How do you know if your child’s eleven plus teacher is offering the best possible eleven plus lesson? You know that your teacher, somewhere along the line, has studied some aspects of psychology. You also know that at one time your teacher must have thought deeply about becoming a teacher. It is also probably reasonably true to surmise that your teacher of eleven plus children must feel incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity of working with bright and motivated children – and supportive parents.
Your teacher will be very aware of the need to take into account individual differences – and readiness to learn a new topic. Sometimes it is important to be able to back off and not put pressure on the child to learn. Mum and Dad must recognise this.
The great majority of eleven plus children will probably not need much motivation to learn. A few well balanced and structured pep talks will often be accepted seriously by the children. Like many things in life - if they are offered too often - then your alert eleven plus child will probably feel a degree of suspicion. (“Not that pep talk again. I have had heard that one often enough!”)
The interests and attitudes of your eleven plus child will probably change over the year. These changes have the potential to alter behaviour. Your child’s teacher will probably be able to pick up on these changes – and may be able to offer suggestions, advice or even just a listening ear.
Eleven plus children need to revise and consolidate new work. This is, however, not advocating soulless repetition. We all hear allegorical stories of children in lessons working through paper after paper and lesson after lesson. Eleven plus children need to be challenged.
No matter how excellent the teacher of your eleven plus child is the will be times when your child may quite simply not feel like doing much work. At the best he or she will go through the motions. It is likely, however, that any rebellion will only last a short time.