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Advice Please - think there is a personality clash between DD (4 yo) & her Reception Teacher!

(7 Posts)
fettle Mon 03-Nov-08 16:40:04

I think I am probably over-reacting, but just wanted some reassurance from anyone!

Followed DD into the classroom this morning a couple of mins after her to overhear the following:

Teach: "...It's polite to say Good Morning to someone if they say Good Morning to you. So for the 4th time, Good Morning XXXX"
XXXX: silence
Teach: "what's the matter with you?"
XXXX: "I'm tired"
teach: "I'm sure everyone is tired, but they can say Good Morning, Go and say Good Morning to Mrs TA then?"
XXXX: silence
Teach to TA: "Well Mrs TA, it is going to be quiet today if XXXX doesn't talk"
Teach to XXXX: "Go and do your jobs then"

Poor DD was obviously pretty unsettled by all this - she was just so proud going in this morning. Particularly as she was first and was putting her name on the Number 1 spot (kind of puts some confusion in their minds I think about taking turns, if the first thing they have to do each morning is put their name on a number to indicate whether they were first or last into class - particularly as they have no control over this and it is parent-dependent, but that's another issue that I disagree with this teacher about!).

I was bit flabbergasted - it was the first day back after half-term. She is only 4 and a late Spring birth, so one of the youngest in the class. None of the other children were forced to say Good Morning in the same way.

It is not the first time I've had a few concerns - we've previously had discussions about how DD is quite loud in class and doesn't let the quieter ones answer questions. She also asks too many questions and sometimes these are obvious questions, such as "what are you doing, Mrs Teach?", when Mrs Teach is sitting in her chair with a book, she's about to read to the class.

Last year, Mrs Teach thinks DD would have fitted in fine as everyone was loud and confident, but this year there are some really really quiet children, so DD has to learn to be quiet, to give the others a chance to speak up. Now I realise that DD does speak too much and I encourage that she has to learn to take turns and should learn when it is appropriate to ask questions, but having suffered as being painfully shy and quiet as a child myself. I don't want any confidence knocked from her, so that she then becomes too quiet and scared to speak up.

some of the other parents at the school think I should go straight to the Headteacher and voice my concerns, but I'd rather approach it directly, so I've made an appointment to see Mrs Teach tomorrow after school.

DD doesn't seem to worried about it at all - she's totally exhausted by school and is more defiant about certain things than I've ever seen her before, but seems happy enough to go to school each day.

I want to approach my meeting tomorrow along the lines of how we can all work together to channel DD's obvious enthusiasm for learning to everyone's advantage, without stifling her and the fact that I felt the tone used this morning was not conducive to encouraging her confidence.

What you wise ladies think? Am I over-reacting? Would you just ignore it?

thankssmile

Sycamoretree Mon 03-Nov-08 17:31:10

Didn't want to leave you unanswered - I don't have any experience of this lately as DD is only 3 and the youngest in her nursery class, but if I were in your shoes I would do exactly the same thing. I mean, it does sound like a bit of a personality clash, but also, that this teacher doesn't seem particularly flexible on her teaching methods - sounds like she was trying to bend the will of your DD with the conversation this morning - how odd. I would have thought she would realise how pointless that is with a 4 year old. By all means, encourage social politeness, but flipping heck, she did seem to labour the point.

Also, it's not your poor dd's job to temper her personality to fit a quieter class, it's up to the teacher to find ways to bring the shyer ones out of their shell. God knows, there are a million and one teaching strategies for dealing with a mix of personalities - you are right to challenge her, and if you get no satisfaction, you should see the head and maybe see about switching her class if necessary. Though obviously this as an absolute last resort.

Good luck.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Nov-08 17:35:08

You're over reacting.

Littlefish Mon 03-Nov-08 18:02:57

Sorry, but I agree with Soupy.

I also think it's rude when children don't say good morning if they are spoken to directly.

I also disagree with your second paragraph Sycamore. From what the OP has said, it sounds like she recognises that her dd can talk too much at times and is working on helping her to take turns etc. Therefore, it's the teachers job to try and encourage the OP's dd to listen and fit in with the others in the same way as she will be encouraging the others to assert themselves a little more. So yes, to a certain extent it is about the OP's dd's "job to temper her personality to fit a quieter class".

bobbysmum07 Mon 03-Nov-08 18:06:51

It's extremely rude for a child not to answer when a teacher speaks to them. Most people know this.

You will do your daughter no favours in life by seeking to excuse such behaviour. Four or not, she is at school now and must learn to respect her teacher.

cornsilkpyrotechnicqueen Mon 03-Nov-08 18:09:32

If your dd is happy and you suggest that she is, then there's absolutely nothing to worry about.

Heated Mon 03-Nov-08 18:25:18

If you dd was squirming and looking bashful this morning and the teacher's tone wasn't teasing then I would be a bit hmm. But if dd just gave her a blank look, then the teacher is in order to comment on the lack of response,imo.

I think it's rather premature to be talking about personality clashes. You, as an adult, might have a clash with the teacher & her manner, but your 4 yr old dd?? 'Personality clash' is often newspeak for teacher doesn't put up with your child's behaviour usually. Your dd doesn't sound naughty btw, just excited. A skilled teacher will channel that and draw out the others who are quieter.

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