what exactly do they expect from me?(65 Posts)
A toss up between here and AIBU....allow me to rant a little.
Two lots of parents evenings in the last couple of weeks. Ive spent most of the evening listening to the teachers moaning about my sons being chatterboxes. you get a small slot to discuss your child, they are invariably running late, so its all rushed, and they spend 8 out of the allocated 10 minutes telling you that your child talks too much.
I actually stopped Teacher 1 yesterday, and said "Well, Ok, now lets talk about how he is actually doing academically"
The other child is in seniors, and by the 4th teacher, I said, "Hello, Im Xs mum, just so we are clear, I accept that he is chatty and a bit giddy, but what I actually want to hear is how he is doing in History/math/english."
AIBU to actually want to hear about things I can control and assist in? Surely chatty behavior in class is the teachers issue, not mine - if she's told him 10 times a day not to chat, does she really think that one word from me is going to stop it?
Ive also had a call from a subject teacher of DS1s about him giggling in class (he is a young 13) and could I punish him at home. This is after he has given my son detention. Again, if the teacher has no control over a bunch of teen boys, is that really my issue? Im at a loss as to what they expect me to do. I think if my son has had a detention, and I have supported the school in that decision, I shouldnt then be taking my childs phone/games controller/pocket money away from him as a second punishment?
I really want to be supportive of the school, but honestly, Im sick of it.
Last night the teacher actually said my youngest was very bright and clearly gets what is needed on the first explanation, but then "gets really excited about the work and starts chatting..." - and somehow, Im supposed to deal with this? SUrely a child who is excited about his work is a good thing? ANd if he is chatting in class, she needs to deal with that, as teachers have done since forever.
To make matters worse, what I actually wanted to explore was the fact that my son is showing many signs of being dyslexic and I want to know how they will support him and whether I need to get things in place now for when he goes to secondary school. But no, we had 8 minutes on how chatty he was.
DO they not teach behaviour management is teacher training college?
Ok..if for real, yabu. But you knew that, right? Because otherwise you're just bonkers.
Of course it's your job to support the staff in behavioural issues with your son. He is disruptive!
If the boy is breaking school rules he should be punished in school.
Yes...and have the school's expectations reinforced at home, provided they are not unreasonable.
Do we really send out kids of to school and say 'who gives a fuck what they get up to - not my problem!@
If your son is not behaving well at school, absolutely it is your job to follow this up at home.
I think it depends on what the problem is. Classroom discipline is the teacher's job. If my child was vandalising school property or stealing then I would punish her at home on top of the school's punishment.
One child behaving inappropriately may be an anomaly.....but two.....
School and parents should work in partnership to help the child do their best and to reach their full potential. If you support the teachers at home by talking to your children about what's expected of them in school it reinforces the message. Also, a little bit of "if I hear you've been chatting again in school there will be no xbox/tv/pc/trip to cinema/swimming" it'sa big help.
I think it's OK for teachers to ask you to talk to your son about his behaviour in class and ask him to think why be does it. It's quite another to expect you to fix it, when your not there!
The best one I ever had was
Y2 teacher sweeping in "Can you stop DD1 fussing?", sweeps out.
Leaving me sitting there looking like a goldfish.
That was it, that was my consultation,
The answer had she bothered to wait was no!
In retrospect I know DD1 fussed, her lesson style and DD were totally at odds for many reasons, undiagnosed dyslexia being one of them.
Not something I could fix with a two minute chat at home!
If a teacher had told me my dd was often chatting and disrupting lessons I would certainly be tackling it at home too.
So, you have no control over your child's behaviour, that's for the teacher to address, but you imagine you can influence his academic performance?
Have you considered that if you address the behaviour, the rest may well follow automatically? And that it really isn't within the teacher's remit to teach your child the manners you seem to have failed to teach them yourself.
It seems quite a big step for a subject teacher to call you at home. It can't just be a matter of giggling a bit in class. Sounds like there's a level of disruption that is above the level of normal classroom management and your DS is enough of a problem for them to need your support dealing with it at home. Perhaps it is just chatting and giggling, but the extent of it is excessive. Are you really saying that it would make no difference for you to have a strong talk with him or start to take sanctions at home? Would he not get his act together and stop misbehaving? I think if you just say it's the school's problem, you're sending him (them!) the wrong message. If you don't take what the school says seriously, why would yor DSs?
To answer your question, I would expect the following:
1) Sit down and talk to your DCs individually. Explain that the teacher's report was very disappointing. Say that you expect better and point out that their behaviour WILL be affecting their learning (and others in the class).
