Jump to content
taxi4ballet

People who just don't understand!

Recommended Posts

Teachers, in my experience, do absolutely understand that Ofsted grades and results are of no interest whatever to parents at the point when their child is taking GCSEs / A-levels (as even when those grades and reports may have been of relevance when the parents chose the school at 11...

 

...As a teacher, you might want a parent to understand that as a consequence of the school's failure to get your child to their target grades, the school's Ofsted grading and the teacher's whole experience in that school may suffer (working in a school that requires Improvement or is in special measures is hugely different to one that is safely Good or Outstanding), and thus your child's relatively low grades ARE of importance to the teacher. It is all part of an informed and nuanced discussion.

In our case, our choice of school was based solely on the number of yards' walk to the school gate!

 

The issue of not achieving target grades was not a problem in our case thankfully, but even if it had been, then our concern as parents would have been solely our dc's progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mnemo, that's interesting. Non-dancing DS is sporting and musical, DD obviously dances - I have noticed no difference in the way that they are treated in terms of the approach to their other commitments by their teachers (DS is treated slightly differently because he chooses to be more open about his 'other life', but whenever I have had to share details of outside school commitments about either of them, the school's approach has been absolutely even-handed).

 

It may just be that, because of the size of the local dance schools and the fact that their main point of transfer to full-time dance is to dance college at 18, the school is used to having quite a number of 'serious but non-vocational dancers' on its books at any one time. DD did point out to me at the time that there probably weren't all that many standard state comprehensives that regularly have 5+ students in the national ballet award finals, for example.

 

I don't feel that I've explained myself well about the concern of school re grades thing. I'm not saying that parents SHOULD care about how their child's grades affect the school as a whole, because of course our focus as parents is on our child. However, in all discussions and negotiations, it is always useful to know and understand the motivations, concerns and values of the person or organisation you are negotiating / discussing with, otherwise it ends up as mutual incomprehension and can end up in unnecessary antagonism.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Education then remains a partnership between schools, students and parents, rather than parents and students having to keep their 'hobbies' a secret for fear of schools making life awkward when seeking time off for exams, festivals, auditions and possibly ridiculing/demeaning their talents even in front of their peers in the classroom. Teachers need to move with the times as career opportunities change. Gone are the days that it was either uni or working in a bank and that was it.

 

Strange thing is that they don't seem to think of is that if it wasn't for all those 'hobbies' there would be no Theatre, Opera, Ballet, TV, Movies or the need for Premiership Football season tickets that they all love.  

 

Morning rant over, phew, and now going to get off my soap box and have a cuppa  :D

 

Please don't think that this is all down to teachers. These 'hobbies' are devalued by the government, who put pressure on School leaders, who then put pressure on the teachers. Most teachers are genuinely interested in the children in front of them. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm waiting with some degree of interest to see how support for my youngest's sporting aspirations goes when he transfers to secondary school next year. Or more to the point, to see how it differs to DD's treatment. I suspect it will be VERY different from observations I have made to date. The weekly school newsletter is always full of students' sporting achievements, whether in or out of school,and interestingly musical success gets a fair bit of press too. My middle child has featured a few times 're music exam and competition success, but DD's dancing was barely acknowledged, apart from as a potential "distraction" in the 7 years she was there. So sport is good. And music is good. But dance,with its combination of physicality and artistry is a distraction. Very strange - I've given up trying to understand!

 

Oh Pups_mum I know exactly how you feel and I experienced this firsthand this year.

 

My DD is now in 6th year and my sports mad son started 1st year at the same secondary school this August.  He has joined a 'specialist' stream focusing on Basketball, which equates to 0730 pre-school conditioning sessions 2 days per week, one extra Basketball skills PE session within his timetable and 2 hours after school on 2 days of the week training sessions.  Alongside this the school has in place a Homework club on a Friday, once classes for the day complete, where one teacher from each curriculum subject will be available in the school Library to assist the children with their homework to allow them to get their homework completed to allow for weekend matches and then give them some free time.  It's to reward them for their commitment during the school week by enabling them to have fun at the weekends.  It's a great system and it's been working for a number of years now with huge success - some of the children in this stream have attained some of the highest exam scores at National Exam levels.

 

When I attended the Parent Induction meeting in June I pointed out to the assembled group that I'd be very interested to see first hand what level of support the school was capable of providing to these children, given the fact that I'd had to fight tooth and nail for my DD to get an 'approved absence' agreed each time she was sitting her vocational exams.  Having to meet with her HT personally to advise her that DD wasn't wasting her time, and asking her if she knew of any other children in 2nd year who had already achieved UCAS points (yes, okay that was maybe a bit cheeky, but I was hugely frustrated at the time).

