DS Yr7 been told he has negative attitude towards subject

(65 Posts)
Spree Tue 11-Dec-12 13:32:31

I have just received an email from DS' (yr 7) Spanish teacher complaining that he has shown a negative attitude towards the subject, doesn't cooperate and manifests this through words in class and won't listen.

I am not sure what to do as this teacher had complained about his behaviour at a parent-teacher a few weeks ago.

We had agreed for her to seat him away from his group of friends and now this.

DS, before I showed him who the email was from, hadn't a clue which teacher would complain about him & would not have listed Spanish as his least favourite subject.

However, he admits he has sometimes talked in class & says the lesson is boring, all they do is copy stuff from the board.

I have told him that teachers don't appreciate students talking during their lessons & he will just need to respect that.

I don't know what to say in response to the teacher.

She has offered to meet but I don't fancy going to listen to what she has already said in her email - without anything to add to it.

He is otherwise doing well at school.

lljkk Tue 11-Dec-12 13:36:13

I think in these situations I end up telling DC that I expect them to always show respect to the teacher. They don't have to like the subject and I don't have it in me to insist they always try their hardest at it. But respect first and foremost, yes.

So that principle would frame whatever strategy I came up with to work on this.

He is so lucky to be studying Spanish!! Only offered at A-level in local state-schools.

If he's generally well-behaved I'd be tempted to say it's up to the teacher to deal with the behaviour. Bad attitude in a single class is more likely down to the teacher than the student, IMHO.

ZZZenAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 13:40:56

I think you will have to go in and listen to what she has to say really.

Spree Tue 11-Dec-12 14:09:29

The thing is I think he quite likes the language, i have done a little bit of it so at this level, can help him out a bit & found a website we could both look through to help him with it.

Really don't want him to be put off the subject ...

But yes, I think he needs to understand that he has to give the teacher the respect she deserves - regardless

Would you feel able to meet with the teacher and explain why he was talking and not paying attention? If the class is boring and they really do just copy things from the board then I'm not surprised that his attention wanders.

If he doesn't want to be in trouble, then he may need to learn how to be bored quietly, but it's not ideal, specially if he likes the subject and would like to learn it.

I don't know to what extent a teacher automatically "deserves" respect if they are not much good at teaching, but at the very least he should respect the wishes of others in the class to not be disrupted if they are trying to learn.

Spree Wed 12-Dec-12 07:22:37

Have told DS he needs to respect the teacher and not talk in class.

Arranging to meet her after Xmas & I think I will mention that he finds the copying from the board a bit boring and ask if anything can be done differently to engage him (& the other boys) in the class.

Had dinner with some Spanish-speaking friends and DS said this word "callate" which he says Spanish teacher uses often in class.

Friend explains in front of DS that it means to keep quiet.

However, when I saw friend today, she says "callate" really means shut up & is not a nice form to be using when "silencio" could be used.

Not sure I like the idea of teacher shouting "shut up" at kids ...

And I know she must be using it often enough that DS has picked it up.

lljkk Wed 12-Dec-12 07:45:15

Callate just means "quiet yourself". Not rude imho. Callarse = to quiet oneself. When you learn a language you learn a culture*, too, and it isn't rude in Spanish to be so direct.

Rude thing to say would be "Callete la boca" which is literally "Quiet yourself the mouth" or English equivalent, "Shut up."

Look on the bright side, at least he's learnt something.

*Not that the English appear capable of understanding much about conventions in other cultures & languages (Luis Suarez affair)

Asterisk Wed 12-Dec-12 10:18:35

Copying from the board is a bit boring, but there is vocab to learn for a language and a fair amount of getting it down in exercise books is inevitable. The teacher taking the time to contact you is a good sign -- she cares about what goes on in her class. If I were you, I would e-mail back saying that you are sorry your son has been disruptive and you have spoken to him about it. Point out that he is interested in the subject. Say that hopefully his attitude in the class will improve, but would she please let you know if the problem persists and then you will come in and discuss it. In the meantime ask if there any strategies is she implementing in class for dealing effectively with him that won't cause him to start actively disliking Spanish classes? Ultimately, your talking to him is not likely to be as effective as good classroom management.

racingheart Wed 12-Dec-12 12:24:04

Hmm. Not sure of your idea of expecting the teacher to change her lesson plans to entertain a disruptive pupil. I think it might be time to explain to your son that lessons aren't there to entertain him but to teach him. That it doesn't matter if they are boring, so long as he can learn from them.

