Here in Nagasaki, every spring....usually at the end of April/first of May, homeroom teachers go and visit each student's house and talk to, more often than not, the mom. It's kind of a quick "meet and greet"....parent and teacher checking the other out....each secretly knowing that the genkan is never that clean, except for the home visit.....it's a quick 15 minute chat. Some people will offer tea or cookies, but both are usually declined. Some teachers have been known to ask to see the student's room and desk....I've never had this happen, (thank God!) their room is a "disaster area~~enter at your own risk" kind of room!!
So, at approximately 2:00....... the genkan (entrance way) in our house was clean......shoes were put away...fuzz bunnies disposed of, the pile of jackets/picnic blankets/slippers/hats either hidden or put in another location. The floor had been swept...the barely alive little gecko I found under the bench was gently put outside...bug boxes placed in other parts of the house...knick-knacks dusted.....I was ready!! Issei's teacher came at 2:20 and Koji's came at 3:00.
This year I was told that Issei is having no problems...he is turning his homework in on time...he is raising his hand and answering more questions...he has volunteered for various jobs in the classroom. At this point I think I actually asked, "Issei?" She smiled and said that he is very different from last year and he seems to be really trying hard.
(That's the sound of a year's worth of stress leaving my body.)
Fingers are crossed this really wonderful behavior continues!!
And then.....Koji's teacher. (Can you feel the stress starting to build back up?)
While Koji is very energetic and excited to learn, according to his teacher, he seems to have 2 things we need to work on: the incredibly short fuse on his temper and the inclination he has to follow the "my way" way of doing things. No, nothing to do with Frank Sinatra, but instead that is the term used to describe people who are independent and do things the way they want and when they want.
We've been working on that temper thing and he has gotten better but he has setbacks sometimes, but I'm not really worried. Also, I'm not so sure we need to really work on that other thing so much. As she was talking, I flashed on that story that gets passed on to all university students working on Education degrees. You know the one....the little girl who draws the beautiful pictures with so many wonderful colors and then when she gets to school, the teacher tells her that "trees are green...clouds are blue...and the sun is yellow"....and the little girl's creativity is smashed forever.
Though I understand the need for Koji to understand that there are rules that need to be followed and a time and a place to sing (he tends to sing while he's writing or drawing)....he has so much imagination and creativity racing through his little body, I don't want to see him lose that fantastic energy that just oozes from his whole being.
And then....after the teacher left and I had a beer (this is stressful, man!), I remembered that Issei's 1st Grade teacher said basically the same thing about him. And you know what? He has turned out okay.....and Koji will too.
But...just in case things get a little rougher before they get better....I'm keeping this recipe handy....you know....to help put things into perspective!!Happy Friday, everyone!