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Why can't i sit in on some of my child's class?

(159 Posts)
fleetwoodmac Tue 22-Sep-09 17:16:56

My son is in Y2 Primary, and there was an issue about his "bad behaviour" raised with me by the teacher. I am aware of something wrong in the way he reacts to school (i think perhaps because he is a spirited child i.e. very energetic, persistent, loud, and likes to do his own thing!) and in a way i am glad the teacher raised this with me.

I asked the teacher if I could spend a morning observing him in class as I want to get a feel for it e.g. does he find it hard to sit still (he does at home), and she was reluctant, preferring to have a discussion only.

I am puzzled why teachers don't like a parent visiting their classroom when they have a concern about how their child is in class.

Does anyone shed any light on why this is?

(p.s. If i were a teacher it wouldn't bother me if a parent wanted to do this).

mumblechum Tue 22-Sep-09 17:22:51

Because he'll probably be even more of a horror if you're there for him to play up to?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 22-Sep-09 17:23:22

Well, to be fair, if you were in the classroom he wouldn't necessarily behave in the same way as he would if you were not there. It would be quite disruptive also, I imagine, having a parent in observing their child's behaviour.
Why do you feel you can't get enough information from talking to the teacher and to your son? Do you feel she is not being specific enough about what the problem is?

GypsyMoth Tue 22-Sep-09 17:26:26

he sounds like my ds,also yr 2. she should be discussing a reward system with you or something. strategies which you can carry on at home maybe.

i can only imagine that every parent would want to 'sit in' if they got wind of you doing it!

Sagacious Tue 22-Sep-09 17:28:04

At a recent parent teacher meeting my ds's yr3 teacher encouraged parents to come and view the class.

I suppose it depends what the problem behaviour is.

He's probably behave like an angel with you watching so I doubt you'd get any real feedback.

(sorry I know thats not much help)

fleetwoodmac Tue 22-Sep-09 17:29:13

I appreciate you are trying to make light of if mumblechum - but I want to see for myself. Seeing is believing as they say.

Obviously my son will not necessarily behave in a certain way if i am sitting at the back - but i could hopefully get a feel for what is going on in the class.

I don't see why it would be "disruptive" in any way.

fleetwoodmac Tue 22-Sep-09 17:30:54

IloveTiffany - and why shouldn't they? Most parents have to second-guess whats going on IMHO!

I might not get specific behaviour cues - but i am quite sensitive and i think can pick up what is going on generally!

Am in in a minority of 1 here!?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 22-Sep-09 17:33:27

What do you think the problem is?

bidibidi Tue 22-Sep-09 17:33:32

When I go in as a helper my DC sometimes act up. Even well-behaved DS1 usually gets a big clingy, and the others get very clingy. But it's a hit and miss thing; can't predict how the child will react unless you try it.

Why don't you leave it a few weeks, then offer to 'help out' some time? Or do they discourage all parent volunteers? If you help out a few separate times, you probably will get as much out of it as you could from a single long morning of observation.

Sagacious Tue 22-Sep-09 17:33:33

I help with the childrens reading in my ds's class.

I've never notice me cause any disruption (ds gives a tiny nod of recognition and then ignores me)

I suppose it depends if the teacher is planning on announcing to the whole class "this is fleetwoodmac and shes here to check on minimac "(cue whole class swivels round to gaze at cringing child)

GypsyMoth Tue 22-Sep-09 17:34:36

everyone turning around ,pointing and giggling saying 'its your mum' 'look at *'s mum'....nobody will settle for the poor teacher!

GypsyMoth Tue 22-Sep-09 17:36:15'll prob need to be crb checked first too!

claricebeansmum Tue 22-Sep-09 17:37:59

Very disruptive to have stream of parents through classroom. Let the school deal with it. You can't be there all day every day to watch over him.

shootfromthehip Tue 22-Sep-09 17:52:47

I'm a teacher and if you asked me to come in to my classroom I'd be reluctant too. You seem to be questioning this woman's professional judgement putting his 'bad behaviour' down to him being spirited. He may well be difficult to manage and not spirited at all.

Added to this, having a parent in the class may not only affect the behaviour of your child giving you an unrealistic picture of what is happening, it may also impact on the behaviour of the other children in the class. I wouldn't want the learning of the children in my classroom to potentially be adversely affected because you wouldn't take my word for it that your son is a handful.

