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School Reports

(23 Posts)
TessRA Thu 22-Dec-16 13:30:33

It's not really advice I'm after but I'm just feeling a bit irritated. Both my children are at senior school and have really good school reports, they are glowing except for one thing. On both reports all the teachers comment on how they would like my children to involve themselves more in class discussion, ask more questions etc, basically be more vocal. Both my children are diligent and hard working at school, the teachers say they are 'conscientious' and 'a joy to teach'. I feel like why can't they just let them be. Any teachers here have a PoV? Or what do other mums think, am I over thinking it?

CuckooCuckooClock Thu 22-Dec-16 13:38:54

I know what you mean.
Dd's teacher says the same about her. She's just quiet. I wish the teacher didn't criticise her so. It's just her personality.

But, with my teacher hat on, we have to write something for the kids to improve on. I wouldn't take it too seriously. I write stuff like that without really thinking, usually whilst have a conversation with someone and planning what to cook for dinner at the same time. I teach around 300 kids. And I teach a core subject so less kids than other teachers. Try not to take it to heart.

Sadik Thu 22-Dec-16 13:39:11

I think maybe you're overthinking it? I suspect they're just wanting to make sure that your dc aren't missing out by not asking extension questions etc. Besides, the teachers always have to put something as a target!

Sadik Thu 22-Dec-16 13:39:46

x-post with cuckoo grin

LIZS Thu 22-Dec-16 13:43:36

Ds was the same. The more they engage the more they and other children benefit from the lesson. Confidence to speak and discuss is a useful skill.

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Dec-16 14:24:34

One thing that concerns me about silent children in the maths classroom is that if they are stuck, they won't ask for help. This can be a real problem, with children struggling on with maths questions when a swift intervention could sort it very quickly.

If I taught a subject which required discussion, then I guess it would be pretty frustrating to hear the same voices over and over again when you know that there's an intelligent student with a useful contribution that she is holding back from giving.

As an observation, it is more usually girls who need to be coaxed into talking in the classroom than boys, and I suspect this may carry into the workplace. I was a very quiet student in the classroom, and also find it quite difficult to interject in discussions in meetings.

It shouldn't just be ignored. A student who is reluctant to ask for help needs to find ways around this to ensure they can succeed. A student who struggles to contribute to class discussions because of something other than a lack of ideas perhaps needs to pick a safe lesson to practise in, or teachers to be encouraged to pick on her even if she doesn't have her hand up.

Autumnsky Thu 22-Dec-16 14:36:26

DS1 is like that, he actually quite like to talk, but he won't push himself in, I am not sure if I used the right word. However, if he is asked , he always gives good opinions, answers and is quite confident in talking in front of the others. I know this is his personalities. In his reports, some teacher did mention he is a bit quiet, it would be better if he can contribute more. I actually agree with that. I did have talks with him, tell him this is valuable skill , he should learn to speak at the right time in a group situation, make his opinions heard.

That's my opinion. Just think if he is at work, what a pity if he can't get his ideas heard in a group discussion, then decision will made without his valuable contribution.

In this year's report, a few teachers did report he has improved.

BossWitch Thu 22-Dec-16 14:41:13

Report writing rules. We have to give a target. This is usually a fairly inoffensive one!

TessRA Thu 22-Dec-16 15:43:55

Thanks for the replies. They are both boys. If they don't understand something they will ask it's just neither are very extrovert outside their own home. I probably am getting annoyed over nothing lol, maybe taking it too personally as I was so shy in class and wouldn't say boo to a goose.

clary Thu 22-Dec-16 15:51:33

YY something has to go down as a target and this may be the only thing they could come up with.

In which case, great!

It's true that some students just are very quiet, but there are others who are not confident and need encouragement to participate. As noble says, some quiet children are stuck but you don't know.

Also in some subjects (eg mine - MFL) if you don't say anything then a) I can't assess your speaking ability which is a quarter of the work and b) you won't do very well in your GCSE (because of a)

TheDayIBroke Fri 23-Dec-16 10:17:17

My DD was a very shy, quiet pupil and we were told each and every year throughout her school life that she needed to speak more in lessons. When she hit secondary, she got worse as she was so scared of putting her hand up, answering a question and getting it wrong and then being laughed at by the rest of the class and teased. The fear of the teacher randomly picking her out to answer a question ruined many lessons for her - one subject in particular she developed a dislike for as the teacher would always ask her. She said to me that if she wanted to answer a question she would, and she just wanted to be left to get on with the work.

HPFA Fri 23-Dec-16 15:15:48

People may be interested in this book:

Lots of useful advice

TessRA Fri 23-Dec-16 16:48:14

This is it TheDayIBroke, both my children are 'quietly confident' but just don't like to be very vocal in class. My younger son says he'll ask a question if he doesn't understand something but not if he understands what the lesson is about. I am gently encouraging them to talk a bit more and not worry if they get something wrong but I don't want them to feel their quiet natures are not 'good enough'.

Prettybaffled Fri 23-Dec-16 16:50:55

No help but just wanted to say you sound like a supportive caring mum so hopefully they have a strong sense that you think they are great just how they are.

lljkk Fri 23-Dec-16 17:48:54

It would be so much better if the reports had lots of criticisms and they had lousy marks, too.

ifonly4 Fri 23-Dec-16 18:14:17

Many teachers have commented on DD being quiet in class. She's certainly not quiet with her friends and has no problems performing on stage in front of a few hundred people. We've talked to her about this and she says she's actually likes listening, thinking about what's been said and doesn't feel the need to comment.

By the way, I got one job because I was quiet at an interview - they felt the other candidates were too full of themselves and wouldn't have fitted in!

Verbena37 Mon 26-Dec-16 12:10:31

We had this with both of ours at primary school yr4 and it really annoyed me.
The teacher was very much a blanket teacher in that she thought all children in her classes would and should be the same and that if they didn't put their hand up, it was a negative.

Whilst I understand it's easy for the teacher to gain a quick insight into their understanding, my sil who is a specialist maths teacher, said the teacher should have found other ways in finding out if they understood, rather than only using 'hand up' as the only measure.

noblegiraffe Mon 26-Dec-16 12:39:27

rather than only using 'hand up' as the only measure

Cold call is promoted at the moment. However you'll see upthread a quiet DC saying that this technique ruined many lessons for her.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 26-Dec-16 12:48:51

If only teachers could write honest reports then parents would truly have something to moan about.

Most schools follow the 'shit sandwich' + target method of report writing, good followed by bad followed by good, then target to improve.

Verbena37 Mon 26-Dec-16 12:56:12

Yes Noble, that was the same for my DD. She has now mostly got her confidence back but it took years for her to put her hand up again.
DS has ASD so sits there in fear of being asked anything!

leccybill Mon 26-Dec-16 12:56:22

Ignore it, op. We have to write something as a target. It's my go-to thing when everything else about the student is spot on.

I usually thank them in person on oarents evening for being quiet. The world needs quiet people too, or we'd all be shouting over each other.

longdiling Mon 26-Dec-16 12:58:14

Are you really irritated by this? Seriously? I was a shy kid and it was really good for me to be pushed out of my comfort zone and encouraged to speak up in class. I don't think my parents ever felt I was being 'criticised' when teachers raised it as an issue. It WAS an issue and that didn't detract from my other achievements. The teachers are meant to get the best out of your children.

oldbirdy Mon 26-Dec-16 12:59:00

I would be unhappy if I read a report that did not include some pointers for how my child could improve or the next steps they need to take. To me it's a summary of how they are doing and where they need to go, so areas for development are essential. Otherwise it isn't a useful document. So it looks like teachers can't win, yet again!

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