They would have “Exceeded Expectations” in whining, but there wasn’t a box for that.

Last night, the girls’ elementary school held their first ever Parents’ Night. For the past three years, each time I signed a report card and sent it back with Gracie’s homework (and later, Bee’s too) I wondered why they didn’t host a Parents’ Night so that I could meet their teachers officially (for I am a pretty good teacher-stalker – I email and volunteer quite regularly) and discuss my children’s grades, aptitudes, and shortcomings. As if I didn’t already know. Finally – and perhaps because of the recent turnover in our PTO administration – I had my chance to be on the parent side of Parents’ Night.

I spent many years as a wee little one on the student side, of course. Parents’ Night was a big deal at our tiny little neighborhood school. We spent most of the day creating artwork to display and cleaning our classrooms, and especially neatening our desks. I was always the last to finish cleaning my desk. In fact, my teacher usually made an example of my desk. Seems I was always a bit of a packrat. Other than the desk cleaning, I adored Parents’ Night. I knew I was brilliant, I knew every single teacher in that school thought I hung the moon(s)(because there are two of them, thank you QI), and bottom line – I knew I had everything to gain and nothing to fear. Plus, my mom wrote me wonderful little notes and hid them in my desk for me to find.

My turn as The Parent for Parents’ Night was a bit different. Turns out that they don’t make such a big production. For one of the biggest elementary schools in our city, there weren’t very many parents. I was the sole parent in each classroom. Bee’s teacher – the one I most wanted to talk to, because Bee (bless her heart) is just keeping up with her peers – kept things pretty business-like. She went over test scores, assured me Bee already knew everything she needed to know in order to pass kindergarten, and said that she was a wonderfully adapted, perfectly normal little girl. She didn’t even tell me Bee was a fidgeter. Which – hello! She is. I’ve read the comments in her folder each week. Gracie’s teacher conference was on the other side of the spectrum. I had spent a good bit of time visiting with Ms. G. before, so it was very informal. She said that Gracie’s reading was beyond the school’s testing capabilities, that she is an absolute delight in class (she actually called her mellow. What kid has she confused my daughter with?!) and said the only problem Gracie has is that she rushes through her work. It’s a flaw Gracie’s been working on, so I wasn’t surprised. Then we chatted about nothing at all for 15 minutes and that was that.

There were no desks to leave notes in, no artwork to admire, and no fuss to be made. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes.

Of course, after I came home and went over each report card with the girls, they got in trouble for drawing on each other’s bellies with highlighters, had meltdowns, and were general crankybutts. Because it’s impossible for me to have an all-around good evening in which nothing goes wrong. Such is the joys of parenting. But that’s okay. The marker will wash off (eventually) and the girls are headed to their dad’s for the weekend. And one day I will invent a cure-all for whining and I will be a cajillionnaire. Now THAT is a happy thought for the weekend!

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One Response to “They would have “Exceeded Expectations” in whining, but there wasn’t a box for that.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Sorry to hear about the whining that is no fun. Glad to hear the reports were good even if they didn’t go quite the way you expected. Is Parents’ Night different than conferences?

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