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To be furious with DD2's teacher?

(33 Posts)
NunTheWiser Wed 27-Jul-11 11:02:49

DD2 (9) is very dyslexic and has specialist tutoring (at the request of the school who said that her dyslexia was too severe and they did not have the time or resources to help her hmm). We pay for the tutoring ourselves and her session is after school on a Tuesday evening. She's come on leaps and bounds with her tutor - amazingly well really. She works really hard during this session and is exhausted at the end of the day. I have made the decision (and communicated it more than once to the teacher) that DD2 will not be doing any homework on Tuesday evenings on top of her tutoring. An hour's intense work is more than enough.
This afternoon, DD2 came home from school very upset saying that her teacher shouted at her and kept her in at playtime for not doing her homework. DD2 explained that she had extra tutoring yesterday evening and that I had said she didn't need to do any more work (and had written a note to that effect in her home/school diary), to which the teacher replied, "DD2, you can't use dyslexia as an excuse."
Am apoplectic with rage. DD2 is, according to her Ed Psych, an incredibly bright child but seriously lacks self-confidence because she compares herself to other kids in the class who don't have dyslexia and can read and write fluently. She often comes home and says that she is stupid. DH wants to go straight to the Head and complain.
I could understand the teacher being annoyed if DD2 was a slacker but she isn't. She works unbelievably hard and always tries her best, as this very teacher pointed out in her last report. angry
Don't know why I'm surprised really, at our last parent / teacher interview this same teacher told me to ask DD2's Ed Psych for teaching strategies because she had "no idea how to teach dyslexics", and suggested perhaps putting DD2 into some kind of alternative school where she could learn drama and music rather than reading and writing. hmm

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 27-Jul-11 11:07:27

Have you simply stated she wont be doing the homework or have you agreed an extension so that she does it another day?

From the other childrens point of view, if one child is not handing in homework then they may take the attitude that they dont need to do it either which may have been why the teacher acted the way she did - thats assuming you havent agreed an extension.

Whitershadeofpale Wed 27-Jul-11 11:09:03

Is it usual for homework to be set on a Tuesday that must be in on a Wednesday? if so YANBU but if she's had the homework for longer I think the teacher's right.

rainbowinthesky Wed 27-Jul-11 11:10:51

WHy not find out from the teacher what was said before storming to the head to complain? Just a though.

NunTheWiser Wed 27-Jul-11 11:12:07

This is homework that is set daily, in addition to any assignments that need to be done over the course of a week.

ImperialBlether Wed 27-Jul-11 11:12:19

FWIW I think a teacher who is giving 9 year olds homework in the last week of term is very unreasonable anyway!

Most schools don't demand homework has to be done for the next day, because so many children have other activities like ballet. Is it your school's policy that it's done immediately?

AnansiGirl Wed 27-Jul-11 11:13:15

Sounds as if the child is trapped between two adults that both have power over her.
You told her not to do the homework, her teacher set it.
What options did your poor DD have?

blackeyedsusan Wed 27-Jul-11 11:13:55

why are the school not providing support for dd's dyslexia? has she got an iep? have you seen the special needs coordinator to ask them what provision they are going to make? have you seen the head to find out how he is going to ensure that staff are trained to teach dyslexic children? I think dh may have a poit as the teacher has openly said she can't teaach dyslexics... shock

stealthsquiggle Wed 27-Jul-11 11:13:59

presumably DD2 is about to escape from this teacher?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 27-Jul-11 11:14:52

I think a discussion with the teacher would have been better than an outright refusal for DD to do any homework on Tuesday's. That's not your decision, OP. Other parents could legitimately then refuse homework on certain days for goodness knows what reason.

If the teacher is made aware of your daughter's tuition and the work that has been done (show her some), perhaps she will forego any other homework on a Tuesday. I think you're being unreasonable to just decide what will be when it's not up to you.

Well done though on finding a good tutor, sounds like your DD is doing so well.

NunTheWiser Wed 27-Jul-11 11:15:16

We're in Australia so we're still in the middle of the school year.

stealthsquiggle Wed 27-Jul-11 11:15:16

(in which case a more productive conversation might be with her teacher for next year, so that she doesn't end up back in the same position)

hocuspontas Wed 27-Jul-11 11:15:55

Why do you assume teachers know how to teach dyslexic children? Good on her for asking. Unless she has some 1-to-1 support in school it IS difficult to find the time and resources to help severe dyslexia. Do you work closely with the SENCO? I can understand you are cross with the teacher, but perhaps find out exactly what happened from her point of view first. Odd comment about the music and drama though!

stealthsquiggle Wed 27-Jul-11 11:16:43

Ah - sorry - x-post.

