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Back to school 2023!

By Dina Halaseh , Family Flavours - Aug 13,2023 - Last updated at Aug 13,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Dina Halaseh
Educational Psychologist


As parents, we sit and meet our children’s teachers and hear all sorts of feedback, some may be positive while most may be negative.


What to look for in a teacher’s feedback


We usually find that the main concern is related to a certain skill or a combination of some. In general, all of our skills work together, so a weakness in one area can manifest itself in many different ways. 

Here are some of the common sentences we might hear from a teacher at school:

•Your child needs extra time to finish a task. Usually when extra time is mentioned, this means that there is an issue with slow processing speed. Processing speed is how fast we can deal with information especially under stress. Some students may need more time in finishing tasks and might even struggle to finish exams on time

•Your child doesn’t write enough sentences compared to other classmates and full sentences are not used. Writing, reading and all literacy skills relate to auditory processing. This is our ability to analyse, blend, segment and manipulate sounds to master a language. Students struggling with auditory processing usually tend to struggle with reading, writing, spelling, comprehension, and in many cases, even speech!

•Your child is very smart if only there were more focus and effort put in. Your child is distracted while doing a task and always needs to be prompted. This is an obvious one, when discussing focus and being distracted and is clearly related to attention skills. There are many types of attention. Attention includes Divided Attention (the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time) and Selective Attention (the ability to focus on one thing and ignoring all distractions) and Sustained Attention (the ability to focus for a long period of time)

•It seems like your child didn’t study enough. Your child couldn’t recall the material. Recalling information goes back to our memory skills! Long-term memory and working memory both play a huge role in remembering information. In many cases, students tend to forget, even though they worked hard and really studied the subject thoroughly

•Your child is all over the place, personal items are not well organised and time management is an issue as well. Organisation and time management skills may be an indication of a weakness in Logic and Reasoning. The latter is needed to deal with abstract information and data analysis. It helps us build connections between different ideas, organise, plan and conclude different ideas from given information and data (the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time), Selective Attention (the ability to focus on one thing and ignoring all distractions) and Sustained Attention (the ability to focus for a long period of time)

•Your child struggles to understand visual graphs and information from visual graphics. Visual processing is the skill needed to understand graphics, visualise material, read maps, understand directions and much more. It can even affect their math skills when dealing with geometry and other related topics

•Your child is reading below grade level. Make sure you read a book on a daily basis. This also goes back to the child’s auditory processing skills, which can be enhanced! The brain can actually rewire itself in a way that a struggling reader can become a skilled one!

•Your child is struggling with mathematical concepts, especially multi-step questions and equations. A math weakness can relate to logic and reasoning, processing speed, or both at the same time! Children struggling in these areas might find math challenging and need extra time and effort to understand it


These are only some of the weaknesses you might be hearing about from your child’s teacher. All of these skills can be improved and turned into strengths when challenged and worked on! Make sure you find out the reason behind the weakness so you can target the areas needed for a better school year!


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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