I have spent very little time online in the last few days hence the lack of posting...sowwy!
Let's see, what can I start with...
Ahhh yes, the dreaded Parent Teacher Interviews. Let me start by saying that I used to think that if the teacher needed to talk to me, they would call, otherwise everything is fine. I learned last year (yes when my kiddo was in grade 10) that this is not the case. Another mom alerted me to the fact that if you go to meet the teacher early on, they are more likely to notify you if there are concerns. You will also find out any minor issues that can be headed off with early intervention.
At my son's school, they send out an informal 'progress report' (basically a sheet with check boxes for "Homework Completion", "Class Work" etc.) The point is to get things resolved before the midterm report card. I told my son I would be meeting with all of his teachers, to which he replied "Why?" I told him it was so I could give them my email address for weekly updates on him....he rolled his eyes at me.
He then told me not to meet his World History teacher, since that teacher "doesn't even know who I am". I told him I'm sure that's not true, but my kiddo insisted that the teacher has no clue who he is. I was also told by him that he doesn't like his English teacher and she doesn't like him. Great. Upon arriving at the school, I found the English teacher, a pleasant older woman, with short blond hair and 'teacher-like' glasses. She told me my son is currently at about a 70 or 72% grade level, and overall is doing well. She said he did poorly on a pop quiz which is why his mark is where it is, but that he's done well on homework and in class assignments. I was pleased to hear this after what my kiddo had told me. The teacher then turns to the 20-something blond hair, blue eyed college-coed beside her and says "Oh this is Miss Smith, she's our student teacher in the class who is leading most of the lessons." I say hello and shortly thereafter we finish meeting.
I go on the meet the Hospitality teacher who is very chatty and seems to genuinely be happy with my kiddo's in class performance. I then move on the meet the World History teacher. He is running late, so he enters while the principal is looking for him. He says hello, sits down, opens his laptop and scans it, all the while not saying a word. I don't speak because I don't want to rush him, and figure he needs a minute to get his bearings. A minute turns into two minutes, then three. A bead of sweat starts to roll down my back as I start to feel highly uncomfortable. I glance around at all of the other teachers, being very friendly with the parent in the hot seat, and then back at Mr. World History, still scanning his computer, not saying a word. After about four or five minutes, I shift in my chair, and he looks up and says "Any questions?" It's almost like he thinks we've just had a long conversation, and this is the end. I have never had a teacher start a meeting like this. I stammer..."umm no....well, how's kiddo doing?" "Fine, no problems" he replies. I feel very weird - what do I do now? I guess I go home and apologize to my kiddo...his teacher really does have no clue who he is.
I finish with the Law teacher, who has fabulous things to say about my kiddo. He even said that he expects kiddo to have one of the higher grades in the class which is music to my ears! Law is a definite interest area for my boy, so it's nice to hear that he is doing so well. Mr. Law then says that he sometimes notices a glimmer in kiddo's eyes as he makes a funny retort to something. He says "I wouldn't call him a smart-ass, that's what my mom always called me, but he's definitely a funny kid." I told him that I would call my kiddo a smart-ass much of the time. Then I feel totally weird for using the word 'ass' in a Catholic school...but Mr. Law started it!
Upon arriving home, I fill in my boy about how the interviews went. He seems genuinely surprised to hear that all of his teachers had mostly nice things to say about him. I told him that even his English teacher had some nice things to say. He asks, "Did you see the student teacher?" I say "Yes," and he says, "She distracts me." I was speechless but I did laugh. In retrospect it does seem that it would be challenging for 16 and 17 year old boys to concentrate with Miss December at the front of the room.