With an ADHDer in the house- I’m sure you can understand that I always approach parent teacher conference night with a certain amount of dread and angst.
You see, since Damien was in grade one I used to get (all but gilt edged, engraved) invitations to parents evening- and not the ones most of the other parents get that say something like “Its parents evening! Come and meet the teachers and check out your kids attempts at papier mache!” I always got the ones that said “be here at 7h45pm? or else?” AND my name would be on the list posted on the door. Granted- I got to jump the queue of parents sitting outside on those horrible plastic chairs in the corridors- but the way they glared at me made me wonder what they’d say if I asked any of them to trade places with me.
Tonight, I only got one invitation from a teacher (his Afrikaans teacher), and it was just a little note saying “18h45- 19h00”, nothing terribly intimidating at all? I wonder if the school teachers know how intimidating those formal instructions are to us moms.
Anyhoo- back to tonight.
I arrived at the school about half an hour early for my official appointment, and since the other teachers were all gathered in the small hall, at separate little tables, waiting patiently for the mommies and daddies with their kidlets.
I asked Damien to point out which teachers were his and waited till they were no longer occupied. Then I’d give a little wave while mouthing “you free?” They’d smile and indicate the chairs in front of them and I’d go over quickly- with Damien in tow.
I got to see his English, Afrikaans, LO, Math,
Aaaaaalllllllllll the time- on everything! Walls, paper, books, his bed, bookshelf, clothes? you name it, he’s drawn on it. Truly- I am SO not exaggerating.
And this is an issue that’s come up time and time again since he started school.
So while we were talking to the teachers- and afterwards when we said hello to the headmaster- I got Damien to make as much of a commitment as I could wheedle out of him, not to draw in class until his work was finished. I told him (in front of his teachers) that I know he loves drawing and that it’s his passion and that he loves creating and so on? but that education is his teacher’s passion, and by not paying attention he’s disrespecting them- and they sure as hell aren’t there for the money! I assured them all that they must not hesitate to call me if there’s a problem, that I’d rather deal with it as it happens rather than once its become a problem (like last year).
On the way home I told Damien that I think this is by far the best parents evening I’ve ever had. he said he thought the other teacher’s had always embellished more than a little and I said that maybe they did- but his school marks didn’t say anything different to what his teachers did? he didn’t reply.
Oh, and I chatted to fellow members of the school’s governing body in passing, teehee?
* John F. Kennedy