement – the expression of opposition and disapproval
2. encouragement – the act of giving hope or support to someone

assist, assistance, help, aid – the activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose; “he gave me an assist with the housework”; “could not walk without assistance”; “rescue party went to their aid”; “offered his help in unloading”
morale booster, morale building – anything that serves to increase morale; “the sight of flowers every morning was my morale builder”
3. encouragement – the feeling of being encouraged

hope – the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled; “in spite of his troubles he never gave up hope”

Now I cannot see anything in the above definition that would support forcibly taking a very distressed child go into school away from her mother.

What really annoys me is that the teach did not speak to me or acknowledge my presence.  Her only interaction was with my daughter when she told her that she had to go into school and made an attempt to get hold of her.

I was already dealing with the situation, I was taking to my daughter and encouraging her to go into school voluntarily.  What the staff member did created an unnecessary situation and made things really bad.  Had she not intervened my daughter would have gone merrily into school as she always does.

A coaching focused approach would have resolved the situation swiftly.  What do I think she should have done?

Firstly not got involved.  I was dealing with the situation well enough and she should have kept out of it.  I am more than capable of getting my crying daughter into class.

Secondly if she wanted to become involved she should have spoken to me first, not ignored my presence and undermined me in front of my own daughter.

Thirdly she should not have made any attempt to physically take my child into school.

More things … yes loads.  She made no attempt to find out what was going on, why my daughter was upset, there may have been a family bereavement or she may have been unwell.  Without establishing the facts then she should have left well alone.  If I wanted assistance from staff then I would have asked for it.  An appropriate way to speak to my daughter would have been to lower herself to my young daughters height and talk to her nicely.

I found her manner towards my daughter intimidating and bullying.  All schools have a no bullying policy.  I believe that bullying is (amongst other things) when someone uses their age, position or size to mistreat or undermine another.  No one deserves to be bullied or harassed but it could happen to any of us and in some shape and form it probably has happened to most of us and it isn’t nice.

What signals was the staff member sending out?  She was saying that it is OK for an someone to be forcibly moved against their will.  To barge into a situation that did not involve them and try to take over without firstly establishing the facts.  I am sure they would have plenty to say if the school children were doing similar.

By making my daughter apologise to the school staff the deputy head has condoned their actions – and without speaking to me first to establish my viewpoint on what had happened.  No surprise there then.

I believe that if the school expects my daughter to treat her peers and school staff with dignity and respect they should afford the same back, this should apply to all children no matter their age or size.  School staff should not take advantage of their position to forcefully deal with a simple situation that does not involve them.

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When is grabbing a school child acceptable?

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I took my daughter to school this morning.  She was feeling a bit off colour and had a sore throat so I gave her some Calpol and hoped she would be fine.

In the school yard next to us was a little girl from my daughters class who also didn’t want to go school today.  When the bell ran the children file in but mine wouldn’t go in and started crying.  I stood talking to her at the next to the entrance to the school and tried to calm her down.  A member of the school staff intervened and made several attempts to grab my daughter to take her into school saying she had to go inside.  This got my daughter increasingly more upset and she lashed back saying to the staff member to leave her alone.

Whilst I not up for pandering to my daughter and would not condone her behaviour I have always said never to hit anyone but if struck she can hit back.

I do think that for a school with an anti-bullying policy the decision to grab first and not look at what is going on is deplorable.

I took my daughter into school, mentioned to the teacher she had a sore throat and had been given medication and she went merrily into class.  Sometimes it is just about taking a little of time to make the little one feel listened too and understood is all that is needed.

Interestingly too there was another child in the classroom with his mother not wanting to go to school.  Surely the school should be asking why 10% of the class (and there could be more I don’t know) do not want to go to class.  Is it coincidence or is there more too it?

Sadly this is not the first time it has happened to my daughter, and from what I have been told by other parents she is not the only child it has happened too.

