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Advice appreciated!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lglover24, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. lglover24

    lglover24 New commenter


    I am currently working in a private school and in the middle of writing behaviour comments for reports. I'm struggling to write a comment that gets the message across professionally that some children become very emotional over small unnecessary things. Some examples are... 'someone has put their pencil case on my desk', 'he looked at me funny', losing at a game of snakes and laddders, water bottle leaking in their bag, me saying no they can't do something etc.

    First of all, am I being too harsh? These children are 7 years old. It is a daily occurrence (not always the same child) and interrupts the lessons constantly (which are now cut short to 40 minutes).

    So far I've come up with 'is encouraged to work on emotional resilience' or 'needs to develop a more mature response to consequences.'

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Tell the truth - I do. But speak to the parents first. How will they cope in the real world?

    Actually - just read the fact that they are 7 years old - that is part of growing up and needs to be addressed in the classroom unless it becomes a real problem - state school or independent.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    We always worked on the sandwich /burger principle. So a positive comment, then something 'to work on' comment ending with another positive comment.

    As to a comment, use something referring to 'still needs to work on social skills, sharing, turn-taking, asking before borrowing etc. whichever seems most pertinent.

    EDIT Just seen @Marshall's comment and yes tell the truth and it's just part and parcel of growing up.
    Marshall likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I wouldn't write things like that on a report, but I would be teaching better ways to manage in the classroom.
    I'd also be thinking about how my classroom lay out adds to the problem, my seating arrangements, my routines, etc and change those.

    I'm not a fan of 'child needs to learn resilience' or 'child needs to develop more self control' type remarks. These things should be targets for us to teach them, not for them to magically learn because we tell them to.
    minnie me likes this.
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Understand how the behaviour can impact on what happens in the classroom and totally appeciate the frustration. You may wish to alert parents how the immaturity manifests and crucially suggest some strategies which the children can adopt to address the areas you have highlighted.That said needs to be a whole school
    approach - trust you are not the only teacher with concerns ?
  6. lglover24

    lglover24 New commenter

    Thank-you for your response! I totally agree with you about the real world. I understand that its part of growing up but I haven't experiences this much crying in this year group before! I am currently working with the SENCO to implement strategies in the classroom for coping with their emotions.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. lglover24

    lglover24 New commenter

    Thank you for the advice about the positive comment then something to work on! Also for the suggestions on what to work on.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. lglover24

    lglover24 New commenter

    Thanks for your response. I agree that we shouldn't expect a child to learn to change their behaviour without us modelling how and I am currently working with the SENCO on this.

    I feel their parents need to know though, hence me asking for some suggestions on how to word a comment about it appropriately.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. lglover24

    lglover24 New commenter

    Thank you for your acknowledgement! I am currently working with the SENCO for strategies to implement and will be sharing these with the parents too. I am not the only one with concerns no, their previous class teacher also had the same problems.
    minnie me and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I agree you need to work with parents on this, but the half yearly report shouldn't be the time to 'let parents know'. They should already know from short end of day chats or having parents in for a longer talk if you are very concerned.

    I would ask a classteacher to rethink and reword/delete if I saw 'needs to develop a more mature response to consequences' on a report for a seven year old.

    Overly emotional responses are generally a signal that something is wrong and the child doesn't have the vocabulary to describe it. It isn't something they can work on or achieve, the way they can learning spellings or timestables.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    I think it's one you need to raise in a face to face discussion to explain exactly what you mean as it's too likely to be taken the wrong way coming at it cold in written format to be honest. In all likelihood you're likely to get a parent who just comments that "yep we get that at home as well" but even as the parent of one of a similar age who can be a right flipping drama queen when the mood takes her (99% of the time at the moment) I'd be really raising eyebrows at it being worded like that on a school report. Thankfully I get on very well with her class teacher (who has a stunning ability to stop her in full flow with a single raised eyebrow) so it does get communicated very very clearly between the pair of us (usually both veering between despair and bemusement about what she's overreacted to that day).

    It's also comes from anxiety in my child's case - she's very highly strung naturally (gets it from me unfortunately) and everything just gets tangled up and then someone breathing wrongly can be the final straw on a one of "those days". We all work endlessly on it with her anxiety and coping strategies.
  12. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Yes, a written report shouldn’t flag up anything which a parent hasn’t been made aware of through a conversation/chat/parents’ meeting with the teacher. Always start and end a report with positive comments. As you are in a private school, I would recommend a tactful approach to whatever you write. I’m afraid complete honesty is not always the best policy here.
    teresa1978 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. SteffenCarter

    SteffenCarter New commenter

    When you have to write the comment on children report write only the truth. Because parent don't know what their child do in school. As you are a private tutor you should tell the truth.

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