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Comment in report - is school failing my child, am I failing my child, is everything ok?

(29 Posts)
whalewail Fri 05-Jul-13 17:12:15

Got dc's reports last week and have been stewing over youngest child's ever since. Not because I don't recognise the child - I do. I just feel that either the school or I should have been able to sort this out before now. Child is 6 btw.
Attainment is good at the expected level or better but there is a strong suggestion that attainment could be even better as child clearly capable. (I know that already, potentially I think the brightest of my set)
The comment is
'X is <<nice positive words>> and likes to be noticed in class. When motivated X conforms to rules and does well. However, though there has been a lot of imporvement from where X was when starting school, X is still not in control of their emotions. They sometimes fail to listen, call out comments and if frustrated stop trying to work at something.'

So what do you think? Child does need very careful handling as is bright, strong willed and with a very strong sense of self but also very, very sensitive. Desperately wants to 'be good', Will mostly comply if ordered to do something but with a very bad grace whereas if engaged and wooed in to it will go above and beyond. I guess I'm wondering what kind of emotional maturity is expected of 6 yr olds.

Ever since child started at school I've had a sinking feeling that school and this child are not a good match. I'm miserable at work, in my panic stricken moments I think what I should do is pack it all in and home educate but I can't afford that - in every sense.

So what do you think? Does this sound really bad for me and child or should I be blaming the school for not managing my spirited/challenging/pita child better?

Ilovesunflowers Fri 05-Jul-13 17:29:02

Why does anyone have to be to blame? Why not just help to address the issues as a team. Teachers, parents and child.

juniper9 Fri 05-Jul-13 18:13:43

I think it sounds like x is naughty and refuses to listen to the teacher, apart from on his/her own terms.

School are aware, so I can't see how they're failing.

somewheresomehow Fri 05-Jul-13 18:20:39

give the poor school and kid a chance he/she is six and you are already looking for failures in the kid and/or the school

noneshallsleep2 Fri 05-Jul-13 18:27:17

That's pretty much the report I'm expecting for my DS. I was stressed about it when this was raised at his first parents evening, but have got more chilled about it as the year has gone on. If your son is a bright kid, and his behaviour is improving, then life's not too bad (better than dull and compliant, anyway!)

Graceparkhill Fri 05-Jul-13 18:30:26

I agree with somewhere - the wee soul is only six. Please enjoy their early years ( I speak as mother of DS21 and DS14).

juniper9 Fri 05-Jul-13 18:42:42

The child may only be six, but the child is also one of 30 or so children. Being spirited might be great at home and in lots of situations, but it sounds as if dc is not progressing as well as s/he could because s/he refuses to do work, gets angry (I'm assuming that's what the teacher means by emotional) and only listens to the instructions they like.

If all 30 children did that, it'd be pandemonium.

carlywurly Fri 05-Jul-13 18:52:01

I bet my ds gets virtually exactly that report. He's bright but a cheeky monkey who constantly needs to be squashed. I'm hoping he'll mature out of it the way his brother did.

cansu Fri 05-Jul-13 18:55:04

Agree that you should continue to work with school to help your dc. Why is this an indication that either y ou or the school is at fault? your ds is only 6 he has plenty of time to improve. The best thing you can do ( I speak as a teacher and a parent of children with difficulties) is work with school, personally I prefer honesty from school.

cariadmawr Fri 05-Jul-13 18:55:45

THE CHILD is 6 for god sake I've got a 7 year old and a 20 year old there is a massive difference in what they expect now from the kids to when dd1 was small . All kids develop at diff stages enjoy your time with him soon grows and is before you turn around

sittinginthesun Fri 05-Jul-13 19:02:02

It sounds to me as though school are pointing out areas which are an issue, and are working to iron them out. Best thing you can do is to support the school.

I'd probably be as positive as you can with him - after all, he is improving. Tell him the teacher is pleased that he is learning to listen, not shout out, stay focussed etc, and wouldn't it be brilliant if he was like that all the time!

frissonpink Fri 05-Jul-13 20:14:06

I'd probably be as positive as you can with him - after all, he is improving. Tell him the teacher is pleased that he is learning to listen, not shout out, stay focussed etc, and wouldn't it be brilliant if he was like that all the time!

