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parents evening - I am not sure how should I discuss this with the teacher or I should not at all

(26 Posts)
rrbrigi Wed 12-Mar-14 13:37:48

My son is always good in the school since reception (he is in Year 1 now). Behave well, listen to the teacher, he learns well.
Every week one child gets a certificate from the teacher. I do not exactly know why they get this certificate, but probably the child does something that the teacher did not expect from him or her. The children get this certificate in front of the class. Sometimes these things do not even relate to the school. E.g.: once a child get a certificate, because she managed to move up one level in swimming (the swimming was outside from school). Another child got a certificate because he managed to behave well at the �carpet time� (usually the child does not pay attention on the carpet, he just chat and disturb the teacher).
My son never got any certificate from the teacher since Reception. I do not mind because it does not mean anything for me, but it does mean something for him (he asked me yesterday). And I do not understand that those children who are always polite, good listener, does what the teacher says why they do not get this certificate. It would reassure my son that he is doing well; the teacher noticed that he always behaves well, polite and listen. I would not like to advise my son that disturb the carpet time for two weeks, than change back to a good boy and you will get a certificate.

So I would like to bring this up at parents evening and tell the teacher that I think those children who are doing well most of the time in the school also should get a certificate to reassure them that their effort they put in school day have not been forgotten.

Do you think the teacher would be unhappy if I bring this up on the parents evening?

Sparklysilversequins Wed 12-Mar-14 13:39:25

Rightly or wrongly I would ask about it. It would surely make a child feel disheartened to never get it. In dd's school they kind of take it in turns. Every child gets star of the week during the time they are in that class.

CarolineKnappShappey Wed 12-Mar-14 13:40:11

Of course you should bring it up. But just ask what he can do to get a certificate.

You have to tell the teacher if he has done something outside school.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 12-Mar-14 13:50:42

I think it is fair enough to raise it and say he is a bit upset because he hasn't received a certificate and could she tell you what they are awarded for as you aren't certain.

MissMilbanke Wed 12-Mar-14 13:53:30

Definitely ask. You need understand what is involved.

Remember 6 year olds often see things differently and what he has told you may nt necessarily be true.

rrbrigi Wed 12-Mar-14 13:57:17

They have a system in the class, where children start the week on �ready to learn� than they can move up or down. My son most of the time moves up. But the teacher never tells him any encouraging word. I think the teacher get used to him as a good boy, but I know it would make a difference for him (and other children as well) to hear something like �Your effort is being good or listening well are much appreciated�. I always tell him that I appreciate his hard work in the school, but I think we get to the point when he needs to hear this from someone else now.

LadyInDisguise Wed 12-Mar-14 13:58:50

The reasons children are getting these certificates are very varied. And it's not unusual that it's the ones who disturb the class the lire that will get then first. The certificates are a way to try and encourage good behaviour from children who are struggling. If you searc in here you will find entry if threads around these ideas.

However a good school / teacher will be careful that all children will receive a certificate once in the year, even if they are very well behaved, do well etc... There is ajaYs something to celebrate!
I wouldn't try and find the 'reason' why x or y had a certificate or understand what your dc should do to get one. This isn't the point.

BUT do ask the teacher and explain your dc us upset about it as he hadn't receive one this year or last year.

hootloop Wed 12-Mar-14 14:04:42

Speaking as an ex teacher.
These certificates sound like ones given out in assembly one child from each class, sometimes called star of the week, merit book or gold book awards.
I can assure you that during the course of the year each child will receive the certificate. And to be honest by the time I got to this time of the year I wasn't awarding them for achievement but rather had a list of names that hadn't had it yet and was just making something up (well not making something up but they were certainly given for things at the start of the year wouldn't have been enough).
Also the child who got it for being good on the carpet absolutely would have really made an effort that week.
In my class it was always 'has been a good friend' 'is a good role model' or 'is an excellent member of the class' that was code for 'done nothing in particular but its their turn'.
Speaking as a parent:
Ask the teacher but don't make it a big deal.

columngollum Wed 12-Mar-14 14:42:45

I once had some nonsense about my child not getting praised at school so I forged a note from the teacher in the reading record, read it with my daughter, who was really delighted, and made up my own reward. Cuts out the middleman and you can control the number of rewards.

PastSellByDate Wed 12-Mar-14 14:54:14


Hello again.

