Should I have a word with teacher now or leave till Parents evening which is first week after half term?(5 Posts)
DD is in Year 2 and has been doing very well at school. She was receiving differentiated work for Literacy and Maths throughout Year 1 along with the 4 other children that were sat on her table. Her report at the end of Year 1 stated that she had exceeded expectations for Year 1.
Their Year 2 teacher is brand new to the school and is also brand new to teaching. This is her first post after completing her teacher training. There was a bit of concern about this at the end of the last school year with some parents feeling that Yr 2 (being an important year being end of KS1 and SATS in the summer) wasn't the best place for a new and inexperienced teacher. However parents had a chance to meet with her at the beginning of term and I think she put a lot of peoples minds at rest. She is certainly enthusiastic and I am sure she will have lots of fresh ideas to bring to the school/class. I also understand that she will receive a lot of support from the other teachers/school in her first year.
Now back to DD. She has been complaining for the past few weeks that the work is too easy and boring. I would agree with this judging by the homework that is coming back. And certainly when I compare it to the homework she was being set in Year 1 it is the equivalent to what she was doing in the first term. I have asked DD if her table are receiving different work to do in class (like they were in Year 1) and she says that everyone is doing exactly the same thing. Further to this, last year DD used to receive a new book to read as often as you were reading with her. So she would bring a new book home every day as we read every day. The teacher has now said that they will have books changed on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday. She has said that the children can read other books in the days in between as it is good to read varied texts. I actually don't have a problem with this but I think it very much puts the owness on the parent to find alternative material on those days and I know other parents are worried that the pace will slow if they don't have new books from the reading scheme as frequently. The thing that I am worried about with regards to reading is that DD says that she has only read with the teacher once the entire time they have been back at school. The other times have been in guided reading with the TA and with their Reading partner from Year 5 (who it seems isn't as good a reader as DD!).
I don't want DD to become dis-engaged because she isn't being challenged and I also don't want her work to slip. I am sure that the teacher is a good teacher but I'm just a bit concerned that she doesn't yet have the experience and organisational skills to be able to set the class work according to the varying abilities. She definitely does come across as a bit dis-organised. An example being that she told the parents in her meeting that homework (spelling and maths) would be coming back on a Wednesday to be back for the Monday. For the last 3 weeks it has come back on a Thursday. I don't know if this is because she is late sending it out or if she told us the wrong day in her meeting. Either way I don't think it gives children very much time (last year homework was staggered throughout the week).
So, to conclude, I'm a bit torn really. I don't know if I am being a bit unfair and unforgiving because I know that the teacher is new and inexperienced, or if there is genuine cause for a little concern. I think I do want to talk to her about these issues but don't know if I should speak to her now or leave it until parents evening after half-term. My thinking is that by then she will have already done a half-term of just "settling in" rather than actually getting her teeth in to something. But will making a point of saying something now and not waiting the few weeks till parents evening make me look petty? I don't want to do this teacher a dis-service but I also don't want my DD's work to slip.
Sorry, ended up being really long!
TBH the only point that would bother me is the potential lack of differentiated work. And as you only have DD's word for that it's a bit hard to know if it really is a problem. (if for example if some children are doing number bonds to 10, some children are doing simple addition and your DD is doing more complex addition, she may not actually realise that she is getting harder work then everyone else). I don't think you can judge by homework (my DC's homework seems to vary wildly but is often much easier than what they are doing in class).
Reading sounds fairly normal for Y2 (DD has guided reading once a week with TA, plus twice a term individual reading with teacher). Wouldn't have aproblem with changing a book 3 times a week - if your DD is a good reader she soon wont' be able to read a whole book in a day anyway as the books will be too long. Do the children have access to a school library?
I think the length of time to do homework is also normal, and whilst it's annoying not to know what day it's coming home, I also think that it's one to let go.
Thank you for your replies redskyatnight and tiggytape. Reading them has already put my mind at rest somewhat.
I fully admit that I am probably attributing a lot of these niggles to the fact that the teacher is new and am probably focusing on things that I wouldn't have necessarily done with an existing teacher from the school. I also take on board that she must have got the job for a reason. When concerns were raised at the end of the last school term the HT said that she was by far the best candidate they had seen. She also did one of her placements at the school a few years ago and they were impressed with her back then. I think the timing has just been a little unfortunate as we also have a new HT that started in September after the HT of 12 years retired, as well as 2 other long-standing teachers (one being the Deputy) retiring also. So the school has seen an incredible amount of change in a very short period of time. And this follows a very stable period of 15 or so years of the same teaching staff.
Redsky: DD does go to the school library and all children that are at a certain level automatically receive an additional book so she does benefit from this.
Tiggy: Yes they are seated in tables of ability. This started around the second term of Yr1. A few of the children that were on the table have moved to other tables during the course of the year but there are 5 of them that have remained sitting together and are still sitting together now in Yr2.
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