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Anyone else been shocked at parents evening.

(13 Posts)
mrsnw Thu 03-Apr-14 19:13:57

Just come away from my year two sons parents evening and I'm a little winded. I have been told my son is very disengaged and difficult to read. His writing is not punctuated and he writes reams and reams and none of it makes sense. He is very sensitive and doesn't like to be wrong so avoids challenge. I'm a bit shock by this. Surely if he was that bad they should have called me in earlier. I just felt like they were talking about a child I didn't know. Hand holding please xx

nancy75 Thu 03-Apr-14 19:18:48

Op, I could have written your post a month ago, my dd has struggled with school i went in at the start of the year and spoke to the teacher I said please tell me of any issues asap so that I can help her with them at home, please don't leave it until parents evening....parents evening comes and it was dreadful. I don't understand why children are just left to fall behind when they have parenst ready and willing to help.

Phoebe47 Thu 03-Apr-14 19:43:47

I would make an appointment to see the headteacher if you can get no joy from the class teacher. You need to know what they are doing to help your son and you also need to be given ideas about how you can support him at home. His class teacher is letting him down by not discussing the issues with you before now and not telling you what he/she is doing about it. I am a teacher and would always inform parents of any concerns I have about children asap so that we could work together to support the child and improve things. Try speaking to the class teacher first though and then go to the Head if you are not satisfied.

mrsnw Thu 03-Apr-14 19:48:52

Thanks for your responses. I'm just completely shocked by it. I felt like I was being bombarded by really negative comments. Then it was " let's say something positive. He's really good at maths" :-(

MilkRunningOutAgain Thu 03-Apr-14 19:53:34

Had very much the same myself at recent parents evening re the writing, writes reams of nonsense. Also the sensitivity. Does your DS do the same at home? My DD's home writing is much better than her schoolwork so I'm not too concerned, tbh I think it's a disruptive class envireonment causing it. But zero ideas from the supply teacher on how to help, and as she's now left and we're on teacher number 4 for this academic year, I despair of getting any effective help for DD.

MilkRunningOutAgain Thu 03-Apr-14 19:55:58

Apologies, I shouldn't have succumbed to a rant on someone else's thread, hope you get some help for your DS, I agree a meeting with the teacher is a good idea. I'd do this, but there is yet another teacher starting after Easter I'll wait til then.

OldBeanbagz Thu 03-Apr-14 20:05:07

I had an A4 page of negative comments at DS's parents evening last month so i know just how you're feeling sad

The only positive thing that DS's teacher had to say was that he was good at running. She completely dismissed the fact that he's a whizz ay maths (working 2+ years ahead of his year).

If i were you i'd ask the teacher for ideas on how you can help your DS at home (if he's as bad as they make out). Then keep checking on his progress in school rather than waiting for the next parents evening.

proudmama72 Thu 03-Apr-14 20:12:16

My daughter used to write large volumes of badly spelled text around that age. She wanted to show she was working hard by the volume. This resolved itself. When she was 9 - and really inspired by her school - she started writing multi-chapter stories.

I wouldn't worry too much and help him write at home. Parents Evening seems like the worst time to discuss serious concerns.

If they want you to help they should not wait. Not really the best strategy for leveraging parent.s

inthename Fri 04-Apr-14 03:12:26

Hmm, my parents evening at Yr3 is one not to be forgotten - NQT looked at me (never met me before) and said (I kid you not) 'I have decided your ds is autistic because he chews pencils' and refused to discuss any academics at all or my query as to when he had gained the qualifications to diagnose this condition. Wouldn't discuss that ds was 3 sub levels above 'average' or had the reading age of a 14 yr old and no indicators at all for ASD!!
To be honest parents evenings are a pain and tell you even less than the badly written reports some schools send out. I had one report for ds which addressed him as 'she' all the way through!
Changed school yr 5, now yr 7, parents evening nightmares involve avoiding the games master (I have a spectacularly unsporty ds and can't imagine what we would converse about) and the history teacher who hates my ds with a passion because ds loves a good debate and the teacher prefers showing youtube videos and keeps insisting ds should accept 'constructive criticism' (which is difficult when the teacher scrawls all over everything in red pen)
I just comfort myself that the reports/parents evenings up to yr 3 have absolutely no relevance now and similarly by the time he hits 16 the current ones won't be relevant either!!
In your situation, do ask to see the teacher again for a longer time to find out what they are doing to address the problems and what sort of help they would like from you - then smile and wave!

