Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Outcome Based Meeting

The school year has resumed and I asked OC how she liked her new classroom. "Good," she said. (FYI: This is a rave in OC-speak.) I asked her if she liked it better or the same as her previous classroom. "Better!" she said, emphatically. I asked why. "It's so much quieter." I know my kid. Who knew??? Other than myself, I mean?

If I had to rate the second meeting we had last year solely on the merit of its outcome, I'd say it was a smashing success. I'm thrilled she is in a classroom that suits her. The process, however, was wrenching and I think it was unnecessarily so.

If I heard one hundred examples of children whose teachers were not the best but the kids turned out fine, I could then hear one hundred examples in the reverse. The point of the whole thing is that this is here and now. My child has one chance to do the first grade - one hopes - and the teacher has a career with many first grade years. What is more important? And, if I heard a story about a parent whose child was not in the right class, would it behoove anyone that nothing was done about it? Or would it be best to change?

What I don't understand is why the reaction on the part of the principal was not this: can this be fixed within the current classroom? No? Okay, then what are the numbers in the other classrooms? Can she be moved without upsetting the balance of things in a significant way? Yes? Okay. She can move classrooms, end of story.

Straightforward. Logical. Based on clear, logical, straightforward, rational steps. Silly me for thinking that is the way it should go.

Today was anxiety-ridden for me, I couldn't help it. I went it, was nice to everyone and smiled. I helped in the new teacher's classroom, and aside from spilling my coffee on one poor child's work, everything went well. I read with the SMART kids, one of which is from OC's old classroom. When I went to drop him off at his classroom, I smiled at the teacher and she smiled back.

I feel like I did something big, and for the better, and while I don't care what anyone thinks I also feel an undercurrent of....something. Power? I have a hand in things? Something like that. 'Don't worry,' I want to tell the school, 'I will only use my powers for good and not evil...but just to be safe, don't piss me off. Kisses!'

P.S. I felt so bad about the coffee spilling. I had a travel mug with lid but somehow it leaked! What an auspicious introduction. Hello, I am your new classroom helper, Inept Coffee Spiller. I can destroy drawings and writing with a simple flip of my travel mug. Oy...


bubandpie said...

It seems to me that too many teachers/administrators live by the motto, "If we do it for you, we have to do it for everyone." Which is just such a fallacious argument.

Loralee Choate said...

I agree with Bubandpie (And that is EXACTLY what they are thinking, in case you want to know.)

In SOME defense, though...You would go CRAZY CRAZY trying to meet all the demands of parents. CRAZY.

SO? They usually shut down being helpful at all. Which sucks. Especially in this case, when it was really needed and fairly simple.

I am really glad that you had a good outcome (Sorry that the process sucked. Sigh.)

Lady M said...

So glad that you were able to arrange the new classroom and that it's working well. It's hard to speak up, but wow, OG is going to benefit!