Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Back to school - how do you do it?

(18 Posts)
MyDogEatsBalloons Fri 02-Sep-16 17:42:51

Small dog (age 7) is back next week, and I don't know her new teacher at all. She's been with us for nearly two years now, and while y1 was no problem at all, with a great teacher, Y2 had a few problems. In hindsight I should have made more effort to spell out the basics to her teacher, as there were a few things that weren't handled well - schoolwork on evacuees, being punished for talking, not having any work on display at all etc. Nothing major, just thoughtless incidents really.

How do you cope with a new year? Do you ask for a meeting straight away, or presume the new teacher has the background info? Small dog doesn't have any particular issues, but doesn't always express herself well, and can easily become frustrated, and gives up easily if not pushed a bit. I'm also slightly concerned she's best friends with a couple of girls who are a bit silly and forever squabbling (she's probably joining in herself to be honest - obviously I just get her account of things!).

Basically - would I be reasonable to have a chat straight off? Even though there's not a huge amount to say?

Hels20 Fri 02-Sep-16 19:27:34

Not sure if it has anything to do with adoption but if I felt that I wanted to relay some info to my DS's teacher, that I think might otherwise get lost in translation, I would ask for a meeting. You obviously feel that you want to so do! You are being perfectly reasonable and within your rights. I will want to do the same with DS's new teacher next week.

PoppyStellar Fri 02-Sep-16 19:46:39

Yes, I've done this every year for DD and it has helped. I don't think I am an annoying parent (!) but I find it has been really helpful. It hasn't completely eradicated the thoughtless incidents (eg we still got asked for baby photos - gah!) but it has helped and her teachers have always been keen to know what they can do to help. My advice would be never assume a school will pass on info to a class teacher - this won't be a deliberate action on their part just that schools and teachers are busy and things can get lost in translation / not fully passed on.

I would recommend a brief chat with the class teacher on or within the first couple of days if poss. Don't feel bad about asking to speak to them. A good teacher will always want to know about anything that could impact on a child's success at school and what triggers to avoid if there are any.

gabsdot Sat 03-Sep-16 23:48:42

I have always asked for a meeting within the first couple of weeks. I also have a book, 'what do we think about adoption', that I give to the teacher.
I don't want to make a big deal of it but the teacher should know.

Italiangreyhound Sun 04-Sep-16 01:43:26

mydogeatsballoons, re "How do you cope with a new year? Do you ask for a meeting straight away, or presume the new teacher has the background info?"

I talk to the new teacher before the school year started. In my son's school they have a two day venture into the next year before the old school year ends. Small dog doesn't have any particular issues, but doesn't always express herself well, and can easily become frustrated, and gives up easily if not pushed a bit. I'm also slightly concerned she's best friends with a couple of girls who are a bit silly and forever squabbling (she's probably joining in herself to be honest - obviously I just get her account of things!).

Basically - would I be reasonable to have a chat straight off? Even though there's not a huge amount to say?

Italiangreyhound Sun 04-Sep-16 01:43:26

mydogeatsballoons, re "How do you cope with a new year? Do you ask for a meeting straight away, or presume the new teacher has the background info?"

I talk to the new teacher before the school year started. In my son's school they have a two day venture into the next year before the old school year ends. Small dog doesn't have any particular issues, but doesn't always express herself well, and can easily become frustrated, and gives up easily if not pushed a bit. I'm also slightly concerned she's best friends with a couple of girls who are a bit silly and forever squabbling (she's probably joining in herself to be honest - obviously I just get her account of things!).

Basically - would I be reasonable to have a chat straight off? Even though there's not a huge amount to say?

Italiangreyhound Sun 04-Sep-16 01:53:49

Whoops, pressed button too soon...

Re "Small dog doesn't have any particular issues, but doesn't always express herself well, and can easily become frustrated, and gives up easily if not pushed a bit. I'm also slightly concerned she's best friends with a couple of girls who are a bit silly and forever squabbling (she's probably joining in herself to be honest - obviously I just get her account of things!)." It's good to tell the teacher. I always admit that I don't know exactly what goes on, like when ds says he has no friends, and actually he does (thankfully!).

RE "Basically - would I be reasonable to have a chat straight off? Even though there's not a huge amount to say?" Yes. I would ask for a quiet word at the end of the first say and explain the situation. In your shoes I'd be tempted to say why the first year went well and the second not so well.

Hopefully teachers will understand the topics that may be difficult but I would not assume that is the case. I once told a person at school that my son had 'lost' his birth parents and she asked me if they were dead.

I might be tempted to follow up with a letter, marked confidential, or give a letter first. I like to have things in writing for the school.

