Time for parents to schlep themselves to the school, balance themselves on kid-sized chairs, and listen to the same speech, year after year.
Huge props to the teachers who deliver that same speech, year after year, as if it's their first time. And kudos to them for making us really believe that they love their job, and that there really aren't any politics or back-biting or hair-pulling or tequila slamming in the teacher's lounge.
We need that illusion, that our kids are in the one and only perfect school where the principal poops rainbows, the teachers don't make fun of the dorky kids in their class, and they're all satisfied with the pittance they are paid for teaching, disciplining, and babysitting our precious little angels, while we bitch about how high our taxes are.
This year, Meet the Teacher Night was blissfully short. Informative. Succinct. And thanks to the teachers' ability to control the room, no parents asking inane questions that are really thinly veiled pats on their own back... "How will you be sure to keep the extremely gifted students challenged?"... "Are auditions for commercials considered excused absences?" ... and the dad's favorite "Is there an Advanced Placement PE program?"
The best part of the evening is reading the letter that my kid left for me. I know they're forced to write them, but they still manage to put a bit of themselves in there, and something that makes me laugh.
The second best part of the evening is writing a letter back to my kid. I try to tell them how excited I am for them, how great the year is going to be for them, and how proud I am of them, without it reading like a letter from Dad.
I'd like to say that I'll be glad when I'm done with Meet the Teacher Nights. But to be honest, I'll miss those letters. And I'll miss sitting at my kid's desk, snooping through his things, finding his drawings on the wall, and imagining what it's like for him, to be sitting there, learning, and trying to stay out of trouble.
Numbers: 2.6 miles on trails.