Tonight we had parent-teacher conferences at my two younger kids' school.
This is a quintessential Israeli experience.
All semester, you know it's coming, you just don't know when....
Then, with just a few days notice -- here it is.
On the notice, is the time that each parent is scheduled to meet with the teacher.
If you have more that one child in the school, you might have to do some serious juggling. (I once had two appointments scheduled for the same time). Not to worry, the scheduled times have very little to do with reality.
But wait, there's more. The evening is far more complicated. In addition to meeting with the mechanechet (main teacher), it is also important to meet with the morot miktzoiot ("professional" teachers). And, if you are really ambitious, you also try to meet with the yoetzet (guidance councellor) and/or the principal.
There is no homeroom teacher here. The kids go to school and whoever teachers them their first class, also greets them when they get to school, and supervises morning t'fillot (prayers). The mechanechet (main teacher), teaches them the most subjects, including basic subjects, such as Torah (Bible). The morot miktzoiot ("professional" teachers) teach them specialized subjects: math, science, English, Arabic, Art, and Jerusalem studies (a special course of study, unique to our school).
There is no schedule for those specialized teachers, who are seated all over the school. So, it's "first come, first served". Though sometimes there is a sign up chart -- so you don't have to just stand around and wait.
So.... parents begin this unique process of running around, trying to fit everyone in, without missing your main appointments(s), and without missing a teacher, who is leaving early.
Basically, you rush to a teacher, sit down, discuss your child/children, get up, then rush to another teacher and start again.
Of course, there are parents who skip the "extras". They just meet with the main teacher and go home.
That's not us.
We meet with EVERYONE.
And tonight, it was worth it!
Both kids are doing well. Of course, there is room for improvement. But, overall, each has improved significantly and continues to improve.
Now we have our homework: to help our kids continue in the right direction!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,