Posted by: canthold | September 1, 2007

Batter Up!

I had my parent-teacher intake conference for my First Grader yesterday. I think it went very well, but I’ve been dwelling on everything that has been said since then and left me in a constant state of preoccupation.

Did I do the right thing? Did I say too much? Should I have held my tongue?

There are two sides to my daughter (coincidentally, she’s a Gemini.) She maintains an outward persona who likes school, but she shows me the other side who doesn’t. The conversations that take place with me about her dissatisfaction within her learning environments don’t jive with her teachers’ assessments that she’s a happy-go-lucky little girl having the time of her life. I’m left to wonder if she’s pushing my buttons to manipulate me in some way or – and this is the one that I choose to believe – that she’s confiding in her strongest advocate for a change she needs and desires. Nobody knows her the way I do.

As a result of several conferences with her teacher from last year and the principal and a couple of occasions, and a full blown meeting with a cadre of interested educators, we settled on putting her into the First/Second Grade combo class, rather than skipping her into Second Grade.

I became a squeaky wheel last year to the point that I suspected the principal was avoiding me. I can’t be sure.

Anyway, I didn’t know how much her new teacher knew about the challenges we have faced over the last couple (or so) years. My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher didn’t return this year and chose instead to stay at the exotic locale of her summer vacation. She is therefore unavailable for consultation this year. That’s actually fine with me.

During our meeting, I didn’t know if I should recap the failures and outline my expectations (and worries) or if I should just trust that it will be fine and get involved if it doesn’t. Only, I just can’t hold my tongue. I spilled it all. I did so thinking that this teacher will be able to address my daughter’s needs with all of the information.

But I feel just awful!

I feel like I betrayed my daughter somehow. Rather than feeling as though I’m going to bat for her and her needs, I feel like I trusted the new teacher more than I should have. It’s strangely like making friends with the new kid on the block, (or job or name-the-place) and you tell them all the idiots to avoid and they turn on you and become best friends with your worst enemy. I don’t know why I feel this way, since I have no reason to believe that she would have anything but my daughter’s best interests in mind. She seems like a great teacher and I’ve heard her referred to as the best at the school. High praise, no doubt.

I have put my faith and hope and my daughter into her hands and I would be heartbroken if she betrayed us by not giving my kiddo the learning experiences that she’s been unable to obtain thus far. I would be heartbroken, too, if she uses any of the information that I have given her against my daughter, rather that for her. It’s sad that my mistrust for the world would seep into the field of education, but I’m not on-guard for nothing, let’s leave it at that.

I just hope I didn’t do the wrong thing. I meant everything I said to be helpful, nothing else.

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