Barbaralovesroger Fri 04-Apr-14 06:25:00

The thing is, the teacher should be engaging him. So what's going wrong? Does her teaching style not suit his learning style? Talk to your son and find out if he is inspired? What would make him work harder? I think he really needs to learn to take direction and accept he mustn't be stubborn also

Barbaralovesroger Fri 04-Apr-14 06:25:49

You might just find that having a different teacher is enough to motivate him

overmydeadbody Fri 04-Apr-14 06:37:57

I don't see how what you were told about your DS is that bad, none of those things are things that your DS can't improve upon.

In year 2 there are always children who forget to punctuate, and write reams of nonsense, because they are just not putting in as much effort as they could.

Talk to your son, why doesn't he like challenge? Do lots of writing practice with him at home where he thinks up each sentence, says it in his head, writes it down, then reads it to make sure he wrote all the words down and it makes sense. At that age they can't write as fast as they can think up the ideas, so they end up missing words out of their writing and it makes no sense.

He'll get there.

I really don't think you should feel so shocked, just talk to your DS about it, and start getting him practicing his writing.

PastSellByDate Fri 04-Apr-14 10:27:39

OK - my own backstory is most likely informing my view on this but this is how I read the subtext of these comments from the teacher:

disengaged and difficult to read. He is very sensitive and doesn't like
to be wrong so avoids challenge.

Your child is trying to be neutral in class (most likely to avoid getting into trouble or being shouted at). When the teacher tells him he's got something wrong he finds it upsetting - so he is frightened to get things wrong.

I'm not sure how old your DS is - but up until about 9 getting a lot of sense about what goes on in class is really difficult.

Try asking your DS does your teacher shout?

Is there a lot of chatter in class?

Is there bad behaviour in class?

(if the answer to all 3 of these is yes - then it may be that the class is fairly 'lively' and perhaps there are times when the teacher struggles to maintain order - this may stress the teacher and more sensitive children get upset when a grown up shouts at them, especially if this is fairly unusual at home).

What happens if you make a mistake? Does your teacher explain where you went wrong and help you to understand what to do next time so you get it correct?

This is really important. DD2 would get things wrong and be told she wasn't reading well or had made a mistake on a calculation but often would not have it explained. Worse yet a few weeks later she'd be moved down a table - very publically, which she felt was totally humiliating. Unfortunately the class also had a few characters who really enjoyed needling children who were struggling - Ooooo you can't read chapter books, you're such a baby! and such. DD2 felt almost paralyzed anytime she was asked to do something new or a little difficult - because she was terrified she'd be moved down a table (and lose access to interesting class work) or she'd be teased.

I'm not saying this is definitely your DS's situation mrsnw - but it's possible.

His writing is not punctuated and he writes reams and reams and none
of it makes sense.

Well this is resolvable. You can work on this at home. Start with something simple. Like full stops or maybe getting the spelling right on a word he frequently misspells (for us it was whith for with).

These VCOP (vocabulary/ connectives/ openers/ punctuation) pyramids really help you to see the logical progression of punctuation/ vocabulary skills in writing. The top of the pyramid is easiest use of language and the bottom is more advanced/ skillful use of language.

VCOP Link: displays.tpet.co.uk/?resource=387#/ViewResource/id387

The none of it makes sense comment is pretty harsh and fairly unclear - is it illegible? are the spellings so wildly out they're hard to work out? is it just stream of consciousness? I think you may have to look over what your DS is writing and see if you can determine where the issue is.

If it's handwriting - well that can be resolved through practice - Collins handwriting books are brilliant (try large newsagents/ book stores/ amazon) - sometimes the transition to joined up writing can result in a real downturn in quality of penmanship.

If it's spelling attempts are crazy - well gradually start to work on that. It may be that he sees no rhyme or reason in why words are spelled as they are - so work on sounding out words in an overexaggerated way - to help with spelling. Work on rules (which of course always have exceptions) - but i before e except after c, double consonant if the vowel before it is short - so stop becomes stopping to indicate the 'o' is a short sound - not long o as in cope to coping.

stream of consciousness - well this is about organising your thoughts and planning out your work a bit better (thinking of who you are writing for and what you need to explain). Often children don't realise that adults may not appreciate the finer nuances of Pokemon lore - so we need to know who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, who is kind and who isn't - or a lot of what is discussed will make no sense.

Anyway - I've pretty well written a small novel - so I'll sign off but I hope that helps.

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