Teachers don't (very often) have an agenda when telling parents that their children are badly behaved- that is obviously what she is seeing and she is willing to work with you to improve his ability to get the most out of school. Let her do her job. She may not know your son as well as you do but she is still a trained professional. hmm

dogonpoints Tue 22-Sep-09 17:53:35

I think this depends on the school and the teacher, there is no one general answer. You would need to discuss it further with the teacher/school.

Hulababy Tue 22-Sep-09 18:05:25

We have no problem with parents coming in to help out in class, and this is generally in their own child's class. We encourage them to come and listen to readers, do art with them, come in and cook, etc.

However I suspect we'd be more reluctant to have someone come in who was just going to be observing and watching everyone's every move. Like when teaching staff have inspectors in, or formal observations, it really does change the way a class works somehow, and puts more pressure on staff and children. If a aparent was to do this, we would have to think of how to do it to minimise any negative imapct on the class - so would prefer them to come in and offer to do something.

Another thing to bear in mind is that we often do not encourage parents to come in if their child is likely to be disrupted by this, r if they are already displaying behavioural or social skill issues, not until they have been sorted out to an extent.

And you being there ill have some form of impact on your child and I doubt his behaviour will be exactly the same as when you are not there.

You may be better asking for the schoolto provide you with an observation, perhaps from a more senior member of staff or even an impartial TA - and for them to report back.

Sagacious Tue 22-Sep-09 18:08:07

Hulababy ..good post !

yellowvan Tue 22-Sep-09 18:10:58

It's gonna be tricky for him having "two bosses" as well. Whose authority takes precedence if there is an incident of bad behaviour? What if she thinks its bad behaviour but you don't? She also has 29 or whatever other chn to manage. this changes the context for her and makes the above more likely. I agree with Shoot, trust what she says and work together.

bloss Tue 22-Sep-09 19:32:20

Message withdrawn

janeite Tue 22-Sep-09 19:47:18

AS a teacher, it wouldn't particularly worry me if a parent came to 'observe' in this way IF said parent was aware that there was a problem and intended to help find/create a solution together.

However, the fact that you seem to be dismissing what the teacher says is 'bad behaviour' as being 'spirited' (like it's a good thing: your ! intensifies my 'reading' of this) might make me think that you were actually intending to sit in judgement and put the blame onto the teacher, rather than trying to work together with the teacher to address the concerns about your child's behaviour.

I think you'd be far better meeting with the teacher and discussing her concerns together. Your very presence in the classroom would alter the 'natural order' of the lesson and possibly alter your son's behaviour, as well as perhaps that of other pupils.

There are also many, many reasons why asking for a video to be made (I know this wasn't your suggestion OP) would be a very bad idea, not least the rights of the 29 or so other pupils in the classroom.

fleetwoodmac Tue 22-Sep-09 19:51:25

oh dear ... i don't think people understand what i am trying to say. i would always question a teacher's professional judgment if i felt it was not in line with what i considered for my child - i am the parent, they are the teacher, they work for me and my child (that is my view). this is not to say i don't consider a teacher's views -perhaps i just have a more democratic view of teaching and less of an authoritarian model. i expect this goes against the grain of a lot of british attitudes to education. i wouldn't want a video (!), i would just like to see the bigger picture in my child's class, as i think there may be various issues. i am still bewildered as to why it is such an issue with the school, but i will just leave it at that here thanks.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 22-Sep-09 19:52:29

I think if you were a teacher you would probably have a better idea of why she is reluctant.

You have put "bad behaviour" in quotation marks, which does suggest that you question her judgement on this.

fleetwoodmac Tue 22-Sep-09 19:54:18

i would add i am not endorsing "bad behaviour", far from it, but what i am trying to explain will probably not be understood by all, as i have found here! oh well.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 22-Sep-09 19:54:19

Ah - x posts.

Clearly you do question her judgement grin

fleetwoodmac Tue 22-Sep-09 19:57:08

why shouldn't I? I can question anyone's judgment, and they mine. The point is - I may not - but I would like to see the bigger picture to understand more. Ultimately it is about trying to understand my son and how he is going to progress, rather than speicifically the teacher or the school.

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