Since Baby Bird goes to a kind of co-op preschool, we have parent nights every 6 weeks or so. Many things are decided here; important dates, nuts & bots, and even renovations.
I will make a list of things that surprised me about the difference between US and German preschool Parent nights.
Things that are Different about German and US Parent Nights
- There was beer.
- The parents knock on the table instead of clapping. (Whoops-I felt stupid when I started to clap!)
- Did I mention the beer?
- Some people who I had previously thought spoke really clear German were clearly changing the way they speak for my benefit. This was evident when I understood almost nothing of what they said.
- I can't understand any German when the person next to me is eating nuts or a hair lands on the ground. Clearly, these distractive noises are too much for GLLs. (German Language Learners)
- The chocolate passed around did not say Nestle or Hershey.
- Their favorite joke of the night was that a kid had asked "how sex could happen when the one parent was visiting Africa while the other parent was still in Berlin." Somehow, I get the feeling that American parents would have been horrified by this joke and not amused.
- They were fighting over who got to sit next to me so that they could translate into English. I told them I didn't need it unless I asked. They continued to translate.
- They are taking the kids on an overnight trip to a farm outside of Berlin. Those of you with no kids, can you tell me what to do with my time when I don't have to get up early the next day or put someone to bed? I seriously don't even remember what I did with free time! :)
- Germans talk faster to each other (and with food in their mouths!) when not talking to silly GLL's.
Things that are the Same about German and US Parent Nights
- There is always that ONE annoying parent who dominates the conversation and has issues with every little thing. (hence-the 2.5 hour meeting)
- Talking about finances make Germans and Americans uncomfortable.
- Parents are parents and people are people.
- The apples don't fall far from the trees.
This was definitely an interesting experience for me. Maybe next time, I will actually pay attention to the meeting instead of being fascinated with cultural differences!