Ever now and again the school has an open afternoon for parents and carers to visit the classroom and see what our children get up to when they are in the working environment. This term was the turn of the literacy section of the curriculum to be put on display.
I have been to these events previously and I do find them very interesting. Both boys are different children at home and school, as I imagine most children are, so it is nice to get an insight into their alter egos. Hubby has never been available before, so it was a new venture for him.
M has been having a really good term, and so it was of great interest that he talked to us about going in to see his class. D on the other hand isn’t in too happy a place at the moment, and wasn’t too impressed with the idea of us going in. He was convinced his Dad was only going to go in to embarrass him.
The night before M was very much telling us we had to be there at half past one – the time it was starting. In fact he laboured the point to make sure we were going to be there at the correct time. It was in fact anytime between then and 3!
When we got there, M was sitting going his literacy work with his classroom assistant, and so we left him to it, and didn’t disturb him, instead heading to D’s classroom.
The class were sitting working away in groups when we went in and the teacher said to look about and see what they are doing, and to get D to explain it to us. He went the most beautiful beetroot colour as we approached his table. One of the girls who was sitting with him, said he had told her that his Dad was going to embarrass him. This was just asking for his Dad to give him a cuddle!!!! Each table in the room was doing a different task, relating to their class topic, which is space this term. D wasn’t overly talkative, but the other members of the table told us what they were doing.
While we were in the room, it was great to see the respect the teacher is given by the pupils. When she spoke they listened, as it should be. I think this is the reason D has warmed to her, as he loves to know there are rules and that everyone knows they should be followed – there is one child in the class that really annoys him because he thinks he can push the boundaries and delay starting work. At the start of the new term, the class is getting two new students, and while we were there, the head teacher bought one of these children with his parents in to introduce him. It was lovely to hear the whole class parrot good afternoon to them. Basic discipline and respect are so lovely to see in action, and I know not always seen as politically correct these days. These are such important things for our young people to know how to use.
We said our goodbyes to D and thanked his teacher, before heading back towards M’s classroom.
We knocked and went in. His teacher greeted us, and said he had just nipped to the loo. We waited for him to return, just outside the class. Eventually he was back, and took a paddy at us for being there. He stormed into his classroom, and slammed the door in our face! We decided not to upset him any further and left.
In the foyer of the school, there was a board to put any feedback on. We were happy to say we were very impressed with D’s class activities and teacher interaction. The school published all of the feedback on their website, and it was lovely to see the majority of it was extremely positive – the school is bursting at the seams with resources stretched very thinly, but the standard of teaching is extremely positive. It did however make both Hubby and I laugh when we read some of the negative comments. I think some people didn’t really get that it was about seeing our children in their school environment, and not a chance for a teacher consultation. Even funnier that there was even one saying refreshments should have been provided – somehow think everyone in the school is busy enough without having to put the kettle on for meandering parents!
When he got home, M said if there had just been one of us he wouldn’t have minded but both of us being there was too much for him, especially has he wasn’t happy because they had been kept in at both break and lunchtime because of the bad weather. Next time there is one of these events, we will maybe do one going to each child. We talked to him about his rudeness, but while reassuring him we understood his motives.
I think it is great that the school opens its doors to parents like this. It joins some of the dots between what we hear from the children and what you assume is going on in the class room.
A positive afternoon.