Why I opted out of parent teacher interviews

Right after the holidays it was report card time. Because of the work action at the end of the last school year, all the report cards were cancelled in June and we didn’t get them at all. Instead, we got a note from the teacher telling us whether or not the child had passed into the next grade. It wasn’t very helpful but now with everything settled, we would finally get a report card.

Given that Mats had been given the principals award a couple weeks earlier, I figured his report card would be a reflection of everything his teacher had already told me. And it was.

Now Maks, he’s the wildcard. I know how hard he has been working at home. I see him doing his homework and practicing so it came down to if his teacher was seeing the same things I was. Most times she isn’t and I was right. Even without looking at the report card, I knew what to expect from his teacher. She has been very blunt about the fact that she doesn’t want him in French immersion. She has made that clear every time I have gone in to see her. She just doesn’t think he can do it. This gets me mad because the teacher he had in-between this teacher, thought he could do it. And she helped him improve greatly. But this teacher has decided it cannot be done and she decided this two years ago. When he was a completely different type of student. And to make things worse, thinking he can’t do it is one thing but she takes her opinions one step further, she doesn’t teach him so when he falls down she can point it out and use it as justification for him not excelling in the program.

Now, I do not suffer from the “Little Emperor” complex. I am fully aware of the capabilities of my children and will not go out of my way to tell a teacher she is wrong just to spare my children’s feelings. I recognize in a very realistic way what my kids can and cannot do. But this teacher is wrong. She is biased against Maks, for whatever the reason and I just don’t have time for it.

In grade one she gave him a couple of months to see if he would be the student she wanted to teach and when she decided that he wasn’t, she stopped teaching him. And she has done the same thing now even though his work and work ethic have improved greatly since grade one. She refuses to read with him and when she does she will stop half way through the book and tell him he is not reading it right and then dismiss him. She doesn’t tell him what he is doing wrong or how he can improve, only that he is not doing it right. The same thing applies to his written or oral work. She has no problem telling him he is not doing it right but won’t tell him how to fix it or what she expects to see from him. This behaviour breaks Maks down. He just feels like everything he does is wrong even though it isn’t. He sees his classmates moving ahead but he is not because she just does not give him as much time as she gives the other kids. It’s frustrating for me because I want to help him but how can I help him if I don’t know what’s wrong.

So I didn’t bother going into parent teacher night. I have no interest in listening to her tell me that he is falling down in key areas but not responding when I ask her why she doesn’t read with him more. So I have gotten Maks a tutor who can help him with his French and I am declining any meetings with his teacher. Unless she has something constructive to say, I have no time to meet with her.

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