Saturday, November 5, 2011

P-T Conferences, 2011

Yesterday was one of my least favorite bi-annual events- Parent-Teacher Conferences! I haven't had the best luck with conferences in the past. Tell me my daughter is disorganized and her grades have slipped because she keeps losing her completed homework assignments? Yes. That is so true and we are working on it and she has improved vastly in the past two years. I like to know whether or not my child is participating in class and how they are doing in general. I do not like to have my thigh rubbed and then when I get up to escape, my back rubbed the entire 15 minutes. I think drama is ridiculous and when you tell me with huge eyes and exaggerated arm movements that my child doesn't conform to normal 2nd grade behavior because she jumps in puddles at recess, I will lose all respect for your authority. Especially after you tell me the same child is NOT disruptive in class, but quiet and a good student. Don't scare me to death that my child is falling behind in reading to the point we need to spend $$$$$ on tutoring NOW and then make it completely obvious you haven't attempted to get to know my child at all in his first quarter and really have no idea what his issues are. If a teacher doesn't want to (or doesn't know how to) put forth the effort to get to know a child on a personal basis, fine. That's probably way above and beyond her job description. But if you're going to do that in primary school, at least be like the upper grade teachers and treat the majority of the class like a herd. I'd rather my kids be ignored than have some idiotic teacher try to crush their individuality.

Logan's in third grade this year and has his first good teacher. I've noticed a huge difference in his attitude and willingness to learn, and after the conference I realized why. He hasn't had any bad teachers, but they've all been just okay. Mrs. H has actually made the effort and taken the time to get to know my kid. She laughed about everything from Logan's neat and organized desk to his deep voice. She understands that while Logan enjoys some praise, too much embarrasses him. She wasn't all rainbows and happiness, she also talked about how he likes to daydream and sometimes bounces or shuffles his feet. I don't like this teacher because she kissed my butt, I like her because she gets and appreciates my kid. Anyway, this conference tied for best ever with Kaylin's third grade teacher who was the same way.

I talked with four of Kaylin's teachers and I'll have to poll my teacher friends about whether I should show up for any more of her middle school conferences. I have to admit, I'm ONLY doing these so my name is on the piece of paper. I know she's well behaved and doing just fine. I know her biggest issues are organization and just finding where she put her completed homework assignment. ALL of her bad grades in 4 of 5 classes were due to misplaced homework. Huh huh, that's just something she's going to have to figure out for herself! I'm not wasting one puff of breath nagging her about something so stupid! If she spends the time doing homework and then loses it, that's her problem. I'm definitely not going to check her binders for neatness or clean out her backpack! These are things she needs to learn for herself and much better to learn the lesson in middle school than when she's in her twenties and it actually matters. Anyway, I talked to the four main teachers and not one of them said anything I didn't already know. It was a whole lot of waiting in line for very little information. I sort of felt bad for making other parents wait who may have actually had real concerns and needed to see the teachers.

Kaylin and I both had dental cleaning appointments yesterday afternoon. I have never feared or disliked going to the dentist, but the newest requirement had me squirming. It seems that the government has finally decided that dental health is very much tied into the health of the rest of the body and therefore is much more important than previously believed. Wait, what??? As one can imagine, the dental professionals are more than a bit annoyed at this "amazing news" they (and everyone else of any intelligence) have known forever. Anyway, their governing bodies are now requiring them to do a torturous gum test as part of a cleaning. It involves scoring SIX areas of EACH tooth by jabbing a metal poker into the gums and measuring how far it goes in. It hurts. A lot. I sort of freaked out because I got called back first and was terrified if they tried this on Kaylin she'd be out the door and gone. It's only adults. Phew! I just hope "adults" are not ages 12 and up or we may have to go the sedation dentistry route for basic cleanings!

My foot is significantly better following several days of rest. I'm starting to hope a little that I won't have to wear the air cast at work, but I probably will.

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