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just leave it go, or raise the subject with the other mums and complain?

(20 Posts)
PuddleCheeks Fri 05-Oct-12 12:55:03

DS started Y1 in September and really upset about going as he was one of the ones struggling with his writing (getting his letters back to front and wrong order)

Last year (school year) we attended a friends tea party and his friends mum told them to put their names on the pics they had drawn to know who's was who. there was 6 children at the party all from DS class and he was the only one who couldnt write his name. he looked at me tears in his eyes and asked me if i would do it for him. After the party we came home and i absolutely cried my eyes out i felt so sorry for him.

The Monday staight after school i went in to see his teacher. i explained that i didnt realise he was struggling so much and why hadnt she called me to one side to have a word? she said all kids develope differently. by Christmas we were practicing with xmas cards etc to make it fun but no improvement. I went back in and she said it ll improve with time. i spent ages with him tipping flour on the work surface and getting him to write his name in the flour, a paint brush and water on the garden path etc but by easter time he was still really struggling. i was giving him all the support i could but i'm not a school teacher and i didnt want to confuse him with what the teacher was doing. i went BACK in to see her as i worried could he be dyslexic? i told her the activities i'd been doing with him and that i was really worrying that perhaps we were missing something? all she said was well you can carry on with the activities but i wouldnt bother with trying to find a 'problem' they wouldnt look at him untill he's 7 anyway.
Her attitude was really flippent and it was as if she'd given up on him. i asked her what work i could do with him and she said "just carry on what you're doing" the class has 32 children 1 teacher a 4 helps so i asked if he could have perhaps 10mins once a week one to one? she just said no.
all in all i found her unhelpful, not bothered, and in no way did she try and reassure us as worried parents.

so we arrive at september this year and DS really doesnt want to go to school, he knew he was behind but couldnt explain or understand it. he was standing at the window waving (not crying) but not wanting to hang his coat up.

2 weeks later in his new class with new teacher and he's writing his name on everything he can! scraps of paper, magnadoodle, misted up windows etc and perfectly! he's even writing sentences and learning to read! we're now heading for half term and his confidence has grown so so much he's like a new little boy and i'm so proud of him!

A few of the other mums have mentioned that they're glad their children are out of the previous teachers class same thing no support etc, and New teacher let slip that she's started from scratch with every pupil as no files were passed on to her.
should i just move on being proud of what he's achieved with his new teacher or ask the other mums if a complaint about the old teacher should be made to the head mistress so others don't go through the same thing?

givemeaclue Fri 05-Oct-12 13:10:34

Surely if it was that bad you would have been to see head already? Did you not raise with head your sons problems seeing as you found teacher unsupported? What did had say At The time?i
I would not consider putting in a joint complaint
with other mums, it looks like a witch hunt and head will wonder why nobody raised these issues before. If you feel you want to discuss with head last years issues do it on your own. Hope your son continues to improve

DeWe Fri 05-Oct-12 13:12:53

I'm not sure what a complaint will do. I expect what will be said is that sometimes children struggle for ages with something, then it clicks and they're doing it fine. And that is true. Some children do do a dramatic improvement suddenly for no known reason. Not saying that's the case, but unless there are other indications the year R teacher is a problem then I expect it'll be dismissed as such.

If you club together with other mums it will look like a witchhunt and I think you'll put the head's back up.

You could put it to the head in a nice way. something along the lines of:

"I'm so pleased with Y1 teacher. Ds was so struggling with writing last year, and this year, his reading and writing has improved so much in just 2 weeks. From barely writing he's confidently writing everywhere. I can't believe the improvement he's made in such a short time. Could you pass my thanks onto Y1 teacher, as I'm sure that she must have encouraged him."

That way, if he's got concerns already, then it'll ring alarm bells for him that the year R teacher wasn't supporting your ds. If similar things are said later about another child then he may link them. But you're not going to put anyone's backs up by it. Great "positive reinforcement" grin

It also means if you want to put in a complaint at another time (when something can be done, rather than after the event) he'll not think "this parent just complains" and ignore you.

redskyatnight Fri 05-Oct-12 13:15:28

Lots of DC struggle with writing at Reception age. I don't think the teacher's approach to him was necessarily wrong. DS couldn't do more than scribble through most of Reception and "forcing" him to write just made him worse. The school did encourage him to do activities to improve his fine motor control skills - but this wouldn't have necessarily been obvious to the casual observer.

It's great that your DS is improving now. I'm not sure what exactly you would complain to the head about, especially if his file has gone missing (which seems somewhat unlikely).

