I have panic attacks before open school night. I wrote about it here (and another place too, that I currently can't find). More than thirty years have passed since a parent accused me of being a terrible teacher. I have more confidence now. But I still worry.
There is a Hugh Grant movie, that I think was titled Love Actually. I don't remember much more about the movie than the opening scene. I paraphrase here. Hugh Grant's character says if you want to see love, then go to Heathrow Airport. And what follows is a collage of reunions, some romantic- most not- joyous moments when the getter off the plane is received by the waiter for the getter off the plane with all sorts of smooches and embraces.
To me if you want to see love, go to open school night. Yeah, I have heard comments about wanting to kill that kid, more than once (at least once from my own mouth and I don't mean from the teacher end either) but even then I know that it would be purely a crime a passion.
Our little support services office got real crowded Thursday night. I, being the most distractable of its residents was on the lookout for a quieter corner to meet with parents. So I was squirreled away in the computer room when Kaya's mom came storming in.
Did I recognize her daughter? (I thought I did, but she had new weaves, and her hair was much longer than it had been four hours before .I am still having a hard time getting used to the fact that a trip to the beauty salon could make hair longer, I grew up at a time where being dragged to the beauty parlor resulted in my hair getting much shorter. It was the sixties- the pixie cut was in fashion).
Did I know how to teach social studies? (Possibly not-see above for my crisis of confidence, especially on Open School Night).
Could I explain why her daughter had a failing grade in social studies on the report card?
I could. But Kaya explained it for me, no project, no work and missing hw.
So her mother was deflated. She told Kaya her excuses were unacceptable.
She told me - she wants so much for her, She would give her the world if she could.
None of the Mega Million jackpot tickets were sold in New York this week so she just is going to have to settle for making sure the social studies projects get done.
Maybe you don't see a lot of smooches and embraces on Open School Night.
But you see love-