I went to Fragrant Hills' Back to School Night last night. I haven't been to one of these events in several years, but Younger Daughter wanted me to go, so I went.
The evening began with a talk by the principal. In a 45 minute speech, she said not one word about academics. She said a great deal about making the school safe and inclusive, but nothing about curriculum, teaching or learning. I'm worried about getting YD up to speed in reading and math, and nothing the principal said addressed any of my concerns. And this is a principal I actually like!
Next, on to the 4th grade classroom to find YD's letter to me (standard procedure for Back to School Night around here.) The teacher explained her homework policy -- there's homework every night, including a reading log to be signed by the parents (you know my feelings on that one). After three missed homeworks, the child has to stay in from recess with the teacher, "and it's not fun". Terrific -- once again, she'll be punishing the children of uninvolved parents. On the plus side (I guess), she did say that if you didn't have time that night to just write her a note.
She remarked that 4th grade is an important step for the kids because it's when they start to get letter grades. Ugh.
She walked us through an arithmetic trick where you do a bunch of calculations involving your phone number and wind up with -- gasp! -- your phone number. In the midst of this she remarked that she's always telling the kids, "it's not two hundred AND fifty, it's two hundred fifty!" Huh?
I left feeling, as usual, frustrated and out of step. I'm not on the same page as these folks. Heck, I'm not even in the same book, or the same country, or the same mental universe.