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AIBU?

AIBU to be upset by my child’s teacher?

41 replies

Concernedcitizen98 · 23/09/2022 15:57

Hello, first time posting here just looking for a bit of advice.

my little boy is 4 years 3 months and started reception last Monday. As far as I’m aware he’s been getting on okay but is having some trouble listening, I am aware of this as he struggles some time at home too.

for a bit of back story, his older brother (not mine biologically) has been diagnosed with autism. I’m aware that auditory processing is part of autism and I’m keeping an eye on my LO to see if he has any other symptoms as he starts to socialise more and be in a more ‘formal’ learning environment.

today at pick up my LO ran back into the classroom as he thought he’d forgotten his drawings although they were in his bag. His teacher in a pretty aggressive way said ‘when was the last time he had a hearing test?’ I replied that it was when he was born and my partner replied that he thinks his hearing is selective. His teacher then said that he hasn’t been listening to ‘us’ and that he’s had to be told 3 times that his drawings were in his bag and that yes she thought his hearing was selective too. It’s not what she said so much as the way she spoke to us, it honestly made me quite upset as I want my son to have a positive experience and not to have his teacher impatient with him already.

I appreciate that it is frustrating when a child isn’t listening however he only started a couple of weeks ago and I think he’s finding everything a bit confusing as it’s a new environment and a lot of new people. If he is having trouble with listening and following instruction then obviously I would want to work with the teachers to help them and my LO, not be shamed in front of other parents as he isn’t doing it intentionally to annoy her. I don’t know what to do now as I was thought if there was any problems he was having we could discuss it and figure out a way to help together.

I understand that teachers are under stress and pressure at the moment and don’t want to cause any upset. AIBU to feel upset about this and would would be the recourse to things like this? Should I ask to discuss it with her or ask for a meeting? This is all new to me and he’s my first and only child.

apologies for the long message and thank you for reading.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

168 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
49%
You are NOT being unreasonable
51%
willingtolearn · 23/09/2022 16:04

You are not being unreasonable to feel upset. Sometimes it feels like you are being 'told off'' by your child's teacher. I used to hate the 'just a word Mrs...' but they do have to mention issues as they remember them or the first you hear about it being a major problem is a term in.

But your son is only 4 and new to school. He's just getting used to their expectations and it's really hard to listen when there is so much noise all the time - you have to be able to filter it out and that can be hard.

That said it's also hard to be responsible for 30 small children who are not used to the routines yet so equally try to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt that she's just struggling with a tough job.

School is brutal on all of us, parents, children and teachers but most generally get used to it and even enjoy it sometimes.

JudgeRindersMinder · 23/09/2022 16:06

Why are you starting him at school at such a young age?

TeenDivided · 23/09/2022 16:11

JudgeRindersMinder · 23/09/2022 16:06

Why are you starting him at school at such a young age?

That's a bit of a daft question given it is the standard starting age in England, and not very helpful.

Is the teacher aware of the history of autism in the family?

Generally teachers don't have time to dress everything up in flowery language at pickup time. Don't take it to heart. Check in in a week or 2 whether he is improving / miles worse than others.

shipwreckedonhighseas · 23/09/2022 16:15

You shouldn't feel be left feeling like this. It's really unfortunate that your partner paved the way for her to say that though. She was only agreeing and now she will be less likely to look at it through a professional lens. I would ask the school for signposting to resources to help you support your child with listening. Start saving for an independent assessment down the line as you don't want to wait for a school to decide it's time. If you really do think there may be other issues, educate your partner.

Snaketime · 23/09/2022 16:17

Have a chat with the teacher and say 'there is a history of SEN in the family and as you know one of the symptoms is difficulty with audio processing.'

Threelittlelambs · 23/09/2022 16:22

She isn’t judging you - you aren’t failing as a parent.

You k ow he has a problem and the teacher has noticed and raised it as a concern.

You both want what’s best for him. Teachers don’t have time for formal meetings - they barely get a lunch break!!

Shell now be tidying the classroom and planning next weeks activities and cleaning up. Imaging your child x 30 and the mess they make!

Het his hearing checked he may have glue ear in one ear hence the selective hearing problem -

loveireland · 23/09/2022 16:22

JudgeRindersMinder · 23/09/2022 16:06

Why are you starting him at school at such a young age?

Erm that's when kids start school 🤷‍♂️

Maymaymay · 23/09/2022 16:27

I think yabu to ask for a meeting to discuss the way she spoke to you, given she was agreeing with your partner and telling you her honest opinion about his hearing / listening, and she didnt speak to your child bluntly. I say give her another chance, especially if your LO isn't actually bothered and is settling OK, some people have resting bitch face remember 😬😬😬

Dreamstosell · 23/09/2022 16:28

Maybe JudgeRindersMinder is in a different country to the op and didn’t realise children could start school that young

Concernedcitizen98 · 23/09/2022 16:32

Thank you for all your responses - just to clarify that she is aware of the family history of autism as my partner raised it at the home visit and asked whether the teachers would be aware of and looking for potential SEN. I was wondering to have a chat with her about the specifics of what he’s been doing not so much as the way she spoke to us.

he does have a cold at the moment so not sure whether that could be affecting his hearing as he is bunged up but i think I will book him a hearing test just to double check there isn’t any issues there.

i just want to make sure school for him is a positive experience and that I’m able to help however I can so he gets the best out of his education

OP posts:
iklboo · 23/09/2022 16:33

@JudgeRindersMinder - children in the UK start school in Reception the September after their 4th birthday.

springhassprung22 · 23/09/2022 16:36

YANBU OP. I had a very similar experience with my DC’s nursery when they were just 3. It really soured my relationship with the manager and I ended up complaining at the manner in which they dealt with it. DC is older now and I’ve never experienced the same kind of harshness from any of their other teachers.

