Beware the 'baddy' labels

26th January 2001 at 00:00
I TOO have chosen to be a freelance supply teacher for many years. While I agree with much of what Cheryl Maughan writes in her article (TES, First Appointments, January 12) I am unable to endorse her statement: "I begin by saying that every class has its goodies and baddies. The class immediately indicates the latter." This is not good advice. Some children are immediately labelled "baddies" and may continue to perform ccordingly.

If I need to ask a child to sit and listen, at our first meeting, the class will sometimes say: "Oh heshe is always naughty." However, I prefer to obtain this information before I ever meet the class from the teacher or a classroom assistant. Then the child can still be given the positive encouragement rightly advocated by Cheryl Maughan.

Pat Steele

16 Barnard Avenue StreetSomerset

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