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to have had a word with the head of KS1, who taught ds1 last year, about something I am not happy about in his new class?

(57 Posts)
Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 09:39:46

DS1 is nearly 7 and has Aspergers. He is a clever little thing and is having some of his lessons with Y6 (science, IT etc) and extension activities and all that jazz. He can be difficult to manage in class especially during carpet times etc because he will forget himself and shout out answers or get over excited.

He is very eager to please, wants to be accepted, and will work hard to overcome his difficulties to please a teacher/parent - he isn't rude or nasty, and he isn't deliberately disruptive.

The teacher who had him last year is the head of KS1 - she handled ds1 brilliantly, kept me informed and we consulted each other regularly, shared strategies etc. He blossomed and thrived in her class, she felt very strongly that he did not need singling out with things like visual timetables/red and yellow cards for behaviour etc. She and her TA managed him really skilfully and as a result of this (IMO) he has grown into a happy confident little boy who has good friendships with his peers and is accepted.

His new class (Y2) is a job-share between 2 teachers, neither of whom are approachable and one of whom seems to actively avoid speaking to me. I asked a week into term whether we could meet to discuss his IEP and have a chat about his AS and how things were going to work - she said there was no point until she had had a chance to write a new IEP "unless you want to see the old one" hmm I don't need to "see" it - I have a copy - I wanted to meet the bloody woman and have a brief chat about my son's SN

ds1 came home upset yesterday saying that this teacher has put him on a red/yellow card system (like football) - just him, nobody else in the class (there are far more disruptive pupils in that class than ds1)

also that she had not told him what would happen if he got a red card! I feel upset that he is being singled out and made to look and feel different in this way - he managed to go through the whole of Y1 without having an "I've got two heaqds" placard hung around his neck - he has only been in there for a couple of weeks and already this is happening sad

I am tbh terrified that his integration with his peers and his sense of belonging/being accepted is going to be damaged and that this could be the thin end of the wedge - I know that sounds irrational but I am panicking and feeling really angry about the lack of communication and the arbitrariness of this - they hardly know him yet, I think it's a lazy approach

my ds2 is in Y1 now and has the (amazing) teacher ds1 had last year. She is also head of KS1, so I asked her this morning whether it would be OK to ask her advice about ds1. She adored ds1 and was more than happy for me to ask her advice. I told her about the card system and the fact that neither of the job-sharing Y2 teachers seemed to be willing to have a conversation with me, and said thereasons why I was not happy about him being singled out with special cards etc - I think it is disabling and unnecessary. I knew she agreed with this because we discussed it last year after the ed psych had advised her to use them! She said she will do a bit of discreet investigating and see what she could do.

AIBU to be in a right old lather about this?

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 09:48:36

sorry, that is LONG

I am sat here snivelling like an idiot, I KNOW I am overreacting but anything like this just makes me insane - I am going to end up with an ulcer by the time ds1 is 8 at this rate blush

Stayingsunnygirl Thu 24-Sep-09 09:49:24

No, I don't think you are being unreasonable. Your ds's previous teacher had a strategy that worked well for him and you are entirely reasonable to want to see that strategy continue this year, so that he carries on being a happy lad, well integrated and doing well at school.

The fact that his new teacher will not meet with you to discuss his particular needs has forced you to look elsewhere for help - and I really hope that you get it.

choosyfloosy Thu 24-Sep-09 09:50:08

YANBU.

But two things - is it just possible that everyone is on the red/yellow card system and that your ds might have misunderstood? Maybe I'm only saying this because ds sees things only in terms of himself (so do I if it comes to that) and he could easily misunderstand something like this (he's NT).

The main problem is the teacher's lack of willingness to meet. I would write in and ask for an appointment, just to be clear that it isn't a new IEP you want to review as such. Again it's just possible that the teacher slightly misunderstood what you meant.

These are the kindest possible interpretations to put on a worrying situation IMO - I would be giving off sparks in your situation. Hope things improve.

