Tuesday, 30 September 2008

School Meetings

On Friday I went to the last of the three school meetings, one for each school that the kids attend. The first, during the first week of school, was Odette and Hugh's school meeting for the start of the year. The parents met the teachers and cantine staff in the gym room for a general overview of the school, and then went to individual classrooms to meet with the class teachers. I couldn't be at both Hugh's and Odette's classrooms (and no point in sending Roger as he wouldn't understand what was said) so I went to Odette's classroom and had information relayed from Hugh's teacher via other parents. Over the ensuing weeks I have realised that I have probably missed some of the information which would have been useful.
On the second Friday evening of the new school year Sophie's school meeting was held. After the general whole school meeting I went into Sophie's classroom and sat at Sophie's desk, next to the mother of the girl who sits next to Sophie. Each parent sat at the desk of their child, and we learnt interesting things about the curriculum, the organisation of the school day and week, about excursions, teaching methods and resources.
Last Friday was the meeting at Bonnie's school, and it started off outside with parents sitting on the small school chairs in the under-cover area, shivering in the cold evening air. Once inside the classroom the temperature warmed up, and the discussion was mainly about discipline and the behaviour of students. I was sorry to hear that the teacher had resorted to handing out whole-of-class punishment when things get out of hand; but I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be Bonnie who was talking in class. There seemed to be much more emphasis on punishment for bad behaviour than encouragement for good behaviour, although some parents had some good ideas for helping to keep the class under control. I hope that some improvement is made and some of the ideas are implemented which could bring some harmony to the class.

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