Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Report Card Day

Last 25 November 2016 was Report Card Day at The Big School. We dropped Bean off at The Playschool then drove Girl to The Big School for her Autumn/Winter term report.

I waited to see her personal tutor while she walked The Other Half up to the rooftop garden, and around the school compound. By the time they were done, I was still in queue to meet her personal tutor (who took great lengths to discuss progress with other parents ahead of me), so she went to breakfast with The Other Half at the Dining Hall, then read story books at the mini Library (why it is named The Ice-Cream Parlour, I have no idea).

It turned out that Girl's Math teacher had the most to comment on Girl's brains being "switched off", how she had during the period I was trying to resume work and mend my marriage with The Other Half  became distracted and stopped learning. Stopped participating. Stopped living and just existed.

It broke my heart.

When the Math teacher asked if everything was alright at home, I wanted to cry but instead I felt anger and frustration, mostly directed at myself. She held both my hands throughout and kept telling me that I am a good mother, and there is no need to change classes or school because children will meet all sorts of people who say all sorts of things and that children grow resilient from being thrown harsh comments.

In all honesty, I know that Girl dreads her Math teacher's personality. She is in her 70s and ought to retire. She is very old-school and I have raised Girl with positive reinforcement instead of the old-way of "challenge". My "You can do it" versus her "Prove to me you are not stupid". Sigh. 80/100 is NOT stupid although I agree with Math teacher 100/100 is what Girl really is made of. In Girl's class, 80/100 for Math is the lowest score, so it is understandable that this is a cause for concern.

I must suck it all up indeed and continue to be the home tutor, no matter what. I will not push her to score 100/100 although she is the type of student who can when she puts in effort because that had been her score for Math and many other subjects. I just hate to see her not realising her true potential. As her mother, I do not want her self-confidence and self-esteem to be eroded by harsh comparisons and mean words by teachers and other students.

In another incident, Girl refused to revise her Geography lessons and all the revision questions I had prepared for her actually came out in the examinations. I was heart-broken when I saw her careless mistakes because had she revised with me, she would have gotten them all correct. I comfort myself that Girl is 6 and will soon realise her own silliness, so my job is to guide her along. On the other hand, I am really pleased that other schoolmates who revised using the same revision paper fared better! One of them even scored 100/100 and went on to be the top girl in her class!

When I did eventually meet Girl's personal tutor, she hugged me. She knows I am trying my best to manage, cope and survive 2016. There was no review of Girl's performance as overall it still is good, and we parted with only kind words to welcome better and brighter 2017.

When the session concluded, we walked Girl to the car, and wished her all the best for the new term with options for her to choose. The Headmistress presented us with several options and a month to think it over.

Girl can:
i) Stay in current class and switch her Math brains on, despite the teacher's personality;
ii) Change to another class and still face the same Math teacher and the bundle of glory she is;
iii) Change to another class without the Math teacher and assimilate to her new class;
iv) Change campus (Commute time!!); or
v) Change school (Last resort).

It has been a few weeks since the Report Card Day and Girl is still mulling over these options, so we have yet to email her Headmistress.

Moral of my story?

Quality of my marriage co-relates to my child's emotional wellbeing.

I slapped myself to wake me up, yes I did.

Thank you for this timely wake up call. Report Card Day truly reflected my poor performance as a mother and home tutor, so I need to improve myself for the sake of Girl (and the entire family as a whole).

Here's to happier and better Term 2 in January 2017, inshaAllah.


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