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AIBU - surely this is part of the teacher's job

(6 Posts)
trikster Tue 30-Nov-10 19:49:44

During parents evening, my 6yr old DS's teacher mentioned that he does not actively participate during discussions in class. He's doing well in all other areas and is in the top group in class.
I queried this with my DS and he said he does not feel clever in class but at home he does. He felt that he doesn't get praise from the teacher at school like other children who are in other groups do so he's worried about giving wrong answers. I relayed this to the teacher and her view was that i should deal with this issue at home by giving lots of praise and encouragement.

This morning, the teacher caught me in the school corridor as i was leaving my DS's class after saying goodbye him. She said she wanted a quick word ...right there in the corridor! She said she has moved DS into a lower group as he requires encouragement to do his work. I said i was open to suggestion on how i can help and she said she doesn't know how to help. I left after she agreed to meet up for a meeting to discuss this in a couple of days. Isn't it part of a teacher's job to deal with these issues at school? I don't mind working with her on a reasonable solution to the issue but asking me for a solution to issues in class is being unreasonable. How do you think i should approach this during our meeting?

Deelle Tue 30-Nov-10 20:08:17

Why should you deal with the issues at home when the problem is in the classroom?
Lots of children do not feel confident enough to answer questions or actively participate during discussions - it is a confidence problem at school - surely the teacher needs to praise ds more.
Perhaps she could give him more responsibility in the classroom - eg class monitor - Im not sure why, but I have heard that this works really well to build a childs confidence.

cazzybabs Tue 30-Nov-10 20:12:41

well (1) she in including you in the discussions
(2) you are the expert on your child - you might have some tips to help her. Teachers don't have all the answers all the time.

It is not you vs her - it is a partnership

Sometimes children will tell parents one thing and teachers another - like the praise thing

Why doesn't he feel clever - is the work too hard? Will having easier work be better in terms of self-esteem?

crazygracieuk Tue 30-Nov-10 20:14:17

Depends on your view of this "problem".

The lower groups will get more adult attention and if having more adult attention means that he participates more then he can move to a higher group when he is more confident.


You could say that some people are shy and putting your hand up doesn't equal having knowledge of the topic. Empty vessels and all that... If the rest of the group is uber confident then maybe he's put off by the more dominant characters?

Ds was in the same situation (not participating) and being in the second top group did wonders for his confidence. His problem was the personality of other children in top group rather than lack of adult attention and after a year in second top group, he's become one of the alpha characters in top group.

WhyHavePets Tue 30-Nov-10 20:18:03

Well the praise at home thing is a good idea, the more you encourage him at home the more confident he will be in his abilities. Once he is feeling confident he will have the courage to put his hand up and, hopefully, get the right answer - cue proud ds and more participation. It is a slow process but it all swings on him being cnfident in himself and you can help that as well as the teacher.

Moving him down for encourgment, well he says his set gets less encouragement than others so that sounds like a good idea, like the teacher is trying to do the same as she wants you to do and give ds more encouragment and so more confidence.

trikster Wed 01-Dec-10 14:25:45

I'm in favour of teachers and parents working in partnership. After all he's my son and ultimately my responsibility but currently i'm at a loss since my DS is appropriately confident at home and doesn't have problems doing his homework. As i've mentioned in my OP, he doesn't feel he's clever at school but he does at home.

He's mentioned previously that no one in his group gets praised and since my initial conversation with the teacher, he's come home with well done stickers. This made him feel great and i got the impression that he was doing well. In addition, some of his close friends have also joined his group in the last couple of weeks.

However, last Friday he came home really upset because the teacher had moved him to lower group. His understanding was that he was not fast enough in writting and that's why he was moved down. He was upset the whole weekend and on Sunday he said he didn't want to write anymore since he's not good at it and will concentrate on reading and numeracy as he's better at that. This kind of thinking worries me slightly.

Also, it was his birthday yesterday and the teacher did not get the class to sing him happy birthday like they've done in past for other kids. The TA made him a star and the teacher put it away. I appreciate that the interpretation of events are from a child's view point but its the impact its having on DS and the message he's getting that's worrying. I feel a little worried to be honest. Do not want him to be put off school as he's loved it so far.

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