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Not to want ds to be used in this way by the teacher

(68 Posts)
lecce Wed 05-Feb-14 20:41:06

I can't believe I am starting a thread about schools/teachers - I am a teacher and have been taken aback over the last week or so by the number of critical posts about teachers on here...buuuut, an issue has recurred today that has bothered me each time it has arisen, so I'd like to see what others think.

For the fourth time this year, ds (nearly 7, Y2) has been removed from the class to read to pupil X, who has behavioural issues and, on these occasions, from what ds says, the aim of this has been for ds to help him calm down. Now, I am happy for ds to be taught the value of helping others, and I am also very proud that he has been chosen for this (I have always been told by all his teachers that his behaviour is exemplorary, and that he demonstrates emotional maturity) but I am just not sure that this is the best use of his time.

I suppose what makes it worse is that I have never really felt the school have done a lot to cater for his needs. I have several times expressed concerns about his possible lack of friends (we moved here during Y1), and the responses from the school were always vague: "We'll keep an eye on him..", "Oh, he seems fine..." etc, though, tbf, he does seem to be making friends and this was never an issue he himself complained about.

In terms of his work, he is the only free reader in KS1 and teachers frequently comment on his amazing knowledge and understanding of the world, tell us how bright he is etc, but they don't seem to stretch him or differentiate for him. I really just get the sense that he is doing so well that they just leave him alone, and that is fair enough I suppose, and it is right that those who need more attention should get it, but now I am starting to feel that he is being used.

I don't know - I'm probably being UR, but I don't want to hear of this happening again, tbh. I teach secondary level and am well aware that sensible children will be used for errands etc, and I know this is a good thing in terms of encouraging responsibility and independence etc (as well as being a necessity sometimes), but this is an activity that seems to take 30 minutes or more each time, and I feel it's a step too far.


shoom Wed 05-Feb-14 20:43:41

Is your son being paid as a TA?
Is he being trained or supported in how to "calm someone else down"?
Did he say he wants to spend his time this way?

Fuck that.

Pippilangstrompe Wed 05-Feb-14 20:44:22

Is he volunteering to do it or is he been made to do it? I think that is something you should check out first. Maybe he is saying to the teacher that he likes doing it so the teacher keeps asking him?

Goldmandra Wed 05-Feb-14 20:47:16

If it was more often or part of a wider picture of him missing lessons to help others, I would worry but this is only a total of about two hours teaching time.

I would be more bothered about the lack of differentiation. He may not need help to keep up but he does need to be engaged in his learning which he won't be if he's constantly working below his potential.

Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Feb-14 20:47:22

This drives me nuts!!!
My daughter is regularly sat next to one of the " lively" boys to try and help calm them down and on joint projects she is always asked to work with the children who are struggling to help them.
I understand why the teachers do it but my priority is my child, if she can help other pupils without it affecting her then fine but there have been situations where she feels her work has suffered or she has had to do extra work because her work partner isn't able or willing to do the task.
Speak to the teacher, it's not fair

WooWooOwl Wed 05-Feb-14 20:48:06

YANBU, and you are probably right that they think they don't need to worry about differentiating much for your ds.

They probably think that as he's doing well enough and better than the majority, then he is not the best use of their time and attention, so they do just let him get on with it because they know he'll reach targets. It has happened in my school, and when we got a new head it was something he cracked down on straight away.

In your position I'd have a chat with the teacher just to let them know that you're aware it's happening and you're monitoring it. That alone will probably be enough to stop it becoming a regular occurrence.

CailinDana Wed 05-Feb-14 20:49:17

Yanbu. Far too much responsibility for a 7 year old. I was used all the time at school to manage difficult pupils. I didn't mind rare occasions but it happened too often and I was given too much responsibility.

chocladoodle Wed 05-Feb-14 20:49:54

This is happening with my dd too. She is being taken outside into another teaching area and being left with a boy who has a long history of violence and disruption. During this time she is showing the boy what he has missed during the times he has been essential from school. I cant believe it. Ive previously complained to the school and asked that they be kept separate as he assaulted her leaving her with a mark on her face, which they agreed to do, now this!!

chocladoodle Wed 05-Feb-14 20:50:23

Essential ? Absent.

Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Feb-14 20:51:44

Chocladoodle that's terrible!!
Your poor DD.

twinkletoedelephant Wed 05-Feb-14 20:52:12

Dt2 gets 'paired' with boy x for this reason he is in reception dt2 like rules and encourages others to follow what his beloved teacher has said he has in on his table and in most of his groups he seems to find him annoying but says I had to tell xxx today to be quiet and sit still and stopkicking tthe towers over etc.... He sees it as helping his teacher

On the flip side dt1 is like xxxx I believe his teacher encourages his friendship with girl xxx for the same reasons.......

