I have just experienced Parent/Teacher Interviews for Mr 17, I survived, just!
Mr 17 has just completed his half yearly exams for Year 11 and is currently enjoying a 3 day break from school, he's earned it you know. Suddenly in 'Senior School' they don't have to go to school on the days they don't have exams, so it's sun and surf, life is great in Year 11.
There are 6 subjects that he was supposed to get me interviews for, he got me 4, his favourite 4, not any that may be the bearer of bad news, but I am smarter than that, I wasn't going to let Economics slip through to the keeper, I was going in.
The first interview went well, Mr 17 is polite and respectful, talkative (well he does take after his mother) right on the class average, but could do more work at home.
The second, his favourite, was good, but again, could do more work at school. Ok, I sense a recurring theme here....
I have watched Mr 17 over the last few weeks as he has attempted to study and it has become
apparent that he doesn't know how too, he summarises his work, sits at his desk, stares into space, plays with his ITouch, answers his messages on his phone (he tells me it's on his bed, but Dad has caught him twice with it), he farts, fidgets, scratches and whatever else it is that boys do in their rooms! He has no study plan, nothing in place to help him along the way. He started studying the weekend before the exams, we knew things were going to be ugly.
But I digress, back to the interviews....
Onto the third interview and things started to go downhill, his classwork was good but his exam was shite, he failed and he could again do more work at home. Okay. He is polite and a
great contributor in class though.
Gulp, his fourth interview and what was meant to be my last, no exam result back, hasn't handed in work, What? I'll kill him, deep breath, listen. Has a good analytical mind but
doesn't apply himself and oh, could do more work at home!
Right, not overly surprised I move on, I am ashamed to say I ambushed the Economics teacher, don't have an interview but could he see me? Of course, in hindsight I should have just come home. It was one of those moments where as a parent you think you've got your child all wrong, is he the kid I think he is? I was told he failed (no shit Sherlock), he was wasting the teachers time, his own time and 'I do occasionally come across kids that just shouldn't be at school & I think Mr 17 is one of them'. I so didn't see that coming! I fought back the tears, not in anger, just disappointment. Had we failed him, not got him organised, taught him to study, was it our fault?
Hub and I had a discussion during his exams and decided that we would not get angry with his results, we would look at this as a learning curve to see what tools he needed to be put into place to help him move onto Year 12, where do we start.....
We started with a discussion with Mr 17 to see if he would own the failures and lack of preparation and study, he did, phew! He recognised that perhaps starting to study the week before exams is not the way to go, we asked if he wanted to be at school, the answer was a resounding yes!
So now what, I am going to try and find him someone to teach him to manage his time, how to study effectively, summarise properly and generally organise himself.
Is this my job?
Yes, as a parent absolutely, but has the school keep up their end of the bargain, am I expecting too much? Are the basics of time and study management theirs to teach?