Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meet the Teacher Night

Last night was meet the teacher night for the 4th grade. YEAH! I can't believe it; time won't stop. She is in class with most of the Baptist church kids she sees on Wednesday after school and in GAs. She is also in class with most of the Methodist boys from her Sunday school class. Her teacher goes to my parents church and knows the majority of the 28 kids in her class. There are three classes clustered together and it appears that in these three classes are the top 10-20% (academically) of students in the 3rd grade. There are over 300 kids in 3rd grade. The GT (gifted and talented) students are in one of the three classes clustered together. G's teacher is the social studies/science teacher for the cluster. so hopefully it will be a school within a school. Yes, I am a snob with regard to my child and her education. If I could afford private, I would have her in private. If I thought she was more self motivated I would have her doing home school work.

I am hoping this will be a good year for G. There are still things we struggle with that in this cultural environment I wish to have more control over who is interacting with her and what messages they are sending. I need the adults in G's life to reaffirm our beliefs not impart a mixed up culture's idea of good/evil and right/wrong. I want tolerance to be taught from a Christian perspective not a western everything is fine unless you cross a phony PC line perspecitve.

Our district has been forced over the last 8 years to accept districts that were forced by the state to close due to extremely low test grades and low parental involvement. These are the kids from the rural areas of our district, mostly on government assistance, low exposure to other cultures or other socioeconomic levels, low expectations from everyone around them. Some of these kids could have a future if the parents cared enough to get involved. At one time I worked with some of these kids and honestly the parents were the problems but the kids were the ones labelled. Some of the kids were medicated due to hyperactivity or in other words, just getting on the mother's nerves so that she could not entertain the numerous men coming in and out of her life. Mostly it was boys who were medicated. Oh and this wasn't necessarily based in one racial group because it crossed racial boundaries. It made me sad for the boys because they learned that no one expected anything good from them.

I personally think that in school boys are not treated as boys but more as non-girls, meaning the expectation of a boy's behavior is defined by how the majority of girls act: quiet, compliant, easily taught in a broad general sense. I personally think public schools, as currently structured, put too much emphasis on controlling behaviors perceived to be abnormal rather than teaching basics in an environment that is geared as much to the activity level of boys as girls and that we lose the ability to understand boys on their own terms, as they were created to be. I think this is as much a disservice to girls as it is to boys. Our culture, through movies, commercials and TV, has really dumbed men/boys down and created a false narrative that boys are just neanderthals waiting to beat a woman on the head rather than truly come up to the Biblical standard of provider and protector.

That is my public school rant for now. It isn't an optimal situation for my ideals, but until I am rich or G is more self motivated I am stuck with her in the public school. I must remember to tell her teacher to put high goals on G and if she misses the goal to not bring it down, but to encourage her anyway. Failure is okay because it is through error and mistakes we learn. G mostly will hit or surpass a goal if it is set high enough. If it is set too low, she won't hit it at all (we saw that play out in 3rd grade when the teacher decided to ignore me). That is part of that perfectionist's tendency that she has. If she thinks her teacher thinks she can't succeed, then she won't even try.

It really is amazing how well we were matched. I tend to have the same tendencies except that sometimes I would succeed out of pure spite. I suppose it could be projection on my part, but I saw this very early in her. She is also very introverted. She is much more introverted than I am but I have been where she is now. Age brought me closer to the center of the continuum (but age is also sending me back to the hermit end of it, heh). I will say that she is perfectly content in a group of her choosing even if she is not necessarily participating in the same activities of the group. As long as she defines the interaction on her terms she is perfectly happy to observe. I watched this play out Saturday at the pool of a friend when 5 girls were there. Oh how happy G was and how much she did not want to leave even though looking from the outside she looked like she was playing alone. The girls were not so much leaving her out as she was putting herself out of the activity, just happy to belong not necessarily participate in each event.

This is the transition year. The kids will switch classes this year getting ready for jr and sr high. She won't have the same teacher other than for home room, social studies and science in the same day. Math and reading/writing are with different teachers as are the auxillary classes which change daily. There are two days of pe, no recess. She is bummed about the no recess thing. They will have "walking" or accelerated reading instead of recess. Sorry but the whole walking thing is just stupid. She has an early lunch too, so she may be very hungry by the time school is out. Anyway, her class I think is going to be a positive for her and I pray she excels.

1 comment:

Vivian M said...

Wow lots of changes this year for Miss G in school....praying she has a smooth transition into 4th grade, makes lots of new friends, and does very well in her school work.