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Don't like my daughter's reception teacher - am I overreacting or are they all like this?

(21 Posts)
blueflowers Wed 24-Sep-08 21:39:37

My dd started reception 2 weeks ago, and her teacher is so 'wishy-washy'. Before starting we had a meeting with her where we asked what kind of things the kids would be doing, and she just looked at us blankly and couldn't come up with an answer.

Then my dd comes home and tells me that no-one plays with her which just makes me so sad sad(v. frustrating as you can't do anything). She is really friendly and loves to play but only on a 1-2-1 basis, she goes off if someone else joins the group, but I thought that in reception they were supposed to help children with social stuff. Her teacher and assistant don't seem very pro-active. I told her to tell an adult if she was in the playground and couldn't find a friend to play with and that they would help her find someone. She did tell an adult who just said 'go and find one then.'! She couldn't tell her TA or teacher as they weren't in the playground at the time. Am seriously thinking of changing schools.
My dd does seem to be okay at school, but I think she could do better somewhere else, or are they all like this in reception?

SqueakyPop Wed 24-Sep-08 21:42:13

Does your daughter's teacher have anything to do with lunchtimes? I think that state school teachers have an objection to working over lunch? It may not be her to blame.

FAQ Wed 24-Sep-08 21:46:12

are you 100% sure she's not playing with anyone.

DS1 used to come home from school and tell me he hadn't played with anyone at break/lunchtime.

However, to get to town I walk straight past the plaground and I sometimes used to walk past during breaks 99.99% of the time he was happily playing - but he would still tell me he hadn't played with anyone when he got home!

FanjolinaJolly Wed 24-Sep-08 21:52:14

Do they have a buddy system?At ds school (State primary)they have a buddy system where an older child loks after the newbies for the first few weeks til they get used to their classmates and form friendships.They also segregate the little uns from the main playground for the first term or so so its not so scary.

FAQ may be right.DS always says he "Can't remember" what he did at school and other confabulations!Also,its still early days.Could you make an appointment to see her teacher formally if you are worried?

pagwatch Wed 24-Sep-08 21:53:06

they do that don't they angry

DD constantly tells me she is on her own. When I asked her reception teacher she just fell about laughing. And when i was at school first thing or for pick up she would be right in the middle of a whole gang of girls giggling .

They are mean and do it too torment us. My DD looks like Puss from Shrek when she tells me this stuff.

<< pag wonders whether to admit she buys it every time and spends hours on the sofa cuddling DD and giving her hot chocolate and biccies to cheer her up>>

pooka Wed 24-Sep-08 21:53:16

Hmmm. Well the teachers at our school all take it in turns to be in the playground at lunch, so there is no guarantee that dd's teacher will be out, but there are always midday supervisors and some teachers around.

The response of whoever she spoke to about going and finding someone, is not particularly helpful, is it? DD in reception (and a bit this year when she feels a bit overwhelmed) spends some lunches walking around the playground holding the supervisor/teacher/TA's hand. And having a nice chatty conversation. But whenever I have been concerned about her at lunch (she does occasionally say she has noone to play with), the TA or teacher I have spoken to has said that they would make sure to keep an eye out.

I do think that 2 weeks in is not long enough a time to decide that the school is unacceptable. Particularly without chatting to someone in the know beforehand. Perhaps tomorrow you could ask to speak to the teacher, or just mention it in the line-up. It is so hard when they start school - I found it really difficult not knowing what dd was doing and what was happening (and found that I got really quite strange reports back from her!).

SlartyBartFast Wed 24-Sep-08 21:55:40

is there any chance you can go and help? just an hour a week or fortnight, then you can see for yoruself.

pooka Wed 24-Sep-08 21:57:30

Was going to say that she has also slipped up occasionally when she says something like: "X and I were playing picking daisies and then Y joined in but blah blah". To whch I reply "I thought you didn't play with anyone today, you said you were all alone at lunch".

Cue shifty looking dd. Caught out.

Emily3030 Wed 24-Sep-08 21:58:58

If she couldn't come up with an answer, what actually did she say? I think any teacher should know the basics of what they need to cover that year, especially reception year. Is she very young, perhaps a bit nervous? Maybe you could ask for another meeting just you and her and repeat the question, this time she should be prepared!

