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Is this a normal thing to happen in Reception? (disruptive boy given extra attention) long-ish post

344 replies

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 21:49

I'm going to try to get this in a nutshell but it's quite complicated.

Dd's in Reception with a little boy, I'll call him 'Z' just to make things briefer. Z is a reasonably high achieving boy, he's in the 'top' group at the moment along with dd and 4 other girls, all at roughly the same level (I do parent reading with them once a week so I'm fairly confident about this). Z is an extremely disruptive boy despite being very bright, he's taken up to the Headmaster many times, sent into the 'buddy room', up and down the behaviour ladder. He does some pretty unpleasant things like telling the Muslim girl in the same group that all Muslims are going to go to Hell, telling a physically disabled boy that his built up shoes look 'stupid' and that because he's in a wheelchair he's going to die early. The list is as long as my arm. Dd's always coming home with new tales and Z's frequently the topic of upset for many of the mums whose kids have been physically hurt by him.

So he's a difficult character. The teacher has been giving him one-on-one time for 30 minutes after lunch to 'extend' his literacy and numeracy, a luxury that none of the other children get. Dd, for instance, has had one-on-one reading time with the teacher only once since starting in September when her parent reader was off sick. Z's mum says this is because his behaviour is so bad because he's not challenged enough and he 'plays tricks on people' when he's bored. She believes he's extremely gifted and the school isn't meeting the challenge of his intellect. She has frequent meetings with the teacher to discuss what they can do to give him more yet so far I don't see any change in his behaviour at all.

I, and a number of other mums, are beginning to feel a bit miffed that he gets so much attention when his behaviour is so appalling and that our own children get so little in comparison and I wondered if the teacher's decision to give him this extra tuition was a typical move with a disruptive but bright child. And if so, is it known to work?

I've been wondering whether to see the headmaster about the situation, especially given that dd's parent reader has been away for the last 2 weeks so dd hasn't read to anybody at all for 3 weeks now apart from the group guided reading sessions she does once a week. It seems unfair that the teacher can find 30 minutes once a day for one child and leave others with no time at all for weeks on end.

From what I can gather this is the teacher's first class as she's only just qualified as a teacher.

What would you do? Grin and bear it or go and speak to someone?

Z's mum is very 'pushy', she turns a blind eye to his behaviour problems and is genuinely convinced that it's the school's fault for not keeping him challenged. She said to me the other day that she 'doesn't rate' the teacher. I mentioned that she's getting quite a good deal, especially when there are some children who barely speak English (I listen to the lowest achieving group read and I really feel they could do with the teacher's direction rather than my completely unqualified one) who get no time with the teacher.

It seems to me to be a rather sad condition of our times that the worst behaved child gets the best and the quieter ones who are just getting on with school and doing their best are penalised.

Help me put this in perspective? I've made an appointment to see the teacher next Wednesday and I'd like to go in and say everything in a fair but clear way.

OP posts:
cat64 · 15/02/2008 16:44

This reply has been deleted

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imaginaryfriend · 15/02/2008 22:55

cat, don't say that, I already wondered! Except she's probably in her 20s, has no kids and I'm sure is too busy to read MN in the evenings. [hopeful emoticon]

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imaginaryfriend · 29/02/2008 12:06

I just wanted to resurrect this for a brief moment to say that since we've been back after half term dd's teacher has changed a number of things.

  1. She no longer gives 1-1 to this particular boy. She seems to be doing a 1-1 thing with a small group of 'high achievers' together while the rest of the class are doing carpet time.

2. She's taken over listening to the children read their home-readers herself. I'm so delighted at this as she can write a proper comment in the book and assess which level they should be at. Dd's moved up 2 reading levels already!

3. She's still using parent volunteers but doing a much more relaxed thing which I'm also delighted about; we now take a group of 5 and read them a story in the home corner, encouraging them to look at the pictures and ask questions (so more informal than storytime on the carpet where they have to be quiet / raise hands etc.) This is excellent for the children I was listening to who had little English.

4. Z's mum got her nose put out of joint when the woman who'd listened to his group read told her that he was good but perhaps the weakest of the group! She went to the teacher and said the mum had said he was 'rubbish' (her expression definitely not the mum's she's a wouldn't-say-boo-to-a-goose kind) and the mum got in trouble for breaking confidentiality.

