disruptive class, advice(4 Posts)
Hi everyone, I've never posted in Primary Education before as I have been entirely happy with the DC's school until now. I'm in Australia, DS is in Prep - equivalent of reception, age on starting is 4.5 to 5.5 yrs. We are now in term 3 of 4 of the school year (Jan to Dec).
DS' class has 24 kids, 1 teacher, 1 teacher aide. The current teacher took over this term (she was already in the school covering a maternity leave in YR1 so she is a familiar with the school etc) the old teacher was entitled to long service leave and took it, am starting to think I know why . The teacher aide is brand new this term. This probably doesn't help an already boisterous class with at least 6 disruptive children. We are talking lots of low level silliness/craziness/no concentrating/ tricky girl friendship stuff etc - the main disrupters are a mix of girls and boys. I help out in class every week and its the same story still, if not worse since the start of the year with the previous teacher.
i want to give the teacher a chance - she has definitely identified the issues, writing in the weekly newsletter that she intends to spend a lot of time going over 'doing the right thing'/behaviour management and has already put in place new positive behaviour strategies (golden time and a reverse 'traffic light' system) However, she has also relayed to one parent that she feels the class is behind in many learning areas, particularly noticeable in literacy.
I'm starting to worry that DS is going to end up finishing the year behind where he should be! I'm prepared to give it another couple of weeks to see if things settle down but I just don't know what my approach should be - do I request to meet with the Head/write, there are quite a few of us parents who are concerned - does anyone have any experience of this and what is the best course of action? any insight would be appreciated.
I am surprised that it down to one teacher to produce and implement a behaviour policy for her class. In the UK we have a whole school Behaviour Policies and these clearly state what systems are used to ensure good behaviour. What is your school policy? Every teacher, parent and the children should sign up to it and understand it.
In addition, what does your senior leadership do regarding ensuring the progress of every single child in the school? Do they check progress rigorously several times a term? How is progress assessed by the teacher? What progress has your child made? Children do not learn at the same speed, so it seems a knee jerk reaction to say the whole class is behind. Some children with learning difficulties may well always be behind the expected level of attainment, whilst the very bright ones may well always be ahead. It is progress that counts. Does the Headteacher monitor the quality of teaching and learning in the school and this class in particular by visits to the classroom and scritiny of any work books and reading records? These are all good practice and would be expected in a good school here. If the teacher is struggling, the Head should be aware of it and strategies should be in place to help the teacher improve. For example; another, experienced, teacher aide might be needed to keep the disruptive children on task. Are the activities in the classroom appropriate for the children with less attention span?
I suggest a small number of you see the Head and voice your concerns. Or you could write a joint letter with other parents. Sometimes other parents are ultimately not concerned enough to do this, so you may be on your own! I would love to know what school policy you have been given regarding the management of behaviour in the school and how the school reports to you regarding progress and attainment.
How is your son doing? Is he happy in the class? Is he learning?
Please don't get together with other parents. It would feel awfully like being attacked for the teacher, who seems to be well aware of ongoing issues and is trying to address them, and is no doubt discussing it with admin as well. If you have concerns about your son, then address that. Ask for a meeting with her, ask her how he is going, is he behind on anything, what is the plan for bringing him up to required levels, is there anything you can do at home to support him. Keep any concerns you have restricted to your son, and let other parents do the same for their own children.
Thanks for these replies and all the advice. Millymolly - I will certainly dig out the school behaviour policy, I think that is key and feel silly I haven't thought about that before and yes yes about thinking about progress, I see that it's easy to think all is terrible when the teacher has made that comment about the group being 'behind', I think it certainly panicked me! I do feel that this class needs some extra support, maybe just for a few weeks to get them back on track so I do want to state that.
Midnite he hasn't really progressed since halfway through last term - he seems to have lost his mojo for trying to read. He used to come home and love getting his home reader out, not anymore. This may have happened anyway I suppose but I guess I need to make sure his teacher is aware of it. Otherwise he is happy yes although all he talks about is 'who was naughty today'.....
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