Help me approach this with DS1's maths teacher

(18 Posts)
Activ Sun 10-Mar-13 18:01:19

I know Horrible, I still haven't forgiven one of the girls for the time he came home in tears from reception after she ate his pudding at lunchtime! Not at all relevant now, but has always coloured my opinion of her.

I also know too much, having worked in the primary school and she does deserve a certain amount of sympathy. She has a truly horrible home-life, nasty mother and string of step dads. Doesn't mean she can sabotage my pfb's school life though!

Of course DS1 might be equally to blame, but if he is it's the first time in 4 years he's voluntarily spoken to a girl! That said, I do intend to let the teacher tell me what the issue is, rather than the other way round.

HorribleMother Sun 10-Mar-13 17:53:58

(ps: privately you can think of the girls as little turds, but keep in mind your DS may well think they're God's Gifts to boys next week, so don't hold onto the resentment when he doesn't).

HorribleMother Sun 10-Mar-13 17:53:04

Agree don't say targeted. Don't assign blame because you can't have a full picture. "they don't get along" is adequate.

Activ Sun 10-Mar-13 17:52:53

Thanks gwenniebee, I'd already removed that bit. I agree it does sound like I'm saying it's all down to you, to the maths teacher"!

I agree noble, that's why I'd said "DS feels..." and asked the teacher to tell me if he agrees. Is that not OK?

gwenniebee Sun 10-Mar-13 17:47:46

*your drafts...

gwenniebee Sun 10-Mar-13 17:47:23

I think both you drafts here are fine, but, fwiw, I would leave out the comment about his other marks being 1 or 2. It sort of implies that the teacher has got it wrong, because none of the other teachers have graded your ds like this.

I think you are right in your general approach though and I hope you have a successful outcome. It must be annoying for your ds.

noblegiraffe Sun 10-Mar-13 17:42:40

Don't use words like targeted etc as you only have your DS's word that he is the angelic victim and it is all the girls' fault. I find that students can behave differently in maths to other subjects because it's setted and they are with a different group of kids, so conduct marks in other classes don't mean he'll be good across the board. Just say DS finds it difficult to work with X and Y and would prefer to be sat apart from them.

Activ Sun 10-Mar-13 17:33:23

Thank you lljkk, is this better?

Thank you for raising your concerns regarding DS1's conduct in his Spring Term Monitoring Report.

I am naturally concerned to learn that he has difficulty working with others in maths. It has come as something of a surprise as up to now this has always been considered a strength for him and all his other conduct marks were 1 or 2. I have naturally discussed the matter with him and he feels the problem lies with the way he has been targeted by two children in the class.

When it is convenient, please could you contact me to discuss whether this matches your assessment of the situation and ways in which we can help him/them resolve matters

Kind regards

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 20:03:38

might be a bit blunt, but reasonable to ask him to be moved. I guess I would leave out the bit about what they do (push his stuff on floor).

If your DS is anything like mine he starts it with verbal teasing, I don't like to imply blame if I can help it. I'd say "...when he sits with X & Y. They seem to upset and distract him frequently.

Would it be possible to arrange for him to be seated well away from X and Y?"

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 18:09:27

Ok, so something like:

Dear Mr X

I was worried to note your concerns about DS1's conduct in Maths in his Spring Term monitoring report. All his other conduct marks were 1 or 2 and working with others has previously been considered one of his strengths.

I have talked to DS1 about the difficulties he has working with others in this lesson and he feels that this is only the case on Mondays and Thursdays when he sits with X & Y. Apparently the problems stem from the fact that X & Y push his work onto the floor on a regular basis.

This is obviously causing a distraction for all concerned, so I wonder if it would be possible to arrange for him to be seated well away from these girls.

If this is not possible, of if you would like to discuss this or any other matter relating to DS1's progress, please contact me on XXXXXXXX

NewFerry Fri 08-Mar-13 17:59:10

Also, at secondary school, it can be difficult to get hold of a specific teacher - they're always teaching grin
An email allows the teacher to respond when they get chance during the day.

adeucalione Fri 08-Mar-13 17:51:56

I always email as it allows me to formulate my thoughts and phrase my questions without getting flustered, and then I also have a reply in writing.

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 17:32:46

I was going to phone on Monday. Adeucalione, why email? I find it leaves lots of room for misunderstanding, but then again it will give time for me to consider my response, should I not get the response from him that I want, or if I get over emotional (pfb)

JandT Fri 08-Mar-13 16:59:10

I'd ask him to move your DS. We had an issue with a couple of DS1's subjects which turned out to be because of who he sat near (trying to annoy him/constantly asking for help so he couldn't do his work) and we got DS to ask the teacher. He did for one of the subjects and I mentioned at parents evening for the other-teacher knew what was going on but hadn't acted on it. Grades have miraculously started improving now....

adeucalione Fri 08-Mar-13 16:57:56

I would email the maths teacher and explain that you have taken his comments on board, discussed the issue with DS, discovered that there is some tension between him and another pupil and now wonder whether there might be some mileage in separating them.

Personally I would not be able to resist saying that you are very surprised, because group work has always been a strength for him before, but would not let on that you know that DS has already complained to the teacher; it would sound like a criticism and defensive people don't want to be helpful.

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 16:54:14

Not yet lljkk, I've only just received the report and DS had never mentioned it

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 16:51:04

Have you directly contacted the math teacher & asked him to move your DS somewhere else in the classroom?

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 16:39:40

DS1, yr7, has received his termly monitoring today. it's generally good, attainment marks as expected and effort and conduct 1s or 2s (out of4)

The Maths teacher though has concerns about DS1's conduct stating that he has difficulty working with others. This has never been a problem before, he has lots of friends and all through primary school was considered friendly, helpful, good at working in a team etc.

I have spoken to DS1 and he says the problem stems from 2 girls who continually knock his work on the floor. He has told the teacher, who tells them to stop, but then next lesson they do it again. He says he doesn't get upset, but it does make him feel angry (he has a redhead's temper when he sees/feels injustice)

I know one of the girls, she was at the primary school where I work and she's always, since age 5/6 been quietly spiteful. Good academically and very charming when she wants to be so sometimes takes a while for teachers to get her number. Obviously though in this case I am somewhat biased.

So, to me, it seems it's the teacher who has difficulty maintaining discipline, rather than DS1 who can't work with others, but I can't say that, so what should I be doing/saying?

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