Thursday, November 21, 2013

Parent Teacher Meeting

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.


Grannymar said...

When I last visited your blog, Delores, I was on my way to the optician's to collect my glasses. There was a problem with them and I only collected them this afternoon. Thankfully reading should be more comfortable from now on!

Reading this post, I am happy to have the PTA meetings well behind me, although Jack and I were well treated. Jack knew a couple of them since they were 'school girls with satchels on their backs' - his words! Elly was facing the second year exams at University in Scotland when her dad died, yet five of her High School teachers attended the funeral and three others came to see me and apologise for not attending, they were covering the other teachers classes.

I hope the aches in your sit-upon have evaporated by now!

Looney said...

Looks like you survived the bicycle ride also. I will take the advice to heart and try to put in 20 minutes of foreign language reading per day.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

A few years ago, Delores, I worked as a nursery school teacher for about six months. I quickly decided that it wasn't for me, but had to work out the year. There were five teachers in that school and only two were mothers. I remember one day a little boy came to school with a packet of potato chips in his schoolbag. The principal (no kids of her own) pulled a face and said 'parents! what hope do we have of educating these children if the parents are giving them bad habits?' I happened to know that the boy's mother had just had a second child. Probably, in order to get the little fellow to go to school happily, they had to put his favourite treat in his schoolbag. Kids, when they find themselves supplanted in the parents' eyes by a new sibling, can get very insecure and can give a lot of trouble to their parents when the time comes to go to school. But as the principal wasn't a mother, how would she know that? I said nothing, but I remembered a saying that it's always very easy to bring up children as long as they're not your own. It's true.

I am sure your son will be fine. He's lucky to have such an understanding and patient mom. So many kids I see are under pressure.

Rummuser said...

I was hardly around to attend PTA meetings when Ranjan was in school except when he was in boarding school when I used to visit his Principal whenever I was in the neighbourhood. Urmeela did the duty and by all accounts, she used to have a grand time watching the other parents.

Maxi said...

You go to meetings and they scold you about your parenting?

I couldn't help but respond, "I thought I was here to discuss my son's school work?"

blessings to you, D ~ maxi