Thursday, March 29, 2007

Making the grade

I attended my first parent/teacher conference at Indus yesterday and had quite an experience. My last such conference in India was probably over three decades ago when I was the student being discussed at such a conference. We never had a formal conference in those days and it was just a quick discussion on the report card.

At Indus, the middle school conference was held in the massive indoor sports complex. Teachers were seated at separate tables in the large gymnasium. Parents picked up the child's report card at the entrance and met each teacher individually. The teachers gave out the results of the latest exam and had a frank and critical discussion about your child's performance.

From what we heard, grade 8 is a tough one to manage. Kids are going through a transition period and beginning to rebel. The chemistry teacher was expressing his relief at being assigned only a single 8th grade section to teach (out of 3!). The english teacher was highly critical of the inability of today's children to write well and speak effectively. Her students find her attempts at teaching them Queen's English humorous. The computer teacher was wondering why children from the US and UK are better behaved than the Indian kids - can you believe that?

Fifth graders on the other hand appear to be a delightful bunch and all the teachers seem to be happy and excited to work with them.

The IB curriculum does sound very interesting and the approach to education (learn, think, analyze, apply) makes a lot of sense. The experience is different and hopefully will give our kids a broader perspective on the world and people!


Columbia basin mom said...

Mr. Pervez, I have just read all your posts beginning in November 2006, and am fascinated by your observations about your return to live in India. The excitement and energy you describe must be wonderful to see.

Pervez said...

Thanks for following us along in our adventure. We are really having a great time and the energy in this place cannot be described in words. It has to be experienced.