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What to say to DD's YR2 teacher (without shouting!)

(22 Posts)
hockeypuck Tue 30-Sep-08 16:48:15

DD is the very youngest in her Year 2 class. She has never had any problems at school, her Reception and Y1 teachers said she was a bit of a chatterbox, but no problem, polite, kind, very bright, friendly etc, they used to like having her in their class.

This year, her teacher has shouted at her a lot for talking, even when it is not her talking, it is other people on her table. She takes her time over her work and is very precise and neat. It seems her new teacher favours speed over good work so doesn't like how slow she is. He constantly keeps her behind at break time to finish it and is very disaproving. I had planned on raising this at parents evening next month, but now need to raise it sooner. I would prefer her to bring unfinished work home so that I can supervise it, see why it is taking her so long, and I would rather she plays with her friends while she is at school instead of being stuck in, completely on her own at 6 in an empty library with no adults around her.

Today, her teacher has constantly told her off in front of her class (this has never happened to her before), he told her off for talking when she was completely silent and said to her in front of the whole class "I'm so very disappointed in you that I am going to speak to your mummy about you at home time today". He didn't, and when I called the school he had gone home.

What do I say to him? How do I raise my concerns (this is a new problem, she hasn't done it before, surely you can see her work is neater than her peers that is why it takes her so long, that he shouldn't be talking to her in the way that he does, particularly not in front of her class etc)

How do I do this without going in and shouting, crying and ruining it all by pointing the finger of blame at him.

I am terribly temperamental at the moment, I found out on friday that my dad is dying and I can't even type this without crying, how am I going to be when I have to do it face to face?


cornsilk Tue 30-Sep-08 16:50:24

Go in and tell him that dd is unhappy and ask him to tell you how he feels she's settling this year. See what he says. Then you can bring up the her age and speed of work and see what he says.

Romy7 Tue 30-Sep-08 16:55:55

he knows she has one year before juniors. he knows she needs to speed up. he knows she needs to stop talking and listen. has she only had female teachers before?
all teachers have different approaches, but if fluffy doesn't work for him there's not a lot you can do about it tbh. can you think of a way to persuade her to speed up so she can keep up with everyone else? you don't want her left behind in yr 3. it's a bit soon to get concerned about it, but he's obviously noticed and is intent on giving her the skills to succeed later.
i wouldn't bother with the one incident today tbh - i just say 'oh dear, well, be careful' and don't get involved. discipline in the classroom is the teacher's concern, not mine. i would be surprised tbh if she was the only silent child on a table who got told off for talking, but i wouldn't dream of protesting my child's innocence if i wasn't there to witness it. it is something of a culture shock to move through infants and have your first encounter with a stricter teacher, but yr 2 is generally where it happens tbh.

Trafficcone Tue 30-Sep-08 17:09:16

So you're at school all day with your child and you know that they aren't talking??

Or are you taking a child who's a known chatterbox's word over a grown ups??

Frankly, I'd leave well alone!

JacobsPrincess Tue 30-Sep-08 17:14:16

SAT testing require content, not neatness and perfect handwriting. Teacher is trying to keep his headteacher and LEA happy.

compo Tue 30-Sep-08 17:14:48

same as trafficcone
it's unlikely he'd tell someone to be quiet if they are already silent isn't it?

Boco Tue 30-Sep-08 17:17:39

I've just come from parents evening with my year 2 dd. She's also one of the youngest. Always been very well behaved at school, but was surprised to find that she never stops talking apparently - lots of being threatened with staying in at break time too.

I think yr2 is a big leap from 1, seems to be much more intense and lots of work and sitting and listening and concentrating. They have to adjust quite quickly don't they, I can see for the teacher it's really important that the children understand that they need to concentrate and be quiet - I don't think I'd go in and shout or be cross about this, just try to get his side of it and find out what the problem is.

I totally believe the teacher when she says my dd is a chatterbox who isn't paying attention though! We've agreed to set her some goals to try and work on this, like moving to a different table, being separated from her chatterbox friend etc.

foofi Tue 30-Sep-08 17:17:57

Just clicked on this because I am a paranoid Y2 teacher!!

Seriously, I think if you are tearful at the moment it's best not to get into emotional discussions about your child with their teacher. Give it a while and see how it goes. 'Telling her off' might not be as horrible as you think and the teacher is only doing his job and trying to control 30 kids.

Romy7 Tue 30-Sep-08 17:18:45

but mummy, it was the others....
it's not fairrrr....
is she blonde and purty hp? is she practising her feminine wiles and they aren't working? it's so tough for a girl when a teacher doesn't do as he's told.

Romy7 Tue 30-Sep-08 17:19:09

i am teasing, a little grin

Saturn74 Tue 30-Sep-08 17:22:04

Keeping her in at playtime to finish work because she writes more slowly than everyone else is not fair, and will affect her self-confidence.

cornsilk Tue 30-Sep-08 17:22:53

agree humphey.

Boco Tue 30-Sep-08 17:25:24

Depends if it's because she writes more slowly or if it's because she's talking. With my dd - she's really slow, but she could do the work on time if she wasn't engrossed in conversation. Just knowing she will have to finish it in break seems to be hurrying her up.

I'm not sure i like it as a strategy, but speaking to the teacher - it must be very hard to get the children to get on with it and not hop about chatting, I can see the appeal of making them learn that if they dont' get on with it now they'll have to finish in their own time.

My dd is such a slow eater - if she takes an hour to eat her food she can't have a story. It's the only way I can get her to stop staring at the wall and playing with it!

<looks up cattle prod merchants>

cory Tue 30-Sep-08 17:26:36

I would go in very carefully tbh. Sometimes a child's version is going to differ substantially from how other people perceive the situation, not necessarily because she is lying but because she sees things differently/memories can be a bit selective/children tend to exaggerate when feeling hard done by. I have known an expression like 'shouting at me all the time' boil down to one reprimand when carefully examined.

