Standout moments throughout the two-day Parents Weekend activites reveal the true purpose–IMS is all about the students!
by Virginia Watkins P’15
Late as usual, I slip into Morning Meeting, standing in the back. It’s early, so two things really stand out – first, three rows of ninth graders get up from their seats for parents to take, and second, my sixth grader is instructed not to lose me during the day. Thank you!
Over the next three, or so, hours, I followed Allie as she showed me a PowerPoint on The Great Barrier Reef (nice transitions!), her clay pot (thin edges), and snack! (who doesn’t love snack?). I did a math problem on the SmartBoard (and checked with her to make sure I did it right), played science Jeopardy!, and listened to students read aloud from their articles about the death of Caesar. There’s something inexplicably gratifying about being able to see what your child does, where she goes, who she’s with every day. By lunch, the parents were all whining about how hungry we were, while our kids shook their heads at us and smiled. So familiar and so weird.
We drove home, listening to Taylor Swift. I told my daughter how cool it had been to spend the day with her, seeing what she does. She just smiled and kept singing. It’s good to be eleven.
Back at school for the music concert. Let’s just say that our nine-year-old son was impressed by his sister’s class and their recorder playing, entranced by the classical music, and wound up singing along with BTO, visions of drum playing dancing in his eyes. For the second time in one day, we all drove home singing.
Late again, this time I slipped into Mr. Devey’s talk, wondering about his topic. Two things, as it turns out. First, he described some plans for the future of the campus and how they will impact the students, day to day. And second, he let us know how our contributions can help make that happen. Standout points: the changes are in support of daily use for the students, and the Annual Fund is a matter of participation, rather than amounts.
Meetings with Allie’s teachers and advisor. We all know how these go, even us newbies. But I have to say that I was again struck by two things: these teachers really know my child, and they are working incredibly hard to educate her the way that works best for her. Again that gratification.
Driving home (or, in all honesty, to the grocery store), I ran over each of the events in my head. From Mr. Devey, I heard that it’s important to put money into things the students can use on a daily basis; from the teachers, I heard that it’s important that the students are given opportunities to learn and grow on a daily basis, and from the students, themselves, I heard (and saw) that they understand that IMS is there to support them, to help them, and to applaud their successes.
So, in the end, Parents Weekend wasn’t actually about the parents. It was about the students. From morning meeting to the discussion of the Annual Fund, the heart of IMS was always front and center, and that, in my experience, is exactly what every parent wants to see.