My big twelve year old is at Big School now. Gone are the days of the village primary and knowing all the staff and many of the pupils. She entered this different world last August.
She says she likes it. Says she loves the bigness of it all, the choice in classes, different teachers for different subjects, lots more focus, more to talk of and learn and a wider range in friends too.
I was just moaning (who me, never!) to a friend at the weekend that I felt cut out of the loop now. Felt as if they didn't have the feedback at the big school. I didn't get to hear how she was doing, apart from the usual almost-a-teenager grunts in response to the 'how is it going?' request from me.
So I was pretty chuffed when she trotted in last night with a parents meeting letter. Oh great I get to see how you're doing, excellent. Wasn't quite so thrilled when I discovered that in Big School you have to see each teacher individually. You have a timetable that will be filled in (by Idgy who will organise meeting times for me, bit like having Bubble as your PA – why have I got the art meeting at 6pm then just english at 6.50pm? Thought you might like to have a coffee says she) and you must adhere to it strictly. You cannot see all the teachers just those where you might have some concerns, or those you particularly want to meet. Idgy of course has picked out her best subjects. I of course want to rootle out who she doesn't want me to see.
According to the letter there will be two bells rung at 7.15pm and again at 7.30pm to advise parents to leave the building. I think most will be exhausted by this time just trying to find their way from one room to the other in their alloted time frame. They will be only too pleased to stagger out into the darkness of a January night. Will we have to adhere to the strict 'one way' policy in the corridors? Should uniform be worn? There is lots of underlining in the letter, lots of stressing and making of points. It seems more suited to a business transaction than an invitation to meet the teachers.
Oh gone are the days of a nice little note from the local headmistress inviting you in. Gone is the smallness, the closeness.
We're in the big world now. I must pull my socks up and look sharp. Must not shuffle, must look forward with a clear smile and an open mind.
Oh boy it's so hard being the adult…..