That's a tricky one - if you are a parent helper and a mum asks you how their child is doing do you have to say nothing at all?

That's all anyway for those of you who showed interest in this saga.
OP posts:
TheHonEnid · 29/02/2008 12:07

personally I dont like parent helpers making any comments on children's ability at all, but thats just me

hippipotami · 29/02/2008 12:44

Good news IF, and well done to your dd for moving up two groups!

Z's mum may have got in a huf because she has been busy telling everyone he was the best that now she maybe feel a bit embarassed...

I think if a mum asked me how her dc was getting on (I am a parent helper one afternoon a week and do reading with dyslexic children two afternoons a week) I would always say something positive. Even if that child was the weakest in the group, I would still say the child was 'coming along well' or something like that.

But luckily most parents don't ask me

imaginaryfriend · 29/02/2008 13:44

I agree that the parent helpers shouldn't say much, we're not qualified to for one thing. I get asked quite a lot as the group I was last listening to have a couple of mums I'm quite friendly with. I always said 'they're doing really well' and that was it. They never probed further so it wasn't a problem. But I can see how it could've been.

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OneHandedTypist · 29/02/2008 14:48

Crikey, i feel sorry 4 the parent helper who got ticked off. How is it breaking confidentilty if the comment is 2 the child's own parent? If so, y wouldnt a positive comment like "he tries hard!" b breaking confidence equally as unacceptably?!

imaginaryfriend · 29/02/2008 15:15

I don't know OHT. When we started doing the parent reading scheme we had to sign a secrecy form which stated that things that happen in the classroom are not to be discussed beyond the classroom. But realistically if a friend comes up and asks how her child is reading it's going to be very hard to say 'I can't tell you'. So the best thing seems to be to give a neutral/positive comment.

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wheresthehamster · 29/02/2008 16:28

I bet Z's mum wouldn't have complained if the parent had said he was the BEST in the group

imaginaryfriend · 29/02/2008 16:55

Of course not. In fact I used to listen to his group read and because I used to say my usual 'he's doing fine' neutral thing she never complained! She used to 'fish' though as to whether the others could 'actually read' or were just 'memorising the words'.

Sigh ...

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OneHandedTypist · 29/02/2008 17:31

I guessed if someone has signed a form like that they should know better. But aack... it would put me off volunteering at all if I had to sign such an agreement. In the future I suppose the poor woman will just have to say "Sorry, I'm not allowed to discuss any child's progress with any parent!" which sounds completely ridiculous. But I wouldn't blame her one bit if she's been bollocked for such a simple comment.

Parent volunteers have told me loads of positive things about DD's school work (a few of them glowing comments, to be blunt about it). I feel strange to hear such things, but heavens I wouldn't want them to get in trouble for it.

TotalChaos · 29/02/2008 17:36

possibly the confidentiality issue was the helper comparing boy X to other children in the group?

imaginaryfriend · 29/02/2008 22:02

Yes, I think so TC. But she always used to ask me how he was doing in relation to the others in the group and she might have done that to this mum helper?

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Miggsie · 01/03/2008 11:35

..she wants to hear he is "the best" all the time as that is her perception and she wants it continually reinforced.
Think about how she phrased it "he's rubbish" when he was the last in the highest group so probably about in the top 5% still.
I feel sorry for the boy as she obviously feels he must be top or "rubbish" and nothing inbetween, how is he going to feel as he grows up, he will never measure up?
Mind you I know of one boy locally who, if he can't do something runs off screaming "I'm rubbish, I'm rubbish" so perhaps these types of judgemental mothers are more common than we would wish?

Oh dear.

mrz · 01/03/2008 11:44

I work as a SENco in a primary school and for the record want to confirm what DrNortherner has been saying; very able children with behavioural problems often have IEPs and are on the SEN register as are children who are Gifted and Talented.

imaginaryfriend · 01/03/2008 21:26

Miggsie I wonder too about the amount of pressure he's under from her. But he's rather like her in character, he seems very tough and self-assured.

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oops · 01/03/2008 21:36

Message withdrawn

imaginaryfriend · 01/03/2008 21:44

I keep hoping that, oops! You know, 'boy genius' is nowhere near the scale of your ds with reading.

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oops · 01/03/2008 21:45

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