PuddleCheeks Fri 05-Oct-12 13:24:57

Didnt go to the head as he wasnt the most approachable. Me and DP went to see him about DS being bullied even outside school at other childrens parties, name calling and hitting him, witnessed by a lot of the other mums and all he said was i was giving children their age too much credit to be bullies. he left then at xmas and we had this new head mistress so i didnt want to raise the issue about reception teach in her first weeks etc. (sounds stupid i know) sad i dont think going now would make a difference, i was just taken back that other mums felt the same! wasnt sure if it was something i should do. but im glad you all agree not to go and witch hunt! smile thanks everyone smile

PuddleCheeks Fri 05-Oct-12 13:26:41

forgot to say its not just DS file gone missing she just wont give all of the childrens files which i thought was really weird!

givemeaclue Fri 05-Oct-12 13:28:15

But in future he you are so worried about your son that you are crying over it them even if head is hard to approach you still need to do it. But schools can't usually do anything about bullying at parties

cestlavielife Fri 05-Oct-12 13:29:16

dewe idea is good.
but lots of kids just suddenly click - my dd did this too.

so just move forward

NatashaBee Fri 05-Oct-12 13:32:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lueji Fri 05-Oct-12 13:33:13

I agree.

That's why in other countries formal education starts much later at 6 or 7.

HuntingBears Fri 05-Oct-12 13:37:01

I'm sorry your little boy and you had to go through the misery you went through at the party and that you weren't reassured in any way by his teacher. Was relieved to read the last part of your post saying that he is happy now as are the other children in his class. The Reception teacher is obviously struggling. I think DeWe's advice is very good. Put a positive spin on the point you are making but surely the Head will pick up on what you are really saying. It'd be my guess, from what you say the Y1 teacher said, that they are all aware of RT's shortcomings but if you have someone like that all you can do is hope they move on quickly to mess up some other poor child's life for a year.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Fri 05-Oct-12 13:38:14

Looking back, things are often clearer. My DD was struggling at the same age and her teacher was near retirement and kept telling me she was fine.

She is no 8 and in anther school...when she got there, they told me she was behind. I should have known but I didn't...look forward now. He's catching up...my DD took ages to write. Now she is an extemely fluent reader and her handwrting is much better.

ilovetermtime Fri 05-Oct-12 13:45:01

I agree about kids struggling in reception. My youngest DS couldn't write his name either (and still gets the letters in it back-to-front even now he's in Y2), but I just trusted that the teachers knew what they were doing and didn't make an issue of it. All kids develop at their own pace.

PuddleCheeks Fri 05-Oct-12 13:54:46

thanks everyone smile i really appreciate all of your comments! i am so proud of him! his teacher definitely deserves a big gold star! x

GoSakuramachi Fri 05-Oct-12 14:01:33

perhaps he was miserable because of the pressure put on him before he was ready, and he just did it when it was his time to be ready?
British parents push so hard from so young ages, they seem to expect so much from children barely out of nappies! I many other countries they wouldn't even hae started school at that age.

donburi Fri 05-Oct-12 14:01:42

But surely if it is a really terrible school they would simply use your feigned satisfaction as a way of letting themselves off the hook and moreover, use this against you at some point in the future by apportioning the blame if they were ever questioned

GoblinGold Fri 05-Oct-12 14:18:18

I would complain. Politely, carefully, factually and in measured tones.

My brother had a poor teacher in reception (I had her for some lessons and she was appalling). The same teacher was given the same class two years later. It later transpired that out of 28 children, 24 parents had individually complained to the Head. Nothing was done and as the parents weren't aware that they were all feeling the same way, they were unable to push further.

My brother and several other children needed remedial coaching due to having received poor schooling for two of their first four years of formal education. In addition, some children (DB included) didn't have learning difficulties recognised promptly, delaying appropriate interventions.

It's really great that your DS is doing so much better and you should be properly proud that he's turned it around. smile But I wouldn't want to sit back and let more children go through having brought poor teaching quality to the attention of the correct authorities.

Nanny0gg Fri 05-Oct-12 14:29:11

If there is a new HT then odds are she will be getting to know her school and staff and will hopefully be aware that standards are not all they should be.
Children are continually being assessed now, and if they have come up with low or unrealistic EYFS scores, the school will be well aware. As your DC's current teacher will have to show progress, it will become clear as to the standards in FS.
I think she'll be found out.

GuybrushThreepwodWasHere Fri 05-Oct-12 14:38:54

I'm not too sure about complaining, but I think that the new teacher definitely deserves some positive feedback grin and congratulations to your DS for doing well at school. I still have vivid memories of really struggling to get s's the right way round and mixing up d's and b's confused So embarrassing!

chandellina Fri 05-Oct-12 14:45:28

It doesn't sound to me like the teacher necessarily did anything wrong. If anything she has been proven right that children develop at different times. I would let it go unless you are convinced she has been genuinely delinquent.

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