2) Set a target- behaviour must improve by the next time you speak to the teacher. Insert appropriate reward/sanction based on whether or not this happens.
3) If possible, contact teacher again in a couple of weeks to check how children are doing. (Much easier in primary, but even in secondary a quick phone call to HOY or note in homework diary should be possible).
4) Continue to reinforce expectations of appropriate behaviour- ask the children themselves how they are doing, discuss strategies they can use to work on their own behaviour (e.g moving away from friends who may distract them).
Parents shouldn't get into the habit of perpetuating school rumours at home! That's a disastrous way to behave. Presumably the child has his/her own view of what actually went on. To be judged by the teacher (who is actually there) is one thing. But not by a parent who wasn't. That's a recipe for unfairness and resentment.
By all means talk to your children about what being considerate to others, including teachers, means.
" Parents shouldn't get into the habit of perpetuating school rumours at home!"
I don't follow - are you saying that teachers reporting on a child's behaviour to a parent is perpetuating a rumour??
It doesn't sound like there's any reason to think her sons aren't being disruptive. More that she doesn't feel that it's her problem.
And that it really isn't within the teacher's remit to teach your child the manners you seem to have failed to teach them yourself.
Was it a rumour, then, learnandsay?
The op seems fairly convinced she was actually involved in the discussion.
'Perpetuating school rumours'?
You mean the opinion of the professional who is teaching your child- you are viewing this as a' rumour'?
Please tell me I have misunderstood your post lands.
Well, the level of evidence being discussed here isn't exactly scientific. Is it?
Teachers have a very limited set of sanctions and a lot of children aren't bothered by detentions. So yes, it would be really helpful if you could back up the school by administering sanctions that your DC do care about, e.g. X-box. It shows that you also do not tolerate the poor behaviour that your DC are exhibiting at school.
Fgs if your children are being chatty and disruptive at school you back the school up and come up with strategies to sort it out.
My ds2 had issues at school re behaviour and you are dam right i backed the school up even when it meant going in everyday to see how he had behaved and yes i folowed that through with consequences at home.
I have a young 13 yr old as well. Aug bday so youngest in the yr and by 13 they should bloody well know to pipe down and get on with their work at school!
And re evidence if ALL of their teachers are complaining about them.being 'chatty' then i would say its fairly conclusive that they are indeed chatty.
You need scientific evidence to decide whether a child is behaving? As opposed to the opinion of the professional who wants that child to achieve to the best of their potential?
The tone of your earlier post made it sound as if some of us want the teacher and parent to gang up and pass judgement on the child. This is absolutely not how I see it. For me it is a team effort where all 3 members (ie parent, child, teacher) need to work together. The child should be involved in discussions, and be able to put their view across. But they also need to see that the parent will work with and support the teacher because they both want to achieve the same thing.
Sorry, that last post was addressed to lands.
In both cases I would phone the school and ask for an appointment with the SENCO.
If it is a bad enough problem that a teacher phones you at home because your son is "giggling" then there seems to be a real problem; secondary school teachers do not phone parents willy-nilly.
By getting the SENCO involved you are acknowledging there is a problem, but also forcing teachers to be more specific, and starting the process towards any diagnosis for underlying issues.
"And that it really isn't within the teacher's remit to teach your child the manners you seem to have failed to teach them yourself." Is a totally unhelpful remark, on the lines of lets just "blame the mother". I have no idea what I could do to stop my children being chatty/or giggling in class, other than a quick word. If the problem is such it is mentioned by all the teachers like this, then I don't think a quick word is going to solve it.
(Could be that they are bored BTW.)
Yes, you are probably right, my kids are chatterers, they enjoy school, they like their work. Crap parenting right there, clearly.
We do support the school, we do speak to our kids about appropriate behaviour, we do also invoke punishments at home for the big important stuff - we have made a huge effort to be supportive with No 1 child, and got the behaviour under control by following a "more carrot, less stick" approach - because if you put a kid in detention every day for 2 weeks and the behaviour continues, then clearly the punishment is not working and you have to look and do something different. So him getting off report and having 2 weeks straight without any detentions earned him a reward.
I get that discipline in class is important - believe me, I do understand this. And I get that the teachers need our support in dealing with the behaviour.
But surely to God there are more important things to worry about a childs' education that whether or not he chatting. Like for example his spelling is in the lowest 10% and he is still reversing letters and he can't decode words.
I also get that its annoying and disruptive, but again, I have to ask what a teacher would expect from me......I can and do talk to my kids, I can and do stress how important it is, I can and do reinforce behaviour at home. But I cannot sit in the classroom everyday. That's her job.
