We had the quarter-year parent/teacher conference at Squire Tuck's school. BOY do I like his new teacher. She just does so many small subtle things that I think are correct. Like she offered either individual private consultations or she said she could talk to us as a group. Offering to talk to us as a group says: We're all adults here. We're all working on the team that wants our kids educated. This runs circles around standing out in the hallway shifting our weight from one foot to the other for one or two hours, wondering what the hell was going on, and the teacher exhausted by the end. So we sat together and we all heard about little Vaclav and little Martin and little I don't know, some other kids' name that isn't actually a kid in the class. And then some parents stayed behind to talk about private concerns; I stayed behind to tell her I appreciated her approach and how much happier Squire was this year, and that I hoped she'd let us know if there was anything we could be doing.
It's always interesting to hear the parents' side of the story, isn't it? You learn so much. The mother who is defending her child's behavior is the one whose kid is a bully. The one who is surprised to hear that her kid is flailing is also the one who just had a baby. I am the only parent with a notebook for writing down what the teacher says, and I think at first that it is because one of my superpowers is Preparedness! but then it may also be because I'm the only one who can't hold a thought in her head for more than 5 minutes unless it's printed in front of me. I wonder what correlation that will be found between me and my kid, as I sit doodling in the margins of the notebook I brought and listening to the other parents.
No, yeah, I get it.
Out of the nine boys in the class, two have not yet been to the principal's office for discipline problems; one of them is our boy.The teacher says he's in his own world, and existing in that world keeps him from learning as much as he could, but he's not dragging anybody else away with him. It's both good and a little sad. The endless renderings of detailed spaceships, each window perfect, hold him drifting in orbit away from grammar and division; if he didn't have a tutor 3x a week, I doubt he'd be pulling in the Bs and Cs he's getting now. But it seems to me that now he's doing this because the schoolwork is boring and he'd prefer to draw, rather than because he is confused or because he needs the escape, so it's quite an improvement over last year. Baby steps, you know. And you could do worse than be a drawer of starships.
Last month the applications came around for the kids who want to transfer into college prep schools beginning next year. You were supposed to pay for the applications, and we didn't know, and I kept asking him about it and he didn't know, and we went rounds, and the date passed. I spent about 5 minutes being upset about it. Well, maybe a whole day. It's a door, closed, which always makes me want to kick at it. And Friar said: You cannot honestly think he could handle the workload college prep school when he can't even remember to tell us to order the applications. Which is: yeah.
This has been a Squire Tuck update.