Wednesday, January 25, 2012


For anyone who wants to know, SEP stands for Student Education Plan. You might be more familiar with the term Parent Teacher Conferences. I have thirty-four students, therefore, I have scheduled thirty-five conferences. Why thirty-five and not thirty-four? Because, to quote a parent, some people who have produced offspring "can't stand to be in the same room together." Not even for ten minutes.

Tonight was the first night. It went well! I learned some things. One family revealed that their children read aloud to each other while one child is showering in order to increase their Jazz Readathon total minutes! Wow. One family doesn't understand why I do Honor Roll awards at the end of each term. One parent still has enough gumption to look his child in the eye and call the bluff, "I think you're full of baloney." Love that! And, most pleasant of all, I still get hugs. From parents!

For some reason, I had a flashback this evening of a parent teacher conference while teaching on Lana'i. Most of the parents were Filipino (or should I say Pilipino) immigrants who spoke, pardon me if I mess up the spellings, Ilokano and/or Visayan. A lot of my kids had to translate for Mom and Dad during the conference. One tall, large, gruff-looking Filipino Daddy walked into the classroom and sort of grunted when he sat down. I chattered away, pausing occasionally for his son to translate. Pretty much, there was no verbal response or physical gestures from the man, but he seemed like he was watching me and listening to every word. After considerable wait-time, I decided to sort of wrap up, "Do you have any questions?" The man spoke! He asked, "My boy he one pangalo?" Having never heard the term "pangalo (sp?)", I hesitated. I looked at the boy and he answered my silent question, "Troublemaker." I smiled. "Oh NO! Never! Your son is such a GOOD boy!" The man didn't crack a smile or anything. He grunted as he stood and walked out. That's all he wanted to know!

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