Working in a school, you will always come across children who need additional support – whether it is due to a disability, learning difficulty or something else. Sometimes, however, children do not have an official diagnosis and so it is easy to brush their issues aside – time and resources are limited, after all.
It is important to try and avoid doing this. For some children, getting a diagnosis of a condition such as dyslexia can be a real struggle and many people are not diagnosed until they are at university or even later. School can be extremely difficult for children who feel they are different to their peers, and not having a ‘label’ may not make their issues any less real.
Although funding is probably not available for children without an official diagnosis, there are options that are free but can still benefit them. The most important thing you can offer is good communication – whether it is with the child only or with their parents too. They are the people most able to tell you what the child’s difficulties are and whether there are any actions that could help – sitting closer to the teacher during lessons, for example.
Experiences at school can have a lifelong impact, so providing the best foundations possible will help build a brighter future for every child.
Many teachers often find their job quite stressful. This can be for a number of reasons such as one or more disruptive pupils, the sheer volume of work load they are expected to do or dealing with the parents of the pupils. Often teachers say that parents can cause them more anxiety than the pupils and that they often feel under minded and not supported by a number of parents of the pupils in their class.
When it comes to parent’s evening, teachers need to tell the parents about the progress of the child in terms of their education but also discuss any other matters such as behaviour, friendships and possibly even effects of family life. As some parents may feel quite protective of their child, these subjects can be hard to bring up.
Teachers should always make notes on what they want to say about a pupil. They need to bullet point positives and negative points that need to be discussed and also possibly have examples of work to back up their comments.
It is important to always end on a positive note so that the parents feel happier that there are good points to your conversation even if you have had to give them a lot of negatives.
With many children now back at school, parents are often looking at ways in which they can help to improve or aid their child’s learning. Often schools give out books to pupils to take home to read and this can be done right from reception age. When they first start they will usually be given a few picture books to start to try and understand what is happening in the picture and work out if there were words, what they might say. As they progress they will start to move up the levels and be given books with harder words and sentences. Children can very quickly pick up new skills and often it doesn’t take them long to start to move up the stages. Reading at home as well as at school definitely helps with the child’s educational progress and can also give them confidence when it comes to reading out loud to a teacher or the rest of the class. Rather than buying books, you could join a library and allow your child to go an pick a book that they want to read and then be able to change it after.
Many parents would like to know how they can help their child more at home in terms of their education. Some parents worry about teaching their child the wrong thing or teaching them in the wrong way so therefore they avoid doing any of it. You may think that your child can learn all they need to in regards to education from school, but studies have shown that children who receive extra help and educational activities at home usually do excel at school.
The simple truth in the matter is that you do not have to be a teacher or be outstanding at maths and English etc. to be able to help your child learn. Even the simplest of tasks can help a child and often teaching your child in a practical way such as weighing out ingredients for a cake or counting the number of people there are for dinner can be more useful than sitting them down with a piece of paper covered in questions. Studies show that children tend to learn better when being able to visuals something and if the lesson is fun. For example, spelling is much more fun when taught with fridge magnets or even a simplified version of Scrabble.
With many students completing their first weeks back at school, it doesn’t take long to be able to get back in to the swing of things and settle down to some learning.
My 4 year old recently started primary school and it amazes me how quickly she appears to have taken to it. They quickly learn the rules of the school and start to be given more responsibility almost instantly. It doesn’t take long to get in to the habit of listening to your child read every night, making sure that you always check their bag for school letters and double checking that they have come home with everything they went with that morning.
Organisation is key in schools for students, teachers and parents and if they all work together, it can make the time enjoyable for everyone.
Many parents worry about how their child will adapt to school life, but it doesn’t take long for them to settle in and very often they appear to grow up overnight.