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DS nursery class teacher

(24 Posts)
tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 11:35:14

Not quite sure where to put this. My son is 4 in July and in a full time nursery class at the local primary school. He is happy there. He is a quiet child and saves all his chat for at home- he speaks nicely and clearly with a wide vocabulary - he is my third child and I don't think he's any different to them at the same age in terms of what he can say. The difference is he is a bit of an introvert- he doesn't volunteer much information at nursery and whilst he plays with other children, he's not very verbal in comparison. He enjoys company but is happy to be quiet in it ! (Unless he is with older noisy DDs in which case he holds his own!)

We had a recent parents evening where the teacher was quite negative about DS. She said he is an 'enigma' and because he doesn't talk very much at school she thinks he won't be school ready and he might be at risk of not meeting early years targets. As a result she wants to put him in a booster group to improve his speech and language .

I guess I feel a bit disappointed that she doesn't know my DS- he is great with numbers and counting, and can actually already read CVC words. He knows tons of stuff about trains and is a sweet and kind little boy but she doesn't seem to know that. I'm not suggesting he's a genius but there's plenty he can do. I am in education and genuinely don't think he has a speech and Lang issue although I agree that he is quiet around others.

Aibu to book another appointment with his teacher to discuss this further? I didn't say much at the parents evening as I was quite surprised but I would like to know how much of a problem being a quiet child is going forward, and how they identify the skills and talents of children who are quieter than average. I don't want to make a fuss as I appreciate any support and feedback but I don't want my son to become lost in a classroom setting.

eddiemairswife Wed 20-Mar-19 11:42:25

I think that some people think that children should be all the same, and don't realise that it is perfectly normal for some children to be more quiet and thoughtful than others.

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 11:44:50

I guess that's what I'm thinking eddie. I feel a bit disappointed that everything he can do has gone unnoticed and only his quietness has been noted

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 20-Mar-19 11:50:46

The thing is though, Eddie. If she's a Nursery Teacher she should be fully aware that all children are very different.
I wouldn't say a child not talking much in nursery means they're not ready for school. Some kids do talk less than others. I think she's talking nonsense, to be honest. However I'm no expert.

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Wed 20-Mar-19 11:56:42

I took her wanting to put him into the group for his confidence around using speech, not because she thinks his speech is delayed or their is any other issue. During the Nursery day he hardly talks and she is rightly concerned that despite being there for a while and doing full days he is still not comfortable talking to staff or children during play.

As hard as it probably was for you to hear, I would be glad she is trying to be proactive. I wouldn't worry too much about the group, she is just trying to encourage him to communicate more freely at Nursery so he feels more confident to talk when he goes into Reception.

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 11:56:41

I wouldn't say a child not talking much in nursery means they're not ready for school.

I had though school-ready was getting dressed, being toilet trained, recognising your name and being able to follow instructions/behave appropriately which he can do all of. I was surprised to hear his quietness means that he risks not being ready for school. Maybe she means it's hard to assess him against targets if he won't speak out.

BlueMerchant Wed 20-Mar-19 12:02:34

My DC (9) was, and still is very quiet at school. At nursery DC interacted with peers but as soon as they saw an adult would clam up and not speak and teachers would have to covertly observe and listen to them speaking to their pals in order to do the necessary assessments. DC was put into 'special' groups to try and improve confidence and communication skills all through to Yr3 as DC would just be so quiet in front of the teachers I don't think they- the teachers- knew what to make of DC.
I found this extremely frustrating as DC is also very bright and has a very keen interest (since being very young) and is so knowledgeable about nature/geography and great at maths and does well in tests and yet I feel they are greatly overlooked and on occasion seem to be grouped with the 'challenging' kids.
I wish I had the answers.

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 12:06:11

Bluemerchant thank you for sharing this about your DS. My DH is concerned that he's going to be labelled as a low achiever from this point forward. I'm not sure he's right about that but as he is an identified quiet summer-born boy I can see that he now might be a focus.

It is a little frustrating that none of the things he can do have been noted and I fear this continuing for the foreseeable; sounds like this has happened with your DS. I think my DS will be quiet going forward- his dad is much the same!

BlueMerchant Wed 20-Mar-19 12:22:14

My DS definitely takes after his Dad too.
Yes, my DS has never shook off this label of being a bit 'shy' and I suppose you are right, he is seen as a pupil they don't expect that much from. He never seems pushed to fulfill his potential and I felt quite sad the other day when DS said his teacher had heard him talking and was a amazed he knew what a certain geographic term was- I thought- if only you knew what a fabulous pupil you had in your class!.

BlueMerchant Wed 20-Mar-19 12:24:57

Sorry, read that back.'shy' isn't the correct way of describing it- sure you'll understand.

insancerre Wed 20-Mar-19 12:28:26

The intervention is to enable the teacher to spend some quality time with him in a smaller group to make sure he does meet his targets
It will also boost his confidence

Bubblysqueak Wed 20-Mar-19 12:41:45

The trouble is, if she doesn't see him do certain things then she can't tick the box that says he can do it so may not meet elgs at the end of reception, although lots can change in that time.