Tambajam Thu 24-Sep-09 09:50:52

You don't sound irrational. I think you are absolutely right to take this further. I don't think you are over-reacted at all. There are several things about your post which are worrying.
It doesn't sound as though the current teacher(s) have the confidence or expertise that his previous teacher had. I would also get in touch with the school SENCO and make sure she/ he is aware of the situation and the current classteacher's need for support. It may be easier for the SENCO to act as the conduit between the old teacher and new teacher. Ideally there needs to be a meeting with everyone but it sounds as though the new teacher is a bit closed down. She needs to feel supported at this point as this is the best way to get what you need for your son.

Usually when teachers hand over classes they sit down and have a chat about the children and discuss SN children in quite a bit of detail. I taught in fairly bog standard schools and this happened everywhere. So I'm a bit surprised the new teacher doesn't already have an awareness of the red card thing being a bad idea. Especially as the previous teacher was Key Stage One co-ordinator you'd expect her to have passed on some alternative strategies with some authority that the new teacher would snap up. Something has gone pear-shaped with the lines of communication and you are absolutely right to try and fix it now.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 24-Sep-09 09:52:28

I don't think you are over reacting at all. If you aren't going to fight for your child, who is?

The new teachers sound like they think they know best about your child and won't appreciate being told anything. Be prepared for them being really snotty with you after the investigations are done.

You have done the right thing.

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 09:52:37

thanks for replying! choosy, it is definitely just him, he wouldn't get that wrong, he is like a greyhound when it comes to anything unfair

he is confused and upset about it, which is making me so angry I could spit

should I demand a meeting? I don't want to kick things of on the wrong foot, but I'm feeling as though these teachers have already done that...

Tambajam Thu 24-Sep-09 09:54:51

Yes, you need to ask for a meeting. It's not kicking things of on the wrong foot. It's just talking and in a more formal way than trying to grab someone which isn't going to work if they are already feeling defensive. Don't be shy about it. It's the best thing for everyone.

OrmIrian Thu 24-Sep-09 09:57:36

No YANBU. Perhaps you can see what " a bit of discreet investigating and see what she could do" acheives first?

MintyCane Thu 24-Sep-09 09:59:49

No YANBU at all. My dd age 6 has SN had a fab teacher last year. All her needs were being dealt with brilliantly. This year is terrible. The teacher had not read her notes and since the beggining of term she has been sent home three times and left sitting outside the door on many occasions. I had the same problem with eye contact avoidence from the teacher. In the end I went to the SENCO and asked for a meeting and insisted we discuss the IEP. Things are a bit better now. I think the teacher was scared becasue she lacks experience.

BTW hi greeny I have changed my name I am the person with an older kid in Gryffindor school.

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 10:15:17

hi minty!

I am worried about his self-image and the way the other children perceive him. While he was in Y1 with Miss X (the fab teacher/head of KS1) he went from being a child who was routinely left out of birthday parties to one who is actively liked by most children - it was wonderful to see and so good for his confidence. And because he had good relationships with his peers and didn't feel "special" (she was very good at handling his academic differences too, he passed the Y6 SATS papers in science, literacy and numeracy and still told me that he thought there were cleverer children in the class than him - MissX had taught him that some children need help with Maths like he needs help with sitting still and not shouting out!) he got better at noticing what everybody else was doing and working out what he should be doing without being told.

He told me yesterday "when I was in reception I was one of the naughty boys and I didn't like that, but in Y1 I became one of the good children and I was much happier"

I think he is worrying that now he is one of the naughty children - in fact the worst - because he has this special system of cards which nobody else has

I will leave it a few days though, and let Miss X do whatever she thinks is best

it's the other teacher today though, not the one ds1 told me was using the cards - I don't even know whether thye are both using them. Shouldn't they have TOLD me if they were goingto introduce something like this? And shouldn't they have told ds1 what would happen if he gets a red card? He has no idea

I am really upset about this <blub>

MintyCane Thu 24-Sep-09 10:23:15

It is hard to have two teachers as well. They should both being doing the same thing. DD had two in reception and was utterly confused because one treated her in one way and the other did it differently. The classroom assistant was different again. She hated that year. Last years teacher was wonderful she just treated dd like one of the other kids and generally dd behaved like one.

