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I have discovered (through chatting to other parents, who are also good friends of mine) that DS1's class teacher told.....

9 replies

FAQ · 17/10/2008 18:40

almost exactly the same thing to most of us, "doing well but could do more" (basically) "generally well behaved but a bit of chatting". Her comments on presentation v content seemed to have been varied between us (eg DS1 does excellent presentation of his work but content isn't always there, his best friend apparently has excellent content but presentation not always good enough).

I must admit I did find her a little "distant" - and wasn't entirely sure she'd really taken on board what I'd said to her about DS1 starting to feel the effects of me and exH splitting up, and also a lot of stress at home at the moment because of us having to move (and things moving very quickly in that regard). Now when I told DS1's infant teacher about the split (when it happened) I felt that he really took on board that this could affect his behaviour/work at school, but I don't really feel she took it in at all.

I also asked her if he was listening to instructions and asking if he wasn't sure (a problem he had at infants, he would sit and listen to something being explained to the whole class, then when they were told to sit down in groups/alone to do some work related to it often he wouldn't really have understood what he was supposed to be doing - but wouldn't ask either). She "hadn't really noticed" was her response - now surely 6 weeks into a new term you would have noticed whether a child was doing what they were supposed to be doing when set a task and whether they were asking if they were unsure........wouldn't you??

Others said they thought she was "bored" "not interested" "didn't really know how they were doing" etc etc - and now I'm not sure what to do/think.

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choccyp1g · 17/10/2008 19:03

What age is your DS? My parents meeting for DS (y3 and new school) was really helpful. They children had left their work out in neat trays for the parents to see, and the teacher had made notes on each child. It was only 10minutes, but I came away feeling that she really knew my son, and we'd agreed strategies to help him progress with everything.

cat64 · 17/10/2008 19:13

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blueskyandsunshine · 17/10/2008 19:23

I agree it sounds a bit worrying.

But the thing is, how she relates to your child is so much more important than how she relates to you. I've had experience of teachers who are virtually catatonic with parents but when you see them in the classroom -- it's amazing, you wouldn't know it was the same person.

So unless you have really serious concerns about progress and happiness in the class I wouldn't get too critical too quickly.

I mean I think it is great for teachers to be able to communicate, especially when there's a problem. But it definitely comes second to: is the child happy and learning.

That feels like I think you're being unreasonable but I don't really think that at all.

blueskyandsunshine · 17/10/2008 19:25

I just think it doesn't matter as much, if the teachers are doing the right thing in the classroom. But I agree that if they are uncommunicative it can be hard to tell if they are doing the right thing in the classroom.

FAQ · 17/10/2008 20:05

thing is with the not listening/not understanding the instructions she had NO idea at all whether he was or not. I mean - does she not notice if he's sat there twiddling his thumbs wondering what he's supposed to be doing, or if he's putting his hand up frequently because he's not listened understood??

He's just gone into year 3 (new school), she had no notes, I didn't see any of his work. I have no idea if she's doing the right stuff in the classroom - they have new fancy reading books (to write in their reading progress in) we've had no explanation of them at all (and I'm not the only person to notice that books are being changed but nothing is being written in from the school to comment on how they're doing). Another parent (very close friend of mine) said that she'd commented on the lack of comments from the teacher/TA/whoever and was told "oh well they're new style and I don't like them" !

Neither have we been told that for the spellings test they're expected to write a sentence using the each word on the list (this was discovered after talking to our children, and some parents didn't even know that until today!).

His "lack of good content" - could well be because he's not understanding what he's supposed to be doing - but I don't know.

I'm worried as I know that with the stuff going on at home, I'm really stressed out, and all 3 DS's are picking up on it, and with DS1 only just starting to "react" to exH and I splitting up (March he moved out) I'm concerned it's going to/already is affecting his school work and I'm not sure she took any of that on board at all.

If it was just one or two other parents saying the same thing I'd probably just forget it, but there was a group of about 10 of us chatting in the playground this afternoon while waiting for them to come out and they all said the same thing (and all of us have children that are either "average" or "just above average" - quite a staggering number when there's only 30 in a class that 1/3 of them are average or just above (while some of the parents know that their child is below average and freely admit they struggle with school work. )

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FAQ · 17/10/2008 20:15

oh and one thing that struck me straight after I'd spoken to her (before all of these identical comments about our very different children became apparent) was I commented on how tricky he'd found some of his math's homework the other day - and it was quite challenging.

OK maths isn't my strongest point, but when it comes to puzzles/sudoku (sp) type puzzles I'm pretty good at them. His home work had a grid 6x6 squares with a number ranging from 13p to 24p on each row and column. A few of the coins were already filled in and they had to fill in the rest to make each row and column add up to the correct amount. One of the rows had 5 coins in - so was easy, the rest had at least 2 coins missing. Together we managed to 4 columsn and 5 of the rows sorted (but took us ages) the others we got wrong and I couldn't see for the life of me where the mistake(s?) were. (I can now getting his homework book out and having had a good look again).

I thought this was quite hard for the start of YR3 (perhaps I'm totally out of touch though???) especially as DS1 is quite good at maths, and (at least at the end of YR2) was near the top of the year group in the subject.

When I commented that it was quite tricky she looked at me like I'd gone mad (ok admittedly I was still wearing my "Leapfrog" t-shirt - with a big Green frog on it from our after school service ) and said "oh they should have found it very easy"!!!

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singersgirl · 17/10/2008 20:23

Of course, a third of the class (10 children) should be round about average, with a third above average and a third below average, so it's not impossible that you were talking to all the parents of the 'middling' group of children - though I agree it's unlikely. Mind you, if she had told someone that their child was amazingly advanced in the class, they'd be unlikely to say so in that situation.

I'm surprised she didn't have notes and you didn't have anything to see, and I agree that would worry me. We always see all the children's work in their trays and the teacher always has notes and marks of any assessments they've done.

It would also concern me that the teacher didn't seem too aware of the implications of tricky stuff at home, which is obviously something you want them to be sensitive to.

Heated · 17/10/2008 20:30

This parents' evening is very early in the year - too early I would have said. Nevertheless, knowing it was coming up, she should have something specific to say about each student. I've got 2 coming up after half term and will have notes for 60 students, especially the quieter ones.

Do you know how experienced the teacher is? Is she a newb? I'm wondering if she was told to be non-committal, unless there was a real cfc, & has literally taken them at their word!

FAQ · 17/10/2008 20:36

I believe she's been there for quite some time, but not certain - although I'm sure she's no where close to being a NQT, unlike DS1's reception teacher who is quite new (and has only had him 2 1/2hrs a day for about 5 weeks....) who had notes about him and was able to show me at least a little of what he's been up to.

I doubt the head teacher would have told her to be non-commital, he is so into having every aspect of the school looked at and judged the school council even gives their (honest) opinions on his school assemblies (and have told him that one of them was boring . He's determind the next Ofsted inspection (not due for a long time as the last one was in Feb this year) is going to be as good as the last one (all outstanding with no recommendations of anything they could improve!)

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