Every year I am forced to attend my school district's version of the parent-teacher conference. But, instead of this little get together being just between me and the teacher, I get to bring along my child. Then the three of us sit together and first ask my child what his/her strengths are. Then we ask that child what he/she can work on. We set goals. We write what the child will do to attain these goals. Then we talk about how I, as the parent, will help the child reach the goals.
This is the most retarded, idiotic, waste of time I have ever encountered as a parent. I cannot believe I am forced to this every single year. What is the point? Let's address each of my concerns:
1. I take my child with me. Why? I want some one-on-one time with the teacher. I want to get the real low-down about what is going on with my kid. I want privacy and reality.
2. What are my child's strengths? Why am I asking the child? I want to know what the teacher thinks are his/her strengths. Come on! I want the teacher's viewpoint. They are the ones who spend 6 hours a day, 5 days a week with my kid, supposedly teaching them. The teacher should know what the kid's strengths are.
3. My kids weaknesses. Okay, I think its fine to have the child fess up and own up to their own problems. I think it is a good exercise in self-realization for them to come clean.
4. Goal setting. Again, I want the teacher to help me out here. The teacher ought to know what is up. The teacher should be very aware of what my kid needs to work on. I am busy after school trying to get the kids to do chores, finish homework, get shuffled off to soccer or piano or whatever, make dinner, clean up from dinner, get baths, scripture study, and prayer. Like I said before, 6 hours in an academic environment with my kid ought to clue the teacher in.
5. How the child can attain the goals: Again, I'm fine with this part. The kid should come up with their own plan.
6. How can I, as a parent, help them attain their goals: This is the horrifying part for me. As I stated in problem #4, I'm a busy gal. I have a hard time committing to completing anything else around here between 3:30 and 9:00. I'm up to my neck in what I like to call, "schtuff." This is similar to the grade the kid gets for homework and home reading. Those grades are not a reflection on anyone else but me, the mom. If I wanted to get graded on being a mom, I would call up DCFS and have them do a home study just for fun. Then I would contact the police department, fire department, my local clergy, as well as a peer group and ask them to grade my performance.
If you haven't heard me say it before, Parenting is one long guilt trip after another. Like a Merry-Go-Round that keep spinning and spinning, faster and faster, with no sign of letting up and no brass ring to grab because some other more put together, well-coiffed mother has already grabbed it and has it grasped in her perfectly manicured hands as her clean, well behaved children smile gratefully and admiringly up at her.
NOTE: I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this before, but it's on my mind and I have to gripe about it.