A primary school teachers opinion please!?(37 Posts)
Hi, my eldest son is starting school in September! (Very exited and proud mummy)! He is a gorgeous little boy but I would describe him as spirited (if you've come across that term) and introvert. In other words he has high energy, high intensity and finds it difficult to changing from one thing to the next. He needs his space to recharge his batteries or he become disruptive and doesn't listen very well.
So finally to my question to the primary school teachers here: Would you appreciate being told about things like this as he starts or would you prefer to make your own judgement and start with "a clean slate" if you see what I'm saying? He might be very different at school compared to home anyway. But I don't want him to be labeled naughty unnecessarily...
Any advise from current or former teachers is appreciated!
Kind regards Emma
Nah. Don't tell. It's more fun if it's a surprise.
It would be useful to know about the difficulty with transition - there are strategies you can use to help with that, for example.
Many children re very different at school from how they are at home however. Does he attend Nursery? How is he there?
I think you could cover it with 'never heard the word no'.
This part is fine to say:
"He has high energy, high intensity and finds it difficult to changing from one thing to the next. He needs his space to recharge his batteries or he become disruptive and doesn't listen very well. "
You see these as things he needs to work on and improve and not be so much like that, right?
Are his current nursery helping him prepare for this transition? They might be able to if you enlist their help.
Hello there, my son is exactly as you describe. He is the kid who is wrestling, but has itchy socks, doesn't like rough clothes, finds noises loud but is full of incredible energy (doesn't need a lot of sleep). I was similarly worried about how he would cope in a very traditional (albeit kindly) school. He's cope fine. In fact he is one of those kids who have turned out to be very well behaved at school. However... there was a phase we went through when he would lash out at my on the way home and be quite a handful when we got home. Crying and cross behaviour. I think this is normal for kids like this - he knew he couldn't do it at school but of course at home he's comfortable. I used to give him a warm bath with low lights (sounds crazy I know) i.e low stimulation when we got home and lots of relaxation time/time with me and cuddles and we got over it. Although he'll always be an intense little character, he also grew out of some of the more challenging behaviours with maturity. I think he finds his own reactions easier to manage IYSWIM.
I too thought about letting the teachers know but decided against it. What he would have needed was a quiet space to retreat to but since this wasn't possible in his school I realised that we would just have to see how it went. So my advice would be not to say anything but just check in with the teacher gently about his behaviour and I'm sure they'll let you know if there's a problem. When you get to know them you can discuss. When he used to behave badly at home after a long day I just saw it as the price I had to pay for him finding it hard going at school. Good luck !
Thank you so much for your reply Flatoutnautilus, and I can completely relate to your calm down strategies as I'm using them a lot already. I know that I will have to prepare for him being a handful coming home at times and that's fine, as I'm doing that already. It's nice to hear from someone who can relate to what I'm going through without being judgemental.
BackForGood - He is at nursery a few mornings a week and is most of the time very well behaved there as long as he is well rested.. So hopefully school will be the same, but it will be a lot longer hours and more will be expected of him which slightly worries me.
Ragged - yes, these are the things I'm trying to help him improve. Are you a teacher yourself? Would you want to know or would that make you treat him differently in a negative way?
And for the people who left the slightly less helpful comments - perhaps try to keep an open mind to the fact that people are different and try to accept and help instead of putting down and blaming... It's not in my head... But sometimes I wish it was cause then i could fix it, now I have to live with it instead...
Communication with staff is key, knowledge really is power in those sort of scenarios and it will enable the teacher to have strategies in place to enable a smooth transition.
Talk, talk and talk some more
Do you have a home visit from his teacher at all? That would be the perfect time to raise it.
One other thing I would say... re' your comment about the long hours is that I think even for quite low key kids...they come as a bit of a shock. My DS was not just physically tired but mentally tired - following instructions all day, conforming, doing what he was told etc. So it is a big jump but most teachers that I've spoken to are all too aware of this. If he wanted to come home and blob out in front of Ceebeebies I let him. He is now fine with the hours. I remember reading on mumsnet something written by a mum of two kids in junior school letting them do the same thing and realised it was pretty normal. Also, SNACKS as soon as you pick him up. A juice or water and SNACKS! A massive help with the homeward journey I found. If I ever dispensed with them there would be a meltdown. They seem to get unbelievably hungry.
