Tonight was the annual middle school open house.
Actually I don't mind open house all that much although by the time it's over, it's been one heck of a long day (over 12 hours) and I'm ready to go home.
I had a PowerPoint ready to go, a sign up sheet for my email newsletters, and did the nice thing for the parents and the kids. Basically, if they want to talk grades, performance, etc., I recommend they come back for conferences, or set up an appointment. There's usually such a crowd of folks (you would think we were giving away free food the way people show up) that there really isn't any privacy to tell anyone that Little Jimmie needs to start doing his homework and stop being a slug.
Actually considering the grades on the tests I gave today, they need to start doing a bit more than just their homework. I'm beginning to wonder what the recreational drug of choice was around here about twelve years ago. For example, out of 26 kids in my third period, 18 are failing. Amazing. I've never seen it so bad and every teacher in the building is singing the same refrain. However, I've often found that the shock of an "F" on that first nine weeks report card will often kick some kids in the butt and get them moving the rest of the year.
Or so we can hope.
The best part about open house, however, is seeing some of the kids who I've had in the past who come back and visit (often because a younger sibling is now with us). That's always a treat, even though they're all taller and look significantly grown up compared to when I had them with their zits, braces, and really ugly hair. They actually look like people now.