DD (12) year 7 bad parents evening already.(41 Posts)
So DD moved to secondary school in September and has just turned 12.
She is "gifted" but has stayed in her year group during primary school and just has some extra work sheets etc.
This is mostly because we want her have a normal childhood with kids her own age and develop socially as well as mentally. As she has gotten older we have given her more choice to compete in school competitions etc if she wants to. Sometimes she does but she would rather go to after school activities or out with friends.
Anyway. Parents evening yesterday. In primary school she always had the same report. Quiet and conscientious works hard and is friendly with everyone.
This time apart from drama,French , p.e and music (either new subjects or subjects she isn't very good at) we had some pretty bad reports. She is zoning out in class ,making excuses to go to the toilet all the time , talking when she shouldn't,drawing silly pictures and scribbles on workbook,deliberately forgetting homework,muttering under her breath when other kids get the answer wrong.
The worst was maths were apparently on Wednesday she said that she didn't want to do the work as its too easy. Then when the math teacher tried to talk to her after class she told him that she was just struggling because her dad is in hospital (he isn't).
I told the school to call if there are any problems and to punish her if she broke the rules.
So I asked her about it at home she is upset. She says the work is boring and she doesn't like the teachers. She is okay in some subjects because she isn't very good at them so she would feel silly acting out in them in case they thing she is being naughty cause she can't do the work. She can do the work in other classes so it doesn't matter what she does. I told her it did matter and boredom was no excuse. She said that she didn't think I would find out about it because their were naughtier children in the class and she didn't think the teachers would notice that much.
She said she would try harder.
Then today she comes home and I check her homework book and she has tipexed a big box in it. She wouldn't say why at first. I said I would phone the school. She tells me that she had to answer 15 questions in English today. After about 10 she was bored so she drew a picture on the work book But the teacher had asked them to keep the books clean because they are the only set she has.When she noticed what DD had done she told her that she would have to give the school the money for a new one and the note was to tell me that a check would need to sent into school.
DD tipexed it because she knew I would be disappointed in her after telling me yesterday that she would behave.
I don't know what to do. It's not like she is going out and fighting but it is still bad behaviour and she knows it.what annoys me more is she doesn't even try to complete the work just decides it's to easy. If she did the work and then she was bored I wouldn't be quite as annoyed.
Shehe even said to me yesterday that a lot of the time the work they give her would take her the whole of the allotted time but because she knows the answers she can't be bothered to write them down.
She sounds seriously disengaged due to lack of stimulation. You need to make an appointment with her class teacher ASAP to work on a solution to this. She is behaving in an entirely rational way - being very bored at school is torture and unsustainable.
I disagree , Year 7 is a good time to tread water academically while adjusting to secondary school life. She was probably used to being given special treatment and perhaps leeway in terms of behaviour at primary. Now she is a small fish again, the dynamics have altered and needs to learn to get on with the basics before she can expect anything more challenging.
Firstly, send in the cheque. Defacing school property (in fact any property) is not on. She should be made to pay from her own pocket money.
Then I really think your daughter needs to see and 'get' that you agree with the school here. They you will not be supporting her through poor behaviour. Sticking up for her and supporting her is to be expected from a parent - but only when the child is making efforts herself to behave and engage with lessons.
Sounds like a case of big fish in a small pond (in primary) floundering when she is faced with many children being just as gifted as she is.
Personally, I'd be playing the "I am very, very disappointed in you" card.
I would ask the school to put her onto daily report so that you can see lesson-by-lesson every day what kind of behaviour teachers are facing and how often.
It's all too easy to dismiss the signs of disengagement with school. The consequences can be appalling.
Being patted on the head and told that drawing on books and then lying about it afterwards is "rational" can have pretty appalling consequences, too.
but equally they are hardly going to reward poor and disruptive behaviour. Maybe they do have higher expectations based on her SATS etc but she has to learn to toe the line. I've known kids whose behaviour was indulged due to their perceived ability at primary find the transition to a larger, more disciplined environment where all are equal again something of a culture shock.
Another thought, is she really bored or is she struggling with the work and doesn't want to admit it? When I was at secondary if I was struggling with a subject rather than say I needed help I'd feign a "can't be arsed" attitude, refuse to do any work and muck about. At the time I would actually prefer to get into trouble than have people think I couldn't keep up.
I suspect that there may be something in what MizLiz says - she has always found things easy, and is perhaps not coping with increased demands of secondary, so is mucking around in order to keep her 'clever' persona. What were her SATs levels? is it in general a high achieving schoo? Is she in sets or in a mixed group? If you have always been a bt 'our previous gifted girl' with her, she may be afraid to admit that she isn't quite as clever as you and she may have thought, and is acting up in order to avoid having to own up to it.
Or she could genuinely be bored.
You need to work with the school. Set up a meeting with her tutor (or whoever has an 'overal' view of her). Get a report system set up so that you see, lesson by lesson, how she is behaving. Have all poorly done work sent home or done in detention so you / her tutor can see whether it is 'too easy' or 'too hard' in reality. Decide on a behaviour management plan with the school, with appropriate rewards and sanctions both at school and at home.
