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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:36 pm 
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As some of you may know - I have had issues in the past over reading books for my DS. :(

DS is 7 (Yr 3 summer baby) and a good reader. He prefers Wimpy Kid and Beast Quest, the school want him to read 'Children's Classics.'
Since he became a 'free reader' about a year ago we have managed to strike a reasonable balance (in my opinion) between the two. New Year 3 teacher, however, is a man with a mission. He gave DS first -
The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud. The vocabulary was very difficult and the story line rather confusing (especially as it was the 4th in a series!)
Then - The Last of the Sky Pirates by Stewart/Riddell - not such tricky vocab but the 5th in a series and DS never seemed able to remember what he had just read.
I made comments about this in the home/school diary so the book was removed and replaced with a much easier book which DS had already read.

So - putting on my best patient and understanding smile - I went to see the teacher and asked, politely, why I couldn't go on helping my son choose his books as I had always done in the past, and as I had done for the entire year my daughter was in his class.
No, said Teacher, I needed his expert knowledge to choose boys' books. I reminded him that I heard DS read regularly, read to him every night, and went to the public library every week - but, no, not good enough for choosing boys' books.

Since he had just sent DS home with 3 unsuitable books in a row I couldn't see where the expert bit came into it but it sounded like a lot of sexist claptrap to me.

Anyway, I have told Teacher that I would rather he didn't foist any more books on DS (they are Teacher's personal property - not from the school library - so he couldn't make an issue of it) but, I suspect that this will mean that Teacher will abdicate all responsibility for DS's literacy for the rest of the year as he has the perfect excuse for any lack of progress.

I'm actually very angry and insulted - on my own behalf and on behalf of my daughter - and also really don't like the thought of a man with such sexist attitudes teaching my son.
Am I missing something? Are boys' books and girls' books so different. I wouldn't want to read a Rainbow Fairy anymore than a Horrid Henry so why I am qualified to advise on one and not the other?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Am I correct in thinking that these are books chosen by the teacher for your son to read at home...not books for guided reading in a group during lesson time or books that other children will be reading too ? If that's the case , what's the problem with doing your own thing ? I decided to do my own reading scheme with DD and in the end her teacher was fine with it as long as we read a school one every other book and I documented what she was reading in her reading book. She actually became more interested in reading and her fluency and accuracy improved dramatically. They sound like strange, difficult choices.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:09 pm 
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scarlett wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that these are books chosen by the teacher for your son to read at home...not books for guided reading in a group during lesson time or books that other children will be reading too ?

Every child in the class has to have a 'reading book.' This is sometimes a reading scheme book but children are signed off as 'free readers' at any time from 6 or 7 onwards. Theoretically, the child can have any book they like from the school library or a book from home. They are meant to read to the teacher from it once a week (actually DD was usually only heard about once a term after she became a free reader), and also have the book with them in school for those odd moments when teachers have nothing else for them to do. It therefore has to be a book that the child can understand reasonably well without much adult imput.

DD was at the school for 5 years and DS has been there for 3. Once they had finished the reading scheme books neither of them had their free choice interfered with at any time by any teacher. This Year 3 teacher is, however, famous for lending out his own books to children when he doesn't approve of what they bring from home. DD used to refer to the box in which he kept his private book collection as "the crate of doom" because it was filled with rather macabre fantasy stories.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Yes, that's the same with our school , just wanted to check these books weren't used for lessons. Can you just have a chat with him and explain DS finds these books confusing and so do you. You would prefer to choose your own and ensure DS continues to love reading which is the most important thing . If that fails then just ignore the books and do your own thing .


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:04 pm 
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scarlett wrote:
Yes, that's the same with our school , just wanted to check these books weren't used for lessons. Can you just have a chat with him and explain DS finds these books confusing and so do you. You would prefer to choose your own and ensure DS continues to love reading which is the most important thing . If that fails then just ignore the books and do your own thing .

That's what I did - and yes, I am now doing my own thing. Just think his attitude (mums can choose girls' books but can't choose boys') stinks.
Just came here to go -
Image at a sympathetic audience.

Thanks, scarlett. :D

And in case I was desperately wrong and there is actually some specialist training required to choose reading books for boys. Since DS was in bed reading Ballet Shoes a couple of hours ago, I suspect he would need to sign up for the course as well. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:03 pm 
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I would completely ignore the teacher, if I were you :D. As the parent of 2 boys, one of whom loved reading, the other who could only read Harry Potter from the age of 8 till 13 ( he has now moved on to Stephen King, rather worryingly :shock: ), I think any interest in reading should be encouraged. If your son isn't happy with his teacher's choice, go for what you know he likes. I am also the parent of 2 girls who really don't enjoy reading :(


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:03 am 
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Oh you have my sympathy. Yes carry on and ignore his advice as you have been doing fine without his help, and it didn't help. Maybe you could flatter the teacher a little later in the year by asking if your son could borrow book 1 from any series in his box that you think he might be interested in?

As to worrying that your DS's teacher will abdicate all responsibility for his literacy this year, I'm not sure about this one. I've had more than my fair share of issues with school in two children's short time at primary school, and it always results in me predicting some problems ahead, some of which work out to be accurate predictions, others just unnecessary gloom and doom on my part. How did you survive this year with your DD who went through his hands too? Is it a legitimate concern or just one of those thoughts one gets as not seeing eye to eye with one's children's teacher does result in an uncomfortable feeling?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:53 am 
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mystery wrote:
As to worrying that your DS's teacher will abdicate all responsibility for his literacy this year, I'm not sure about this one. I've had more than my fair share of issues with school in two children's short time at primary school, and it always results in me predicting some problems ahead, some of which work out to be accurate predictions, others just unnecessary gloom and doom on my part. How did you survive this year with your DD who went through his hands too? Is it a legitimate concern or just one of those thoughts one gets as not seeing eye to eye with one's children's teacher does result in an uncomfortable feeling?

Legitimate concern. Teacher is a very dedicated man, willing to go the extra mile for his pupils, but he is very territorial, and he does play favourites. DD was one of his chosen few and it took me a long time to realise that she was getting a superior service to the bulk of the class.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:45 am 
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I hate that, and I'd feel unhappy about it whether in receipt of the superior service or not. I think that as long as his "whole class" teaching is strong then you can't sweat about whether your DS receives the superior service or not because of not liking his personal book chest. It could be that if he is the "favourites" type of teacher that whatever you did with his books - read them, or turned them into papier mache, your son may not be a favourite.
Very annoying.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:06 am 
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Sent DS off to school today with 3 library books all recommended as 'essential reading' by Michael Morpurgo and Phillip Pullman. :D I'm keeping a list of 'recommendations' alongside the list of books read - in case my choices get questioned.

mystery wrote:
It could be that if he is the "favourites" type of teacher that whatever you did with his books - read them, or turned them into papier mache, your son may not be a favourite.

:lol: :lol: What a dreadful woman I am! I never actually assumed that my darling son wouldn't be a favourite. :oops: :oops:
I have a friend who makes jewellery out of scrapped books - if any more scary books come home I might get Teacher some cufflinks made for an end of term prezzie. :evil:


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