DS aged 8 seated on his own in the classroom(16 Posts)
DS told me the other day that as of this term he has been put on a table on his own 'to help me concentrate'. I walked past his class after they went in the morning to see him sat on a little table at the front of the classroom with his back to the class. All the other children are seated in tables of 5 or 6. It made me a bit sad to see him there.
His teacher has indicated that she feels she isn't getting enough work out of him and I know he is easily distracted I have discussed this with him after the last parents evening, and his concentration has been improving (or so I thought)
This just doesn't feel right to me, am I overreacting? Is this normal practice these days?
Is he bothered by it? Some children ask to sit on their own as they prefer it. Classrooms can be overwhelming or a big distraction for some children who need quiet and space to work effectively.
My dd is 6 has her own work station with her back to the class. She has asd and ADHD and needs the calm. My 8 year old dd has sat on a table on her own a few times as she can get distracted. I trust the teacher and my nt dd wasn't fussed.
Lots of children work better when they have the space and quiet to do so. I would give it a few weeks and then see if there is an improvement in his work.
Whenever I've visited my children's classrooms, there has always been at least one workstation set up for children who want/need to work on their own.
My own DS had one when he was at primary school. He didn't sit there all day long. It was only used for particular tasks or for when the teacher could see that he needed a bit of space from the other children.
I wish my DD could have her own space. She is ADHD/SPD and would get a lot more done and not get so overstimulated. But I would want her to be getting lots of oppotunities to socialise too.
Dd2 and ds have always had times when that's been them. They've always appreciated it.
Much better than dd1 who even in year 11 is sometimes put with someone because she can concentrate through their antics and others can't.
If he is the only one in the class with this arrangement, then he is the one who needs it most. You should be grateful this is being done for him. If there is only one isolated seat available, and he was the second worst in the class t concentrating, he wouldn't be getting this, would he?
This happened to ds1, with the same rationale.
Ds1 has now been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication. He's only been taking it for a month or so and the change at school has been immense. His teacher told me this week that ds1 has not been involved in any incidents since he started using the medication, and this is a boy who was in 'red' or 'purple' every single day before that.
Isolation does not suit ds1, he views it as a punishment, becomes extremely unhappy and tearful, and it leads to both more problematic behaviour and even less focus on his work (as rather than doing the work he spends the time trying to see what everyone else is doing, being sad/ angry about being isolated, and if he gets the chance, messing about). What does work for him is 1:1 support, but I do understand that school just cannot offer that to him- the resources simply aren't there- and that he will not go through adult life with such support and needs to learn to manage without.
Every child is different. Does your ds feel, as mine did, punished and excluded by isolation? Or does he find it helps?
My DD used to beg to be allowed to sit outside the classroom in order to be able to concentrate and get some work done. The chaos and noise in the classroom was very distracting.
The current system of sitting children in small groups round tables is distracting for everyone IMO.
He doesn't seem too worried by it and told me about it quite happily, but I can also tell from the way he talks about it that he slightly sees it as a punishment. I'm going to trust his teacher and give it a few weeks to see how he gets on.
It would depend for me how he felt about it himself.
I still bear a grudge now for the entire year, at a similar age I think, where I was made to sit on my own behind a filing cabinet - I was a talker, and finished work quickly (partly I was very bright and not being challenged - according to the ed psych and not just my own ego!). Teacher wouldn't let me back to rejoin the rest of the class and I was desperate to - and it fuelled bullying and social exclusion to ridiculous levels as the kids picked up on the idea it was OK to give me a hard time and leave me out as the Head (I found out as an adult it had come down as an edict from her - I bumped into the class teacher in question and she actually apologised for how I'd been treated and said how guilty she'd felt but that she'd been ordered to do it, first year teaching so not confident to stand up against it etc) had decreed it so.
I don't have many happy memories of primary school at all really - had a HELL of a lot of emotional baggage to work through when I went into teaching, and again when DD1 started school this year.
(Evil head was subsequently removed following an absolutely damning Ofsted report, school alumni FB page is absolutely full of testaments to her evilness as well - I was just her target at that particular period in time. Nice teacher is now the head of the same school.)
I think it is an idea tht could be used periodically if he is stopping other children working. It also gives him space to concentrate. He is missing out on discussion though.
However, there is currently a lot of emphasis on peer to peer teaching where bright children explain things to less bright children. It is one of the best ways to bring up the attainment of PP children for example. Therefore, for a very bright child who is quick, it can be utterly counter-productive.
In your position, I would see how it goes, but I would ask the teacher if he is there all day or just for work topics. Lots of work is set in pairs or threes where I am a Governor, so ask the teacher what she is doing to integrate him back into that type of work set-up. It is not right that he is on his own for the whole term or even for every lesson. He may now be seen as "different" by the other children, so ask how is the teacher tackling that? She has actually excluded him from discussion with his peers. Has he been given behaviour targets? When can he re-integrate? What does he have to do?
You must be honest though - if he is a pain in backside then accept that there has to be a solution to let the other children work in peace but it oes not have to be draconian.
I spoke to DS about this again yesterday after school and he said he actually asked to have the table on his own. There is another boy on a single table at the other side of the classroom, also requested. I feel better about it now as DS was very clear he thinks it is a good thing to help him concentrate, as he is well aware he has an issue with this! He won't be on his own all day anyway because they mix classes for English and maths, so this is only for 'home class' time. I'm still going to check in with his teacher in a couple of weeks to see how it's going. Thanks for all your comments.
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