DD was sent home yesterday when there was really nothing wrong with her. She asked me if it was because she is a weirdo sad

I think it is very important to get on top of them all treating them the same ASAP.

MintyCane Thu 24-Sep-09 10:25:53

I think they should have spoken to you about the cards. I really would go in. I am going in again today to mention a couple of things. I hate doing it. Last year was such a relief as I didn't have to do anything. BTW your son sounds lovely.

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 10:32:43

Minty, your poor dd sad

good luck going in today! I hate doing it too

I will wait and see whether Miss X comes back to me or whether anything changes. I will have to ask again for a meeting soon though, although I have been made to feel very uncomfortable asking after I was told "no" last time!

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 10:42:11

bump

MintyCane Thu 24-Sep-09 10:46:47

I can't believe they said no don't they know we are just trying to make everyones lives easier in the long run.

[Minty stomps of mumbling grumpily under her breath in search of chocolate]

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 10:49:41

I know, I was quite taken aback

she spoke to me in that "yes, yes all right, there are 30 children in the class not just your little angel" voice

very unpleasant

BUT I am trying not to cultivate an "us and them" (or more accurately, "me and them") attitude just yet - I am even worse at responding to change than ds1 is and I must give the new teachers a chance

but this card thing has really pissed me off

flashharriet Thu 24-Sep-09 10:56:04

Greensleeves, I'm really sorry you're going through this. It's horrible when you think things like this are sorted and then you have to go through it all AGAIN. Agree with Tambajam's posts - a meeting sounds like a necessity and I'm surprised as he has an IEP that they haven't suggested it to you already. Do you think it's worth seeing what lovely teacher comes back with first?

As an aside, I've started this thread after reading your one - would be interested in anyone's thoughts.

MintyCane Thu 24-Sep-09 10:59:38

"she spoke to me in that "yes, yes all right, there are 30 children in the class not just your little angel" voice"

I hate that voice [shudder]. I have to say though that when i picked up DD for no reason again yesterday I used my if you would read the IEP properly I could get some work done voice grin

I agree the us and them thing is not helpful. I guess they just need a bit of time.

haggisaggis Thu 24-Sep-09 11:02:26

Our school strated the yellow and red card system this year with all children - and children are very awrae of teh conseuqences - so yes, your ds should have been informed. I really can't understand this kind of attitude by teachers. At our school (admittedly a tiny, tiny village one) I can set up regular meetings with the teacher or learning support with very little notice. They seem to appreciate parental involvement - as surely it can only benefit everyone if communication is open?

claw3 Thu 24-Sep-09 11:07:35

If the red/yellow card isnt on his IEP why are they using this?

FarkinBarkin Thu 24-Sep-09 11:10:24

YANBU. You tried to speak to the class teacher about it and got nowhere. An informal chat with another teacher who knows your ds well is fine IMO.

Greensleeves Thu 24-Sep-09 11:12:08

claw3, maybe she has written it on a new IEP which I haven't seen yet? I really don't know, the only information I am getting is via ds1 - the teachers don't even make eye contact and my one attempt to set up a meeting was rebuffed

I was expecting people to say that I was being underhanded in talking to his teacher from last year (I justify it on the grounds that she is head of KS1, but she is also the most sensible and skilled teacher I have ever met and I wish ds1 could just stay with her! but of course he has to progress through the school and get on with lots of different types of people, I know that)

GrapefruitMoon Thu 24-Sep-09 11:15:58

Greeny, I think you are justified in talking to his old teacher - I have concerns about one of my dcs at the moment (won't go into details now) and I am having informal chats with various people who work at the school to get a picture of what is going on before I go in to talk formally to the teacher as I don't want to get the wrong end of the stick and get the teacher's back up, iyswim...

MintyCane Thu 24-Sep-09 11:19:25

You should really have seen the IEP for this year at a hand over meeting with old and new teacher. We did get that but new teacher did not follow it through. Will you get an IEP meeting with parents evening soon ?

I don't think there is anything wrong with talking to the old teacher as she is the head of KS1.

I agree he does have to get used to differet types of people but the teaching plan should be stable and continuous.

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