Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mid Year Conferences

Sorry for the lag in posts. I'm back and ready to share my soul. Or something like that.

I don't put a whole lot of stock in kindergarten. I view it as an extension of pre-school. Or at least that was what I thought of it before I had children. Now it seems like Kindergarten is the new first grade. A hundred years ago when I was a kindergartner our classroom time was primarily social. Now the focus is on rote learning even though the school staff spins it to make it seem like they incorporate creativity in their teaching methods. I'm not so sure. From what I gather all the kids in the entire school receive the same homework, week after week. Nothing fancy, straight out of some guidebook text.

So it's with this knowledge that I went into today's conference. It was the third time I'd be talking with the teacher. The first was when we met at orientation and the second was for the first conference. Frankly, I was unimpressed both times. The initial meeting I chalked up to new teacher in a roomful of parents nervousness. I cut her some slack. Between then we emailed a few times about little things and she was always prompt in answering my queries. Definitely a plus. But then there was the first conference where I had to practically dig any information out of her. I know my kid is sweet...can you tell me anything else? Anything specific that lets me know you have separated her from every other one of her classmates? I left that meeting feeling thinking my kid got the shit teacher out of the bunch, particularly since so many other parents I know who have kids at the school have marveled over how fantastic their experience has been.
I held out hope and waiting until our next meeting. Today. It was pretty much the same deal as the first conference. She went over my daughter's work, ticking off percentages and highlights. It took all of three minutes. Told me she's a sweetheart and very social. Asked if I had any questions. If I hadn't rolled off a series of them, that would've been it. And even with my questions, she gave me no emotion. I had the suspicion she would've rather been anywhere else but meeting with me. And it's not like she's been at this for 30 years and is plumb tired of it. She's young and this is her second year. Who knows? Maybe she had the realization that she chose the wrong career path. Then get out or at least suck it up and pretend like you love it. Especially for my sake. I'm not asking much, or at least I don't think I am. I just want to know what my daughter is up to during the day. Share some cute anecdotes. Don't make the entire focus of our meeting about whether she's up to par with other kindergartners in terms of skills. Tell me what you guys do all day because I don't really know. My kid isn't much of a sharer. She tells me bits and pieces but I have to basically rip it out of her.

Luckily this IS only kindergarten. I just hope this isn't a sign of what's to come.

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