Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not the Tiger-Mother...... Yet!

They opened the booking for Parent-Teacher conferences at 9am on Friday.
I got through at 10am and requested to meet 8 teachers.
4 for Lindsay and 4 for David.
At 4pm my friendly school secretary RM called me back with my schedule.
I got home at 4:30pm on Friday to two report cards containing
9 A`s
6 B`s
and a very shocking and upsetting C+ which has since been dealt with.

So I got the expected surprised looks as I walked into each classroom today.  A couple straight-out asked why I was there at all?

Allan and I spent most of our Sunday morning breakfast date discussing these interviews, that I would do solo for the most part, and had a couple of questions or inquiries for each teacher.

Each teacher was prepared and had the full marks sheet to show me.
We discussed the children and their academic progress.
We talked about ways to improve.
We shared with one another how they were doing at home and in the classroom.

And although I did not once use all of the allotted 15 minutes (as I dashed from B wing to C wing and back 8 times) in every case I thanked the teacher as they thanked me and we agreed it was a great chance to know one another and our children a little bit better.

I am so proud of how well the children are doing. 

Lindsay has turned things around dramatically after a tough year last year and will again be on the Honour Roll.  She learned some valuable lessons last year about letting a bad attitude towards a teacher affect her own work.  She has taken on a subject like math where her confidence was flattened and turned out a hard worked for B and earning a remark that "Lindsay is a great kid to have in class because she asks questions and is attentive" from a demanding teacher.  Every teacher expressed to me what a lovely, respectful and intelligent girl she is and how she adds to the classroom discussions in thoughtful ways.  She knows what she has to do to get some better grades and I have every confidence she will do it but school will come and go and her character will endure and I couldn't be more delighted that her 15 year old self is so delightful and caring and smart.

David has taken to highschool like the proverbial duck to water.  He is in a very bright co-hort and can show his intelligence without holding back.  With near perfect scores in Math, Science and Mandarin and teachers who said "I wish every student was like David", he wears his eager curiosity on his face and dives wholly into his learning.  He is a confident, friendly, chatty student that his teachers clearly know and enjoy.  He has a great group of funny and smart friends and feels very at home at school (if you know what I mean).  To know David is happy and thriving in school is such a tremendous joy to me and to know that academically the sky is the limit is such a blessing.

Lest you think they are all perfect..... let me just say..... they stand at the edge of a cliff..... their very own "fiscal cliff" as it were...... except their cliff is the coming "Homework Cliff".  Our generosity in allowing our children to make their own decisions about homework and our trust that when they say it is done that it IS, in fact, done is slowly dying.  There will have to be some new agreements in place January 1, some new resolutions agreed to, or the Tiger Mother hidden inside me may just emerge.

And no one wants that.

To the teachers, whose classrooms are too small (and some had no heat today!), marking loads too high, who met with many parents well after school hours today with no paid overtime (and then went home to mark 30 essays), who knew my child, who were honest and open with me, who wanted to understand my child more and better, who thanked ME for coming in.....I salute are SO important and your work is SO important.

And for those of you wondering.....I did not book an appointment to talk to Teacher Dad......turns out his classroom is a glass box and we couldn't have made out anyway......and besides our kid is getting an A in his class.

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