Egirl has started a new year at school. This is her second full week since she resumed. I think it is more than enough time for her abilities to have been assessed and her work apportioned accordingly. The school held a meet-the-teachers evening on Monday. I attended with my notebook. There were a few questions I wanted to ask, and I wrote them down so as not to forget.
Children were not allowed, so I had to pick T up from the station, and he waited in the car with the children while I went in.
As I entered the hall, I saw parents and teachers milling about, some had glasses in their hands, filled with wine and other drinks. I thought to myself (se oro drink ni eleyi ta’n so ni?), and zoomed in on Mrs. M, Egirl’s teacher. She was talking to another parent, so I waited patiently. When she finished, she turned to me and said…
Mrs. M: You are …?
Me: Egirl’s mum.
Mrs. M: Ah of course. Mrs. P, this is Egirl’s mother. (Mrs P. is the full-time teaching assistant that works with her. I smile and nod at Mrs.P.) Egirl seems quite happy, she has settled in quite nicely.
Me: That’s good. I’d been wanting to talk to you.
Mrs. M: Oh this is just an informal evening to meet the teachers, the Open evening is in October.
(In my head I’m thinking ‘October ke? You want me to wait till October before I ask these questions? Forgerrit’.)
Me: October? I understand that, it’s just that I have a few questions.
Mrs. M eyes me nervously as I proceed to open up my notebook.
Me: What is the criteria for selecting their reading books? (The book Egirl brought home was way too young for her)
Mrs M: They haven’t been given reading books yet, however, we do have library books, and they are allowed to choose whichever book they want.
Me: Ah, so the books are not necessarily a reflection of their reading ability?
Mrs. M: No they aren’t, like I said, they can choose any book from our library.
Me: Ok, I understand. And is it correct that they can’t hand the books back till the following Friday even though they’ve finished reading them?
(Egirl had told me she had tried to return her book but Mrs. M wouldn’t let her, and had said she would not be pleased if any other child tried to return their book)
Mrs. M: Of course they can return the books, it’s only they wouldn’t get another one till the next Friday.
Me: I see. Egirl would hand in her book tomorrow, she’s had it all weekend. And how often would she be given her reading book? In her previous year, she got a new one on Monday, Friday and Wednesday.
Mrs. M: As soon as she finishes the book and does the set work, she’ll get a new one.
Me: Has she been assessed as to what colour band books she would be reading?
Mrs. M: I am still in the process of doing that, she’ll be bringing a book home with her tomorrow as well as her contact book.
Me: You do have access to her last year’s report don’t you? According to that, her reading age is ..
Mrs M: Yes, I have it, and that will be taken into consideration too.
Me: You sent home her spelling book without any instructions as to what she was meant to do. Is she supposed to write out the words, write sentences, or……?
Mrs. M: I explained to the children what they should do, which is learn the words, and not write them down. They’ll be tested on the spelling on Friday. In future I’ll include a short note explaining what is required.
Me: That’ll be good. (A quick glance into my notebook reveals all questions have been asked and answered.) Thanks a lot Mrs. M, it was nice meeting you.
I hurried back to the car, T & the girls were surprised to see me back so quickly, and off home we went.
Egirl came home with her contact book for the first time on Tuesday. In it, I saw that her colour band for reading had been revised upwards from the previous week. She’s happy, I’m happy. I noticed the library book is still in her bag, Mrs. M refused to collect it from her.
There was a letter from Mrs. M to all parents addressing all the issues I raised with her the previous day. I might be having another talk with Mrs. M some time soon.
Thanks for stopping by, this is my life – as I live it.