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Does liking your dc's reception teacher matter? Am I being silly and discounting a school for the wrong reasons?

(14 Posts)
kt14 Thu 16-Oct-08 13:49:40

ds1 (3.2, Aug baby) has possible HFA or lang disorder, I'd more or less decided on a small nearby school for him as if he doesn't get a statement, he'll still get lots of attention and pastoral care there.

But - although the assistants and nursery teacher are lovely, and wonderful with ds, I really haven't taken to the lady who'll be his reception teacher. This is going to sound terrible but she is the sort of person who has a limp handshake and talks in a baby whisper. She has had plenty of opportunity to speak to me as ds is currently in nursery which is combined with her reception class, she even came to our house for a meeting last month (where she made us all look daft by saying she could barely tell a difference between ds and any other child in nursery, yeah right..), yet she barely acknowledges me now when I see her.

I went to collect ds at lunchtime and she and the assistants were sitting together while ds played at the other side of the room, the teacher looked up and asked me if ds had any wellies we could bring in future.
"No problem," I said, "I'll bring them in next time." Rather than stopping there, or making a comment on how ds got on today, she then went on to ask if ds ever wore anything other than Crocs. I send him in crocs as he can manage to get them on and off easily, and i know he finds them comfortable. I then found myself listing in front of everyone the shoes we have at home, and feeling a little blush as if I was being told off for sending him in inappropriate footwear.

I am aware how completely trivial this sounds, and it was her tone as much as anything, and the way she obviously felt the need to assert some power in her territory in front of her assistants, but it got me thinking, if a simple issue like this is handled badly, how are we going to get on if I have any concerns over proper issues such as ds' progress when he starts school?

Is this really a big enough issue to put me off sending him to that school? What do you all think?

Romy7 Thu 16-Oct-08 14:33:34

are you sure she wasn't actually being thoughtful and checking that it wasn't a behavioural reason that he only wore crocs?

don't know really - they might change teachers by then in any case. i have to say i've never been in a position to choose a school based on knowing the yr r teacher (although the only time i was, they had a reshuffle and she was the yr 1 teacher the following year) but i would be aware that you aren't going to have that luxury forever. if you find a school with a nice yr r teacher, what are you going to do when you discover you don't like the yr 1 teacher/ yr 2 teacher etc ad infinitum? i only ask because i have a friend very like this who has approached the head 3 times now (her dd is yr 2 lol) about changing her child's teacher... try and take a longer view maybe? you can visit a few more schools so that you are sure that the environment is right, but maybe the fact that it is already a familiar environment would outweigh any positives to be gained by moving him somewhere else? you have to feel okay about it though...

Romy7 Thu 16-Oct-08 14:34:32

fwiw - i do like dd2's yr r teacher... but the other one is brand new and i have no idea if i like her or not lol. the school is great.

TotalChaos Thu 16-Oct-08 18:02:36

the crocs thing - too trivial to take into account IMO. may have been well meant, or a joke that backfired.

the tricky issue, and one worth taking seriously, is if she doesn't admit your DS has a language problem. But Romy does make a good point - will you be happy with all the teachers at any school? The reception teacher at other schools may be even worse! Also - presumably the nursery nurse and TAs will be working with him next year, so out of 3 of the 4 people around, you have faith in 3 of them, which is good going.

bubblagirl Thu 16-Oct-08 18:21:09

to be honest wether you like them or not cant be the issue its wehter they atre helping him and he is happy there

my ds has HFA i really dislike one of his teachers she was rude spoke down to him didnt take into account his understanding at the time was not at age level and pushed him away and shouted at him for coming to door although i had called him she didnt see me

but saying that now she has great rapor with him and he is happier and his needs are being met

but i feel like a lioness whenever i walk in there really anxious and i think i always will as i know he has sn and worry that there not being met or no one is looking after him properly

she may have been joking she may have been stating in another way that there not appropiate for outside use but i wouldnt have listed his shoes i would have made a joke of it back "you would think he hasnt any other shoes these are his favourite"

just see how it goes and get yourself onto a more personal level as soon as i started stating my worries they became more understanding and caring and atmosphere between us all is more friendly now

bubblagirl Thu 16-Oct-08 18:24:27

oh and to be honest at home my ds looks no different to any other child he tends to speak more and its his comfort zone same thing was said to me but again i just saifd he always is different in his comfort zone

maybe because you have no dx as such yet your feeling anxious over peoples opinions of you and your ds but dont if you have worries diont be afraid to voice them to the teacher

ask if you can work together and see how ds gets on in environment etc i have diary with my ds teacher now so i know what goes on and i can write my problems down too as not always enought ime to chat

bubblagirl Thu 16-Oct-08 18:24:56

sorry for typos im rubbish lol

kt14 Thu 16-Oct-08 19:04:30

thanks everyone, I knew when writing it, it would sound a little silly. Have calmed down now, I think maybe she is one of those people who takes time to get to know.

And I know I won't necessarily get on with all his teachers, and that is a good point. I think it's a slight shock because I've always managed to get on with most people, and I've worked with some awkward sods in my time!

I think it just matters so much as she'll be his first teacher and I want him to get off to the best possible start..

TotalChaos Thu 16-Oct-08 19:06:13

bear in mind as well that you won't have any transition issues other than a longer day if he remains at the school he is at.

Tclanger Thu 16-Oct-08 19:12:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Thu 16-Oct-08 19:21:04

Bear in mind that your son is not you: the teacher who really grates on you may be the one he remembers all his life with great affection. IME these things are totally unpredictable.

lingle Thu 16-Oct-08 19:41:29

For what it's worth, I agree with the others KT.

kt14 Thu 16-Oct-08 19:52:02

thanks again everyone, you have all made really valid points and I know I would have said something similar if I'd read my post written by anyone else.

I feel a lot better now, I think I'm just feeling the pressure of making the best possible decision for ds school-wise! In 2 weeks it will all be done, can't wait!

Plumbuddle Wed 22-Oct-08 12:37:24

I disagree to this extent. We had similar problems with a gut feeling against a teacher being judgmental on our child (who was then undiagnosed dyspraxic & poss ASD, now 10) when he was in nursery. It was initially about his inability to put on his coat but spread to other behavioural issues. The problem with this age is that the child may not feed back other evidence to you. I agree don't jump to conclusions if child likes teacher, but if child is in any way more upset than usual after school, check they are not being criticised publicly or treated as odd by teacher. As the year unfolded there were more and more criticisms of our child to the point that the relationship broke down and the child was scapegoated for it. I have never regretted anything so much as allowing the child to remain in the class feeling unprotected by us parents. When I finally went in and monitored the situation (under the pretence of helping out) I saw how bad things had got. Even then I stupidly kept him there, thinking the problem would pass. Only moving schools for the reception year brought sanity to the situation. so, keep eye closely on what is happening and keep close communication up with teacher so as to monitor her attitude in a non-threatening way is my advice.

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