This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
When you disagree with the teacher regarding ability(13 Posts)
How do you address this? especially if you feel your child is underachieving? Thanks
Talk to the teacher? Explain what you're seeing out of school and your concerns and take it from there
How old is the child? If still fairly new to the school then I'd leave things a while to settle still. If later on then presumably other teachers have achieved more with your Dec and you can show the teacher some previous work samples to show ability.
Also, if the difference is dramatic eg you think Dc is a genius and teacher puts them in the bottom group then you really need to work together to unpick what's going so badly wrong,
But anyway, arrange a meeting with the teacher and be open minded, be prepared to be told that your dc has some gaps that need addressing before they can move on.
It depends on what you're thinking.
If it's "he's not in the top group", then it may be that there just are children that are better in that form. Doesn't necessarily mean he's worse than you though, simply others are better. For example I used to help when dd1 was in year 1. I often took group 1 and 2 (separately) for a maths exercise, then took group 1 from the parallel form. The group 1 from the parallel group was nowhere near as good as group 2, in fact I think there was only one child that would have stood a chance of being in group 2.
It may be that you have overestimated how good something was. I've remember a parent telling me she was going to complain about the health visitor who had made a look at the 2 year check. HV asked if child said 20 words (minimum for intervention). Parent responded with "I think they must be a genius. I counted yesterday and they have 120".
It can be that the child is not producing at school in a classroom environment what they produce at home 1-2-1 with you. That is perfectly normal, in fact more common than otherwise. Think about it-even for me I can produce much better and quicker when I'm on my own at home than when surrounded by demands at work.
It may be that the teacher knows they can do it, but feels they need the confidence boost of repeating easier work.
Or that they are not ready for the next stage.
Or they're still assessing them and they'll move on very quickly.
Teachers do sometimes get it wrong, but in many years as a parent I have very rarely (once I think) heard a parent complaining the teacher was overestimating their child. You would expect them to get it wrong both ways fairly equally.
And in cases where I have known enough about the child to comment, the parent has always been overestimating the child's ability
I think you need to give more detail about what you mean by this. It's this to do with seating/setting arrangements, homework, levels etc
Hopefully when you look at their school books, you will see neat work and rows of ticks, then it's easy to say to the teacher, look, this doesn't look like it's challenging them, can you help?
What's harder is if as a result of things being too easy, child is not bothering to engage in class. There comes a point where you have to say to the child, yes you can have more interesting work, but first you have to show the teacher what you can do.
If they're doing better at home, show them examples. We sent in some random writing DD had done and some books she was reading following the first parents' evening, they completely reassessed and actually discovered things even we didn't know she could do. Or at least it can be the basis of a discussion about why child isn't producing that quality of work at school.
Sometimes it's actually nothing to do with the child. We couldn't understand why DS was still stuck on level 5-6 books at school when he was completely fluent with good understanding at twice that level at home. Politely requested they check levels, nothing. Had meeting with teacher, completely stonewalled... When he was eventually moved up we discovered school only owned 4 books at each of the next several levels, most of which DS had already read in guided reading.
I think a bit more information would help here
Teachers do sometimes get it wrong, but in many years as a parent I have very rarely (once I think) heard a parent complaining the teacher was overestimating their child. You would expect them to get it wrong both ways fairly equally. And in cases where I have known enough about the child to comment, the parent has always been overestimating the child's ability
I’m inclined to agree with this OP. And I think this is exactly why teachers can get a little defensive on the subject —still wonder if my DC is underachieving though— could you start by submitting homework you set at home so that without commenting on it directly the teacher sees that DC can perform at a higher standard?
You can spin this all to the positive.
"I KNOW Johnny can do better. How can I support him to really show what he's capable of?"
I think the child need to show evidence in class. Most children perform better at home. But if they are not showing their ability at school, they need to learn to, imo. There's nothing stopping the child to do better than expected level of work at school. Especially literacy, but for maths as well, if they are definitely working above expected levels. There should be plenty of evidence for parents to talk about with the teacher.
But if the school decide to extend the child or not, it is totally up to the teacher or school.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What effect do you think it has that the teacher is/may be underestimating your child?
DS: child gets frustrated and grumpy. Child isn't learning and hates school.
DD: child happily tootles along doing things she could do a couple of years before. Child expects to get everything right without effort. Child plays down to the level of the group they're working with to fit in better. Child enjoys school but isn't learning.
catkind, my ds sounds exactly like your dd. But I have to rate that he really loves school.