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Fellow teachers, has this happened to you?

(24 Posts)
ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 20:07:00

name change in case I'm outed!
ds just started Yr 1. I've had a few reservations about his teacher, she does things very differently to me. Some things are, I think are bit outdated, some just seem wrong.
ds hasn't warmed to her at all and is more pleased to see the regular supply than his usual teacher hmm.
He is happy to go to school, seems happy enough being at school and we can see the progress he's making.
It just going to be very difficult this year as I think I''m going to spend a lot of it questioning what she's doing, but while ds is happy and making progress I won't act on my worries.
Anyone else been in this situation and any advice about how to cope?
Perhaps should mention that the concerns I've had I have already discussed with her but came out not feeling any more reassured about what's going on, it got to a point where I wanted to stop being being mum and start being a fellow teacher and discussing best practice. I never wanted to be that sort of parent!

AICM Wed 19-Oct-11 20:26:39

What is she actually doing?

conistonoldwoman Wed 19-Oct-11 20:26:47

Difficult to help without any specific examples of what you feel is outdated. Outdated doesn't always mean it's wrong.
What seems wrong?
I know it can be frustrating sometimes being a teacher and watching your own children progress through school.
Last year I felt that my DD's lovely NQT was sticking too rigidly to tedious units from the primary literacy framework.
Spot the teacher stifled by that horrendous Scholastic literacy bible kind of thing.

ellesabe Wed 19-Oct-11 20:30:43

I think that you are in danger of turning into one of those parents who is 'also a teacher' smile

If I were you, I'd be pleased that he is making progress and that he is happy.

If I were the teacher, I'd probably be wishing that you'd let me do my job in the way that I do best.

gabid Wed 19-Oct-11 20:36:21

I was a secondary teacher and last year DS was in Y1. Parents were allowed to come to a lesson, and I wasn't impressed with what I saw. DS was a young Y1 boy in a mixed Y1/2 class and I couldn't see any differentiation going on apart from a line to write on on a worksheet (not worth doing I thought?). I had a problem with the fact that my DS and 5 other boys in his group couldn't do any of the group work, despite the TA's and my input.

I was very worried DS was being left behind in this class but speaking to the teacher didn't put me at ease as she was very chatty and friendly but couldn't admit a mistake, she just talked herself out of it, e.g. I would DS expect to do x, but she didn't say what she expected him to do. I would have felt more at ease if she had admitted to a shortcoming.

Collision Wed 19-Oct-11 20:37:56

Everyone does things differently and you cannot come on here and moan unless you are more specific!!

gabid Wed 19-Oct-11 20:39:26

e.g. I wouldn't, sorry

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 20:45:56

I'm not sure if it's any different whether you're a teacher or not. If your child's got a rubbish teacher it's really, really hard.

All you can do is the same as any as us, and ask her questions rather than make suggestions, or bite your tongue.

You're lucky that your child is making progress and is happy. Sounds like you can afford to write this year off as less than brilliant

Or if you think it's symptomatic of the whole school, you can try and move him.

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 20:47:36

I was trying not to moan! I didn't want to start a 'bitch about a teacher' thread, I just wanted to know how to keep a lid on my 'i think I know better than you' feelings grin.
However... took 2 weeks to get a reading book. She's read with him 3 times in 7 weeks. They are expected to copy spellings from the board into a spelling book to take home and learn for a weekly test. They are also expected to copy maths homework from the board, 2 weeks ago it was 'practice writing and ordering the numbers 1 to 10'. She doesn't seem to 'know' him, which I know is an emotional response, but his Reception teacher after 7 weeks really got him and understood him. And to be really teacher-y, his spellings are from Phase 4 of letters and sounds when I know he doesn't know the Phase 3 sounds yet.

Like I say, we're all different and she will have reasons for doing her stuff just as i do mine. Just wondered how others have felt if been in a similar situation. smile

gabid Wed 19-Oct-11 20:56:16

When I spoke to DS's teacher I just kept asking her questions.

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 20:59:12

But don't ask 'why' questions smile

That'll definitely get her back up.

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 21:04:10

yeah, we tried that last night at parents evening but she either flannelled (takes one to know one grin or was very very general. That's what also set alarm bells ringing, we came out not really knowing much about what ds has been doing or what progress he's making that she's seen.
We asked if we could have the spellings and homework on a printed sheet (because ds has worked out that if he doesn't copy the spellings or homework down he doesn't have to do it) and she told us that we were the only parents who had raised that issue - when we know that 3 other parents had discussed it with her hmm.

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 21:06:38

We steered clear of 'why' questions, but that's what I want to ask and know I can't, coz if I do I will definitely be that parent!

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 21:12:44

What's wrong with being 'that' parent?

