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Thread: School Report Advice???

  1. #1

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    Default School Report Advice???

    Hi

    I know that there are quite a few teachers here on BB, and I would really appreciate some advice on Tayla's school report!

    Tayla is 10 y/o, she's in Grade 5, but age wise she should be in Grade 4, she started early. Tayla has had a lot of emotional problems this year with losing her grandfather suddenly, she took a long time to build her confidence again, we have her in counselling and various other things to help her, so I thought we would be okay!

    WELL!!!

    On Tuesday we got her report. To be honest, I ended up in tears, mainly because I knew that I would have to show Tayla the report and it was soooo horrible. She basically got a C average, about 4 D's but a couple were in areas that we know that she has trouble. The part that really upset me was the comments...the teacher has a semi-positive sentence but then follows it up with she is below average level for Grade 5. This is with EVERY comment! The dots do not match up with the comments AT ALL!

    As most of you know the Victorian reports have just changed to the new system. Its taken me a little to understand it, BUT they have a space there to write a parent comment about the report! It took me ages to write, but I sent back yesterday



    ' We are extremely disappointed with this report. We feel that the report is very unclear as the dots do not seem to match the written section. We are upset with the extreme negativity of the comments made in the assessment of Tayla. We think this is uncalled for and there are NO positive aspects to this report. Tayla is very upset and as she has self esteem issues we feel that this report has undermined all our efforts so far this year'

    I thought I was pretty restrained and concise. I feel totally ripped off! Tayla doesnt want to go to school, is now complaining of being sick since she read the report, is hysterical on the way to school in the morning. This teacher knows of all the problems that we have had with Tayla and that she is still struggling with her grief, add to that my uncle is dying and Tayla is freaking out. I would have thought this teacher could have put something positive in her report!

    The teacher was horrible to me yesterday, as I told her that Tayla would not be going to school today, she is just too upset and I have a counselling appt for her to help her. The teacher said that my comments were not nice and not what she would have expected. She wanted to discuss them then and I told her that I would wait for our interview on July 3. I mentioned to the teacher that I have an academic assessment of Tayla from Alfred CAMHS, and she said that I should have shown her that before she wrote the report. I deliberately withheld it, knowing that she probably would have matched the report to the assessment.

    Tayla has got 92, 88 and 90% on her last 3 Maths tests, yet she is supposedly below average, what the hell is the average then?

    I just get the impression that this teacher does not like children that are struggling, she thinks that they are a waste of time.

    I also think that this teacher, who is only on contract for this year, may be marking the kids lower on this first report so that at the end of the year, they improve a lot more, and are up to standard, makes it look like she is a great teacher.

    How do I explain to this teacher the damage that she has caused? Tayla tries hard most of the time, but I am not saying that she is an angel, she does struggle and is a little lazy in some things, but you would think that she could have praised her on something!

  2. #2

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    This sounds awful

    You have a very brave and strong daughter there to have gone through what she has. I dont blame her for not wanting to go to school neither.

    I think what you wrote back to the teacher was very appropriately worded and I couldn;t have done better myself.

    I hope Tayla can build her self-esteem and confidence back up and can strive for herself- not for her teacher.

    I also believe that teachers can go out of their way as you said to make it look like kids have acheived a lot by the end of the year.

    Hang in there Tayla (and mum!)

  3. #3

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    Dinky,

    Not sure if it would help or hinder, but is it an option for tayla to be witheld so she is with like age/minded students..
    I know she may feel worse initially for being kept down, but it may help for the future?

    I dont blame her for hating school. I hated school & as my teachers were also nasty saying I'd amount to nothing etc etc, I didnt give a toss & unfortunately it sounds like the eacher putting tayla down is what Tayla is also doing...
    Tayla & your whole family included has been through so much of late & still ongoing, you'd think the teacher could show some compassion, which it sounds like she certainly didnt..

    I think what you wrote backj was clearly understandable, I dont think you were harsh, I think the Teacher doesnt like a dose of her own medecine!!!

    I hope tayla gets a teacher that is more understanding & responsive to children in the future, I know it helped me to have a really good teacher one year & it made my life & schooling so different, until she fell preg & left!!! I went back to my old ways & left soon after!!!