I assume this is you:

If this is you again:

First off rrbrigi you clearly have a very bright and able child from what you describe and are doing all sorts at home to help him learn/ develop talents.

I can't really say what is going on - but you may have been labelled as a 'tiger mother' and the teacher(s) at the school may be studiously avoiding doing anything to make you more competitive or push your son harder than you already are.

If you son is the high flyer in the class, it may be making the other children feel they can't compete - which is pretty dishearting at 5/6. It may well be that the teacher is intentionally drawing attention to other forms of achievement to make the other 29 children feel special too.

Usually teachers fairly share out these certificates - if it is one child a week - then it is likely that eventually your sons week will come up. Even the hardest teacher usually tries to avoid leaving out your child.

If it is worrying your son - my advice is bring him to the parent teacher and let him tell the teacher he's upset that he never seems to get a certificate. That will have the right affect and firmly establish this is coming from your son.


LadyInDisguise Wed 12-Mar-14 15:06:02

Well it's not because a child us doing very well that he/she shouldn't be praised. And certainly
Not because 'it would make other dcs uncomfortable'. I mean all children gave their strength and weaknesses and that should come out in some ways.

Having said that I can see how a teacher might not praise a very able child as much than one that us really struggling. She might think that he just doesn't need it (ie it's not praise fit good work but praise to encourage x or y behaviour iyswim)

rrbrigi Wed 12-Mar-14 16:43:31

I have never said, my child is a genius or very able, he just good learner. He is probably on the top table or second top table, but I think he is not the best in his class. But this thing is nothing to do with my question.

I did not say the teacher should praise him because oh his learning, but his behaviour or beacuse he listen to the teacher. As one of you said these certificates are for encouraging good behaviuor.

Sorry for the typing mistakes.

JohnnyUtah Wed 12-Mar-14 16:50:21

Hi rrbigi, did you go to school in this country? This is a familiar problem and there are lots of similar threads on here, many of us have encountered similar situations. Have a look for other similar threads, mention it to the teacher in a low key way (every child should have had one by this point in the year) but please don't worry too much. your child is obviously behaving well and I'm sure the teacher praises him in other ways that you don't see.

PastSellByDate Wed 12-Mar-14 16:52:05


Again, I think the best solution is to bring your son and explain to the teacher that he has something that has been worrying him and he wanted to come tonight to ask it - then let him ask about certificates.

1) it establishes this is coming from him
2) it establishes it's worrying him
3) it establishes that you're not pushing for this

My advice for you during this conversation is to say absolutely nothing. Leave it to the teacher and their conscience.

It may be that each week one child gets a certificate and there have only been about 20 weeks of school so far - his turn will come.

It may also be that at the end of the year there is an ultimate prize (our school goes in for Teacher's Awards/ Governor's Awards) - which often are given to children who have made absolutely no appearance at all at assemblies.

Make sure your body language is oozing - I'm sure the teacher has a reasonable explanation and will be understanding (maybe even say it in advance) DC is worried to raise this but I've assured him you'd be understanding....

Your other posts have always been so 'driven' - how to make your child better at maths/ English/ music/ etc... - that it can lead to the impression you're pushing too hard. I'm sure you aren't - and I'm not judging here - I wish I had pushed a bit harder myself with DD1 - but ... all I'm trying to say is teachers don't alwasy respond so well to openly ambitious parents.

I have a very good Korean friend with a lovely, well behaved son who does exceedingly well in school - but does lots extra at Korean Language School on Sunday's and at home. He also is frequently overlooked for certificates. However, his room is full of music trophies/ certificates (he's very gifted at violin) and he's a happy old thing - so they just have learned to ignore it.

Itreallyistimetochangethings Wed 12-Mar-14 16:55:20

My son is in year 1 and my feeling is that they do work their way through the list. There are approx 28 children in the class. He received one at the beginning of the yr for "good work" - I think - then as I anticipated (half way through the year) he has just received another one for good sharing. (I think this happened in reception too). What will feel worse for you is if you bring it up and miraculously the following week your son receives it for "good listening".

