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Anyone with a quiet child? - upset at what teacher has said at parents eve

(330 Posts)
Afternooninthepark Tue 05-Mar-19 22:50:32

Dd is 10 and in year 6.
Tonight was her parents evening. Each year we are told that dd is very quiet which is fine not a shock as I know she is one of the quiet ones, the world is full of different personalities, we can’t all be loud and super confident.
However, tonight the teacher made a real issue about it. She told me she thought dd was too quiet, never participated and that she thought her self esteem was extremely low. She even went on to say that she thought if dd had her way ‘she would crouch into small ball and hide under the table’! She also suggested she should speak to the Relate counsellor??!!
I told the teacher this was a bit of shock to me. Dd is quiet but at home she is witty and funny, always happy, very very arty and creative, has a big love of animals and just a lovely, loving, kind & wonderful daughter.
She never says she hates school, always goes in happily and very rarely complains about much.
I’ve asked dd if she is happy at achool and she says she is and doesn’t understand why the teacher is saying this.
I’m upset and worried now. It’s as though the teacher thinks being quiet is a major flaw or that there is some underlying issue as to why she is quiet. And why on earth would she think that just because she is quiet that it means she has low self esteem??
Anyone else with a quiet child?

247mummsy Tue 05-Mar-19 22:55:39

Everyone’s different, being quiet isn’t a bad thing, maybe she just prefers to observe and take everything in.

lifestooshortandsoami Tue 05-Mar-19 22:57:26

I don't have a quiet child (have the opposite!) but I Was the quiet child. Every year of my school life my parents were told I was too quiet and it upset help me in life etc... my mum always maintained that it wasn't a problem... as similar to your dd I wasn't quiet at home and no other issues, liked school.
I left school with 9 good GCSEs and 3 good a levels. I've worked in a variety of customer facing jobs talking to people either face to face or on the phone... and never had a problem. So basically they were wrong saying I'd struggle and so on.
Like you said there are lots of personalities in the world and we can't all be the loud ones.
It doesn't mean there's a problem and if your dd is happy and you don't have any ther concerns, it's just how she is in that school environment, then don't worry about it. Some people just don't get that others are quiet? Hope your dd is ok as it's frustrating when people suggest there's something wrong just cause you're a quieter person

Mummatron3000 Tue 05-Mar-19 22:58:19

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being quiet or an introvert. I do wish teachers would stop spouting rubbish about being quiet being a problem. I think Susan Cain has written a book for young people who identify as introverts, might be worth checking it out?

Guineapiglet345 Tue 05-Mar-19 22:59:23

From my experience of being the quiet child I think that more outgoing people cannot understand that there’s nothing wrong with being quiet and see it as a problem to be solved.

7salmonswimming Tue 05-Mar-19 22:59:23

Have faith in your assessment of your own child. Clearly the teacher got it wrong. Nothing to be upset about. In fact, if maybe have a word with her superior about he overstepping the mark. Referring to Relate is ridiculous!

Kolo Tue 05-Mar-19 23:00:56

Yes. Ds10, but in year 5. Loud and funny at home, but very shy and quiet at school. Parents evenings are always the same - he won’t volunteer answers to questions, blah blah blah. I know my son is one of the ones that pretty much gets ignored in class; he’s well behaved, gets on with his work. He’s mortified at the idea of talking to strangers and to adults (other than family). Sometimes random kids come up and talk to him in the park and I see him just freeze. He’s so shy!

I’d love for him to be more confident with other people, but it’s just him. He has made some progress. I was a very shy child, but I’m not a shy adult. I’m thinking that my son will find his confidence when he’s older and stops bothering what others think about him.

Notcontent Tue 05-Mar-19 23:01:44

Ok, so maybe your dd is quiet and needs some help to be more confident. OR maybe your dd is quiet and the teacher doesn’t really like her... or maybe your dd doesn’t feel comfortable in her class...

Keep an eye on it but don’t get too concerned.

janetforpresident Tue 05-Mar-19 23:02:54

I was a quiet child. Some people just don't get quiet introverted types. The teacher doesn't sound like the most empathetic of people

And why on earth would she think that just because she is quiet that it means she has low self esteem?? she doesn't sound like she knows what she is talking about

If your dd says she is fine and no other teacher has ever raised this i would give it no more thought. When she suggested relate what did you say?

pasbeaucoupdegendarme Tue 05-Mar-19 23:02:54

I really sympathise as I also have a quiet dd. Mine is only in Y2 but we had a very similar conversation with her teacher last year where the teacher said “it was a real problem” and indicated there was something really quite wrong with her. It became increasingly apparent during the year that the teacher just couldn’t understand why a quiet child would be quiet.

I think if your dd is happy and seems herself at home then the teacher is just going to have to accept this is how she is.

bringbackfonzi Tue 05-Mar-19 23:04:48

I think your dd sounds fine. Not sure you should have told her what the teacher said, though- that could just make her (more) self-conscious.

RedHatsDoNotSuitMe Tue 05-Mar-19 23:06:49

I think primary school teachers start worrying at this stage with a Yr6 if they're very quiet, because in a primary school the children tend to have one main teacher who gets to know them all really well.

