(i did like the book, but then again, i would sort of like anything - even a movie - which has a teacher as a protagonist).
My daughter, aka the monster, is against male teachers. She does not like them, she insists. I will not go, she will say, if the teacher is a man. Of course, she won't play with boys, she will say. The truth is though, she ADORES her (cousin) brothers, and would do anything to get some attention from them, hates when I say they are her cousins (which to her feels less close than brother), enjoys hanging out with and playing with all our male friends, and, this past weekend, went happily to the school for some sports classes they are having as extra spice (where the coach was a man). She does pretend to wince if a bunch of boys get up to boisterous playing, and watches from a distance, but if they will let her join them, she is really, happy. I often tell my sister that the monster's problem is that she knows too many words. And therefore thinks it necessary to use them in random expressions of opinion. Of course, mostly I know to ignore her or at least probe to figure out what she means, really. Or to watch her in action and figure out for myself. Gosh, this I must say, she does not make it easy for me, the monster.
Nevertheless, I was thankful that her class teacher is female. Less things for me to discuss, I figured. It was hardly up to me, so I was just sort of crossing my fingers and hoping it would be a reasonable lady, not a floozy-sort. I am glad to say, after the first Parent-Teacher Meeting in school, that she is cool. I thought she handled the mommies who were arguing regarding biscuits in snack-boxes (and other absurdities) very well. I know I would have lost it and yelled or something. She is dealing sternly with the nonsense the kids throw at her, though when she talks one on one with any child I have noticed she is gentle.
The monster had not learnt cursive writing in Mumbai. She only knew printing. Now, suddenly it felt like she was throw into the deep end as this thing showed up. I myself don't know the proper cursive writing, the traditional one. I just sort of join my letters all together willy-nilly. Of course Tamizh is another thing that is brand new to her (and me, to a large extent). So we have great fun everyday with this. Learning Tamizh is leading to some hilarious things as the pronunciation is almost as strange as English. Like the 'Cha' is sometimes 'Cha' but at other times it is - Sa or Ja or Jha even.
So I checked with the teacher if she thought everything was going okay, considering we are new to the place and so on. And of course, I had to hear that the eating lunch was not okay. Meaning she is too slow and distracted while eating. I nodded sagely and resolved to do something about it (that is, something not involving popping veins in forehead). But of course I feel quite defeated (even as my mom watches from afar and smirks) by the whole thing. I know its something related to some parenting choice early on, and that I should count what is good or whatever, but its just exhausting.
Anyway, all told, as the calendar rolls out a month in I standard, I give us all - monster, husband person, me, female class teacher, the school, a 'Good Going Guys' sign.
Edited to add: Forgot to add that someone said, when I told them which school she goes to, sort of in surprise - "Is that not a school only for brahmins?" It was a young person so I was not offended by all the varied insinuations there.