 

What followed was a real surprise to me in that the Head of PE approached my daughter when she returned to school to ask her about her 'dancing'.  DD told her, at length, everything that she does, what levels she is at in the various genres and what schools she's hoping to audition for this year.  To say the Head of PE was surprised is probably an understatement.

 

Now, 4 weeks into the new term, DD is now a Youth Ambassador for her school, she has an after school club in place to teach 'basics' to some of the younger pupils (hugely oversubscribed with a waiting list!) and has set up a whole school recognition scheme for all those children whose achievements would otherwise have been missed, as they don't sit in the world of sport or music.

 

The statement I loved when she shared a conversation with me was, that the Head of PE stated 'I can't believe we've missed you all these years - you've been here under our noses and we didn't know anything about what you could do.  We've really been idiots for not recognising this sooner.'

 

Yes, I'm tempted to send in a letter saying 'I told you so' - but I don't think I'll bother, I'll just smile smugly whenever I'm at school meetings.

 

(Apologies for the long post)

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all.  I can really relate to so many of the comments on this thread.  At DDs school there seems to be the same high regard for Sports (including gymnastics) and music but little regard for dance.  DD has at times spoken to both PE teachers and form tutors about her dancing activities/commitments (which are substantial) outside of school but no particular interest has been shown by them.  We had a meeting with her head teacher recently to ask for permission in advance of potential auditions for vocational school.  At last we have come across someone who does understand!  He was brilliant and has organized things so that DD has every Friday afternoon as free study/revision time at school (instead of PE)and he has also written a wonderful reference for her.  I felt very emotional when I read what he had written particularly his statement about her being very humble and unassuming given her talent. I wish we had been to see him sooner. :)

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't think that this is all down to teachers. These 'hobbies' are devalued by the government, who put pressure on School leaders, who then put pressure on the teachers. Most teachers are genuinely interested in the children in front of them. 

 I understand your comment and appreciate the pressure that teachers are under but the children do not engage with the Government they have face to face contact with the teachers. It's the teachers that can have a detrimental affect on the children if their talents out of the class room are not recognised, embraced and celebrated. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 He was brilliant and has organized things so that DD has every Friday afternoon as free study/revision time at school (instead of PE)and he has also written a wonderful reference for her.  I felt very emotional when I read what he had written particularly his statement about her being very humble and unassuming given her talent. I wish we had been to see him sooner. :)

That is amazing. What a fantastic school. Well done on finding such a supportive Head Teacher. Now that is certainly a "good practice" that the Government could embrace and promote across the country.  :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you think that possibly teachers often genuinely don't realise the level at which students are dancing, the fitness levels elite ballet dancers achieve and the hours of dedication they put in every week? There is definitely a view that dance is somehow a fun, pretty activity for little girls (I know boys dance too, but for the majority of folk it's a 'nice' activity for little girls once a week) who like to twirl around wearing pink glittery stuff, possibly because many children who dance don't continue much beyond that early phase. I have always found that those who actually ask what is involved with dancing at a vocational exam level are absolutely amazed at what it requires; those friends of DD's or family members who have watched a class have literally been speechless.

 

I suspect that a student who doesn't take exams and can't therefore advise teachers of their current level of qualification (and suggest that teachers look at the RAD/ISTD/BBO/IDTA etc websites to see the equivalent level of qualifications re UCAS points etc) might have a harder time getting their dance taken seriously, simply because teachers understand the concept of exam qualifications. AliKat and ballettaxi, your DDs' teachers sound amazing - well done to them for listening and acknowledging their dance achievements!

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a mixed bag for us

 

Academic school understood that as PE is on a non-dancing day DD didn't do it as she needed a rest day; but put her in the G&T for sport and all the meetings/activities are after school (not in lunchtime) so she couldn't attend

 

Dance school was concerned that DD did her (GCSE) homework in between classes rather than running about & playing like the other children(in yr 9)

 

Academic school wanted her to do the equivalent of 17 GCSEs but compromised on 9 GCSEs & 2 BTecs & letting have RE/PE lessons as revision time

 

Academic school not putting her forward for the interschool dance competition as "they had no evidence of her ability in dance" - just a BTec level 2 in Dance at D*D* but let her have time off for auditions

 

Confusing! and their reaction that she couldn't pop in to get her certificates at prize giving as she was 100 miles away at college well you wouldn't believe it!!

