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Help! Very shy DS in year 1 class

(9 Posts)
honeydue3 Thu 22-Jan-15 22:47:38

His teacher told me that it is starting to effect his progress. When she asks him a question he becomes very quiet and some times does not respond when put on the spot. Sometimes he does not want to answer incase he has the wrong answer.
He is a smart boy and the teacher knows with some confidence he can achieve so much more! She has tried different ways to open him up but nothing seems to work.
He does all the work she tells him to Do, he is popular and gets on with all the other kids but the shyness effects him in class!
Any ideas or experiences out there?

dogtanianandthe3muskehounds Thu 22-Jan-15 22:58:44

If he's doing the work without problem, then if he were in my class I would just ease off and not expect him to answer "on the spot" questions. I am a primary school teacher, but also mother to a very shy child. Just because a child does not answer questions verbally, doesn't mean they are not able and making progress. If his work shows he is understanding what has been taught then there is no need to press him to answer more questions. In fact, I would argue that the more pressure she puts on him, the less likely he is to respond. In his own good time he will likely develop the confidence to speak up more.

Has he always been reluctant to talk to adults?

honeydue3 Thu 22-Jan-15 23:01:33

Hi, yes he becomes very shy with adults unless it's family that he knows well.

catkind Thu 22-Jan-15 23:54:11

I've got one of those too. Hey, I was one of those. I think it becomes less of a problem when they're older and more of the work is written anyway.
At DS' school they're doing a little social group where a few of them go out with a TA for 10 minutes of discussion type things. I think DS finds small groups more approachable than the whole class so am hoping that will help.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 23-Jan-15 11:11:08

I used to panic if I was put on the spot - still do. I remember at senior school when we were translating something the teacher used to go round the class and we each did a sentence, I wouldn't be listening to anyone else's I was just counting the number of people before me to work out which one I would be asked so I had some chance of possibly getting it right and then she would get to me and I would panic and say it all wrong.

It all comes down to confidence but putting pressure on won't help.

Ask if they do ELSA or something similar where they can do some work on his confidence and also his acceptance that it is ok to sometimes make mistakes. I think (only my opinion) that if a child is a perfectionist then they are terrified of being wrong and what will people think (social anxiety), will they laugh or think he is rubbish etc. If you can build up the child's self esteem and confidence then they will learn that it is better to try and most likely get it right then not to answer and that if they do make a mistake then that is a normal part of learning. I think this would be a better way to tackle it than them just keep putting him on the spot.

If he plays happily with other children and is sociable then this isn't a shyness issue, it is a confidence issue and the school should have some process for teaching these skills on a one to one or small group basis.

GraceGrape Fri 23-Jan-15 21:36:42

If you google Reluctant Talkers there is some useful information.

smearedinfood Fri 23-Jan-15 21:41:23

I have a shy child, no help but I am finding this post interesting. So thanks!

SugarPlumpFairy3 Fri 23-Jan-15 21:53:52

I am a Y1 teacher and agree with dogtanian.

Some children enjoy the challenge of being put on the spot and others don't. If I know that I have a child who is shy, I very, very rarely spring something on them. I can assess them in other ways.

Some children don't 'give themselves over' easily and I often find that it can take most of the school year to gain a child's trust and for them to feel truly comfortable and confident with you.

timtam23 Fri 23-Jan-15 23:04:30

My DS1 was exactly like this - he has always been a reserved & rather anxious child but in the first term or so of Y1 he found it near-impossible to answer questions etc, he would not participate in the class assembly or anything like that and we realised that he hardly spoke when in school.

Similar to catkind one of the TAs started a small "socialisation group" once a week for about 4 of the Y1 children who were all struggling a bit for different reasons. DS didn't talk about it much but they seemed to do things such as having a little tea party and asking each other to pass the water, biscuits etc, also taking turns to talk about themselves and what they enjoyed doing.

After about a term the Y1 teacher thought he was doing a lot better socially and he didn't need to go to the extra group any more. He also started playing football which helped as he was mixing with kids from his year and the years above and it gave him more confidence.

He is Y2 now and I would still say he is somewhat an introvert, and a worrier, struggles to express himself in school but nothing like as marked as it was in Y1.

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