    Tayla, I wish you much success in your future, you are a gorgeous bright girl & no matter what you choose to do you WILL be successful...
    hugs to you!

  4. #4

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    Is switching classes or schools an option?

  5. #5

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    Dinky!
    to you and your daughter. Im a teacher - keep reading though!

    The new reports are crap, what else can I say. Even though this is a government initiaive, each state is still fighting for changes.So now each state has changed what they are doing for the new reports. We have grown up with the knowledge that A is good and a E is a fail. Im not sure if VIC has fought againt the ranking that was introduced. This was meant that each child was ranked in the class against the other students, so you could be getting an A for a subject but actually just be the smartest one of the dumbiest group kids - Sorry for my bluntest but just trying to make it clear in what the head honchos in an office decided So you could be a A at one school, move to a different school and start getting Ds, even though nothing about your ability has changed.
    And the other thing, is that the standards cover 2 year periods. So since your daughter is in year 5 she would be working towards the next standard which is what children should be at in year 6. There is a huge pressure as well as each standard is not one thing to tick off, each had many parts and it can take years to acheive all of them. The standards are way too broad.A lot of areas wont be covered yet as its only half way thru the year as well.

    The other issue a lot of teachers have is that there isnt any consideration for any information about the effort the child has put in (my school has just changed their report for this) and as you have said the negative impact it has on children. I work with a lot of children with learning difficulties and their life is always going to be getting Es now because they will be forever not achieving academically at the year level.

    Did you daughters school run any information sessions about how the reports are changing? or provide any other extra information apart from what is on the report for you?

    Can i ask what sort of comments were written on the report? Did the teacher write in the general comments part that Tayla (if) she is behind the work level, is coping well due to the personal situations that are happening?? I think your comments were fair and myself would have wanted meetings with parents when handing out the new reports so they could be discussed. Children need lots and lots of positives and encouragement to move them further in their learning. Nothing more than beaming kids when they are achieving. One of my little muchkins went up a reading level and it was fantastic. Even the brightest students ive had, need pushing along to extend their learning,and areas to practice on.
    And as for asking to see the other report, if you have a good relationship with the parents then they would have already known you were having a meeting to have this assessed and that you were having concerns.

    PM me If you want some ideas or extra help in areas for Tayla, let me know and i will organise some ideas / things you can do to help Tayla feel a little more successful at home so she might feel a bit better about going to school, or even you can do with her if she's not feeling ok about going to school

    Luv Summer

  6. #6

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    Dinky, I'm disgusted at this but, sadly, not at all surprised. One of the worst reports I ever received was in the 6th form from the teacher who went to court with me (no, I wasn't suing her at the time). It's so easy to get frustrated at pupils you know can do the work but for one reason or another don't - but if the teacher knows the reason she has to be pretty darn mean to hold it against the child. I've not taught, only run clubs and assisted some classes, but if you know there's a problem you deal with it, not take it out on the child.

    Your Tayla sounds like a wonderful girl and it's such a shame she's having to struggle with this. Does the head of the school know about the problems - I would discuss the report with him/her/another senior teacher. As you say, this teacher is only on contract for one year and you need all feedback, negative as well as positive, to ensure that you make the right choice for contract renewal.

    You are also quite correct that every report should have a positive aspect, even that it's good social skills (ie learnt nothing and won't shut up). A 90% average on maths tests and being below average means the teacher can't set maths tests, or understand maths - take your pick. Unless every other student scored 100% on those tests your daughter is doing very well.

    I'd just hunt out any positives here. Her grades aren't too bad, a C-average is good (that's a pass!), her acutal results are good - she just has a poor teacher. Very, very poor. You said there were some half-positive things: ok, they're followed by something negative, but I'd hunt out anything that could be positive and try to build on that. For example "could do more sport" could mean that she's fab at sport and could build on those successes, or could be top of the class with a little more practice. Doing that isn't an easy skill to learn, but start doing it early enough and you'll find that all criticism can be constructive.

    You tell Tayla from me that her teacher is a right meanie who has no idea what she's talking about, and I'd be trying to stay off school too. (I actually missed over half of my 3rd year French lessons because of a bad teacher.) But that's letting the stupid teacher win, it's Tayla's education at the end of it - if she can't get a new teacher then she'll know whatever she's done this year will be off her own back and nothing to do with this teacher at all - and that sort of learning stays with you and makes you a far more able to deal with life than just rote-learning.

