Tuesday, 3 March 2015

My Parents Evening Balls Up

Last summer, my boy, Max, started at a new school.  We put a great deal of effort into making sure his introduction to a new – and much bigger – school went smoothly.

I even consulted with a parenting expert on the subject of changing schools.

In reality we probably went a little too far, and the result was Max immediately lost enthusiasm for his existing education provider, and was counting down the moments until he was to start with a new one.

But while Max’s transition was smooth(ish) and well planned out, I didn’t put any consideration into my own.

See, I’m an idiot.  An imbecile in fact (copywright Dan Hughes).

I thought how different can one school really be to another?  Surely my support and engage roll would be identical?   No change for me then.

And in reality that’s true to some degree, they aren’t a great deal different.  We have to supply more kit, stationary etc, communicate in a different way and seemingly put up with more elaborate and expensive school trips.

Homework has obviously become a little more difficult, and things that parents are invited to have changed too.  Which is where I recently where I made a little, err, terribly minor mistake.

At this school the procedure for parents evening, is that you decide which of your children’s teachers you’d like to see and then it’s your child’s responsibility to book appointments with each of them.

Which is immediately a a dangerous concept.   Having to go and talk to more than one person is always going to be a higher risk for a nincompoop like moi.

Max actually did a great job of lining up teachers one after another, arranging convenient time slots rather than just accepting random times and prolonging my pain.

So he did his job, and made mine simple, even writing down for me, turn up at this time, for this teacher.  What could possible go wrong?

However in a hall full of patient parents waiting to see teachers positioned at clearly marked desks positioned around them, I found myself sat opposite someone who had no idea why I’d sat down.

“Hello, I’m Max Newbold’s dad.”

And it was somewhere in the next few seconds when I realised – perhaps the teacher’s face gave it away – that that was all very nice, but I wasn’t due to see this teacher, not only at that time, nor at all that day.  I’m not sure they even teach my boy.

Luckily, as I seem immune to embarrassment these days, I fronted it out, despite a good few parents becoming amused and simultaneously crippled with embarrassment on my behalf.

I spent the rest of my time, double-checking with children I recognised, who was who, and confirming that Max was indeed in one of their classes.

Max’s reports and progress were all good, so he got a figurative A* for his first parents evening performance.  However I only managed, albeit with some aplomb I like to think, a rather humorous F.

I’ll add it to all the others I haven’t got.