 

Generally her dance friends have become good at time management,hard working with ambition; school friend going off to uni for the first time this year have had small pt jobs (6hr shifts) or no work this summer compared to DD who had 3 - 2 of which were 11hr shifts

Edited by Katymac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I'm in an almost-probably unique situation being a school teacher (science) as well as a dance teacher but in my experience in a secondary school as a teacher is that most teachers are simply not aware of the dedication that young dancers pursuing it as a career have, and the hours that they have to put in. Those of you parents who didn't dance - if your DC hadn't started dancing, would you really know what it entailed? If the situation was reversed would you be one of those people looking at that parent, wondering why they ferry their DC to so many classes, why their DC misses school for dancing, why their DC wants to be a dancer rather than "getting a normal job"????? While I genuinely do understand your frustration, you are a minority! Those who understand dance from the vocational aspect are only a very small slither of society, and the rest of the world really doesn't know about it, in the way that they know more about sport and music. This is possibly because more people have been exposed to sport and music, as up until recently both were compulsory on the school curriculum (unlike ballet!). Furthermore, sport and music in school are both taught by people who are specialist, and can do their chosen sport or music. Dance, if taught at all, is rarely taught by a dance specialist. Therefore, fewer people learn about dance, so as adults they just don't know what it entails. Of course this is wrong, dance should have a higher status in society, dance should get the same focus in schools as other subjects. But it doesn't. And that is not the fault of individual teachers 

 

Most teachers really do care about their students and would love to get to know each and every one of them, including finding out their hobbies, career aspirations and talents. Sadly we don't have time. And it works both ways. There are LOADS of students at school who dance, that I don't know about. I found out about one of my year 8 students taking intermediate foundation by accident as I recognised the RAD letterhead when the letter was sitting on the desk in the attendance office. The majority just quietly get on with it, and we never know about it. Perhaps drama, PE or music teachers might know more but why would it come up in conversation with your science teacher?! (Similarly, there are few of my pupils in school that know about my alter-ego! Most don't believe me anyway!)  Don't get me wrong, there are a couple who let the world know, end up dancing in liturgies (I work at a Catholic school so we have school worship that is not a mass) etc but they're invariably the ones with the poorer training who are competition dancers and who are convinced that they're better than their training is allowing them to be. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more, drdance. We have also noticed that often the students who are most vocal about their dancing, keen to publicise the hours they spend at the studio and dance all around school are the ones with what appears to be an inflated idea of their ability and the quality of their training.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more, drdance. We have also noticed that often the students who are most vocal about their dancing, keen to publicise the hours they spend at the studio and dance all around school are the ones with what appears to be an inflated idea of their ability and the quality of their training.

Oh, My Goodness I think we can all relate to that one!  

 

I just hope they land safely when they fall off their pedestal and enter the real world!  :huh:

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was DD's former academic school's Prize Giving last night, and in the back of the programme was a list of "University and College Entrants 2016". DD wasn't on it. First of all I thought they had only included "normal" universities but closer inspection revealed several former pupils headed for music or art schools. I don't see why DD should be excluded,especially as she is actually hoping to come out with a degree at the end of her course,just like the majority of her former classmates. Of course it might just be a simple clerical error, or as my husband said, maybe DD hasn't told them what she is doing (though I would have expected them to ask??) but given previous attitudes to her dancing I'm not so sure. We were there because one of my other children was receiving a prize and I didn't want to spoil his evening so I didn't say anything, but I have to admit to feeling rather hurt. Can't decide whether to raise the issue with school or not. Obviously it's too late to change anything now but I suppose it might make a difference to another child in the future.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely think that you should raise this with the school and point out what getting into vocational school involves. These days, I would have thought that schools would keep records of what all their leavers are doing after school and so I'm surprised that the school didn't ask your daughter what her plans were. A big deal is made of leaving school these days with proms, yearbooks etc. When my sister left school at 16 in 1981 she walked out of the school after her last O Level exam and that was that; there were no final celebrations at all.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very disappointing pups mum.I would definitely raise it with the school .

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a real shame. Deffinitely should raise it with the school, as you say, makes no difference to your dd now but they should be made aware of their error and not make the same mistake in the future. No wonder our kids have such a hard time getting others to appreciate what they do.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spurned on with new inbuilt confidence after reading so many messages after the original question, I arranged a meeting with my DD Mentor and Yr head at her academic school this week. 

