problem child or problem teacher?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

problem child or problem teacher?

Postby ycted » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:07 pm

Have been very frustrated with my son reccently - he's very forgetful and has always been having problems concentrating in class, but with a lot of effort has been doing OK in school until this year. He's in P5 this year, and managed to get into a "good" class but has been struggling a bit with the work.
What gets me though, is that he seems to have been marked out by his teachers as a problem child because he tends to forget to bring his work /do his corrections/daydream in class - all old problems, but which have been magnified tenfold this year by the intensity of work.
I'm at my wits' end - am worn out by having to come home and yell at him almost daily. Going through his bag only helps so much because he leaves stuff at school.....
I know he is trying hard though, and thought things were better until he forgot to bring some spelling home for me to sign today, he got punished at school and was told by his teacher that he was a "waste of space" in the good class and would surely drop out next year. AND forgot to bring his spelling home again after that scolding......Don't know whether to be more angry with this hurtful teacher or with my son.....
Wonder if there is anyone out there who can give me some words of wisdom?

ycted
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Re: problem child or problem teacher?

Postby Chenonceau » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:46 am

ycted wrote:Have been very frustrated with my son reccently - he's very forgetful and has always been having problems concentrating in class, but with a lot of effort has been doing OK in school until this year. He's in P5 this year, and managed to get into a "good" class but has been struggling a bit with the work.
What gets me though, is that he seems to have been marked out by his teachers as a problem child because he tends to forget to bring his work /do his corrections/daydream in class - all old problems, but which have been magnified tenfold this year by the intensity of work.
I'm at my wits' end - am worn out by having to come home and yell at him almost daily. Going through his bag only helps so much because he leaves stuff at school.....
I know he is trying hard though, and thought things were better until he forgot to bring some spelling home for me to sign today, he got punished at school and was told by his teacher that he was a "waste of space" in the good class and would surely drop out next year. AND forgot to bring his spelling home again after that scolding......Don't know whether to be more angry with this hurtful teacher or with my son.....
Wonder if there is anyone out there who can give me some words of wisdom?


Hey... I am a P5 Mommy too... with a son who is also quite forgetful. He was quite badly scolded by Teacher because he forgot to bring his Little Red Dot to school THREE times in a row. He miserably confided in me that he thinks his Teacher hates him. So poor thing, he had red red eyes, and he was so ashamed of himself that he refused to have lunch in the kopitiam near school because he didn't wanna meet his friends.

So... I did 3 things...

(1) I found an occasion early one morning, in the half hour before we all woke up, to talk about it... that's when he's feeling cuddly and communicative (and a bit sleepy). So, I held him in my arms and asked him questions about what happened, and why Teacher was angry... and as he talked, I lead him to the conclusion that Teacher didn't hate him, Teacher was just mad about Little Red Dot. So all he has to do is to bring his work and Teacher will like him again.

(2) I made light of the issue... told him that he was just my little gong-gong boy who would just have to be more careful with bringing odds and ends. I try to help him... little text messages... and in the morning, before school, I look him in the eyes and ask "Think properly ah? Is there anything that WE find unimportant BUT Teacher finds important that you gotta bring to AVOID a scolding?"

(3) Then... *gasp* we brainstormed naughty things e.g., the next time you forget the Little Red Dot, you use a red pen and make a little dot on the page and pass up lor... Big deal!! He looked at me with big eyes in the dark and then laughed happily. Then, he got ready and bounced off to school.

"The world is heaven in Mommy's arms." said my son.

In your case, the Teacher has said something more hurtful than what my son experienced, so maybe you need to soothe the hurt a bit by telling your son that it doesn't matter what Teacher thinks, it only matters what Mommy thinks, and together with Mommy, you will both show the Teacher that he deserves his place in that class. This would allow you to lend him your strength, to give him some motivation to study hard, to allow your love to wash over him and soothe the hurt.

P5 is an awful year. My son is likely to fail in some subjects for SA1 even though he is a reasonably good student... because the exams test beyond what has been taught and practised in class. Maybe your son is equally stretched? Last year, I was tough on him. Very strict. This year though, his school has become very strict and if I too am a "Scoldy Mommy", my son will go crazy... or develop some other coping techniques like mental withdrawal and denial.

I am wondering if your son's persistent forgetfulness could be due to mental withdrawal. If so, you may need to draw him out again with gentleness and understanding before you can motivate him to try hard at being less forgetful.

No use confronting Teacher I dun think. It'll just make him/her dislike your son more. Best to try and think up ways to help Teacher like your son. Friendliness and understanding. My son's P2 Teacher called him gong-gong. I was a bit shocked at first but after I got over it, built a relationship with Teacher, became good friends, things were better and now my son's nickname is Gong-Gong. So mean right?

