Oh, look: a bird!

Yesterday was Parent-Teacher Conference day in our house. We had a total of six conferences for our three boys, all of them on Zoom. The meetings went fine, but they were sometimes awkward. This is not surprising because teacher conferences are often awkward and Zoom always is.

I don’t know how it is for parents of girls, but parents of boys can be confident the teacher will, at some point in the discussion, say a sentence like: “He’s a smart kid, but he sometimes gets distracted and loses focus on the task at hand.”

Yes. We know. We’re the ones who have to tell him to put on his shoes 18 times every morning.

It would save a lot of time if we could just assume this truth for every boy at every conference. You can still tell us he’s a smart kid if you want, but the rest is just repetitious ceremony at this point.

We had conferences with four of Big Brother’s middle school teachers. It was a tie. Two of them claimed he was quiet and low-key; two said he was too chatty in class. Past experience gave the credibility edge to the chatty votes, but it bore further investigation.

“It depends on if I have friends in the class,” Big Brother explained. “In Language Arts I sit next to a kid who hasn’t said three words all year.”

My poor boy is having his chattiness stunted by introverts.

“Why don’t you use your Superpower for talking in class to bring him out of his shell?” I asked.

Big Brother shook his head. We both knew if we made talking into a purposeful task, he’d get distracted and lose focus.

The two elementary school boys got good reports from their teachers. Big Man’s 2nd grade teacher raved about what a helpful and cooperative boy he was. She has never had to chase the barefooted Boy Wonder with a pair of socks. This boy would go barefoot at the North Pole. You’d think a pair of socks was a straitjacket on his soul. Yes, he’s cooperative, until his toes once again taste the sweet breeze of freedom.

Big Man’s dream: a barefoot school, concerned with what’s going on outside.

Buster is a good 4th grade citizen, but don’t expect him to volunteer any answers unless he’s specifically called upon to do so. No teacher has ever said Buster was chatty in the classroom. They don’t realize it, but he’s chatting up a storm. Inside his own head, he’s making up jokes, singing songs, and doing a few silent thought experiments. He knows the answers; he’s just waiting for the right questions.

I was going to write more on this topic, but I’m still a boy at heart, and if you could talk to my teacher I’m sure you would hear that I sometimes get distracted and lose focus on my task. No word yet on whether I’m a smart kid.

12 comments on “Oh, look: a bird!

  1. churchmousie says:

    I was the same student as Buster until about the 4th grade. Then I volunteered answers. Finally getting tired of that, I just lost interest in school until I could drop out. Took the GED, and went to community college, and made the Dean’s list every semester, president of Nat’l Honors Society and got a scholarship for the rest of my education. Don’t despair. Just believe in him.

  2. GoofyEd says:

    It’s not just boys that chat. There’s a reason the doll is named Chatty Cathy…both of my daughters were way too busy talking in school. Ed

    Sent from my iPad


  3. I’m with barefoot boy. I think socks are trying to strangle my feet. Shoes come off as soon as I go some place where it is social acceptable. Or at work.

  4. Lynn says:

    I am with Big Man on the sock issue! I have been known to be that person who, in the middle of winter, pulls her foot out of her winter boot with no socks on🤣. As far as that focus & attention thing, I have no doubt they will grow up to be amazing young men, regardless of whether they can sit through a class at school! Sometimes you just gotta move & chat!

  5. markbialczak says:

    You’re a smart kid, Scott. I can tell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.