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not answering teacher's questions in school


1cindy May 10, 2013

hi, my 5 years old year is in special eds program at a local school. My main concern for him now is that he does not answer his teaher's question during reading time. When asked, he would answer, "I don't know" or just keep quite. But at home, he is able to answer me the "wh" questions w/o any problem. Why he is not answering to his teacher.

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MagnetMom May 13, 2013

Hi 1cindy, and welcome to the GreatSchools Parent Community.

Is this something the teacher has shared with you? With your son in school and you're not in the class every day, it's pretty hard for you to get to the bottom of it.

So my suggestion is talking to the teacher. Is she concerned about his behavior? Does she use other ways to make sure he knows the material? Does he shut down when she talks to him one on one or in a group or both?

Until you know the severity of the problem and whether the teacher is concerned or not, it will be hard to know what to do.


1cindy May 13, 2013

yes, this is something that the teacher brought it up. She pointed it out it was during story time that he does not pay attention and he gets so distracted by other kids or sounds outside the classroom. You have a good point if he does the same if the teacher talks to on a 1 to 1. I need to find out.
I have requested the school psychologist to observe him in class. Will find out. Thank you.


Waynejones May 20, 2013

Hi Cindy:
I would suggest a couple of things:

1. Perhaps the teacher is not allowing enough wait time after the question for your child to adequately prepare a response. Research shows that a longer wait time will yield better answers.
2. Many children in special ed programs have self confidence issues - and this may be the case with your child. The teacher needs to present questions that (s)he knows your child will be able to answer thus building self-confidence. As this is developed, the teacher can move to questions which might present a bit of a challenge.

Finally, my wife and I are educational consultants - specialists in temperament and behaviour - perhaps your child's remperament is one that prefers to be self-reflctive and not demonstrative and answering out loud may cause stress and anxiety.

Whatever the cause, you as the parent are the child's best advocate and can help build bonds between the child and the teacher. Discuss your concerns with the teacher (and maybe have the administrator present for the discussion).

Hope this helps.

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