I dread parent teacher conferences.
"Not turning in some assignments."
"Not working up to his/her potential."
I don't let the kids watch t.v./do computer games on school nights. I ask EVERYDAY "what homework do you have" and I hear "I did it all at school".
My husband and I encourage them to do their best so they can go to college and make something better of their lives.
I am not expecting absolute straight A's (well, I am but I know I can't project my perfectionism on my kids) but I do expect that assignments get done and turned in. I get on their cases when I know late assignments need doing until they are done.
This last conference though, there was a new problem. Showing a bad attitude in P.E.
Now, I remember having a bad attitude about P.E. I muttered under my breath over pushups and situps, but I had the sense to leave my face a blank when facing the teacher, and I still tried to do them, however pathetic I was at it.
After a couple of years of substituting and teaching at-risk kids, I learned what it was like to be on the other side of the room. It's hard to try to get kids who have NO interest in learning to just do their assigned work. When they cop an attitude, it just makes things harder. More energy is wasted whining than it would take to JUST DO IT!
So when the P.E. teacher mentioned to me that my daughter not only rolls her eyes, but (and at that moment my daughter's head dropped back and she looked at the ceiling as if to say, "Lord give me strength" or some such) and the teacher saw her and said, "YES! She does that!" I just about flew off the handle right there. But I stopped and had a brilliant idea.
"Okay, next Tuesday I'll come join the class."
The teacher grinned, my daughter was chagrined and I think I got her attention finally.
At home we had the lecture about showing teachers respect whether we like the class or not.
Yesterday, my daughter said, "I'm doing better, you don't have to come."
Ha! "I'm coming anyway."
She was definitely dragging herself out the door this morning. I got my youngest on the bus and drove our Jeep with mismatched door to school. I signed in, I found the gym.....and I did my best although I was pathetic and panting while doing the pushups and situps. The other girls were staring at me. I smiled. I thought, "Yes girls, do your workout or you could end up looking like ME!"
When it was all over, the teacher said, "She did better today."
I said, "If she gives you more attitude, let me know and I'll come back."
You know I will. Hopefully my daughter knows I will too. Because I really don't need to look pathetic in front of slim little 8th graders, but if that's what it takes...I can do it with a smile on my face.