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to be dissatisfied with my son's teacher?

(28 Posts)
saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Tue 12-Jul-11 18:23:19

Have just returned from ds2's parents' evening. He is 6 and is in Y2.

His SATS results were fine (for what they are worth!) but his mark for writing was significantly lower than all his others and stood out a bit.

DS2 is a bit reluctant, he is a summer-born and is quite a laid-back boy and is immature (which is fine IMO, he is just little!).

I asked to see an example of his written work. The teacher was unable to show me anything more recent than May of this year. That piece of work was of a lower standard than his writing at the end of Y1, and I said so. I asked her (politely!) how she responds when he produces work of an unacceptably low standard. She said "Oh, erm, well that piece of work he did for the trainee teacher", and "I have 27 children in the class".

I know she has 27 children in the class. I don't expect her to whip him into producing his absolute best all the time, in fact I wouldn't want it. I don't push him at home either, although if he asks for my opinion on something and it is really sloppy, I will tactfully say so.

I feel as though his writing has regressed this year and she is completely unconcerned about it.

AIBU to be frustrated? We have had this with his reading too, her insisting for months that he could not read at a certain level, me insisting that he does so with me at home. I don't give him writing to do but we do read! And AIBU to be annoyed that at a pre-arranged parents' evening, marking the end of his time in KS1, she was unable to produce a piece of work with his writing on it more recent than May?

squeakytoy Tue 12-Jul-11 18:26:46

I would say if there is a problem with his writing, then practicising at home would be no bad thing.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Tue 12-Jul-11 18:29:36

he writes "for a purpose" at home, when he wants to. I wouldn't set regular work for a 6yo to do at home though - well, not a child with ds2's personality anyway. It would make him bored and resentful. I prefer to support him when he wants to write postcards or notes to people etc but not push it the rest of the time.

Surely that is a side issue though? I feel that the teacher has not done her job properly.

HairyFrotter Tue 12-Jul-11 18:36:05

Does he write better at home than the piece from May? If so perhaps it is just that he wasn't trying/was distracted on the writing he was assessed on.
Could you try and initiate some writing 'games' at home? I'm not really sure the teacher is at fault - she DOES have 27 kids to teach and it must be difficult to give individual attention to everyone who needs it all the time.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Tue 12-Jul-11 18:38:18

but would you expect to go to a parents' evening at the end of KS1 and for the teacher to be unable to show you ANY example of his written work - a worksheet, anything - more recent than May?

ok IABU then

CrapolaDeVille Tue 12-Jul-11 18:42:31

WE just got a shocking report for one of my dcs and so before dinner he has to produce some work or he gets none!! No not Tigermother!! But he hates work, hates hates hates writing. So in order for him to improve we've had to make it hard for him to avoid work. I'm not sure what the teacher is expected to do reall.y

CrapolaDeVille Tue 12-Jul-11 18:43:10

Ah....yes I expect a teacher to teach.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Tue 12-Jul-11 18:47:26

yes, so do I.

madhousewife Tue 12-Jul-11 18:47:53

I'm a teacher, I think this needs to be investigated further. I'd politely bring this up with the head.

CrapolaDeVille Tue 12-Jul-11 18:48:46

I'm writing to the governors about my son's teacher because he is a twat.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Tue 12-Jul-11 18:51:31

I am a governor and I don't want to go to the head or kick up a big fuss about this - I would feel vindictive, and she is a very nice woman - but I am feeling very frustrated about it. I don't feel believed or listened to, I feel that my concerns were met with a brick wall, and I don't have the impression that she knows my son particularly well.

emmam25 Tue 12-Jul-11 18:59:52

As a teacher I think YANBU. I work extremely hard to ensure all my students have at least one piece of written work is which is marked at a bare minimum of every month, once every half term if I share the class with another teacher (as I reasonably expect them to do the same as me as a minimum) and I teach approx 210 student! How you deal with it though is more tricky...

LynetteScavo Tue 12-Jul-11 19:06:50

"I have 27 children in the class".

Well, yes, but not 30 like most teachers in the country.

I hate this "I have X children in the class" line with a passion, and lose all respect fro teachers who use it.

YANBU to be dissatisfied, or to bring it up with the head.

But look on the bright side, it's very nearly the end of year, and he'll have a new teacher soon.

Heifer Tue 12-Jul-11 19:07:17

When I go to DDs parents evening, the teacher has the childrens trays all sorted in order ready for the parents to look through whilst waiting their turn to see the teacher. The tray is then carried into the meeting to discuss further.

