Monday, September 10, 2007

Open House

Tonight is PTA open house for the high school. This is the night where parents are invited to a presentation by the Parent-Teacher Association so that they can be invited to give them money. Many do join out of peer pressure or out of fear for not "supporting" their child's education. Many teachers, in actuality, don't join the PTA. I imagine that like any good organization, many funds go to actually keeping it in existence with any leftover funds going to very narrow interests, few of which are mine.

The highlight of the evening is when, after the solicitous meeting, students get a chance to run through their child's schedule, frantically running around school navigating the unfamiliar halls and corridors on their way to what the hope is the correct classroom. It's a good thing we don't count parents tardy! This is do in part to the novelty of the situation and environment, but primarily because of the all-too-short THREE minute passing period between classes. THREE minutes!! During the school day, we give students Five minutes and they actually KNOW where they're going.

So in essence, the remaining seven periods after the first are already behind. Some parents don't arrive at the proper class until the entire 10 minute session has ended. This means the Mom and Dad get confused when they end up expecting to hear about little Johnny' math teacher (who happens to be the basketball coach) and they are perplexed at why math students are required to run during class three times a week. But, because they trust it will make him a better math student, they go along with it.

Many parents stay behind after the session to meet the teacher and to explain that their son or daughter is actually in a different class and that they are running late. They also ask how their child is doing in your class. All this does it make them increasingly late for the next session, AND it delays the teacher's starting the next session. No sooner does the teacher introduce himself to the parents, and the voice comes over the intercom saying it is now time to move to the next class.
"Any questions?" the savvy teacher inquires.
All hands go up, "Yes, how do you get to room 903?"
"You're actually in it."
"You mean, this is not basketball class?"
"No sir!"
"Well I was wondering why you would do math problems in a basketball class, but I figured "If him made him a better player . . .' "

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