Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What Parents' Meeting?
However, he had to tell me because his French teacher summoned me at 17.55. If she hadn't, I really think he would have quietly not told me and deprived me of the chance to hear about his adolescent crisis.
In fact, I went earlier in the hope of seeing other teachers, and managed to see 3 others. Two of them were in despair over the freefall of his results and his indifferent attitude to working. Well, he is in 4e which is the typical year when everything falls temporarily apart. His French teacher put it down to his crise d'adolescence and told him he had 3 weeks to get over it during his school trip to Spain followed immediately by the Spring holidays, and get back ready to work.
That would be most convenient, but I think it'll take a draconian regime of deprivation to get the message through that he has to buck his ideas up. No Xbox, no computer, limited going out - the usual. I'll also be standing over him while he does his homework - fun...
It's not all bad though. Maths and science are okay which in France means you're most of the way there to a brilliant career in just about anything.
So I thought back to my black ado years. I remember that when I was in the third form, aged 13, I decided to take the year off, have a break from the grind of homework and just sail along doing the absolute minimum to keep my mother off my back.
At the end of the year my exam results were amazingly good considering how little I'd done. When I set back to work the following year my results weren't nearly as high. I've never understood that. Maybe I peaked at 13 and it was downhill all the way following my year of slothfulness. I never did discover what I wanted to do.
My brothers spent most of their school careers doing the absolute minimum too. Enough not to get noticed but certainly well below their potential. They then went on to successful careers doing what they wanted to do. Is that even possible nowadays?
My eldest has fallen below the barrier of unremarkable behaviour and been noticed so all hell has been let loose. I did try to warn him a while ago. Do enough to keep everyone happy and you get to do what you want to do (play, go out...). So we have another opportunity to discover together that actions (or non-action) have consequences. Such a useful life lesson and one which he has come across many times before. Hopefully one day he'll actually learn from it! The learning curve is still despairingly steep!