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Am I being soft?

(25 Posts)
Verbena37 Thu 06-Oct-16 20:54:57

Please tell me whether reading a comment like this in your new to year 7 child's maths book would annoy you. He has high functioning ASD.

"Your work Level this last week has been a bit disappointing Verbena's DS.
Not to be repeated please."

How does that a) motivate a child who actually is really good at maths and likes it and b) explain to the child/ parent reading the workbook, how to improve. Do they mean he was chatting too much, that he hasn't done enough etc?

Am I being too soft?

Verbena37 Thu 06-Oct-16 20:56:20

Oh and c) why didn't she ask him in person and explain to him the problem she has with his work rather than blooming writing it the book.

BusyNothings Thu 06-Oct-16 20:58:20

I think I would translate that as the amount of work completed? But still not what I would call appropriate, does your ds have a form or personal tutor? Maybe ask them?

Celticlassie Thu 06-Oct-16 21:01:38

She had probably told him to his face already, if it was his workrate that was an issue. I know I've sometimes reinforced a (number of) verbal instructions with a written instruction in a workbook, but in the knowledge that the pupil knows in what way their work rate has not been good enough.

Roseformeplease Thu 06-Oct-16 21:05:55

We speak to kids, and write it down too. Sometime what I write is to remind me what to discuss.

Does he have clear targets? Does HE know what the issue is? That is far more important.

yeOldeTrout Thu 06-Oct-16 21:13:29

She's saying that she KNOWS he can do better.

She's saying that she Believes in him and his ability, that is why she's asked for better. She wants him to aspire to do his best.

I don't think that's outrageous, or that it was rudely said.

Verbena37 Thu 06-Oct-16 21:43:43

I've just asked him and he had read it but she didn't mention it to him in class. He doesn't know what it means.
If she had put something like 'a bit too much chatting this week DS' then at least it would have been more clear.
To me, I read it and thought she was disappointed in the amount of work he had achieved. How, after three weeks, when she probably doesn't even know which child owns the book, can she know how he usually works?
Oh well, I'll ignore it.

Natalieevans79 Thu 06-Oct-16 21:55:48

I would be worried about the fact he's not working in class so that teacher needs to reinforce that with written note. I take work level to mean work produced in class and meaning he's distracted. Teacher of year 7 here. I agree wording is a little unclear

Verbena37 Thu 06-Oct-16 23:17:01

But looking at his work from this week, he has mostly ticks and has completed everything except about 3 or 4 sums.
Very odd.

Natalieevans79 Fri 07-Oct-16 05:47:08

Can you write a note in his planner querying comment and ask him to show teacher in class? She can respond that way

Sarah7510 Fri 07-Oct-16 06:06:18

She will know what child owns each book. She's a professional. What are we - third or fourth week into term? Don't insult her professionalism about knowing names.

DoctorDonnaNoble Fri 07-Oct-16 06:12:47

You may see what's in his book but what about what's missing? Particularly if work rate is in question. If he doesn't understand there is a simple solution. Ask the teacher.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 07-Oct-16 08:56:21

Just ask her?

She probably writes hundreds of comments every day. If she's not been quite clear enough on this one, cut her some slack. Maybe it was midnight and she wasn't quite as coherent as she might be.
I'd either let it go or ask her for clarification if it's bothering him. Or better still, get him to ask if he's able. But I realise his ASD might mean he needs a bit of support with that kind of conversation.

Witchend Fri 07-Oct-16 09:48:35

She's saying he hasn't worked to his ability this week. Not sure what there is to clarify there?

Longlost10 Fri 07-Oct-16 11:56:06

Oh and c) why didn't she ask him in person and explain to him the problem she has with his work rather than blooming writing it the book.

because teachers are required to produce evidence that they have said these things

PurpleDaisies Fri 07-Oct-16 12:03:38

How, after three weeks, when she probably doesn't even know which child owns the book, can she know how he usually works?

There's really no need for that. As if teachers would randomly write comments like that in their students' books.

For whatever reason, your son has underperformed. If he has no idea why, ask the teacher. I'd bet he was chatting or messing about. If he has no idea what this is about, ask the teacher. Isn't it good she wants to see him do his best?

