Parent Orientation Fatigue
Another thing that I don't remember hearing from LP's teachers was the point every teacher felt the need to make about next year's accelerated placement. They kept calling those classes "honor". It took all my willpower to keep my mouth shut. I had a powerful urge to stand up and cry bullshit. They are not honor classes. They are accelerated classes. Honor classes will not start till 9th grade. Further, it is not a matter of life and death that your child is recommended for all accelerated classes first thing in January 2009. It is harder, but you can still get into honor classes in 9th if you're in regular classes in 8th. On the last day of school this year, LP was approached with an offer to take honors history. He was never in 8th grade accelerated or 9th grade honors history. These things happen. Also, your child does not have to work himself to death/nervous breakdown to get the recommendation. One teacher said that he won't recommend anyone unless they get an A in each of the first two grading periods in his subjects. And that's only one of his requirements. If he plans on following through with this, he is dead wrong. I will spare you the dismal grades LP had in 7th grade and he was still recommended for accelerated math and science, and rightfully so, because, in spite of all the teenage/Aspie stuff going on with him, he still had the capacity. He is doing great now. Last but not least, and I will start a new paragraph for that one because it is important. I didn't know it with LP.
So. Last but not least, if your child did not get the teacher's recommendation for an accelerated/honors class, and you think he should be there, then in our district, you go to the high school counselor's office and get a small sheet of paper called the Parent Override Form. You write your child's name, grade, subject and sign it. That's it, you just got your child into an honor class. I had to do it with LP when his 8th grade math teacher would not give him a recommendation, and I felt that his 640 SAT score was a dead giveaway that he'd be bored to death in a regular classroom. He went to honors and did great. None of that was mentioned at the orientation yesterday. All the teachers did was scare the parents half to death and convince them their child will live in a cardboard box at age 40 if he doesn't get an A on his report at age 13. One actually said that the next two grading periods will affect their college studies. Bull.
CB's teachers all did a great job yesterday putting the fear of God into parents, and by extension, into kids. But I want the primary motivator for my children's school work to be interest, curiousity, not fear.
Towards the end, the parents were all supposed to gather in the auditorium for a presentation of all what they call exploratory subjects - music, gym, health, typing skills, consumer science. When we got to that point, I suddenly felt I couldn't be at this conference another minute. So I skipped out of it. Only four or five other families followed my example. I felt like I was skipping class, guilty but exhilarated.
LP's orientation is next week and I'm not going. I have parent orientation overload. Another one and I'll explode.