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Thread: Teacher troubles....

  1. #19

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    In secondary school my parents belonged to the same bridge club as my Principal and his wife and my biology teacher and the librarian were Mum's friends.
    My primary school librarian lived down the road from us and was great friends with Mum and one of the Principals at the school used to be friends with my parents until someone complained to the Dept that he spent too much time socialising with the local snobbery and he was transferred to a different school.
    Must have made things awkward for them since I was totally feral. Compared to me my son is an angel.


  2. #20

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    DS1 likes his teachers and his other teacher is ok so if she improves or if she won't be teaching him next year all will be ok.
    No sign of his seat today....

  3. #21

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    See that's wrong. She expects you to hand things in and him to do things when expected.

    Can you send a note to say "Can you please put the sensory cushion in DS's bag right now as you have had it for x days and it is not getting any use. Very disappointing."

    I'm kidding. But seriously at this point if be retrieving it from the classroom myself.

    I knew of someone that wanted to invite their OB around for dinner. Does that count?

  4. #22

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    While I do completely see where people like Nutter are coming from, teachers are people too. Some have their own issues - I know I cannot have shouting, stamping, spaghetti, or a roomful of 6/7yos (it isn't an s thing: I can have science, songs, silliness and sodium-and-water). Admittedly, this is why I teach older children.

    Liebs has just had a teacher who has struggled with the social and communication differences in her class, including with ds. I am yet to find he is allowed his weighted fiddle toy with any teacher at his school. I explain about his quirks, but Liebs needs a psychological report now and is just normal at schoolwork (save in maths, but even so his discoveries at home are not celebrated).

    This summer I am making a new project book. His y2 teacher will see the work he can do, not the work he has done. Obviously with 29 other children in the class it isn't easy to cope with the very different ones, but Liebs gets away with coasting too much.

    Says me as a parent. Me as a teacher has seen disruptive work refusal and used the school disipline system. I've seen children whose parents have encouraged too much and they are years ahead and I can't push further. I've seen children who love me and those who prefer another teacher.

    I have hated a primary teacher I had (family friend) and work refused at the end of the year out of disrespect and boredom. I have been taught by family friends I loved and worked harder than their lessons inspired. Teachers have personalities... But I know if Liebs was at the point of complete work refusal I'd be doing a written complaint. As I asked my mother to do after my wasted year.

  5. #23

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    Ok, I have to weigh in here....

    First, the teacher sounds they could be doing more, but...

    I do get where she's coming from.

    I've had kids do 'nothing' in 90 mins...none of the set work that is....they're usually extremely productive in other areas! I'm guessing he wasn't just ignored though, he probably had assistance, reminders to get on task and warnings of what might happen if he didn't complete a certain amount of work in a set time. 90 mins on the same task for year 2 is ridiculous though. And, sending work home is kind of a cop out IMO.

    I'd be a millionaire if I got $1 every time a kid 'forgot' a note, tuckshop money or HW was in their bag, despite me standing in front of the class and specifically asking, lol!

    Definitely organise a meeting, get that sensory mat back from her, maybe offer to help at spelling time so that a small group can go outside and do stampy spelling etc (I do get why it might be impractical to do this in class though, but there are alternatives).

    Importantly, as far as DS is concerned, you support the teacher 100% (even the stupid decisions) and will follow through, at least until you can meet and tell her what you want (Personally, I'd want to know that my kid didn't do the work, but I wouldn't want it sent home to catch up on). I'd also be wanting to know what incentives she's giving to get the behaviours she desires and how she's adapting her teaching strategies for your DS (as the current ones don't seem to be all that effective). I'd also be asking for more frequent communication about your child's 'behaviour' (even just a happy/neutral/sad face on a card at the end of the day to let you know what kind of a day he's had. You can sign and discuss at home.)

    Sounds like you're doing great, and like the teacher is stressed! Talk to each other and build a working relationship.

  6. #24

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    I just want to wave a white flag and say that I love teachers! But also I love chefs. They make awesome food. And if I mention an experience I've had at a restaurant where the food is crap it doesn't mean I'm anti chefs. Nor do I think all chefs are bad. But I think if there is a problem with THIS teacher it needs to be resolved. And Zazou has tried. Again and again. This is not someone who is sitting back flailing her arms going "Oh no what do I do." You know what I mean? So please remember this thread is not an attack on all teachers, or the education system. This is a mum talking to a group of mums looking for some support regarding her son. No hard feelings okay?

