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How do I approach this teacher? Do I?

(21 Posts)
Trampire Thu 02-Nov-17 07:45:04

My dd is in Y8.

When she started Secondary she knew no-one. I'm really proud of how she's thrown herself into school life, made friends. She enjoys school and is a really good student.

At the start of this year her year group were mixed into combined science lessons with a teacher she hadn't had before. She ended up in a group with none of her close friends but she didn't mind too much and got on with it.

However a whole term on and dd has found that she's often isolated, especially in practical lessons as she seems to always have no-one to work with. She finds that although she tries to speak to other class members, they don't seem interested in 'letting' her join in IYSWIM. Anyway, at the end of last term my dd took it upon herself to go and talk to the teacher about how she felt. She said she was beginning to dread coming to class and her work was suffering a bit as she was loosing concentration. The teacher was very unsympathetic, but said for my dd to come to her the next day with a solution (?). The next day, dd went to teacher and asked if there was a possibility of changing classes. She didn't mind which one, no particular friend of teacher but she felt she just wasn't clicking in this class. The teacher was rather annoyed and totally dismissed the idea, told dd she needed to grow some resilience. Dd then asked if the teacher would consider a new seating plan so she could at least not always be out on a limb with practical lessons? Teacher agreed she should start with a new seating plan this term. Dd seemed ok with this.

Cue start of term - no new seating plan. Also, dd has results back from a test they did and she only got 57% which she's upset about. The teacher has said nothing.

I feel a bit upset for dd. She started Y7 loving science and enthusing about practical lessons etc. She was getting fantastic grades. Now it all seems a bit flat for her.

Do I try and have a word with the teacher? Do I stay out of it as dd has tried to talk to the teacher already? Dd says her teacher seems totally uninterested in her. In dd's school career so far I've never had a problem with school/teacher (lucky I know) so am a bit unsure.

If you are a teacher would my dd have really annoyed you? I thought she showed maturity going to the teacher herself, but maybe she just pissed her off? Would an email work or shall I just leave well alone and help my dd refocus on science?

Sorry that was way longer than I expected it to be?

user1498854363 Thu 02-Nov-17 07:51:15

Well done for yr dd raising the issue, personally I think she did good talking to the teacher, mine would have came across as moany! I would however step in, it’s affecting her learning and mental health well-being. Suggestion of changing classes is good option or if a child in another class was going to change then dd could have a partner. Arrange to speak to teacher or head of yr, to discuss how they are managing this situation. Or if dd wants, she could speak to head of yr. does school have pastoral team she could talk to for other ideas?

crunchtime Thu 02-Nov-17 07:52:58

I would talk to her form tutor or her head of year if they are in a pastoral role. Ask for a meeting. Approach it from the view that your daughter is really unhappy and you want to improve things. Say " she has tried to help herself by x y z but that hasn't worked. Now we need to help her "

Trampire Thu 02-Nov-17 07:58:26

Thanks. I was worried that teacher would just think that dd was a pain in the arse.

The only contact I've had with school is with her form tutor who was really responsive. I may try her first. This is in the first few weeks of Y7 when dd was a bit lost. I'm not really a 'complainer' so thanks for the idea of how to approach it.

Moussemoose Thu 02-Nov-17 08:01:57

You realistically can't change classes because you don't click with the rest of the class. Imagine if pupils found out you could move classes if you didn't get on with others in the group. Chaos.

You could raise the issue in an email but I imagine the teacher is more exasperated than angry. Maybe they would like to help but don't have the authority to do so.

TractorTedTed Thu 02-Nov-17 08:03:34

I was going to suggest form tutor too.

Do you have an email address for her? If so, just mention that although your dd has made friends since starting school, with the science groups being mixed up it means she's struggling in that particular lesson and she's feeling a bit excluded by the others.

Caulk Thu 02-Nov-17 08:07:39

When she begins year 9, will she go to having 3 teachers and this will be the end of it, or will she continue with this class and teacher?

As she went to the teacher herself,
I would recommend her going to her head of year herself and explaining what is happening and that she thought there would be a new seating plan and there isn’t.

RedSkyAtNight Thu 02-Nov-17 08:07:58

If it was in the first few weeks of Y7 there will have been lots of children feeling the same thing. I agree it sounds like the teacher could have been more sympathetic (but would have been better addressed with form tutor or pastoral care) but there is limited things she can do, and she'll be aware of the bigger picture - they can't start moving DC about just because they don't like t he class they are in or they'd be moving half the year at this point!

I'd ask DD to speak to her tutor or whoever is responsible for pastoral care at her school. It would also be good to suggest strategies to her - I doubt for example, she is the only one in her science group feeling like this- can she identify an ally. Also point out that it's only 1 subject and, to be blunt, to some degree she just needs to get on with it!

