The Sweat

At this stage in my life there’s not much that can make me sweat.  And I don’t mean from working out – I love that kind of sweat.  I mean stress sweat.  As an outspoken unschooling mother heading to my daughter’s first parent-teacher conference – well, that made me sweat.

Part of the problem is worrying that I’ll say something I’ll regret, put in the proverbial foot. I think the teacher may feel a little anxious about me, too.  That’s OK, I want her to be good with kids, not necessarily with adults.  But she was extremely nice and we both made the best of it.  I’m duly amazed that anyone can stay in one room with 16 seven and eight-   year-olds and teach.  All day.  Every day.  And I told her how Emily loves school and thanked her for creating a nice environment for her.  We even got through the What math curriculum did you use last year?/Oh, I don’t use curriculum. conversation.  I had to explain that I have the kids set their own goals in September and I then make sure they have ways to meet those goals.  She said it sounded like a wonderful way to learn.

Afterwards, I was close to tears from relief, mostly because it was over with and I hadn’t burned any bridges or humiliated my daughter in some way.  I knew she would do well in school, she is absolutely driven.  I guess from now on I’ll view these meetings as parent-teacher mutual support sessions,  because that’s what it really felt like.  Next time I’m bringing the teacher a cup of herbal tea.

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