Back To School Night
For most of my life as the parent of a student, I attended the ever popular Back to School Night. I wanted to get to know my son's teachers and I wanted them to know me.
There were parts that were (sorry to say this) kind of boring (the PTA meetings beforehand). There were parts that were exhausting (running from classroom to classroom once he reached middle and high school). But I always went because my son and his education/educational experience are important to me.
The last time I experienced a traditional back to school night was when my son was a freshman. The high school was so much easier to navigate than the middle school. Who would have thought that it might be my last back to school night where we were physically present along with other parents and teachers?
Obviously last year back to school night HAD to be virtual. No one was actually IN the building (at least for educational purposes as far as I know) until November. So instead most of the teachers met parents the same way they met their students; via Google Meet. There were set times for specific class periods. You logged in and the teacher saw you as he/she would see the students. The teacher talked; you listened. There was sort of a chance to ask questions, but...
A few teachers chose to do a recorded video instead of a meet. Because the schedule with links (either for the Google meet or the recorded video) was released prior to back to school night, astute parents didn't have to wait for the assigned meet time to view the videos. You could watch at your leisure. (If you chose to watch at all...I'm not judging.)
This year the drill was the same. However, it seemed like most of my son's teachers chose to take the video route. Only one teacher actually did a Google meet this evening and it was for a very small class. You can bet that I was there at my assigned time. (And not just because I really like this teacher who has had my son in her "classroom" for 3 years.)
Everyone else posted a video. And because I'm not at my best in the evenings, I've viewed them prior to the actual time for back to school night. If the teacher has taken the time to record themselves, I'm going to make the effort to view them.
However, there are two exceptions I made:
- Gym/Health Education: Apologies. Gym is not my thing. Gym is not my kid's thing. When it comes to the Health Education portion of the class, if my son doesn't already have a good understanding shame on me. And if he doesn't do well in that portion of the class; shame on him. (You can bet I'll be on his case if he doesn't. REALLY on his case.)
- Unnamed Class (to protect the "guilty") with boring teacher: I tried...I really did. It was difficult to hear the teacher (and I had my volume all the way up) and the teacher's spiel was so slow and dull. (It's not just me...I was talking to a teacher friend about my son's schedule and when she heard this teacher's name she immediately said that this person was incredibly boring.) I made almost made it halfway through the "presentation" and then I gave up. I just hope my son can make it through.
The rest of the videos were spot on. Good job teachers: you receive an A from me! (Because who doesn't LOVE to be graded.) As for the one meet I did have: you are a gem and my son and his classmates are lucky to have you.
Next year will be my last back to school night and in some (perverse) way, while the whole virtual thing is less taxing, I do hope that we are able to do something in person. Because all his teachers, present and future, deserve a big high five from me for getting through this whole stinkin' mess. You (even the boring one) rock!