Rather than talking about Missy, because Missy’s life is her own to talk about, I’d like to share some ideas about parents evening from the parental perspective.
We’ve spoken before about raising kiddo’s in difficult circumstances and how that is a colossal undertaking. Not because of anything the kid did, but because we as the adults are having to learn and grow at a pace faster than we are comfy with.
Teachers are on the front line too, the parent is not the only one at the front line of raising cute babies to be productive members of society.
For the first time, and in these final months of compulsory school (Brits take their exams aged 16), Missy’s maturity has developed, her aptitude and responsiveness to guidance are aligning and the consequent output is a sight to behold, a thavma, a beautiful thing.
Now, what I want for her is for her to reach Her goals, to stretch and develop, to open opportunities as she grows into adulthood. I said to her on the night that I would be upset for her but if she collected her results and they weren’t even D’s but were Z’s, she could still come home, I will love her no matter, and we would work it out, and she said thank you because she knows it was true and heartfelt.
Back to the teachers.
Have you ever seen the show on TV called “The Crystal Maze”? Well, a group of strangers complete tasks to win Crystals which go toward an event at the end of the show.
Last parents evening was like a Crystal Maze episode, every teacher expressed their support, expressed their confidence, and gave Missy the key to winning a new Crystal.
English: “You have beautiful compositions and your analysis is correct and factual, now to grade higher, tell the examiner WHY that line of poetry using that technique was important because it evoked thoughts of blah blah”.
Maths: “You are working to a high standard, when you get a homework assignment for 2 days hence, do it on the first night, then if you get stuck, email me and we have a day to add to the knowledge or clarify and then you can hand in fully completed work for full credit”.
Science: “You are a scientist, you have a scientifically aligned way of thinking, we’ve finished modules for chemistry and biology and will be moving to physics but go over your chem and bio notes to keep it fresh for the exams”.
DT “Your work you have completed is to a great standard. In class you spend too much time being nice to people which eats in to work time…. would you like me to help you in stopping friends interrupting during work during class?”.
Pep Talk “You are brighter than you give yourself credit for, you are capable of anything you set your mind to because of your natural aptitude, work us hard, ask us questions, we’ll match you all the way, we want the best for you”.
History “you have great knowledge, in the 8 hour 2000 word essay craft and check what you have written before moving on to the next paragraph”.
Art “I don’t mind what your folder looks like, it’s a reflection of your journey so concentrate on adding content please”.
Each word of advice was a new Crystal which could be used to gain time and win higher prizes.
I sure do appreciate the fact that a) they stuck with her during the difficult years b) they give not only of their time but of themselves and their wisdom.
I thanked them for helping us over the past 5 years and for their diligence and stick-with-it-ness. She’s a great kid, it’s a great school, they’re great people, this is going to work out well. Phew.
Raising a child in difficult circumstances is very much an act of faith, hoping for things not seen but which are true. You never know at the time if it is all going to come good but I’m starting to see that sometimes it does just that, and I am thankful for our blessings and for each other.