Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bringing Up Boys - it's not a 100m dash it's a marathon!

They're brilliant - aren't they?
It's dreadful isn't it when you have a higher sense of the worthiness of your child than the teachers and you don't even believe that you're really that biased. 
Of course you are aware he's a bubbly personality who's always on the move  but compared to your eldest he's a positive genius. Surely he HAS to be doing well?
But doing well is a relative issue.
As I said my youngest is a genius compared to his brother but compared to the other hot house flowers...he, as I found out, and by extension I, am sadly wanting.
It was all supposed to be so good. 
"Right Mrs B, Bog Boy!" she says it so brightly that I am totalling unprepared for the first cut. "Not the brightest chap, is he"
What? Well of course he is...he's a genius. He's always telling me so.
She pats my knee sympathetically and smiles. "He's not going to be top of the class..."
Oh, really, OK then...
"Reading - he is a bit behind and as for his writing..."
His writing is great it's already better than his brother's writing and Bog Boy is left handed
"His writing development is slow but it is better than The Boy's - I know I used to take him for extra English." she smiles again.
Oh Brilliant! Get two with one blow why don't you! I really don't like her smile...
"He hasn't really grasped punctuation and although he can be helped with capital letters, his spelling really lets him down."
Oh good grief! My hackles are up and I try to rally but that is my fatal mistake...
"I don't  really concentrate on his spellings as such, " I say  in what I think sounds like worldly authority. "I rather have my hands full with my eldest and trying to help him. I don't feel Bog Boy needs to be rushed at it so, as yet." 
But I am up against a master - I forget she's already retired twice...
"What a refreshing attitude," she chirrups, smiling again; "and you're quite right a child should be a child for as long as possible, it goes so quickly...."
My hackles are smoothed and I soften up.
"Perhaps you could bring mathematics into his play life with measuring, and weights and money" she says it as she would to a small defiant child and I swear she's about to pat me on the head as well.
Oh god I walked onto that one didn't I?
I begin to panic and hyperventilate and I feel suddenly very uncomfortable on the small blue plastic chair. She, of course, is sitting on a normal chair bolstering her position of ultimate superiority. I fluster.
"But he'll be OK to go into Year 3 won't he?"
"Yes, yes," I am told, "he'll be fine just not up there with the top of the class!" she says with another sympathetic pat on my knee.
And before I know it I am dismissed.
I leave in a daze and it's not until I am halfway home that I start to get enough life in me to get angry. "Right!" I think, "that's it. I'll show her, my kids are brilliant!"
I should have metaphorically ripped her to shreds.
"HOW DARE SHE!!! How dare she say that crap to me, how dare she pronounce via her crystal ball that my kids are not going to make it. I am determined to push my kids to the utmost throughout the holidays so that they are perfect in all their lessons when the new year academic year begins."
My dander is up. I know my kids can do it...
"Right no TV, no sweeties, no no no anything nice until work is done. Every Day! Two hours a day..
well maybe 45 minutes, children cannot concentrate for more than 45 minutes I remembered from somwehre. Music lessons. Extra sports coaching. Tutor?"
It's all beginning to sound very expensive and very time consuming.
I try not to think about the essay I saw that one of Bog Boy's chums had written and which I espied when I was waiting in the Year 2 Classroom. A whole page about a boy going on holiday with proper punctuation - even speech marks! And all joined up and it made sense.
"Oh heck! Even my eldest cannot do that!!!"
By the time I reach home all of 20 minutes later I am a gibbering wreck as I look with clear eye at the enormity of what I am trying to achieve.
And then I remember what they said about Winston Churchill being backward and at the bottom of the class - and he got the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 as well as being Prime Minister! (oh they don't make them like they used to, do they!)
One has to hold firm and not panic the bringing up of boys is not a 100m dash, it is rather a marathon - just one I wish I didn't have to run too!


Little Red Hen said...

"not the brightest" - I can't believe a teacher would actually say that! Sometimes they just don't have a clue.

Potty Mummy said...

I suspect the fact that she's 'already retired twice' may have some impact on how up to date her teaching - and parent managing - skills actually are. Stick to your guns, Tattie - the main thing is that they grow into happy, healthy and fulfilled adults. It's not about who can write a thousand word essay before they reach grade 3... x

Unknown said...

Little Red Hen - perhaps she isn't so bright either!!! At least that's what I keep saying to myself...
Potty/Clare - I don't think I'd put her "front of house" in the normal way of things! Will stick to my guns resolutley!!!

Expat mum said...

Goodness, I hope she doesn't speak to her pupils like that! Bloody cheek!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Awful old bat ! So what happened to the "accentuate the positive" approach teachers are now encouraged to use these days ?
Your bright , articulate and active boys have plenty of time to learn about semi-colons .

Perfectly Happy Mum said...

I can't believe it! What a tactful lovely teacher... I believe that everyone has a gem hidden (well most people :)) and sometime being very good academically is not happening but there is so much more to that person. There are thousands of example of very successful bright people who were not the best at school...

Lou Archer said...

Right! Change schools..... (too radical?)

I'm quite sure your children are genii or is it genuises?.... and does it even matter, I'm sure they are just perfect like mine.

Unknown said...

Expat Mum - I certainly hope she doesn't!
SmitoniusAndSonata - I am going to ask her that today.
Perfectly Happy Mum - I hold dear what they said about Winston Churchill; not that I want my youngest to go into politics particularly though. I'd never be able to cope with the media criticism of my darling!
Lou - the boys love the school thank heavens and I have to remember this is only one teacher, in one term out of a whole plethora of terms ahead...ouch I better not think about it all those school fees!,

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I'd have had sleeves rolled up and my hackles risen if a teacher had spoken to me in that way. I have the utmost respect for teachers at Amy's school - it's a special school as you know and they really do have their work cut out - but some teachers are so very patronising. There really is no need.

CJ x

janerowena said...

Do remember that it IS a private school, and they expect the children to be able to push on faster than those in the public sector by a year or so by the time they reach common entrance, which is why exam results look a bit odd for private schools always, as they take their maths and english GCSEs a year early, sometimes science too. This skews the league tables hugely. Your sons will be fine. My husband always reckons that boys catch up a bit later than girls, too. He should be on track by around his 9th birthday. My son had a 'retired' form teacher too. She didn't mince her words, but as you say, it is all comparative and what she has omitted to say is that many of those other perfect children will not progress for a while, they will stay where they are.

Wally B said...

She gets an F- and a "you're not awfully bright yourself" badge to sit in the corner with.

Annie Cholewa said...

Does twice retired equal past her sell-by by any chance?

There are many, many kinds of intelligence, and many ways in which to learn. Any teacher that says what she said to you about a child so young is covering her own failings (and you can trust me on that, I used to be a teacher.) And you're paying for this?!

Jen Walshaw said...

Oh how I have missed you. Are you well?

You know what I think that it is more down to the teacher than the pupil. It reflects on her and anyway Happiness can not be taught.

Go on you know you want to...


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