Could teachers have just got this wrong?

(59 Posts)
jalapeno Wed 30-Jan-13 21:02:26

I was on here about 1.5 years ago regarding my DS who was ok academically but very fidgetty, distracted, stubborn, good at maths but hated writing.

Teacher seemed terribly concerned by his behaviour (v well behaved class, pushy MC intake) but not concerned by his achievement so no EP appointment.

Anyway, I let them get on with their IEPs and we took him to a paed, OT, eye tests, other things and all going well and ok. His behaviour is the same and in a way getting worse as he gets older. Paed thought there may prove to be a few autistic traits but nothing worrying at all, teacher wrote a letter to say that wasn't how they saw it.

I actually think he is playing them. I think he likes being singled out and being given extra consideration at school. He is challenging at home but responds to usual disciplines at home, I never have to smack, just raise my voice, give the stare etc. I don't have to give him all these things they do at school for homework, I just make him do it. That might sound arrogant(sorry if it does) but he just has a natural reluctance to do any work, not to my mind a SEN. (disclaimer: I admit I have no professional opinion to base this on!!)

He got really good marks in his yr 2 sats last year. I was genuinely expecting him to do a lot less well given all they had said. Could he just be bright and bored? I haven't said this at any time to his teachers but they seem to have him in all sorts of boxes just not the correct one for him sad and I'm concerned that by not wanting to sound pushy I've let him down.

He's just told DH he sits at the back a lot by himself so he "doesn't get distracted" so the only time anyone sits with him is when they are sent to DS's table when they have been naughty. He says he hasn't sat with his friends for ages sad I know he has his own table, I've seen it, teacher has explained it but I thought it was only for when things got too much for him.

Sorry for the ramble I'm really feeling for my boy. Can I just ask them to be more firm with him and include him/stimulate him more? And tell them he's probably not distracted just bored...and a bit up himself so won't do what he doesn't want to?

I asked his teacher for an update (no conversation since sept) and now she has said SENCO wants to meet. I need to be clear what I want to say. Thanks if you've got this far!

jalapeno Wed 06-Feb-13 09:58:06

Thanks lljkk

I do make him do this for his homework but have never given him extra to do (or at least not for a while, when in year 1 he was struggling to even start writing so I helped him) but I am not the most natural teacher to this age group i.e. I am impatient blush

I am now thinking that he needs to practice more as you say. I am also sad that he has been getting behind in school. He had a 3 in literacy at the end of year 2 so I thought he was ok but he is obviously a boy of contradiction and needs help with his learning even if his achievement is good.

jalapeno Wed 06-Feb-13 10:01:14

Oh, and the spitting thing has happened a lot more. They think it is a coping mechanism and are trying to persuade him not to do it. I think it is unacceptable behaviour and since they are not disciplining him for it at school would like to ask the school to let me know every time he does it and I will remove toys or pocket money at home.

Is this heavy handed and/or would the school agree? I only thought of it when I got home I was a bit shocked in the meeting that it was a regular thing. I cannot have him doing this at home or school, I am mortified!

MrsHoarder Wed 06-Feb-13 10:17:11

For the tutor thing, if is a matter of not letting him get behind when he will hopefully bit have classroom problems indefinitely, why not have one for a year our two?

DB had a tutor for yrs 2-4 because the school couldn't provide him with a statement but he clearly needed more 1 to 1 help than they could give with a statement. Probably not worth it for anything except maths/literacy but the foundations of these in primary school are so very important

jalapeno Wed 06-Feb-13 10:33:09

Thanks mrshoarder isn't it sad that they can't get what they need in school. Actually I didn't even ask about 1 to 1 at school blush

His maths is fine, no worries there. He is also interested in it, which seems to make a world of difference. He is just "distracted" when he isn't interested which is whenever he is required to sit still and write. I think now this has rumbled on he has lost his confidence in literacy.

mistlethrush Wed 06-Feb-13 10:43:44

This sounds very similar to my 7 yo. He was struggling with literacy - mainly because he could not write fluently enough to be able to get the wonderful ideas in his head out, down on paper, so he knew he wasn't good at it, so he procrastinated and daydreamed and didn't even manage to practice getting better than where he was.... and he was getting behind. I'm pleased to say that a switch has been flicked... he is much more confident with writing, so now will get more of his thoughts down on paper, so is getting rewarded for that good work - and enjoying it a lot more in consequence.

We've done writing at home - mainly 'useful' things like lists - 'DS, could you write a shopping list for us today whilst I clear up...' - and I'm sure that's helped.

Its interesting about tables - DS has specifically asked to move his desk away from the other children (they're in groups of 4) so that he can concentrate more easily.

We will be asking about one of his teachers at the next parents' evening though - he came back upset one day because he'd been 'shouted' at for sitting on his hands - which he was apparently doing because that teacher doesn't like them 'fiddling' with their pencils... Whilst I can understand the not wanting fiddling, to shout at a child that's trying not to fiddle, even if its a peculiar thing that they're doing to stop the fiddling, seems to be a bit excessive...

DewDr0p Wed 06-Feb-13 11:00:13

OP I wonder if Gary Wilson's book "Raising Boys' Achievement" might be useful to you? It's excellent and packed full of ideas and strategies to try to get boys interested in school in general but writing in particular.

Ds3 is struggling with writing and his teacher has just given him a special writing book for him to write in at home. Any writing is fine, even just practising spellings or writing a sentence or two about the weekend. We're going to take it in periodically so his teacher can lavish him with praise for his efforts grin

There is a boy in ds1's class who struggles with sitting still and he has a wobble board to sit on, sometimes a lump of blu tack to fiddle with. They both seem to help.

Glad school are reconsidering the "naughty table" arrangement - that's not good.

jalapeno Wed 06-Feb-13 12:06:31

mistlethrush good to hear your DS has become more confident! I'm glad he is enjoying writing more and gives me hope for my DS! I would be cross with that teacher too, seems to have told him off for the wrong reasons there. I will try my best with writing tasks that don't seem too onerous however I'm not massively creative so will have to find a book or a website with some ideas I reckon.

dewdr0p I have read raising boys before but not the achievement one, I will look for it. Actually, I will read raising boys again too, good idea thanks grin I like the idea of a writing book too that teacher can look at, I will raise this at parents evening in a few weeks.

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 12:10:23

mistlethrush, can you not have a quiet word with the teacher? What's wrong with sitting on your hands?

mistlethrush Wed 06-Feb-13 12:30:25

Learnandsay - I'm going to raise it with his class teacher at parents evening (coming up) as the teacher is not his normal class teacher and just takes them for a few classes a week. Pity really as he likes the subjects, just doesn't like the teacher. Whilst I know that he can be incredibly irritating when he is messing around, fiddling, stretching (etc, etc, etc) his class teacher seems to be able to manage him without shouting or telling him off for trying to do something to modify his behaviour...

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