Although I don't see a problem with encouraging your son to practice his writing at home. My DD is the same age, and although she doesn't really want to sit and write me a piece of work, she will do if I try to make it fun or relevant, especially if I say she should draw a picture after etc...

CrapolaDeVille Tue 12-Jul-11 19:08:08

As a governor I would say it's your duty (as well as a parent) to inform the head.

glassescase Tue 12-Jul-11 19:31:35

Emma25- one piece marked a MONTH???? In my school we have to mark the books every homework (twice a week) and classwork each week.

TheArmadillo Tue 12-Jul-11 19:48:16

YANBU - ds is 6yo and in yr1. They do writing every day in their literacy books.

Every parents evening they bring this, their numeracy book and their 'learning diary' along. You get a good idea of their written/maths work.

If she had said something like 'oh it's normal for their writing to regress while they get the hang of others things like how to structure a story or working on the correct spellings' then I'd think YABU

But essentially she said I didn't notice that one of my students had not only not progressed in their work but had gone backwards over an entire year in one of their basic skills but that's ok cos I was busy.

Not good enough. That is what they are there to do. I'm laid back when it comes to schools but I would be fuming at that.

cricketballs Tue 12-Jul-11 19:55:22

I would make an appointment to see the HT. For your DS's teacher not to have any work before May is shocking (I am a teacher) and the head does need to know this. If OFSTED turned up, then this would cause major issues for the school as they insist on checking through books to look at marking/comments etc.

If a trainee teacher is taking the class, then the class teacher is still responsible for the pupil's education and if the regular teacher felt that they were not making progress then they should have stepped in.

skybluepearl Tue 12-Jul-11 19:56:41

i wouldn't worry too much about writing as long as you read lots at home. reading lots will eventually impact the writing but it may take a little while.

AgentZigzag Tue 12-Jul-11 20:25:29

He's only 6, their handwriting comes on in leaps and bounds when they get a little bit older.

Agree with what skyblue has said too.

earlyonemorning Tue 12-Jul-11 21:48:14

I would pursue this. DS2's writing went backwards in Y1, and I saw the teacher every 6 weeks about it and was told much the same thing - until suddenly at the end of the year it was 'he has bad writing habits' and 'you need to practise over the summer'. So we did - it was miserable - and Y2 was ok. We are now at the end of Y3. The teacher has been beyond useless - noted by other parents and, tacitly, the HT - and we are back at 'DS2 can't write properly' and 'you must practise'. This time I've made it their problem - what are their expectations, what are they going to do about it, how can we support it without putting too much pressure on DS? Pursue it with the HT if you need to, but don't sit on it, lest you find yourself in 3 years time saying 'there's always next year' in a vaguely hopeless fashion.

Lara2 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:00:05

Totally disgusting attitude - bloody lazy and needs to be reported to the Head. It's unacceptable not to be able to produce any writing since May - what the hell have they been doing????
We've all got about 30 children in our classes and hate teachers like this because they just drag the profession through the mud.

youarekidding Tue 12-Jul-11 22:01:34

IME it's usual for them to have only one piece of 'long writing' every half term. That was probably this half terms. The rest is in their books they bring home at the end of the year and is usually smaller tasks they have completed over the year.

It does sound as if your describing my DS (also 6yo, summer born end of yr 2). He is also lower in literacy than other core subjects. He is also reluctant due to finding it hard and lack of interest.

I have bought a large whiteboard and we play games (hangman etc) on this and my aim is just to get DS to see the 'fun' side of writing.

If you have concerns speak to teacher about what is going to happen when he starts juniors and maybe approached the juniors if you think he needs intervention. I will say though when t home, no distraction or time limit my DS can produce a better quality work. But then at home he writes about what he wants to not under instruction about what to write about - this does make a difference.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 12-Jul-11 22:08:29

I think you caught her on the hop. I am a teacher.

The difference in the level from last year and this year could be something as simple as the level of support given in order to produce last year's work as opposed to independent work this year, but NO writing in June? If it is the case that there is no writing, rather than she just couldn't find it for some strange reason, then I would go in to have another chat and look at his books.

blackeyedsusan Tue 12-Jul-11 22:32:04

I would expect to know where all my pupils were with writing and maths at least. <hoiks out zimmer frame> and that in the days of 33 in a class...

<shuffles off>

(the 29 other chiuldren in a class is acceptable for things like not interupting unecessarily when teaching another group or bad behaviour, but not not knowing where a particular child is unless it is in the first couple of weeks of the year)

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