Today, as is the norm with some DC public schools, my son's teacher and co-teacher will be paying a visit to our home. I first learned of this on back-to-school night, and I cringed at the thought of strangers sitting and chatting in my home. I actually thought since my son started school late, that maybe they would forget or skip us, but not so much. They coordinated today's date with my wife, and then this morning as I dropped my son off, Ms. Donaldson(who wants to be called Ms. D) said loudly in front of other parents, "I'm coming to YOUR house tonight Rashad." I said ok and got the hell out of there as soon as I could.
***sidebar** I don't like calling her Ms. D. It's perverse and it lends itself to smartass, inappropriate jokes that I'm tempted mask in code words so I can tell them in front of the children. Who needs that kind of temptation every morning? And won't it teach the kids more letters and pronunciation if they have to say her entire name? I do give her credit for calling me "Rashad", and not "Dad" like the folks at daycare did. Adults should use proper names. Even at 3, Nyles knows my first name, but he also knows that we ain't the Jacksons, which means he is never to call me that. Gold star Ms. Donaldson. **sidebar off**
The purpose of these home visits is to help the kids and parents feel more comfortable. Nyles will get to see his teachers in his natural habitat, which means he may be more comfortable talking and sharing with his teachers. His teachers--even though the visit is approximately just 30 minutes--may pick up on some tiny nuances or eccentricities that Nyles has, which could assist them in relating with him in a more personalized way. And for the parents, having the teachers in the home is a way of getting personalized attention and uninterrupted questions and answers. God knows teachers can't really concentrate in the classroom with kids, parents and other teachers all up in their face. So basically I'm saying that the home visit is a win for all parties--but man does it offend my personal, hermit-like sensibilities.
The visit is at 6, I get off work at 5:30, which means all during my 10-15 minutes walk home, I can't think about relaxing, sipping on something and playing with my wife and child. Instead, as if I'm headed to a Wizards game, I have to be "on" and interview/attentive mode. I need to have material written down, I need to listen to the teachers' questions and be armed with follow up statements, and I need to make sure my kid doesn't act like a natural fool. I asked my wife if it would be ok for me to sip on wine, and she said absolutely not. I tried to say that sipping wine in the home was way more classy than beer, Hennessy, or Schlitz Malt Liquor, but she still shut me down.
Now I have to be uncomfortable in my own home with no libations after a long day of work, while suppressing my anger and my inclination to say, "The f**k y'all want?". I'm sure this will go better than I think, but right now, I'm expecting gloom and doom and I'm keeping expectations low. That's best for all parties involved.
Addendum: After reading my blog, the wife sent me this article, which gives additional reasoning for the home visit approach.