So go in as if all you had was a vague general impression that your dd is a little unhappy and finding it difficult to settle. Don't tell the teacher how you would prefer her to do her school work- that is not for you to decide, really.

If he says something nasty about your dd or that he admits having said to her, then by all means pick up on it. Do let him know that your dd is unhappy and in need of a bit of support. But don't for goodness sake tell him how you would rather he organised his teaching day. You want a dialogue with this man!

WowOoo Tue 30-Sep-08 17:28:17

Perhaps write it down in letter for him so that you communicate your worries and don't need to face him yet. Tell him how you are willing to help at home and that you'll be talking to her about paying attention and less chat etc.

At home you can do lots to help her speed up. Get her to try to write again and again and make a little game of it and give her loads of praise, even if it's not so legible. It will all come together perfectly. Donm't worry!

Sorry about your dad.

tortoiseshell Tue 30-Sep-08 17:30:04

Y2 is a funny year I think (ds1 has just gone into Y3) - certainly in his year, they really did try to get them to do 'more' more quickly. And at the beginning of the year, the teacher and the class are still getting the measure of each other, so I wouldn't go in all guns blazing. See if your dd comes home again and is upset, and then ask for a 'quiet' meeting, and ask the teacher if there is a problem with your dd chattering and what he suggests.

Fwiw, thinking back to primary school, my Y2 teacher was called Mrs Bryan, and I remember being SO scared of her - but she was one of these teachers who is uber strict, but great if you really do well - the praise is really genuine - her phrase was 'Well done, Good For You!'. And we all REALLY wanted her to say it because it was so nice when she did. Also Mrs Blakemore in Y6, who again was strict, but genuinely pleased if you did well. I think I'd prefer that sort rather than a fluffy sort tbh.

lemonlady Tue 30-Sep-08 18:21:49

my dd same, chatty and not working as quick as others. dd is in top set for both literac and numeracy and has often had to finish off work whilst others play etc.
Teacher has said it is getting better as they are on to her and when she is daydreaming they shout her name to get her back on track. Teacher has also said she is asking to see dd work to see where she is up to and encourage her to get going again. Y2 is a big leap more work etc, getting them ready for juniors.
I would speak to teacher and see how he can encourage her rather than shout (obv need to think about how to word that). good luck

dinny Tue 30-Sep-08 18:26:46

we've had the much of the same, Hockeypuck, in Year 2, which dd has just started

she's been kept in at playtime to finish work and they get put on sad face for talking, yawning, looking down etc!!

I think it is because they are starting to have to knuckle down - when is parents' evening?

I'm so sorry about your dad x

hockeypuck Tue 30-Sep-08 21:11:38

Thanks everyone. I've had a couple of hours away from computer, in th uni library to think about it and get my head straight.

I've spoken to DD again and explained that the teacher is trying to get her used to doing things really quickly so that she can learn more in a day and asked her what she thought we could suggest to the teacher to help her along a bit. She said that if she sat with people she didn't like then she might be able to concentrate more, so she is beginning to accept that she is distracted by people, which is a start to her understanding that she is slower and can make steps to be faster.

I do accept that in my current family situation I am over-emotional and have a tendency to want to protect my children and keep them happy above all else because life pretty much sucks right now.

I will speak to her teacher tomorrow (seeing as he wants to see me apparently) but have a list of points to raise in a discussion rather than a blaming exercise. I will try and approach it in the manner of - how can you, I and DD work together to help her work faster - what can I do at home, What can you and she do in the classroom etc. I think moving seats is a good idea, she is between 2 other girls, both chatty and a bit daydreamy like herself and she has said that even when she tells them to be quiet because she has to work, they poke her and say "look at that bird", "what did you do on holiday" etc and she finds it hard to ignore them.

For those of you who have been critical. I will say only this, I do not believe everything she tells me, I know she is chatty and I know she needs to be reminded to keep at things (like your DD Boco, she is also slow with eating) but I do know my daughter and regardless of whether she is misunderstanding him and he is right or whether he is wrong, her self confidence IS being affected by this and I do not want her to start getting negative connotations about work when she has had such a positive start so far.

I would much rather he meet with me to discuss how to help her concentration, than keep her in for both breaks and lunch time today on her own and leave her to her own devices. He should not have said that he wanted to see me to the whole class, as a way of getting her to hurry up, he should have told her afterwards on her own.

However, before I raise those points, I will just try and tackle her concentration and ask for his help with that.

Thank you

Boco Tue 30-Sep-08 21:38:26

Good luck with it HockeyPuck, that all sounds very good and very reasonable. Let us know how you get on.

cory Wed 01-Oct-08 09:28:17

Good on you, Hockeypuck- sounds like you've had a really good discussion with your dd and like you're going to have a good constructive talk with the teacher.

It may be well be that he is regretting things he has said (teachers are only human), and if you go in gently it will be easier for him to climb down and change tack.

hockeypuck Wed 01-Oct-08 09:44:09

Thank you.
I have an appointment with him at half past 3 today. I have written down what I would like to discuss but would like him to lead with what he feels the problem is. Ideally, I'll leave the conversation with him agreeing to put her on her own table for a while but that he will consider disciplining her in a more constructive manner. I will leave that to him, but the way that I would like to do it is for him to give her points for doing well, which I can then convert to a prize when she has a required amount. She (like me) responds so much better to praise than sh does to criticism.

She woke up last night having had a nightmare that she couldn't do her work and he was shouting at her. I think we need to try a new tack to get back some of her confidence in her abilities and get her working faster.

Thanks for all your help everyone. I have to go out to work at 4 straight after the meeting but will post in the morning.

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