teachers handing out birthday invitations - should this be ok when all are not invited?

(97 Posts)
greener2 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:04:34

Hi,
as topic says really. My daughter is in reception class so i am new to the school thing but she has been really upset the last week. The teachers have a birthday chair in he classroom. When its someones birthday they come up and they hand out invitations to their party. Obviously the issue is not whether my dd is invited as its fine and i understand but the upset she has when she is 1. waiting to see if she is invited 2. subsequently isnt invited has to have the disappointment of this...

Am i ott in not being happy with this? I really feel for her poor thing. By the way she is suspected of haveing autism which the school are aware of and so things do affect her differently so please be kind when responding. Thanks

scurryfunge Tue 27-Nov-12 19:07:59

Seems a bizarre practice. Why can't parents hand out invitations at the gate? I have no idea why teachers feel the need to get involved with this.

flutterby123 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:08:55

Hello, to be honest that seems like a bit of a strange thing for the school to do. If they were sitting in the birthday chair to have happy birthday sung to them or their peers say one thing they like about them and wish them a happy birthday that would be fine, but surely this is just asking for children to be upset? I would be fairly certain that other children (whether they are on the Autistic spectrum or not) would get upset by not getting an invitation too. Could you speak to some of the other parents about this at the school gates and see how their child feels about it? Maybe you could let the teacher know (just let her know and make a point of saying you're not asking for it to be changed or anything - there's always more chance of teachers changing things if they're not asked to in the first place!)

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 27-Nov-12 19:11:06

I only send invites in when its a whole class party. I try to be discreet if not. DS1 is autistic. Being left out is offensive to all.

I'd have a word with the head teacher to ask about this, it doesn't seam right.

shellyf Tue 27-Nov-12 19:11:17

I don't let invitations be handed out in class unless it is a "whole class" party.

mrz Tue 27-Nov-12 19:13:57

I don't think handing out invitations in school is unusual (lots of parents work and don't come to school or know other parents ) but the birthday chair seems odd ... don't most people hand out invitations well in advance of the day

and believe me scurryfunge I have better things to do with my day than hand out invitations but what do you suggest ...sending them back home with the child?

scurryfunge Tue 27-Nov-12 19:17:46

Well, yes Mrz. I certainly don't expect a class teacher to get involved in facilitating out of school social events. Ask the parents to sort it out!

At the school my kids go to, the teachers will happily 'give out' invitations. That basically means they hand them out with paintings and other junk important stuff at the end of the day/session, so it's not obvious that anyone is missing out on anything.

They also do something else on each person's birthday. Iirc it is basically getting a birthday hat to wear while the others sing Happy Birthday. I think they do it for anyone with a birthday in the holidays either before or after the holidays so they don't miss out either.

BranchingOut Tue 27-Nov-12 19:18:06

I would hand out invites, but only along with other letters and not make a big thing of it or emphasising that they were invitations.

Having said that, it was far easier when I taught at a school which had a policy of making parents sort all this out in the playground.

sweetpea31 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:19:40

I think it helps to teach children to deal with disappointment, they will then develop the skills to not be bothered by this. If they never come across disappointment or are shielded from it for fear of upsetting them, how will they react age 10 when they have to cope for the first time? If they are never made to cope with disappointment then they will struggle when the time comes.

mrz Tue 27-Nov-12 19:22:59

Do you have children in school scurry?

scurryfunge Tue 27-Nov-12 19:26:54

My DS has finished school now but I have encountered this before. I used to be a teacher too. My post wasn't meant to be critical but supportive of the fact that teachers should not feel they have to get involved because it can be divisive. It shouldn't be a matter for the school at all.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 27-Nov-12 19:27:44

You seem to be saying they are handing out invitations on the birthday itself (or does this chair thing happen a couple of weeks in advance?). Is that right? Not doubting, just checking I've understood.

greener2 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:29:02

Yes I do think children should learn about dealing with disapointment but again this is hard at the age of 4 and with possible developmental difficulties. I am unsure this is the correct practice though and the right thing to do to teach it them.
She is able to communicate her emotions very well and so her upset has come out in play.behaviour. I finally got out of her today that she is upset and disapointed that she is not chosen, really worried that she will never be chosen and angry about it. She said she doesnt have any friends sad

mamij Tue 27-Nov-12 19:29:08

At DDs preschool, parents have handed invites over to the teacher, who discreetly hands them out to the children.

LeeCoakley Tue 27-Nov-12 19:31:59

Do you actually know this happens or is this your dd's impression? Logically no one will be handing out invitations on their birthday. Maybe the birthday child hands out the end of the day stuff as a 'treat'.

greener2 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:33:48

sorry i confused people, the chair is the day of the birthday and before the birthday the child whos birthday it is goes to the front of the class and hands out invitations to those they want to go to the party...

yes i dont think the school should be getting involved either!

greener2 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:34:36

yes i asked the teacher tonight what happens, its at the start of the day

LeeCoakley Tue 27-Nov-12 19:34:42

Our parents not only want us to hand out the invites to the class but expect us to troll round the school handing them out to children in other classes. Ditto thank you letters.

clam Tue 27-Nov-12 19:37:07

I won't hand out invitations, but mine are KS2 and old enough to do it themselves. I did have one recently who asked me to give a message out to anyone who hadn't RSVP'd to phone her mum by x date. I said no, I'm afraid. I'm not her social secretary and it was unnecessarily upsetting for those who hadn't been invited ('girly' issues in my class!)
She then expected me to hand out her birthday sweets for her as she needed to leave class on the dot so she could plaster herself in makeup get ready for the said party. I'm afraid I said no to that, too. She needed to hand them out herself.
But then I'm a bit mean, probably.

radicalsubstitution Tue 27-Nov-12 19:37:36

There are many reasons, too complicated to go into, why it would be impossible for me to hand invites out to parents in the playground.

DS' teacher hands them out (along with 'thank you' letters) discreetly at the end of the day by putting them directly in reading folders. The same is true with sweets/lollies etc that are given for birthdays. She has to be sensitive and careful with this as there are JW children in the class who don't celebrate birthdays.

I know she has better things to do with her time, but she is incredibly efficient (at most things anyway) and doesn't seem to mind.

lunar1 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:37:42

Ds1 teachers just put them in the bags along with everything else

mrz Tue 27-Nov-12 19:39:01

My pupils ask if they can hand out invitations. I say ok quickly while I fill in the register ...end of story

greener2 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:45:25

Its ok to go in the bookbag, its not really the question of whether its the teachers job (i dont think it should be with the teacher but thats just my opinion) its the issue of making a big deal out of it. The emphasis of the birthday child handing out the invites to his/her friends instead of the kids who are left out. sad

clam Tue 27-Nov-12 19:45:50

Some days there are up to half a dozen items/letters to be handed out at the end of the day. I am suffering from leaflet fatigue, usually from profit-making organisations that wish me to be an unpaid postwoman.
I don't wish to add party invitations to the load, quite frankly, but as I said, that's just me. My main objection however, is that it's not nice to see the crestfallen look on the faces of those who haven't been invited. Yes, they need to learn the lesson in life that they won't be invited to everything, but I don't think my classroom is the place for that.

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