teacher thread....(33 Posts)
On nights and this has been bothering me (and mn is my entertainment to keep me awake).
DS is 6, just gone into yr2. In year 1 he came on leaps and bounds, powering up through the bloody biff chip and fuckface books (levels 1-9 in a year). Maths started to get a good grounding and he enjoyed school.
Now i know year 2 is tough, a change, and a time for him to start behaving better (still working on that) but he has not gone up a reading level all half term. After his parents evening he has gone down a 'level' in maths and is back on 1:2 maths with an adult and another child.
This has well and truly pissed him off! He is sad to be back in this level of maths and is so far refusing to practice over half term 'coz theres no point' (hes 6 and already like a teenager )
he gets a new book from waterstones everytime he goes up a level. So i asked him, why have you not gone up yet? He asked his teacher - her response was it was none of his business.
Now i hold my hands up, he is a little bugger. Behaviour is touch and go, his ears regularly switch off on the playground, but as far as i was aware he enjoyed school and listened well in class. Class 1 teacher had very few complaints about that side of things. But class 2 teacher seems to have him labelled as naughty. I have been in 3 times already and asked how i can improve this without any guidance from her, she just repeats he needs to listen.
so i dont want to BU tow ards teacher and need advice on how do i deal with the 'its none of your business' comment in a polite way.
And how do i make my bloody child listen?! hes bored and probably finding the work hard so just not bothering. Is this really the start of him not wanting to go to school already?
Hes all despondent and grumpy
I would schedule a formal meeting with the teacher after half term then have it followed up in writing. The comment about it being none of his business is out of order, if it was said. I can't imagine a teacher actually saying that? Maybe try a different reward to mix it up, something to get him to try and do some work over the rest of half term?
Has he changed classes, different children etc. Might be something else going on?
Maybe he hasn't moved up because as you say he is finding the work hard? Maybe he moved on too swiftly last year and now needs to go over stuff he missed and build a better grounding. I certainly wouldn't push to move on in maths until he properly understands the basics or he will be forever on the back foot. He could be misbehaving because he doesn't understand and is trying to avoid the work.. Alternatively could be bored and therefore misbehaving. Do you have a parent evening soon? I think you need to discuss with the teacher exactly how your son is really doing in school and why he needs extra support in maths.
I think if you can, it's best to instil into him that it doesn't matter what actual level he's on, as long as it's the right level for him.
Sometimes kids and parents get too hung up on moving up a level and they don't realise that as the kids get older, the speed at which they move up tends to slow down. This is because the levels are (or should be) more challenging and take a greater deal of comprehension.
He needs to understand that as he gets older, the focus is more on the comprehension and that means he's likely to stay on some levels for longer, or even drop down a level so that he can truly understand before moving forward.
The teacher's response was rude and unhelpful (on the face of it) but should you really be buying him a new book just because he's gone up a level?
That's kind of reinforcing that going up a level is more important than effort and behaviour IYSWIM?
Why not buy him a new book 'just because'? Or because his attitude, effort and behaviour is worth rewarding?
That might help, as well as you perhaps speaking to the teacher in private?
he gets books at ohter times, its one of his treats he chooses for good behaviour all week, tidying his room etc.
i have had a parents evening and a couple of private meetings which have resulted in being promised more help to develop strategies to improve his listening (yet to have anything back tho)
i like the approach of him dropping down a level will help him understand, he is seeing it as being with the bottom group which has ended up in the negative attitude ive been getting from him.
i have considered kumon, but dont want to be a pushy parent!
i just feel hes not being supported by his teacher, but that may just be shes not indulging him as much as class 1 teacher did.
its so hard isnt it?!
and i have no reason to believe she didnt say 'its none of your business' to him, he is incapable of lying to me (so far...) but it may have been taken out of context!
Ok, dont take this the wrong way but is it possible that the Year 1 teacher saw you as some sort of demanding pushy parent and thought to herself ' right, I really don't want another year of this so this year, I will not get into big debates with such parents and just do what I need to do to keep them happy as far as possible' and so now the Year 2 teacher is having to say it like it is?
Also, they do tend to have times where they speed along with their reading and then it slows massively down.
I imagine the 'its none of your business' was taken out of context. Maybe he was pushing and pushing for more answers from her? Has he become a little too over confident in Year 2? Just trying to think of answers.
