Advice on how to handle this please.(23 Posts)
DD started secondary school this year. She is doing well but there is a teacher that she is struggling with.
The teacher appears to be very
extremely strict, I suppose that's not always a bad thing when you're trying to 'herd' a group of very lively Yr 7s. DD has been given one detention for not doing her homework properly by this teacher, not not doing it, just not doing it properly. All was well and no detentions since, DD is one of the 'good' kids for want of a better word so no behavioural issues from her that would warrant it. She has a good friendship group and is doing well in all her other subjects so I know there's no issues with that.
However this is the first week and first weekend where DD has said she doesn't want to go to school on Monday. We've chatted and shes promised theres no issued with friends or anything like that, but she said its because she had X teacher the day she didn't want to to this week, and she has X teacher again on Monday. When I asked DD why she said she's scared of the teacher.
Now, any of you who have seen me on three boards know I'm supportive of teachers and I'm 90% sure this teacher doesn't mean to / isn't intending to come across as intimidating, to this level at least.
DD has a SENCo and a keyworker as she is partially deaf, has dyslexia and struggles with her confidence anyway.
As I said, she's Yr 7 and I'm 'new' to the secondary school parent world.
Any advice on how I can help encourage DD or is now a time for letting her keyworker know? I'm sure the teacher doesn't mean to come across this intimidating and I'd hate to make them feel so bad. I also don't want to come across as one of 'those' parents but at the same time I don't want to dismiss DDs feelings.
She's absolutely fine in all her other lessons.
Yup, if it's affecting her so much that she is not wanting to go to school, now is the time to speak to her keyworker, who will be in a good position to know whether s/he have a gentle word with the teacher, or can support your dd in some other way. It's probably easily managed now, but if it drags on, it could be harder to resolve.
It also teaches your dd a nice lesson. If you have a problem and tell someone, they may be able to help you. How nice that she can tell you about it.
You could also remind her that at secondary there will be some teachers she gets on with and others who are not to her taste. But that at secondary, you only have to be in their class for an hour, so it's not too long. Perhaps you could plan something nice for her on the evenings when she has had that lesson - a survival treat! Make it fun, keep it lighthearted, and show her how you can support each other.
*these boards. Gosh sorry for several spelling mistakes!
Does this teacher know she is dyslexic and partially deaf? That sort of info is supposed to be shared to all a pupil's teachers but in my experience isn't. I make a point of letting dd's teachers know, under the guise of an 'If there are any questions you have' e-mail.
Oh i do feel for her as a hearing impaired person myself. I spent hours being scared of the stricter teachers at school in spite of be a really well behaved student because I knew if I missed something they wouldn't listen. Once a scolding started there were no excuses accepted.
I think you should ask for a brief meeting and explain things in a non accusatory way. The teacher needs to reassure your daughter that she won't be in trouble for things outside her control.
Thankyou for your advice. Yes they know she is partially deaf, and has dyslexia as a few weeks in the seating arrangements were rearranged (she doesn't have a hearing aid as of yet - her consultant is waiting to see if the hearing gets even worse first I think before discussing that) as she was sitting near the back of the class so couldn't always hear the teachers anyway. She has an overlay too for the reading part of her lessons. The reason why I'm sure the teacher doesn't mean to do this is DD actually said to me after her detention when I asked how it was "It was alright. Teacher X was actually nice to me and let me go ten minutes early!"
I know this sounds silly but any advice on how to word an email to that effect other than "DD appears shit scared of Teacher X. Please help!".
@notquitegrownup2 thankyou. I have already said that to DD as we spoke and I said, I can clearly remember the teachers that didn't take well to me. Never did anything to them but I must have in a past life! and I just got through it with the only an hour, or even only an afternoon (I remember a uni lecturer who hated me for some unknown reason) and effectively told her to 'suck it up'. I'm just a bit concerned that it's now turning into a 'I dont want to go'. It's never on the days she doesn't have this teacher. Just those days. There are a couple of children in her class who keep the teachers on their toes in a nice way and I'm wondering if the keeping strict with these children isn't helping DDs confidence if that makes sense?
Scared how.... I mean, what can the teacher do but give out detentions & shout a bit. If that's the worst the teacher can do, it's not nice but it's not end of the world.
Your daughter has shown she can (with one small blip so far) avoid both problems, so she can do this, she can handle this difficult person. So that's all the stuff I would try saying to my DD.
Yes I'd let the KW know too that this relationship was a challenge for my DD. In case the KW can think of a way to have a productive word with the teacher.
Was it this teacher who was nice to your dd in the detention and let her go early? If so then that's a good sign and it might just be that she is trying to be strict with the class to stop them getting out of control. (She may have had previous classes that have got out of control so is trying to prevent this from happening again.) You could explain this.
In your situation I'd maybe contact the teacher and ask about how my dd was getting on in the lesson and if her behaviour was ok as she was worrying about this and feeling stressed. (Not because i think your dd is misbehaving but as a way of letting the teacher know she was getting stressed.)
Hopefully the teacher would then reaasure you and you could pass this on to reassure your dd that all was ok.