 

Armed with her dancing timetable I asked how WE were going to support my DD to reach her goals without dropping any subjects as she is in yr10. They took copies of her studio timetable and are off to speak to other teaching staff to put a plan into action. 

 

Without reading these many messages on this post I would have never had to courage to stand proud and confident to approach the school.

 

I would have been inclined to keep quiet and hope with fingers crossed that DD was able to maintain her academic studies and dance lessons through to GCSE without collapsing in a heap under the pressure. Trying to balance her grades both in both the classroom AND the studio. Now feeling hopeful

 

Thanks everyone especially as it was never my post  :wub:

Edited by balletbean
  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's great balletbean.

 

I'm so sorry to hear that pupsmum and you should definitely raiSe it with school. I went to an Open Evening at the school my dd used to attend and my non ds will go to and the ex-pupil who is going to Bird was listed with all others going to HE. XX

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spurned on with new inbuilt confidence after reading so many messages after the original question, I arranged a meeting with my DD Mentor and Yr head at her academic school this week. 

 

Armed with her dancing timetable I asked how WE were going to support my DD to reach her goals without dropping any subjects as she is in yr10. They took copies of her studio timetable and are off to speak to other teaching staff to put a plan into action. 

 

Without reading these many messages on this post I would have never had to courage to stand proud and confident to approach the school.

 

I would have been inclined to keep quiet and hope with fingers crossed that DD was able to maintain her academic studies and dance lessons through to GCSE without collapsing in a heap under the pressure. Trying to balance her grades both in both the classroom AND the studio. Now feeling hopeful

 

Thanks everyone especially as it was never my post  :wub:

Hooray! Well done you :)

 

Taking the timetable in was a great idea - it gives them something concrete to look at and think: "Crikey, we didn't realise..."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hooray! Well done you :)

 

Taking the timetable in was a great idea - it gives them something concrete to look at and think: "Crikey, we didn't realise..."

Thank you, as it happened the timetable also highlighted the voluntary work that my DD gives, in her own time at the studio to help the 'baby class' early on a Saturday when most teenagers are buried under their duvet!  

 

Thanks again to all   :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning all, I may have spoken too soon.

 

After having such a positive meeting just a few days ago.

 

I asked at the school if we could use the A level photography studios for the obligatory photos for SS. Approx 30 mins after school one day

 

Ooooooooo Nooooooooo 'health and safety' and no police check...................... 

 

Photos of my own daughter at my old school with own equipment and they said NO but hey 'we support your DD fully' yeah right. 

 

Words of advice to others, take what schools say with a pinch of salt, time might past but we won't forget especially when thanking people for their support. :D

 

Morning rant over, off to have more caffeine!!!!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We didn't get this nonsense from friends and family but my daughter's friends were a different matter. It was worst from kids who had no hobbies. They refused to understand that my dd had classes, exams, rehearsals. One in particular was maddening in the extreme. She had her mother's full backing to drink at home and hang around upstairs with her boyfriend for hours on end. Finally my daughter saw through this girl. She had no ambition and didn't want my dd to have it either.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She had her mother's full backing to drink at home and hang around upstairs with her boyfriend for hours on end.

Going really off-tangent from the previous post, but I remember when we were in our late teens that one friend had parents who were totally cool about boyfriends staying overnight, even - I don't know about the alcohol side, but then people back then didn't tend to drink as heavily as some do now. Everyone else was of course really envious. It was only years later that the friend admitted that she, in turn, had been envious of those of us whose parents didn't allow such behaviour, because at least it showed that they cared.

 

Things have changed a lot since then, of course ...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a slightly different variation in this at the weekend...

At a friend's BBQ and was chatting to wife...

She was telling me how how 4yr old desperately wanted to join the ballet club at school. I said what a lovely idea but oh no that was totally the wrong thing to say!

She cant "stand the idea of her daughter doing something so girlie" - somewhat shocked at this I pointed out she was only 4 and probably wants to be with her friends.

I was very matter of factly told that if she did ballet, she would "have to take up judo or something to counteract the girlieness and strengthen her up"

At this point I glanced over at my DD and looking at how she is solid muscle. From nothing but daily ballet training, excused myself and suggested to my DH it was time to leave.

I didn't dare open my mouth until I was safely home :D

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sister in law and her mother make comments about how awful it would be if my niece wanted to dance (age 5) imagine my delight when neice announces she wants to be just like her big cousin and start dance ???? Every time I see her we get a full demo if good toes/naughty toes and best butterfly impression ????????????

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...