Year seven parents evening - advice needed.(13 Posts)
DS has parents evening next Tues and I need advice on how not to blow my top at his form tutor. He had an awful time at Primary school: Seven years of bullying (which was perpetuated by a teacher) and a battle to see an Ed Psych (suspected Dyslexia). He only really had one stable best friend in all his years at primary and it was a very sad and lonely time for him.
We made the decision to take him out of our LEA to go to another High School and this has been on the whole the best decision we could have made. He has surpassed his end of year expected level already bar one subject. He has made a group of friends and seems genuinely happy to go out to school. A marked change from a child of 11 who would cry and vomit before school run every day.
The only fly in this ointment seems to be his form tutor who he also has for Art. She has singled him out for parents evening, he is the only one out of his form she has demanded to see his parents. It has really upset him even though he knows mom and dad are on his side. He asked to see said teacher today and asked her why she had done this. She's told him that she's concerned about his concentration in class and thinks putting him on report would benefit him as he would be rewarded for good behaviour.
I'm not happy about this. Firstly because reports is a disciplinary procedure. Yes, he's chatty and doesn't listen all the time (his words) and yes this is not acceptable behaviour but it is not crime of the century either. He gets frustrated if things aren't perfect workwise and equates this to he will be in trouble like at Primary school.
His other teachers (bar one) made no other comment in his school reports about his concentration or being a distraction. The other teacher who had an issue, my son has asked to be moved to a different table and this seems to have worked.
She does not seem to see if there is any correlation between his "behaviour" versus lessons he finds just a little bit challenging. I feel that he needs to be motivated in some other way and she is behaving very negatively towards my son. Any ideas on how to tackle this? I would prefer not to go to his Head of Year as I prefer to say what problems I have with anyone to their faces. Especially in schools, I think communication between teachers tends to be on a need to know basis.
I would also like to add that his old LEA didn't recognise dyslexia as a learning difficulty and so testing wasn't offered. I also believe that his difficulty in concentrating stems from his fear of being wrong therefore opening his self up to ridicule which is one of the ways he was bullied. Any advice will be appreciated.
You need to listen -really listen- to what the form tutor has to say. It may be that she is victimising your son and and you will need to calmly complain further up.
OR she may have a point about his behaviour and it will need addressing.
TBH this is more likely. Now, his behaviour might be a symptom of a difficult past but if his is falling behind the expected level of behaviour now then the issue still needs to be dealt with.
I don't know what parents evening is like at your child's school, but at mine you get a very short time and have lots of people milling around- not condusive to any kind of calm or considered conversation. I wonder if you might not be better off arranging a one to one meeting some other day when the teacher is less pressed for time and you have an opportunity to talk in more depth.
If his behaviour becomes unacceptable when he finds that the work is too challenging then this really needs to be nipped in the but in the first year before it snowballs and he is in his GCSE years.
It sounds like a low level disciplinary procedure might be the best thing for him but it is worth listening to the teacher and seeing what has already been done and see if you can suggest a reasonable way to motivate him as an alternative to try beforehand if she hasn't tried that.
Your DS is pissing about in a lesson. The teacher is correct to attempt to rectify this using the school disciplinary procedure. Work with the teacher, reinforce the expected behaviour to your DS and for god's sake don't try to make excuses for him, he admits he isn't behaving as he should.
A report card would give your DS the chance to show that he can behave as expected even if if finds the lesson challenging.
Finding things challenging isn't an excuse for messing around, if you nip this in the bud in Y7, you will save yourself grief as he goes up the school.
Your son's behaviour - implied by the teacher's comments - sounds like my son's. He has trouble concentrating and needs help to stay focused. We've been working on it with him, and school have too, but it remains work in progress.
My son has been on report a few times. Although I wish that his behaviour hadn't warranted it, I think that being on report has actually helped him for a number of reasons, and his concentration and behaviour have improved as a result.
First of all, as your son's form teacher has suggested, it gives the opportunity for him to be rewarded for being good rather than criticised/punished for being disruptive - that helps reinforce good behaviour. It's nice being praised.
Secondly, it breaks the 'behaving well all day' into bite-size chunks - he has a one-hour goal of behaving well in each lesson, and just has to concentrate on that one goal at a time. Most children are able to rationalise that themselves without the help of a report card. Some don't naturally think like that, so need to be prompted to do so.
Thirdly, at least the way they do it at our school, they set particular things that he needs to do to get ticks on the report card - so for children who need reminding of what behaving well means (and I've no idea why my boy needs reminding - we've reminded him often enough - but some people just need more reminders than others I guess) they have three particular things to work on, which can seem a bit more manageable.
Fourthly, and this is something you might want to get your son to focus on, if he's being good in most lessons but just not in the form teacher's art class, the fact that he's got lots of ticks from his other classes will help the form teacher to see that it is not a universal problem and it may help show that there is a correlation, as you say, between lessons he finds difficult and his behaviour.
So, being on report is not always a bad thing in terms of the outcome for the child, and it's good to get things back on track early on in their secondary career.
And being 'singled out' by her wanting to ensure she sees you at parents' evening may not mean that she thinks he has the worst behaviour problems in her form group, but might mean that she thinks that, unlike the 'naughty' children, he has a soluble problem and she wants to work with you to make sure home and school are working together to solve the problem and have a shared understanding of what needs to be done. She might even be wondering about dyslexia and wanting to talk to you about having him properly assessed - I find that relying on a 12yo's account of what a teacher wants/has said/meant is not always reliable.
Good luck next week. It's demoralising hearing that your child is being disruptive - the combination of feelings of guilt and wanting to defend your wean is quite hard to deal with - but don't go into it assuming that the teacher is going to be unfair or prejudiced. Of course she might be, but most teachers aren't.
I just want to say good on your son for going and asking the teacher himself. Hopefully this means a clear dialogue is possible and things will be resolved fairly quickly.
I don't think a daily report is a bad shout actually. You'll either find that his only negative marks are in art and his form period or (more likely in my experience) it will show a bit of a pattern in chatting and not being focused on other subjects too. It will allow you to see what's going on and be able to support the school in tackling it.
Hi, my DD was put on report a couple of weeks ago, for minor disruption and being chatty and lazy. Her behaviour in those 2 weeks has been perfect and it's given her just the kick she needed
Can I just add that I find that many students fund being on report a positive thing - they are getting to have a shirt personal chat at the end of every lesson about what went well, and sometimes what still needs work on. Most students find this personal attention really helpful and a good thing
Ffs typos - find, short, blah blah
If you think he has dyslexia...Discuss with teacher.. My DS was getting disruptive due to struggling in school..He now has a diagnosis of dysgraphia and is much better...However I have never excused his behaviour..Difficult or not he has no right to disrupt other peoples education..
If school won't do it and you believe he has worth paying for it yourself..I do know people who have and it has then made world of difference.
I'm not happy about this. Firstly because reports is a disciplinary procedure. Yes, he's chatty and doesn't listen all the time (his words) and yes this is not acceptable behaviour but it is not crime of the century either.
I disagree totally. A daily report will show you and staff exactly how he is in all lessons. If he is an angel, then this will prove it. If he is causing issues, this will show.
I use them as a positive with plenty of children and it works really well. Often these are kids who never cause trouble but don't ever earn merits, as it is something they can show to their parents.
I think you need to take a breather before you approach the school, it sounds as though there are minor issues with your son which they are essentially trying to nip in the bud - you won't do him any favours by stopping this. It also won't help if you let your son know you feel this way - what message would this send to him? It's likely to influence his behaviour in front of her.
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