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crappy teachers

(40 Posts)
jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 12:18:56

last year my ds was in class 2(aged 6) and was really struggling with reading, so i was dragged in to class after school one afternoon, and the teacher told me i had to spend more time at home with him reading and
basically teach him to read ? i also have a 3 year old dd and at the time heavily pregnant ( im not a teacher for a start and to be honest i dont know how to teach a child to read properly) surely that is why you send them to school.but when i asked the teacher wheather they read with the children she said no because they didnt have time .he is now in class 3 and turning 7 in a couple of months and still can't read
has anyone got any suggestions on what i should do ?

TheApprentice Thu 17-Sep-09 12:22:39

Hi I'm a teacher. I hope not a crappy one. shock.

It is the school's job to teach your child to read (by teaching phonics and other skills) but it is definitely your job to practise reading with your child - teachers do not have time to read with each child individually each day unfortunately, and young children really need to practise daily.

Why don't you approach the new teacher and ask about activities and approaches you could use at home to help your ds?

cory Thu 17-Sep-09 12:28:58

there seems to be a lack of communication here, which makes it difficult to know how much of a failure it is that this particular child cannot read at 6

children develop at different paces and he may simply not have been ready

then again, blaming you doesn't seem very productive

I would make an appointment to see the teacher, explain that you are concerned about him getting left behind and ask what the school is doing to address the problem:

has he got an IEP (individual education plan?)

what are his targets for this term?

how are they going to help him meet them?

do they stream for ability and is he in the appropriate set?

do they have any hints on how you should encourage him at home to make sure the school and you are supporting each other?

btw asking you to read with him at home is not the same as expecting you to teach him to read; it's more like homework- reinforcing what he has learned at school. Getting used to reading in a home environment is central to his learning, so from that point of view the teacher is right. He's not going to learn much if he is left to think that reading is just something you do at school, not something people do in real life.

OrmIrian Thu 17-Sep-09 12:30:13

Ummmm let's think...

Hey, I know! Perhaps you could listen to him read grin Am not being facetious honestly but it isn't difficult when you get started. Approach the teacher and ask her what methods they use and see if she can give you some guidelines on how to approach this. Our school gave all reception parents a workshop on phonics when DS#2 was starting. I already had 2 and was amazed at how much the workshop taught me.

BTW the teachers aren't crappy.

Of course the teachers are there to teach him, but schools have to be able to rely on the parents for back-up and support.

ZZZenAgain Thu 17-Sep-09 12:30:43

he reads slowly and painstakingly or he cannot read full-stop?

Is he getting books to take home and read to you? If he is really struggling, I would try just a little bit at a time. He will build up stamina with time and with practice he will come to recognise more and more words by sight. They do need to practice though.

Yes, I think too you should ask the new teacher for advice. There is also an (American) website he might like. I can't offhand remember the name now, might be starlight? Something like that. Perhaps someone else will know. There are little online stories and videos with read along texts etc

mummyloveslucy Thu 17-Sep-09 12:32:42

A family I know have the same idea that it's the schools job to teach the children to read. They have never read to their daughter who is now 10 and still can't read. sad

Runoutofideas Thu 17-Sep-09 12:36:29

The website is My daughter loves it.

prettybird Thu 17-Sep-09 12:37:00

Our Parent Council (esentially the Scottish equivalent of a PTA) is currently producing a "reading homework" DVD to show parents how they can support children in their reading "homework". The "script" or more accuratley outline was produced in conjunction with the school.

Various parents volunteered to "show" how it is done and it was filmed at one of the parent's homes. Dh did it with ds, to show that dads can do it too! grin

Once it is completed (voiceover etc) the DVDs will be given out to all families at the school.

Then we start work on a "numbers homework" DVD.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 17-Sep-09 12:37:09

Are you in England,OP?
You do need to be listening to your child read at home, but the school should be giving you some guidance and support about reinforcing the methods they use at school. Most schools now are using a phonics-based approach to reading (or should be) and that can be a bit of a learning curve for parents who learnt to read by other methods.
I agree 100% with Cory about going into school and having a constructive discussion about his targets and how you can work together to meet them.
The school has a responsibility to teach him to read, but you need to do your part too.
The website ZZZen is referring to is called Starfall, btw. I think a lot of parents and children find it helpful.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 17-Sep-09 12:37:49

Prettybird, that's a fantastic idea.

ZZZenAgain Thu 17-Sep-09 12:38:14

Thanks yes starfall is it. Long time ago now, couldn't remember. See if he'd find it too babyish.

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 12:52:55

don t get me wrong i do read with him and i listen to him when he try's to read. and he must have a good 100 to 200 books in his room. its not that we dont do it. its that i would like a bit more help from the teachers with this because like i said i dont know how to teach .but if i teach him something wrong isnt that counter productive for him.
yes we are in england and the new teacher has said she is going to put him on some sort of reading plan but thats all i've been told so far but they also told me that when he was in class 2 and that took them nearly 3 months to get that started

ZZZenAgain Thu 17-Sep-09 12:58:30

If he has grasped the phonics so basically knows how to read, he just needs practice reading something he finds half-way interesting. Maybe you could listen to him read less but more often? So two lines x 3 day if you can manage it. I know it's a pain with other dc to look after. Then build it up to a half page at one go, a page, a chapter.

It might be worthwhile getting his eyes checked just in case.

Hulababy Thu 17-Sep-09 13:01:08

Go and speak to the class teacher and ask for support in how you can help your child together.

The school I work in holds information sessions at school about phonics and how parents can help their child read.

