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Would this be a sensible or a stupid thing to do?

(61 Posts)
BertrandRussell Thu 19-Nov-15 16:35:11

DS is in year 10. Last year he had a fantastic English teacher who really enthused the class and got some fantastic work out of them. DS loved it and made excellent progress. This year, however, the teaching is very -"pedestrian"- for want of a better word (you can tell by the homework set, it's not just what DS says)- and DS is just gloomily getting on with it. He's conscientious, so is doing what he has to do and getting good marks, but he is bored and there is a lot of year left. He tells me that the others in his group feel the same. I am sorely tempted to send a tactful email to last years' teacher asking for her advice. But that would be really daft, wouldn't it? Particularly as this year's teacher is the HoD?

talkinpeace Thu 19-Nov-15 17:56:52

very daft
sadly

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Nov-15 18:09:27

Terrible idea. Professionally awkward.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 19-Nov-15 18:10:23

It wouldn't be tactful no matter how you worded it.

AtSea1979 Thu 19-Nov-15 18:12:49

Bad idea. Besides what do you think the past teacher can actually do?
It will just end up as staff room gossip.

BertrandRussell Thu 19-Nov-15 18:15:28

Yeah, I know. sad

BoboChic Thu 19-Nov-15 18:17:37

Get a tutor.

BertrandRussell Thu 19-Nov-15 18:18:42

Why on earth would I get a tutor?

BitOutOfPractice Thu 19-Nov-15 18:21:15

Bertrand I am in exactly the same position as you with DD1 who is in year 11. The teaching this year has been so dull that it has totally put her off doing English A Level and, even more devastatingly, reading for pleasure sad

I am equally non-plussed about what to do about it

So, in short, this was a totally useless post but I wanted to let you know you're not alone

BoboChic Thu 19-Nov-15 18:22:21

To keep your DS enthused and progressing.

talkinpeace Thu 19-Nov-15 18:33:45

Bertrand
all I can suggest is making it clear to him that he HAS to get a good grade in English regardless of what he wants to do later
and that non enthusing teachers are the way of the world
and to count down the days till he's rid of that one

can you guess what my school run conversation comprised today grin

TheFallenMadonna Thu 19-Nov-15 18:37:12

What advice would you be asking for?

BertrandRussell Thu 19-Nov-15 18:37:52

No-he's fine. He's conscientious and pragmatic and regards school as a means to an end anyway. And it's a good lesson to learn that it's not always bells, whistles and fireworks- sometimes it's just a bit of a plod. And she's a good teacher in terms of making sure they know what they are supposed to know. He just had such a good time last year!8

cansu Thu 19-Nov-15 18:46:28

The priority is getting the best grade possible. This will mean less time on the aspects that make the subject enjoyable. I think this is just part and parcel of year 11. Sending any emails about this would be a terrible idea. If you think your ds is not doing well then contact his teacher to discuss. If he is just saying he preferred last years teacher and enjoyed it more then that comes under the heading of tough luck.

HSMMaCM Thu 19-Nov-15 19:16:05

Don't do what I did at DD's parents evening. Told the physics teacher that DD was really enthusiastic about physics last year. He asked if he was not as inspiring as the last teacher ... awkward silence!!!

talkinpeace Thu 19-Nov-15 19:21:16

HSM grin

BitOutOfPractice Thu 19-Nov-15 19:31:41

I think your day is also at the receiving end of the new curriculum and linear style of course. So that's probably not helping.

It's depressing though, isn't it, to tell them that life is boring, get on with it because you just need to pass. I remember several brilliant and inspirational English teacher who not only helped me get great grades, they also made learning a joy and helped encourage a life long love of literature and reading that continues to this day and is the basis for so much learning

BitOutOfPractice Thu 19-Nov-15 19:32:06

Your day = your DS

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 19-Nov-15 23:14:33

My ds is in y10 too. Last year they were doing Living Texts, which embarrassingly took me until about Easter to realise it was a thing - www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/other-general-qualifications-living-texts-level-1-2-certificate-j945/ - rather than just what his school's English dept were calling the y9 curriculum, and he seemed to be really enjoying it. This year, English is his most hated subject (for some reason he likes to give me frequent rankings of his subjects). I am a bit disappointed, but there's plenty of other stuff he is enjoying, and there was never any danger of him doing English A level, so it's not a big deal.

Not a helpful post, perhaps, just letting you know you're not alone!

Two things that possibly make English feel worse this year:
If last year had been more average, this year would also seem more average, rather than bad.
They've dropped other subjects they're not so interested in, might mean English is nearer the bottom of their preferences.

Wolfie2 Thu 19-Nov-15 23:21:21

Talk to the teacher. There's no reason to go above her head.

Temporaryusername8 Fri 20-Nov-15 07:24:52

Sounds as though your DS was very lucky last year and is lucky that this year he has a thorough teacher who gives them proper feedback to progress.
I agree that any conversation should be had with the teacher herself but with low expectations of change since that will be her teaching style and it sounds as though she is putting in the effort.

BertrandRussell Fri 20-Nov-15 08:18:50

It's all right,i'm not actually going to do anything! I was just sad at seeing him glumly getting on with yet another useful, targeted, appropriate but dull homework task.

Incidentally- I wouldn't have been going over the teacher's head if I had I would have been going to a more junior member of her department. And I don't think he's lucky to have a thorough teacher who gives proper feedback to progress this year, he would be very unlucky if he didn't! I agree he was very lucky last year though.

I did remind him too that there were people in his class who didn't like last year's teacher- so maybe there are lots who do like this year's.

Temporaryusername8 Fri 20-Nov-15 10:20:34

I don't think he's lucky to have a thorough teacher who gives proper feedback to progress this year, he would be very unlucky if he didn't

In which case your DCs have been very lucky for you not to realise how lucky they are with regards that. Feedback in English for essays etc must take a lot of time especially when teaching several classes of 30+ so an English teacher who is providing good feedback regularly is hardworking and conscientious

BertrandRussell Fri 20-Nov-15 10:23:56

" an English teacher who is providing good feedback regularly is hardworking and conscientious"

Of course. Teachers are.

Autumnsky Fri 20-Nov-15 11:51:58

Part of the reason for a boring Y10 might be that they have started to prepare for GCSE. DS is in Y10 too, and is doing lots of sample paper at the school, which is not fun you can see.

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