My son just got his report card, and had a couple of bad grades on it. He's had a difficult year or so, so I'm just glad he is going to school, and I'm thankful for the good grades he has. But the other day his counselor called and asked me to come to a parent teacher meeting. I hate going to these. Sometimes the teachers try to give me parenting lessons about how I can better parent my child to make him get good grades. Most of them have never had kids...... So I was really not looking forward to this meeting.
I decided to ride my bike there, since getting a taxi is difficult in that location. That may not have been the best decision because I"m kind of out of shape. All I can say is, I sure can tell which muscles aren't getting enough exercise. And most of those muscles are involved in the action of sitting.... But I made it there and back.
So on the way there, as I was riding my bike, I was envisioning how the meeting would go. I envisioned how I would respond to their questions about why he had done poorly in these two classes. I thought about what the teacher would say to me. I had it all planned out by the time I got there.
Come to find out, this was a meeting in a large auditorium with ALL of the parents! They had a power point presentation, and the entire meeting was about how wonderful the school is, and how these Chinese students can best achieve their goal of attending a foreign college some day.
I have to say that it was pretty boring for me. My son already is fluent in English, so I didn't need to hear all of their tips for how to help my son improve. He reads on a college level, so doesn't need work there. If he doesn't get in to a great college, he can attend the community colleges.
The one thing that I found interesting was that just in the past two years, the school has begun a SSR, or sustained silent reading program. They have the kids read books for 20 minutes each morning during homeroom. They have found a SIGNIFICANT increase in the students English testing levels! Reading is the key for them to not only learn to understand English, but to learn sentence patterns, vocabulary, and to broaden their minds to different kinds of writing styles.
I survived the meeting without being scolded about my parenting. I almost didn't survive the cigarette smoke in the auditorium though... Anyway, I dodged that bullet.