Monday, August 24, 2009

Walk on eggshells on my old stomping ground

First day of parent conferences.

I met half my 18 kids' parents. One boy's parents are a couple of self-described nerds (the father designs video games for a living, their dog is named after a mathematician, and their son's middle name is that of a famous scientist). Another boy's mother has possibly fatal cancer (she looked good, but obviously thin and weak, and discussed her illness with humor and openness); there's also a supportive stepfather and an absent father in his life. Most of the parents were effusive and charming and appeared happy to have me as their child's teacher.

I think there may be problems with two sets of parents: one is the Sikh family I met Friday, who are stereotypically pushy helicopter parents and whose perfectionist neuroses are being projected into their poor kid. The second is another new boy's South American-born mother, whose relentless officiousness during our brief interview made the Indian couple seem like laid-back, trusting hippie cats.

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