But one question is really bothering me.  Why do teachers think it is acceptable to grab children in their care? It would not be tolerated by the school if the children were grabbing each other.  Does the simple fact they are ‘grown up’ and ‘staff’ allow them ‘special excemption’ to the non bullying environment which the education system and society has signed up to?

Relevant reading books

School Bullying: Insights and Perspectives by Sonia Sharp, Peter K Smith, and Peter Smith
Bullying in Schools: How Successful Can Interventions Be? by Debra Pepler, Ken Rigby Edited by Peter K. Smith, Peter K. Smith, Debra Pepler, and Ken Rigby
Bullying in Secondary Schools: What It Looks Like and How To Manage It (PCP Professional) by Dr Keith Sullivan, Mr Mark Cleary, and Dr Ginny Sullivan
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I received my Wishlist Products for Christmas.

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I received 2 new books for Christmas which were on my Amazon Wish List.  I love the option Amazon now have to add products to your wishlist.  On mine this Christmas there were a selection of books, audio books, DVD’s and a Flip Ultra HD.

When I was asked by family what I wanted for Christmas it was easy, I just came up with a few ideas from the Amazon Wish List and Hey Presto I got what I really wanted for Christmas.

Here are just a couple of things I asked for which I received;

  • Flip Ultra HD
  • Warriors Settlers and Nomads book by Terence Watts
  • The Adventures of Anybody by Richard Bandler

The Flip was brilliant I filmed and uploaded video on Christmas day.  I’ve started reading The Adventures Anybody and as it is a short book I will be starting warriors, settlers and nomads by the weekend.

Watch this Blogs for my reviews.

Amazon.co.uk Widgets

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Snow brought my XF to a halt.

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Jaguar XF at NAIAS 08
Image via Wikipedia

I purchased my new Jaguar XF in June of this year.  Previously I had a Jaguar X-Type.  I love my cars and they are my pride and joy.  I dont drink, smoke or have expensive lifestyle so my car is my luxury item.  Much as love the car to bits it really frustrates me as to how useless it is in the snow.

I took my daughter to school on Friday morning and as I drove very carefully at the end of the road it went into a big skid, thankfully I was able to recover control and it didnt collide with anything.  I had to crawl the remainder of the way.

On Saturday I took George to see Mamma Mia at the Arena in Newcastle.  When we came out I called my hubby for a lift however he was stuck in Whickham in my XF Jaguar in the snow.  OK so the snow was heavy in Newcastle on Saturday.  I thought I would never get a taxi as the snow was lying on the streets of Newcastle City Centre and building up there were not many vehicles around.  Thankfully I managed to get a taxi however as we asked him to detour to Whickham Highway to pick up my hubby he was unable to get up Dunston Bank due to the other abandoned vehicles and a bus was stuck on the hill in the snow.

The taxi detoured along Clavering Road and had to struggle up Swalwell Bank.  I could see a number of cars had been abandoned on the way down the hill as they couldnt cope in the snowy weather conditions.  Hubby had decided to do his best to get the XF going and try to get it home.  Thankfully he managed to get back, beating the taxi that was stuck in the traffic up Swalwell bank.

Police officers were controlling traffic at the corner of Fellside Road and Swalwell Bank stopping traffic going down the latter.  I didnt envy their job, it must have been freezing cold and a nightmare task controlling all the vehicles especially as visibility was poor.  I think the key issue was that the roads had not been cleared or gritted.

I left the XF over the weekend but struggled to get it off the driveway on Monday to take George to school and it got stuck in the snow yesterday when I visited my parents.  I thought it would have to be abandoned until the weather cleared.

Now some people have said to me that it is cos the XF is an automatic, others that it is a rear wheel drive.  Whatever the problem it is clear that having a beautiful car is no good if it doesnt do the job.  When the weather is bad I need to know that I am safe and secure in my vehicle.  Having said that thankfully the number of days in which we have snow is minimal.

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