Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I'm Intimidated by Open House

In 8th grade, my math teacher was a nice man who – judging by outward appearance – was rather well-fed. The buttons on his dress shirt made a puckered vertical row where each side of the shirt struggled to contain the incredible weight straining against it.

And then, one afternoon as the teacher leaned against his desk, one of these buttons failed. It shot off his shirt, soaring over the heads of the astonished students, and landing somewhere in the back of the room.

It was a wardrobe malfunction only to be trumped by Janet Jackson’s tassels some 10 years later. And you can bet every kid in the school couldn’t wait to share the story with their parents that night at dinner.

It makes me wonder what wonderful tidbits the parents of my students know about me. Despite having a good group, I doubt my students go home and share stories of an excellent lesson plan or in-depth group discussion with their parents. Most likely, they know of a time when I inadvertently taught class with my fly down, or a day when I had a cold and sneezed enough times to get a nosebleed.

This is the reason why Open House intimidates me so much.

I don’t have a problem speaking in front of people, or even discussing a child’s progress with a parent. I’m uncomfortable with the fact they know something about me, but I have no idea what it may be (or in what way it may have been taken out of context). It’s like playing poker with your hand facing out. Everyone can see your cards but you.
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2 Responses:

Wm Chamberlain said...

I bet many parents feel the same way. Remember the scene in Kindergarten Cop where the students were talking about their parents and the twins said "Our mom says our dad is a real sex machine!"? Think about all the personal information you know about the parents of your students and then quit worrying so much.

BTW I remember stories about almost all of my teachers. I think that is not something that we can avoid so why worry?

Sheri said...

I think I had the same math teacher! I've tried for years to get kids to tell me what my "thing" middle school I had the teacher that spit(and years later when I subbed in the same school a student asked me "did she spit on you too?" It took everything in me not to laugh! There was the teacher with the bra strap constantly off her shoulder and in high school there was Beaker Bob. Other than being loud, no one will tell me what they say about me at home. But I agree with Wm Chaberlain, I know what goes on in many of their houses! Or at least the children's perspective.