When the OnlyChild was younger, I went to all of those meetings, too. It was easy for me, though. From Kindergarten to grade 2, Mr. P and I both worked in the same school that she attended (it was K-12) and from grades 3 to 5, we lived in a small town and knew all her teachers socially as well as professionally. The junior high years were a little different, but I still made the attempt to attend as often as I could. Rarely did I hear from her teachers, though, with good news or bad news. They were not good at keeping parents informed. Since she attends the school where I teach now, I hear everything... whether I want to or not (and quite often, I do not want to know what's going on...).
Our school is different, as some of you know. I work in a self-directed program. We don't have regular classes (seminars once or twice a week) and there are no homerooms. Instead, the students all have Teacher Advisors. When I get a new student in my group, I set up a meeting with the parents and the student; these usually take place in June or August, before the new school year begins. I become the school contact for those parents. If they have a question about their child, regardless of the course it pertains to, they call me - not the course teacher - and I find out what they need to know. The parents love this system because it simplifies the contacts. I have to stay in touch with the parents throughout the year, by phone or email, to let them know how their child is doing. Some parents want to hear from me every week; some prefer once a year. I let them decide the frequency.
So... no wonder we have such a poor turnout at Meet the Teacher night. The parents have already met the one person at their child's school that they need to know. And we're in regular contact.
Plus, it's a high school, and it's a well-known fact that parental interest in education decreases as the child gets older.
Okay, onto other things...
I marked assignments for three hours today. I had a meeting at 9:00, then I came home and made coffee and was at my desk by 11:00 am. I told myself I 'd work for two hours and then take a break, but I really wanted to get through the whole pile so I kept on going.
When I was done, I finished my September Bunny Hill block:
It's about time. Cute little Scottie dog, eh? I started it two weeks ago and all I had left to do was the embroidery. I actually feel a little guilty because I've spent the last two hours eating lunch, sewing, and now blogging. I really have an unbelievable amount of work still to do this weekend.
Mr. P had to sit me down last night for a talk about this. He thinks I am getting far too stressed out. He's right. Between work and the course I'm taking and all the other things I want to do, there's just not time for everything. He thinks I should drop the course, but I'm determined to see it through now that I've started it. Really, though, it's work that's got me in a tizzy. The marking is unmanageable and I still have course materials to write. Plus, my department head was on me yesterday because our diploma (government exam) results from last year were not great. Apparently that's my fault because I 'teach' the course. Remember, self-directed learning. I spend only 80 minutes a week with these students in seminar, and that's if they bother to show up. There are no consequences if they don't. I told him he should find someone else to teach the course because I was tired of worrying about it.
Yeah... so my day went downhill from there and I had a self-pity bout last night. Mr. P and the OnlyChild are both out of the house tonight so I've got some time to work on writing. Tomorrow I'm going with my friend Sandi to a scrapbook day. I thought about bowing out, but Mr. P convinced me that I need to do those kinds of things - activities I enjoy - or I'll go completely bonkers. Well, he didn't quite put it that way.
Thanks for letting me vent again. I know (I hope) things will calm down soon and I'm looking forward to a time when I don't perpetually have a four-inch pile of marking, when the learning guides are all written, and all the tests and exams have been made up. Then I will be able to breathe easier.
I hope your weekend is going well and you're making time for fun!