Your child ideally needs to be reading his book every day at this stage. In reality he is only going to be heard read at school once or twice a week, and normally as part of a group in guided reading. Therefoore IMO you also need to be sitting wih him reading as much as possible - TBH I would say it should be daily wherever you can. It only has to be 5 minutes.

Get him to point to the words in the book as he reads. For simple VC/CVC words (on, it, cat, dog,etc) get himt o sound out each letter sound and say them faster together until he hears to the word. If necessary you say it with him and see if her can blend the sounds to make the word. With trickier words in the text look at the initial letter sound and the picture clues to identify the word. And with words like to/go/the etc. tell him the word and have him repeat it. Repoeat the sentence/words back to him after his attempt so he can see it makes sense.

I would expect any child unable to read at this age to be having additional support in class, normally through TA times and this ought to be happening at least 3 times a week, for 10-15mins at a time. One to one reading support can be a huge help.

As his mum you really need to push school to help you and to help your child. Things are more likely to be remembered and get done if you actively go in and remind them.

How is he with his phonics work BTW? Does he know his letter sounds?

libertybod Thu 17-Sep-09 13:05:21

I had exactly this problem with my eldest DS now 11. I ended up teaching him to read myself over the summer holidays between year2 and 3 using old school methods as that was the way I was taught. The primary school he went to has really good ofsted reports and so many parents rave about what a lovely village school it is. I found the teachers all very optimistic at the beginning of new school years but by the end of the first term had given up DS and let him slip even more behind. He now at 11 can read very well but his spelling and writing are awful. Having other children limits the time I can devote to teaching him basic reading writing skills I presumed this was the point of going to school. When he started school I thought my job was to back up what he was being taught during the day BIG mistake the teachers seemed to cope very well with the children who didn't need much 'teaching' but the children who needed a bit more effort were left to be taught at home. My dd has just started at the same primary school, I am teaching her everything she should be learning at school at home, I wish I had the confidence to completely home ed all 4 children but worry the social aspect of school would be missed. But that is the only benefit I can see for her going to school, it certainly isn't for the brilliant teaching. I've now come across several parents who have had similar problems with the school but are too embarrassed to voice it as we all presume it's just our child. I've not been much help to you but just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Teaching dd after school is having +ve effects on my 2yr ds I try to involve him and hope that by the time he starts at the school he'll know the basics and won't need to rely on being taught at school hmm

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 13:13:06

he knows most of letter sounds a little bit iffy with blending letter sounds and he can do some of the basic words lke cat ,dog it is .but the books they were sending him home with were just too far ahead for him. and because he couldnt read them it would just upset him and then refuse to even now its a chore in itself getting him to even look at the books. and hes not a stupid kid either he's quite bright just the reading which is our problem. but i think i will make an appointment with his teacher.

seeker Thu 17-Sep-09 13:17:33

I think it's a good idea to think of it as like learning to drive. You have driving lessons, but it's really important to practice in between times. The reading they do in class is the driving lesson, listening to them read and reading to them and with them at home is the practice you did sitting next to your grand dad driving round Thornton Cemetery (or was that just me?)

Just a tip - your thread title was guaranteed to get lots of backs up, teachers and non-teachers alike.

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 13:23:07

thanks for that liberybod, i was starting to think perhaps it is me that isnt doing enough .sometimes it just might be the teachers after all . like your dc my ds goes to a very nice village school with good reports but i even heard some of the teachers admit they dont spend enough time with the kids because they are too busy filling in paperwork and ticking box's.

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 13:31:07

thanks seeker and everyone else.
i have 3 dc he is my oldest so this is all sort of new stuff for me to deal with so sometimes feel totally out of my comfort zone. and trying to make sure i get this right because if i don't its not my life i'm ballsing up is it . i am quite prepared to put in more effort i just wish his teachers would too.

toodles Thu 17-Sep-09 13:32:04

I taught my dd to read with the Explode the Code series. They have a set of books but they have recently introduced an online version.

They do have a UK distributor but I haven't got the info. on that at the moment.

I also used C-A-T = CAT by Mona McNee oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

Hope that helps.

By the way I do agree with you that not all teachers are great.

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 13:33:46

oh yes i dont mean to offend the good teachers out there either , because i know there is lots more good ones than crappy ones.

OrmIrian Thu 17-Sep-09 13:35:19

grin Have to say jelly you have been lucky not to have been savaged for that thread title! Even though we all got where you were coming from.

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 13:36:10

i shall try that aswell toodles,thanks. i will give anything a go to get him reading.

Hulababy Thu 17-Sep-09 13:38:47

TBH even good teachers find it very difficult to fit reading into the very busy curriculum, that is already exposed on them. Mostteachers know how important regular reading is and would love to do more. But they just can't fit it in. Which is why children are often only heard read at school once or twice a week and then in a group.

I agree it is not ideal.

But it is what happens, and whilst the Government expects teachers to cram more and more stuff into the school day it isn't really going to change much.

If your child is getting books that are too difficult then you must speak to the teacher and demand books from a lower band/level.

School will be (should be?) teaching your child phonics daily. This will go through all the letter sounds and the phonemes required for reading and writing. Part of these sessions will be blending sounds to make words. This is teaching to read skills.

However without very regular practise at home then progress will be slower.

jellyfingers Thu 17-Sep-09 13:42:52

me too ormirian .i just get frustrated that he cant read when he is so bright. and i bet there is a lot of parents out there that have the same problem and most of the time its not that the teacher is crap its just they have'nt got the time to teach 30 plus kids to read and write properly.

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