Give him a challenge. Ask him to sit at the front, really focus, concentrate on what he's copying from the board, and think about how he could use and apply what he's learning. Ask him to do that for the next six lessons then to review, for himself, whether it's as dull as it was when he mucked about.

She doesn't sound like an inspired teacher, but children have to learn to be respectful and self disciplined. It shouldn't be a case of: I won't co-operate unless conditions are ideal, as set down in my own terms.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 14:52:35

I don't quite agree with several posts. If DS is doing well in all other areas I would say its not his behavior. Is he managing to actually copy all the work off the board and then talking? I would ask the teacher what they have done to earn the respect of their pupils and what the plan is to differentiate the lessons so all pupils are engaged and challenged in class.

Its very last century to say a child should sit in silence and be bored out of his mind because a teacher is to lazy or inept to produce a good/outstanding lesson. Perhaps you could speak to the head about how the teacher is performing and progressing. If the school is converting to an academy it should make it easier to get rid of under performing teachers.

And it is definitely not ok for the teacher to be constantly shouting at the children to shut up. It might be ok in Spanish culture to do this but we are bringing up our children in the English culture and for a teacher to do this is appalling behavior. Doesn't surprise me to hear kids are talking sometime if the teacher acts like this. It might be old fashioned but 'teachers should lead by example'.

blindworm Wed 12-Dec-12 15:01:58

He's right though, that does sound boring.

racingheart Wed 12-Dec-12 15:02:34

Chloe I think your attitude doesn't help children, long term.

Children are at school to learn. Ideally, the environment is entertaining and stimulating, but even if it isn't, even if it's dull but useful, they must learn to be quiet during lesson time and to concentrate and apply their minds to the job they've been asked to do. Otherwise the little darlings will develop a sense of endless entitlement to the world being like some fun fair and they won't learn the essential art of concentration for its own sake.

The West is being outstripped by Asian cultures which value respect and diligence. We are so child-centred these days that children are not acquiring essential life skills and degrees of maturity which are necessary to thrive in the adult world.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 15:38:02

So, the kids who are slower to copy take even longer because the fast ones should be allowed to chat and mess about and disrupt? grin

Sounds perfect, Chloe.

If you want your children educated in large classes of mixed ability, they need to learn respect for others, teachers and pupils alike.

He can't manage a few minutes here and there without chatting? Shame.

ZZZenAgain Wed 12-Dec-12 15:59:26

tbh I would be hesitant to advise the teacher on how to do her job. She does seem to be rather passing the buck and expecting you to sort this out which is difficult as you are obviously not in the classroom when this is going on.

It does sound as if she is not a particularly gifted teacher but the problem is we rarely get to pick and choose our teachers at school, your ds just has to find a way of making good progress, whatever teachers he gets IYSWIM.

What I would do is tell her that you are surprised about the problem because your ds is doing well in his other subjects and there has never been a problem like this brought up before. You know that he likes Spanish but he has told you that he dislikes all the writing down from the board and when he has a lot to copy down, that is when he tends to feel bored and get distracted and you think that is probably when he starts talking. YOu've spoken to him about the importance of not distracting the rest of the class who are still concentrating on getting things down correctly and you think he took that in. I think I would mention too that he has been doing some Spanish at home as well (whatever it was you did with him) and that he enjoys, in particular he really enjoys X (songs, conversation, learning about dc in Spain, whatever it is) it so you really think it is a problem that can be solved. He is definitely open to learning Spanish.

If she twigs from that and livens up her lessons a bit , ok but if not, I don't know if it would go down well tbh if you told her how to do her job, even in the form of polite suggestions. You'd need to speak to someone above her about that (Head of foreign languages perhaps) and if her superior observed some lessons and maybe gave her some advice, it might be a good solution. It would, I think, have to come from that quarter. At this point though, I wouldn't take that step.

