Bastrop High School has two Parent-Teacher days a year. The students love them because it’s another day off. Teachers have a diversity of feelings about these days. Some are openly hostile, saying that such days are a waste of time, another Sisyphean task dumped on teachers who already have too many rocks to move around. Others wish the meetings could be held at night, which is the only time the working parents could come. Some love these days, as it allows them to talk and socialize with their fellow teachers. Most teachers like to talk school-shop, and some have perfected the art of gossip, so for these, it is an exciting day.
Then there are those like myself who are ambivalent, who use the time to read, write, catch up on grading of papers, and thinking time. It’s good to find this little island of peace in a work day after a week of fighting the powers of ignorance and darkness. (Those powers are mighty, too!) I’m taking my laptop and my new copy of The Road Road by Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy is always dark, but I do believe this is his darkest novel yet. The setting is a post-apocalyptic dystopian America. I may get to grading the papers. A diligent man would grade the papers first, then read and write. I’m not always diligent though, and it is hard to consign myself to hours of grunt work when I have lines of poetry and images of beauty swirling through my mind.
Our first parent-teacher conference is today from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We teachers are assigned a table in the cafeteria where we are to sit with our gradebooks and talk with any parents who are concerned enough to come to the school and meet their child’s teachers. On these parent-teacher days, I usually speak with an average one parent an hour, so I’ll see about 6-7, for about two minutes each.