For example things might be:

... doesn't appear in photos outside the school
... might be quite emotional at times
... some subjects will be difficult etc

Haffdonga Sun 04-Sep-16 12:59:17

Speaking as an ex primary teacher here, I'd recommend asking for a meeting in the first week or asap at the teacher's convenience. Your dc's teacher will have been given all the relevant info and have a good awareness of the needs of the children in his/her new class but getting that info in a meeting second hand from last year's teacher who didn't really get it is nowhere near as good as a face to face reminder/ explanation from a parent for starting off on the right track.

Your dc's teacher will also be taking on board the information about all the other children in the class who have other special needs, disabilities, difficult home circumstances, learning difficulties, behaviour problems, can't sit next to so and so, allergic to poster paint and so on. Especially as you say your dd doesn't have any particular issues it's likely her new teacher will breath a sigh of relief and mentally push your dd down the list of children she needs to worry about.

The teacher may well understand something about adoption (and may well not) but it might be easiest to give her very specific examples of the sorts of things your dd found difficult last year, like the evacuee project and no work on the wall and why.

Good luck to your dd this year. smile

Kewcumber Sun 04-Sep-16 14:18:58

We are going into year 6 and I have now trained the school!

We have a transition meeting towards the end of term with old and new teacher, SEN manager if available and me. We go over various issues, I mostly give advice on how to handle and old teacher chips in with what works and what doesn't. We discuss how to transition - eg last year the transition was expected to be difficult so new teacher arranged for DS to come into her classroom a few times before the end of term to take the edge off as it were.

We decided it wasn;t necessary this year as his new classroom is next door to current one and he's worked with new teacher doing school play so knows her pretty well and TA is also going up with them.

Then I have a meeting after a few weeks.

Kewcumber Sun 04-Sep-16 14:22:27

Also you should understand that it's quite impossible for the teacher to know what issues crop up for your DD. EG DS would be absolutely fine with evacuee's theme and was even fine with the "my first year" the week after I'd asked the teacher to let me know of any such things hmm as it was I managed to weed out the orphanage photos to more generic babyish photos - I sometimes wonder how she would have handled his talk to the class being all about his orphanage (aged 5!) and wonder to this day if she realises I bailed her out!

Buster5187 Mon 05-Sep-16 11:20:50

"Small dog doesn't have any particular issues, but doesn't always express herself well, and can easily become frustrated, and gives up easily if not pushed a bit"

Are you talking about my DS OP smile

I too will be arranging a meeting within the 1st few weeks just to outline issues we had in previous years (like you've said that weren't dealt with ideally). Luckily we've pushed for some additional support so I will be meeting with a new SW and the school at some point so I am praying that will make for a more successful year!

I hope all going back this week goes well smile

MyDogEatsBalloons Mon 05-Sep-16 14:00:24

Thanks all - really interesting and comforting to know I'm not being pushy by asking for a meeting straight off - I wish I'd done it last year, but I suppose I was thinking the teacher would just 'get it'. There weren't any disasters, and I was definitely more worried by some of the curriculum (Oliver Twist!) than she was. I think it'll be really useful, so at least if I have to say anything later it'll be a reminder, rather than "oh, I didn't realise..."

Buster5187 Tue 06-Sep-16 09:01:57

Good luck all going back today!

My email has gone off to the school to arrange a meeting, I probably am a pain in the bum parent but it's best to get things sorted upfront.

tldr Tue 06-Sep-16 09:50:03

Pain in bum parent here too. I tried not being pain in bum, but it didn't work for my DC, so now I'm pain in bum. That's school's consequence for not getting it wink

Buster5187 Tue 06-Sep-16 09:59:41

haha completely agree there tldr - year 3 here now so hopefully the school will get it smile

PoppyStellar Tue 06-Sep-16 10:28:49

Yep totally agree. I'm sure I'm a pain in the bum parent too! I always turn on a megawatt smile so I like to think I'm at least a cheerful pain in the arse wink

Buster5187 Tue 06-Sep-16 10:38:44

A big smile always helps. Well it has to be better than me in tears in one of the meetings <a little bit emotional that day!>

UnderTheNameOfSanders Thu 08-Sep-16 14:59:06

I've always done an A4 info sheet with background, issues etc on it, and then followed up with 'did you get the sheet, any questions'.

I've just done a cut down one for DD2's Secondary (help!) tutor. I know they do quite good transition info, but assume they will probably not have passed on background info.

Generally, do not assume info is passed from teacher to teacher. Also do not assume teachers instinctively know or are trained on potential triggers.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now