ZZZenAgain Wed 12-Dec-12 16:03:57

sorry my third paragraph got very muddled, was on the phone to dd at the same time.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:01:52

racingheart - exactly what about challenging and stimulating lessons creates a sense of entitlement? However, boring and dull lessons do create the sense that learning is a core not a joy. No one is asking the teachers to be entertainers but they are supposed to teach children that learning is enjoyable. Learning by rote, copying down endless text off the board etc teaches noting but a robotic process that involves zero thought. Learning to cope with boredom is not the same as learning to concentrate. If you are saying that the Asian cultures achieve better than us by creating endless 'cloned' children that are highly educated slaves with no ability for independent, inspirational thought then you are right.

The answer is not to compete with those countries but to do what England used to do best before the last government created the culture of making everyone equal at the bottom. We should be stretching the brightest children so they love learning and go on to invent, discover, create, lead, innovate, inspire and all the things that made Britain a Great country.

madwomanintheattic - case in point, you seem to think its better to hold the bright children back to help the 'slowest' ones. Shame.

It is also a shame every school has a few 'less than gifted' teachers that children just have to cope with. The more academies we have the more parents can pressure heads to sack the bad ones and reward the good ones. Our children deserve better.

Dominodonkey Wed 12-Dec-12 20:12:07

chloe 74 are you an OFSTED inspector?
"I would ask the teacher what they have done to earn the respect of their pupils" - Probably 17 years of education, a degree and a teaching qualification plus many years teaching - the child doesn't have to bow or scrape just not talk when he shouldn't be.

OP- If you came in and told me your child was disruptive and talked because the lesson was boring I would be disgusted. I know you have generally been supportive of the teacher in your posts but please don't even hint to your son that his behaviour may be justified as it will do him no good in the long run.

The cry of "my child is fine in other lessons" means nothing, this teacher may have higher standards (nothing wrong with that), he may be in other lessons with more disruptive children so he flies under the radar or the other teachers may be too busy to contact you at the moment so not contacting until it becomes a major issue.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 20:19:08

Chloe, don't be stupid. I've got three gifted children. Why would I think that? Oddly, I expect my very able children to shut up, do as they are told, and accept that their peers may be working slower. If I found out they were chatting and being disruptive, I would be chewing them a new arsehole.

Appropriate differentiation is a grand old concept. Sadly not many teachers can manage it. I can only assume that you have been extremely lucky with your bright children to receive great teaching if you can afford to make ill judged and ridiculous comments like that. Or are you going to tell me that your kids are jolly gifted and piss the teacher around because they are bored? Nowt to do wit kids at all?

You are talking absolute bollocks, and clearly have no idea how children should behave. (Is that comment equally as stupid as offensive to you as yours was to me?)

And no, I'm not denying the very real possibility of twice exceptional kids who struggle with traditional schooling methods. One of my gifted kids also has ADHD and aspergers traits. I would still rip him a new one if he was disruptive in the classroom.

Tsk. What shite.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 20:20:00


Shame my arse.

Walk in these shoes for ten years and then come back, you know not of what you speak.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 20:21:56

And one of my gifted kids is also one of the slowest ones. grin she has the highest iq in the school, but her cerebral palsy means her fine motor struggles with recording.

I am blown away by your stupidity, tbh.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:03:26

Dominodonkey - I know loads of 'stupid' people with degrees, it is no indication of teaching ability. 17 years of education, could be 17 years of bad teaching. A teaching qualification, again is not indication of being a good teacher. I do agree pupils should be able to be quiet when appropriate but I do not accept this is an acceptable way to cover up bad lessons.

Bright children should not be left to sit in the corner bored out of their minds. Is it so hard for teachers to give them interesting and challenging work to do? At the very least why not let any child who has finished pull out a book and read, or get on with work from another class. Come on its not hard, I do not see anything humane or useful from asking a child to be seen and not heard.

madwomanintheattic - I only said that in response to one of your posts. smile I accept you are a parent/teacher that prefers to rule with an Iron fist, but I do not accept your right to force that opinion on other people. We left the Victorian era behind and there are far better ways to challenge and stretch bright children. I am sick of having to berate teachers when children offer answers that are correct but told they are wrong because the teacher is 'incorrect'. And if I heard of a (you) teacher "chewing them a new arsehole" I would come down on you like a ton of bricks. You are right that a lot of teachers are unable to differentiate, but that's because teachers has a job for life and ability has never been important. We need to get rid of those teachers.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 21:12:16

I'm not a teacher. I'm a parent of three gifted children that don't disrupt classes.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 21:13:44

And I'm talking about my kids. I will not have them disrupting other people's children's learning. End of.

