Today, as soon as I got home from work, Abby was waiting in the garage to hand me her Tuesday Folder full of school papers. She stayed home sick for more than half of last week, so there weren't that many papers to review and look over. Her spelling test had an unusually low grade, but after having a heart attack at the sight of such a horrible grade and thinking about it, I remembered that I hadn't even made her practice her words one single time! I don't know how I forgot about spelling, but I did, and she absolutely BOMBED her spelling test. Bombed it so bad that there was even a note from her teacher, written at the top, saying that since she had been out most of the week, her teacher wouldn't count the grade. WHEW! - that was an unexpected relief! (Thank you kind teacher!) After I got done looking at her papers, I noticed yet another handwritten scribble under her conduct grade for the week. The note read, "Please let me know when you are available for a conference".
Suddenly I felt JOY and HAPPINESS hissing out of my body. I was deflating by the millisecond. That type of note from the teacher never means anything but "Please come in so we can discuss what you AREN'T doing to help your child succeed".... or, "WOW. She should be WAY ahead of this by now".... And I always envision that these comments are also accompanied by THE LOOK. You know...it's akin to that face that your mother used to make when she was so ashamed and disappointed in your behavior that there weren't really words to go along with her swirling emotions.... This is also very similar to the look that she would shoot you, letting you know that you were in SERIOUSLY deep shit, she clearly had to THINK about what she was going to say before she opened her mouth because the tongue lashing was going to be a real scorcher, and your certain death (sarcasm people!) was not negotiable.
I. HATE. SCHOOL.
I hate that the teachers move so fast from one concept to another before the kids have enough time to really grasp each concept.
I hate that when my kids struggle, I feel like I'm the teacher's first line of their defense. Yeah, I said it. It's the CYA approach for some teachers - rather than spending more time with the student, they call home and get Mom to pick up the slack. (This isn't the case right now, but we've dealt with this phenomenon in the past)
I hate that school feels like the main focus for every school year is all about "meeting the grade" on standardized testing.
I hate it when my kids don't even want to do their homework because they didn't get a concept the first time and the teacher has moved on. Either keep up, catch up, or get left behind.
I hate it that my kids measure successes and failures based on a number grade at the top of their papers. There's more to learning than just a flipping number!
I hate it that I feel like such a failure when my kids are struggling.
I. HATE. SCHOOL.
All this being said, I absolutely DO to work with each of my kids and I encourage them to keep plugging along. One day they'll get it and it will all make sense, but until that day, we just keep working. Each of the kids has really good teachers, it just feels a little overwhelming so see a third grader bringing home basic algebraic equations to solve while multiplication is STILL a challenge.
Is there anyone out there who feels the same way?