Your choices are as limited as us non teachers.

ellesabe Wed 19-Oct-11 21:13:57

I may seem a bit 'devils advocate' but here are a couple of thoughts which might help you to cope with the points that you made.

took 2 weeks to get a reading book - now that your ds is in year 1 maybe he can start to take a bit more responsibility and get his own reading book?

She's read with him 3 times in 7 weeks - how do you know this? Your ds is probably reading much more than this but with other people and in contexts other than teacher-child.

They are expected to copy spellings from the board into a spelling book to take home and learn for a weekly test - I agree that this is a bit dated but it's the way I was taught and I'm brilliant at spelling smile

They are also expected to copy maths homework from the board, 2 weeks ago it was 'practice writing and ordering the numbers 1 to 10' - I'm sorry but I'm really not sure what's wrong with this homework! Sounds reasonable to me.

She doesn't seem to 'know' him, which I know is an emotional response, but his Reception teacher after 7 weeks really got him and understood him - Human relationships are complex and your ds is going to spend his whole life getting on with some people better than he gets on with others. It may be a valuable experience for him.

And to be really teacher-y, his spellings are from Phase 4 of letters and sounds when I know he doesn't know the Phase 3 sounds yet - practise the phase 3 words instead!

bamboozled Wed 19-Oct-11 21:15:58

Speaking as a teacher and a mum - it is pretty likely that she will already have you down as 'one of those parents' so I would just bite the bullet and ask her straight out (firmly but nicely) about what is bugging you. Generally, there are reasons why things are happening in the classroom/curriculum, but the parents are not aware of the bigger picture... Saying that, after that, if you need to - stamp your foot as hard as you feel appropriate - as you are the parent...
However, there is a huge jump from reception to year one and it is not just the kiddos that take time to adjust to it...

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 21:17:57

Same concerns as any parent really - don't want to pee her off in case she takes it out on ds. Not that there's much she can do I suppose but I think he's struggling to build a relationship with her as it is - I don't want to stifle that. And again, despite him preferring the supply teacher (!), he's happy enough at school.
Of course, if that changed I'd be in there like a shot.
I just don't think she's got it right and I'm worried that things may change, he'll start going off school (age bloody 5!) and I'll kick myself for not saying something earlier.
So, will that happen, or do I keep a lid on it?!

bamboozled Wed 19-Oct-11 21:19:26

By the way, I'm not meaning that you are 'one of those parents' - just that by worrying about not being one and going round the houses to avoid this - you will be more likely to become one. I much prefer straight-up questions than ones couched in terms that are not meant to offend as these are the ones that I never answer properly, as I don't understand what they were asking in the first place.

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 21:23:39

Thank you ellesabe - that's what I need, someone to play devil's advocate!
She writes in his diary when she reads - she confirmed that at the parents meeeting. The homework is suitable, it's the fact he was expected to copy that phrase from the board which for one, he can't read (so what's the point?) and two, would have taken him ages and I'd rather him be doing/playing/learning than spending half an hour sat on his backside copying a letter at a time.
I thought that the first term in Yr 1 should be lots of planned play to support the transition from Reception, there are a lot of summer born children in the class who have only been in school 2 terms and while I'm all for high expectations, I think he's one of many in the class who need help and support doing what you might expect of a Yr 1 in the summer term.

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 21:25:51

Me too bamboozled! Have tried to be direct about my concerns but she's A1 at not answering the question directly!

bamboozled Wed 19-Oct-11 21:34:27

Send her an email, cc it to the head of early years at the school if you are really worried, but I bet if you read this thread in May you would wonder what you were worrying about, and next October you will be bemoaning the fab year one teacher who really had a grip on what he enjoyed/struggled with as his new year 2 teacher is such a dragon... (I've been there and done that, from both sides..)

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 21:34:45

I don't think it's likely he'll be put off school or any lasting damage will happen to him. Not at all likely.

snailoon Wed 19-Oct-11 21:35:33

I really agree with Indigobell.
All concerned parents who have thought a lot about their children's education have noticed that not all teachers are great. If I were you, I would just pick up the slack: find him some great books, read with him, find some words he would really like to spell, write and illustrate a book using those words, play some maths games. Don't worry too much about his lousy teacher as long as he is happy, and seize a few moments here and there to do something more interesting with him than what he does in class.

ReadyforaHoliday Wed 19-Oct-11 21:44:03

Bamboozled thank you - bit of perspective!
IndigoBell and snailoon, thank you, that's what I wanted to know.
Reception was such a lovely year for him and me, it came as a bit of shock that things may not carry on so smoothly. And yes, use my own skills to support him where he needs it, although he'll hate me for it grin

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