Thursday, November 12, 2009

Performance Anxiety

It's that time of year when teachers ask parents to come and visit with them, otherwise known as the parent-teacher conference. I don't know about the rest of you all, but conferences have never boded well for me.

There was the all-too-often-called Family Conference in which I would find out I was getting ANOTHER brother.

Of course the parent-teacher conferences my own parents participated in. Followed by the parent-child conference in which your parents translated their version of what your teachers said about you, to you. Fun evening filled with phrases like, " you talk to much," and, "you have so much potential that you are -- fill in the blank depending on the year."

And the corporate-type conference, which always resulted in someone getting fired or put on a "plan" for a few months before actually getting fired. Thankfully, I was never on the getting fired end, but I HATE breaking up with people. So delivering the fired news gave me ulcers and diarrhea. True story.

I'm a bit worried, to say the least.

Not because I have a child with academic issues. But because I have performance anxiety. Luckily the teachers have issued a worksheet. I suspect this will be the script around which the conference will revolve. It has only four simple questions. Four loaded questions. Four questions into which I must pack all my fears, thoughts, hopes, expectations, and covert suggestions or hints into the answers.

Perhaps you will be interested in some of my rough draft. (Yes, I have written a few rough drafts -- which speaks volumes about my personality.) Also, the questions are not questions. They are statements that you are meant to finish. Brilliant.

"I have seen my child grow in the following areas..."

He is interested or aware of differences in his classmates and is concerned for some students who appear -- in his words, not mine -- "hurt" or "broken".

I wanted to write something about the night he asked me why his teachers write on themselves (tattoos). But can't figure out a way to tactfully do that. Suggestions?

"What my child enjoys about preschool..."

Glitter glue

"Questions I have about my child's learning..."

Does he ever complain or appear to be bored? (Because heaven knows he is complaining to me!)

"My goals/hopes for my child for the remainder of the school year..."

Have at least one friend.

So, dear friends, what have you inferred from these incomplete answers? Also, where do you keep your vacuum. I don't know where to store mine. It is the no. 2 issue keeping me up at night, right after this freaking parent-teacher conference script draft.


Glenda said...

Just remember...teachers hate conferences more than the parents do!
I have never done this, but it has crossed my mind a few times....most upright vacuums are capable of lying pretty low and flat to the why not store in under a bed. That way it is not taking up precious closet space....

Chance said...

I'm a teacher, and I don't hate conferences. I would talk to parents all day about their kids if they wanted to. Conferences should not be intimidating for parents, teachers, or kids. You know your kid better than anybody else in the world and good teachers will recognize that.

Glitter glue & friends: That is what preschool should be about if you ask me.

I'm curious about the said conference. Will there be a Performance Anxiety Part 2 post?

Adamo said...

Glitter glue is one of my favorite things too, and I never went to preschool (what does that say about me??). I'm sure you're the parent that every teacher (from preschool to high school) will love, because you are actually invested in your kids' lives. What could possibly say "I care" more than writing rough drafts pre-parent-teacher conference?

As to the vaccuum question, I keep mine in my coat closet. apartment living!

laurel said...

I am sure they will go fine. YOur kids are so wonderful I am sure you will start falling asleep because the teacher is going on and on and on and on and you missed your bed time. Truly, one night is not enough to tell you how great they are. P.S. Glitter Glue rocks!