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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those of you living in France and with children in primary school are probably right now proudly wearing your pasta necklace or admiring your (camembert) trinket box, or you may be puffy eyed from the tears of emotion you shed when your little terror read you a poem especially written in his/her best handwriting, about mother’s day.

Most primary schools heree use mothers’ day as an excuse to teach the children some basic handicraft skills and at the same time teach them to appreciate the parents that they take for granted most of the time. Same goes for fathers’ day unless of course there is a child who no longer has a mother or father in which case usually nothing is done.

My granddaughter’s teacher decreed this year that it was not the school’s role to carry out this kind of activity. So while children from most of the other classes appeared on Friday evening at the school gates clutching mysterious packages, with lips tightly sealed in case the secret spilled out, my granddaughter’s class were empty handed.

This made me wonder who was right – this teacher making a stand or the others. Either way, I think it would have been fairer if the school had taken the decision, not the individual teachers.

I also wondered just how far home/school should be interconnected in this way: is it the school’s role to provide these gifts for parents? And at the end of the school year (and often at Christmas too) is it acceptable for parents to offer gifts to the teachers?
What do you think and what is the custom now in your countries of origin?

bonne fête des mamans!! :cheer2:
 

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Oui, oiu -bonne fête mamans!

We've had the duty phone calls here from the French children.

Perhaps I'm just being "old grumpy" from the Pyrénées Orientales, but I am a surprised about education today in both UK and France. In my blissful days at school from the age of 5 to 11 I am now aware that we were taught manners not only to teachers - but to fellow pupils -even horrible girls, "right from wrong", and a little preparation of high to survive in the world.

In my final year about once a month we had a visiting speaker, vicar, bank manager,farmer, lorry driver etc told us what they did and gave us an insight into the adult world;. ....And yes we made horrible things in cane and raffia.

...and I remember having to say sorry to two girls were sitting in front of me in class and I slipped frogs down the back of their dresses.....oh happy days!

DejW
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oui, oiu -bonne fête mamans!

We've had the duty phone calls here from the French children.

Perhaps I'm just being "old grumpy" from the Pyrénées Orientales, but I am a surprised about education today in both UK and France. In my blissful days at school from the age of 5 to 11 I am now aware that we were taught manners not only to teachers - but to fellow pupils -even horrible girls, "right from wrong", and a little preparation of high to survive in the world.

In my final year about once a month we had a visiting speaker, vicar, bank manager,farmer, lorry driver etc told us what they did and gave us an insight into the adult world;. ....And yes we made horrible things in cane and raffia.

...and I remember having to say sorry to two girls were sitting in front of me in class and I slipped frogs down the back of their dresses.....oh happy days!

DejW
FROGS down the back of girls' dresses?? Those right from wrong talks did you a lot of good then!
 

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I think there is increasing pressure on teachers to fit more into their classes, so can understand the stand of this particular teacher. In addition, it seems that parents and expecting more and more 'parenting' from teachers and accepting less responsibility themselves. I guess in my view it really depends how much time is spent on making these gifts and whether they could be fitted into normal craft classes. Some children in any case are not good at handicrafts. (I myself remember making a simple mother's day gift at Sunday school.) OTOH hand made gifts by kids still serves to reduce commercialism at such times (wont last too long though!).
 

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Interesting - when the US Mothers' Day came around (earlier this month, IIRC), one of my friends from back there was railing about how Mothers' Day "is not a liturgical holiday" and was upset because of how many preachers and priests made it the topic of their sermons.

Here, it almost is a sort of religious fete - or at least religiously determined, as apparently in France Mothers' Day is a certain number of weeks after Easter (I think it is) - and if it happens to fall on the same Sunday as Pentecote, then it is moved to the first weekend in June.

Anyhow, I used to cringe my way through the marché on Mothers' Day, because the merchants all hand out roses to the women (or to the men, now, too - allegedly to offer to their partners on their return home) and I always felt awkward as I am not a mother (though have often been referred to as a "mutha" but it's not at all the same thing). However, I have now decided to embrace my inner French nature and I just take the rose, smile and say "merci, beaucoup" and enjoy having roses on the table for a bit.

As for the kids in school, I think the poor kids have little enough in the way of "creative" schoolwork, so doing handicrafts or creative writing to commemorate the day should come as a welcome relief - except in those cases where some poor kid has lost their parent and doesn't have a grandmother or favorite aunty they can favor with their project.

