Today was the first meeting at CD's new school. Was I nervous? A little. Was I prepared? Well I am feeling more motivated at the moment so I arrived with my list of points, but minus a pen. I hadn't been back to the school since I enrolled him last term so it was good to see it again.
It's not like any other school I've come across in Dublin: there's a uniform yes, but the teachers do not mind if your child won't wear the jumper (too scratchy) or the tracksuit (too soft). There's big classes and small classes (outreach units) and the children migrate between the two: so CD is now joining the big class for Maths and other boys are visiting his class to take part in science projects.
There's no Miss Brodie at this school: these teachers have names, and we all get to use them. I didn't even know the surname of CD's teacher until this week! I also have contact details for her and the principal. And when I email them, they reply. It's like an informal version of the home-school communication diary as promoted by Jazzygal. But a face-to-face meeting with his teacher in September, is better than anything I have experienced before.
I'd forgotten how cheery and enthusiastic all the staff are at this school. We met in the staff room, and people popped in and out, but somehow it was never a problem. Our conversation meandered this way and that: we talked about CD's difficulties and how he is getting on in class. As a lone parent I can get bogged down by the day-to-day stuff - and I get used to his behaviour! So it's good to get a perspective from someone else who spends a lot of time with him.
He's doing pretty well, it seems: he listens to everything and is now earnestly advising the other boys on how to manage their behaviour - apparently this does not always go down too well...
My only niggle is on the academic side, but I understand that the boys need to learn to learn first. There needs to be calm and concentration in the class, most of the time anyway.
I've also managed to persuade him to attend one extra-curricular activity: Football? No. Hip hop? No. My son is going to attend a course on 'Myths and Legends'. Where did I get him from again?