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Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Was Speechless

Those of you that were thinking it is impossible for me to be speechless, I was! I walked into the conference with Nico's gym teacher knowing exactly what I was going to say. I had the conversation over and over again in my head. Believe it or not, I hate confrontation. I just want everyone to get along. I want everyone to do their job and be fair. I was angry about a lot of things going on in P.E. and had a lot to say. When I made the conference, I was upset with 1st quarter so I made it with his first quarter teacher. I walked in and...HE WASN'T THERE! He did NOT show up. He sent his student teacher who had only been there the first week of 2nd quarter and didn't even know Nico. This spoke volumes to us. If something came up, he should have emailed or called letting us know he wasn't going to be there. It is really hard to get behind a teacher that I don't respect and a lot of what he has done this year has caused me to lose respect for him. Nico won't have him again this year so I am not pursuing the discussion.Nico's teacher now was there but I really didn't have an issue with him. We talked about the flag running and I did get my say in that just because a kid is an athlete doesn't mean he likes running because he said at curriculum night that if we have an athlete, they expect more. We disagreed on the respect issue. I don't think it is blatantly disrespectful that Nico jogs to get the flags. He thinks because he is an athlete and the job is to get 34 flags, he is being disrespectful by jogging. I wanted to say that because he is an athlete and was doing both football and basketball, he was riddled with injuries and fatigue (football was still going on when he had to go to intramurals before trying out for the basketball team) but I held back. I said something like that but he wasn't going to change my mind and I wasn't going to change his so what was the point? Leo and I both stated our opinion about the outdated practice of running for flags every Friday for the last 3 years and the gym teacher did say they were going to change it up.

The thing that bothers me was how much emphasis was placed on Nico being a leader because he is an athlete. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of Nico and how hard he works and if he ends up being a leader of some kind, great but that is a lot of pressure to put on a 13 year old who happens to play basketball for the school. I am truly flattered on some level that they think of him as having potential to be a leader. That is great. However, that being said, it was said that Nico has the ability to change the behavior of boys making bad choices. Maybe I am alone in feeling this way but I think it is ridiculous to expect Nico to tell another kid that he is making a bad choice. I can see him telling a friend of his to knock it off if he is goofing around but there are some scary kids in junior high and I'd rather him walk away when a kid is throwing food than try and get the kid to change his mind. They kept saying that he can set a good example and others will follow. He can most definitely behave himself but that is because that is what we expect him to do. I am not concerned with who is following his example. It's not my kid's job because he is an athlete to make sure everyone is behaving. A good friend said, "How about everyone is responsible for their own behavior and call it a day?" I agree. With all this emphasis on athletes, it is no wonder I see parents from Tommy's sports forcing their kids to play. What I want to know is what about the kids that are into drama? Student council? Band? Chorus? Can't they step out and be leaders? It left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. Being an athlete is not the end all be all. There is life besides sports. It's Nico's life because it is what he loves to do.

The rest of the conferences went really well with the teachers saying Nico was doing fine. I told them about his upcoming surgery which will be December 15th. He'll miss the field trip but other than that, they were very understanding. Nico's eighth grade experience is very different than his 6th and 7th. These teachers genuinely care about him and he has told me and they confirmed that he has built some good relationships with them. Besides gym, I couldn't be happier.


At November 20, 2011 at 3:34 AM , Blogger Caramonster said...

I have worked with PE teachers like the one, you describe. Many are former athletes who are 1) still living their "glory days", or 2) living vicariously through their students and teams. These are the folks who are teaching so they can coach. Their daily focus is really on the next game, season, team, etc. Being a physical EDUCATOR is just something they do to scout, recruit and groom the students for their programs. Its not right, shame on administrators who look the other way. Most admin leave thePE dept alone because they are not familiar with best practices in that curricular area. So sorry Nico ( and you) are dealing with this. Its just so unecessary. Pleade let me know how I can help!

At November 20, 2011 at 6:40 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

Sounds like the PE teacher is trying to get the kids to do his job for him. Isn't the teacher the one who should be on the lookout for bad behavior in the class? Why should it be a child's responsibility? Good grief. I can see why you're frustrated.

At November 20, 2011 at 6:55 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Thanks you guys! It is really frustrating. Kendra, that's exactly what I think, too.
Cara, I knew you would get it and you are right. One of them I think was never an athlete but does coach and the other was an athlete and is a coach (neither coach Nico's sports). I think one of them might be retiring. How about you come teach in Wheaton and set the other one straight. :)


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