We have been doing the rounds of parent-teacher meetings. This is the boys’ last year in primary school and I am quite sad to end our link to the primary school. Their teacher this year is amazing. They love her. And she seems to really like them as well. She had lovely things to say when we met her and all is definitely well.
Secondary school parent teacher meetings are a different kettle of fish. There are about ten different teachers to see and much queuing up outside classrooms. Due to ASTI’s (teacher union’s) ongoing industrial dispute, I had to take a half day off from work to queue as well – parent-teacher meetings can no longer be scheduled for the evening as part of the work to rule. In fairness to my first born, she is well-loved by teachers and, overwhelmingly, they had good things to say though, due to the queue of other parents outside the door, it was all pretty brief. The focus of all teachers was on how she was likely to do in the Junior Certificate (a State examination at the end of next year which is only relevant as a qualification if you plan to leave school at 16 and, frankly, if you do leave school at that stage, how you did in your Junior Certificate is likely to be the least of your worries). This drives me bananas. Even the really good teachers felt obliged to explain how what they were doing was important for the examination and less inspired ones revealed without a blush that they had the kids memorising essays. I know that this isn’t a new problem, but still Pádraig Pearse must be turning in his grave.