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Dear Dylan #002
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Dear Dylan #002
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User image Dear Dylan #002
Posted by Dylan Christopher, 1 year ago
Tags: dear, dylan, agony, uncle

Dear Dylan #002

Dear Dylan,

You’re a teacher, how can I help my son?

We had parent’s evening recently at school for my middle child and I was shocked to hear that they have been moved around the class five times in this past term for talking.

It’s like he is not even trying. Why won’t he just pay attention and be a good student!

Help!

Anonymous

*             *             *

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for getting in touch; we were all young once.

A child who is always talking in class is a child who is looking for attention.  Please do not misunderstand me; they are not attention-seeking in the conventional sense.  This is not a cry for help, but just as it suggests, a call for attention.

Talking is not bad behaviour in and of itself, but it can be disruptive, especially if it effects the learning of the talker and their peers.  It is also a symptom of feeling invisible; the talking, a way of remaining relevant and acknowledged.

There are many possible reasons why your child would be a serial talker, I would need more information to be specific to yours, however, I can offer you some remedial advice to help with the situation.

When work is being completed at home, it would be a good habit to sit with them while they work.  You might even, once the habit is formed, try setting up your workspace next to theirs and working together.

Sometimes children are told to work in their rooms, alone.  This can feel like banishment or exile particularly for under twelves who are still very much dependent on adult input and supervision.

In my lessons, I make a concerted effort to acknowledge my learners. Much to the dismay of some parents, a tangential discussion on a favourite activity or, the staple question of “What did you have for lunch?” is enough to offer relevance, acknowledgement and validation to the student.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for classroom teachers, who have to share their attention with anywhere from twenty, to thirty children; up to sixty in some London ‘mega-schools’.  I am blessed with the luxury of one-to-one tuition, which means I can give my student one-hundred percent of my attention.

I hope this is helpful to you; please write back with more specific information if you can, or even for a general update.

All good wishes,

Dylan

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Dylan completed his music training with honours at Colchester Institute, where he studied piano with Australian pianist Lesley Young, and composition with British composer Dr Mark Bellis. While studying, in 2009, Dylan won Colchester Institute’s Canon Jack Award for Solo Piano adjudicated by Andrew Ball.  A composer, promoter, and advocate of contemporary classical music, Dylan joined the membership of Colchester New Music in 2014.

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