Wednesday, September 4, 2013

8th Grade Parent / Teacher Meeting



Song:  A Song For Sara

Artist:  Greg Baker




Today...
there was a parent / teacher meeting at Alex's school for the 8th grade class.

Each teacher got up and explained their expectations of their students...
 and spoke of their rationale for what they stress in class.

What the teachers are stressing is conceptual understanding of the material...
and not mere regurgitation.

This was good to hear.

Alex's Social Studies teacher had brought up Alex's work on his web site...
and of how happy he is with his work on it.

It was a short session for the teachers to introduce themselves...
and for parents to ask questions of the teachers.


Afterwards...
I took Alex out for some Texas style Barbecue.  


Alex got the rib plate.
Ever since he tried it for the first time a few weeks ago...
he loved it.


Alex photographing his plate for his restaurant review
(reviewing various locations on Yelp is one of Alex's hobbies).


Alex finishing up his plate.

Just a year ago...
something as spicy as barbecue sauce 
Alex wouldn't have touched.

Now he loves it.

And he is also eating it by hand now  :)
(he would only use a fork at first).



--------------



I was a little disappointed by the lack of parents at today's meeting with the teachers.

Even though they had afforded the parents an opportunity to speak with them 
at the beginning of the school year...the teachers had some updated information.


We speak the most clearly through our actions or inactions.

To not take an hour out of a day to attend something so important 
as an interface with someone who is helping to mold your child...
speaks volumes.

The way I see it...
anyone who helps my son...
is a friend of mine.

To not take advantage of a line of communication...
through which all nonverbal communication...
without a face to face meeting...is lost...
is to not realize the importance of the parent's presence 
at these meetings.


It is also to show respect to the teachers...
and to the line they are throwing the parents
to ensure they work as a team to help the children involved.


It also helps to motivate the teachers to know that what they are doing... 
is important to the parents.

The children also see that their parents care about every aspect of their education.



Another reason for a face to face meeting...is to gauge the teachers.


An involved parent must have the first hand knowledge
that comes with a face to face meeting with the teachers.

Through the teachers' words...
their speech pattern and intonation...
you may gauge not only their stated intent...
but their mind.

If they cannot explain to you in a precise and concise manner...
chances are that their students will have problems in the class...
and so you will need to spend extra time going over the text with them
to ensure they understand the concepts.

Through the question and answer portion...
you may gauge their ability to not only process information...
but you may gauge their ability to convey their message in an organized
and logical fashion.

Through their body language...
their facial expression...and their eyes...
you may gauge the consistency or inconsistency
of their statements to their feelings about that which they speak.

A teacher who loves what he does...
puts his heart into his lessons.

Enthusiasm is contagious.

An involved teacher...
has involved students.


To what end...
and to what good...
will a face to face do?


To correct a problem...
you must first identify that one may exist.

With a weak area identified...
you may preempt problems by fortifying their subjects with 
other sources ahead of time.


Is this always the case?
Can we, as humans, always accurately gauge another?

Perhaps not.

However...
one thing is certain...
you absolutely can not...
if you are not there in the first place.


This is NOT to say I had seen problems with Alex's teachers.

His school has many very good teachers.
I have been highly impressed with the quality...
 and the enthusiasm... 
of Alex's teachers.

For me, people watching is a hobby of mine  :)


We also have always taken universal precautions.
Alex is prepared ahead of time for all of his subjects
through our after school, weekend, and vacation advanced work.

I also review Alex's school work on a daily basis...
to ensure he understands the concepts involved.

However...
I also know that not all parents have the time I do.

So...
 I think it is absolutely crucial for a strong link 
among parents and teachers to be made and maintained...
especially that of timely communication.


Just as it is so with the teachers...
it is especially so with the parents.

The more highly involved are the parents...
the more highly involved will be the child.


If you care...
and your actions show you care...
a child will care...
and his actions will show he cares.

If you want a good child...
you must be a good parent.


As with almost everything involving your child...
it all starts...
and ends...
at home.




2 comments:

  1. I have found that with my work schedule the past year (commuting to downtown), I can't make as many school meetings as I used to. So, I have to rely on my wife to attend and provide feedback for me.

    Ha, my son has to have the 'handle' of his chicken drumsticks wrapped in a paper towel as he doesn't like to touch it with his hands. I guess progress is measured in many ways... I hadn't thought that eating finger food by hand would be one of them. :)

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  2. I know you would be there at Kai's school meetings were it always possible.

    Alex has really grown in many ways recently. He is becoming far more adaptable...especially in food choices. Gradual exposure is making gradual progress. With each successful adaptation...Alex becomes more bold in future food choices.

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