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Need Help - Just Received A Shocking Email from Son's School

(21 Posts)
mumto4boys01 Mon 28-Jan-13 20:14:40

How to react to the below email from my 6 year old son's teacher?? I have no idea how to deal with this with my son - if he needs punishing or if I need to approach him in a more gentle way and ask why he is behaving in this way. Any experience on dealing with something like this? It has come completely out of the blue!
....has been unsettled for a while now however today has been particularly challenging. He has struggled to focus all day and needed 1:1 adult support all day. I sat with him at lunch and tried to have a chat but he was off in his own world. When it was Maths this afternoon he gave the teacher a very hard time - he was constantly chatting, lying down on carpet, annoying other boys by poking and wiggling, repeatedly moving on carpet and when asked to constantly to focus and listen but he refused, answered the teacher back and called out 'this is boring' so was removed from the carpet for rest of the lesson. Throughout the day his poor behaviour continued and we firmly spoke to him with three warnings about focus which he didn't respond to.......

brainonastick Mon 28-Jan-13 20:18:16

What does the teacher suggest?

And why is she emailing you rather than speaking with you?

I would talk to him very gently, just to get his 'side'. Maybe it is boring! Then speak with the teacher extensively.

LauraPashley Mon 28-Jan-13 20:22:38

As a teacher I wouldn't say that was shocking behavior at all. Quite the opposite given he is a 6yr old boy. Clearly not desirable behavior at school, but very common. Is this the very 1stxtime the school has raised concerns about his behavior (unlikely that this is the 1st time!)?

If I were you my concerns would be:
- why has his behavior not been flagged before
- why on earth are they emailing you?
- what are they doing to address it and how can you help

LauraPashley Mon 28-Jan-13 20:24:02

BEHAVIOUR!! How I get my iPhone not to spell check in American?!!

CarlingBlackMabel Mon 28-Jan-13 20:27:52

No point in punishing him when you don't know what is behind it. Sitting still and focussing for long periods is not always the best for small children. Don't worry too much, talk to him, talk to his teacher. Good luck.

chicaguapa Mon 28-Jan-13 20:29:40

YY to asking what plan they have to address his behaviour and how can you help at home. It's one thing to point it out, but that's the means to an end, which presumably is better behaviour in the classroom.

And speak to him about how he thought the day had gone to get his pov.

LIZS Mon 28-Jan-13 20:32:32

I'd suggest you arrange a meeting with teacher as a first step. Ask what particularly behaviour causes concern, triggers and what strategies you and they can put in place together. Is it out of character ? Do you normally pick up or is this the usual form of communication, I think I might have expected a quiet word or phone call initially.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 28-Jan-13 20:34:54

Do you have any concerns about him at home?

Is this behaviour occuring every day or was it a one off?

What was the 1:1 support? What did they actually do? Or was it simply a babysitting service?

sittinginthesun Mon 28-Jan-13 20:37:59

I think an email is not as helpful as a proper chat. Can you reply and say you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this further.

You need to find out whether this is a pattern, and regular behaviour, or a one off.

I wouldn't launch in and tell him off - I would encourage him to talk to you about his feelings about school.

mumto4boys01 Mon 28-Jan-13 20:42:43

Thanks so much for all the replies. To be fair on the teacher I didnt see her today as I picked my son up late from after school club. She is obviously upset about it otherwise I dont think she would have emailed this. He has been naughty before but only in PE not really in other lessons. My first reaction was to be really angry with him and to punish him for this behaviour but after reading your replies maybe I should speak to him first. I was pretty upset to receive this email as it sounds like he has been very naughty (he has been awful at home too for the last week or so)

Floralnomad Mon 28-Jan-13 20:43:10

What I want to know is where they put him when they took him off the carpet ? How bizarre , has his behaviour ever been flagged up before and do you not see the teacher at the end of school ?

