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Depressing parent:teacher meeting in year 1 LONG POST SORRY

(22 Posts)
clare21 Fri 09-Oct-09 15:02:54

I met my 5 year old DD's teacher yesterday for first parent teacher meeting of the term. She came out with a string of negative comments about DD:

never smiles, doesn't participate, is a loner
& isn't happy

I was gobsmacked, last year she adored reception & her teacher said repeatedly that she was a 'joy to teach' and very sociable.

To make matters worse DD announced to the TA this week that reading was boring & she hated it. (She finds it hard and to be frank tthe books she gets at school have pants storylines to put mildly. Her twin brother (diff class) is a fluent reader but she does think his stories are dull as they don't have so many pictures. Is DD thinking there's no point learning to read as then you get books with no pictures as a 'reward'?) TA told teacher who then gave whole class a talk about how reading can never be boring, with DD in audience with arms firmly folded - of course she knew it was aimed squarely at her.

On the up side at least teacher recognises something is wrong. I hadn't as she still skips off to school every day.

Has anyone else had this too? Please share how you are helping your child cope with Y1.

Mummy369 Fri 09-Oct-09 17:13:32

Unfortunately, my DS2 is ALWAYS complaining school is boring, not fun, why does he have to go? etc.. etc.. hmm

Have you thought about asking your DD's reception teacher to chat with Yr1 teacher and give her some insight as to what your DD enjoys in school, and what sparks her interest? My DS1 changed schools to start Yr3 and the new teacher made no allowances for new school/new friends/new environment etc..

It sounds to me like the Year 1 teacher is forgetting that your DD has only been to school for a year - and Year 1 is much harder than Reception. Expectations are different - and every child develops at different rate. Do they have another reading scheme your DD could try? My DS school use Oxford Reading Tree - has nice stories which follow a sequence and later books often repeat stories with more detail.

lalaa Sat 10-Oct-09 15:20:12

You definitely need to get the Y1 teacher to talk to the Reception teacher. Something seems to have changed here and, imo, it's down to them to work out what it is and to do something about it.

For what it's worth, I had an issue last year with my (then) Y1 child. At the second meeting to discuss it, the Yr 1 teachers had prepared by talking to the Reception teacher and to the Head, and I felt much happier by the end of that meeting.

Parmageddon Sat 10-Oct-09 21:45:53

Did she say anything positive about your dd? I think it's wrong to be so negative about a young child. If there are problems, she should already have worked out a strategy to deal with them and that should have been presented positively to you at the parent's evening. I remember an early discussion about dd1 where the teacher had already written her off as an academic failure : "your dd will have to do something practical in life". Now she's doing well!

I would carry on as you are, support your dd with lots of praise. It's just one teacher and there may be a personality clash.

katiestar Sat 10-Oct-09 23:16:48

Well it sounds more like she is concerned about the little mite rather than being negative per se. I think its quite a shock for LO smoving from R to Y1.And I absolutely agree with your DD about some reading books being boring. How silly of the teacher .A person KNOWS whether they find something boring or not .It is wrong to deny somebody their feelings.

TimothyTigerTuppennyTail Sat 10-Oct-09 23:24:51

It might sound a bit daft, but check for a physical cause.

I had problems with DS in Reception as he never participated and complained that school was boring. We found out he'd got glue ear and he was moved to the front of the class while it was being sorted so he could hear better. The improvement was amazing.

jennifersofia Sun 11-Oct-09 14:43:05

I would ask the teacher what her plan is to help encourage your dd to participate (academically) and help her to integrate (socially), and what can you do to support that? Also, what does your dd have to say? Not just about reading, but about school altogether, in class and out. Does she have any ideas of what would help?

noideawhereIamgoing Sun 11-Oct-09 15:16:58

Think it's a bit daft of the teacher to insist that reading can never be boring - she obviously hasn't read some of the dreadful reading scheme books we've had to endure.

My DD really didn't enjoy Year 1 - always wanted to go back to reception...we're finding Year 2 a lot easier.

Miggsie Sun 11-Oct-09 18:21:23

My DD started saying yr 1 was "boring". I went to the teacher and since then DD has been taken out of literacy several times to work on a "project" (extension work by another name) which she loves.

She did find transition from reception to yr1 hard

JeminTheDungeon Sun 11-Oct-09 18:26:05

I find the yr 1 teachers comments shocking tbh.
Your poor DD is 5 ffs!!

I would be really upset if that was my DD- my youngest is 5 and is in yr1 now- would be stunned that a professional could talk like that about a child, have never experienced it.

Have had to complain about how a teacher spoke to my eldest child though, but totally different situation.

