Tonight was “Back to School” night at my placement. There were 2-3 parents for each of the three periods for which I stayed. My CT spent quality 1:1 time with each parent although there were language challenges for a few; however, the student sometimes translated – not always though, especially if the topic involved homework or studying. As if that would get by the parent…not.
As a parent myself, I’ve been to over ten back to school nights. Each of them were packed, and I believe every single parent, sometimes both, attended. These events typically bore the daylights out of me after 1-2 minutes per teacher so it was interesting to be on the other side of the fence. Tonight was a significant contrast, in many ways, between my experience as a parent, and my recent experience as a teacher. Very few parents showed tonight, they asked few questions, and there was no “dog & pony show” by the teacher (thank goodness for all). Nonetheless, it was awesome to see parents show up for their children, and the subtle, almost hidden, pride the students had for their parents showing up for them. It was heartwarming to experience.
I especially enjoyed a lengthy discussion with one student’s father who went into detail about the student’s home-life and his belief that there were only two paths in life: the right one and the wrong one., and he wanted to make sure his student took the right one every time. The simple elegance of this view escapes many today; we’ve compromised and convoluted ourselves on so many fronts that we’ve lost much of the common sense innate in most of us. And we’re surprised our nation continues to fall behind other countries in academic achievement and other criteria?