Friday, September 16, 2005

Inside The Teaching Life: TV Nation

Have you ever wondered what sort of things that teachers encounter when they take the time to go and speak with a child's parent in the home? Mr. AB, over at From The T.F.A. Trenches, takes you along for the ride: (emphasis added)
The mother and father were seated on the couch, watching “Antiques Roadshow.” They gestured to a seat, which I took, and then they rose. The mother went to the kitchen and the father took a seat next to me, but still facing the television. The television stayed on. (No, I don’t care if it was PBS.) I introduced myself, vainly tried some pleasant openings, and then pulled out my page of class expectations. I talked about the homework and about the intervention programs, speaking mostly to the side of the father’s head. The father asked and answered a few questions but would continually return his attention to the television. At one point, as I paused for him to decide which enrichment programs would best suit his son, I got the strange feeling he was waiting for a commercial.
Once, when I made a home visit, the child was nowhere to be seen, although the single parent was watching reruns of The Flintstones. The antics of Fred and Barney continued unabated throughout the conversation.

Unlike Mr. AB, there were no offers of "cake and a Coke."

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