Monday, September 15, 2008

PIN Night

We went to PIN Night at the high school last week to follow our youngest child’s class schedule, meet her teachers, and hear about her upcoming year. (“PIN” stands for “Parent Information Night,” so I guess we went to Parent Information Night Night.) Because our oldest started grade school in 1988, this was our 20th year of PIN Nights. These events are important venues for understand grading policies, classroom rules, and curriculum objectives; I applaud the school district employees for the time and effort it takes to mount these events each year.

However, as my lifetime of attending these events is drawing to a close, these are the things I will actually remember about PIN Nights:

- When I started attending PIN Nights, most of the other parents looked REALLY old. Now most of them look REALLY young.

- The teachers always looked young. Now a lot of them look even younger.

- At each PIN Night, I realized that many of the classes sound really interesting; This year, I wish I was the one taking Environmental Science, AP Biology, French, or World Literature.

- PIN Nights have reminded me that I remember next to nothing of the math I took in school. I don’t even understand the stuff posted on the walls in the math rooms. The calculators have too many buttons.

- PIN Night shows me how schools have changed – more technology, more expertise among the faculty, more services, truly outstanding music programs, and more awareness of individual differences

- PIN Night also reassures me that a lot hasn’t changed.

As we sat in one of the classrooms last week, I scanned the blackboard looking at all of the reminders, assignments, and information. Most of our kids have had this teacher in this classroom; I once spoke to students in this room about what I do for a living. The room reflects the educator who works within its walls – as I listened to the presentation, I sensed again that students passing through this place experience high expectations and stringent standards. I was able to sense how intimidating that could be for a kid, yet very rewarding.

But, of course, we are done with PIN Nights. Now, we are experiencing college parent orientation events. Unfortunately, college events just aren't quite the same as PIN Nights. Fortunately, the college parents still look REALLY old - at least for the time being.

No comments: