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Ahhhhhh... Why do Teachers do this?(119 Posts)
Ds (Y5) is a child that is both academic and good at sports, sits on tops tables for Maths/Literacy and is in most of the school sports teams. This is not a boast by any means as despite his capabilities he struggles terribly with his self esteem, always has. He is better than he was as I've worked tirelessly at home to help him with this.
He is popular pupil, got voted for school council etc by his peers and the head promotes him as a role model for the school. Yet one comment can bring him tumbling down so fast, for example tonight he has come home very upset as his CT told him to move from the top table to another one... no explanation, just told him to sit at the other table, which ds did without question.
This is a new teacher to the school and I've had very little interaction with him, I don't take issue with ds being moved as such, there could be many reasons why he has done this but surely ds deserves an explanation as to why he's being moved.
I've now got a ds who's insisting that he must be crap at reading (he's not BTW) as why else would he be moved.. I'm tempted to go in before work and have a word or am I overreacting?
You are overreacting.
I sat on top tables at primary school and was often moved to lower tables to work with children who were less able. It's probably that.
Doesn't mean it's something personal against your DS.
Honestly I wouldn't bother the teacher, he is new and will learn more about the children as he goes (although I have no doubt he even thought it would be a problem to move for one day) and as you say there are numerous reasons he could have been asked to move. What I would do is try to work on his confidence over the next few months. He is nearly in secondary school and being so disheartened by being asked to move is not going to stand him in good stead for when he leaves Primary.
I don't like the way you've asked why 'teachers' in general do this when actually your are talking about one incident with one teacher that you don't quite understand. I would entirely play it down with your son. It might help him to see that it's not a big deal to be sitting at a different table.
Perhaps he simple found that particular task tricky? Even able children struggle to get to grips with things on occasion.
Over reacting, you can't expect the teacher to explain every request she/he makes.
You are hugely, massively overreacting. Why do 'teachers' (what, all of them? most of them?) sometimes move a pupil or change the seating plan? There could be umpteen reasons for this, none of which you should even think of querying or complaining about.
You are making a massive rod for your own back (and the backs of every single one of your ds' future teachers) if you reinforce his anxiety about things like this. Teachers will decide where pupils sit. He needs to get used to that.
Concentrate on working on your sons insecurity and show him that something tiny, like which table you sit on in school, means absolutely nothing.
Is it self esteem or actually fear of failure that is the issue?
Yet one comment can bring him tumbling down so fast
You need to work on his resilience.
Teachers move children for a wide variety of reasons.
To allow smaller group work.
To target help where it's needed.
To allow students to work in ability groups.
To focus on a particular skill with a particular group.
He's Y5. It won't be long until he is at Secondary. Time to start telling him things like this aren't that big and deal and find ways to build some much needed resilience.
You are overreacting.
Without wishing to be unpleasant, if your son melts down at a request as simple as moving tables, it's on you to help him be more resilient, not the teachers to kid-glove him.
Total over reaction - the teacher decides where they sit.
Sometimes, we (inc children) need to do things asked of us, that we may not be completely privy to all information. For example, I’ve had to move a pupil today from one seat to another, because another pupil’s parent is dying of cancer but they(not the family) do not want the children to know but this pupil is a better fit for them to sit next to than another for the time being.
It is quite common for children who are generally high flyers and not used to certain situations, to make big issues out of something as small as moving from one chair to another. As parents, it is our job to chat with our children about their feelings and help them cope with situations like this. Yes, I suppose you could ask the teacher for a reason but in the grand scheme of things, this is just ‘one of those things’ and a good experience for your son to learn resilience and confidence in his own abilities.
Teacher do a lot of things to make the day to day running of the classroom go as smoothly as possible. Some things go down well. Some things don’t. Sometimes teachers get it right. Sometimes they don’t.
I do understand it is upsetting to see your son react this way but I’m curious as to how you have handled this situation with him, so that he feels better?
You are overreacting.
I agree with teaching your son to be more resilient. It sounds like he can't cope if he's not top in everything, which is not healthy. There is always going to be someone out there who can do something better than he can in any given subject/sport/activity ... he needs to know this and understand that such is life. Without losing the plot.
seriously? I would be telling my ds there could be many reasons why he has had to move and that if it was an important reason then the teacher would have told him, then distract him with something else. If he is really traumatised you could ask the teacher yourself, but in all honesty you would be better working on your ds being a little more resilient.
I hate ability seating for this reason - it isn’t fair for the children to feel sub par if they have to sit at a different table as they may find this one particular task difficult. I am a TA and we just use mixed seating. With some choice given to the children what level of task they have a go at. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t always fool proof. You still get the odd child who point blank refuses to do any work or takes the easier task just because. But I find the children feel less inferior.
I think it’s important you tell your DC that his worth isn’t based on his grades at school. He is much more as a person and has redeeming qualities otherwise. for you, it can be difficult when a child has low self esteem.
Kitty I have basically explained that there could be many reasons as to who the CT moved him. We've talked about how successful he is in all that he does both in/out of school.
As I said in my original post ds has made huge progress with his self esteem, and continues to do so.
I will disagree in that I firmly believe that everyone (including children) deserve a explanation. It would have taken very little time to do this. In my experience people generally cope better with a new situation when they understand the reasons behind this. I am responsible for a staff of over 400, and despite the pressure that goes with my job, I wouldn't give orders without an explanation, to me this is basic respect from one person to another.
This is the exact reason why I avoid ability grouping at all costs.
A few years ago, I asked children to discuss and celebrate their own progress. One child said that she was proud of herself because she'd moved from Tiger Table to Penguin Table (or something like that), and I felt like I'd really let them down.
There's no way around it, children always know which 'set' they're in. It creates perceived ceilings and is incredibly disheartening to those who move tables, or are permanently 'stuck' on the lowest table.
Now, I have no ability groupings and move children around constantly so that they can both experience being a tutor to their peers, and benefit from the coaching of others.
Anecdotally, the self esteem of my students has risen markedly, children no longer have limits on their perceptions of their own achievements and I make no assumptions on what children can and cannot access (I admit, I was guilty of this in the past).
Back to you, OP. I agree with PP, in that your son needs to develop his resilience. His location in the room will not affect his learning outcomes. It is likely that the teacher moved him so that he can act as a coach for peers. If that is not the reason, he needs to understand that if he listens well and works hard, he will learn lots and make great progress, which is the actual purpose of going to school.
Does your son genuinely believe he has suddenly become "crap at reading?" because he moved tables? If so that indicates that he views the children not on the top table as crap at reading and you might need to work on that attitude. Have you asked him how he thinks children who will never be on the top table or good at sports feel? It might do him good to think about that.
FGS. He was asked to sit somewhere else. Imagine if the teacher had to explain every instruction. "The reason I want you to sit there....the reason I want you to take a blue reader...the reason you have a different worksheet"
Nobody would learn a thing.
Instead of making it a big thing and discussing all his achievements maybe a "never mind. It's not important" would be more appropriate.
We've talked about how successful he is in all that he does both in/out of school
By doing this you are putting pressure on him. I say this as a child who was valued for being 'successful'. It becomes an identity you have to live up to, so it causes anxiety.
Teachers in primary tend not to give reasons for moving between ability groups, as they don’t want to emphasise that they are ability groups iyswim.