Clavinova Wed 12-Mar-14 17:14:48

PastSellByDate - Why do you think the OP sounds like a 'tiger mother' rather than a mother who just wants to support her child's learning at home? I read some of the links you provided; the OP's son had just started violin lessons, nobody in her family plays a musical instrument and she was asking for help because she didn't even know the correct way to hold a violin. On another - her son was bringing home identical reading books in Year 1 that he brought home in Reception. Her son enjoys learning and likes computers;she wanted some fun educational games that followed the National Curriculum. Both the OP's parents work as cleaners in the local boys' secondary school which sounds a dump and she wants better for her son. I can't see anything wrong in that.

teafor1 Wed 12-Mar-14 19:28:43

hootloop I hope my DS's teacher is not just making up reasons for star of the week now. That makes me very sad. My son is one of the middle achievers but struggles immensely with sitting still, understanding instructions the first time (listening) etc. He is one who everyone would complain about getting star of the week for sitting nicely on the carpet. But he hasn't got it yet. He thinks he never will. I'm holding out hope that he will get it and the teacher will mean it. He needs the genuine recognition that he's deserving and honestly so do I.

lalasmum17 Wed 12-Mar-14 19:34:33

Almost certainly they hand out these certificates to a different child each week (and mark it down on a list so they eventually give one to everybody).
That's what our school does.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 12-Mar-14 21:26:02

I too hope the teachers aren't making up reasons now as that seriously implies that those children who haven't yet received one don't deserve one and in my experience those who have received them already in the year include plenty who are somewhat questionable and a lot of the hard workers or high achievers with excellent behaviour haven't had one yet. I would be inclined to say that it is more likely that some children who happen to have had a vaguely good week have been given one early just in case that was the only week in the entire year they behave themselves whereas the ones who are always good or do good work etc can be guaranteed to be good so the teachers don't need to jump and hand them one instantly.

TooBusyByHalf Wed 12-Mar-14 22:01:57

They are defo used to reward the kids who struggle with behaviour when they've made an effort in both the primaries I have kids at, but even the best behaved get one now and again. Depends a bit on the individual teacher. I would mention it to the teacher if you feel it's really important but better for your DC to mention it himself I think.

rrbrigi Thu 13-Mar-14 10:05:04

Yes, my son started on violin around last October, November and I am very proud of him. He is already using the bow and he just started to use his other hand�s fingers to put one on the top of the string. I remember when he started the first two weeks he did not even know how to hold the violin and wanted to give up, but he likes violin now, only one thing he does not like that the lesson is always in lunch time and he hates losing his lunchtime.

But back to the thread. The things what I would like to achieve that the teacher understand me that I think she should praise those children who most of the time gave the same good quality performance in learning, in behaving, in listening (even if they do not do any extraordinary good, but also they do not do any bad as well), than those whose performance wobbly and rarely they do something what the teacher would not expect from them. I am not sure that I speak only about my son or there are other children in the class too. That is what I try to teach my son. Everyone can have one or two bad days, but usually we need to concentrate on things what we do and if we concentrate we should be able to do them with the same good quality. I could make up things for him with the violin, speaking another language, going to sport club. But why the teacher should praise him to speak another language when she does not even know how good is he in that language?

Oh, and I know it is not year end yet and he has plenty of time to get a certificate, but he did not get any in Reception too.

Blu Thu 13-Mar-14 10:18:23

It can be confusing because whereas these certificates LOOK like praise for an absolute of achievement or merit, they are actually a means to behaviour management and given for relative / individual standards. And there is nothing wrong with that as such.

You could explain to your DS that people get certificates for overcoming things they found very hard or stopping bad habits, or trying harder to behave, etc.

And have a quiet informal word with the teacher, perhaps next term, about encouragement and acknowledgement for the kids who are doing consistently well - perhaps mention an area where he could do with some support and encouragement.

Glasshammer Fri 14-Mar-14 20:19:40

We had the same problem. Some of the favourites were getting 7 or 8 rewards. DS had non all year. I spoke to the teachers twice with no results. Spoke to the head who was horrified and attempted to sort it but failed. Spoke to the head again and finally he got 3 rewards in the last three weeks.

Speak up, you owe it to your DS.

Glasshammer Fri 14-Mar-14 20:21:19

Rewards were given to very the many loud able girls and cheeky lower ability boys mostly.

TheGruffalo2 Fri 14-Mar-14 21:05:36

We've had 18 weekly certificate assemblies and I have 30 in my class, that means 12 children haven't received a certificate yet. I'm sure the OPs child's time will come, just like the whole of my class at some point over the school year.

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