This is an open letter of thanks to all the public school teachers for staying late and meeting with us bewildered parents last night. I'm truly inspired by the dedication and passion with which our children are taught. I can only guess how hard it must be to mold twenty little minds whose only desire is to play and eat snacks but so far, you are doing an awesome job.
My heart goes out to you for trying to work with the unrealistic standards our education system now deems necessary. In truth, I just want my kid to be happy in school - I don't care if he can write a novel in Kindergarten. But what can we do if we're competing with China or Sweden or whats-his-land? Blame Canada, I guess.
Most of the parents with boys were given the same lecture: he needs to focus, less fooling around, finish what he starts. And the teachers know what we want to say, "but they're boys." But they know that's not going to work for First Grade.
The next school year, my five-year-old (he turns six in October) will be required to copy down his own homework and collect the required workbooks to bring home. I'm thinking to myself, are you f*cking kidding me? My kid can hardly remember to come home with all his clothes, how can I expect him to copy down his homework? I might as well ask him to start shaving.
It is a little outrageous and the teachers seem flustered. They want to teach - not drill. And now that I think about it, all those times I used to threaten my boys that I'd send them to Military school if they didn't behave may actually be happening. But we've been blessed with good teachers - knock on wood(I'm knocking my head).
As for the verdict in last night's Parent-Teacher conference, our son is doing surprisingly well. He would do better of course, if he wasn't so busy being the class clown or the gossip king. His teacher, Mrs. Mifsud was quick to tell us that she hates sending him home with a sad face on his behavior sheet but sometimes she just has to. And I understand, especially when she tells us that even the janitor checks in on him during class to make sure he's being good.
So, we voted to give him more responsibilities at home. I'm fine with that, nothing disciplines a child better than hard labor, I say. Maybe have him clean out the fireplace. Oh - we don't have a fireplace. Okay, then make him dig out a fireplace first, then clean it out everyday. Let's see them try that in China.