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Pushy Parent Who Is Anti Eyfs!


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Hi,

 

Just wondered if people can advise me on what to do with a rather pushy parent. Her daughter has just turned 5 in my reception class and mum doesn't think that the free flow child initiated approach to reception is pushing her child enough. She is so pushy she demanded a reading book (ORT book) on the first day!!! I tried to persuade to read real books with her but she wouldn't have it. The little girl is bright, she can read quite a few of 100 high frequency words but all by sight, not blending. I extend her within group activities, she is not exceptionally brighter than the rest of my top group. She also asked when she was going to be bringing spellings home - poor child!

 

She said her husband is going to bring it up at parents evening and I'm a bit worried about what to say. I am confident that my practise is good and we are stretching her appropriately. the mother is actually a pre-school worker so is aware of EYFS. But apparently she is doing too much play and wants to do more work!!

 

Whats the answer??

 

Thanks

 

K x

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Yes that is a good idea to refer to the policy. Unfortunately my head isn't very EYFS friendly, he really supports me but doesn't really have a clue. The mother happens to be the head of our fundraisers so my head told me he doesn't want her upset. Apparently she is the same with her older child and the head didnt support the KS1 teachers! Just a bit scared that the parents evening is going to end up with me being attacked!! x

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I can't really offer any advice - I'm pre-school........

 

But I really feel the need to say.......what on earth has happened to parents showing respect for their children's teachers?

 

Hand on heart - I would never have questioned teachers methods when my sons were at school - I had complete faith that they were the 'experts' and that they were doing the best for 'my boys'

 

Good luck - oh not sure I like the HT position on not upsetting a fundraiser either..........

 

A quick edit to say.......I was hearing my grandaughter read the other day - she is 7 and very bright (obviously gets her brains from her nana!) found myself thinking - whoa this book is far too easy for her, my next thought was - oh well her teacher knows what she's doing - perhaps she feels she needs a confidence boost or something!

Edited by sunnyday
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That should not happen but I can understand your fears--Ive been there too with parents but it is your head's job to support you in this and he or a member of the senior management team should be on hand or with you to support you should you feel uncomfortable.

Meanwhile I would be following the tack that it is early days yet and that the children are still settling. Once they have been in school a while you will be able to support and challenge her child appropriately.

Its also appropriate to tell her that should her child be asked to do too many things that are different from her peers that she is likely to be put off education permanently and you are sure she would not want that to happen. Assure her that you have the child's best interests at heart and wish her to achieve her potential. Can you point her towards some resources that she could buy to work with at home should she feel the need to do something more formal???

 

Good luck.

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This Mum may be aware of the EYFS but she obviously doesn't understand it particularly well I would say! Play and work are one and the same at this stage - there is plenty of time for the introduction of more formal activities at the appropriate time. I would question who is actually wanting the reading books and spellings in this family - sounds as tho she is responding to a need they have planted. If she is sight reading, maybe suggest some phonic games/activities which support the school scheme - This way you are pointing out an area of''weakness'' which they can work on without causing confusion for the future. You can put your teacher 'hat' on a bit and say that of course they will want the very best start for her in terms of reading and that this will equip her to the best advantage when she is ready to read more formally. I agree with Susan that children treated very differently can suffer in the long term in terms of relationships and self image if not handled carefully. For your own sanity I would also say that if you think this little girl would benefit from working with the rest of a group, then I would be inclined to work it that way, otherwise youcould potentially have a flood of parents all wanting the same ! If she is genuinely ready and it would be against her best interests then fine but if it's purely for the parents then have faith in your professional judgement and don't be bullied. Sounds like you Head is scared of her ! Hope it all works out fine and you charm them on side! (last thought, if you are unsure, have someone else there and note down what was said.)

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Some sound advice already.

I would suggest that the parents are possibly gearing themselves up for an argument (for want of a better word) on parents evening, be prepared to acknowldge all they say ( doesn't mean you agree), then for example when they bring up her reading, say yes actually our assessment shows that XXXX is very good at site reading, we've chosen some books that will help her further develop her phonic and blending knowledge which we would appreciate you supporting her with at home, and by the way here is a handout of all the blends etc.

say something like, I'm glad you mentioned spellings to me, we do these in term .......this is because .............quote some school policy, however, if you would like to make up some fun word games around the handout I've just given you, including spellings for your daughter to do at home, this would be fantastic, I know that you are an experienced EYFS practitioner so I am sure you could be quite creative and your daughter will enjoy a fun approach that you can give her at home, maybe hubby can get involved as well. Once her blending knowledge is secure this will ensure she is ready for spellings in term.........

 

How does that sound? Does it help?

In other words, acknowledge their concerns, make them feel like they are being listened to, don't give them an inch to argue and don't try to argue your point of view simply because they won't hear it, just maintain control................. and keep looking at your watch and another parent who is waiting to speak to you to let them kow their time is up. (oops sorry, forget the last sentence)

 

Good luck let us know how it goes.

 

Peggy

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Great advice given already!

 

A teacher client of mine always says she carefully allocates the appointment times for the parents who she anticipates being"tricky" :o

 

Would you be more comfortable/confident seeing them at the start or end of the session?

 

Can you seek advice, hints and tips from your colleagues who've survived parents evening with them re the sibling?

 

Good Luck!

 

Nona

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Oh thank you very much for all your comments and advise!

 

Feel much better and more confident now! Will make sure I am very prepared for the parents evening! And yes I will charm away!!

 

Thanks again all!

 

x

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Not a lot more to add really. Had the same situation last year with a parent who was a nursery manager, and she knew her stuff of course. I was always waiting for the moemtn when what we were doing was questioned, and felt like I was being watched. My planning is always up on the wall so the parents can see what we're up to, but when she looked at it I felt like she lingered a little longer than others... made me very nervous. I was so nervous at parents evening. When you meet with the parents just say to them that you really value their thoughts as they are, after all, the child's primary educators. Explain that you have been using this term to suss the children out.

 

Having a reading book is all very well and good - but can the child read the pictures of a story book? Can they tell a story in their own words? It's not about reading Tolkien at this age, it's about them enjoying books. As for the free flow... that's expected of all reception classes. If the parent had been concerned to the extent she seems to be - surely she wouldn't have sent the child to the school. I assume the family came to view the school and had an induction? Knowing that the parent is 'in the business' surely she would know what she was looking for in terms of what provision she wanted for her child.

 

Everyone has said it already - you are the teacher in charge and you know what you're doing. It's a shame your head isn't being very supportive - if she thinks she's got the upper hand already it's because no one has stood up yo her before perhaps?

 

Be confident, and good luck with the meeting. :o

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Why do some people still think that being able to sight read or write your name is a sign of a bright child!! I loved my sons reception teacher - there were a few pushy parents in his class who were always changing reading books etc before they were due yet she recognised that despite my son not being in the slightest bit interested in reading or writing he could add in his head, make up his owm stories, be kind and empathise with his peers, solve problems and answer questions etc, etc

He's now in year one and struggling with the focus on "work" and it's such a shame - I thought we were supposed to be making yr one more like reception?

I think you've had some great advice - I too would draw these parents attention to some of the things YOU feel her child needs more input with, I probably wouldn't be able to do it as well as Peggy though :o

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