We had parents evening for the teens this week. Well, I say evening, these things have actually morphed into whole day affairs now, not to mention the half day early closure the day before to allow teachers to prepare. I refuse to call them whatever they are calling them these days, partly because I can’t keep up with the lingo but partly because the fact that it is strung out for a whole day makes me rather grumpy. I’m lucky in that me being at home, doesn’t mean wrangling an afternoon off work or indeed struggling to find childcare on a random week day with little notice. But I honestly don’t know how working parents manage to juggle these things? I appreciate the work that must go into preparing them and the mounds of paperwork that come with it plus it is essential that parents have this contact with school. I’m just not sure if missing a whole day of school is ever a good idea. Anyway, enough of me moaning about not actually having anything to moan about.
Both of my teens are at such an important – if not the most important – time of their school life and to be honest, it’s all a bit terrifying. My daughter is fourteen and started her GCSEs in September and my son at fifteen is a year ahead of her in his final year of his. From choosing their options, to sitting controlled assessments, every step along the way has felt so huge. So bloody crucial. The only thing is that I don’t think that either of them have really felt the pressure half as much as I have. How does that work? This is their education?! Teenagers! Argh!
I actually found the move from primary to secondary education really difficult and still do to some extent. I really miss that constant contact that you have with teaching staff in the primary years. Parents evening now means sitting across a table for five short minutes with a subject teacher I often haven’t met before. I know that I have to trust in the school (and lucky for us it is a very good school) and of course my children have more than their part to play in all of this. But it is hard not to turn all Tiger Mum when all you want is the very best for your kids. My daughter has made an astonishing start and she still has so much time ahead of her of course. My son unfortunately does not have the same luxury of time and readily admits that he has not been working at full speed. I just hope that the disappointing results in his mocks will be the kick up the backside that is needed. It doesn’t get much scarier than that, surely? The school is doing all that it can offering extra revision classes and we are constantly on his back at home and have been for as many years as I can remember. Sigh. But the fact is that this lays completely in his hands, which is quite frankly terrifying.
All those years of school work is about to come to fruition. This is it. They don’t get a second chance. The results they get now will no doubt go on to shape the whole of their lives and oh my godfathers that is unbelievably stressful as a parent. I just want them to have real choices. Real choices that I never really got to make. I want to help them to try their best to reach their full potential because I know just how capable they are. That way happiness lies. And all I ever want is for them to be happy.