Badbadbunny Fri 07-Oct-16 13:06:53

Yep, my son has had this too. He had a particularly unhelpful History teacher in year 7 who'd often put that kind of comment in his exercise book, and no, didn't actually tell him what was wrong or how to improve. As my son was very shy, he wouldn't go up and ask the teacher to explain. When we mentioned it to the teacher, he passed the blame to my son for not asking! In the end he got a very low mark in the end of year test. As it turns out, it became clear that the teacher wasn't very good at actually explaining what he wanted in the first place and was very woolly in his requirements.

The following year, he got a more helpful teacher who actually explained the topic properly and was clear as to what work was required and then making proper comments in the book, as to how to improve, and he got over 90% in the end of year test!!

Just marking something as wrong or making unhelpful comments isn't doing the child any good.

mummytime Fri 07-Oct-16 13:23:46

At my DC's school they have 3 Maths lessons a week. Maths and English teachers get to know their students pretty fast - they also have access to their SAT scores etc.
(So 3 weeks is like 9 weeks of Biology or even for a friend who taught Drama on a 2 week timetable, 18 weeks).

DoctorDonnaNoble Sat 08-Oct-16 05:51:19

I already know which of my year 7s aren't working as hard as they can (which is just as well as we've just had Year 7 monitoring). It is important to ask the teacher if help is needed to understand what is written. Shy or not. There should be several ways to achieve this. I understand that some students don't want to ask in front of others and encourage them to ask 'individual' questions outside class anyway. Which is why I tell them repeatedly in the first weeks where my office is and what my email is.

eyebrowsonfleek Sat 08-Oct-16 13:13:34

I'm not a teacher but I suspect that comments in books are something that looks good for OSTED ?

Verbena37 Sun 09-Oct-16 12:39:42

shy or not.
It's not just a case ignore being shy.
He has ASD....he is an extreme introvert and won't ask but also, won't necessarily know that he is supposed to ask!
My main point was that I thought teachers were supposed to write positive ways in which they can improve. Her comments say nothing of which part was lacking and were negatively worded.
Something like
"Perhaps next time, see if you could do a few more sums" etc would have been more helpful. "Not to be repeated" tells him nothing if she hasn't said what isn't to be repeated.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 09-Oct-16 13:36:58

Not every piece of secondary work gets 'deep marked' at the start of term I go over (several times) what they need to do if they don't understand something. I'm still reminding my year 7s. I give a variety of ways to contact me. I have several ASD students in every year group. It's important they get to know how to cope with secondary. If it's a struggle then I would speak to the SENCO. We don't tend to write a huge amount on most pieces of work as it just doesn't get read.

lljkk Sun 09-Oct-16 17:33:11

I didn't realise teachers had to be masters of spin.

Badbadbunny Tue 11-Oct-16 08:42:14

We don't tend to write a huge amount on most pieces of work as it just doesn't get read.

Some kids/parents may not read it, but lots do!

Making vague comments (or giving a poor mark without comments) doesn't help the kids or their parents. As a parent, I want to know what's going on, week by week - we look in our son's books at least weekly. Waiting until parent's evening half way through the year to find out any problems or shortcomings means several months of potential improvement have been lost.

Luckily, most of my son's teachers have been good with marking and have made constructive comments in his books, so both my son and us as parents know of any shortcomings, so we can help him at home to overcome them, which has been successful.

mnistooaddictive Thu 13-Oct-16 06:17:17

"My main point was that I thought teachers were supposed to write positive ways in which they can improve. Her comments say nothing of which part was lacking and were negatively worded.
Something like
"Perhaps next time, see if you could do a few more sums" etc would have been more helpful. "Not to be repeated" tells him nothing if she hasn't said what isn't to be repeated."

You need to accept he is now at secondary school where teachers are much blunter. He hasn't done enough work and she is telling him that. She may not know if it is because he is chatting or just daydreaming but is telling him to improve. You need to stop defending him and tell him to sort it out.
Why doesn't she tell him- because she teaches 300 students a week and doesn't have time to speak to every child individually about their work. If she did that it would take the entire lesson to feedback individually and no learning would be going on. She won't remember between markingvthe book and the next lesson, did I mention the 300 students every week?
My Alevels students and year 11 get that level of detail but I don't have time or memory to do this for everyone. That's what marking is for anyway.
(Written as a maths teacher and the mother of a child with ASD).

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