Also, while with older child I am having an ongoing dialogue with the school and working cooperatively with them to bring DS1s behaviour into line, WIth child No 2, last night was out of the blue 8 minute rant about his chatting. "Its not malicious..", "its not intended to disrupt, but..." rant rant rant.
How hard would it have been to catch me in the playground and tell me "could you have a word?" Or write me a note?
I guess my problem is that my concerns about his actual education (reading, writing, arithmetic type stuff) were pushed to one side so the teacher could have a moan. A valid moan it may have been, but clearly our expectations about the purpose of parents evenings differed significantly.
Absolutely agree Pozzled. It's actually quite alarming to think that a lot of parents basically wash their hands of their dc's behaviour when they are not physically present.
I'm working on this with my own dd. Looking at her school books, there are often rather blank pages where she has been chatting and I think her relatively quiet form of chatting goes under the radar most of the time. As both an ex-teacher and a parent this is highly undesirable. Don't you care that they are missing school work due to their own behaviour?
In an ideal world both parents and teachers would be able to discipline all children perfectly. Since that is clearly not the world most of us live in - we have to team together to do the best we can.
In the long term I quite agree with you, pozzled. If I knew damn well that my child was a pain in the butt in school and one of the ones who disrespected the teacher, talked while the teacher was talking and threw things around the classroom I'd expect him or her to be disciplined in school. But I would also demonstrate to him or her that this type of behaviour was unacceptable and inadvisable. I'd do that by taking him or her to meet people who have done badly at school and who work with such people. If the teacher and the school can't organise their own discipline then neither can I. But I can bring my children up well in general.
Hatt - I agree that this should have been discussed earlier. I myself was a terrible chatterer at school - and that's partly why I want to discourage it - I so know whereof I speak!
if the teacher has no control over a bunch of teen boys, is that really my issue?
The answer partly is yes. You do need to back up the school and, whilst you are not there in the classroom at the time, both DSs need to know that you find this unacceptable. Teachers have very few sanctions to use if detentions don't work and do have to sometimes rely on parents enforcing sanctions that they cannot at home.
I think though from the tone of your OP that you don't find it as unacceptable as the teacher. Perhaps she has not explained how disruptive this constant chatting and giggling through a lesson can be - and it must be bad to dominate 80% of parents' evening. You seem much more focused on how they are doing academically without perhaps realising that the reason the teacher emphasises the behaviour so much is that it will hamper their academic achievement (and that of the rest of the class too). They may both be able enough to wing it at the moment but at some stage, they are going to need to learn to concentrate and behave in order to be able to do the work and at that point could come unstuck.
If you believe unsupported additional needs are at the heart of one or both boys problems then you need to seek help from the school with this. But if you believe they are both just quite young and naturally chatty types, you do need to think how you can help the school get this in check.
Well if you are doing the things I listed above (and it sounds like you are) then I agree that there's not a great deal more you can do.
I also thoroughly agree that the issues with your son's literacy need to be looked at in more detail- how old is he? (Sorry if you've said and I've missed it). I would make an appointment to see the senco to discuss the specific issues.
Do you think that the teachers feel that the chattiness is responsible for the other issues? If so, that might explain why they are focusing on it so much.
Do you think that maybe your son has difficulty decoding etc because of the chatting instead of listening? A little bit of chatter is one thing but it sounds like its much more than this and the chatting is probably disrupting lessons above usual level for everyone. I do agree that it should have been discussed with you earlier.
OP, how old is your youngest son and why do you believe he is still unable to decode?
"Well, the level of evidence being discussed here isn't exactly scientific. Is it?"
I'm really not following now. It's not a court case. It's not about evidence. The kids are playing up. OP knows they're playing up. No suggestion that the schools are making this up. Crikey, must drive teachers crackers when simple pleas for parental support become matters for scientific evidence!
He is 10. We know that he has issues visually processing data - had him tested last year, found his visual spacial awareness is that of a 4 year old, cannot see that a letter or number is back to front or even upside down without using a motor skill to confirm - so he writes the letter in the air to compare what he can see and what he knows to be the correct letter/number orientation. But he still gets 5, 2, 7, 9 back to front, as well as J, F and S
And yet his visual sequencing memory is that of an 18 year old. However, he copes well at school - his reading is average for his age, his writing ito content is good and imaginative, but its barely legible. He has a writing slope to help him, and we've tried a variety of pencils and grips.
His latest spelling test gave him 28%. His decoding.....for eg yesterday he wanted the Cinnamon. And picked up the Cumin. He will look at a word and as long as it has some of the right letters, he makes a guess I think. BUt im not an educator, or a dyslexia specialist. But the school seem to be taking the tack that as he is not that bad, they need not really intervene. He is on School Action for his physical writing skills, as the act of writing is very hard for him, especially copying things from the board, because he loses his place so easily.
