Every time I get back from attending the cluster%&^% known as Back to School Night I feel nauseous. It's supposed to be the opportunity to meet each of your child's teachers and hear what's going on. It's ridiculous because each session lasts a grand four minutes, two minutes of which are wasted trying to get to the class amongst the throngs of high-heeled mothers hugging each other in the hallways. I'm never one of those mothers because even after 14 years of being in the same school system, having volunteered with many of their children in various activities, these mothers still look through me as if I don't exist. I gave up even smiling at them or waving because I feel hurt every time I'm ignored. The one or two that do say hello look like they're saying it under protest. Even my husband noticed it..."They're all so phony, even with each other." I will be thrilled when I will never have to be in the same environment with them ever again. Two...more...years.
The only reason I even bother going is to meet the teacher to see if my daughter's complaints are valid or not. They usually are. Each "meeting" is pretty much the same. My name is X. This is my e-mail address. Check Blackboard. The end. I was especially looking forward to checking out her Pre-calculus teacher. It's never a good sign when everyone says "I'm sorry" when they hear the teacher's name. It's also never a good sign when the students learn more in one day from a substitute teacher than they have in three weeks from the regular teacher. Most parents don't ask questions at these "meetings" but I do. Like, why do you keep telling the students they should already know this when they are having a problem rather than going over it again. The answer: Because they should already know this from Algebra I. My follow-up: Since some of the students had Algebra one in 8th grade isn't it possible that they have forgotten some things from three years ago? His: Well I'm here at 7:30 in the morning if they have a question. Me: Some students go to Burton and have classes at 7:30. His: I am also here on Wednesday afternoons for a half hour after school. Me: Thank you I will relay that to my daughter and see if that helps before I high a tutor.
Next up was Spanish. This was the first time I ever spoke with a teacher that barely spoke English. I couldn't understand a word he said, other than the students find this class "intimidating" and that to help them we should have them watch Galavision Spanish television and buy Spanish only magazines. This should be fun.
One of the mothers in Advanced Chemistry did speak up and ask why the students weren't allowed to use calculators in class. If I understood the answer correctly it's because the school got a grant from some company with the caveat that the students can't use calculators in class because they wanted to see what would happen if they started doing math in their head instead of depending upon a calculator. So, I guess this group are guinea pigs. This should be interesting as well.
The teacher I was most impressed with was the Advanced History one. He seemed very enthusiastic about his job, had personality, seemed to relate well to the students and showed us how to find links on Blackboard. My son had him and said he was one of his favorite teachers. The only problem is that my son had such a good time in the class that the AP test he took for it was the lowest score he ever got, a 2, which is useless.
Frankly I can't wait for my daughter to be done with this high school. To say I've been less than impressed with the staff and administration would be an understatement. The front office is never helpful and have attitudes. Everything is a fight. The school itself was built too small. There aren't enough seats in the cafeteria nor lockers. The halls are barely passable between classes. I think the only thing this school cares about are the sports teams. Two...more...years.
When I got home and bitched about the evening ending with the twenty minutes it took to just get out of the parking lot because these parents don't know how to be a considerate driver by letting one car from each line go, my daughter dropped another bomb. "Mom, there's a mandatory cast meeting for the play on Thursday night." "Okay, hve fun." "Ummmmmm, the parents have to come too." What???? I didn't sign up for Drama club, you did. Why the hell do I have to go? Do you they think I'm sewing costumes or something? Fughedaboutit!!! I...am...through.