Friday, April 24, 2009
The Parent-Teacher Conference
Yesterday afternoon, I attended a parent-teacher conference at my son's preschool. Consequently, the kids were out of school for the day and since we couldn't find anyone to watch Jalen, I was tasked with spending 25 minutes – alone – with J's teacher.
Mrs. Bootleg and I have been to a few of these conferences before. The teachers hilariously offer us the same size chairs that the children sit in and pour teardrops of warm water into Lilliputian cups.
Jalen's been at this preschool since September 2007 and, save for the occasional infraction, he hasn't had any real problems. Here are some highlights from our parent-teacher discussion. All comments are from memory and, if something below is not attributed, then it came from Jalen's teacher:
Jalen's Teacher: "In this picture, Jalen drew mommy, daddy and [his S. H. Babysitter]. He's very fond of her. Is she pretty?"
Me: "Oh, f*ck yeah." (TBG Note: I might've just thought this and not said it.)
"Jalen cannot, as yet, skip. Encourage bike-riding, balance-beam [activities], kicking with left and right foot."
Jalen's Teacher: "You should have a 45-minute 'hang-out time' with Jalen and focus on problem-solving."
Me: "What, like, everyday?" (TBG Note: This I did say. I didn't realize how awful it sounded until I recounted the exchange with Mrs. Bootleg hours later.)
Me: "How're Jalen's socialization skills? At home, he's almost pathologically competitive."
Jalen's Teacher: "Competitiveness is just undeveloped male immaturity. He'll grow out of it. When Jalen plays football at playtime, we try to stress 'fun' over who had the most points." (TBG Note: Jalen's teacher is British and she INSISTS on calling "soccer" by its "proper" name. Don't get me started.)
"We don't think children should be watching 'fantasy' (TBG Note: She refers to 'cartoons' as 'fantasy' for some reason.) until they're six or seven years old. Children need to be exposed to reality."