Too many changes at secondary...demorali
So... name change for this one.
DC is a bit demoralised this year. His entire school has changed: new head, new teachers all across the board. The old staff is just gone... poof! Like smoke. Initially, I thought this would be really exciting, but actually it's just been far too much change.
DC has lost focus but still loves his mates and does enjoy school, but he feels 'like a dog let off its lead in a really strange place.' Those were his words. He feels really left to it, like everything has become unstructured. He hasn't developed any bond with the new teachers and still struggles to keep up with their names. Another teacher left a couple of weeks ago so now he's without a maths teacher. There's a supply teacher in place.
He's a gregarious kid who has always done well being thrown into the deep end socially. Usually, he can just swim along and doesn't sink. I had no idea he's been sort of struggling and feeling this way.
We don't plan on moving him. Changing schools isn't the answer, but I don't know how to help him feel more balanced and at ease. I think he's sort of gotten into this place where he's waiting for the other shoe to drop... another teacher will leave, maybe another head will go. They always leave so abruptly too... literally, one day they're teaching, the next day they're gone.
I don't know how to help him feel secure and proud of being a pupil at this school.
What year is he? Would there have been a change anyway at the start of the year like starting GCSEs etc?
Have you got any idea whether any of the other students are feeling the same way - can you chat to other parents at all? I'm guessing with such big changes, it's likely there others struggling.
I think I might be tempted to speak to his form tutor/head of year or even the Head. If students are feeling like this, they should be aware of it and putting measures in place to help them feel a bit more secure.
That all seems a bit odd- do you know why it's happened?
Thank you for your replies. I feel very much in the dark and unsure as to why the changes took place. The Head left abruptly towards the end of last year. And then the majority of teachers left as well, some were fired, others chose to leave. The number of teachers have increased and they are a very credible, impressive bunch. But DS feels so lost in the shuffle. He's in year 8.
I would encourage him to find one good thing he likes in any or all new teacher(s). Then I would ask him to think about something positive that had happened in the subject(s). Then you can think of ways the new teacher is better than the previous. You can also discuss the reasons he feels lost/confused and ask him for suggestions on how to change that.
Sounds like the school is (or has been) in the sXXX for some reason. Heads leaving abruptly and many teachers going sends warning signals. If there was a bad OFSTED you would by now have heard about it if the Head went last year. But I would expect an inspection soon.
A good new Head and some enthusiastic staff may well turn the school around and from what you have posted, the new staff sound good. In my local area a school that was described as the worst one in town became the most popular after such a change.
But if the new head is floundering and the teachers coming in are newly qualified there could be more problems ahead. Nothing wrong with newly qualified teachers but they need support from experienced members of staff and shouldn't be left to their own devices in a school that is struggling. Keep an eye on how things are going. Do you get anything sent home from the governors of the school? They should be keeping parents informed about what is going on to some degree at least.
Hopefully this is the beginning of the school getting itself into gear and sorting out any problems left by the old regime. If that is the case, then it's just a case of getting used to the new staff and hanging on in there. If it feels like the school is going down hill, ask what is going on and then decide what you want to do.
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