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 12:49:50

Sure I understand he might not make his targets if he doesn't speak up. I guess I'm just frustrated that there aren't other ways of recognising the strengths and abilities of other children and I worry that this will be seen as a problem for his whole educational life. I guess I will find out!

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 12:50:16

Quieter not other!

insancerre Wed 20-Mar-19 12:51:17

But it will be a problem
He can be the smartest child ever but nobody will know if he is too quiet and lacks confidence to engage with the teacher

Noonooyou Wed 20-Mar-19 14:11:02

I wouldn't see it as a negative. You say yourself that at home he is very chatty and clever. You then say that the teacher doesn't see this side to him because he lacks confidence. So instead of just standing back - the teacher IS doing something about it. She wants to get him extra support in order to make sure everyone gets the best out of him. I'd see it as a positive.
Its very difficult in a childcarers perspective to mention ANYTHING to parents because we are only ever looking out for the children and parents often don't want to hear things about their child. I.e. positive support gets seen as a negative statement about the child..

Fluffymullet Wed 20-Mar-19 14:13:06

I would agree with Pp, it's about confidence socially in the school setting. That's a huge skill in life. I would see the group as giving your child a boost and take it. It's much better to get in early and give a bit of targeted support than wait and see. It doesn't mean they've written him off, in fact I'd sat the opposite, they want him to be able to achieve his potential. I appreciate it's not nice to hear he's not speaking though at school

IdaIdes Wed 20-Mar-19 14:19:03

If he's so unwilling to speak that he won't engage with her it is going to be a problem. Being able to "show your work" be it written or orally is vital to school. If he can't then he might benefit from another year in nursery. I'd be encouraging him to talk to a wide range of people. Let him pay at the till and say please/thank you etc. Greet the postman/woman. Maybe try a drama class?

LetsSplashMummy Wed 20-Mar-19 14:19:53

My DD is now 7 and doing very well at school. She was exactly like this, to the extent that she was included in the nursery language group for kids for whom English is a second language. It was more about getting the words out and her confidence, it was a quiet and patient group and she liked going. She was fine at home, just a little overwhelmed and keeping herself to herself at nursery.

Don't worry, some people just don't put themselves forward, and are perfectly happy like that. Just in case there's a worry or reason, a bit of space can help, it won't do any harm.

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 14:25:29

She didn't say that he wouldn't engage at all- just that he didn't put his hand up to answer questions and he will let others speak first in a group setting - he does respond verbally to direct questions.

I would say he's introverted rather than shy. He will say hello to people he knows, he likes to come and answer the door with me to the Sainsbury's delivery and help and he tells you a little bit about his day if you ask direct questions- he just doesn't volunteer!

I completely understand and agree that any extra support is good, and I don't have a problem with him being in the group. I should imagine the little course isn't going to entirely 'fix' this though so I would be interested to know how his type of personality is managed going forwards.

I won't hold him back from starting school next year; I can't see how that would help him progress academically when he is showing signs of having good understanding of reading/numbers. He is not a crumbling heap of nerves when people speak to him and he's happy enough to do new things etc. He's just quiet.

goldengummybear Wed 20-Mar-19 14:28:50

The education system is biased towards extroverted kids- inevitable really when assessment is based on teachers seeing kids demonstrate skills unprompted then ticking it off a list. If he remains quiet personality wise then you've got years of this to come. I'd worry if he couldn't ask an adult for help when needed and /or had problems with other kids as a result of quietness but if he's like my kids who are quiet in lessons but confident in the playground with peers then it's not a big problem. In other cultures that kind of behaviour would be seen as the ideal.

tomhazard Wed 20-Mar-19 14:32:37

I wish he could just be him and get on with learning, developing and growing at his own pace for a few years rather than anyone worrying about targets when he's still only 3.

I 100% appreciate that he needs to be equipped with the skills for him to make the absolute best of his education and that's what I want for him too, so support is appreciated and accepted, but I hope it's not only motivated by making sure he meets targets in reception.

Iwanthertoloveit34 Wed 20-Mar-19 14:34:40

D's went through pre school and reception as the ' quiet 'child. Our first parents evening in Yr 1 the teacher told us D's could be quite 'chatty in class'

IdaIdes Wed 20-Mar-19 14:39:13

DS has high functioning autism so obviously not the same as your son. He will communicate but he needs to time to think about it etc. He would have been a mess in a state school reception class of 30. We were lucky to have the option to go private where they absolutely let him be an individual and have the resources to let each child learn and express themselves in their own way. Gently and slowly they have gotten him to where he is now and he's thriving. State schools should be the same but they just don't have the resources. The teacher has to meet her targets and that means the kids have to meet theirs.

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