Monday, 9 February 2009

Parents' Evening

Forget policeman, forget the calendar, forget the wrinkles, if you've ever been a teacher then the real sign you're irredeemably getting older is having a parent-teacher meeting with a teacher you yourself taught several years ago. Honestly, the dynamic is so awkward. He wants to call me 'sir' and yet I feel slightly subservient to him, and so on. Thankfully, there was nothing of concern regarding Sally's progress in Y6. And what does she want to be when she grows up? A teacher!
I'm amazed how many of my former pupils have returned to school. And yet, I shouldn't be; I did the same myself. But I had unfinished business with the classroom, having flunked the last years of my own schooling. As Head of Year Eleven (Fifth Form, in real money) for many years, one of my jobs was giving careers interviews to sixteen-year-old boys. At first, the number who expressed an interest in education as a job were an endorsement - and, of course, I encouraged them as payers of my future pension. Later on, when I was jaded, I expressed some mild surprise that anyone would want to do a job I found impossible. But deep down I was still pleased.
If I'd stayed put, of course, I'd eventually have had the offspring of my former pupils in my class. And that would have been a real shock. Because, in many ways, I still feel as if I'm waiting for the piece of paper telling me I've passed my 'adult' badge. Marriage, children, house, job, mortgage and the rest just don't seem 'grown up' when you're doing them yourself. But sitting listening to somebody whose spellings you've corrected telling you about your daughters literacy levels brings the message home, believe me.

25 comments:

  1. There are people I went to school with now teaching at it. I find that very strange. But luckily won't have to deal with them on a professional level, as I no longer live anywhere near it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mother was a primary school teacher and her pupils could never quite appreciate that her daughter was old enough to be their mother. To them, children were their age and not the age of their parents. This, naturally, led them to imagine that she was Methusalah's granny. She has never quite forgiven me for being so old.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It must be so hard to get your head around that kind of situation, but on the other hand, if you do I can see another book in that idea alone. Almost caught between the the two worlds. I did a workshop with the sixth form last week. In the staff room the teacher I was with nudged me and pointed in the direction of a young man. She then explained he was a student teacher, who she'd only finished teaching a few years earlier. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a bizarre situation - it must make you very aware of the passing of time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't add much more than ditto to "More than a Mother's" comment above. A truly odd situation to find oneself in.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My mother and I had the same teacher during 3 different years of my education:) I always felt the pressure because my mom was top of the class, yada, yada, yada and those teachers made sure I knew that! As a teacher, I hope I never do that!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The worst thing must be though when one's mother is one's teacher at skool!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have very few moments like that, I think I need more. And I'm no spring chicken.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I came to teaching after a career change from nursing, so that won't happen to me ! but I empathise. Love the bus photo ! how cool is that, much kudos to you

    ReplyDelete
  10. Almost spooky! I think it has probably be more embarassing for hime than for you, if it was at all! Also he must be very very young or you must have been a very young teacher when you were teaching him. (Just doing my maths)
    Ciao. A. PS Where's Charlies' lovely smile?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm still waiting to feel grown up - with a bit of luck, I never will! You can't beat being young at heart.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There were actually colleagues of mine at my last school, SPD, who had been pupils there, gone off to uni then come back. Boston Grammar School was all they'd ever known!

    Well, that's another problem, Madame DeFarge (and what a splendid name)! Young children especially seem to have no idea about separating different generations. To them, we're all just 'grown ups'.

    Having that happen must be a bit like becoming a parent or grandparent, I suppose AMA. Thank goodness I'm no Mr Chips!

    It certainly gives you pause for thought MtaM. And yes, Troy, it is distinctly odd.

    Oh, that's so unfair, Bee. And it can be the same for younger siblings too. I don't think I ever did it as a teacher, but I know my younger sister suffered from it when she was at school.

    Especially if she failed to teach you how to spell, eh Gadjo?

    Not quite sure whether you would want more, AMM, unless you're especially keen to be reminded of the passage of time!

    But what about ex-patients, AG? Mind you, I suppose they could be any age. You weren't a midwife, were you?

    Of course, Antonella, I was very, very young at the time!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh, I'm with you all the way with that one, Jinksy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Must feel a bit strange!

    I can remember being at school at about 6 yrs of age and the dinner lady coming in our class to tell my friend (her grand-daughter) the news, that her sister (now the head teacher at my childrens school) had passed her exams.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gosh, D, you literally see these kids grow up! Yes, i sat next to a girl at school who's Dad was taught by our teacher.

    I find the teachers at Daughter's secondary school so very young (as a rule) and i end up patronising them at Parents Evening. Sending Husband next time!

    And look at me, i'm 50, and i'm still waiting to grow up. Perhaps this adult thing never sinks in.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  16. Something I wanted to be when I was younger - a teacher. Unfortunately, I sat at the back of the class too much.

    CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. My mother is forever telling me I should have been a teacher. I don't think I could have done it though.

    My son's teacher is so young - a mere boy himself. OK, now that proves I'm old, doesn't it? :-(

    x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gone are the days when a female teacher or governess was a confirmed spinster and a male teacher was married to the job.

    There is an award for your on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That must have been very strange!

    Love your new header pic :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Having never been inside a school since the last time I was a pupil (an unmentionable number of years ago) I am quite terrified at the prospect of my first parent/teacher evening which will happen this year when my eldest starts Kindergarten. Though I'm fairly sure the teachers will not be older than me and, this being America, are unlikely to spell and punctuate better than I can, I can't shake the feeling that I will be sent to the office for an as-yet-uncommitted offense.
    Now that I've read your post, I am beginning to see the advantages of retaining some of that leftover youthful terror - it might just allow me to believe, at least for an evening, that I might still not quite be fully grown up..

    ReplyDelete
  21. Now that would make me feel old!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I bet it does!!:) Some of my former students are now teachers but not in the same city as me...that would be a strange feeling! But, I'm sure your students learned from the best teacher!!:) Your daughter is in good hands:) I am still processing your previous post about writers...my schedule is crazy this week but hope to get at it on the weekend and write a post myself! PS Love your new heading...how do you do that?

    ReplyDelete
  23. If I became a teacher, I'd love to go back to my old school. The boy does go to my former place of education...and I always love parent evenings when I'm talking to teachers who used to school me...and your scenario is one step fuethr!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This was a really powerfull piece of writing. I expect to find Charlie and Sally's dad on this blog but I think the alter ego who write 'Writing Therapy' may have snuck in here when this post was being written too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Fifth form in real money. Love that phrase. Still can't figure out all those "years"...in school or in real life.

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is important to us. Please hold...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Get in touch

Name

Email *

Message *