ProphetOfDoom Mon 28-Jan-13 20:43:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sittinginthesun Mon 28-Jan-13 20:56:25

What's happened at home over the last couple of weeks? Has he been unwell, unsettled with the weather etc? If it is a change in behaviour, you really need to try and talk to him about how he is feeling.

trinity0097 Mon 28-Jan-13 20:59:50

I can't see why you are all getting so uppity about a teacher emailing? The OP wasn't around at the usual pick up time, so a chat would not have been available. Surely it is better for the teacher to make contact and inform the parent in a timely fashion rather than the parent not be informed at all. I bet the email also said/implied that the teacher would be happy to discuss it further?

DeWe Mon 28-Jan-13 21:05:53

That doesn't sound like a "your child has been very naughty and you should do something about it" it sounds more like along the lines of "we're concerned about your ds, has something happened to unsettle him recently, can we discuss it?"

If she couldn't catch you after school, then emailing you is not a bad option. I'd rather that than a phone call that puts you on the spot and potentially have to discuss your ds with him there, which if there's been a upsetting reason why he was unsettled might well be awkward and unhelpful.

Really teacher can't do this sort of thing in a "good" way. If she'd waited to tell you next time she saw you, you could well have been complaining that you wanted to know sooner.

I would approach it with asking to have a meeting, and the things I would want to know are:
1. How long he's been unsettled (is there something that might account for it)
2. Today was obviously particularly bad, how is he showing "unsettled" generally?
3. What are they doing to cope with it?
4. Is there some pattern they can see in his behaviour? (ie is it when he sits with a particular person, or during a particular lesson?)
5. How can we move forward together?

Viviennemary Mon 28-Jan-13 21:08:31

He is only six after all. And although it isn't accepable behaviour in school I can't see it would be that uncommon for a six year old to do this. I'd have thought he would have to be far naughtier than this for the school to be requesting a meeting with you.

MrsDeVere Mon 28-Jan-13 21:09:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 28-Jan-13 21:19:58

Parents email me all the time, I have special folders in my mail for each child.
I would expect the email to be linked to a request to come in and talk about ways forwards and what support and help we could put in as a teacher/parent team.

Houseworkprocrastinator Mon 28-Jan-13 21:23:44

just a thought but my eldest who is also 6 gets really naughty and doesn't listen when she is coming down with something. I always know when she is getting a cold or something because she has me tearing my hair out. and there are lots of bugs and things this time of year.

NeverQuiteSure Mon 28-Jan-13 21:24:20

I wonder if it's the choice of medium that makes it so odd?

Obviously not possible as your DS went to the after school club, but if the teacher had pulled you to one side and said "goodness, we've had one hell of a day with X, he's struggled to focus..." it would have came across quite differently. It only sounds so shocking (and I can see why you felt shocked) because it's been 'said' via the more formal medium of email. Perhaps the teacher didn't realise how changing the medium of the message would change the entire tone of the message.

I think it was a mistake to send this much 'detail' by email as it almost demands some sort of response from you. What would have been better is something along the lines of "X was unsettled again today, can you let us know when you might be able to pop into the school to discuss it"

Hopefully you will get to the bottom of his behaviour and the school will have some good ideas about how to manage it.

PastSellByDate Tue 29-Jan-13 13:45:29

Hi Mumto4boys01

I'd arrange (by e-mail if easier) for a meeting with the teacher, where your DS doesn't have to be there.

If you know that something has changed (loss of grandparent, pet, etc...) which has upset your DS this may well explain the behaviour.

Alternatively, it could be that he's bucking the system - he doesn't want to sit still and pay attention - he's full of energy and wants to run about and play. Sitting still may be asking too much right now - so can something be put into place to help him adjust to more formal environment.

DD2 really found the change from YR/ Y1 where she could wander about and was free to get up and go outside as desired to Y2 where she had to sit at table and follow instructions very trying at first. It is hard - but he'll get there in the end. He may just need a bit more help.

One solution - if he's full of beans - is to consider getting him more involved in after school sports clubs/ activity clubs. If he knows that he can blow of steam later, it may help.

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