Ok ….so forgot to mention that last week was the youngest’s first full parents evening since he started high school
You know …the one where you whizz around the school ….dodging the throngs of other parents dragging their reluctant offspring to their 10 minute slots with ALL the ‘subject’ teachers
As usual I was in a rush ….agreed with the boss could finish work early …grabbed said child …quickly scanned the list and locations of the teachers and map of the school and off we popped ….
It’s a HUGE school …very modern …but with a maize of floors and corridors ….said offspring said …
‘Oh..it’s not that bad Mum, when you get used to it’ …so I put him in charge of the map ……..hmmmmmm:D:D:D
I don’t know if you’ve read any of my ‘Samism’ posts …..particularly the ‘End of Summer Samism’ which was just before he made that transition from primary to high school ….looking far too small ( still does actually) and like most children …a little anxious about the major step into the unknown
Anyway …he appears to have settled without incident ….partly …I think …because he still looks quite cute ….I notice when I drop him off , older girls saying ‘Awwwwww’ and asking him if they can touch his hair (more about that later)….hmmmmmm he might LOOK little and cute but I reckon he relishes this attention and it has helped considerably with him settling in ….
Hmmmmm but you won’t be ‘little’ and ‘cute’ forever kiddo so you better think on:D:D:D
So ……back to ‘Parents Evening’ …..I’ll skip the finer details …..suffice to say he seems to have some lovely teachers …..BUT ….in and among dodging the throng …getting lost down corridors ( Sam was holding the map upside down) we bumped slap bang ( literally) into his ‘form’ teacher who kindly introduced himself and directed us to the whereabouts of our next appointment ( I was getting flustered …and despite what Sam had said …it WAS difficult finding the location of different teachers among the hoards ….PARTICULARLY when viewing the map the wrong way up :D:D:D
Anyway, Mr O’Connor asked if we had him down on the list of teachers to see as it appeared no’one had and he apparantly had been sat twiddling his thumbs in an empty room ( or blogging ……yes …..yes ….I’m following a couple of schoolteachers blogs ….I know what you get up to in absent moments 😉 :D:D:D
We didn’t have him down on our list either ( a deliberate omission or an error I’m not entirely sure) but as we were on our way to our last scheduled appointment agreed to pop in for a chat afterwards …….or I did!
We finally arrived in Mr O’Connor’s empty room …a space of tranquility amongst the chaos:D:D:D …..and yes ….he’s Irish …. ( I love an Irish accent don’t you?) ….so ….imagine the following conversation
‘Ah …come in sit down …now then Sam have you managed to get around all your teachers’
‘And what do you think?’
‘I don’t know Sir’
‘So how do you think you’re doing?’
‘………………’ ( wide eyed stare)
It has to be said that throughout the evening ….when plonked in front of a teacher …Sam took on the appearance of a startled rabbit caught in the headlights ….he had a wide eyed stare and was UNUSUALLY dumb struck!!!:D:D:D ….I had to interject…
‘ The message we seem to be getting is that Sam seems to have a problem with ‘focus’ once he is on task he does reasonably ok …but he has a tendancy to drift off’
‘Ah yes ….Sam often finds it difficult to stay with us here in the classroom and drifts off into what we call ‘Sam land’….but it depends what you’re doing doesn’t it Sam? ….if it’s something you like you CAN focus can’t you?’
‘……………..’ ( wide eyed stare)
‘Did you get your science test results Sam?’
‘What did you get?’
‘86% Sir’ ( Blimey)
‘ What about history?’
‘30% Sir’ ( oh dear)
The thing is (directed at me) he’s a great kid ( stock statement before the ‘but’) he’s really chilled out and comes out with some really great answers verbally, he’s popular with the other kids too … but he’s not reaching his full potential …he’s so disorganised and if his interest is not captured immediately …he just drifts off …then he’s scrabbling about trying to catch up'( Oh god …this was striking a chord …a ‘chip off the old block’ kind of chord and not in a good way)
‘Hmmmm I know …the other teachers have said the same ..it’s a little similar at home ..often in the morning rush I’m getting into the car thinking he’s behind me and he’s stopped to talk to the cat ..not a care in the world …I’m there hanging out of the car door saying COME ON SAM we’re going to be LATE …you can talk to the cat LATER!!!
‘Hmmmm yes I can picture the scene …the thing is it gets him into trouble with some teachers ….doesn’t it Sam?
Me (Uh oh!!!)
Sam (slumping into chair eyes down ..a mumbled)’Yes Sir’
‘Now Sam …I hear your doing well in drama aren’t you?
‘Am I Sir?'(pricking up …looking suprised)
‘Well that’s what I’ve heard Sam’
‘Oh ok …Thankyou Sir’
‘Now maybe what you have to do when you enter a class is pretend you’re acting a part …the part of the perfect pupil ….you know …march in, pens and books at the ready, sit up with your back straight, margin drawn , date and lesson heading written in preparation for the teacher ….do you understand what I’m saying Sam?’
‘Oh yes …I see Sir …I think so Sir?
‘Do you think you can do that?’
‘I’ll try my best Sir’
‘You see (directed at me) as I said ..he’s a great kid ..very laid back and I wouldn’t want to change his character..he’s never rude or disrespectful …but ANYTHING that seems like ‘work’ and he’s off …you can see it …he’s slouched in his chair …eyes glazed …drifting off into Samland ….and the thing is Sam ( directed at Sam) …your SO noticeable ..other kids might go under the radar but YOU …I mean look at your HAIR!!!…..your ALWAYS in a teachers field of vision do you understand what I’m saying?
‘…………( wide eyed stare)
‘I do!!!’ …says I …’I’m forever trying to get him to have it cut ….are you listening to what Mr O’Connor is saying Sam?'(it’s true …I am ..a trim at least …it’s a buggar to wash and get a comb through …his brother did the same at the same age …grew his hair …think it could be some kind of ‘identity’ thing …anyway I digress)
‘Yes Mum I am’
‘Ok’ says Mr O’Connor ‘What do you understand from what we have just discussed?’
‘I think what your saying Sir is …with great hair comes great responsibility’
My god!!! ..Myself and Mr O’Connor just looked at each other…dumstruck for a split second
‘Yes well’ … said I …’If you don’t meet that responsibility you’ll be straight down the barbers for a No1 cut!!!’
‘And if you do meet the responsibility’ said Mr O’Connor’ ‘there might be a reward in it for you at the end of term’
Hmmmmm is that an example of parent and teacher working in partnership? ….utilising the good old ‘Carrot and Stick’ approach…maybe for pupil AND the parent:D:D:D …helps maintain the schools ‘stats’ too …but seriously I have great respect for schoolteachers …I wouldn’t want their job for all the tea i
But the good news is that the report from Mr O’Conner this week is that Sam seems to have moved from ‘coasting’ to ‘motivated’ ….I do worry tho ….I’m great at the ‘spirit of 3’ but really struggled with the ‘high school’ years with the eldest …that’s why I’ve set some ‘house rules’ before Sam hits puberty and am encouraging them to spend more time with their Dad …boys need their fathers ….PARTICULARLY at this age I feel ….or at least some kind of positive male role model who will take them under the wing a little …..guess it’s a case of ‘watch this space’:)