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So having decided on a school our next logical step was to attend the parent/teacher get to know you session. I have to say that the first meeting with Riley’s teacher did not go well. We asked what we thought was a fairly innocuous question about what resources the school had which would reflect Riley’s family structure. We didn’t know it then but as it turns out Riley’s reception teacher ‘doesn’t do parent teacher nights well’, apparently gets a bit nervous. The response to our question was defensive and agitated and essentially aimed at informing us there wouldn’t be an issue and it didn’t matter what the kids families looked like. Which is sort of what you want to hear but not in that manner!
We were already nervous about the transition to primary school and fearful of exposing our daughter to an unfriendly environment and the teacher’s response to our seemingly harmless question really put us on edge. In hindsight we were probably reading too much into the situation but having a partner work in homophobic scary high schools practically her whole teaching career leaves you a bit guarded.
As it turns out Riley’s teacher was a brilliant individual who Riley loved. Educationally we are very happy with the school and her teachers (As a post script when Riley’s first teacher left at the end of the year Riley broke down and cried at the farewell assembly). But we were as invisible as we were in kindy.
Unlike kindy we did get the chance to meet a few parents. When I say parents I really mean mothers. Despite advances in gender equality 90% of the time it’s the mum’s who pick up the kids at school. We don’t think we have had any issues with any of the mum’s, everyone has been pretty friendly and accepting, occasionally enthusiastic even. We have regularly spoken to Riley too about whether any of her classmates or other kids have said anything negative to her about having two mums, or said anything at all for that matter. The response is always a resounding no. You could take that as a big positive and part of me does but the other part of me also knows that this is because we are invisible.
Next up…what happens when you try to bring a little bit of IDAHO to a primary school…
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