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Report writing

Discussion in 'Welcome lounge and forum help' started by marbetu, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    Hi there,

    I'm a teacher myself but I am also a mum. I live and teach in Belgium. I'm English though.

    My 13 y o (Dyscalculic and ADD) daughter came home in tears with a dreadful report from her form teacher (also her maths teacher).

    The comments went like this: "The situation is serious Sara, however you don't seem worried about it. You never participate, you don't ask questions, you are always hidden in your elbow or hood, you cannot answer questions when asked because you have not been following, you are sometimes not even on the correct page! In addition, work done at home is clearly insufficient. If you want to succeed, it has to come from you!"

    I am shocked and sad for my child, but I want to give a proactive reply that will help the teacher understand special needs and basic psychology. I’m also meeting the head to make sure that her needs are understood by all the teachers and that she had adaptations that prove that.

    Has anyone any best practices to pass on to this teacher ?
    For example here are a few of my own practices:
    - I never criticize a child's demeanor or appearance.
    - I always sandwich a piece of bad news between two pieces of good news.
    - At the beginning of the year, I always check the files to find out if a child has agreed adaptations, what the learning issues, or other issues that might interfere with home or class work are, then, if I am unfamiliar with the issues I find out by googling it.
    - I always end on a positive tone.
    - I always suggest solutions to issues……

    Thanks in advance,
  2. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    I forgot to add that the child works hard at home and tries to listen at school. She never disturbs the class or the teacher. She does 6 hours of extra tuition outside school, 3 hours are maths.
    lodhi likes this.
  3. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    The situation is appalling. You have to get in touch with the SENCo at the school if such a role exists in Belgium, as that teacher desperately needs SEND training. If you have any reports by a Educational Psychologist on your child, there is usually some reference and guidance to their teaching and learning. Everything written about your child is against the code. Also think of calling the Autism helpline for specialist support.


    Best wishes and I hope thinks get better for your child.
    marbetu likes this.
  4. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Anyone else green with envy at the fact teachers in Belgium get away with writing such reports?
    marbetu likes this.
  5. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    Dear catbefriender, post: 12700708, member: 2407387

    Thank you for your reply. Your support is really heartening.
    Would you suspect autism ? I had not thought of that - thanks. Luckily, she'd be very mild if it were true. I am an asperger myself, and I am pretty sure she is not an asperger.

    Unfortunately, there are no Sencos in Belgium. They have a separate body that is suppose to provide psycho-medico support to students, but it's pitiful when you compare to the UK and Ireland (the 2 places i've got experience). When I told them my daughter was dyscalculic and had ADD and needed specialised teaching the answer was "From your description of her difficulties, I do not understand what would justify specialized teaching. Indeed, you specify that in all subjects she gets good results except in mathematics. You speak of a specialized teaching in math!
    For a pupil to be oriented towards specialized education, a rigorous analysis of his or her difficulties is required and a multidisciplinary assessment must be carried out.
    Currently, we have no indication that allows us to consider this orientation for your daughter.
    Specific aids in mathematics exist such as extra classes by "jeunesses scientifiques" or private tuition

    I'm shocked that this is the body that requests a specialised teacher to come to the school to give tuition. They are the only body with the authority to do so. They did not even ask for any of the reports we have on her : dyscalculia, ADD, IQ.... and dyslexia is on the way.

    Oh why did we leave the UK?
  6. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    It is a sad fact. We are so behind you guys. We have huge failure rates and highschool drop out. Education-wise, I wonder why we are allowed stay in the EU.

  7. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @marbetu, she has been diagnosed with ADD and Dyscalculia and sometimes when these two are present, Dyslexia is also and being disorganised is part of the dyslexia, that's if we are to take the idiot teacher's comments seriously.

    Whatever her problems, whether real or imagined, having such comments made will not help a vulnerable 13 year old girl whose body is going through major changes.

    It is appalling that teachers can write such things, I work with SEND students and the difference I suppose is that they were told these things, such as, 'You are so lacking in confidence that I don't think you will pass your GCSEs.' Absolutely NO help to students.

    What your girl needs is some BIG BIGGING up. Work on her confidence and her self esteem and find something that she is really good at, so she can do it and get GENUINE praise, ideally from someone outside of the family and of course from you as well.

    Never stop telling your girl how proud you are of her. Because she had a nasty letter, why not write a beautiful letter on quality coloured paper, enclosed in a lovely card, and hide it under her pillow, duvet, on her dresser etc. telling her just how awesome you think she is? This will really boast her confidence.

    It is really nasty to have all these horrible things put in writing. I think it penetrates more deeply when it is written.

    Hope you come up with some brilliant solutions to the problem. Re the autism, I misread the post, but thinking about it, it could be but probably isn't. Your daughter is definitely hyper sensitive to idiots, and can sense an idiot within millimetres and she may be acting the way she is, because she is in the presence of one.