  7. #25

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    From the posts here as yet, I don't get the impression that anyone is saying that the teacher isn't allowed to have feelings or a teaching style preference, or that the teacher is expected to be flawless, but rather that the teacher's method of communicating a significant issue (which I would imagine 90 minutes of unproductive time - essentially the entire span of time between two breaks - to be) was pretty poor and unhelpful.

    I also don't think that anyone is suggesting she set a task and then ignored the children for 90 minutes, and was then unimpressed with zazou's DS's efforts.

    The problem is that instead of giving some genuine, productive feedback, there was a snarky passive aggressive (my interpretation) note in a communication book.

    Not very communicative.

    I've never heard of stampy shouty spelling or sensory cushions, but I've got numerous friends who are teachers and education developer whatnots, and my mother was a teacher for many years (until Jeff Kennet did his thing) and I gather that teachers are basically trained to - and therefore expected to - be quite adaptive in terms of teaching styles, and are expected to communicate clearly in plain english what is going on with kids. I gather that an enormous amount more is expected of teachers these days than was the case back in the 80s and 90s, when we were at school, and that parent teacher interviews and reports etc are a very time intensive task, and not the generic "Peanutter is rather awesome, but should talk less in class to achieve her best" rigmarole of yore ...

    All that being said, I would imagine that if a one liner with no real explanation was popped in a communication book (also a new concept here) and sent home in my house, I would have no clue what the teacher actually meant.

    I have seen and heard about plenty of students who just flatly refuse to do anything in class (except, in Lachlan's case, hump the desk and try to hit girls with his ruler) but that obviously doesn't seem to be the case with zazou's child.

    What I'm reading is that a previously engaged and interested child is suddenly and dramatically less interested, and the teacher is raising an issue without actually talking to the parents, or giving a clear picture of what is going on, and what she's tried and found unsuccessful. So it's pretty unclear to me what the teacher is actually wanting the parent to do.

    The result (desired or otherwise) is that the parent is feeling concerned, paranoid, and a general nebulous "bad, uh oh, this isn't good".

    This could clearly have been avoided - or at least short circuited - by a clear communication in the first place.

    And let's remember - the DS involved is 7.

    I've met some very self aware 7yos, and I've met some who barely know which way is up, and how to put on their pants. Actually, I've met some 30yos who still fit into that category. But all of them (including - and sometimes especially - the perceptive "sharp as a tack" variety) are still 7 and in need of parents and teachers who are managing their environment to be a healthy and safe place to grow and learn and develop.

    I love the idea of Liebling's book - having seen the way some students blossom right at the end of school when finally their sketches and house designs and paintings and woodwork and music and cooking and other skills get noticed and appreciated by people who love what *they* do is awesome, and I wonder whether that's why schools which are more student directed in their learning style are getting so popular, because the child starts exploring early what they love and are naturally adept at, etc.

    I wouldn't be supporting the teacher 100% - but I would try not to undermine them in front of my child. In the same way I'm not going to undermine my DH in front of my kids, but I obviously am not going to agree with him all the time either! Collaborative approach all the way, with my child's best interests at the forefront.

    With the teacher though, it's too important for me to just stay the course if they really aren't educating my child, if there's no real improvement. It's just too important for me that my kids get a good education, within their abilities, and what we can provide.

  8. #26

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    Or there's the extended version. Thanks PN

  9. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zazou View Post
    We have an appointment next week with an educational psychologist. He does school visits when it's appropriate.
    I don't know if I should wait until after our appointment to set up a meeting with the teacher or not.
    On one hand I want this sorted as soon as possible but on the other hand if I show up with a bunch of strategies from an expert it might go down better.

    The psych asked for copies of school reports - I might take along some copies of her notes as well. I'm sure he gets lots of parents who think the problem is teachers not their children so I need evidence lol.
    I am one of those... And I can assure you he knows very well when its a teacher issue... He might not say it, but he knows

  10. #28

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    There you go.