It's a shame that other parents (you) feel that being bright gives (your) kids the right to do this.

Differentiation would be perfect if it existed.

threepiecesuite Wed 12-Dec-12 21:13:58

Before even opening the thread, I knew it would be a languages-related post... :-(

I'm a Spanish teacher. It's a brand new subject for most Yr7s. Some take to it,some don't. The ones who don't are, in the main, boys who find it too drama-y/too hard/too much to write/pointless.

I do everything I possibly can to bring the culture to the classroom, but there is a lot of vocab to learn and remember and that is hard for many/not what they are used to.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 21:16:17

(And believe me, any search of my posts would suggest that on occasion I have pontificated over homeschooling, rather the dreadful one-size-doesn't-fit-anyone sausage machine excuse that is British state education.)

But if you are in it, you have to put up and shut up. You can negotiate towards differentiation, but on no occasion does any child get informed that it is okay to mess about if he is bored.

No way you are going to persuade me of that one.

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Wed 12-Dec-12 21:21:09

I love the way people are taking it for granted that this teacher is crap at her job and her lessons involve nothing but copying from the board on the word of a disruptive eleven-year-old.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:06:55

madwomanintheattic – I actually agree with most of your opinions. I don't like differentiation either, would prefer selection, but its not available where I live. And I certainly wouldn't advocate my children being disruptive. I would class mine as educated but not beyond anything any parent that tried could do, in terms of sats level they are ‘bright’ but I see them as ‘normal’. Every time I talk to teachers all they say in response refers to differentiation, seems there is no alternative barring private.

However I disagree that if you are in it you have to put up or shut up, that's just class snobbery middle class parents use. Exactly how does a low income family (still pay taxes for education) who have to work have any choice? That sort of elitist opinion makes me feel very mad, like we have to shut up and accept our status in life and don’t do anything to better ourselves...

If my child was bored in class because a lazy teacher cant be bother to give them something challenging then its the teacher that should be sacked. If you prefer to silence your children rather than address the teacher then you are are part of the problem to be removed.

threepiecesuite - -glad to hear an honest teacher for once. I would rather you did your best to get kids interested in the language/culture/learning/cuisine/mythology in class and pushed the vocab to homework where parents can find the best way for them to learn it (like we did with spellings at primary). It doesn't work the other way around and many of us remember hating MFL teachers who can’t do this. There is so much to excite and interest children about different cultures, it is just wrong the way many schools takes the soul out of learning.

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire – Who is responsible, the adult or the child? If a child is at fault its ALWAYS because of the adult. In this case it could be the parents but we can only go on the info of the informed parent.

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Dec-12 22:12:35

Chloe. You would ask the teacher what they have done to earn the respect of their pupils????? Words fail me.

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Dec-12 22:15:04

Ha. If a child is at fault it's ALWAYS the fault of the adult
Ok. It's official, you're deranged.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:16:36

Seems a few parents on here still feel children aren't due their human rights. Shame

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:17:39

Children are born innocent, a blank slate. Anything that comes out of them is the result of input from adults.

changeforthebetterforObama Wed 12-Dec-12 22:19:47

biscuit First ever for Chloe. You really have it in for teachers. You should get a job with Michael Gove. Do naff off now, won't you?

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:22:54

changeforthebetterforObama - I appreciate its not PC to discuss 'teaching' issues but its always wrong to blame it on the kids. And it says it all when teachers with a financial interest prefer to resort to insults rather that justify their tax payer funded jobs for life with gold plated pensions.

SHoHoHodan Wed 12-Dec-12 22:40:00

Hmm. I had this a few times with ds1. What I did was arrange a meeting with the teacher, his year Head and ds1 himself. I would ask the teacher what the lessons involved and where he/she felt that ds1 wasn't paying attention/doing his best, then I would ask ds1 what his thoughts were on what the teacher had said.

