Advice on how to approach the teacher about this(11 Posts)
My dd (6) year 2 is at an independent school with 16 in her class.
She was very subdued tonight, and was saying that she didn't feel well. I realised something was up.
2 hours later with gentle chatting it transpires, that she is finding the work too tricky and doesn't know what she is meant to be doing.
I asked if she asked the teacher or TA for assistance, and she said no because she has to put her arm up and wait for the teacher to finish with the 8 who find the work very very tricky, and the teacher and TA stay with them until it is time for the next activity.
So she said there is no point putting her arm up, as they won't leave the 8, but she doesn't know what she is meant to be doing, and thinks that she has done today's work all wrong as she guessed what she had to do.
Now I can't believe that the teacher and the TA spends the full time with 8 and ignores the other 8, but I am also paying for the fact that I didn't want her to be lost in a class.
Any advice on how to approach the teacher?
Go in and tell her what you have written here.
If more than half the class are finding the work extremely hard then the teacher is not pitching it at the right level. Plus, she shouldn't always be working with the same group of children - the work should be differentiated so that every child can sometimes work independently while she works with a different group.
I would just ask if you can have 5 minutes to talk to her after school and explain that your daughter is worried she is not getting the work right as she is finding it quite hard and sometimes needs a bit more teacher input. Then it will have been flagged up to her that she needs to check your daughter (and the others) know what to do and that she shouldn't just expect them to get on with it with no input.
It seems odd to me that she has such a small class and can't get around everyone. Whatever would she do with the normal 30? I agree with Marymary and it must be pitched atthe wrong level. It sounds weird to me that there are only 16DCs and 2 adults spend all their time with 8of them. Ask more about it-you are paying for this.
But ask the teacher first before you go on all guns blazing - often the 6 yr old version is not quite reality and it's just a situation that your dd needs some help understanding. Equally the teacher should know that she is avoiding putting her hand up - there was a thread here recently where a teacher used a card traffic light system - each child could put a green card out if they were happy and knew what to do, a red card if they really weren't sure, and an amber card if they needed some input. Seemed a great idea to me, maybe you could suggest something similar?
If so many in the class are finding the work too challenging that would flag a warning bell. It also seems strange that the TA and teacher are spending so much time with just one half of the class. Time for a word.
It could be there was one occasion where the teacher said she was busy with another child and could your DD wait, which has made your DD feel nervous about asking again, although it might not always be that the teacher is busy with the same group of children. I would speak to the teacher, saying that your DD is finding the work too tricky and is getting worried about it, and go from there.
It does sound like your DD might have got the wrong end of the stick.
Is it an academically selective school? if so I would be very concerned, if true, that half the class are struggling.
I would just ask for a meeting with the teacher and find out the facts, as long as you don't go in shouting the odds I can't see that there will be a problem at all. If the teacher isn't keen to discuss it with you then I would start to have concerns about whether its the best school for your DD.
As long as you go in saying these are DD's impressions (rather than neccesarily the reality), and that it is worrying DD, then absolutely talk to her teacher. If DD is worried enough to be feeling "not well" about it, it is worth raising with the teacher. IM (independent school) E, most teachers can be caught at home time - either to talk there and then or to arrange another time.
I won't start on my school-related rant of the day as I have already decided that it would be too likely to out me and I will take it up with the head directly .
I managed to speak to the teacher this morning, as we were first one there, and she was happy to speak then.
She said that all of yesterday's work had been marked and my dd had got it right, and she apologised as she wasn't aware dd was upset. And I said that was absolutely fine as my dd admitted she hadn't revealed to the teacher she was upset, and I don't expect the teacher to be a mind reader.
I also discovered today for the first time, that they have the traffic light system on their work, and my dd has put red next to every piece of work so far this term, which is meant to show the teacher that she is finding it tricky, so teacher apologised for not seeing this, so in fairness my dd had shown her feelings that way.
Teacher is going to ensure that she goes over to the group my dd is in more often to reassure and check on her.
Also sounds like she could do with a bit of confidence building. If she's got everything right but still feeling out of her depth then maybe more chat at the end of the day about school, encourage her to look at her work and recognise when she did well?
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