I sighed with relief the week before school began because we didn’t have to attend all the orientation meetings. We’re in our second year, so the gauntlet is much shorter with elementary and middle school open houses. For middle school night you receive your son or daughter’s schedule and run through nine periods to the tune of the dismissal bell. Ten minutes in each class gives the teachers enough time to show you the units your child will be covering, major projects, and introduce the teacher themselves. Where can we see the children’s homework assignments, or their tardies, or project progress? Parents get the answers, see each other in classrooms, and become increasingly information overloaded since every class handles work differently.
I came home impressed not only with the school (which is really top notch) but also with my son. He is doing so much more each day than I ever did back in the day. The time it takes to walk from the arts center to Social Studies–yikes, I’m proud he hasn’t had a tardy. I had one conversation in passing–literally still moving in opposite directions–and arrived after “class” began.
Beyond all this, though, the coolest thing that came out of the night for me was coming home to find my son on Goodreads and become “Friends.” I’ve enjoyed tracking my reading for a few years now on this social reading site, and now my 8th grader is required to have an account and use it to discuss books with his classmates. Yay!
I mentioned this requirement to a friend who teaches at the Dutch school, and she had never heard of the website. This always amazes me. I tend to think teachers and readers all know about it and avidly track what they read, leave reviews, and compare what they like to what their friends like. She said she would look into it. Meanwhile I’ll check out how the 8th grade is interacting.
Kristin King is an American author recently relocated to the Netherlands. To peruse her novels and author information visit this link. You can also connect with her on Goodreads, see what she’s currently reading, and compare reading compatibility.