The thing is, no matter how honest your child usually is, there's almost always some embellishment on the truth, plus a certain amount of 'forgotten' stuff, I've found. So the true facts may be that (for instance), your ds is chatting more than he thinks he is and that there is other stuff in the lessons to engage his interest (but he may not be fully recognising this because he has already disengaged by chatting/mucking about.

What I also used to say to ds1 was this: there are good teachers and there are not-so-good teachers. You will almost certainly have personality clashes with some of your teachers throughout your school career, just as you would anyone else-because teachers are human beings, just like you or me. They have bad days like you do too. But the one thing they have is a degree, which you (my ds1, that is) do not yet have. For that alone, you will listen to them because they know more about their subject than you do and they deserve your respect. (Sometimes I also used to add that I personally couldn't imagine having to try and teach a bunch of ungrateful little wretches day-in, day-out grin )

Strangely enough, on more than one occasion ds1 had the same teacher for a subject higher up in the school and the situation was completely different- whether it was because ds1 was growing up and therefore more able to relate more to them or what, I don't know, but it certainly happened.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:01:43

SHoHoHodan - I agree with you 99%. But I have first hand evidence that so called 'degrees' are not proof of being correct. Sometime an interested child actually does know more than the teacher, I wish they would stop punishing the child for that sad.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 23:08:29

I must have missed the bit where someone filled my bank account with free cash, tbh. As a working family, I still can't afford private. If a child is genuinely bored, that is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Even a bored kid shouldn't be disruptive though, that's just plain bad manners, and needs to be stopped immediately.

Sure, deal with the boredom. But don't ever let the kid think it's okay to be disruptive. I don't care how bored you are, shut up and read a book. It's less obtrusive than chatting and pissing about. And then get your mam to address your differentiation requirements. Don't make the teachers and other pupils lives a misery because you don't have showgirls or an iPod to keep you amused.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 23:10:20

Human rights?

To entertainment? It's a new one on me, and belittles the real necessity of human rights in far worse places than y7 Spanish.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Dec-12 23:14:25

And if you are truly bleating about his right to an education, then he's the one removing the human rights from his classmates, by preventing their education. Bit of an own goal.

SHoHoHodan Wed 12-Dec-12 23:21:46

chloe74: of course it happens that an interested child knows more than the teacher - about a particular area of a topic, for instance. It also happens that a student believes that because they do know more, that they can thumb their nose at their teacher and muck about in class. These students would do well to learn the lesson of good manners, if they feel they have learned everything else already.

However, what they do not know anything about is the years of study involved in getting a degree, let alone the years of experience in their field. As I said upthread (and said to ds1)- for that, teachers deserve some respect.

I look on school not just as a place for learning about specific subjects, but also for learning about the way of the world. It is a rare person who has not had to work for a complete idiot of a boss, who knows less than they do themselves. It is even less rare to work with people with whom you have nothing in common or with whom you clash. The way you deal with it is what counts- and this can be learned during school, with situations like this, if everyone is prepared to put in the effort.

chloe74 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:43:40

madwomanintheattic - I guess that's where we differ, if an adult is not getting the service they pay for we are very loud expressing our dissatisfaction. But you are suggesting a child should suck up the bad service us tax payers are provided. I suggest that's the reason why we are saddled with a useless education system. I refuse to teach my child to be quiet when teachers aren't providing the service I have paid for. More fool you for doing that with your kids.

Why do you keep shouting children should be allowed to watch showgirls in class, are you mad?

SHoHoHodan - no one is suggesting a child should be rewarded for 'snubbing their nose' at teachers but they should not be put down for giving a correct answer!

A lot of teachers have degrees that did not require years of studying or its so old they learnt their subject before DNA/evolution was even discovered, pretty disgraceful. Respect is earned, I cant see any reason why a teacher deserves any more respect than a pupil. Learning is a mutual pursuit and its arrogant for teachers to come at it assuming they know it all. I have learnt more from children than I have from most classes.

AViewfromtheFridge Thu 13-Dec-12 00:03:28

I particularly like the juxtaposition of children's bad behaviour ALWAYS being the fault of the adult, and them being denied their human rights. Completely barking.

madwomanintheattic Thu 13-Dec-12 01:53:21

Er, deliberately disingenuous. I said the kids should suck it up and be told to behave, and the parents can discuss appropriate differentiation later. grin

But, you know, I guess when you are trying to advocate for bad behaviour being acceptable in a class in any circumstance, you would get a bit confused.

