Dad’s Life: ‘Call a spade a spade’

A different kind of pancake
A different kind of pancake
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I HONESTLY can’t remember whether my comprehensive school (Southmoor) had parents’ evenings.

I’m assuming the school does now, but they weren’t part of the school calendar 30 years ago as far as I recall.

Unless you were in trouble, the relationship between school and parents consisted an end-of-term report.

Not so now. My boys’ school sends us end-of-term reports three times a year and the parents’ evening is a big and important event.

It was Isaac’s parents evening on Tuesday and he was very nervous – because for the first time he had to come with us.

Although 16-year-old Gabriel has accompanied us to his last two such events, it was the first time year nine pupils had to accompany their parents.

I’m not sure what to make of this idea, but it certainly changes the dynamic of the meeting.

Instead of talking to parents, teachers tend to direct their comments directly to the pupils.

Which in a way is quite refreshing, but I think the teachers hold back a bit and coat their language with more positive and generous phrases because of your child’s presence. I’d rather they call a spade a spade.

But the new arrangement certainly has an effect on the children.

Such direct conversations don’t seem to be happening in the classroom, so it’s a chance for the teachers to tell the pupil what they think, as well as keeping the parents up to date.

Anyway, it was an important night as Isaac is fast approaching a deadline for his GCSE options and we needed to know what he was capable of in each subject.

The boy needn’t have worried too much, he was fine for the subjects he’s thinking of taking. I’m not sure who was more relieved mind – he or us.

ISAAC thinks differently to my wife and I, which can lead to some interesting and challenging conversations.

Sometimes, however, it just leads to a bit of nonsense, hence the accompanying picture – Pancake Day in our house had to include food dye. So I’d like to share with you Isaac’s bright red pancake. He assured me it tasted ‘just the same as usual.’

But I just couldn’t bring myself to try it.