(DS spent until Easter of Y7 in 80% of his lessons in a class with no one he gelled with and found it very hard - this was the experience of many other DC in his year. It is tough, but teachers can't always fix it).

Esker Thu 02-Nov-17 08:08:33

Sorry your poor dd is going through this. And good on her for approaching teacher herself.

Def agree with previous posters that you should approach whoever is the contact for your dc's pastoral well being - be it form tutor or head of year. I suspect unlikely that changing classes will be an option (well, it wouldn't at my school), but the onus should absolutely be on them to propose solutions.

noblegiraffe Thu 02-Nov-17 08:32:11

I’ve had it before where a kid has asked to change seats and I’ve agreed and it has completely slipped my mind. They’ve then reminded me and I’ve sorted it.

She should try asking the teacher again to move seats before getting another teacher involved.
Schools don’t change classes because kids don’t have friends in them, that would be a nightmare.

Wheresthebeach Thu 02-Nov-17 08:33:44

As others have said get in touch with the head of pastoral care to ask for help. The teacher needs to mix things up a bit with the groups in the class and keep an eye out that everyone is being included. To me, that's part of the job - making sure all the kids are working well together (or as well as can be expected - you can't force people to be friends, but she can be included).

I doubt changing classes is possible, but they should try to improve things as it's affecting her learning.

Your DD did a good job of raising it with the teacher. Its not worked, so totally appropriate for you to get involved in the next steps. If you leave it then her marks will become the focus, which is the symptom, not the cause.

Bluntness100 Thu 02-Nov-17 08:39:02

To be honest, I’d just speak to the teacher, in a friendly non accusatory way, just say my daughter Is struggling a little, she feels a little isolated, anything you can suggest to help her through this, and see what the teacher says.

Wanting to work with your friends isn’t on really so I can see why the teacher is not budging, as this may be how she sees it, that your daughter wants to work with her mates and is resisting integration, even though she may be telling you otherwise.

Trampire Thu 02-Nov-17 08:56:27

I accept that dd can't move classes. It's just that the teacher asked her to think of a solution and that's what she came up with! Dd accepts she won't move. That's is when dd suggested a change in seating plan. The teacher agreed to this and dd went in last week ready to start over. Although it didn't happen.

Spoke to dd this morning. She wants me to wait a few weeks before speaking to anyone. Just to see if things improve.

Dd is Y8 not Y7. She's used to integrating as she had to find her feet throughout Y7. She just finds this class particularly 'closed off'.

Trampire Thu 02-Nov-17 08:59:08

I'm not sure what will happen with classes/teachers next year. I'm worried it will affect her options in Y9 if she doesn't settle. Dd wanted to pursue Science (especially Biology) when she began Secondary. I know things change though. I just don't want her to give up because she feels negative about this class sad

chocolateorangeowls Thu 02-Nov-17 09:07:24

I’m a science teacher and this can be really easily solved by the teacher - new seating plan and the kids work in partners with who they are sat next to for lab work. I imagine the new seating plan has just slipped the teachers mind (kids have asked me before and I’ve forgotten), I’d just get your daughter to politely remind the teacher.

Good luck getting it sorted

Trampire Thu 02-Nov-17 09:21:03

Good to hear from a Science teacher Chocolate.

Dd says they haven't had a practical yet this term so she wants to wait and see how it is. I think dd has been slightly put off talking to the teacher but maybe I'll suggest it.

SnowyBerries Thu 02-Nov-17 18:39:00

The teacher does sound rather unsympathetic and unhelpful. Your dd might not get a better reception if she asks again. Could you maybe send a polite email about this to her asking for her to move. Obviously no need to mention that your dd asked and she didn't do it.

SnowyBerries Thu 02-Nov-17 18:40:36

Move seats i mean

Trampire Thu 02-Nov-17 18:42:06

Thanks everyone.

Dd said that today the teacher did switch round the seating plan and has sat dd next to some friendly/chatty girls . Dd seems happy with this so hopefully things will start to improve and she won't be doing practicals on her own all the time.

I'm glad I didn't send an email yet! grin

SnowyBerries Thu 02-Nov-17 18:43:40

Good news

physicskate Sun 05-Nov-17 18:12:26

This whole thread shows absolutely everything wrong with schools and why teachers leave in droves!!

Go to the head??! Madness!!! I think it had probably slipped the teacher’s mind to change the seating plan (it’s dropped to the bottom of my list a few times).

I’m glad the teacher was able to change the seating plan.

Before tooting our trumpets, parents or teachers, time is a good healer.

I am quite proud that your child approached the teacher and that she was able to keep a special eye out for your child, but it’s unreasonable to be able to expect to be able to do that for each of the 30+ pupils in that class...

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