Parent/Teacher interviews…at daycare?



What do you imagine would be discussed with your child’s teacher, in a Parent & Teacher interview? Spelling? Mathematics?

No, no, we’re not there yet. This is daycare. Your child is two. So when I received an appointment time for such an interview at Timmy’s daycare, I was perplexed. What could they possibly have to talk about?

“Timmy could really build his sandcastles higher,” perhaps they’d say to me, “if he’d only apply himself.”

What would the teacher ask of me? Perhaps she want to know what I was doing at home to support Timmy’s learning and development. In which case, I may look bad when I admit that Timmy’s the resident potted plant:  if he’s had food, water, and plenty of sunlight, I count the day a success.

It turned out I didn’t have to say much of anything. The interview slot was 15 minutes, but his teacher managed to fill it all, speaking at the speed of a bullet train. (That’s over 280km/hr, if you’re interested.)

It would be insensitive of me to voice aloud that my sending Timmy to daycare isn’t so he can be ‘child educated’. It’s so I can have some time off. Essentially, it’s my fancy babysitting service. (But if I did say such a thing, I’m sure I’d find I wasn’t alone.)

Of course I wouldn’t admit such a thing aloud, or write it in a public blog post, because to do so would make me sound disinterested in my child’s development (relax — he’ll hit puberty eventually, no matter what I do), and unappreciative of the professional expertise of the teachers. Plenty would take umbrage at that.

People will make up all sorts of reasons to be offended, these days.

It took Timmy’s teacher almost the full 15-minute interview slot to tell me about the classroom’s routines, what Timmy likes to do, how they’ve been encouraging ‘physical play’ as per my request in a parent questionnaire (although I believe I’d called it ‘exercise’), and how they’ve been nurturing a close friendship Timmy’s developed with another boy in the class — his first ‘best friend’.

She showed me photos of them playing together. It was unexpectedly heartwarming to me, to see. Apparently the two of them are “really tight”, and will find ways to entertain themselves even with no toys available.

The report I took away from the event was that Timmy fits in really well at the centre, is good at making sandcastles now…but he could really put better structure into the turrets if he’d only apply himself.


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