How on earth can it ever be okay for a kid to chat and mess about and disrupt the class?


I don't care how bright he is, or how boring the teacher or lesson.

Disrupting the education of his peers is not acceptable under any circumstances.


How dreadful for children to be taught it's ok to ruin the education of others.


madwomanintheattic Thu 13-Dec-12 01:57:06

<and I didn't say i was quiet about it. I said the children should be. grin>

The odd crap teacher isn't anything I'm going to lose too much sleep over, tbh. It's no secret they exist, but I've got far bigger fish to fry. I've written off a year or two of school due to them in the past, and doubtless I'll do so again. Dd2's y2 teacher was a corker.

How nice to be able to work yourself into such a frenzy over a crap Spanish lesson. grin must have too much time on your hands.

Spree Thu 13-Dec-12 04:26:37

Sorry I'm the OP and I didn't quite this thread to kick off in this manner.

Well DS has been spoken to by Head of MFL Dept and we have made appointment to see the Spanish teacher in January after the break.

DS has been told he needs to stop talking in class and respect the teacher.

However, I think I will be asking the teacher how we can better engage DS and tell her what he is struggling with.

We live abroad and pay horrendous fees and my main concern is that I would not want DS to be turned off a subject because of this. He also learns another language (started the same time as Spanish) and we have had no complaints from that teacher.

lljkk Thu 13-Dec-12 07:58:26

Ah, that's MN for you. I especially love the person who wrote "but we are bringing up our children in the English culture" and it turns out OP isn't in England at all (ho ho ho).

If it's a private school that changes the picture somewhat, Spree. I think you have more moral right to demand that they provide an engaging lesson, anyway. Although life is full of boring experiences & lessons that must be endured, too. May I ask where you are? Hope you sort it out, anyway.

ZZZenAgain Thu 13-Dec-12 10:39:22

what do you think of the way Shoho dealt with it: asking for a meeting with you, ds, the head of MFL and the Spanish teacher all present? In any case, if the meeting with the teacher in January gives you the impression that the lessons are essentially at fault here and need improvement, make an appointment to see the head of MFL and bring up your concerns. I do agree with CHloe to some degree that we do not necessarily always need to put up with poor teaching. There is something to be said for querying it at times. I do think it is quite possible that the problem lies more with the teacher than with the boy in this case since his behaviour in other classes, including another MFL is obviously different. I wonder if he is the only one in this Spanish class atm with whom this teacher is having difficulties or if she is generally not very good at classroom management. If you are concerned about the teaching being very poor, you are within your rights IMO and acting reasonably to calmly bring this up with the head of MFL or indeed with the head and see if it cannot be rectified.

madwomanintheattic Thu 13-Dec-12 14:06:31

not disagreeing.
I'm not in the Uk either. grin but the CDs have attended UK schools as well.

Have witnessed an awful lot of weak teachers in Lang classes being treated v differently to other teachers, so it could still just be a personality thing. However weak the teacher is (and dealing with that is a separate issue) it is never acceptable to disrupt other people's education, however personally boring you find the lesson.

Spree Fri 14-Dec-12 04:32:37

I won't meet the teacher with DS present if we are going to ask her about ways to engage him in the class.

It might give him the idea that he could be justified in behaving the way he behaves... I think that's better done separately with the teacher.

She has previously said to me that the class is quite big (low 20s) and there are a lot of boys in it.

I also know another boy who now sits upfront on his own too so perhaps she just may not be used to dealing with 11 year old boys, who need more active learning opportunities.

HandbagCrab Fri 14-Dec-12 08:34:51

Ime kids generally don't complain about genuinely crap teachers. The reason being that crap teachers don't expect much of the kids, let them get away with stuff and are ineffectual at various aspects of teaching which makes these lessons 'easy'. This teacher sounds proactive and is at least trying to sort things out, she could just more easily not say anything and let it all slide.