AbbeyA Wed 24-Sep-08 22:15:54

If she seems OK at school then I wouldn't think of changing-you need to give her time.

ladylush Wed 24-Sep-08 23:41:53

I thought Reception was based mostly on learning through play. From what I can gather, there seems to be different play tasks each day in my ds's classroom and a strong emphasis on reading. Parents were all given a guide to the syllabus but it is not especially specific. This didn't concern me too much because he is a young 4 yr old and will only just be 5 when he starts Year 1. Obviously social integration and development is important too but as all the pupils are new to the school the teachers are probably allowing time for the kids to find their own place. However, I do think the comment made to your dd was very unhelpful and unsupportive. I think it's too early to take her out of the school though. Maybe ask to see the teacher and discuss your concerns.

cory Thu 25-Sep-08 09:48:56

I wouldn't expect a TA or a teacher to be taking playground duty; that's usually done by dinner ladies. And they have limited training; some of them are naturally wonderful, but if they are not then they don't have years of training to make up for it.

If finding somebody to play is an ongoing concern, I would contact the school and ask if they could introduce a buddy stop: a bench or sign that you go to if you are alone, so that other children can see that you are looking for a playmate.

But if your dd won't play if a third person joins the group, then it is going to be hard for anyone to help her- they can't forbid some poor other child to join in, can they? If the playground supervisor tries to get her to join a group and she won't, then what should they do? There may not be a single child around in the playground at that time that your dd actually wants to play with. If she is very picky, that can make finding a buddy Mission Impossible.

This might be the time for you to do a little work on your dd, maybe through role play.

The reply reported from the lunchtime supervisor sounds very unhelpful, but we don't quite know the background. Maybe she had tried to help her and your dd had turned the groups down?

Or then again maybe this particular dinner lady is a just a miserable so-and-so. But I wouldn't turn down a whole school because one person, and that a class teacher, has made an unhelpful comment. There is no guarantee that the next school would be full of wonderful people only.

AbbeyA Thu 25-Sep-08 09:56:22

I am very surprised that teachers take it in turns to be on playground duty at lunchtime pooka unless you are in private education.
In the state system they do a morning play duty and afternoon (if they have one)but staff are specially employed for lunchtime, they are often hard to find and some are better than others.

blueflowers Thu 25-Sep-08 13:52:35

Thanks for the advice. It wasn't actually lunchtime (due to the half-day settling in thing she won't even start full time till October), they spend a lot of time outdoors as part of their regular play.
Anyway, I think maybe I'm overreacting, some days she lets slip that she did play with someone, and it seems okay when they're in class together. I think the playground thing is a particular problem (bit overwhelming as both classes + KS1 are out). We have a parents evening mid-October so will discuss it then.

I know it's a bit weird the 'only 1 friend at a time' thing, but I don't know how to get her to change. I've tried convincing her that 3 is better than 2, or give suggestions for things to do but whenever someone else comes over to join her she just drifts off. I think I'll just have to leave her to it and hope she grows out of it as she seems happy enough at school.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 25-Sep-08 14:01:46

The TA's do playground duty afaik.

I am not keen on my DDs year 1 teacher but it will soon be parent's evening.......

mrsruffallo Thu 25-Sep-08 14:05:12

blueflowers- my advice would be to give it time.
I doubt she is spending all the time on her own, but even if she is it is very early days.

mrsruffallo Thu 25-Sep-08 14:08:18

Oh! Just read your last post smile
I think the one on one friendship thing is quite common with girls. They usually have a best friend don't they?

LongDroopyBoobyLady Thu 25-Sep-08 14:13:57

I think you need to give it a bit more time. I had reservations about my DDs yr1 teacher but am going into school once a week for a couple of hours to help out and have seen a different (pleasant) side to her.

AbbeyA Thu 25-Sep-08 16:40:08

Sometimes a teacher who is good with small children isn't good with adults.If she is young she may feel intimidated.

cory Thu 25-Sep-08 17:03:57

Can work the other way round too: friend of mine was delighted when her ds2 got the teacher she thought the best in the school. But she wasn't right for that particular boy. He worked much better for a later teacher whom my friend had not at all be impressed by.

pooka Thu 25-Sep-08 17:31:41

AbbeyA - am pretty certain that that is the case at dd's state school. She has mentioned teachers that she has walked around with by name is MrX, so I know that he is a Year 4 teacher for example (rather than perhaps confusing a TA for a teacher). Also she knows Mr x because he is the leader of her "family group" at school.

But then again - dd might be being massively unreliable in reporting back. grin No surprise there.

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