All the best to you...

Chenonceau
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Postby ycted » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:03 pm

Thanks, that really helped. I agree that he's probably is somewhat withdrawn, poor fellow gets scolded some days from dawn till dusk by parents/teachers/ grandparents/ parents again. I have tried hard to be his advocate, will continue to try...........God bless you and thanks again for sharing.

ycted
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Postby pixiedust » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:14 pm

wow...sounds like my boy ! How is your boy coping with Chinese ?

My boy had similar experience last year, P4. His P4 FT was one of those old-school teachers with very high expectations (also banded class). She called me just 2 weeks into the new school term. Complained about my boy being forgetful, untidy and not organised, told me to keep tab on him :| My boy continued to get scolded by her throughout the year, stayed back every recess to practise penmanship. I got more calls from her throughout the year until I was :cry:

I told my son: this teacher has high expectations but she is putting in efforts to help you change. Try your best to meet her expectations. She is a good teacher. My son also thinks the teacher is picking on him and sometimes he is very frustruated but I tried to put her in positive light in all my hear-to-heart talk with my son.

Finally,when the FT called me for the 4th or 5th time, I asked her if my boy has improved since day 1 and she admitted yes. So I told her all of us(ie. she, me, my boy) just try our best and see how he goes.

One thing, she never really said such words as your son's FT but perhaps you can just encourage him on your part.

Now that he is in P5, a new FT, he admitted the P4 FT was a good FT and I think he moved on.

pixiedust
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Postby Chenonceau » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:08 pm

Teacher thought my son was lying... http://petunialee.blogspot.com/2011/04/ ... -liar.html

My boy's Chinese is still of concern but these 2 weeks is the time for confidence building. We'll go back to work on it after exams lah...

Chenonceau
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Postby Guest » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:39 am

I find teachers' words and actions are pretty harsh at times. Words like wasting a space and gong gong would not go down well with me...so kudos to you parents who can take it. I expect no humiliation in school and from school.

I believe the most awful scolding should come from parents. Teachers should scold the child factually about things she/he has not done properly and can expect corrective action from the child. Failing which, the parents have to step in to discipline.

For forgetfulness, I think starting up a TODO/TOBRING booklet helps. I make my child write what is required to bring to school...bring home and what is todo in school and todo at home from school. The brain has limited capacity, why stretch it the wrong way?

Btw, my child's teacher deducts marks from her spelling if she is forgetful about bringing her spelling book. -10 marks for forgetting and another -10 if forget to get the parents to sign. So even if one scores 100, it is reflected as 80 only. It works on my child who finds the deduction of marks an eyesore in her book.
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Postby Chenonceau » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:36 am

ksi wrote:For forgetfulness, I think starting up a TODO/TOBRING booklet helps. I make my child write what is required to bring to school...bring home and what is todo in school and todo at home from school. The brain has limited capacity, why stretch it the wrong way?


Yup! Teacher suggested that so we're gonna try that out.

Chenonceau
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Re: problem child or problem teacher?

Postby Sun_2010 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:50 am

Chenonceau,

:udawoman:

The strenght and sense you display deserves :salute:
Thanks for sharing.

Chenonceau wrote:
"The world is heaven in Mommy's arms." said my son.


You are blesssed with a wonderful DS :love:

Sun_2010
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Postby pixiedust » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:04 am

ToDo/To Bring booklet :

We tried for a while. Final routine was : put a pen permanently at the exact page of today's date (kind of like a bookmark), instruct the boy to leave the booklet under his pencil case once he gets into class, write down whatever need to do/bring once teacher mentions.

Several times he said teacher said too fast so he wrote short-form but he couldn't decipher his own shortform/scribblings when he got home :| but at least he knows there was something to remember so he called his classmates for help.

Calling classmates : I asked him to ask 2 to 3 classmate and get them to write the name/home tel# behind the ToDo booklet. Told him to ask those he thinks pay attention in class.

He still forgets sometimes but number of incidents reduced with above routine.

Your blog post is very touching.... ..ahemmm but the wash-window part really cracked me up. :lol:

pixiedust
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Re: problem child or problem teacher?

Postby Chenonceau » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:40 am

Sun_2010 wrote:You are blesssed with a wonderful DS :love:


Thank you Sunny! The most memorable thing he ever said to me was when he was 3 and we were playing an analogy game with " I love you as much as..." He actually said "I love you as much as there are rain drops in the sky." I am sure most mommies have one or two such memories. This one was mine. :D :D :D

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