Monday, August 18, 2008

I wince in self-revelation

Today we had parent meetings; I met eight of them, half the class. They were almost entirely friendly and complimentary, with just a couple of exceptions. The mother and father of one girl (who's widely considered a bit of a brat among the faculty) seemed to be a rather irritating mixture of high-maintenance and laissez-faire, sort of a "we know our child's a problem, but she's your problem, but you better do a good job" vibe.

And another father, the husband of this year's room mom, was a bit intense and Type-A. I felt as if his stare bored into me, judging me on any number of levels and finding me wanting. "Mene mene tekel upharsin," his stare seemed to say.

By contrast, most were, as I say, cordial, and our conferences were full of laughter and good information passed. One father said in a serious, demanding tone that his son should know multiplication table by the second week, then said I should beat him with a belt if he misbehaved. He was joking, as I knew; but it's rare to meet someone who has a sense of humor as dry and inapproriate as my own, and I experienced a moment of social disconnect. Then I replied that I would use the son's own belt so as to inflict psychic scarring as well. He liked that, or at least I hope he did. Yes, I'm a kindergarten teacher who jokes to parents about beating their children. That's how I roll.

I'm not to worried about any of the parents, even the high-maintenance or judgy ones. They'll see how I work soon enough, and hopefully all will mesh the way I like it.

After work, at 7 p.m., I had to come back to school for a grade-wide parent meeting. All of us stood at the front of the gym and introduced ourselves to the hundred or so parents that came. then we split into classes, and I showed my kids' parents around the room and gave them a brief sketch of the day. By 8:30 I was pretty tired. Especially since I only get about five hours of sleep a night. Yes, that's still going on.

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