Softplayhooray · 23/09/2022 16:38

Snaketime · 23/09/2022 16:17

Have a chat with the teacher and say 'there is a history of SEN in the family and as you know one of the symptoms is difficulty with audio processing.'

This is a good idea. Also she should just have way more patience. He's 4!!!!

France98 · 23/09/2022 16:40

Zero children in Scotland go to school when they are 4 years and 3 months old. They are all still at nursery then.

Skolo · 23/09/2022 16:43

When a teacher raises a concern with a parent, a large proportion of parents get cross with the teacher and pick apart what they said and how they said it, no matter how carefully it is worded. It is understandable because you are upset and worried about your child but I think you are focusing on the wrong thing.

TeenDivided · 23/09/2022 16:43

France98 · 23/09/2022 16:40

Zero children in Scotland go to school when they are 4 years and 3 months old. They are all still at nursery then.

That's true, so presumably the OP isn't in Scotland especially as they used the term Reception not P1.

Wibbli · 23/09/2022 16:44

@Concernedcitizen98 i had exactly the same with my DS when he started school. He was also speech delayed so I went to GP and requested a referral to speech therapy, who then referred us to audiology and it turns out he was partially deaf due to blocked ears! We just hadn’t noticed as he would listen “sometimes” and not others! Definitely go to your GP and request an audiology referral

SausageinaBun · 23/09/2022 16:45

I think that the problem isn't the message, it's the tone it's been delivered in. I lost count of how many times DD2's swimming teacher asked me if she had problems with her hearing. But it was always with a pleasant tone and she moved DD2 closer to her. That meant that I didn't find it upsetting.

There's nothing wrong with DD2's hearing, but she is a child with her own agenda and bobbing up and down in swimming was more enjoyable than doing what she was told.

Similarly DD2's year 1 teachers told us that she didn't pay attention and didn't do what she was asked to. They honestly didn't sound like they liked her much and I found that quite upsetting. Her year 2 teacher absolutely turned that around by forming a brilliant relationship with her. She then engaged much better in lessons and the teacher really downplayed the "doesn't pay attention" narrative, saying that she just needed the odd word to refocus DD2. Her really positive approach has made the world of difference to my DD2.

JudgeRindersMinder · 23/09/2022 16:48

iklboo · 23/09/2022 16:33

@JudgeRindersMinder - children in the UK start school in Reception the September after their 4th birthday.

@iklboo No, children in ENGLAND so, not the whole UK. You have the option to not start them till the term after they turn 5.

iklboo · 23/09/2022 16:54

@JudgeRindersMinder - ah, ok. Sorry about that. I took the info directly from the Gov.UK website & specifically googled UK school ages.

iklboo · 23/09/2022 16:55

pressed send too soon

Missed the deferment option.

JudgeRindersMinder · 23/09/2022 16:58

iklboo · 23/09/2022 16:55

pressed send too soon

Missed the deferment option.

It’s also totally different in Scotland, where children will be at least 4 and 6 months, although they can be 5 and 6 months when they start P1, it’s not deferring, it’s just how it is. They start way too young in England

Thinkbiglittleone · 23/09/2022 17:01

OP, it is tough and a worry once they start school they are so young.

I think as others have said, your DH saying that opened it up for the teacher to agree.

I think a quick chat with the teacher may be of help. Just wait until the end at pick up and ask how he's getting on in general, is it a breaking in thing, get examples of what scenarios he is struggling in?
I'm sure the teacher will be happy to work together once you get that time to talk it through.

viques · 23/09/2022 17:03

Concernedcitizen98 · 23/09/2022 16:32

Thank you for all your responses - just to clarify that she is aware of the family history of autism as my partner raised it at the home visit and asked whether the teachers would be aware of and looking for potential SEN. I was wondering to have a chat with her about the specifics of what he’s been doing not so much as the way she spoke to us.

he does have a cold at the moment so not sure whether that could be affecting his hearing as he is bunged up but i think I will book him a hearing test just to double check there isn’t any issues there.

i just want to make sure school for him is a positive experience and that I’m able to help however I can so he gets the best out of his education

If he is prone to getting bunged up with a cold it is well worth trying to get him fitted with grommets, children's ear canals are not fully developed until they are about 7 I understand, so having restricted hearing for potentially four or five months of the year with colds and sniffles will affect not only their hearing but their overall language development and learning at a very crucial stage. A child who isn’t hearing could well become disaffected and frustrated with learning as it all becomes a huge struggle to understand what is going on and keep up with their peers..

NewYorkLassie · 23/09/2022 17:05

OP I would give the teacher the benefit of the doubt on this one. It’s the end of a long week for them too and they’re trying to safely navigate 30 kids for pick up.

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