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Worrying about what teacher said

(17 Posts)
Ismeyes Mon 13-Jun-11 14:21:33

I quite possibly am. DD is in reception, she is 5 next month. This is absolutely not a boast by stealth, but need to give full information. She is bright at reading, spelling, maths as noted by school, not just me. Whilst helping out as a parent helper, I heard the teacher telling another little boy that he didn't need to ask the teacher how to spell something because DD was sat next to him and she could spell anything, she was their little teacher and knew lots and lots so he could ask her instead.

I know it was probably meant as a nice thing to say, and DD looked alittle unsure at first and then smiled proudly. I am completely wobbling over it and have been thinking about it ever since. I was exactly the same at school and I remember the increasing pressure of being the one who 'knew all the answers', was 'the clever one' and was looked to to 'teach' other members of the class. In fact by the time I reached secondary school, I completely flipped out with the expectation of it all and experienced acute anxiety and panic attacks. To this day I still have to remind myself that no one expects me to know it all and get it right all the time.

I don't want that for DD. I have always told her that everyone has something they are good at and I do not expect anything from her other than to give things a try and enjoy herself. I also know that she is not me. But I am struggling with what happened this morning and I don't know if it is me over-reacting or whether it was not appropriate. AIBU?

itisnearlysummer Mon 13-Jun-11 14:26:08

Have you recalled what she said exactly? Did the teacher actually say your DD could "spell anything"?

Tbh, it's quite common for children to ask the children around them for support with that sort of thing. And it reinforces your DD's understanding if she is able to help other people, shows her that other people have recognised her abilities.

It can be quite positive. I completely agree that you wouldn't want the pressure on her though.

Ismeyes Mon 13-Jun-11 14:29:13

Yes, I remember the 'anything' bit because I thought are you mad, she's 4!? I wouldn't have minded at all if another child had asked her, it was her being volunteered for it and called the little teacher that stung me.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 13-Jun-11 14:32:36

I am sorry you had such a bad experience.

I do agree with summer though. Teachers should encourage pupils to share their skills with the class. It consolidates the child in question's learning, it boosts their egos and other pupils are often very receptive to learning from their peers.

Your dd should in turn be helped by another classmate good at sports or art or whatever and the teacher should praise that pupil when they share their special skill.

I should, as summer says, be a positive thing for your dd.

To ease your anxieties you could speak to your dd and let her know that if she ever feels under pressure when helping others she can let you and the teacher know and it will stop.

itisnearlysummer Mon 13-Jun-11 14:33:15

Mm, the 'little teacher' and spelling anything would bother me tbh. Maybe the teacher was conscious of you being there and thought a bit of extra (unnecessary) flattery would please you?

What I mean is, the teacher might have worried that if she hadn't justified her reason for suggesting the other child asked you DD, it might have just looked lazy to you.

I don't think I'd want those labels attached to it though. "Why don't you see if X can help you? I think she knows how to spell _" would be preferable.


FlubbaBubba Mon 13-Jun-11 14:33:58

I can understand why you're worried but talk to your DD - her face if not her words will tell you if she's pleased by it or would rather not be called it.

And itisnearlysummer is right - peers helping each other is the norm throughout school for all the reasons she's mentioned.

Journey Mon 13-Jun-11 14:37:41

How does she react if she does get something wrong? If she gets upset/annoyed/worried etc then you need to teach her how to deal with things when she gets them wrong, because she is probably getting stressed about it. If she just takes it in her stride or can nicely laugh it off then she is probably coping just fine with being seen as the bright kid.

Ismeyes Mon 13-Jun-11 14:37:56

I don think I am probably oversensitive, I completely accept that, which is why I am worried so much because I'm not sure what is normal and I don't want to pass on my hang ups. I do want her to help others, but I also know how quickly that can lead to being the class 'know it all', when no one on the planet 'knows it all'.

WowOoo Mon 13-Jun-11 14:38:04

Think the teacher is just trying to encourage independence (of the boy) and save time herself.
I can understand what you mean. Agree with carrotsand celery and what others have said.
YANBu, but try not to worry too much. Your daughter is not you and will find her way.

Ismeyes Mon 13-Jun-11 14:38:12

'I do think' that is meant to say

WowOoo Mon 13-Jun-11 14:39:47

Teach her to say 'I'm busy, ask someone else'. When she's older 'The dictionary is over there' will be a good line!

Ismeyes Mon 13-Jun-11 14:43:53

Journey, she does get frustrated with herself if she can't do something, but will usually keep trying again because she is stubborn and I do try to show her other ways to manage it.

TidyDancer Mon 13-Jun-11 14:48:46

I don't think this is a problem in itself, but I was that kid at school as well, and I was basically a teaching assistant. I was not allowed to move along at my own pace and if I ever did struggle, I didn't get the help I needed because it was assumed that I excelled at everything. I'm not saying this to scare you, but just because situations like this need to be watched.

Ismeyes Mon 13-Jun-11 14:53:59

Thank you TidyDancer, it helps to have someone who knows what it feels like and would recognise my concerns.

I think that I will just need to keep an eye on her, I don't need to jump on one situation, which as Summer said may have been for my benefit anyway.

piprabbit Mon 13-Jun-11 14:54:04

DD was like this in reception - the teachers measured a surprising amount of progress in maths among some of the children, turned out that these children shared a table with DD and were observed getting extra 'tuition' from her.

In Y1 she was regularly paired with a little lad who was struggling. DD helped him as much as she was able. She moaned to me about not doing her own work - just doing his work. I encouraged her to speak to the teacher and the pressure has been taken off her.

I think Y1 came as a bit of a surprise, because suddenly there were other children in the class who knew as much (if not more grin) as her on certain topics and she didn't know best for a change.

Please - have a chat with her teacher, she'll understand your concerns.

cat64 Mon 13-Jun-11 14:57:39

Message withdrawn

TidyDancer Mon 13-Jun-11 15:04:43

You're welcome. smile

I personally would not say anything to the teacher at the moment, but see what happens in the next couple of weeks. If you still have concerns then, have a gentle non-confrontational word with the teacher.

Good luck!

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