Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Middle School Open House

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Tonight is Open House at the Middle School for Jesse. I have such mixed feelings about Open House. I like to go and get a feel for the teachers. See where my child needs help, where he is excelling, what projects are being planned, etc. I do NOT however enjoy going. Because invariably, there are parents with their screaming 4 year olds who feel Open House is the perfect opportunity to discuss every issue known to man. I'm all for closing the communication gap between parents and teachers. However, I do not feel the need to discuss problems my son had in the 3rd grade with his 8th grade teacher. Nor do I discuss recipes with the Home Ec teacher. I don't talk about what I did in middle school, the rising cost of gas, global warming or the ongoing custody battle between Britney and KFed. Granted I do not have small children; but I'm pretty confident that I would have enough sense to keep the child at home instead of bringing the screaming, shin-kicking, paper-throwing, up-chucking, sniffly-nosed monster with me. Parents KILL me. Why would you bring that child with you???

I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the purpose of Open House was to meet the teachers, see the classrooms and briefly (can I stress that any more) discuss your child. It's a time for the teachers to inform you that A.) you have a brilliant child with no foreseeable problems or B.) these are the areas your child will need to work on. That's it!

Now Jesse has 8 classes. But, through out the course of the year he will have taken 11. His 'specials' are divided amongst each of the 4 nine weeks. Right now he has Tech Ed (shop, for those my age or older) but I'm not going to wait in line to speak with the teacher. Nor am I going to wait in line to talk with his gym teacher. I have 6 different teachers to see. A five minute discussion with each teacher does not mean that I will get out of there in 30 minutes. OH NO. This is a 2+ hour process. The lines are 3 miles long. And in each classroom you can pretty much guarantee a 15 minute wait BEFORE actually getting to speak with the teacher. And because I don't want to cause the poor sap behind me any more time in that line than I have to, I make my discussion short and sweet.

So what's the point? Really, what IS THE POINT? You can't go into depth on any thing. Wait, let me rephrase that. You shouldn't go into depth on anything. Because there are a million other parents and snotty kids waiting in line. It's not like he's in elementary school where he's all excited to show me his desk and meet his fantastic and wonderful new teacher. He's 13. He changes classes so there are no specific seats just for him. He's way past the point of thinking his teachers are brilliant or even human. I walk out of there frustrated, germ-infected and tired. Each year I say that I'm not going back. If I have a problem I will contact his teacher personally. But each year I go. In years past Kenny was always working. He had days off during the week with his previous job. But NOT ONCE did Open House fall on one of those days. So either he was working until 7 pm (after the start of Open House) or he started at 7pm so he didn't have time to go. I go by myself every year. He'll probably be work over tonight so I can see me going it alone again. Now this year Austin is in the High School. So, I don't have 12 teachers to visit in one night. I get to do it all over again on Thursday. Aren't you jealous??

30 comments:

Anita said...

That's one thing I sure don't miss about public school...lol
Another thing about homeschooling... You're never surprised with report cards...lol :)
Good luck at open house!

Alexandra, Writing & Baking Enthusiast said...

Just get there as soon as possible to beat the rush. :) I feel for you...been there done that.
Alexandra

Kari & Kijsa said...

Hopefully it will go smoothly tonight-
Loved your suggestions on the post today-don't ever apologize for great decorating inspiration!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

lori said...

HA! I get to have open house...with MYSELF!:)
I remember those days...DRAG they were!

I was up early checking in and your post wasn't up..I was bummed thinking you wern't posting..then..popped in before we started and viola...there you were!
good luck tonight...
I'll be thinking of you while I have my Open House today!!:)

Super Mom said...

nope!

;-)

Brenda said...

Julie, The side has something called Wafer rolls. They are awsome and have cream in side. We eat them here with coffee. They come in many flavors.This package Rian used is Rich Chocolate since this was the theme. He also took Reeses cups and cut in half to line the top. Wish you had some!

Mary said...

Julie, I hear you, girl! At my daughter's school, they are currently in the midst of a major addition which has taken over valuable parking spaces, so that just adds to the pain! This year, I had to walk across a wet sosccer field and a dirty construction site in the dark, just to get to the door. :) I just go to get a feel for the teachers, and don't take the time to talk individually with any of them.

Good luck!
xoxo,
Mary

Bethany Hissong said...

Our school uses Open Houses as a time for the teachers to share the curriculum...and then schedules time for conferences about 3 weeks later. They make it clear that it's not for children and not for discussing your child.
As a former teacher, these nights were soooo draining! Just think of those poor teachers who usually taught all day long and have to go right back at it in the morning, while spending their evening away from their families so they can meet and talk to all those needy parents!! They probably love you Julie... you get it!

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

I hear you Julie, I absolutely dread open house night. Last year it took me close to an hour to get out of the darn parking lot because they had no parking and crammed cars on to the P.E. field. I didn't get a thing out of going (unless you count the headache). I have always gone and this year I didn't do it. I have had phone conferences with his teachers instead, which I found to be much more informative and one on one. I know the campus so the only thing I missed out on was sitting in his chairs in each class. I can live with that!

Hugs,
Dena

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I also homeschool, but years ago, when my oldest were in public, I went to the dreaded open houses. I feel your pain. Short and sweet. That was my motto.
"I'll be home for Christmas" was the song playing on your blog! I LOVE IT! I AM NOT ALONE WHEN IT COMES TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!!!

From the Doghouse said...

