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Parent-teacher meetings are a very emotional event for me. These are emotions that come from getting to know how my child is when I am not around, and to see how much he is growing.
As I was coming back from a parent-teacher meeting with my younger son’s teacher and was recollecting everything that had been said, my thoughts went to my mom; I thought how lucky she was, as she had never been judged as a parent. I also don’t remember my mother coming to meet my teacher ever, except for collecting the report card of the final examination.
The first time I went to a PTM, for my first born, I was very confident, very sure that my good parenting skills would be reflected in my son’s behavior and stellar performance, and it did.
As you keeping going to the meetings, you become an expert and you know how to read between the lines, you can understand what the teacher is trying to say without actually saying anything. I have also learnt how to put my point across without offending the teacher.
It is very important to understand the teacher especially when the child is too small to come back and tell you everything. My younger son is very attached to me. The separation anxiety was very high during the time he started school. I was very lucky because he had wonderful teachers in the playschool where he had finished his two years of pre-primary. When he got admitted to the school his brother was going, he was very excited and happy. I was relieved, but the excitement did not last long. He would cry every day to go to school, would refuse to eat, stay hungry through the day.
The first time I met his teacher, I thought she was a wonderful lady, and was trying her best to help my son. I told her that I was really not worried about the academic progress or the lack of it. I only wanted him to enjoy school. I was not able to understand why he hates school so much.
We always met the teacher one on one and I never saw her with the kids in the classroom. I really thank my stars that we were invited for a class activity and I really understood what was happening. The teacher was completely ignoring my son just because he cries. He was not involved in any activity. That opened my eyes to everything that was actually happening.
I met the teacher later and spoke to her at length about what I thought about her. She was not a bad teacher but she was not handling my child or his problem the right way. My son has blossomed into a very confident child and is doing very well thanks to all the teachers in the later years.
I know that the teachers are overworked most times, handling more than 20 kids at a time. They may be trying their best, but sometimes, like in my son’s case, they may be doing more harm than good.
Coming back to today’s meeting, the teacher was completely surprised that I didn’t ask her what was happening in the school. I told her that my son tells me everything that is happening in school. She actually told me that I am the only parent who doesn’t ask about the academic progress. I told her that I get know about his academic progress by looking at his books, I want to know everything about him and his emotional progress when I am not around. I still can’t forget the teachers face, she was in complete shock. I am sure she must be thinking I am crazy, that is why I was thinking my mom is lucky because she was never judged.
Nowadays, most of the teaching is done at home, a school is a place where our kids learn social skills and the teachers play a very important role in our child’s life, so moms please be aware of what to ask the teacher when you meet her.
This article is also to help the parents who are getting their kids admitted to schools for the first time. Try to understand, analyze and find ways to work together with the teacher for your kid’s wellbeing, after all parents and teachers are partners in progress.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: a still from the movie Taare Zameen Par
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