Also i know you said the teacher knows about the sen but there would be no harm mentioning this again just in case the teacher is forgetting and assuming she isn't listening or is not taking care with her writing
You could say your dd is worried her deafness is giving the impression she isn't listening or her dyslexia is giving the impression she isn't taking care with her writing
Some teachers pick on easy targets to make them look strict
So times the small things can be the last straw and your daughter may have been on the receiving end
Teacher may have had a bed day or bad lesson
Speak to the key worker and keep it to your DD
DD thinks, DD feels, DD wants
So DDis really struggling in French at the moment and finding it difficult to understand the teachers expectations, she's worried she's falling behind and no coping well with the homework
Is there anything you can suggest we try to help her engage better in this lesson?
Thankyou for all of your advice MNers. Sorry for the long winded reply but anyway here's my update.
So I had words with DD about it just being an hour and getting through it, and encouraged her to tell her keyworker or senco, she sees them every lunchtime as she eats in a separate room with some other sens kids. I told her that if she had a chat with either one of them then I won't do that mum thing and intervene. She hasn't spoken to them. She gets on well with them but I think she's frightened of getting in trouble with Teacher X if they are spoken to.
DD school refusing yesterday, eventually got her out to the bus stop in time for the bus (DD had Teacher X yesterday). Said teacher has given her another consequence, I didn't get the text until this morning but DD told me. The text indicates that she got given another consequence and to check the school website app (which lists her attendance and behaviour record) . She has been given another after school detention.
The difficulty I am having is I think it's a mixture of the teacher zoning in on DD, and 'keeping face' in front of a challenging class, but also DD appears to either not be hearing / listening or both either correctly or fully.
DDs version was that Teacher X told her to do Levels 1 - up to and including Level 5 (levels adapted for non-outing reasons). Teacher X's version is that DD was told to do Levels 1 - up to and including Level 6.
When I looked on DDs homework app, it was Teacher X's version that I could see.
Apparently Teacher X told her yesterday that if Level 6 wasn't done by this morning she'd get detention. I sat with a tearful DD last night (she's really struggling with this subject - I'm not excusing it but it's languages and I'm wondering if this isn't helping her dyslexia) and helped her do up to and including Level 7 to cover all bases.
No school refusing this morning as DD thinks she's okay having done the other level, I got the text to say she had detention at 8am this morning (DD leaves for the bus at 7:30am).
Note on the text this morning '1 new behaviour incident'. Making it sound more like she trashed the classroom rather than didnt complete her homework properly. (yes I know both are important not to do).
Thankfully I have given DD enough money to get home as she usually catches the school bus, as it's rural, theres only one there and back.
As a sidenote, DD has now only ever had two detentions from Teacher X. They also have a commendation list. Where you get messages saying 'DD excellent effort in Geography on Wednesday' etc, these are all points given like merits. She has a long list of these including two recent ones (teo within two days) for... 'excellent homework' in two other subjects.
So my question is given DDs obvious not listening / paying attention to the instructions bit in the middle somewhere. How do I approach this now? If at all. Would you still approach the keyworker or give it one more chance?
DD has recently had her appointment with her consultant. I'm wondering if I could email the senco and arrange to meet her to discuss consultants recent advice and then as a P.S 'DD seems to be struggling in Teacher X's class - is there any way I and or school can support her?'.
Why don't you approach the teacher directly? Say you're concerned about the detentions and that you're worried about how she is doing in this subject?
Stupid question?! This subject isn't in a mobile classroom or something is it? Thinking acoustics and it affecting her ability to hear in class.
Thankyou wolfiefan I suppose I was asking as I didn't know what the 'done' thing is with secondary school is.
To be honest I haven't even asked her that as it never crossed my mind so thankyou for thinking of it!
I will ask when she gets home.
I used to teach secondary. I would expect general enquiries to go to the tutor. Subject specific to me.
I've taught a few students with varying degrees of hearing difficulty. Daft things like being near a road or not having carpet or being next to a noisy gym can have a massive effect on their ability to access the lesson (which would have no impact on a student without hearing issues!) If she's only struggling in this lesson I would look for reasons why. Could be the teacher is exceptionally quiet even?
Really hope you can get a resolution.
Could be the teacher is exceptionally quiet even?
No quite the opposite. To the PP who mentioned what is it that asked DD. Apparently Teacher X is a bit
very much shouty. Completely understand the need to in some classes but then at the same time I've watched Mrs Zen quite literally, control a disruptive class once in DSs school without raising her voice at all.
I don't know if its the same as me but with my own hearing loss, I'm fine 1-1 but once im in a crowded room, I really struggle to separate the voices and sounds etc and end up lipreading desperately even with my hearing aid in.
I just thought if the teacher had a quiet speaking voice then DD could miss instructions. Or if teacher talks when writing on the board. I don't have hearing loss but I can struggle if someone is turned away from me when speaking.
I think you need to go in to talk to the form teacher. Punishing a child with hearing problems for doing sections 1-5 instead of 1-6 is just too strict and isn't making any allowances.
As a comparison my y7 child in an academic, strict school would be given a chance to finish overnight without any mark/consequence if just one section was not done.
Don't worry about the term "incident." That's used generally in dd's school for anything from talking in class to something more serious. It's not being used to exagerate what your dd did. I agree re contacting the teacher directly.
Presumably as the teacher said the detention will be cancelled if your dd does the work they will cancel it.
What sort of hearing loss has your DD got? Has she been assigned a Teacher of the Deaf?
Purple she has significant hearing loss in her right ear due to ongoing bilateral otitis externa.
She has been assigned a keyworker specifically one who deals with children with hearing difficulties.
I agree with the sound in the classrooms
Some rooms are naturally louder than others
Worth asking for help to help you DD
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