Monday, February 06, 2006

Redmum column Feb 1

HERE'S an all-new column concerning parent teacher meetings. For a sneaky peak at the anxieties suffered by the subject of those events, check out Adam’s Rants.

Redmum column Feb 1

Parent teacher meetings strike fear into most

Here are three words that can strike fear into the most steely of parents – parent teacher meetings.

Ach okay, that’s not strictly fair, not all parents, but many including me unfortunately.

It wasn’t always like that to be fair, I never encountered this fear until secondary school when the hormones kicked in and the Young Wan felt like an adult cos she was now in ‘Big School’.

Somehow during the transition between primary and secondary school, education became the biggest and best social club in the world.

While the Young Wan may feel like an adult she isn’t, she’s a buck eejit teenager, and fair play to her that’s what she should be. But it would be wonderful if she realised her potential in school, just like in the gilded and golden age of primary school.

Oh you should have heard the parent teacher meetings then.

“She is a such a joy to have in class.” “Oh she is so smart and she loves to write essays, none of the other children love this, they groan and she almost rubs her hands in glee.” “What can I say about herself, she is just great – the business a real star.”

Get the picture?

So off I skipped to the first parent teacher meeting of secondary school safe and smug in the knowledge of my daughter’s intelligence and ability which is apparent to anyone – only I got the shock of my life.

Nearly all the teachers gave out yards about her. You know the stuff, dreamy, talkative, could do better, grade doesn’t reflect ability, incomplete homework, ah Jaysus it was the works. I was devastated.

Don’t get me wrong, I did have an idea that it wouldn’t be great after all I had to nag and nag her to get her homework done, her books were a disgrace. But I had no idea it would be what felt like the polar opposite to what I had been used to up to that point.

Around the hall I went, queuing at tables, struggling to find teachers, finding them and marking them off my list which incidentally is in Irish and me with my less than cupla fucal.

And I struggled through shocked at what I was hearing. And there was fireworks that night let me tell you.

So the next one rolled around and after the first parent teacher meeting I was more than anxious I can tell you.

I was pleasantly, well much more than pleasantly surprised.

Some of the reports were certainly horrible, some bad, some semi-getting there, some good.

I was judging the reports on what I saw at home which was fifty-million times worse than a year before. Okay that is an exaggeration. It was forty-million – you get the idea!

It’s funny though because while I would have still kicked off at this last year due to my memory of the wonderful primary reports, I was happy this year there was some improvement to last. Now I am looking to build on that.

After all next year is an exam year for her and it will be fraught enough without adding more stress to it.

So there is still room, lots and lots of it, for improvement and that’s okay, sometimes you have to focus on something positive and hone in on that before tackling the other stuff.

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1 comment:

dunner said...

I am the poster child for not trying in secondary school. Only regret I have about back then. Teachers always complained that I didnt try hard enough, I had the capability, all the while I was saying to myself, "fuck you" "what do you know?" But i now wish I had studied hard in school and went on a got a decent post secondary education, instead of now trying to do it while working full time.

Teachers and parents they think they know it all?? Funny thing is they do.