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To think this teacher was a bit off?

(61 Posts)
BimboNo5 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:11:09

6 year old DD's parents evening. Sit down for a few seconds and her class teacher launches into how she is concerned my DD doesn't stick to what she is meant to be doing, how she goes off on tangents etc and how if it continues it may become a problem. I know she has a small concentration span so this doesn't shock me but there was no positive reinforcement (i.e she has a short attention span but is a very kind and fun little girl who is kind to her peers..) and we just heard negative stuff. My husband is really quite upset, im a bit meh tbh but are teachers not meant to give positive praise these days?

Andrewofgg Tue 18-Oct-11 20:13:19

If what she is raising is what is important then she is right. There is no point in going to these occasions to hear flattery. YABU.

backwardpossom Tue 18-Oct-11 20:15:47

are teachers not meant to give positive praise these days?

Well, I know I try and kick off and end a meeting with parents on a positive note, but I certainly don't hold back on important issues even if they are negative. I'd be very surprised if the teacher said NOTHING positive.

BimboNo5 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:16:14

I dont want to hear 'flattery'. I know my DD is doing very well with her reading and numeracy right now and has come on leaps and bounds. No mention of that though which is a little dissapointing. Yes sure tell us the bad points but what about a bit of praise for the things they try so hard at?

mousesma Tue 18-Oct-11 20:16:26

No not really, parents evening is for letting you know about your childs progress and alerting you to any potential issues not for telling you how great your DD is.

I wouldn't like hearing negative things about my DD either but you already know all the great things about your DD so theres no value in the teacher telling you them.

BangersNGash Tue 18-Oct-11 20:17:40

It would've been nice for the teacher to do the "shit sandwich" thing i.e something good, something not so good, then something good again - sandwich smile

However, I believe that parents evenings are very tough on teachers and they have a set amount of time to say what they need to and as quickly as possible, so in my opinion, no time for beating about the bush.

lesley33 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:18:41

Sorry I think YAB a bit U. The time parents have with teachers is very short at these things, so its important she concentrates on the most important things.

lesley33 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:19:51

And i personally hate being on the receiving end of a "sandwich". Just tell me what you need to tell me.

Pixieonthemoor Tue 18-Oct-11 20:21:09

I think it varies from teacher to teacher tbh. One of DS's teachers was like this - so desperately negative that every meeting left us feeling suicidal!! According to this teacher there was literally NOTHING good to say and it was really awful. Other teachers were far more balanced - after all, I wasn't looking for someone to blow sunshine up my a* and I know that nothing is 100% good but then neither is it 100% bad either! Also, I would just like to point out - what 6/7 yr old HAS a good attention span???? Try not to let it bother you!

MangoMonster Tue 18-Oct-11 20:21:48

I think a sandwich would have been a better way.

Minus273 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:25:28

I agree the sandwich is a better idea. I know a teacher who's headmistress won't let the teachers tell the parents anything remotely negative as it makes the 'school look bad'. If the parent asks a direct question then they are expected to lie confused. Personally I prefer the truth although a little effort to say at least one nice thing about each child would be nice.

rednose Tue 18-Oct-11 20:26:54

I can empathise. I also had my parent / teacher experience today and found myself very sensitive about the comments. Yes by all means call it how it is but help build the childs confidence with something positive-kind, helps tidy, good manners etc

BimboNo5 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:28:41

Oh I definatley appreciate know the areas she needs to improve on, if I dont know after all I cant help her with them. However she does some fab work and has improved in many areas which ive helped her with- guess I wanted some praise for that!!

pigletmania Tue 18-Oct-11 20:41:15

I am dreading mine, dd has started in foundation year has SN (dev delay and ASD traits) its never positive. These meetings should end in a positive note too, as I am sure that all children have strengths too.

KittyFane Tue 18-Oct-11 20:41:41

Did she say anything positive at all?

BimboNo5 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:48:59

Nope, nothing.

DownbytheRiverside Tue 18-Oct-11 20:49:45

It is much easier to just say nice things about a child, without addressing any of the problems at all. Especially if you've only got 10 minutes and don't feel like dealing with a hostile and defensive parent.
I always do the sandwich bit, and usually not at parents' evening. If there's a problem I prefer to deal with it sooner, but some parents can be tricky to deal with. The teacher may well have meant it as a way of identifying a problem that needed your support, but handled it badly.
How experienced is she, and was yours appointment 15 at the end of the evening? We sometimes get knackered and lose the social polish when at the end of a very long day.

BlondeG Tue 18-Oct-11 20:50:11

Oh I could have totally written this post. Had DS1's PE today, and everything was about how quite often he would coast along and that he wasn't working to his full potential. When I did ask about his behaviour it was 'fine', and that was said with an eye roll.

He had literally NOTHING to say that was positive, yet all his previous teachers - he's in yr3 now - have brought up the same thing, but they have all also said he is pleasant and helpful and that he is basically a nice boy who is a bit of a dreamer.

Like you I would just have wished for a bit of positive reinforcement, as it really, really felt like the teacher couldn't think of anything positive to say. At all.

BimboNo5 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:51:02

We were one of the last appointments. No idea how experienced she is either.

Maamoo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:51:16

Been there done it got the tshirt! My response now is "can you please tell me what dd is doing well at?"

KittyFane Tue 18-Oct-11 20:55:27

Bimbo, arrange a second appointment and explain that whilst you accept the negative you would like to ask if there is anything positive about your DC's experience at school - in her opinion grin and if not, why not?!

soverylucky Tue 18-Oct-11 20:56:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Tue 18-Oct-11 20:59:01

Well, yes, I think the teacher does need to give praise for the things they are good at - but to the children, not the parents!! They have a limited amount of time and surely it's better to address any problems than to worry about cushioning the blow for the parents??

BimboNo5 Tue 18-Oct-11 21:05:57

Nothing to do with 'cushioning the blow' but letting us as her parents know what she is doing well at/has improved at etc...

BOOareHaunting Tue 18-Oct-11 21:07:01

My first ever parents evening with DS in year R was a blow by blow account of every thing he had done to annoy since since day 1. I actually asked her if she had any thing positive to say. (she didn't!)

Nursery had always been positive other than his concentration - which is still bad now in year 3 (but improving smile)

So I met with HT really concerned and it turned out there wasn't ant 'real' problems, just settling in was hard. (he was 4.03 when he started).

I hate all the pretence of niceiness but do think if there are positives then they need to be said.

DS teacher (now yr 3) said all the negatives (concentration/ distracted/ fiddles with everything!) and I agreed and empathised as I live with it wink but she also said how kind and helpful he was and how she was using his positive attributes to improve the negatives. Very clever teacher - basically he's helpful so she sit's him by a child who needs some support so he is kept on task by that child asking DS for help.

I'm on the fence if YABU or not as people above make good arguments about why the negatives are spouted but I agree it's hard to hear that and nothing else.

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