Help!! My DS is losing interest at school and his teach isn't bothered(15 Posts)
I'm new to this so please forgive any lacking!!
I'm an older mum of an 8yo in year 3.
At home he is bright, funny, very confident engaging and very articulate, yet at school he is bossy, over confident and I'm certain an all round pain in the bottom....Problems started in year 2 when his teacher would often make him sit alone for talking (she was new to the school and perhaps had to 'stamp her authority'). This carried on in the playground with another child who decided to isolate him from his friends. Initially it wasn't a problem, my son just made new friends, and I discussed with his then teacher new strategies to not make him feel so isolated.
Now, in year 3 he seems to have lost all confidence in his abilities, he has gone from being one of the brightest kids in the class to almost needing extra support. I have asked his teacher for advice on how to support him at home (which was like pulling teeth). I get that he may be trying to find a way into old friendship groups by showing off which is a pain for any teacher to deal with, but for his teacher to disengage and allow him to slide to the bottom of the class I'm finding very difficult to deal with.
I'm not an educator and don't have sufficient understanding of the education system to know where to start to turn this current situation around. I have no doubt in my sons ability but how do I communicate all this to his teacher to achieve a positive outcome......
His attainment slipping may be due to the huge change in the curriculum. Lots of confident really able children are struggling and are because expectations have risen dramatically and standards a day assessment brackets have been raised.
Reading your op it sounds like
Your ds is quite badly behaved at school, this has been going on for a some time as he is now in year 3. He is now not doing well academically. You seem to have put these two things together and decided that the teacher has allowed him to become disengaged. I am not sure why this seems to be the cause?? Surely the fact that he is constantly pissing about means he is not going to benefit from the teaching in the same way as someone who is sitting quietly listening?? I am not sure what you expect of the teacher other than to push your ds to shut up and listen, which it sounds like she is doing. I think the best way of helping your ds is to support school in disciplining your ds for bad behaviour, support him with his homework, perhaps do some extra work with him. There are plenty of extra workbooks you can buy to do with him at home.
Children do go through phases where their academic progress wanes, especially if they are unhappy at school with their friendship groups. What areas is he falling behind in?
It does seem like his classroom behaviour needs dealing with, so he's not causing low level disruption. Does he acknowledge that his behaviour could be better?
I knew year 3 would get tough for him, that's why I asked his teacher for advice on supporting him at home, but my gut feeling is telling me the issue is deeper than changes in curriculum standards and I would so very appreciated advice on going to the school armed with the right information to get the right answers to move forward into year 4 and make the most of his learning experience...
I had same impression as cansu from OP. My ds was once made to sit on his own for chatting(last year, yr2). He learned the lesson, and now deliberately not sit with his friends during class so he doesn't get distracted. Teacher told me he now ignores someone trying to distract him, and other children started to follow this.
I think until last year, curriculum was relatively easy, but it all seems to have changed in yr3. If you don't pay attention in the class, there's no wonder he is not doing so well. Support the teacher and help him to engage at his lesson. It's not teacher's fault he is badly behaved in school.
You should be able to find out what topic they are learning each term, (my ds's school put info on website, but if not, you can ask the teacher.)
and help him with it at home. You can buy workbooks or there are a lot of educational free website.
He is aware of his behaviour, he is doing silly things like combing his hair during lessons (all combs now confiscated). He thrives of a challenge and being given the opportunity to exceed expectations but these opportunities are not coming his way. He has an acute awareness of fair play, he sees other kids being rewarded for achievement that he's barely given recognition for and he often gives accurate accounts of his grievances which I can't ignore.
His behaviour is the root of the problem - he's not listening and showing off - these things often sound trivial to parents - but when a teacher has spent hours planning an activity - and gets interrupted constantly - it's very frustrating -
He needs to demonstrate his ability in class -
I would ask for honest feed back on his attitude - copies of his work - and see the work of a more able child to compare the difference
He may well be able - he's just not putting the work in
It sounds like he has been labelled the naughty kid and is now living up to that expectation.
He needs to over compensate with immaculate behaviour to change this perception of him.
It's hard to tell if you are underplaying how disruptive and distracted he is at school, you probably need to meet with the teacher and really listen to what they are saying.
He also sounds like he has disengaged from school. A bit drastic but would changing schools help and is that an option?
This is where it's falling apart.
I've asked for feedback and I'm willing to accept he needs a firmer approach. He isn't 'badly behaved' and has himself requested to be moved from a child who he felt was a distraction. I just can't get beyond the 'polite' conversation with his teacher that gets to the nitty gritty of what can be done to improve his school experience.
If you feel that he isn't being given ample opportunity to exceed expectations then I agree with Cody, go in to see the teacher and ask to see his work. Essentially though, if he tries to do his best, then he will meet the learning intention and excel himself. I think it does sound like he's being a bit 'silly' in class and trying to get the teacher's attention, not unusual in a seven year old. Not saying you are, but don't be defensive with the teacher if you meet them and together discuss his behaviour and how it's impacting on his work. Then make sure your son knows you're working with the teacher and that you're serious about his less desirable behaviour. I'm surprised the teacher hasn't flagged up more of a concern if he's not performing as well as he was/should. And finally, it's getting towards the end of term, everyone is tired and things can start to unravel. Perhaps bigging up year 4 to him will help set up good intentions for next year.
Children are very adept at giving accurate accounts that show that they are not being treated fairly! However the fact that that this poor behaviour and lack of respect for the teachers combined with fact that his work isn't as good as it should be really tells you all you need to know. It also does sound as if your ds is playing you by trying to turn the issue into a problem with his teacher not being fair. Be firm with your ds, show him that you are unhappy with his lack of effort and you might start to see a change. Have you considered asking for him to be on report so you can see how many incidents of poor beh there are. Have you seen what he is producing, compared to other children who are doing better? I would start with this.
Report is good -
Things likes a star chart green for a good session in literacy - red for not listening in maths etc -
Can you ask his teacher to provide extra home work - or at least know what they are doing in class - ie write a letter - so you can reiterate at home?
Tell the teacher you are in her side and you want DS to be the best he can be
Teachers can't force children to listen
Making him sit alone for talking isn't stamping her authority, it's basic behaviour management.
Being on report or a star chart system would be good. If you go in to the teacher with the attitude of "I want to get him to settle in class, these are some ideas, what do you think of us implementing these?" You will get on better. You need to go in and be prepared to hear that your DS has sugarcoated his stories and his behaviour may be more disruptive than you think.
Also, it's May now. A lot of kids do get distractable and chatty around this time of year - you can certainly put in a strategy now but bear that in mind.
"Being on report or a star chart system would be good. If you go in to the teacher with the attitude of "I want to get him to settle in class, these are some ideas, what do you think of us implementing these?" You will get on better. You need to go in and be prepared to hear that your DS has sugarcoated his stories and his behaviour may be more disruptive than you think."
This about sums it up. I think a star chart system definitely sounds like a good plan. He needs to understand that the teacher cannot "engage" him in the work or give him more interesting work if he does not buckle down to actually do some work. That is his responsibility and nobody else's.
You also need to get over your aggrievance about the teacher "allowing him to slide down to the bottom of the class". What may have happened here is simply that some of the other children were later developers and have now caught up with him. This is very common in the early years: many children who seem very bright early on plateau when the others catch up. My ds was at the bottom of the class throughout primary and then shot up to top sets in several subjects. Naturally that meant some other children now were lower than him. Is that the fault of the teacher for "allowing the other children to slide"?
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