Just that really! Good on the teacher for being honest. You don't need to have a melt down about it though. She's just letting you know what he's like in class! (although to be fair, this type of conversation should already have happened at parents' evening - or did she lead you to believe then that he was an angel in class?)

whalewail Fri 05-Jul-13 20:16:23

Thanks for all the feedback. I am absolutely not feeling that my child is failing me. I worry that I am failing them by not supporting them better and by not working with the school to better 'explain' them or that the school is failing them by just not 'getting' them because tbh at parents evening etc I have gone in to how they tick. By the end of the first week this teacher was describing dc as stubborn - which is true but then they're 6. I think dc has matured a lot and hopefully this will iron itself out. My plan for the summer is to try and do a little work on a couple of the areas I know dc finds less appealing so that when asked to do it they don't shutdown. We did that last year with an aspect and it worked very well. Bottom line is that I suspect this is a child who shouldn't even be in formal school yet. We have some Scandinavian friends and talking to them they are always horrified about the school system here. I think they have a point.

frissonpink Fri 05-Jul-13 20:23:07

I honestly wouldn't worry too much. It's the teacher's job to worry about how to deal with him, and trust me, they will have dealt with much worse! grin

You're right. He's only 6. However, from a teacher's point of view, at 6 they are perfectly capable of doing as they are told. Moreoever, we need them too, or else it would be chaos.

Let the teacher worry about it. From a home pov, just tell him that he needs to listen to the teacher. Other than that, enjoy your summer grin

whalewail Fri 05-Jul-13 20:35:07

That's a good point. At least they are very keen on the things they like and do well with the other kids. It's not like anybody is getting punched or bitten.

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 20:39:12

to me your report reads as "Bit emotionally immature."
If you haven't been pulled aside at least once a week to discuss a behaviour problem, then I don't think you've anything to worry about.

dementedma Fri 05-Jul-13 20:50:28

Maybe its because my Dcs are adults now but I am constantly staggered at the angst on the parenting threads. This child is 6 years old has high attainment and has had nice positive things said by teacher, but is not yet fully in control of emotions! He is SIX!
I've yet to meet a 6 year old who IS I in control of their emotions.
Why is there a sense of failure here over what sounds like a normal, healthy bright little boy?

FishfingersAreOK Fri 05-Jul-13 21:55:18

Tell him what his teacher has said (appropriately) and then the only thing you should probably "work at" over the summer is the elements he needs to work on - his listening skills, not interrupting and persevering if he is finding something tough.

TBH I think you you would struggle to find any 6 year old that doesn't need to work on those!

You are not failing him because you care enough to read and analyse his report. The school is not failing him because they have bothered to be honest and constructive. It sounds like he is very bright and can apply himself. How much easier it would have been not to bother raising the other stuff.

whalewail Fri 05-Jul-13 23:00:13

'Why is there a sense of failure here over what sounds like a normal, healthy bright little boy?' - because thats the vibe that I'm getting from the teacher. I adore my child in all their wonderful, sparkling complexity and I don't think their behaviour is exceptional for a child of that age. I feel that the suggestion - right from starting in this class actually, is that all the other kids are powerhouses of emotional control and application and my kid is a 'problem'. I would welcome the honesty, I do in fact - it would be really weird to be told my child was 100% compliant when I know that's not the case - but I could just do with some more positivity alongside it. That said there's loads of positive stuff in the report too and dc does try so hard to be good, so hard it breaks my heart sometimes.

