Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Conference Night

Tonight was Parent Conference night. This, ultimately, should be a source of hope for me. We have these once a quarter. For two hours all of the teachers are in their classrooms available to meet with parents. Parents sign up for 15 minute slots ahead of time or can just stop by when there is an open slot. The thing is, I know other schools in the area where such a night would be a flop. At our school, though, we actually run out of parking places. It's a good sign that parents are so concerned.

Parents are encouraged to bring their students, and that's what makes things particularly troubling for me. Parents walk in and the first words out of their mouths are "I know Jimmy here is real lazy." Parents yell at their kids, are mean to them, insult them, right in front of me. They embarass their kids, students whom I care about. It's such an akward position, and I know it must be even more so for the kids. I want to reach across the table and pull the student to my side. I want to say to them, let's have a conference about your mom instead. How do you feel she is doing? Does she check up on you? Help you with your homework? Make sure you have healthy meals? Set a good example? Make you feel safe?

So, anyway, I don't feel particularly optimistic tonight and I'm starting to get homesick. Our stupid district gives us a week off for Christmas. I'm used to Texas's two week vacations (And college's month-long). No matter how much I listen to O Holy Night (my most favorite carol),decorate, shop, etc, it just doesn't feel like Christmas until I am with family. So I am feeling very bitter right now. I just want to go home.