Monday, November 8, 2010

The Trial

Parent-Teacher Conference Day

I've been dreading this day since I got my reminder notice a few weeks ago. Because if something is going wrong, it's not Morgan's fault. She's five. So it kind of fall's on me. And therefore this parent-teacher conference is really just a critique of my parenting skills.

Part of this is brought on by my pre-school parent-teacher conference last year, in which the very pleasant teacher asked me if Morgan had any stress at home, because she sometimes would get very nervous if she was asked to do multiple or difficult tasks.

"Well, now that you mention it...if she makes a mistake in her flashcards I make her walk a medieval gauntlet I erected in the basement."

So, by the time this morning hit, I had a small knot in the pit of my stomach. Stressed? Why would she be stressed? No one in my family stresses?

(Not to mention I've been riding out a slight hormonal imbalance this month that had already caused me to (1) burst into tears in front of my boss and (2) fight to keep it together as we drove past a cemetery and Morgan asked me where we were going to bury Potter when he died.)

I brilliantly scheduled this conference for 7:30 AM.

I may have mentioned that I have trouble getting out of the house in the morning. No? Not six or seven or twenty times? Well, I have what you may call a bit of a "sleep deprivation" problem which causes me to procrastinate throwing back the covers. Most days I'm leaving the house at about 7:45 to get the girls to Thea's, so I somehow had to gain a half hour.

We didn't do too bad. The parents before us were still there chatting when we got there, so I call that a win. Okay, we cut it close. But we also didn't take the full 15 minutes, so no harm done.

Morgan's polite and kind.

This was a surprise, because at home she's all, "Shut up, bitch, make me a bowl of spaghetti-o's!"

She hates doing her letter formation. And this is a girl that loves books. But she really struggles with writing, and therefore is pretty stubborn about doing it. Hmmm, you mean she doesn't like doing things she's not good at, because she can feel people judging her? So much so, that she doesn't even want to practice to get better? Hmm...who does that remind me of? It's somebody, I'm very close to...hmmmm.

Anyway, that was the worst of it. And it was something I already knew.

My only question was whether or not she had friends. I mean, I got the impression that she did, but since Mrs. D's class has all the kids that are on IEPs, I kind of wondered how that was affecting her social skills (not saying that all kids on IEPs have social problems - just a general pondering from a parent that doesn't have to deal with that daily).

Well, she must get that question a lot, because she pulled out a notebook where she spent the last several days recording who played with who, where, and for how long.

So on Wednesday last week Morgan started in the play kitchen areas with Lilly, Elizabeth and Jay and then went over to the computers with Molly and Daniel, etc.

I was pretty impressed. Not with Morgan, with Mrs. D. That must have been a giant pain in the ass, but I guess how else could she remember?

Anyway, it's over for another year. I can now lapse back into apathy.

Author's Note: Did you catch the three paraphrased movie quotes in this post?
"Over-reacting? Why would I over-react? Nobody in my family over-reacts?" Annie Banks, Father of the Bride
"I have what you may call a bit of a "weight" problem." John Candy's character, Stripes
"Shut up, bitch, make me a turkey-pot-pie." John Bender, Breakfast Club


  1. (Tina) OMG, thank you for that post. Not only am I cracking up over the hilarity but also feel better about bursting into tears at Walmart due to the fact that the auditors have begun thier annual toture here.

  2. Like Tina, I am grateful for your post, not only because of its humor, but because I read it the night before my six-hour session of parent-teacher conferences at my own school. Your post helped me to remember how tough it is to be the parent sitting in that chair. Of course, the parents who REALLY needed a conference didn't bother to show, so it was mostly a pleasant evening. Plus the PTO had Olde Towne provide a pasta and salad dinner for us--hooray!

  3. T - there's nothing like a good nervous break down in front of your peers.

    Katie - I thought you had all "gifted" students. Aren't they every teachers dream : ) I know I was!

  4. Jen: Too funny! As a teacher who has to sit through coountless conferences it reminds me what it's like from the parent perspective! Questions: How many kids on IEPs are in this class? Or for that matter kindergarten in Bay? Usually kids don't come into kindergarten with an IEP unless they have severe disabilities. Most are not identified until later on. Plus Bay is so many special ed kids can there be in one class? Just curious given that I teach in the town right next door.

  5. Jen I don't "know" that there r any. I'm going to assume they have at least 1 special need because morgan randomly told me that one of the 3 aides job is to help 1 particular boy. Otherwise I am not privy to info other than if there r any in bay, she's got them.