I agree with Mizliz. I was considered gifted in primary school. I then went to an academically competitive secondary and discovered there were umpteen other girls just as bright as me if not brighter. Seeing as I'd never learnt to fail, I just shut off and acted pretty much the same as your DD. It was easier to fail through lack of effort than to not be the best with effort.
Or she could just be bored. Either way, it's timefor a meeting with the school.
She has already been told that she is paying for the book. She was not happy because she has nearly saved enough for some game she wants. I said then maybe next time she will think before she misbehaves and that actions have consequences.
She was upset I think she thought I would just ground her or give her a timeout and it would be over in a week. She isn't used to being told off at all and it isn't going down well. (Not because I don't punish bad behaviour just because she isn't usually very naughty)
I am not sure what to do. I may ask the school about the report book that was suggested.
If she was doing the work then getting bored then I would talk to the school about it. But she isn't even trying. I think some of you are right about her being used to special treatment. Her primary school was a smaller village school and she got to choose books from the special library and getting praise from all the teachers who all knew her. Whereas in this school the teachers don't know all about her.
She is in mixed ability classes in her personal tutor group. In year 8 they set for English,maths,Welsh and science. and then for most subjects in year 9 (apart from p.e,drama,r.e,French and music) and then they are set for everything in year 10 and 11.
It is a Welsh medium secondary school (as was her primary school)
I think you are all right I will have to arrange a meeting with the school after half term.
She doesn't seem to be finding the work hard. She does her homework with ease and it always has high marks so does any work in class if she bothers to do it.
We rarely mention her being gifted in school to be honest and we don't say gifted we just say that she is good or academic if we do talk about it. Her brother is the complete opposite so we tend to go for the everyone is good at different things approach.
I'm sorry but punishment for finding the work too easy and disengaging is not going to help. She does however need to understand that acting out is not acceptable. Which I think she does understand hence her trying to hide things because you would be disappointed.
Is there any way you could set up a meeting with her head of year to strike up a deal with the teachers of the subjects she's acting out in and if she finishes the given work that she will be then given something more challenging? This might encourage her to work through the 'easy' questions or work quickly and then she'll be settled into something she can get her teeth into.
Help her understand that the new teachers will get to know her as a naughty kid and not a clever kid so she needs to prove to them that the work is being done so then they'll help her rather than dismiss her as a lost cause.
Sorry if this seems a bit bossy but I've just spent the last year working with disengaged children so there's a few things to try.
Welsh schools don't do SATs do they? So the secondary school won't have any external data from primary highlighting her as able.
If she is able, and finding the work easy, then does she want harder work? She is not going to get harder work if she pisses around and doesn't complete the work that has been set. She needs to prove to the teachers she is clever and needs harder work because at the moment she isn't giving them enough to go on. Saying 'This is easy' isn't going to win her anything. Completing it quickly and accurately and asking for something harder is the way forward. Otherwise she will just be marking time all year.
(am I the only seriously that a 12yo would have access to or know what tippex is?)
lljkk I didn't buy her any tippex, I am assuming she borrowed it as most of her friends have it and it's definitely not unusual.
Yes I will arrange a meeting with the school after half term.
Weird, Am quite sure none of DC ever heard of it. I didn't know anybody still sold it.
Yes, I don't get the appeal myself but DD has mentioned it a few times. Lots of her friends have pots of tippex from Tesco. DD says that she doesn't like it cause it smells funny.
Useless fact: just as the career of Gram Parsons (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, amazing albums with the young Emmylou Harris) was underwritten by his father's invention of pasteurised fresh orange juice, the proceeds from which kept Gram in guitar strings, sharp suits and enough heroin to frighten Keith Richards, the early career of Michael Nesmith, of the Monkees, was funded by his mother's invention of Liquid Paper correction fluid.
Tippex is highly prized among teenagers. They use it to write their names on things.
OP- what sort of gifted is she? In what areas and to what extent?
I think she's discovered she's nowhere near as gifted as she's been led to believe and it's a bit of a shock. Did she go to secondary thinking she was going to be a year ahead of everyone else ability-wise and has realised she's not even top of her class? I don't see why you'd have ever considered moving her up a year when there are multiple subjects she's not good at.
If she is especially gifted in individual subjects, you need to talk to the teachers of those subjects about special work. That's ESPECIALLY gifted. Not "slightly above average" or even "in the top five in the class". And she needs to appreciate that this is a show not tell process. If she doesn't write down the answers to questions it will be assumed she couldn't do them. Forever. Not just at school.
Regardless, she needs to appreciate she can't damage school property when she is bored and that she will pay for all damage she causes. Surely she has a rough book she can draw in?
I'm afraid she missed a chance with the maths teacher. If she'd said "I already knew everything we did today and figured out the answers to the questions in my head in five minutes" and demonstrated that she could, he'd probably have been all over her (in a good way).
She will be bored for the first 6 months to a year, so will a lot of other children.
The maths she is doing now will be easy, but she needs to do it as a basis for more work and for her exams.
She needs to learn to cope with that boredom.
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