ds not listening in class

(46 Posts)

Hi. My ds is in yr1. He's always been a very good boy and has never done anything really naughty. However he has begun 'not listening' as in we'll ask him to stop doing something and he acknowledges that we've told him off, and then he just carries on (pretty minor stuff like bouncing on the sofa).

But at school now, his teacher has said that he is 'being silly' and not listening. Things like spinning round on his bottom in assembly and not listening when she is telling his group what they're supposed to be doing. I can completely see where she's coming from... it would drive me nuts too.

It started last term and we had a word with him and it seemed to get better. There's just been another message in his book saying 'Please remind ds to focus when we're reading in a group so he can answer the comprehension questions'.

I have no idea what to do about this. He is in the top groups for reading, literacy and maths. He is currently on gold 3 books and the teacher says he's one of the best readers in the class. She says his work is great, but that she feels he could do better and she's probably right. It's irrelevant though really. He just needs to stop mucking about.

Having said all that, I am not fond of his teacher. There's a minor part of me that thinks she just isn't fond of him (I've seen her be incredibly harsh and hiss at him when he wasn't doing anything wrong) and that they got off on the wrong foot. His reception teacher completely adored him and said everyone who worked with him thought he was an angel. How can a child change so much over the summer holidays?

I'm aware of his faults and really don't want to think it's the teacher and not him, as it's such a cliche, but I have no idea what to do!

Any ideas?

MaryShelley Mon 20-Jan-14 17:27:38

Recommend the 'back at ya' approach. "Dear teacher, thanks for the note. We have spoken to ds and reminded him to focus. What strategies will you be using with him to help to develop this skill further?"

twinkletoedelephant Mon 20-Jan-14 17:31:13

Dt1 is like this bright but fidgets wanders etc he's only in reception but his teacher has said what she is doing with him so we can continue at home.

I would ask what measures she will be using so you can reinforce them

Nanny0gg Mon 20-Jan-14 17:31:40

Recommend the 'back at ya' approach. "Dear teacher, thanks for the note. We have spoken to ds and reminded him to focus. What strategies will you be using with him to help to develop this skill further?"

This ^^
Unless it's really serious, what happens in school stays in school. This is very low level 'behaviour' which the teacher really ought to be able to manage. He's Year 1 for Heaven's sake! If she can't I would be questioning her teaching.

The only reinforcement you need to do is of the general Respecting Adults in School variety.

Megrim Mon 20-Jan-14 17:34:55

Sounds like he's bright - is he a bit bored at school?

Mim78 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:36:01

Oh yes I agree the "back at ya" approach is a good idea.

JeanSeberg Mon 20-Jan-14 17:36:57

Sounds like he's bored - is there a parents' night coming up? I'd be asking her what she plans to do to keep him interested and to pitch the work at a level that stretches him.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 20-Jan-14 17:43:02

Spool back a mo

You ask him to stop, he says yes mama then carries on. What happens next?

This might illuminate.

jamdonut Mon 20-Jan-14 17:48:20

Why would you question her teaching NannyOgg? Low level behaviour problems are a lot more of a nuisance than somebody having a full on temper tantrum, for example. At least that is usually over and done with quickly. Low level stuff is hard to filter out. If you've asked the class to sit still and look and listen, and one child insists on spinning around or playing with laces or velcro on shoes or playing with the child in front's hair or just generally fiddling or fidgeting it is very off-putting and takes the teacher's attention from what they were saying or doing. Children will say they are bored if they don't like doing something. It just does not necessarily mean they are not being stretched. And being in year 1 should have nothing to do with. He should be able to sit still and that age.

NotAsTired Mon 20-Jan-14 17:48:50

Great, another he must be bored and not being challenged enough thread, especially, as OP has already said he is not listening to her at home. It sounds like he is doing the being silly, not listening all round. It's probably just a phase, especially if he has been a good boy, and he may be picking up influences from other children in the class. Year 1 is a tricky phase because many children are not ready for the more structured approach (not necessarily OP's DS) and this can lead to silliness.

OP you need to make sure he listens to you at home and that you follow through on consequences. Do have a chat with the teacher about what approach they are using at school and do the same or adapt it as necessary.

fluffyraggies Mon 20-Jan-14 18:02:09

I would absolutely agree that it is important that OP and the school are mirroring each other in their reaction to his behavior.

OP should be addressing his silliness at home, and the teacher should really be arranging a face to face discussion with OP to make sure everyone is singing from the same song sheet, so to speak.

OP not every teacher/school worker he comes across is going to adore your son, or think he is an angel. He will encounter different personalities and attitudes and teaching style as he goes through life.

Hi. Thank you for all the advice. I did think partially that it's minor and that the teacher should be dealing with it, but I can also see that it could be very distracting and annoying. I know he's no angel, but it's just such a difference from reception... v different teacher and level of learning, but he's coping fine with the work. No problems.

