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Is it the teacher's job to ensure your child enjoys school?

(83 Posts)
TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 16:46:41

If a very undermotivated pupil hates school, is it up to me to make him like it?

Presuming the work is interesting, informative, relevant and correctly differentiated, is it my problem? What else can I do?

AuntieMonica Fri 23-Sep-11 16:48:55

you might want to make a little bit of an effort to find out what makes the child tick, if that's what you mean?

i hope you don't mean to take the 'pearls to swine' attitude?

PrettyCandles Fri 23-Sep-11 16:50:03

Could there be other reasons for the lack of motivation?

Social issues? Lack of self-confidence -> lack of self-belief, no point making any effort.

Trippler Fri 23-Sep-11 16:50:50

Go and talk to the teacher? Don't leave it like this.
Or, if you're the teacher, call the parents in and have a chat?

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 23-Sep-11 16:54:45

I think you could try and find out why he is behaving like that, and perhaps involve others eg pupil support. Most happy, well adjusted children will perform well at school imo - it's the ones who have other problems in their lives who tend to switch off.

That being said, you cant make anyone do anything they don't want to do.

purpleturtletoise Fri 23-Sep-11 16:55:38

I am getting the impression that you are a teacher dealing with parents who you do not feel are as involved as they could be?

I think we would all agree that the most effective education occurs where teacher(s) and parent(s) can work together in the child's best interests.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:03:12

I'm the teacher, sorry I didn't make that clear

The parent has been in, swears there's nothing at home and is looking to me to "cure" the problem.

I am trying different types of work but haven't found the key yet to unlock his latent (I hope) enthusiasm.

The parent is actually mega over-involved, but cannot see any external reason for the lack of motivation, hence the expectation that I can "do something". I suspect he may be reacting against the tonne of extra work he is made to do at home and in the holidays....

Trippler Fri 23-Sep-11 17:08:14

Can you involve an outside agency like an educational psychologist?

Could the problem be that you and the pupil don't click? It happens. It's kind of the elephant in the room with teachers. Not accusing, just asking.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:11:07

possibly we don't click, but I knew him from last year and he seemed ok then. Just seems to have completely gone off the idea of school.

He does a lot of extra work at home and apparently "loves" numeracy and requests to do sums in his spare time (!). I have yet to see any such thing in school. He is also apparently reading 2 stages higher ORT at home than at school.

Could he be kicking against home pressure to succeed?

Don't have access to the usual stuff like educational psychologist, and parent would probably freak out if I suggested it...

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:12:36

oh he has also been saying he's "stupid", which he certainly doesn't hear from me or from home...

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 23-Sep-11 17:13:47

If he's got a very 'enthusiastic' parent it could very well explain the kick-back, esp. if he's got worked piled on him in the holidays and at home sad. Some kids just aren't academically inclined, and that's OK. Is he disruptive in class?
What about a reward system? Although you probably have that in place already...

AuntieMonica Fri 23-Sep-11 17:13:52

I would resist making any assumption at all really, asking a bunch of strangers on the 'net about a 3rd party is a bit, well, off.

I'd be furious if I thought my DCs teacher was doing this...

I know you haven't given out any identifying details but really, is there no-one in school you can get more professional guidance from?

purpleturtletoise Fri 23-Sep-11 17:14:25

I think your instincts could well be right. But I have no idea how you convey to the parent that they perhaps need to back off a bit.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 23-Sep-11 17:16:51

I'd be delighted if a teacher cared enough about my child and their performance to give up her free time and go online to ask for constructive advice.

GooseyLoosey Fri 23-Sep-11 17:17:55

I think he may hear something at home. I have been known to lack patience with my children when they just can't get something and at times I think my frustration may have been apparent. Whilst I have never called them stupid or anything like it, they will know that I think they can't do something they should be able to. I try very hard not to do this, but it would not surprise me at all to discover that other parents suffer from the same problem and shilst not calling their children stupid, may well leave them feeling it.

I would suggest talking to his parents about the possibility of not doing any work at all at home other than reading and homework just to see if it improves his attitude at school. The line to use with the parents may be that if he loves numeracy so much and cant get his fix at home, it may make him all the more eager at school.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:18:25

New reward system starting Monday - tick for each piece of work finished, reward at end of week...

I was asking more experienced teachers than I for some advice as to how to "unlock" an unmotivated child's enthusiasm for school. Can't see what's wrong in that... certainly not trying to make "assumptions"

Happy to ask for the thread to be deleted if its inappropriate....

usualsuspect Fri 23-Sep-11 17:18:55

Bit off to post on the internet about a child in your class

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:20:12

Good idea Goosey. I'll maybe hold that in reserve if the new rewards don't work

"if he loves numeracy so much and cant get his fix at home, it may make him all the more eager at school." - definitely saving that for later.... smile

SwearyMary Fri 23-Sep-11 17:21:01

I think you need to find other ways to gain support. Posting things like this is never a good idea. I hope to fuck you aren't a teacher at my local school hmm

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:22:53

ok well, thanks for the advice Goosey, I'll definitely try that one.

Reporting now....

coccyx Fri 23-Sep-11 17:26:13

I think its fine to ask on here. Its annonymous.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 23-Sep-11 17:27:22

I really hope you've got some constructive advice on here, and that you manage to resolve this problem - it's great that you are concerned enough to give up your time to post. I'm really surprised at one or two of the reactions, but then MN never ceases to amaze me sad

TheFlyingOnion Fri 23-Sep-11 17:29:25

Thanks Coccyx and Maisie, but was the parent ever by chance to look on here, and to recognise their child, I would be mortified so I have reported it.

I'll begin again on Monday with plan c... plan d and e are now up my sleeve for later, so its not been a total waste of time smile

weevilswobble Fri 23-Sep-11 17:31:53

Everyone saying its off is talking nonsense. Shes not identified herself or the pupil. She just wants some thoughts from us (know alls) ffs.
This poor kid has been instilled with a hatred of work because he has those pain in the arse impossible to please type parents, who don't know how to have fun out of school. Home is for living, having fun, enjoying fulfilling loving approving relationships. His parents are to blame. Suggest to his parents(having had a discussion with your headteacher about what your thinking) he is overloaded with work and its proving counter productive, and that he should do no more than the homework set at school. Extra stuff is making him show signs of depression imo. He has parents where its never good enough so why bother.
Grrrr hate pushy parents.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 23-Sep-11 17:35:14

Good luck - I hope you find a way to motivate your pupil, I'm sure you will as you sound like a very caring teacher smile

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