How do I explain To The teacher that my child own working really hard.

(11 Posts)
Morebiscuitsplease Tue 08-Mar-16 19:36:00

My daughter has recently been diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty
- sensory processing and working memory. We have yet to receive the full Ed Psych report. Initial feedback has been passed to her class teacher. My daughter's confidence has gone down...she feels her teacher doesn't realise she tries hard. We had a meeting before assessment as I was concerned about confidence and agreed at the learning meeting she would big my daughter up, I did ask we acknowledge her efforts which given her SPLD mean she is working really hard. Report today conveys her effort as expected ....I strongly disagree it is above expected and this shows her teacher does not understand her condition. No wonder my daughter feels despondent. What can I do to help the teacher understand?

EyeoftheStorm Tue 08-Mar-16 19:54:03

DS2 (6.5) has a very similar diagnosis - sensory processing disorder, very low working memory and attention problems. I found the educational psychologist report was very clear and helpful. It was clear that if his difficulties were taken out of the equation, he would be getting along just fine. I found the EP report has really smoothed the way for him with the teacher and in the classroom as she has a reason for him being the way he is.

DS2 has had several changes in teacher due to circumstance and I have found that some teachers just 'get' him while others nod their head and listen but don't 'get' him. Do you think this is the case with your DD's teacher?

I write explanations/comments on his homework like DS2 was tired today but he tried really hard to complete all sentences. Or DS2 enjoyed this but it was too hard. Or DS2 did really well as he wrote all his spellings as neatly as he could.

What happens at parents' evening or when you have a meeting with the teacher? Are you direct with how hard you consider DD to be working?

Morebiscuitsplease Tue 08-Mar-16 22:07:46

I thought I had been direct about it, maybe the Ed Psych report will make it clearer. It feels that despite meetings, action plans she does not understand. When asked if the swimming teacher was aware of her OT issues...she was clueless despite having an action plan. She should be aware of all of this yet her actions would suggest otherwise.

EyeoftheStorm Wed 09-Mar-16 11:15:01

What kind of child is DD? What is her behaviour like? If she is able to hold herself together in class then may be they don't realise how tough it is for her.
Ds2 is not well behaved and this almost makes it easier because everyone knows when things aren't going well. The difference in his behaviour is noticeable when his needs are being met.

Morebiscuitsplease Wed 09-Mar-16 22:47:03

Thanks EyeoftheStorm, she is very good co-operative child, who has hidden her tears from the teacher. It does come out at home where she is getting upset and she doesn't like school and doesn't want to go. She has just got on with it. Today at the optometrist they have found she will need an overlay as left eye is wrong too hard...yet another example of how she found something difficult but has carried on. School failed to notice she was skipping words and rereading text, it was only when I brought it to their attention that they noticed. 😗 Hopefully the overlay etc will help.

EyeoftheStorm Thu 10-Mar-16 13:16:48

I find this the hardest thing - we know exactly how hard they are trying to overcome difficulties and it would nice for that to be recognised, but we are made to feel over-protective.
I have two older children who are school-shaped so I know the difference. DS2 is not school-shaped but he will find the space that fits him and he brings a lot of smiles to our family. It also means I don't mind bringing it up again and again when I don't feel they're getting it.
I hope the overlay helps your DD and that you can find a way to get the teacher to understand that a little confidence boost would go a long way.

Morebiscuitsplease Thu 10-Mar-16 17:02:43

Thank you again. When I raised it with the Senco today, she said the effort thing was subjective, I disagree ...she has always tried hard and knowing she has an SPLD has confirmed my suspicions that she is working very hard. Also you would hope that a class teacher would want to boost her confidence wouldn't you.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 13-Mar-16 11:19:19

I am going to come at this from a different perspective. I have a processing disorder and poor short term working memory and my DD has visual processing disorder.
What helped me is the acceptance that, whilst it is massively unfair, I have to work far harder than most people to achieve the same as them. I have passed this on to my DD. The biggest thing is accepting the unfairness. I reward effort rather than anything else, but the effort must be needs to be more than the average child.
Maybe this is where the teacher is coming?

RandomMess Sun 13-Mar-16 11:26:00

I think you need to have a "blunt" conversation with her teacher.

Perhaps you should ask her "Do you think DD is giving less than 100% with her effort?"

AYD2MITalkTalk Sun 13-Mar-16 11:37:04

IM(limited)E teachers are useless at telling how much effort kids are putting in, but they always think they're amazing at it and say "it's obvious and you can easily tell when a student isn't trying". I'd better say first that I don't have kids, this is only personal, but I always got top effort grades at school for the subjects I was good at and found easy, and crap effort grades for the subjects I wasn't so good at and worked my arse off in.

I know that praising effort is far better than praising achievement for children's long-term development, but it falls down with school because teachers don't know the kids well enough to work out when they're really trying their hardest, but are convinced that they can tell.

For me personally it backfired worst in PE - I tried my hardest, but had asthma and a stocky build that didn't work well with the kind of PE we did (was great at sprinting 100m, over which I didn't need to breathe, but would collapse and pass out through lack of oxygen when trying to do 800m). After years of getting bad effort grades (I passed out FFS! They had to support me on both sides to get me back to the changing rooms hmm How is that not putting in effort?) I decided to stop bothering and didn't do any physical activity for years. (Bitter? Me? grin)

AYD2MITalkTalk Sun 13-Mar-16 11:44:21

I'm being unfair. Lots of friends who are teachers hate having to give effort grades because they know it's really hard for someone who sees a kid a few hours a week, or even more than that in primary, to really tell how hard they're trying. Especially when they have thirty kids to keep track of.

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