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Year 2 ds very quiet will not interact with teacher

(7 Posts)
cassgate Thu 25-Oct-12 18:46:43

After some opinions please.

Have just returned from year 2 ds parents evening and am a bit unsure as too what I can do about the apparent problem we have. Basically, ds will not open up in class and talk. He is better in small group situations but still very quiet and the teacher struggles to get him to offer answers to questions in things like guided reading even though she is pretty sure he does know the answers. Numeracy is the same teacher struggles to get ds to explain how he has arrived at his answers and as a result finds it hard to pinpoint what aspects may need to be revisited with him. She was sure that there wasnt an under lying problem and that ability is there if only he would open up more. I have spoken to him at length when we got home and all he will say is that he doesnt want to talk to the teacher and that he thinks that his friends will laugh at him. I asked if he laughs at his friends when they answer questions and he said no so have said that what makes him think that they will laugh at him. He didnt know. The teacher is going to put some measures in place after half term to try and boost his confidence in group situations but what else can they really do. He really just does not seem to have any confidence in his own ability and worries about getting things wrong so wont offer up answers just in case.

I should add that we had a similar problem in reception and the school did lots with him to help his confidence but it made little difference and he left reception with very poor eyfs profile scores because he was so quiet that they couldnt tell what he could or could not do. Year 1 things seemed to resolve and he really came out of his shell and flew ending the year with 1a reading, numeracy and 1b in writing but now we seem to have gone backwards again with the confidence. Help what can I do.

Thanks

Sarah

timetosmile Thu 25-Oct-12 18:55:36

Well, I have a DD who was very slow-to-warm-up in class every year until yr5, when she had teachers she'd had lower down the school.
Every autumn parents' evening we heard "She's lovely, but ever so quiet in class" or "She seems very shy, is she like this at home?" and by June she'd be the life and soul of the class, with a big part in class assemblies, always wanting to have a go at whatever was going on.

DH is exactly the same! Takes about 6 months to settle in a new workplace, which is a shame as he sometimes has to move every 12 months!

So maybe your DS has a similar temprament to you or DP when you were at school?

I would say give him time, if he's happy and just wants to sit back and observe befroe diving into the class, that's not such a bad thing x

lljkk Thu 25-Oct-12 18:55:47

I wonder about selective mutism.

KitchenRollRocks Fri 26-Oct-12 09:33:20

What is he like in other situations, eg when a shopkeeper speaks to him, or relatives / friends visit who he's not really familiar with, or schoolfriends speak to him in the street?

It sounds like the school is being proactive and putting things in place to support him to be more confident and reduce anxiety, but if they aren't working then it may be worth reading up on selective mutism and ask the school whether they are considering that as a possibility (rather than just shyness), as there are other outside agencies who may be able to help.

selective mutism.org is quite a good place to start reading up, also the smira website has a forum where you can join and ask questions.

Jenny70 Fri 26-Oct-12 10:05:22

Is he generally anxious? Does he worry about certain things more than he "should", do you think?

Because if it is an anxiety problem, rather than being naturally quiet and shy, maybe a visit to a GP and referral to specialist might help him put in place strategies for coping - best to get this in place so he has these tools to use in life, both in the classroom and outside of school.

cassgate Fri 26-Oct-12 11:25:19

Hi, thanks for all the replies.

I dont think it is selective mutism as he is fine once he gets to know people. He will speak to shopkeepers even initiates conversations. There is a ta at the school that he has worked with since reception, she does intervention work. He adores her and apparently he is a chatterbox with her. It seems to be more of a confidence issue in relation to his academic ability that bothers him. He does not want to be centre of attention in larger group situations in case he gets things wrong. He thinks that if he does get things wrong his peers will laugh and think he is stupid so he prefers to say nothing. He has always been a child who prefers working 1 to 1 with someone but obviously this is not possible in a school environment.
Its strange really as we didnt seem to have this problem in year 1 or at least the year 1 teacher never mentioned it. His end of year report did say that he was a quiet member of the class but it didnt seem to impact on his academic ability as he came out as average across the board which was excellent as he had ended reception well below average. I suppose I will have to wait and see what happens after half term and take it from there.

Sarah

missmapp Fri 26-Oct-12 11:30:04

How is his writing? Could he write his answers on his small whiteboard to show the teacher? I have done this in the past with quiet children, then as they show their answers, give loads of prasie, and soon the child is so keen to contribute they realise the written method is slower and often talk without realising it IYSWIM

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