First of all, thank you all for your support and helpful comments about Jake. We see the animal behaviourist today and I'll let you know how we got on.
But onto other matters on my mind. Last night was parents night at my son's school. It's a wonderful night when I go to my daughter's school, less so at my son's. He is not an academic high achiever or even middle achiever in some subjects. But most of his teachers seem to think he's capable of far more if he just puts in the work. I don't disagree with this.
Most of his teachers offered helpful comments on how he can improve his performance. Not so his physics teacher. Perhaps in her mind, she did. But she didn't. What she did first of all was chastise him for not turning in overdue homework. Fair enough. Then she accused him of not studying for his tests at home. When we backed him up and said he did indeed study at home, she asked how he prepared. He said he read the information, then had us quiz him on it. She said that method was useless. Then he said he copied out diagrams. She said that was worse than useless. I was beginning to think she was a bit useless so I asked her what study methods she recommended. She spouted a bunch of things, mind mapping and cartooning being the only two I remember and even recognised. I turned to my son and asked if he knew what they were. He said he did, but I don't think he does.
She said they were in the study guide book he got last year, and she should know because she wrote it. She then said a method that works for kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learners was to try to teach the information themselves. My son is 12. He doesn't know if he's a kinesthetic, auditory, or visual learner. I then said, "So if my son came to you before a test and asked which would be the best method for revising, you would be able to tell him?"
She didn't like that, and ended the appointment immediately. I was fuming. I woke up in the night still fuming. But, as we told our son, those people exist, and sometimes they become teachers. The only thing for him to do is to make sure he doesn't give her any ammunition against him, like forgetting to turn in his homework.
When we got home, my husband looked in my son's physics homework book. It was full of smiley faces and "Good work" remarks. So what happened? Son said she told him off one day for sneezing in class. Is this another unfulfilled or ill-suited person for teaching taking it out on the pupils? That's what it's looking like.
And you know what's the worst bit? She's his head of year. We have no one else to go to to complain, should we decide to do so.