” Hello? Am I speaking to Mrs R?”. A phone call from school was a matter of great dread and when Janice, the School Secretary put me on to Miss P, the class teacher of Std. 3 B, I couldn’t help the million butterflies from fluttering around in my stomach.
“Mrs. R, are you having a problem at home?” asked Miss P.
Now, Standard 3 is a very important class because it marks the transition from nursery school to Primary school. My little baby was growing up ! She was going to school in a uniform every day! Just like the big girls who used to wait down for the bus every morning.
She was so excited that she insisted on helping me set it out for her on a hanger every night before she went to bed. She also kept the shoes, neatly polished and the socks folded on them so that she didn’t go to school in scruffy attire. Given half a chance, she would have even put her lunch box ready the night before! She was really thrilled about growing up.
I was therefore amazed when Miss P called up. Everything was going fine at home and everything it seemed was going fine at school too. So what really prompted this question from Miss P?
“What’s the matter, ?” I asked, trying to remain calm and composed.
“Well, you know this test we had last week? She failed in that.”
“Oh” I said relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious. “How many marks did she get?”
“It was a really pathetic score so I thought I’d find out if there was a problem.”
“But what did she score?”
“Well, ” she hummed, ” She got 3/10″
Now that was a shocker indeed. All through her school career (short though it was at 8 years of age), my daughter was considered an above average performer. I was lucky that I didn’t have to spend hours taking up my child’s homework, nor did I spend hours driving from one class to another or spend hours finding proficient tutors to help with the child’s school work. So what could be the matter now?
“What was the test about?”
” Map reading & Navigation” replied Miss P. “We gave each child a question sheet which had a basic map of the school and the neighbourhood and asked the children simple questions like what will you find on the left of the school? How many streets away is the local grocery store? Really, all the questions about places that the children pass on their way everyday to school.”
Actually I was relieved when I heard the test topic. I had no problem with my child flunking that test because it just proved that she was her father’s daughter. My dear husband is simply hopeless at Navigation. In fact, he always jokes that he takes me along with him everywhere just so that I can help him find his way back home!
“Oh! That’s one test she’ll never pass,” I assured Miss P, ” She takes after her father who can’t remember a road once he crosses it!”