Once those children move on to secondary they'll have a range of teachers, some will only see them for an hour or so once a week or once a fortnight.

If that's a child who is going to need help and/or support, but struggles to ask for it, their teacher is going to be worried about them.

I don't think it's anything sinister, or that any teacher is saying being quiet is a bad thing, I think they're just worrying about children they are fond of.

DonaldTwain Tue 05-Mar-19 23:07:35

Your dd sounds fine and lovely. As long as she is not stigmatised for her shyness, she will find her voice. My dd is similar age and just the same, I am not worried.

BusySnipingOnCallOfDuty Tue 05-Mar-19 23:08:21

That sounds really sad. Im sorry shes being treated this way.
Some of the best people ive known have been quiet. An ex of mine is so super quiet its unbelievable. But his company was and is lovely.
Some are more thinkers than speakers.

Afternooninthepark Tue 05-Mar-19 23:08:58

Thanks all. The teacher herself is quite a loud woman and I imagine that she just doesn’t understand introverts. I’m an introvert myself and it pisses me off that the world seems obsessed with loud, brash, vacuous people these days. Introverts can get along quite well in life, we just don’t need to make a song and dance about it!!

DippyAvocado Tue 05-Mar-19 23:10:09

Parent of a very quiet child and primary teacher here. I'm afraid there are some in my profession who are not very understanding of quiet children. I often call out my colleagues for referring to certain of their pupils as quiet and shy in front of them. There are plenty of us teachers around who appreciate the quiet, hard-working pupils though. It's a shame that the world currently seems easier for loud people, even though the quiet ones always out-perform them. Just find ways to encourage your DD's confidence, eg praising the things she's good at. Most people do grow out of shyness to some extent, or at least learn to hide it somewhat - I say that as someone who once was "the quiet one".

Afternooninthepark Tue 05-Mar-19 23:12:50

bring back I didn’t tell her word from word just said the teacher thought you were a bit quiet and dd replied that’s because a couple of pupils on her table always had something to say and that to the teacher it may look like she was the quiet one - I left it at that, didn’t say anymore.

Afternooninthepark Tue 05-Mar-19 23:16:39

Thanks ‘dippy’ like I say she’s absolutely fine at home and has hobbies and is kind and friendly, great personality traits for adulthood IMO. I was just a bit taken back by the ‘hide under the table remark’!

SaturdayNext Tue 05-Mar-19 23:17:55

I'm constantly told how quiet my daughter is, but one or two of her teachers have said it's really not a problem because when she does speak it's worth listening to, by contrast with the noisy ones who will say anything just for the sake of it. Have your daughter's teachers said anything similar in the past?

Afternooninthepark Tue 05-Mar-19 23:18:38

janet I was a bit thrown by the relate suggestion tbh so didn’t really give it much thought until I came back home and mulled over what had been said.

SatsumaFan Tue 05-Mar-19 23:19:23

Reading with interest. My ds2 is in Reception and very quiet and keeps himself to himself. I'm panicking that he's not socialising or making friends as he should, but he's an introvert through and through (I'm the opposite and always have been, so it's trickier for me to understand).

I think there's a huge difference between quiet and happy, and quiet because you're anxious or upset. I think teachers should get to know their pupils well enough, particularly in primary school, to spot the difference.

frenchonion Tue 05-Mar-19 23:19:39

Two of mine are super quiet. Not at home to be honest, but at school they are like little clever mice. Work really hard, do well, but they're just quiet people. Luckily they have teachers who get it and appreciate the quieter members of the class. I think being loud and overtly confident has become something we now aspire to in this country for some reason. Probably american cultural/social influence. Wouldn't life be boring as hell if we were all the same?!

HomeMadeMadness Tue 05-Mar-19 23:19:42

I would probably take on board (at least to a certain extent) what the teacher is saying. Of course there's nothing wrong with being quiet. In fact the world needs more people who are able to sit back and think rather than rattling on with the first thing that comes into their head.

That said it's important your DD feels confident enough to speak up too. Not at every moment but I'm sure she has lots to contribute and it would be a shame if she didn't feel able to voice her opinion. It might be she's got into a habit of not really speaking up in class - not participating in discussions or volunteering an opinion. While she may be happy like this and she doesn't have to go on to be a politician or public speaker she will need to be able to speak up at times.

Sybil606 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:20:21

Nothing wrong with your DD being quiet. Is part of who she is and how she likes to be. You have asked her and she is not like that at home...stop worrying. As for teacher stating she should see a relate councillor and her self esteem is low......YOU know your daughter best. Don't let ''teacher'' overpower the situation with 'what she thinks is wrong. Some kids prefer to sit back and watch.

"Sometimes you just need to distance yourself to see more clearly" Quote by: (unknown)

SluggishSnail Tue 05-Mar-19 23:20:47

I think there's a massive difference between quiet and lacking confidence.
Quiet and confident is a winning combination, IMO.
Quiet, shy, not confident and lacking assertiveness is possibly a different scenario, but even then not so bad, just requires a bit more effort to get 'out there'.

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