Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brea: The Parent Conference

At Brea, I had on parent conference one time, and this was the first day that I was on the job.

This student was an unruly type, a kid who loved to push and act up in class. He was a really tough customer, in terms of the fact that I could not get him to calm down.

I sat in on this meeting because the previous teacher had forgotten to reschedule it for another date. The woman was scattered as she was unsympathetic to my plight. I was expected to pick up the pieces for one of the most unruly classes on campus.

The pressure was on me, though, to get these students from deficient to proficient. I demanded better than the run-of-the-mill disrespect, yet the students formed a line at their respective counselors' office demanding to be removed from the class.

In the parent conference, I was faced with a student, Sergio who did not speak English that well to begin with, and now he was trying to learn another language. This scenario reminded me of the unending frustrations that I tried and failed to forge my way through in South Gate.

The mother sat there and listened to us take down Sergio one class at a time. The science teacher gave off the sense of interminable exasperation, a sound that I would be making a lot in the next few week before I stormed off the job in nervous rage and fear.

Sergio sat there through the entire thing, the one time in the entire month when he sat nice and quiet, a posture which he was incapable of bringing into the classroom. Peer pressure, or fear of looking like a failure, kept this kid from any potential.

Just before I quit the job, I talked with his counselor in the main office, who said that he probably should never have been placed in the French class in the first place.

Have I forgotten to mention: I was a French teacher, and I did get to teach French, really I did, but in many ways, it was not worth the effort of staying in for the long haul.

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