Ironically, we had parent-teacher conference as well. These are a little better than open house, which are free-for-alls. We have a scheduled time with the teacher and we have her to ourselves for those few minutes.

Of course, everything runs over, so you're probably not going to meet at your scheduled time, but it's still better than open house.

With kids at two different schools, I took off the afternoon and stayed home with the kids (who didn't have school yesterday because of it) and let my wife handle the meetings without being interrupted by kids. I think it worked out well.

BTW, let me tell you what my third-grade teacher did to me ...

BittersweetPunkin said...

Oh Julie...When DS was in public school I remember vividly an open house a few years ago where the PE teacher had us PARENTS doing jumping jacks etc in the gym...I had just rushed there from my medical job and still had my scrubs on AND I hadn't had a chance to stop at the restroom since I left work so I had a full bladder....well ONE jumping jack did it for me and I quickly left the gym!!! Ha Ha Ha! Sorry was that TMI??
Love,
Robin

Kristen said...

Ok, everytime that I think I have recognized all of the great parts of homeschooling, there is something else that comes to mind. This is one of them. I think it has become a bit of pomp and circumstance.

PAT said...

Hi Julie...My girls' dad worked evenings, so I got to go it alone, also. Interesting times, indeed.

Come on over to the back porch and enter my 100th post giveaway!

Pat

Terri and Bob said...

Julie, I have open house, too but I am on the other side of the fence. I'll have some parent who did not make an appt talk to me for an hour on something that happened with last year's principal that they still want to hash out. I want to circulate the building and say hello to the parents that come but I know I will get locked in. I may not even show up in the office, that might help!

Sandy said...

Hi Julie! Thanks for visiting me over at Reluctant Entertainer ... we have a high schooler, middle schooler and grade schooler! Busy, busy! :)
Have fun at Open House!

Emilie said...

These things are really pointless, I agree. Maybe you shouldn't go? My parent's didn't go to mine after 7th grade, and I turned out fine. I think. LOL
The open houses in grade school were always fun, but after that, they weren't necessary.
You're a fab mom, so I know you will go anyway. Maybe just be really agressive and shove people out of the way.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Drink heavily and cause a ruckus at the next one. I PROMISE they will neglect to inform you that there is an open house next time around!

Sharon said...

Oh....I feel your pain! When my older boys were that age either my husband or myself would go and the other would stay home with the younger children. Everyone is happy that way! Finally our school made it so you had appointments with each teacher for ten minutes at a time and then they would ring the bell every ten minutes saying, time to move along. It will get better for high school. I suggest perhaps making individual appointments with each teacher or trying to contact them through email, that works really well too.

Blessings! Sharon

Alice said...

I don't understand why the parents forced into open house torture don't rebel and all refuse to go. I'm sure the teachers don't enjoy it either. Whose idea was this anyway!

BellaColle said...

Hi! I'm over here! LOL!!
http://mybellacolle.typepad.com/my_bella_colle_my_beautif/

Well, that's the joy of kids... they aren't always little angels..one more thing I can hold over my guys' heads! LOL! "Remember when I stood in line with you to get your third grade picture..for two hours!!" I'm kidding!
I do agree with you though, one must keep it simple out of common courtesy for the guy behind ya!
Hope it's not too awful for ya!
Hugs.

Counting Your Blessings said...

Ya know, that's one of the benefits of homeschool... we do our conferences late at night, in bed! =) However, I my two older boys are in private school this year and they both have conferences on Thursday during the day. DURING THE DAY??? Exactly what is a mom to do with the kids for an 8:00 a.m. conference? I'll be the one with the screaming 4 year old - sorry! On the up side, it's not until Thursday so tonight I get to watch HOUSE! Blessings... Polly

joan said...

Hi Julie,

It's been a long time since I've been to open house at school but at our schools, open house was just seeing everything and what the kids did then we had parent teacher conference around Thanksgiving for an in depth one on one with the teacher.

Auld Hat said...

Jealous? Why yes. I seethe. NOT!
heh heh. Ya know, I often consider what my life might have been like had I gone the parental route. Thankfully with posts like yours, I realize that I would have been WAAAAY out of my comfort zone. lol
Good for you for being involved though.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I am glad that those days are behind me :-)
Penny

Meggie said...

As a retired school nurse, you have the right idea about open house. it is NOT the time to chit chat about everything under the sun. Some parets don't have a clue. Unfortunately, they make it difficult for the sensible ones. Hope it is rather painless for you tonight. Let us know....

rosemary said...

Totally off your subject of Open House (my son is a teacher and hates the parents you describe)when I brought up your blog, Guido was sitting on the table...both of the kittens are fascinated with the computer....then the music started and I wish I could describe his little face. He turned his head and looked at the screen and then said MIAOW really loudly. I think it was a compliment.

Cece said...

Oh, dear, now I know what I will be in for once I have kids! Cece

JANET said...

I went to a middle school open house or parenting day...whatever...one time, and the math teacher assigned us parents some algebra problems to do right there in the classroom!

Counting Your Blessings said...

Yikes - we just got back from conferences (yes, took the kids and they acted just like you said they would!) but it's the first time we've had a good report from Noah's teacher and I'm SO happy for him! To totally change the subject, here's the link for the Christmas Planner at Brocante Home..
http://brocantehome.typepad.com/brocante_home/the-christmas-planner.html It's $10 and you can save it to the computer so you can re-print pages for next year! Blessings...Polly