My MOR child. Help!(8 Posts)
My DD is a flyer. Always hand up, always heard, always that child that gets remembered by the teacher.
My DS is a quiet, shy boy, as intelligent, but nervous, lacking confidence and with messy handwriting. He behaves well and has consistently been forgotten. We moved schools this September and I am worried it might happen again. In Yrs R-2 he never once got an award or a sticker in his old school. He sat quietly in the background and just plodded along. That lovely middle boy who hits the targets so gets left. He is top middle, top core. In his Yr 2 SATS he got 2a maths, 2a Lit, 3 science. All by being left to his own devices. The reports I got were just the sentences from the package, the teacher perhaps unaware that I use the same package for my reports and so was blindingly aware that they haven't bothered to even change a word. 2 years running.
We moved schools. Smaller so his stats will count more. But i'm worried the same thing is happening. He's a "background kid", and let's be honest, there are some. It even happens to him in sport pursuits. he is as skilled but he doesn't push forward. Never gets picked. When I speak to teachers they are all "Oh, he's lovely" but I see with my teacher vision it's because he is ok on SIMs and never causes trouble!
What can i do? I see him doomed to a life of middle of the road. I know with my core groups I stratify them so the 3a/ 4c or 4c/ 4b are pushed and will move on. I make sure they get a fair amount of attention and I ensure the quiet kids get asked about their lives and rewarded for being that kid that is always great without being outstanding. I know next parents evening i'll be asking about it. But i've just stood tonight and watched him do a sports event where he did as well as the next kid, but the next kid got the praise.
Is he just "invisible"? One of those kids? i feel I need to nail it as he is starting to say things like "If I was naughty I would get to do this....." or "No-one notices me so why should I say something?" He's 7!
It's really made me think about the quiet core in my own classes, having him, but i'm at my wits end as to how to approach it at school and at home, hence my posting here. I don't want him to be "lost" to education. And my saying that something is brilliant doesn't cut it anymore.
Sorry for the long post, but i've just seen him passed over at an event, and his face said it all. He doesn't expect anything anymore.
What does your son enjoy? What is he good at? How can he be encouraged to really be involved in that thing? He sounds like an absolutely lovely child, and I'm sure that he needs to find his niche in order to really bloom.
Out of interest, did you say anything to the teacher with the stock-phrase report? I'd have been unable to keep it quiet - or is there an unwritten rule about teachers not criticising other teachers?
My son was just like this, he never got a prize in this secondary school! He did exceptionally well in his GCSEs and all the teachers know who he is now! It's frustrating but there is not much you can do. Although maybe doing some volunteer at school might help?
My dc always got the stock phrases n the report, it can be frustrating.
I would just let hi get on with it and encourage what he is good at, praise a lot and build self esteem within his family firdt.
Maybe have a word with the teacher to let him/her know that you feel his esteem may be lower because of his sisters experience at school.
My dd was a bit like this at school, she was always at the back, never pushed herself forward until one day although she shouldn't have done she told the teacher she was wrong, because she was.
Long story short but we took her out of school (not for this reason) turns out she is a very gifted musician and if she hadn't answered back on something she knew about would still be the middle of the road kid, rather than in her mind on the way to stardom
They are all god at something its a case of finding that something
I pointedly said to the teacher that we used the same reports package but didn't even get a blink of shame!
I wish I could say he shone at something, but he doesn't really stand out at anything: he's just on the nail, that child in your class you don't worry about. But it worries me that he'll slip through the net. He'll learn to be naughty to get attention.
He makes friends with quiet children, plays quiet, imaginative games, and stays out of trouble. his only realy stand out interest is science. He really enjoys it and is very canny at construction, visualising 3d shapes ( when i was marking ym Year 6 SAT's mock, he could do the "where is the dot now?" questions, and any of the shape ones at L4). Both grandads are engineers. He loves building things with them, but there's just not much room for that sort of talent in the current primary curriculum!
It's horrible, isn't it, to be hoping your child does something naughty or badly to get some attention?
I now REALLY pay attention to my core. As a result, my results are fab: that horrible 3a/ 4c hurdle seems to be vanishing in grammar and literacy in my class. Similarly, my year 6 class core have really flourished with extra input, so much so that i have hopes that some of them with be 4a plus by the end of the year. (I teach 5/6)
I just feel sad for him.
DD on the other hand, is like Annie tripping the boards in every class. No shortage of comments for HER.
Could you speak to his teacher about this soon rather than wait until parents' evening? I think his comments are concerning and would want to know if my pupils were saying things like this:
"If I was naughty I would get to do this....." "No-one notices me so why should I say something?"
I would send an edited version of your opening post via email to his teacher. 'I am so worried about X. I know that he is quiet, but he is losing heart with school and feeling discouraged. He feels he isn't ever likely to receive awards, or be selected for things: I believe that he has the ability to shine, but lacks confidence rather, and wanted to ask your advice. It would be such a shame if he were demotivated. . . . etc. etc.'
Keep it calm and factual. You can word it as if you are asking for the teacher's advice, but you will also be raising his profile with the teacher, so that they are more likely to remember him/react to him.
Then however things go in class, you can follow up in a couple of weeks, with either a thank you email, saying that you have talked to him and he is feeling more positive about himself (and keeping him on the teacher's radar) or asking for a meeting to discuss how you can support him in feeling more part of the school and getting involved in things . . . .
My DS is sort of the same. He's a hands up child won't shout out. I remember watching in his YR induction sitting on the mat with his hand up while all the kids shouting out were being interacted with. His goal in class is "to share my ideas more" so his teachers are aware of it and want to help him.
So I think a lot of it is down to the skill of the teacher. His teacher last year seemed to pigeon hole the children very quickly.
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