This title sounds a bit ominous, maybe.
Actually, The Girl wasn’t really involved in this episode of MatGtGaM. This was mostly about me and the Girl’s Mum meeting with her teacher, Mrs, Segers. I’ve actually met her very briefly when the school held an assembly cum meet the teacher cum take a tour of your kid’s classroom – which we did.
This year, The Girl is in the same room for Grade 2 as she was for Grade 1, which I guess lends some continuity for her. But last year, she had two teachers who switched off days; Mrs. Samra had the first part of the week and Ms. Van Ouen had the latter. For grade 2, it’s all Mrs. Segers, plus a teachers aide who we also met, Donna.
In addition to regular class time, The Girl is a part of a smaller group within her class around the areas of reading and writing. It’s actually a great thing, since I think she loves having a bit more one on one time in that particular area, which is really what she’s used to at home.
But, one of the many things that impressed me about Mrs. Segers is that she seems to have a good handle on our daughter, personality-wise, and learning style-wise, too. She clearly has put in a lot of effort to figure out the finer points of how our child learns. It’s understood that every brain’s different.
This is a very big deal, when you consider that teachers in the era in which I’m writing this have been through the wringer when it comes to support; big classrooms, long hours spent before class and after, and with not a great pay-scale for their work province wide. The disputes between teachers and our provincial government earlier this year, and the public outcry about how greedy and selfish they are to go on strike was a shocking display of how little we value educators in our society. In a year when NHL players have gone on strike because they aren’t, apparently, being paid enough, and with no backlash saying how much they’re “hurting the kids by going on strike”, this is a particularly striking truth.
But, I digress.
The main thing is that Mrs. Segers does great work, acknowledging that even if The Girl isn’t much for sitting down and writing long narratives, she is still able to create them verbally. This is enough to make it understood that the Girl knows how to do it, and that she is not behind in gaining this important skill.
It’s been agreed that as soon as she gains enough confidence, the writing aspects will definitely evolve with it. Thinking back to my own early primary school career, and being told how badly I am at math (The Girl is a whiz in that area, which she gets from her Mum, no doubt …), that if I’d only been given the space to figure out that all I needed was confidence, and to be encouraged, maybe I wouldn’t balk so much at numbers even today (to be fair, I also had a teacher’s aide to help me – Mrs. Horkoff. Wherever you are, thank you …)
In any case, we were very encouraged that everyone seems to be on the same page where the Girl’s path to success is concerned. It seems to me that teachers and students is something of an unstable formula. We have great inspirational teachers, and we have ones who just don’t get us. And the results often bear it out. We’re in very good shape this year, it seems.
One thing we’ve resolved to do is to be involved as much as possible, to be encouraging to our daughter, and be grateful for the work that her teachers do to help our daughter along in her school career. The Girl’s progress is important, and it’s important that she hit the right targets as far as picking up the concepts she needs to pick up. But, there’s more to it than that.
She’s a pleaser, like her father. And she likes that sense of making someone else happy by achieving what she’s told she needs to achieve. But, what I’d like to communicate to her is that her education, her work, no matter if it’s grade 2 or her PHD, belongs to her. It represents a key avenue to her personal freedom, her own sense of fulfillment. It represents a fuller understanding of the world, and by extension is a key tool to self-discovery, self-expression, and an insight into the experiences of others, too. That’s what education is for.
The A’s and B’s, and even the jobs that come out of it, are just the frosting.