You describe him as a 'little bigger' yourself so it's hardly the teacher labelling him if she points out his poor behaviour. Maybe this is linked to the plateauing of his progress. Maybe not.
Is your DS the only source of the 'none of your business' report on what exactly the teacher said and in what context? I would give her a call and just state the facts: he doesn't appear to have progressed this half-term, he said he asked you why and he he says you said X. Then see what she says.
I'm confused a you say that the work's too difficult for him but at the same time are unhappy that he isn't progressing or more appropriately, being progressed. Surely it's one or the other. Would you rather the difficulty of the work increased over time whether he was ready or not?
I'm not immediately jumping to the teacher's defence but "behaviour is touch and go", "he's a little bugger", "refusing to practice over half term" and "she repeats he needs to listen" paint a fairly vivid picture of who he is and what the problems are. You say it's time for him to start behaving better but contrary to that "Class 1 teacher had very few complaints about that side of things". Which one is it?
You asking questions of a 6 year old like, ""why aren't you going up a level?" will cloud his view of how it should work.
2:1 in numeracy is surely a good thing and a reaction to his needs. Are you complaining about the extra attention he's receiving? Is he? Would he rather sit in a larger group going under the radar without the extra effort required?
Staying at the same reading level for 7 weeks isn't necessarily an issue. Did he refuse to read over the holidays? If so it may have taken a while for him to get back to the stage he was when he finished year 1. Books can be read on many levels. As well as simply decoding, comprehension and prediction become increasingly important and he could be reading the same level books but with different objectives.
"none of your business" can be said in different ways. Jokingly, rudely, joke with a jag. I can think of year 2 children I know where it could easily be said with a smile and they would take it as "don't be nosey" and think no more of it.
What guidance do you want from her? I'm sure she's trying different strategies in school but are you after parenting tips? You've had 3 meetings in the first half a term. Whilst some children and parents do deserve and require more time than others, I think you're getting your fair share and more of their time.
Perhaps ask via email (so she has time to clearly explain) what is being tried at school to help and encourage him, how it's going and how it can be reinforced at home.
I don't want this post to come across as nothing more than blind defense of someone I have never met but I like to give my professional opinion (headmistress) and it's necessary on MN to at least suggest the other side of a "teacher is shit and my angel is hard done by" thread.
user apart from the 'none of your business' comment (which at 6 I am sure I would realise was ridiculous when it concerned me) I don't think you need to defend the teacher here. I think the other posters have been pretty balanced.
@Blueberry - true, although I stand by my comment,
"none of your business" can be said in different ways. Jokingly, rudely, joke with a jag. I can think of Year 2 children I know where it could easily be said with a smile and they would take it as "don't be nosey" and think no more of it.
I don't think it's necessarily "ridiculous" and shouldn't be blown out of proportion.
In reception and year one reading is all about reading. Learning to form words from sounds, understanding the form of sentences and building up knowledge of words. In year two the focus totally changes and it's almost all about comprehension before it swings back to a more balanced level in ks2.
In school data shows that many children appear to make little progress at the start of year 2 compared to year 1 but most children reach the expected levels by the end of the year.
If I was you I'd give it until Christmas and see how things are progressing before I began to panic, year 2 is a really tough year for kids because it's where school becomes really real.
I'm sure the its none of your business comment was probably in relation to another way that he phrased the question eg why am i on a different table? Reading books - I wouldnt worry. Some stages are far longer than others. Maths - he needs extra support and is getting it. Great! If he doesnt receive maths homework, ask which areas he needs support in, buy him a book from whsmiths and help him with it, a page every other day. Job done.
Sounds like he's under a lot of pressure from home re levels. Surely it would be better to just encourage him to do the work and not worry about levels. If he thinks that the only point of working is to go up a level, and the product of his recent work is to have gone down a level, it's obvious why he doesn't see the point in working any more!
And the "none of your business" comment was obviously not well-phrased, but it was essentially right. a 6 year old shouldn't be thinking about this stuff.
As a Y2 teacher myself, I have had to have some very difficult conversations with parents this year, because the previous teacher decided to tell all the parents that everything in the garden was rosy. With regards to your son, it couldbe that he peaked with reading in Year 1 and has now hit a bit of a plateau. It happens like this.