    Your girl needs to learn idiots unfortunately exist and they are not be taken too seriously and her opinion of herself is what matters most. Hence working on her self esteem is essential and consider private tutor if she is falling behind.
  8. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    It seems disrespectful to the teacher concerned to post the report online for criticism.

    If you want to reply you need to do so with practical strategies. The teacher can't be held responsible for the different school system and needs useful advice that can be easily put into practice. How do you keep your child on task at home? What will help to keep track of the right page of the book? Does your child need a number line or other physical aids to help deal with numbers in the abstract? Does the Maths tutor use particular strategies which work?

    You also mention that the teacher sees homework as a problem. Do you see/check homework to know what standard of work is being handed in?
    marbetu likes this.
  9. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    "It is a sad fact. We are so behind you guys. "

    Au contraire! I thought that the teacher being able to say what she thought was so refreshing!
    marbetu likes this.
  10. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    @catbefriender That is some great advice. Since the report she has been down, no doubt. Luckily, we immediately told her we were disappointed in her teacher, but not her. That night told us that she is lucky to have parents like us who don't automatically support the teacher and sanction the child. Right now, she is working on percentages. We are truly lucky to have such a smart, resiliant and kind child. I am going to do your great ideas - make this holiday season special for her. Celebrate her awsomness. :)
  11. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    In defence of the teacher"You are sometimes not on the right page." Why is this? Also " work at home is insufficient." Aren't you addressing homework in the extra tuition you are providing ?
  12. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    Hi, in fact he is not talking about "homework", which is a different word in French, and her homework (devoirs) is always done. I assume he is speaking about study at home. But she does study, and revises for each monday morning test.

    In fact, at her tutors place she can get 100% on a topic, but in class she'll get 10% with very similar questions. I think that trying so hard to follow something her dyscalculia won't allow her to follow, at the speed the teacher is going is so stressfull that she cannot function or hear what page she should be on.

    She is also ADD which makes concentrating doubly difficult.

    I'm pretty sure that what is happening is that the teacher does not understand either dyscalculia or ADD (not unusual unfortunately in Belgium). The UK is truly light years ahead.
  13. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    @koopatroopa I understand what you mean, but the teacher does not speak English. I have translated his comments from French. So I doubt if he will ever happen here.

    You are right the teacher can't be held responsible for the school system, but my original posting says:
    "I am shocked and sad for my child, but I want to give a proactive reply that will help the teacher understand special needs and basic psychology. I’m also meeting the head to make sure that her needs are understood by all the teachers and that she has adaptations that reflect that." and "Has anyone any best practices to pass on to this teacher ?"

    We are very hands on parents, and we always check her homework. But I think he was talking about study, not homework, because her homework is always done satisfactorily. Your other comments/questions are falso very useful and I will use them in formulating my reply to the teacher.

    I hope nobody minds me posting about a non-English speaking country. But I feel that if you can help me provide help to just one teacher that will get him to adopt just a few of your methods I can prevent further damage to my child's self confidence and academic progress, and also to prevent damage to other children too.

    Hopefully, this will speed up change and make him/his colleagues realise that just because they did not learn about LD at university (there are no LD modules even today), they can still go on Google and get the bare facts.

    Last year, the government introduced PIAs (programme individuel d'apprentissage), which means that schools must provide adaptations. We are waiting for my daughter's to be written up by the school (since September), then there has to be a meeting and signatures, and more meetings, and then she'll be able to get some adaptations. It is terribly bureaucratic here.
  14. marbetu

    marbetu New commenter

    Ah yes I get you now.

    Saying what you think is one thing, but, this teacher is not thinking before saying it. That's the problem. He has not googled ADD or Dyscalculia. He does not understand why a child does not understand what he teaches. He does not question that there might be something wrong with the child or with his teaching that is causing these behaviours.

    I want to find a diplomatic way to tell him that in the future, if he has a child with unexpected behaviours, especially a child that is polite and appreciated by other teachers, and that is never disruptuve, well, he should not jump to conclusions and he should dig a bit.

    There is a quote "if a child will not learn, it is probably because they cannot". I dont know who said it or if I've got it quite right, but I think it is my daughter's situation, and that of many kids who get similar reports.
  15. Atom007008

    Atom007008 New commenter

  16. ianhjoy

    ianhjoy New commenter

    Hello. I really hope your situation has improved now although that seems a big ask from the bit I have read. The fault seems to be with a tutor who has not even bothered to lookup or try to understand the difficulties the child may be working with. I would be expected to think of ways of including a person not telling them they are not doing very well, that was really not constructive and like you said be understanding and finish on a positive to give some hope. Sounds like very bad practice. I hope you find a way to improve the situation.
  17. lodhi

    lodhi New commenter

    Report is written in such an awful manner. Are they aware of her needs.
    Teacher does not seems to be aware of your daughter's need.

    You can reply off course. In this circumstances I prefer face to face meeting. Does teacher have any knowledge how to deal with her needs.
    Teacher does not seems to have any understanding at all. If teacher is lk ack of knowledge and understanding, you as a mother and a professional make teacher aware of your daughter's needs.

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