    An analogy, a speech and a handy tip.

    What more could a girl want?


  11. #29

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    Can I just say that I agree with everyone?! I hope I didn't come across as if I was siding with the teacher....as I definitely wasn't. But I did want to offer support. I hope that I did.

    I love being an educator, and I love being a parent. I find being both conflicting sometimes...

  12. #30

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    Before I start I will say I haven't read the whole thread in depth but just want to make a bit of a general comment in response to all the views of how the teacher let the student do nothing for 90 mins.

    I'm a teacher and I will say its not unusual for this to happen on occasion. I'm not saying it was the case in this situation, but in situations I've been in I would go and sit with the said student to try to get them started. I've had some students who would 100% completely refuse to do anything. Other students may start whilst you are there and then stop as soon as you move away. As much as you do your best to ensure all students get their work done, when you have 20-30 students in the class that's not always possible. Just think, if theres 30 kids, thats essentially 3 minutes of 1:1 time for each child in the claas durijg that 90 minute period. If your child was one of the other kids in the class would you want them to have no teacher time for that whole 90 minutes just because they were trying to do their work? I'm sure they still would need some help or guidance to extend their learning.

    As I said above, I'm not saying the above scenario was the case in this situation, I just don't want people to start bagging the teacher without considering all the other people in the class too. I'm sure that teacher wasn't sitting there twiddling their thumbs doing nothing the whole lesson (if she was, then that's an issue).

  13. #31

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    I'm not sure if times have changed but when I was a child, the ones with difficulty completing their work got more attention. The ones doing it were left to their own devices.

    I don't think you're being unreasonable Zazou. I also don't like the thought that the teacher is implying that you don't know what's going on with your child by sending home that kind of note. The fact you are supporting his eduction at home shows he's not just a child who hates school. Otherwise you wouldn't get anywhere at home.

    See the school psych, be well armed and pull some ninja moves to get your boy happy again

  14. #32

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    Thank you everyone for your input and advice.
    This is the 3rd year that DS has been at school and this is the first time I have had issues like this with a teacher.
    Perhaps his previous teachers were brilliant and I had no appreciation of the fact I miss them.

  15. #33

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    I've given up on finding the lost communication book and bought a new one.
    I think that before a meeting I'll try and sort out some practical stuff using the book.

    How does this sound?

    Readers - iBoy has been bringing home the same reader since last term. I would appreciate it if you could encourage him to swap it up, perhaps you could re-explain your procedures to him in case he didn't grasp it the first time. I used to read with iBoy and his classmates at his previous school and switched up their readers when necessary. I would be happy to come in and do the same here. I can come in most days except Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
    iBoy has not bought home any Italian readers. What resources do you recommend for his Italian reading?

    I am quite concerned that in 90 minutes iBoy didn't complete any of his spelling work. I assume he had a number of activities to choose from. iBoy prefers hands-on activities, things like Scrabble, making his words into pictures or building them with found materials, making puppets shows, and using the computer. If he hasn't made a start on his work after a certain time maybe it is best to break the deadlock with some busy work or a distraction moving something around then come back to it. I'm sure you have noticed by now that he can win awards at being stubborn and that he is almost as happy with negative attention as with positive attention.

    iBoy tells me that he hasn't used his cushion yet. If you have decided against using it at school I would appreciate it if you could let me know so that I can take it home for homework. At school he can use it floor time as well as on a chair.

    Are you familiar with the concept of fidgets? We have had some success with them at home. I understand that in the classroom they can be a challenge but if you would like me to bring any in please let me know.

    Upcoming absences - iBoy has an appointment with an educational psychologist next week (time date). I am hoping that after this appointment and a follow up with his pediatrician that we will be able to implement some strategies that will make the classroom more enjoyable for Imran and hence less stressful for you.
    Eid
    State interschools


    What should I add/leave out?

  16. #34

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    I think that's perfect. Very even toned and not accusing in any way. It could just be she needs some tools. I hope she can get the tools she needs for herself and iBoy. Hopefully the meeting will help with that too.

  17. #35

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    Love it. Especially the iBoy bit. I hope you leave that in there.

  18. #36

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    I think it sounds wonderful.

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