It’s raining it’s pouring…
It’s a good job the school has a good roof. Sound like a hat might be a good option but not for the kids….
“Dad do we have to go”
Yes son it’s the parents evening. I get to see how close you are to being expelled.
No Son sorry bad joke. We shouldn’t be too long. Assuming we get to see a teacher you only get 5 minutes per subject.
“That’s hardly enough time to say hello and try to remember the teachers name”
Yes I know. It wasn’t my fault last time. (At his last school where he only had one teacher and had been taught by him for 3 years – I managed to forgot his name at two parent evenings.)
Its a bit of Bear Pit at this schools parent evening. In the canteen the teachers sit at desks on the outside. Meanwhile the parents and kids stand in the middle and wait for a free teacher slot. It’s like being in a pack of hungry vultures scanning the Savannah for prey. When a teacher becomes free then full scale greco roman wrestling combat breaks out for the prized two free seats at the desk. It’s brutal.
I really am crap at these evenings. Feel really awkward and ask the most stupid questions. I turn up with nowt whereas other parents have brought a camel train worth of books and papers.
The first teacher we saw was the French Teacher. Really very nice. Apparently our sons dyslexia is much less pronounced with French. Bizarre.
The second teacher clearly didn’t have the slightest clue about dyslexia. He was very old school. Reminded me of my old History teacher. The grumpy old bugger would call all the kids by their first names but that’s where the approachability ended. Strangely he only called one kid by his surname. One of my friends was called Robert Dosser. The teacher took great delight in calling the poor kid ‘Dosser’. Anyway tonight it was 5 minutes of thinking if I should call this teacher ‘Mr Nolan’ (Dead Poets Society), or ‘Miss Trunchbull’ (Matilda) or just ‘Tosser’.
The next teacher was really switched on with Dyslexia and Aspergers. Great chat and real hope. She had started trying a few new teaching methods with our son.
“Dad you do know she is leaving in the soon to go to a different school”
Three more subjects followed. More pointless questions from Dad. Anyway more evidence of some progress. With the exception of one teacher, school is doing no work on his dyslexia. Worryingly English is the worst offender. Most teachers are just trying to work round it. Many subjects have abandoned the use of a pen and are trying to get our son to use the iPad for work. Only problem is that the iPad just can’t accurately speech recognise the Yorkshire accent. If you look at the list of supported Apple languages – Yorkshire isn’t there.
As the evening progressed I particularly liked running to a free table only to be disappointed to find no teacher. It was where you were supposed to leave your coffee cups…
The other parents seem to be seeing so many more teachers than me.
“How many have we seen Dad”
Six. I know you are getting bored now. Let’s see one more and go.
A teacher became free and I pounced. That showed the other parents. As I sit down our son whispered
“This is art”
Shit. Why did it have to be art. This is so far out of my comfort zone it’s unreal. I literally have nothing to say.
Long awkward silence as the art teacher stares at me. Finally I blurt out.
He really likes art…. (he hates it)
Do you think he should practice at home …….(that’s just as bad)
Is it better to use pencils or paintbrushes ……. (that’s it I’m spent)
Teacher explains that he’s doing really well and has improved so much since his first painting homework. The teacher sighs and says it wasn’t very good. Son looks daggers at me. He was struggling to do his first painting which was supposed to be a version of a Henri Rousseau piece. I volunteered to help. It was a disaster.
“Dad why are you painting that snake yellow with stripes”
Because it’s a tiger…. the painting got worse. The teacher comments are etched on my mind ‘need to try harder’. Since then he’s never asked for art help again and his marks have improved.
Eventually our 5 minutes is up and we both agreed to sneak out to the car. It was still raining. It’s Spring you know.