May the bridges I burn light the way

>>  Saturday, February 25, 2012

Parents evening and things were going well until we got to the English teacher.  I always feel it's best to be honest in these situations. I don't know why I carry on with this theory, it is nothing but trouble.

"...COG really isn't enjoying English right now, it's causing a bit of an issue at home, it's the lesson she really dreads"
"what is she struggling with?"
"well she didn't enjoy the debate where she had to be a cockroach in the hot air balloon"
"no that was a dreadful task, I would have hated to do that" she laughed
"errrrr yes, she did...and she's struggling with writing about MacBeth when they haven't actually read it yet"
"well I think they're a bit too young to read it..."
"but not too young to write about it?"
"well I don't know what to say, she's a top set girl, I've never had this problem with anyone in top set before.  This is English, all topset girls like English"  yes she really said that

The conversation was pretty much left unsatisfactorily hanging with no suggestion of what I could do to help or what she might try. Until COG came home from school the next day:

"Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum, what did you say to Mrs EnglishTeacher.  In class today she said 'I was really pleased to hear from everybody's parents last night about how enthusiastic you all are....except COG.'"

Yes, she really did say that, in front of the whole class.  Red rag to a bull.  I was on that phone quicker than a board rubber flies across a classroom.

It turns out yes, she did say that and yes she recognises that there may have been an angry under current in it (her words). but she also said:

"Do you not realise how much you upset me last night? How hard it is to hear that someone doesn't like your lessons?  I spend hours planning those lessons, I work hard at it, how would you like it if someone said they didn't like your work?"

I thought the purpose of a parents evening was to be able to discuss issues, as well as the back patting.  I expected her to be concerned that COG wasn't taking to the subject, expected her to suggest ways for us to help, suggest alternatives.  Turns out the only thing suggested to COG was the option that she move down a set.

Well if she doesn't like people not enjoying her classes I do hope she never has to teach ESA.  To the politically correct that would be the challenging children that enjoy spending time in isolation class and detention collecting.  To people like me it's the ones that need the board rubbers throwing at them.

I used to think the quote "May the bridges I burn light the way" meant that you learn from your mistakes.  Clearly for me it means that the sheer number of bridges burning, in the turbulence I call my life, is lighting up the sky in not only mine but COG's life too now.

I was feeling rather meloncoly about the quote:

"Beware the sweetened smoke that taints the air as your second chances with bridges burn!"

until I read

"I find that a duck's opinion of me is largely influenced on whether or not I have bread."

and with that I found peace with myself.


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