How to Suck Up to A Teacher When Your Child Doesn't Know How to Yet
My youngest one, Tarini, has started secondary school this year and we had our first teacher’s days. Last Wednesday were the class teachers, when I saw both girls’ ones and yesterday was the day for subject teachers. We went to see a lady teacher who teaches Natural Sciences and Arts in Tarini’s class. I didn’t know her as she had never taught any of my other two children before.
Mrs. Water was a very nice lady with somewhat wild grey hair and a lovely smile. She’s been teaching for thirty years and I loved how she spoke more with Tarini, asking her questions and encouraging her not to be shy, but speak her mind and exchange ideas. In both subjects. Tarini was still rather shy and didn’t say much, keeping her answers short.
When the teacher asked her which of their two common subjects was her favourite, she beamed and replied, “Music!”
I had a breakdown over the table. The teacher laughed while I told Tarini in a playfully stern manner that she still needs to practice sucking up. The teacher was laughing even more, so then the ice was broken, at least between us adults. And as Tarini didn’t say all that much, I decided to talk more because I wanted the teacher to see that Tarini is a great child and comes from a loving family. We spoke about arts and local painters and the teacher asked me if I knew handlettering.
I did say, my mum was the hobby painter and I was the writer in the family, so no, I had no idea what that was. For all of those who are as clueless as I was, handlettering is calligraphy on canvas and to make an old thing a new fad, they’ve invented special brushes for this, so you don’t have to dip your old feather or fountain pen into ink anymore, but can write with different colours and in different sizes. Moreover, it’s much easier now with those new brushes as well, the teacher told me.
I mentioned that I probably wouldn’t be able to finish an entire book that way, but she said, one canvas full of some was enough. Deflecting the conversation to Tarini didn’t work, so I smiled at the teacher and said, it sounded interesting and I could, perhaps, try it out and write one of my poems on canvas.
Mrs. Water was all enthusiasm at that. She said how beautiful that would look hanging on the wall, how elegant and noble. The way she described it, I must say, she has a great imagination and visualisation going on. Points for the teacher there for sure! So I went along with it and said, I’d definitely try that one of these days.
“I’d love one of those,” Mrs. Water beamed at me full of enthusiasm. She wanted a handlettering painting from me? Seriously? I stared at her in disbelief.
“Really?” I asked stupidly, not getting how a teacher would like to have a non-artist mum’s trial painting. But she did, judging by her eager nod. So I promised her, she would get one. And now I actually have to really do this, create a masterpiece of art as a homework for my daughter’s art teacher because my daughter doesn’t know yet how to overcome her shyness when it’s important and how to successfully suck up to a teacher. I gave her a crash course when we got out of the room, right before we had our next appointment with the English teacher. Just in case.
What things did you let yourself get talked into by teachers and other parents in the hopes that your child might benefit from it?
Did you have fun doing it or was it a chore and you were inwardly cursing yourself for going along with it?
How did your child react to you doing these things?
Did the child derive any benefits from your endeavours?
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