At home if he continues to do something silly after we've told him to stop, we tell him again, remind him that he's not listened and he stops straight away. He never has temper tantrums, never does anything really very bad, and I don't really ever have to punish him. I would say that both dh and I are quite strict. He knows the boundaries and I think just sometimes he pushes us a bit to see what would happen.

I think I'll ask the teacher what she's doing if he's being silly in class, and make sure we're doing the same thing.

Oh and yes, there are two boys in the class who she has said he is copying. They are both off the scale badly behaved and disruptive. I've suggested that it would be a very VERY good idea that he does not copy anything they do.

I think partially my problem with it all is that he is really very good boy and this is out of character. He's very easy to like. He's good with adults, polite, funny etc. I guess there had to be something otherwise he'd be sickening! It's a phase, it's a phase.

Oh and he probably is a bit bored as he tends to get things very quickly. No excuse though. He should still be listening and not disrupting anyone else. I completely agree.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 20-Jan-14 18:16:23

Sending you some oms for zen purposes

A thought - hearing okay? Might be worth considering getting a hearing test.

He does say 'Wossay?' a LOT (what did you say?). He passed the hearing test in reception with no bother though. Maybe I'll get it done again...

PedlarsSpanner Mon 20-Jan-14 18:21:44

It's a thing to rule out, iyswim.

Sunnymeg Mon 20-Jan-14 18:25:12

I would definitely recommend getting his hearing checked out. DS has low level hearing problems, nowhere near bad enough to need a hearing aid, but there all the same and he can zone in and out of stuff at school, the problem has been worse some years than others and often changing where he sat in a classroom sorted it out. If it is an issue of him copying others bad behaviour then surely the teacher can keep the boys apart.

Sunnymeg Mon 20-Jan-14 18:30:07

Posts crossed, the hearing test in reception is very rudimentary, DS passed it no problem. It was only because his Uncle is an audiologist that his problem was noticed and we had a more in depth test done. We didn't spot the problem, BIL did.

Dwinhofficoffi Mon 20-Jan-14 18:32:16

Boredom could that be why? Perhaps have a hearing test?
Sorry but I don't see how it is helpful to tell you this as there is not much you can do.

specialsubject Mon 20-Jan-14 18:32:53

I also wondered if he is hard of hearing rather than of listening. BTW is his eyesight ok too - not being able to see what is going on will also get boring.

if all that is ok, he is being a bit of a PITA and won't therefore be the dream pupil, but I agree that you and school need to team up to teach him otherwise.

OK I'll book him in for a hearing test and eyesight as well.

I've just had a word with him and reminded him of how proud we were of his reception school report (it was glowing) and that we really want to be proud of him again. I asked what he was doing today instead of listening and he said he was looking at the polar bears (the half term project is the polar regions). I reminded him that it's rude not to listen to people when they're talking and he said he'd try harder.

I just find that I'm so irritated by his behaviour. Especially when other parents say that their dcs are model pupils, are leaders rather than followers, get x number of million house points, are role models etc. No chance for me to be able to say any of that at the moment! Not that I'm competitive. Just a bit sad at the moment.

ophiotaurus Mon 20-Jan-14 19:03:21

I could have written your post OP we are having the exact same problem as you.
DS was fine in nursery but has had the same "not listening" comments as your DS.
I asked him on the way home why doesn't he listen to the teacher. He told me it's because he can't hear what they're saying! I have him booked into the doctor tomorrow.
I am not 100% sure that there is anything the matter with his hearing but I'm going to get it checked out, even if it's so we can rule it out.
The eyesight thing is interesting too an I will be taking him to opticians ASAP as well.

Thanks ophi. It's reassuring to know we're not the only ones! I'll ask him tomorrow whether he can actually hear what's being said.

If it's not his hearing, and he's just being silly in class, I'm hoping that the whole thing about us wanting be proud of his school report will strike a chord with him. He's quite a sympathetic child and I think it would make him sad to think we were sad. Blimey, it's such a lot of pressure on them really. 5 is still so young!

YouTheCat Mon 20-Jan-14 19:19:44

I have one like your ds in my phonics group. Very bright lad and very funny too but his behaviour is terribly disrupting for those that haven't cottoned on quite so quickly. I've had to remove him from the group a couple of times to consider his behaviour (and so I could get on with teaching the others). But it wasn't a strategy that was going to work long term for him. So now I have given him a helpful role so he can assist others and that seems to be holding the worst of it at bay. Also he has very clear messages from me about behaviour and what I expect and plenty of positive praise when he behaves well. And he knows that I have a 5 minute timer ready for if behaviour goes beyond acceptable again.

MollyPutTheKettleOn Mon 20-Jan-14 19:45:23

OP, I could have written your post word for word. I have parents evening tomorrow too and am dreading it a little because, even though we know his ability is fine, his behaviour is silly. His teacher this year is a lot different in teaching styles to last year. I have no advice because we are going through the same. Hopefully it's just a phase. I think my DS likes to show off and make others laugh. He also has ants in his pants. I'm hoping we can have a decent discussion with his teacher tomorrow with constructive advice from her, rather than her just listing his faults.

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