JeminTheDungeon Sun 11-Oct-09 18:26:37

Agree some of the reading books are dull tho....

smee Sun 11-Oct-09 20:45:06

But isn't the point that the reading books are dull because the children are only just learning to read and there's not a lot they can manage at that age other than: 'Daddy is reading a book' or the other dull stuff books bring home. Trouble is, if she switches off she'll never get past those books, so it's a vicious circle. I think lots of children say 'boring' when they mean 'it's hard' and can't admit it. DS did a lot of that, but his teacher's been brilliant at making it fun, really rewarding effort and making the children feel good about any achievement no matter how small. Obviously it might not be that, but it definitely has to be up to the teacher to find a way through as they're in the class and you're not. Hope you get there soon. Your poor DD.

noideawhereIamgoing Sun 11-Oct-09 21:00:16

I think where dcs find reading hard/boring you really have to link into their interests - allow them to enjoy the pictures...my dd would read anything with fairies but some of the non fiction texts left her completely cold, especially when she was struggling with the early stages of reading.

benandoli Sun 11-Oct-09 21:10:02

I have a boy in year 3 and another in reception. The one in rec loves school and the elder one endures it. He keeps saying to his younger brother you like it now when its all play but dont be fooled you wont like it when you get to year 1 and have to do maths! I am a primary school teacher and a senco and i see kids all the time who endure school. School is hard and pressured horrible to think we are depressing kids so young!

noideawhereIamgoing Sun 11-Oct-09 21:19:33

Was reflecting on this today...when I went to primary we had no uniform, no talk of standards, no reading schemes, no free readers, no Sats, no pressure....
My dd has known since Year 1 - what level/table she sits on for everything - whether she's blue, a spider, a triangle, an elephant - whatever....do they really need to know this at such a young age? It's brutal!

smee Sun 11-Oct-09 21:41:06

lordy, really noidea that's sad. My son hasn't a clue other than he's not as good at reading as some of his friends, but he's most definitely not under pressure to do better than he is - any pressure is peer related for him. fwiw I always knew where I was in class at primary because they used to sit us in ability order. Was horrendous, unfair and designed to make anyone not in the first few seats feel a failure. From what I've seen so far, seems lots better these days, though I'm no fan of SATs either.

katyamum Sun 11-Oct-09 21:52:16

Hello. The transisiotn from reception to year 1 is big. In our school they have recently chnaged the year 1 classrooms to look more like the reception ones ie. home corners, lots of junk modelling etc. I think this has helped the kids make the transition. There are still a few parents moaning about the lack of homework etc but who cares. So don't underestimate how hard she has foudn the transition. The teachers need to find a way to help her.
In the meantime with reading, I have always just held this thought that if I can find 5 mins everyday to cuddle up with my 3 kids and read on the sofa, then that makes it a really positive experience. One day she will suddenly decide to pick up a book on her own. But my eldest daughter is 7 and only just started doing this in the summer.
So your teachers need to cut her some slack and the negative comments are not at all helpful. Have a chat with last year's teacher - even just to reassure yourself.

MollieO Sun 11-Oct-09 21:55:27

Our parent/teacher battle started with boring reading schemes and quickly escalated to various issues with ds - motivation, processing, listening etc. He apparently bears no relation to the boy who was at the same school for reception. We are in the process of jumping through hoops to please his teacher although those in the know healthwise think the problem is with her not ds.

A good suggestion made to me was to send in the books that ds reads at home in the hope that the teacher will send more interesting reading material (this was when the only problem was getting him to read). That might be worth a shot with your dd.

clare21 Mon 12-Oct-09 22:10:43

Thank you very much to everyone for all of your encouragement, and thoughtful posts.

I was so incensed that I wrote a nicely worded letter to the teacher, saying that DD needs some encouragement, and praise. I also suggested she speak to the reception teacher. I also asked her not to make an example of DD again in front of the whole class. Such unnecessary humiliation. I have asked for an update pre half term.

I have to find a way of doing bedtime stories for both twins - DD who is struggling plus DS who's reading fluently. How do you cope with children of diff abilities but the same age?

I wondered about buying a beanbag, and suggesting if one child didn't want to listen to the other one's story (whether being read to, or reading to me) then they could sit on that with something they wanted to do.

Katyamum you're right, I just need to keep being upbeat about books myself, and make sure we continue reading as a family or in two-somes.

I've got an author friend who is dispatching books she wrote years ago, that WORK for people like DD, with colour illustrations, and big type. Another person has recommended Frog & Toad, which she seemed to like tonight.

thanks again

Toon Books are a great option for beginning or reluctant readers (although personally I'd skip the one about Little Lilly and the seasons). You can get them on Amazon or presumably other online booksellers.

mimsum Tue 13-Oct-09 07:55:59

noidea - and when I was at primary we had ties, straw boaters, sat in rows, end of year exams with ranking lists for each year group sent home to ALL the parents - this was a bog-standard state primary in the 70s ... seems a lot more touchy-feely now wink

noideawhereIamgoing Tue 13-Oct-09 09:48:27

Mimsum - doesn't sound bog standard at all, - was it a faith primary? I went to school in the 70's too, uniforms were just coming in when I left primary but it was all pretty optional.

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