MidniteScribbler Sat 06-Jul-13 04:47:45

Wow, what an overreaction. The teacher has given you some appropriate feedback about your son in his report. She hasn't called him naughty or a brat. Children need to learn appropriate behaviour in class. All I see is you making excuses for his behavior and you've spent the whole parent teacher interview trying to tell the teacher how to "handle" him. They're a professional, with a lot of experience in 'handling' 6 year olds and their individual developmental needs. You need to chill out, stop making excuses and start reinforcing the behaviour that is expected while he is at home.

cansu Sat 06-Jul-13 07:09:01

Try and separate your feelings from the teachers feedback. The teacher is telling you ow your child is doing. That's all. It isn't a reflection on you and it doesn't mean your ds isn't lovely. If you get defensive and start whining that there isn't more positivity all you will get is watery meaningless reports saying what a lively, curious little ou you have which doesn't tell you that he calls out or can't sit still and listen to the teachers instructions. Personally I would rather know how he is actually doing.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 06-Jul-13 07:17:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PastSellByDate Sat 06-Jul-13 08:04:06

Hi Whalewail

First off - I think typical 6 year old. Most six year olds aren't in control of their emotions and have limited spans of concentration, oddly enough.

Secondly, I think despite not always being engaged, sounds like your DC is doing o.k. (sometimes quite well) - which sounds good.

Third - I don't think I would blame anyone but perhaps Y2/ Y3 - I'd be trying to work on increasing ability to stay focused on task (this can be maddening with children as they can be beautifully behaved one day and crabby the next - so much depends on how they feel (if they're coming down with a cold or flue for instance) or whether they've been cooped up too long with bad weather).

I wouldn't worry too much about that - what the teacher is trying to indicate to school, next year's teacher & you is that your DC does have a tendency to 'lose the plot' during lessons and that learning to focus should be on the agenda. Whether that's tackled at 6/7 or later really depends on the child. Certainly if he's very sporty and prefers to be outside and playing, sitting in class all day can be very hard work.


zirca Sat 06-Jul-13 08:39:43

'X is <<nice positive words>> and likes to be noticed in class. When motivated X conforms to rules and does well. However, though there has been a lot of imporvement from where X was when starting school, X is still not in control of their emotions. They sometimes fail to listen, call out comments and if frustrated stop trying to work at something.'

Loose translation: your child is attention seeking, calls out a lot and only behaves when they want to. They struggle to understand how they should behave in class, and cannot deal with failure at all.

Consequences if something doesn't improve: your child will not make the progress they should, for their ability. As they gets older, their fear of failure, if not dealt with, will cause them to fail and act out increasingly, as they will prefer not to try and to be seen as 'naughty' (so good excuse for getting nothing right), than to give things a go.

How you can help: clear boundaries at home to support those in school. DC needs to understand at home also, that to be told to do something, means that you are expected to do it, and do it well. No teacher has the time to cajole one child into thinking the work they are asked to do is their idea - they have 29 other children to attend to also. Setting that expectation at home will lead to your DC feeling miffed and upset at the abrupt seeming way things are done in school. Even if you home schooled, you'd then have an ADULT who thought that being TOLD to do something was unreasonable. How would they then function in the world of work?
Teach your child it's ok to fail a little too, by doing things they don't naturally find easy, and working on improving together. Perhaps take up a new sport that you could play (in the garden?) and learn about together. Teach your child in the way that only a parent can, that we work at things we find difficult, improving a little every day, until we succeed. It sounds like your child is either used to receiving a lot of attention, on demand, at home, or very little. Those are the two common causes of attention seeking behaviour in school.

I have dealt with this sort of behaviour many times in class, and many times tutoring children from age 6 to 16. Without exception, if it is not dealt with early on by BOTH parent and teacher, it will lead to children performing below expectations academically and behaviourally.

clam Sat 06-Jul-13 08:47:14

I'm very sorry to have to say this, but I think that if this is the biggest problem you have in your life, then you're very lucky.
I'll repeat to your what my ds's Nursery/Reception teacher told me when he was nearly 5. "Clam, CHILL OUT. He'll be fine!" And he was. He's now a very high-achieving 16 year old, with a finger in every pie and centre-stage of every concert/play/performance going. Yes, he was "a bit wriggly" (to quote his Y1 teacher) most days at school, but a delightful pickle to go with it.
He'll be fine, honestly.

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