September 2, 2009

Meet the Parents (Colombian Edition)

Last night at school was Open House night for parents. The parents come to school around 5 and have an assembly with the director and principal until 6. From 6 until 8pm they follow around the schedule of their student and meet with each teacher for 15 minutes.

I felt incredibly nervous basically up until the minute parents were in my classroom last night. There is just something about standing in a room full of parents that makes me feel like I am being very well critiqued. Only in Colombia I felt critiqued by different standards. In the US there has been such a huge push in the last few years about standards, content, and testing, so most parents in the US probably think that a teacher's content knowledge is his/her most important characteristic. Colombian parents think a little bit differently. Not only are they concerned with what you teach their son or daughter but they also care how you look doing it. I classed it up last night with some grey pants, black tank top, black shirt, and black heels. Plus my heart necklace...and for extra pizazz this ridiculously large beaded bracelet from the airport in Milan, Italy.

Overall, the experience went great. I told the parents a little bit about myself, why I decided to come to Colombia, my teaching style, what they can expect from me, and how they can help me out. (Aka if you do not see your child's math book at home frequently please inquire with him/her) The parents were very friendly and I even got a chance to practice some of my Spanish with them, although I had a translator for my formal presentation. Next year perhaps I will do the whole thing in Spanish, but for last night that idea just seemed too daunting. The parents were all very friendly, and excited to meet me and hear about how I like Colombia so far.

As a result of Open House lasting until 8pm, today has been a very long day! Maggie will be in my classroom in about 15 minutes to teach yoga, and then I am headed home!! (She has to stay for high school open house tonight....disaster)

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