Your own experience of school – the highs and the lows – can have a big impact and influence on your attitude to your child’s school. If you found school difficult, hated your teachers and had few friends because you were bullied it is likely that you will have a pretty dim view of the education system and may not even like teachers very much, let alone trust them. However, it is really important that you do not dwell on what happened to you at school and instead concentrate on working with your child’s teachers as best you can.
Is There a Problem?
If you think that your child is struggling at school in some way, finding social situations difficult and is finding it hard to keep up with their school work then it could be time to start talking to the teachers to find a solution.
Pre Existing Problems can be Sorted Out
You may have read elsewhere on this site about the case study of William and his mum Rachel. William was found to be autistic whilst at Pre School, and received help and support when he moved up to primary school. Rachel was well aware of William’s difficulties and had many meetings with the teachers before he started at his new school. She said: “We were very lucky. William had attended the Pre School attached to the primary school so he had had visits to ‘big school’ and started to get used to the new environment and new children. However, we knew there was still a long way to go and lots of work to do to make sure he settled well and was happy and secure.”
Rachel added: “I would say that constant communication, monitoring and assessment were key for William. It was also great for me to know that the teachers were all well aware of his situation and that they were really keen to help us in any way they could. William was given extra help and support from a teaching assistant who received special training so that she knew how to handle William and what to do if things got really out of hand. She was brilliant with him and had a big impact on his progress.”
On Going Support
Rachel added: “The school always made it clear that their door was always open for me if I needed a chat. Sometimes things got really hard for William and I found it hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. It was as if we just managed to sort out one problem when along came something else that was even harder to manage. Some allowances were made for William – to give him extra confidence – but by the time he left primary school for secondary school he was a different child. The school were always supportive, we didn’t always agree in everything and I was guilty of slamming a few doors along the way! However, they always understood me and took time to listen to my concerns. The school made me realise that I wasn’t alone and that I needed support. William is a now a confident and happy 12 year old and we couldn’t have done it without all this help.”