Why Teachers Have Such Difficulties Hearing What the Parents Say?
My son is in class 3 in one of London’s independent schools. The education we chose for him is intended to be much slower than the mainstream schooling system. The system, when implemented in the right way with loving and caring teacher, works beautifully giving the kids the freedom to learn at their own pace and when they are ready.
However, what gets on my nerves is when the teacher/s don’t hear or even slightly accommodate parents concerns about their child, and this is what happened to us.
I know my son well; he is the only child, and as the only child he has my undivided attention. I also know when he is down, sad, depressed (yes, kids even younger then my son get depressed nowadays) and when things are not working out for him at school.
I am a dyslexic learner who found school incredibly tricky, annoying and not a very friendly environment for people like me. In reality, when I was at school I was called lazy, stupid, all the usual names dyslexic kids are called, and I had to deal with very unsupportive parents and teachers who couldn’t comprehend that I couldn’t understand certain things. I taught myself how to read by learning all the words by heart, and this is how I learned English as well, even though my English teacher gave me zero chances of learning English at all. Well, I did prove her wrong.
When my son was in class 2 at every single meeting, I had with his class teacher I mentioned that the little one was having difficulties reading and writing and nothing was sticking in his long-term memory, I did say that I was a dyslexic learner myself (dyslexia runs in the family). The whole school year my concerns were ignored and his class teacher, even though my boy didn’t recognise “b” “d” “p”, he was reversing letters and just couldn’t remember the simplest three-letter words he had learned the day before didn’t see anything concerning in his learning process. Little M. worked very hard at home trying to read and spell with me, but it was not sticking.
Three weeks before the end of class 2 the class teacher decided to finally wake up and admitted that something was wrong. Within those three weeks she was planning to… in all honesty I have no idea what she was planning to do but whatever it was it either didn’t work nor happened.
Class 2 ended for us with a huge disappointment; with the decision to leave the school after nearly five years in that one place and a note from our SENCO teacher that the school doesn’t diagnose dyslexia and if we want to have dyslexia diagnosed for our son we need to go privately.
Dyslexia needs to be diagnosed asap to avoid the emotional turmoil dyslexic kids go through, and Little M. went through shit last year, and his self-esteem is going to take a long time to recover.
It pisses me off that the school that prides itself as a champion of community relations; a school that exists thanks to parents’ hard work and the ability to build a long lasting, good relationship between the kids, parents and most importantly class teacher ignores parents’ concerns, sweeping them under the carpet ‘cos it’s easier to hope that the problem will disappear. Problems hardly ever disappear.
Good advice for the teachers from the parent. Start listening to the parents. We know our kids, and we know when something is wrong and if you don’t care about the kids and their needs maybe you shouldn’t be teaching; there are other ways to make a living in careers that are not as demanding as teaching is.