Hes a bright and inquisitive lad with great imagination and I went in wanting to know if they thought he would be able to cope in secondary school, when there is more writing and a greater emphasis on being able to spell correctly, or whether I needed to get him fully assessed for dyslexia/dyspraxia type spectrum, so that he would be able to get more support in Senior school. I got nothing.
I would raise your question in the special needs forum. It's possible your son would get no special help in secondary school either. If my son was doing that guessing thing that you talked about I would try to work out with him how he was doing his guessing and see if we couldn't improve it a bit. His cooking is never going to be much good if he keeps picking up the cumin when he's reaching for cinnamon. But if he never picks up coriander then something is going on there. The question is, what?
I would be very pro-active in getting him more assessments and help, and also talking to the senior school SENCO about his issues.
To be fair it is those parents whose kids get the most help a lot of the time. Make yourself a nuisance.
If he has that level of difficulty in decoding, then it is no wonder he is chatty. Either he can't cope so is chatting to relieve the boredom, or he is asking for help. (He may even be one of those kids who find it hard to think without speaking.)
My goodness. You know you are being completely unreasonable surely?
Get a grip on your children and stop the poor behaviour in it's tracks. In 10 years time this won't matter a jot to the teachers but it will to you and your children.
Teachers try their best but at the end of the day they have 30 ish children to care for, look after and educate. It only takes 1 or 2 to be disruptive to make this a pretty much impossible task. BACK THE SCHOOL UP and do your job as a parent. Your attitude is extremely poor.
Sorry I missed the bits about possible SN. Finding things difficult is not an excuse for poor behaviour although it does sound like more support at school will be needed. Push for this.
YABU. I don't know if any teachers will empathise here, but I know I've spent a lot time telling parents about their kids' chattering. ( I always give levels and progress, too.) the reason for the chatting babble is that, to be honest, I'm trying to find a way of saying "your child is really pissing me off with their constant talking over me. It's hindering their learning and the learning of those around them."
Yes many kids are natural talkers, and it's a lovely quality fora child to be confident and articulate. However, as they go up the school, they cannot possibly give their best effort when they are talking. Their mind simply isn't engaged. This is why it's a bigger issue than you seem to think.
But surely to God there are more important things to worry about a childs' education that whether or not he chatting. Like for example his spelling is in the lowest 10% and he is still reversing letters and he can't decode words.
Do you not see there may well be a link between the two?
True, but equally there may be none.
Well it would still be in the op's best interest to find out, don't you think, learn??
flogging, if the teachers repeatedly fob us of with "Oh its not that bad" because he is not in the lowest quartile of the class, what should a layman do? We spent £££ on a private behavioural optometrist report, to establish what exactly his visual processing issue was after the school noted there was a problem but did nothing to assess what it was. The report was sent to his teacher and copied to the SENCo.
The result - well they help him with handwriting, but that's it. Because he is "not that bad". But, as in the original post, I want to know if "not that bad" in juniors will become a big problem in seniors, and I was hoping that the teacher would be able to give me some guidance as to whether he would be able to use his current coping strategies effectively in senior school, or whether his particular issues might benefit from me starting the endless paper trail now that will be needed to get additional support at senior school.
please dont assume I dont support the school in behaviour management, because I do. But in this case, I have to wonder again, "what do they expect me to do" if the first I hear of this is an 8 minute rant on parents evening. An evening that I obviously mistakenly believe to be an opportunity to discuss concerns with academic achievement as well as behaviour.
It would appear to me that the eldest could do well academically, if he applied himself and stopped chatting and that the youngest could be dyslexic, but it is difficult to tell because he might just be chatting and not applying himself. If you stop the chatting and get them to concentrate then you might find out! The teachers need back up and a partnership. They can't get very far if your DSs know that you don't take it seriously and write it off as the teachers job. Take it seriously, with a few consequences and you might be pleasantly surprised by the change.
The teacher's concern seems to be that the chattering is having a detrimental effect on your children's progress.
I would have thought it obvious what they expected you to do! Stop the low level disruption, which must irritate everyone, and get them to concentrate on school work- the reason they are there!
exoticfruits - how do you propose a mother stops her child (who may have SEN) stops his low level disruption in school, when she isn't there?
She can't but she can make it clear that this type of behaviour is not acceptable and that she supports the teacher.
but how exotic?