In that case I am with your DH - go to the head. A single remark like that to a child already suffering with a lack of self-confidence could undo all the good work she has done with her tutor.

NunTheWiser Wed 27-Jul-11 11:20:14

There is no SENCo at the school, we're in WA and no such post exists in state schools. She has an individual education plan set by her teacher. I assume that teachers should know how to teach dyslexic children because it is such a common learning disability and state schools have a legal responsiblity to teach these children.

AnansiGirl Wed 27-Jul-11 11:23:14

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1267401-to-wonder-why-some-primary-teachers-know-very-little-about-dyslexia

It's probably true of WA as well.

blackeyedsusan Wed 27-Jul-11 11:25:06

teachers may not know how to teach dyslexics at every age group but they should find out. finding out and knowing how to find out is part of the job. don't know how the system works in wa, but I would be going in to see the head to discuss arrangements for tutoring and homework given that the school is incapble of teaching dyslexic children.

TheMonster Wed 27-Jul-11 11:28:19

As a teacher, I make it my priority to find out about conditions that my students have so I know how to help them to the best of my ability. Your child's teacher should do the same, and not rely on her employer to pay for, or provide time for, her to learn how deal with her students.
Saying that, not all teachers are dedicated and fully commited.

NunTheWiser Wed 27-Jul-11 11:29:55

I also think she should know how to teach dyslexics because it is an extremely common learning difficulty recognised by the state education department, qualifies my DD2 for extra learning support (although I don't actually see any evidence of extra support) and requires her teacher to come up with an individual action plan for her. It is a learning disability that entitles her to extra time in assignments and national exams, even a scribe or reader should one be required in these situations.

pozzled Wed 27-Jul-11 11:34:43

I don't know about education in Australia but from a UK teacher's point of view her attitude is unacceptable. It is her job to teach all the children in her class, the school should not be telling you they don't have the time or resources to help her. And if the teacher doesn't know how to teach dyslexics, she should find out. You could say that asking you for advice is the first step, but why hasn't she contacted the Ed Psych directly, or asked to be sent on some training?

As for the homework, I think that if the school have asked you to send your DD for tutoring, then this is her homework in a way. It is extra work that the school have requested that she should do. It's not the case that allowing her not to do it would be unfair on the other children. Making your DD do the homework (on that one day) would be unfair on her.

migrant Wed 27-Jul-11 11:36:24

I'm a teacher in WA and I can assure you we do have a Senco in every school. You need to see the Principal and ask who it is, then make a formal appt to see them. Also insist on seeing the school psych as they can make wheels move. Insist on a fortnightly IEP, that way you can see the teacher is doing something! Good luck!!

I think it was unfair to punish the child for a perceived "crime" (using that term very loosely!) that was actually perpetuated by the parents. Your DD was caught between a rock and a hard place. You told her not to do the homework so she is going to listen to you as her parent. You relayed that to the teacher and yet your DD got punished. That seems unfair as the teachers actual problem is that you told your DD not to do the homework (and by the sounds of that she knew that was the case) yet she goes ahead and punishes your DD.

I think that this needs to be sorted out with the school sooner rather than later and going to the head is as good a method as any - especially as you have already tried communicating with the teacher.

NunTheWiser Wed 27-Jul-11 11:42:15

Migrant, really? I have never even seen a Senco at the school, been introduced to her or had someone come and talk to me about DD2.
A fortnightly IEP? We've got one for the entire academic year.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 27-Jul-11 11:47:22

Speak to the teacher and try and get her to agree that any work set on a Tues will not be due in until Thurs or later. That way your daughter keeps on top of her homework but without being exhausted after her extra session.

If the homework feeds directly into work done in class the next day (which may be why teacher is so bothered) then I think you should encourage your daughter to do it later on in the evening after she has rested after her extra session. Sorry but otherwise she will end up behind which is the last thing you want for her confidence.

OrdinaryJo Wed 27-Jul-11 11:48:12

It sounds to me like you've been taking this teacher's 'no I don't know how to do it, can you do it for me please?' approach as acceptable. Don't mean to be harsh, but you need to take this further with HT and SENCO if there is one, to get the situation properly sorted out for your DD. FWIW I agree with you on the Tuesday homework, but it's just the tip of the iceberg, isn't it? This teacher isn't facing up to her responsiblities and you are enabling her to do so by picking up the slack yourself.

What if there is someone else in DD's class who has the same problems and can't afford tutoring? What if you couldn't afford tutoring?

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