It's normal for it to take longer to go up a level at his age. I think you are putting too much pressure on him about levels rather than just encouraging him to read for enjoyment. If you need guidance on how to help him improve his behaviour the book Divas and Dictators is great or a parenting course rather than wanting the teacher to tell you how to fix it.
I wouldn't make a big deal about the comment. But to tell someone a decision about them is none of their business is ridiculous as the decision is precisely concerning their business. However, I am not saying they should be involved in the decision as I agree it is not something 6 year olds should be concerning themselves with.
Think you've had some excellent answers here. Mainly - don't get hung up about levels. Very, very common for there to be a long Autumn Term without 'moving up' for all sorts of reasons... they've 'slid back' over the holidays / previous teacher was a bit premature in moving them up / different styles of teaching or different relationships with teacher haven't motivated the child in the same way / might have 'just' tipped in to one level and needs a lot of consolidation / just being some.
It's perfectly reasonable that he hasn't moved up levels yet or even gone backwards. Progress isn't linear. There will always be times when he makes very fast progress along with other times when he plateaus or even dips for a short while. It is possible that last year he got good levels because the work was spoon fed a bit too much and that they weren't an accurate reflection of his true ability, this happens surprisingly often. His teavhers comment about it not being any of his business doesn't look great but the question could have been worded better.
Maybe you could ask the teacher for a meeting and include tour DS. Ask for a list of measurable targets for him that he can work towards and that would result in him moving up a level. He and you need to know exactly what he needs to do to improve.
Reading between the lines a bit it sounds like his behaviour is more than a bit difficult and perhaps she is finding it difficult to manage, how do you manage his behaviour at home? As a teacher id be delighted if you came to me and said yes he is difficult but some of the things that we do at home that help are XYZ etc. Alternatively if it is particularly bad is there a reason for it? Should the SENCO be involved?
When the school say they will use new strategies or put things in place to help him follow up on them or after the meeting follow up with an email about what was agreed and in the email ask to schedule a further meeting to review in several weeks.
It's really sad that your soon has always enjoyed learning and isn't enjoying this year much and it's important to get that back. Mention this to the school and ask for ways to help also lots of reassurance about how effort is more important than levels.
I wanted to come back and say thank you for all the advise and update.
At the beginning of the year I asked for help with his behaviour, more of a preventative measure. Teacher said their senco would evaluate him and get in touch about some techniques to help rather than punish. I chased this up when we went back after half term. Friday a letter arrived from senco with some parenting classes at a children's centre. Not really the info I was aiming for, and I won't be going.
He's also had his homework back, and it is unmarked from a week before half term. He also had the same book that he'd read over half term for 3 days (I don't pick up those days) and I had to go and change it with him on the 4th.
I don't think I'm being unreasonable to say the teacher seems to be dropping the ball.
But now I need to know how best to address all this. Letter, email, face to face, wait a bit? Not a confrontational person but don't want to feel like I'm not doing everything I can for my son!
Just a note about the book changing. At my school the kids are responsible for changing their own books from year 1, when my son was year 2 we had the same book for over 3 weeks before he finally remembered to change it! Teachers generally don't have time to go through each child's bag to see if they need a new book or not.
I don't really understand why you think the suggestion of parenting classes is unhelpful and say you won't be doing them. You've said
"Now i hold my hands up, he is a little bugger. Behaviour is touch and go" and that "class 2 teacher seems to have him labelled as naughty." and that you've been in 3 times and asked how you can improve this without any guidance from the teacher and said "how do i make my bloody child listen?!"
They've now come back to you with a suggestion of where you can go for advice on improving things but you say it's not the info you are looking for and won't be doing them. What is it you want from them?
Same as Danica - I don't understand why you aren't going to give the help (you asked for) a go, now someone has found the details for you.
These parent support groups can be really helpful and get excellent feedback from all sorts of parent who "didn't think it would be for them"
Email back to the senco. Copy in the teacher. Thank them for the info provided and then explain you wanted more information about how they were managing and supporting his behaviour in class as you've noticed his progress has slowed this year.
If he isn't listening then I'd expect them to try a few different strategies. You can't make him listen in school. You aren't there and don't know what's distracting him.
Have you established that he doesn't have a problem with his hearing or eyesight? Have you discussed where he sits in the class eg away from distractions, close to the teacher, etc? Have you discussed the discipline measures they can use if he isn't listening eg moving seats, taking work home, etc.
You need to work together with the school.
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