As a teacher, I want to know if he can follow a set of instructions.
If I give a 2 minute warning call, then after 2 minutes ask for silence and bring the children down onto the floor, is he going to do as he's told?
Yes or no please.
But sometimes I wish it was cause then i could fix it, now I have to live with it instead
Just to let you know OP. We all know 'spirited' children.
Let's face it, spirited means doesn't listen or follow instructions or is disruptive. It basically means naughty but parents can't bear to say it.
Thing is, and I think the reason you've had very diverging opinions, is that your OP could describe three very different scenarios, and it's hard to tell which one applies here:
1. Your ds is within the range for normal 4yo boys, many of whom have high energy and intensity, rush around a lot, find it hard to sit still and listen etc etc. Any primary teacher will be used to dealing with that.
2. He's somewhat higher-intensity than average, and maybe has more than the standard level of difficulty with impulse control, following instructions, assessing cause and effect, understanding the effect his behaviour has on others and changing behaviour in response to feedback. I have a 10yo dd like this (along with three other easy straightforward dc before anyone judges). This is a developmental issue, possibly even slight SN, but with calm, experienced teachers, good SENCO input and good communication with parents it will gradually improve, though it will involve more work for the school (and parents).
3. Your child is entirely normal, but has not been given consistent boundaries wrt behaviour and consequences, and as a result doesn't think he needs to follow instructions or fit in with other children or the teacher. This is a PITA for any teacher.
It's impossible to tell from your OP which of the above applies, but I'm sure the teacher will work out it pretty fast.
He may well behave at school but BF truly hideous at home in Sept-Dec. lots of DC that have always done 8-6 at nursery are exhausted by school. They behave during the day but are monsters post 3 - tired, grumpy, naughty etc !
I used to teach and what I have learned since I became a mother is that children more often than not behave differently in the classroom than they do at home! I taught a very quiet girl before I had kids and when her parents informed me that at home she never stopped chatting..I'm afraid I simply didn't believe them! Now I've got my own though I can't believe I was so naive!! I wouldn't tell because he may be a different child altogether at school!!
As a teacher, I like to have a bit of a picture of the children that are coming into my class so I'm more prepared. That doesn't mean that I'll assume the worst, or that a child will behave in the same way at school as they do at home, but - as others have said - knowledge is power, and the more info I have in advance then the happier I am.
As a parent, I'd say once your son starts school then consider changing his bedtime routine. My dd was September born - one of the oldest in her class, academically and socially ready for school, excited about going, familiar with the school as she'd been popping in since she was a baby. I thought that the start of school would be a breeze.
Serves me right for being overconfident.
In the first term she was a nightmare at home, because she was so tired and grumpy. I remember her stamping her feet and having toddler tantrums over the slightest thing. I ended up bringing her bedtime forward an hour earlier than she'd been going to bed when she was a Nursery. It was the only thing that worked.
Can a teacher really work out the difference between 2) & 3)? How?
With experience, yep!
it's normally the parents who give it away
I think you have exactly the same concerns as every other parent of a child starting school. You think your child's issues are different and special, which is completely natural and to be expected, but don't make a big deal of it with the teacher now.
Talk to the school if there are issues once he starts, otherwise leave them (and him) to find their own way.
So... if the parents are shite = they caused the problems.
Parents are nice = child must have SN
Sounds a bit...unfair, do kids with SN only happen to nice parents?
Of course not! But when you put together your observations of the child in your classroom and your interactions with the parents, you can normally tell which parents have spoiled their child.
For these kinds of SEN, a lot of store is placed on the quality of parenting in coming to a diagnosis, yes Ragged.
Where two children exhibit the same behaviour, the one that is set consistent boundaries is far more likely get a diagnosis than the one who lives a more chaotic life. One of the ways some doctors diagnose is to consider if the behaviour is better or worse than might be expected, given the quality of the parenting.
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