Monday, November 1, 2010

conversation with an advisor

So I had a conversation this morning with DD's advisor, Mr. A.  I explained that my big concern is that I don't want DD to get depressed again, and I don't want her to be overworked and stressed out.

Mr. A:  Well, we meet every week as a team, and we do try to coordinate the work.  For instance, we try to have each subject have their own test day, so you don't  have to study for a lot of tests at once.

Me:  she's supposed to study for tests?

(I have never seen DD study for a test.)

We talked a bit about the science assignment of writing an outline of a paper they've read, which as I tried to explain has put the emphasis on the writing of an outline rather than understanding the paper, and got the time-worn response:

Mr. A.:  Well, sometimes in life we all have to do things that don't make sense.

Me:  That's not what school should be about.  School should be better than that.

On the whole, though, I'm encouraged by the conversation we had.  For one thing, he said one of the assistant principals actually got out to see Race to Nowhere and was impressed. 

Mostly, I hung up the phone thinking that they clearly want to keep DD at the school, and they want to work with me enough to make that happen.  I think it's a surprise to them to hear from a parent of a high-achieving kid, whose number one priority is said kid's mental health.  I hope they'll be hearing from many more of us in the future.


  1. From PsychMom
    What a dumb thing to say..."well sometimes in life we have to do things that don't make sense."

    Well then we should be teaching kids to not perpetuate this idiocy, to stand up and say..."This is senseless!"

    I'm glad you're sounds like your meeting went alot better than mine did.

  2. The math teacher removed the "parent signature" page from the test he handed back. Works for me ... I don't think he really understood my objections, but he knows that I'd be happier without the required signature.

  3. I find that not only are teachers incredulous when I express concern about my daughters' stress levels and mental health, but other parents are as well. I don't get why they're not concerned about their own kids. I see a lot of stressed-out kids around, so it's not as if my dd's are freaks. But *I* often feel like a freak for worrying about the stress in their lives.

  4. PsychMom says...
    Oh me too! Parents around me are oblivious. I've been the Mom who has a rep for not letting her kid go to ALL the birthday parties, very few sleepovers and totally not buying into the playdate phenomenon. Other parents either don't understand, or they do, but they are wistful, wishing that life were actually that simple. I'm the deluded one, thinking I have any control over what goes on in my child's life.

    The teachers?....They express surprise when I tell them that sometimes my 9 year old goes straight to bed after supper, on her own, because she's exhausted. Sometimes she falls asleep in the car on the way home. They are surprised when I question the need for a multiday school trip in Grade 3, and the psychological impact on 8 year olds. But I figure it's my job to question...I'm certainly not going along quietly.

  5. PsychMom, You sound so much like me! I also pick my girls up early from over-long parties, and sometimes keep them home from school when the class goes on exhausting (and usually non-education) field trips. They're 11 now, so their energy levels are a bit higher, but they still understand that they need their sleep, and downtime. (Which is why they refuse to go overnight camp in the summer, even though most of their friends now go. Most camps have ridiculously exhausting schedules for kids.)

    Oh, and teachers think I'm wacky too. But I don't care as long as it doesn't affect how they treat my daughters in class.

  6. Yup, I have long since gotten over the desire to have my kids' teachers like me. If they can tolerate me, that's good enough.

    I just had another conversation with a neighborhood acquaintance (at the polling place! US citizens, get out and vote!). She told me her son had a terrible 4th grade year but "he learned he could survive". Ugh.

  7. PsychMom...what is it about grade 4???? I ran into friends in the mall the other day who asked my daughter what Grade she was in and when she said "4", they both went "ohhh..that's a tough year...
    And then the fatal phrase hit my ears, ..."mostly because the homework load went way up."

    My teeth grind. But there wasn't time to get the soapbox out. Besides, these folks wouldn't change a thing anyway..they're good parents. They do the homework game.