I love to meet the kids teachers. You can tell so much about them right away. Some have hand outs for you. Some have websites. Some even have Andes mints and sharpened pencils for you. Some spend a ton of time explaining the curriculum. Some brag. Some justify their choices. Some keep you after the bell that tells you to head to your kids next class just because they can. I love how pleased they are with themselves when they immediately guess which child is mine. I never ever crush their little world by telling them that everyone in the world knows after one look that my kids are mine :) I just smile and ask them how on earth they knew that I was Joe, Tatiana, Madeline, Miriam, Amanda, Natalie or Zach's mom. I know they are sizing me up just as I am sizing them up. Some of them I can talk to immediately like we were best friends. Others I work very hard to get a smile. I always find it interesting that just as I love to tell my kids what I observed about their teachers their teachers love to tell my kids what they observed about me. I am sure they are watching which seat I choose to sit in, if I chat to the people around me, what kind of questions I ask, if I brought a pen (yeah, I forgot one and had to borrow a pen from someone in every single one of Joe's classes...UGH). They are most likely thinking that they can tell from a mile away that I am Amanda's mom as I ask lots of questions to make sure I am filling out my forms the exact right way... Joseph's mom as I ask my questions with a smirk on my face, and Tatiana's mom as I sit quietly and drink in everything in the room with my eyes.
Observing the teachers is not the only fun at open house....oh, no the parents are supremely entertaining. At Westfield High School I wish I knew the statistic on how many of the parents actually went to Westfield High School themselves. They all seem extremely chummy as we are all walking through the halls. It is almost like we are all back in high school too as we walk from class to class sizing each other up. I have "I went to high school on the west coast and don't know any of you" written all over me. But I love that. More quiet alone time with my thoughts and analyzing of them :) There is always a parent in every class that asks a question that the teacher has already answered. There is always a parent that asks a question that makes it so you know they are doing their kids homework for them :) There is always a class clown, even when you are a grown up. You can observe which ones were popular when they were in school. And which ones are still fighting their label from high school. Yep, there is nothing but a good time to be had at open house.
Tonight was the middle school open house and I confess I almost did not go. I was involved in a book that I could not put down but at the last minute Tatiana asked if I was going and I said yes and I am once again so glad I went. I learned oh so much. Her music teacher made me smile and wish I could be in school as he exuberantly taught me about chords. Her science teacher had her picture taken with Bill Nye the science guy. Her math teacher loves acronyms. Her language arts teacher wants them to learn how to make the boring interesting (which a few parents were not to thrilled about...it is so hard for their kids to write about something if something interesting did not happen to them.) It surely can not be easy to be a teacher and have to deal with us parents. We think we know how they should teach and how they should handle things and we think our kid is perfect. I find myself longing more and more with each passing open house that I could be a school teacher. It looks so amazingly fun. It seems like a cruel twist of fate that I am going to be 43 soon and finally know what I want to be when I grow up. Thanks life for showing up late.....bless your heart :)