I thought rote learning was what you paid your money for these days anyway? A traditional Gove style education based on 50s style teaching principles? smile

Perhaps go into your meeting with an open mind. Perhaps your ds doesn't just copy off the board 3 hours a week or whatever. Perhaps the more engaging bits of the lessons he is not engaging with and therefore the only bit he does do is the copying.

racingheart Fri 14-Dec-12 11:09:30

Spree, please don't go in assuming she needs a pep talk from a parent on how to be a better teacher. Please listen first to what she says. Our DC will always spin information in their own favour.

GreatUncleEddie Fri 14-Dec-12 12:46:35

Of course they will. And the OP was inviting him to criticise his Spanish lessons by asking him why he was mucking about. She said at the start that he hadn't identified Spanish as a lesson that he didn't like before she asked him about it. He said it was dull because he had to say something, and even if it is dull he needs to STFU and get in with learning it. That's what I would tell my y7 anyway.

GreatUncleEddie Fri 14-Dec-12 12:47:06

Without the swearing, mind grin

madwomanintheattic Sun 16-Dec-12 17:10:08

And, um,low 20s isn't a big class.


Not in state, anyway. It's positively small. grin

My 11yo boy likes more active learning opportunities, but tbh, he learns better when he doesn't have the opportunity to distract himself, so rote learning from the board would probably be more efficient. He wouldn't enjoy it so much, but it depends on what you want out of education. grin

lljkk Sun 16-Dec-12 17:59:09

Not true, Madwomen. Secondary class size in low 20s is trending towards large. Check these data out.

Average size classes in English secondaries is under 21.

Primary average is bigger, 26-27.

lljkk Sun 16-Dec-12 18:00:45

Oh, and oops, OP isn't in England so heaven knows what counts for large where she is, anyway.

madwomanintheattic Sun 16-Dec-12 20:52:16

I must have worked in a v unusual English secondary then! grin

Low 20s would have been lovely. grin It was usually high 20s, of which at least 8 had significant sn (significant enough to require the LSA's intervention for at least elements of the lesson).

Good to know that it's not the norm, anyway. This was an outstanding secondary with people trying to buy in catchment to guarantee places. I supported lessons where at least 70% of the pupils had little to no interest in learning anything, and were only there because they had to be. V depressing. The few kids in each class who wanted to learn were prevented from doing so by the majority who didn't give a stuff. grin

It was an interesting insight into what at outstanding education looks like in secondary. <sigh>

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Mon 17-Dec-12 00:19:46

Low 20s is an average class size? I wish.
Not true in my area - 30-32 more likely.

lljkk Mon 17-Dec-12 07:34:54

Those class sizes are average ime.
It's easy when you don't live in a Naice area.

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Mon 17-Dec-12 09:26:50

It's easy when you don't live in a Naice area.

How do you mean?

lljkk Mon 17-Dec-12 10:00:39

Where I live is very ordinary in every way, high-ITV-viewing, very average or below average test results from most schools, some high rural social deprivation although you wouldn't know it to look at, not the usual MN definition of "naice".

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Mon 17-Dec-12 10:05:01

Sounds very similar to where I live ljkk. The schools around where I live, those which my children attend and in which I have taught, are all underachieving comprehensives serving similar communities. They are certainly not 'naice' whatever that is.
I'm not sure what you are saying here - is it that only these so-called 'naice' schools have large class sizes? Because I assure you that's not true. Most of the classes I've taught, and my children are taught in consist of at least 30.

lljkk Mon 17-Dec-12 13:21:20

I guess it may be false assumption, but my guess is that larger classes occur at desirable schools in desirable areas. Only a trend, not a guarantee.

phlebas Mon 17-Dec-12 13:32:10

I'm amazed at that figure for average class size - none of my daughter's classes have fewer than 28 students & a quick poll amongst friends & relatives spread out across the country agrees that 28-32 is far more typical. My sister is in a private school where class sizes are 20-22 in the main school (smaller in 6th form) & that was considered tiny locally shock

lljkk Mon 17-Dec-12 14:08:51

I suppose those stats will include places like tiny remote cumbria village schools, but I doubt those influence averages very much.

DC in reception & yr4 have about 26-28 in class. DD in yr6 is in a class of 23. This is in a school of about 350 pupils.

On high school tours few I think I was told anything between 12-35, with 26-28 about typical. Highest & lowest ability groups have smaller classes, although top 2 sets might be combined to make a superclass of 35 or so, and allow more teaching hours to the bottom set.

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