As long as he is ok and making progress and is happy I don't mind - some parents have complained ( playground gossip) and I can understand why it seems the whole class takes a turn

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Feb-14 20:55:50

Yanbu. It should not fall to your Ds to "calm him down"

They are both missing 30 mins of teaching time every time. Helping out and being kind etc is one thing.

Being responsible for another child's behaviour when he has no training or qualifications to do so is another.

And before you get flamed op- I see you are pleased he's being chosen and is being so kind and helpful I'm gathering it's the frequency, time and the fact that the TAs aren't teaching this boy as well as your Ds that's the problem.

Sexnight Wed 05-Feb-14 21:00:52

Yanbu AT ALL!!!

On his first school trip away my very quiet, sensible and lovely boy was made to sleep in a dormitory of boys he didn't know because they needed to split up two naughties and so decided to take a good kid out to make room for a naughty. I was furious!!! So unfair.

Pippilangstrompe Wed 05-Feb-14 21:02:16

How do you know TAs aren't teaching this kid? Maybe there is a TA there too. Maybe all the kids spend a little time with the disruptive kid so this kid learns to interact with peers and the other kids learn to interact with him/her?

I think you have reason enough to contact the teacher and ask what is going on, but I would find out more before getting annoyed about it. It sounds unlikely to me that he is regularly sitting reading alone to a disruptive kid while the class is doing other stuff without there being somthing more to it.

rabbitlady Wed 05-Feb-14 21:03:11

it would make me angry. complain. speak to the teacher. put it in writing if you have to.

daughter was compelled to do 'paired reading' - basically, teaching other children to read because she was competent and they weren't. this taught her nothing. it made her a teaching assistant without pay. it was a long time ago but I'm furious as i write...

and in year 6, they left her to run the school office. really.

bright children need further opportunities, not to become the teacher's aide.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Feb-14 21:05:48

I don't think there's anything wrong with helping and cementing the knowledge in the kids head. However if it takes away from
Lesson time frequently and the teachers are overly reliant on one child then that's not right.

Goldmandra Wed 05-Feb-14 21:09:05

She is being taken outside into another teaching area and being left with a boy who has a long history of violence and disruption.

Absolutely unacceptable if that child is in a heightened state of arousal when she's with him.

TheCrackFox Wed 05-Feb-14 21:09:11


My 2 boys have had more than their fair share of sitting next to the more lively characters in their class. There is a limit to how much children want to mentor/police other children and I think some teachers forget this.

chocladoodle Wed 05-Feb-14 21:16:09

I know. I'm not happy about it either. But when I've complained to the school in person and writing, i expect them to uphold their agreed assurance that the violent incident won't be allowed to be repeated. Obviously not. She's only 8

Goldmandra Wed 05-Feb-14 21:31:00

If she's being left alone with him, especially if it's at a time when he's been removed from the classroom following an incident how can they possibly ensure she is safe?

My DD1 was one of two very academically able children in her year. She was very shy and anxious and never in trouble in any way. The other one was a very disruptive child who hurt her on many occasions. In the end, three years into school when they we still being sat together the majority of the time I really made an unholy fuss and threatened to remove her from the school. Things improved after that. They are in different schools now, thank goodness!

chocladoodle Wed 05-Feb-14 21:42:25

The school has a working area in the corridor of the school. Its like an extra classroom outwith the other classrooms. All windows and open doors, everyone can see out/in. She is being picked because she is one of the brightest and has finished her work, so gets used to help this little boy. She gets picked a lot and they dont usually use the boys anymore either because they dont have the same calming effect on him that the girls do.

LizzieVereker Wed 05-Feb-14 21:42:41

YANBU, and I say that as a teacher.

Your little boy should not be missing out on his own teaching time to do this. Is there an adult present? I hope the boys are not being left alone if one needs "calming down".

I feel sorry for the other little boy too. Whilst your DS sounds lovely, the other child is not being properly supported. If he needs time out it should be supervised better.

JodieGarberJacob Wed 05-Feb-14 21:48:12

There's no way it would be for 30 minutes! And you only have your ds's interpretation of why he helps out. Maybe he volunteers? Speak to the teacher! You should know that!grin

Topaz25 Wed 05-Feb-14 22:50:56

Helping other kids learn is nice, so long as he is receiving appropriate support himself, which sounds like it might be lacking. I would be concerned about him helping to calm down a disruptive child, surely that's a job for someone who is trained. Are the school effectively meeting this other child's needs and your son's? I would talk to the teacher.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 05-Feb-14 22:59:35

I would have no issue at all if my child was doing this (with the exception of the seemingly unsafe situation chocs child is in).

It's a useful learning tool to try and teach someone else a subject you have just learnt,reading with others and sharing a story is fun.ands that's without even thinking about the potential for learning understanding through practise,compassion and all that nice feelings stuff.

You asked her to help with your sons friendships perhaps this is also a great way to do that.

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