    All the best wishes to you for your appointment with the teacher next month, I really hope you can get this sorted as amicably as possible.

  7. #7

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    Hi dinky, i think it is absoloutely disgraceful!!!!!!
    Gees we are all different some people take longer than others!!!!! I was hopeless at school, but as a mature age student last year i was top of the class!!!! i got 90 to 100% at University!!! My son James started school last year, he was having problems we had him assessed, they basically said there was nothing wrong with him but his maturity was a year behind but they said to me that who is to say what level a child should be they are ALL DIFFERENT!!
    The school was awesome and so was the vic assessment team, i came to the conclusion to keep him back at prep, this year he is doing well, he is in the average lot, but the teacher only said wonderful comments as how he has improved and overall very happy with his outcome, he still has problems with recognising sounds( has a little hearing problem, which has been assessed) but she said thats just James he will have to work a little harder than everyone else, she made it clear James has other Fortes, and by no way was James slow!!! She was awesome.
    The Primary school he attends hate the new reports and opted to stick with the old system for the half year but by law will change to the new format by the end of the year.
    All the teachers at the school hate the new system as they do not want to put down any children by clasing them as failures. she said they will be very carefull with their marking. I think that is awesome!!! I love James school they are very considerate and they are also voted as the 3rd best primary school in victoria and it shows in their compassion.
    I am disgusted on how the teacher assessed your daughter, you did the right thing!!!! Maybe you should consider changing schools next year!!! Children need to be praised to gain self confidence, your poor daughter is probably made to feel worthless, give her a hug and praise her heaps and tell her as long as she tries her best it doesn't matter what mark she gets!!!

    Lots of love
    Roslyn

  8. #8

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    I have an 11yo DD in grade 6 and she has also just received her report. She attends a private girls' school but they also have to follow Victorian govt. standards when it comes to school reports... they just add extra more detailed information. My DD is of average academic ability, a bit stronger in reading and very strong in sport. She is a C student which, according to the information we received at Parent Information Night indicates that she is performing at a standard expected for her age. We are happy with that. If she was a B student then I think it means she would be performing at a standard appropriate for a child a year older than her age and if she was an A student then it means she is performing at 2 years +. How many children honestly perform at 2 years and more above their age? I think parental expectations of children achieving A grades is largely unreasonable. Now I'm not saying that you are being unreasonable I'm just suggesting that a C grade is perfectly ok, especially given that your DD is a year younger than her peers.

    I do however think that the attitude of the teacher has a lot to answer for! She seems so cold and uncaring. I would suggest not waiting until the July scheduled meeting. Take the opportunity to meet, preferably with the Head of Junior school too, before this date because it sounds like you will need more than the usual 10-15mins allocated for a parent-teacher interveiw anyhow. I also agree with the others that it might be best to consider changing classes/schools if this meeting is unsatisfactory.

    Goodluck! Let us know how it goes!

  9. #9

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    The way they are doing the A B C thing now days is not what most of us know it as. It seems that if your child gets C's - they're at the class level and doing what is expected.

    It seems impossible to strive for something higher when A's and B's represent levels 1-2 years ahead of what they're actually doing.

    Good luck with your interview next month - the teacher must have some sort of back up as to how she arrived at her grading.

  10. #10

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    Thank you to everyone that has replied!!

    I am a little calmer now! Only just! I am preparing myself for the dreaded interview in which this teacher better have some answers for me. I have heard that she will be getting the assistant principal in with us for my interview. I dont care, means that she will have to explain things to us properly.

    The school is very reluctant to keep kids back a grade, although if its decided that this is the best option for us, then we will do it. However, after speaking to Tayla and working with her over the holidays, I think that she can cope with a little more effort on her part!

    I am just going to work out what we are going to say and show this teacher, she needs to be held responsible for her comments, she didnt take into consideration anything that Tayla and the family have been through in the past 6 months, she just doesnt care!

    I will let you all know the outcome of the meeting, although not sure when I will be able to get on the computer as we will be renovating that week, but I will let you know somehow!

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