I am a proud parent. We went to my daughters "parent evening" last night. They really are awful flipping things. A hoard of parents all feeling madly out of place, this is my daughter's domain, the teachers talk to her with a closeness I find at times odd since I have pretty much no knowledge of them but they know my daughter very well, the building is an old school (some bits about 100 years old I believe now) my daughter knows it intimately pulling us this way and that way. We arrive for an appointment, there are no chairs to wait on so the parents shuffle like naughty kids waiting outside the Head's office. Then the teacher shuffles the appointments apologizes for running late and calls you over. Then the conversation is really with the pupil - rightfully so but I feel at times almost purely an observer in on my daughters life, just given an glance through a normally closed window. The teachers talk about assessments, mocks, exams, grades etc. It is all jargon that most parents no doubt struggle with.
But the phrases that some out are. "Pleasure to teach", "always has an opinion", "is far better than she believes she is", "Shame she isn't considering this for A level", "I'm so pleased she's considering this for A Level she'll do very well", "A is easily obtainable A* is possible", "A* isn't in the bag yet you need to continue the brilliant work", "she listens really well, something not easy to teach to others", "A reflective learner who considers the feedback and always improves her work".
We leave after an hour or so with the impression that my daughter is clearly the best student the school has ever seen and will conquer the world in the future. No seriously she is a very bright young lady who clearly puts effort into her studies, she also clearly listens constructively to the majority of feedback and endeavours to incorporate that into her future work.
Teenagers today seem to get massively bad press.... see my post about the student protest in London this week as one minor example of that. However the majority of youngsters I come into contact with are hard working, care about themselves and others, have strong moral views on particular topics, want the world to be a better place, are fed up with the system us cynical old gits seem to perpectuate and often would put many of the "adults" in the world to shame through both their quality of thought and action.
So I am today an immensely proud parent - not just of my daughter but also the many of her friends we saw at the event last night who I know make up the majority of the younger generation - the ones who frankly given the mess we've made we should begin to entrust the future to more rapidly than we do.