On Growing Up

>> Friday, 7 September 2012

'Boy #2 has some listening issues' one of his PE teachers wrote in a report some time ago.  'He must learn to engage more and participate in class and he will get a lot more out of his PE sessions.'

Oh dear.  And yet, not.  My son is an independent individual, and if he thinks someone is wasting his time or that what he's being asked to do is without point (racing non-competitively from one side of the gym to the other, anyone?), it can be hard to convince him to get involved.  I have to admit to a sneaking admiration for his attitude; even at 5 - when this comment was written - he didn't suffer fools gladly and there's a certain element of character in that, I think.

But we spoke to Boy #2 about it, put it behind us, and in the next module he had a new teacher with whom he got on better.  And with whom, if I'm honest, I got on better, too.  The guy who made the original comment was not easy to deal with, and I felt he lacked sympathy with the children's point of view and certainly used the 'critical parent' model of motivation for the kids rather than the rewarding them for good behaviour.  He seemed very quick to assume the worst about the pupils - and my son didn't deal with that well. But we all moved on, and last year there was different teacher, so it all worked out fine.

This year?  Back with the original sports teacher.  I must admit to being a little concerned when I realised this and when, on Monday, Boy #2 admitted he had been put in time-out during his PE lesson for not looking at his teacher when he was supposed to be listening to instructions, my heart sank a little.  My son did have an explanation for this of course; he even went so far as to demonstrate that he could hear me perfectly well whilst looking in the opposite direction, but after a conversation about being respectful and how it was polite to look at people when they are speaking to you, he seemed to catch on.

Yesterday, there was another PE lesson, and this morning in the playground we ran into Boy #2's teacher.  "Is that Boy #2 under that hood?" he asked.  "I just wanted to say how much he's matured this year.  Better at listening, better at taking instruction; I have to admit that when I checked the attendance list after class I was actually surprised to see his full name on there because I did not expect him to behave so well."

Hmm.  Praising the kids (even in a back-handed way), admitting he was wrong, and doing it in front of the child concerned so that they can hear it too?

It looks like Boy #2 is not the only one who's done some growing up in the last year...


Roshni AaMom 7 September 2012 at 17:19  

ha....funny,because my son also gets into regular 'conflicts' with his PE teacher. As you said, random running around make no sense to him, so he just does his own thing and gets called out each time. We've had letters back about this and we have each time explained that we has to respect what his teachers tell him. However, I also see no point in this kind of training, to tell you the truth!
Glad it's working out for you guys now!

Expat mum 7 September 2012 at 22:34  

Pe teachers? One of ours taught both my sons last year. Athletically they are so different you wouldn't even know they are brothers. So much so that the PE teacher took the teenager aside and asked him to explain the basic rules of basketball to the little guy.
Oh well. We can't all be superstars.

Mrs. Munchkin 10 September 2012 at 10:01  

What?! Is this the same PE teacher my kids have? This guy sounds like a joke...it should be a time for play and letting out their steam. Not for intent listening. They do that in class. Munchkin Two sounds like Boy #2. I shall expect a letter home this year...lol!

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