The Best Year of Their School Lives?


Mom's Class.

This blog is probably a little overdue, but I’ve been hesitate because I didn’t want to jinx the situation.

If you remember (and you probably don’t’), the Evil Spawn is in her mother’s class this year.

Yes, they are both confined to the same 4th grade room for 9 long months.

When this opportunity presented itself, my reaction was like most of my reactions.

How does this effect me?

My conclusion was it wasn’t going to be good.

Not good at all.

The fights.  The homework.  The awkward Parent-Teacher Conference.

The arguments at home about the fights, homework, and what a bad father/parent I am.

The worst part?  Me playing the complicated role of both room dad and husband (this could be my only chance at finally win a well-deserved Oscar… my one regret is I haven’t gained 150 pounds and used an accent for the role).

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t see much upside to this school year.

Again, for me.

But they both believed this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

And since I had no say, I took the position of “I’m all for it”.

For them this was the being in the right school, at the right age, at the right time.

As an administrator, I’m not sure I would have placed a teacher’s child in his or her classroom because of the numerous variables.

The kid.  The teacher.  The students.  The other staff members.

A lot could go wrong (and in school, it frequently does).

But, I’m happy to report (knock on wood) it seems to be going great.

But, I’m sad to report I think this has less to do with my wife and daughter and more to do with the other kids.

The Evil Spawn and her deadbeat friends seem to be a very good class. 

There are three types of classes. 

One, which comes along about every 5 years, is the class that makes kindergarten teachers cry in the hallway.  On the first day of school.

Once, these kindergarten teachers compose themselves, they immediately run to the teacher’s lounge and warn all the other teachers to make sure they retire the year before they get these heathens in class.

Then they go back to crying.

The second type of class are the duds.  Good kids, but they have no interest in anything.

The don’t like school.  Or reading.  Or work.   Or athletics.  Or even breathing.

They are just there.

Then there’s the third type.  The great class.  They are also on a five year cycle (so it works like this… terrible, dud, great, dud, dud,… and the cycle continues).

Teachers love the great classes.  This is what gets them to return from summer vacation.

And not retire.  In fact, there is no evidence a teacher has ever retired the year before they were to get a great class.

When they have a great class they love it.  The year flies by far too quickly.

They actually get to teach and not play referee.

This makes teachers very happy.

These kids are easily recognizable because they love everything.

A class like this so special because they like each other.  This may sound like a simple concept, but if you have ever been in a room with 25 students you know how important this is.

They are supportive, not demeaning.  They are happy and upbeat, not cranky and put-out.  They don’t want less work, they want more challenging assignments.  They are competitive, but gracious in losing.

They are so good as a group, they can even pull other students towards success.

This is the class my daughter has stumbled into (props to my wife for excellent birthing timing).

Being with a great group has allowed my wife and daughter to have a wonderful half-year.

Will it last?  Time will tell.

From my perspective, I hope so.

A once in a lifetime opportunity only seems to happen about once a lifetime.

Note to readers… wife not happy with “excellent birthing timing” reference.  In fact, any reference to all things pregnant makes her nervous.

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Be Careful. Evaluations Happen at the Oddest Times.


As you know (or don’t), I’m experiencing a rather weird situation.

No.

Not the rash.  That’s still a whole different story (any opportunity to use the word salve in a blog I take it… and I just did).

The Evil Spawn is in my wife’s 4th grade class.

You may be thinking this must be weird for them, but who really cares.

The important thing is it’s weird for me.

Why?

Because it is.Someone is Watching You.

And it’s my blog, so we are going to focus on my issues (but not all of them because of time constraints).

Having my daughter in her mother’s class struck me as odd from the very beginning.

It’s like prom.

I’ve said it before, the only good thing that can happen (for me… and I’m guessing you’re not surprised) is nothing bad happens.

A successful prom night for me is probably a boring night for the kids.

And I’m okay with that.

I feel the same about this “4th grade experiment”.

The only good thing that can come out of it is nothing bad happens.

No awkward Parent-Teacher Conferences.  No uncomfortable holiday parties.  No field trips where I have to chaperone and share a bus seat with 6 smelly kids over the course of an 18 hour day (which means 17 hours on the bus…  40 minutes in a museum…. and 20 minutes sitting at a picnic table eating a hot sandwich that’s supposed to be cold… probably in the rain).

When the school year started I envisioned a lot of crying.

I wasn’t sure by whom, but I figured one of the four of us would have some sort of breakdown (Buddy the Dog can be very emotional).

Much to my surprise, things have gone smoothly (I have the strange feeling I just jinxed myself).

I shouldn’t be surprised because this goes along with my theory on things almost always turn out just the opposite of what you expect (good and bad… so if you’re anticipating something good happening in the next few days… beware).

They both seem to be enjoying their year together, which means I get to enjoy my time at home.

The only thing that has struck me as odd is the Evil Spawn seems to be doing a year-long observation (the apple doesn’t fall far from the administrative tree).

Each night she comes home and critiques her mother’s performance.

It’s like getting a Broadway review after EVERY show.

Mom was interesting.  Mom was okay.  Mom was funny.  Mom got annoyed.  Mom got tickled.  Mom seemed tired.  Mom danced (ugh).  Mom’s timing was just a little off when she delivered a punch line during the math lesson (again… apple… not far from the tree).

For me it’s been an opportunity to experience my wife teaching without being in the classroom.

For the evil one, it’s a once in a lifetime chance to spend an entire year with her mom watching what she does best (not dance).

But for my wife?

It’s a year-long evaluation at the dinner table.

Good thing she has tenure.

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Ahead to the Future.


I Used to Ride My Bike.

Evil Spawn.  4th grade.  Yard.  iPad.  WiFi.

What’s this?

A little thing I like to call the future.

Don’t wait, it may pass you by.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.