I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He's not my kid, he's your kid

Yesterday afternoon DH and I had to sit through the twice a year experience which is parent/teacher conferences. Every time I do this I think about my sister, who is on the 'teacher' end of these things, and about how hard it must be for her to look people in the eye and say, "You know what? Your kid is a dumbass." She always says that if ANYTHING a teacher says to you in a conference comes as a surprise (good or bad), then your teacher wasn't doing their job in their first place. Teachers and parents are supposed to work together, right? So if it takes them months before you know your kid is a total drop-kick, then they aren't holding up their end of the communication bargain.

But I digress.

DH and I got to meet with their main teacher first - and no, we didn't get any surprises. (Suffice to say our kids are FREAKING FABULOUS and as parents we are, too.) We were able to provide her with some insight and she some insight into our kids. We then had to wander down to meet with the language teachers, as the kids' school has a trilingual curriculum. I know, I know, there I go raising over achievers...but then you know, apple, tree, blah-di-blah.

So DH and I sit down to talk to the Yiddish teacher, and man oh man, is she a ball of excitement. NOT. It took her several minutes to spit out what she wanted to say and she was all slow and deellliibbbeeerraattee and frankly, a real fricking bore with about the same personality as the alphabet sheet she showed us. Gist of it is that 2 out of 3 kids are doing fine, and 2 out of 3 kids are behaving in class. Apparently said kid threw an apricot and missed her head by *that* much. She proceeds to tell us that this kid kid is being a pain in the proverbial and that she thinks we need to work as a team to improve the situation.

DH and I, being perfect parents and all, make the noises of "definitely not acceptable" and "work together" and crap crap blah-di crap, nod nod nod and walk away. While waiting in line to see the next teacher, this was the conversation we had:

M: Well, I guess our perfect parenting fell down a bit when it comes to Yiddish.
D: Yeah, I guess so. *smirk*
M: Yeah. *smirk* Well, X child has said several times that he doesn't really love the teacher so I'm not surprised.
D: Having met her, can you blame him?!?!
D&M: Snigger, snigger, snigger.

Lovely. We're SUCH grown ups, aren't we?

We wander over to the next teacher, who is far more animated (thank god, I was nearly flat line there for a minute). She says that 2 out of 3 kids are doing fine and 2 out of 3 kids are behaving (note, different permutations to the 2/3 mentioned above.) She also carries on about how she's surprised, since last year all our kids were perfect Stepford children, and now X kid is being a bit difficult, and blah di-fricking blah. She then gave some examples of the poor behaviouor (who knew you could have such fun with a single cherry tomato?).

DH and I certainly don't condone poor behaviour, and we also feel it's important to respect your teachers - but at the same time, these people see my kids for an hour a day at maximum. If in that single hour, you can't control my kid, well, you know what? This is not my problem, this is YOUR problem. The teacher who spends 5 or more hours a day with them has NO problem with their behaviour... so...seriously? What the heck am I supposed to do about it when a) I'm not there to witness it, b) they seem to be behaving more than they are not behaving and c) you are so bloody boring you make paint drying seem like a spectator sport.

So as not to tarnish our perfect parenting, we DID take time to talk to each kid about their conferences - they wanted to know and so we told them the good stuff AND the bad stuff. We did have a chat with the said children about their lack of aim (ha!). In actual fact we did take it pretty seriously, and we did discuss that disrespecting teachers was not acceptable, no matter how boring or annoying said teacher might be. Child in question then said, "...it takes 'Yiddish teacher' a good five minutes just to say what we're doing that day, because she spends most of her time telling people off."

Oh my god. Can you blame this kid for maybe being a little bored, a little annoying? That would drive ME around the bend as well.

So here it is, Internet parents. Your kid is being a pain in school for an hour a day. Is it a) your problem or b) the teacher's problem or c) kids will be kids?

1 comment:

M.B. said...

Let me just say that our lives, while taking place a pond a part, are so parallel it scares me.

Love your post and agree whole heartedly.