Then again, they have launched projects here to let the school kids raise some vegetables - to learn about where food comes from - but they are forbidden under the law from actually consuming anything they grow at school. They've also recently gotten the ok for the kids to have a few chickens at school, to feed their food scraps to so that they start to understand about recycling rather than just tossing and wasting food. And again, they run up against the law saying they cannot consume the eggs their school chickens lay. Ah, France....
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I remember making something for mother's day (but don't ask me to recall exactly what lol) when I was a kid, but I don't remember my kids making anything (in the states) for Mother's Day. And honestly, I never even thought about it!

Here, my son does "make" something every year in school. But this year, the teacher incorporated the gift into a lesson also. They had to choose a flower and then write a poem to us about the flower, or the mention of that flower in it. My son was so proud, especially considering he couldn't figure out which flower to choose and had a meltdown for an hour worrying about not getting me something lol.

And in all honesty Verite, I think it was just plain ****ty of that teacher to do nothing. Especially since other classes did make something. It is not just for the pleasure of the parents, but kids just love to do this (well the majority lol). That teacher really just punished the kids and took something special away from them.
 

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And in all honesty Verite, I think it was just plain ****ty of that teacher to do nothing. Especially since other classes did make something. It is not just for the pleasure of the parents, but kids just love to do this (well the majority lol). That teacher really just punished the kids and took something special away from them.
I think I agree with you, Carlene. They're talking big time about making "ethics" part of the school curriculum here. Not sure about that - but one thing I think does belong in the school program is "consideration." Which includes doing something nice for maman and papa for their respective holidays. (And finding a way for any kid who doesn't have a maman or papa in the picture to show appreciation to someone in their place - an aunt or uncle, or a kindly neighbor.)

We had a very gruff (but absolutely wonderful) German teacher in high school. Recently on an alumni group, some folks were talking about our German teacher and some of the "gruff" things he would say or do. One of the people made a nasty remark about how out of line he was and how he would never be allowed to say things like that now. But in my class, one of my friends lost her mother and she remembers how kind and supportive this "politically incorrect" teacher was at the time to her in her loss.

That's the sort of thing I expect from teachers, but I'm not sure if that's the "done thing" here in France. At least I don't hear that sort of story from many of my French friends and acquaintances about the teachers they had during their public school years.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I thought it was a bit mean, it's an established custom that primary school kids make gifts for mum and dad when it's possible - I think she just couldn't be bothered.

I have a box full of these offerings - that of course you can never throw away - which I treasure. My grandchildren love seeing what their mums made when they were their age.

I think the teachers here are like everywhere else - good and bad, committed and lazy. The outstanding ones stick in our collective memory but they remain the exception. And times have changed, in many ways for the better - schools today are much more open to parents and the outside world in general and there are many opportunities for families to get involved with school activities.
 

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I'm an assistante maternelle and one of the kids I keep is trisomique (has down's syndrome) and I absolutely dislike his teacher. I thought it was only me, but have found out his mother isn't too happy and other parents who've experience this teacher before. The boy is 4 1/2 and in the petit section, only goes in the morning and has an AVS (finally). This teacher cannot be bothered by him, if the AVS is late or absent she doesn't want him in her class cause he is "too much work", which honestly astounds me. He is so well behaved and gentle and sensitive. All the tatas and students love him; She just doesn't want to be bothered at all. And she is very brusque. If he doesn't see his avs or a tata in the class, he won't enter. So she grabs him and pulls him in. I hate it. I've talked to another teacher there (she is on repos this year because of some issues, but is the regular teacher for that class), she hates this woman lol. She said next year she will not be in that school and shouldn't be now.

But for the fete de mère, he did have a gift for his mom. Thankfully in that class, the tatas basically make the gift and help the kids glue something on it. He was so proud of his cadeau pour mama (it was a little potted plant with a card they made).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How sad, and what an awful example to give to the other children in that class.

It is true that the French have an elitist attitude towards education and provision for children with learning difficulties or special needs is poor.

Things are slowly improving but there are still many children with a handicap who have to stay at home because there is nowhere for them to go. Yet schooling is compulsory for all children...cherchez l'erreur
 

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I suspect there is also something about how teachers are trained here in France, along with them being civil servants and impervious to being fired (or even disciplined to any serious extent). They weren't trained for handling "special" kids and I suspect that teacher resents being "lumbered" with a non-standard kid.

It's a real shame that the system doesn't better accommodate the special needs kids, because it benefits everyone concerned to have the kids "mainstreamed" like that. As adults, they are all going to have to deal with other people of all sorts of levels and capabilities.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are probably right about the training, but even so, how could anyone who has chosen to work with children be so heartless?
 
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