WOuld I be out of order, for example, to suggest that the teacher send me a daily update on chattering so that I know if the day has been bad - this is what the daily reports at senior school did, and were reasonably effective after a time. Then I could tackle it in specific terms, rather than "your teacher says you chat too much - pack it in" which is all I can really do at the moment, not really having a quantifiable bit of information to go on. This also means I can reward days when he doesnt get to be Mr Chatty.
Would I also, do you think, be out of line to request a meeting with the senco to see if she could review the optomestrist report and suggest next steps? Because even the teacher said she had noticed (!) DS2 had issues decoding words. Although she hadnt noticed letter reversals....until she opened his book and on first page he had reversed a letter in his name!
Yet nothing seems to be done to help or advise.
Yes ask for daily or weekly updates and back the school up. When my ds2 who is 10 had issues like this in yr 5 I saw the teacher briefly at the end if every days to get a brief report on his day. Going down to twice then once a week as he improved and he had consequences at home is no Xbox time or football club. We also had him assessed (as school and go suggested) by camhs as they thought he could have add. Hr is borderline and being consistent and working with the school with various strategies has led to an immense improvement.
You need yo make an appointment to discuss his educational needs with teacher and senco to sort out any son's he may need help with.
But you do have to back the school up. Does he not gave a homework diary the teacher could write a brief note in each day or a few times a week? See had a behavior diary from camhs which was good.
Could you not ask both of them why they talk so much in class? Then work from there building a specific guide for them both to stick to with sanctions and rewards? But do it long term.
I'm no teacher but it is what I would do with DS1 if he was getting into trouble/not fulfilling his potential.
I would agree with 5madthings and if the school don't already do it I would get a notebook and split it into lessons-he would have to get it signed by the teacher if they had gone well and comments if they didn't. I would then have consequences at home if he didn't get a good report or do extra fun things if it was good.
Mine have never had a problem, but I have always thought that if they were a problem and the notebook wouldn't work then I would suggest to the teacher that I went in with them, sat beside them and made them behave.
I would also be there at the end of the day to look at the notebook with the teacher-behaving badly would not be an option!
Oh-and I would get a meeting with the SENCO
If there were adverse comments in the notebook then I would sit him down at home with DH and say 'it says-xxxxx -now why did you do that?' and discuss it as in 'what was the point' etc etc-in fact bore them to death having to explain every single point and then look absolutely baffled. They are most likely to behave simply not to have a daily inquisition!
Yes ds2had a diary that was split into lessons and he got a score out if 10 for each lesson, the teacher wanted him to get all 8 and above, it worked really well and as the day was split into segments if he had one BSD session he knew he could pull it up the rest of the day. Breaking the day into chunks really helped him, along with him having the option of asking for time out if he could feel he was getting distracted etc. Ds2is very bright but summer born and not very mature emotionally, he was easily distracted and the class clown at times but working with the school he has settled down brilliantly and now in yr 6 and doing brilliantly, he has the same teacher as yr 5 and he says how much he has matured and progressed. But it took us and the school working together and being consistent, he still has his quirky, slightly cheeky personality but knows there is a time and a place!!
My ds1 and ds3 are 'perfect pupils' always well behaved, model students etc and never a bad word is said about them but ds2 is a very different personality and we had to find strategies that worked for him. Its a team effort with the school
you see, this stuff is what I needed from the teacher - its no good throwing a problem at someone in an angry and accusatory way and leaving it all hanging - offer me an issue and a possible solution, I can work with that. So Im going to write to her and suggest a behaviour card, then I will know whats what.
Unfortunately I cannot pop in every day as I lift share, so only collect once or twice a week, depending on clubs etc. and there isn't really a pattern to it most weeks. (I collect older children from a school that finishes 5 mins earlier)
Bad session not BSD session...
A behaviour card/diary is a good plan, but also go in to speak to them re the issues he has with reading/writing, he shouldn't be writing letters the wring way round at age 10, is he in yr 6?
he's in Y5. I dont think he should be reversing letters and numbers either, but I dont want to be one of THOSE parents that demands a label for their child. Ive been going with what the school is saying (that he is doing OK) but I do worry that its all going to go tits up in Y7, when he will have to write more.
OK so you have another year before high school, that's good.
Ime reversing letters at age 10 isn't common but a teacher may say differently. I guess they may be thinking its because he is distractable?
You need a two pronged approach, the behaviour diary and insist on seeing teacher and senco, see what theory advised he work he can practise at home and what support they can offer him at school.
If you ask on the sen boards about dyslexia etc you should get some advice. I know my friend really had to push to get her dd's dysexia diagnoised as she was 'doing OK'. They may be doing OK but that doesn't mean they are working to the best of their ability and potential!
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