Sunday, October 26, 2014

Surviving Parent-Teacher Conferences

We all know that hustle and bustle when a grading period is ending, report cards are due, and parent-teacher conferences are right around the corner. Well I have survived all of this madness these last couple of week.

Our first quarter ended October 10th, Report card grade and comments were due the next week, and we had our Parent-teacher conferences this last week! So yes, I have been busy busy juggling this, and of course still moving on with our second grade curriculum.

After finishing up conferences, it got me to thinking with my experiences with them so far, and I thought it would be fun to write about:

Most conferences are pretty routine, parents know the drill, they come in and talk and are pretty much very agreeable and appreciative. But of course, we all have those conferences that have us feeling some sort of way when they're done. Either we are relieved that they're over or confused on what even happened, we know it won't be the first, or last time that we experience it. So I have picked my Top 4 Parent-Teacher experiences to write about that I am sure many of you could relate to!

It is sad to say, we do have those parents who simply come in because they know it is the responsible thing to do. However, they really just want it to be over with. Whether it is just nodding as you talk, some occasional "oks" to get you along, or the parents who literally have nothing to say at all. These of course can sometimes be uncomfortable, but just appreciate them making the effort to be there, and do your best to relay the message you are there to do!


Do you ever have those students that you just haven't quite figured out yet. The ones who are unique and definitely make each day interesting. Well it is one of my favorites when I meet these student's parents... and I have that "ah haa" moment... these are what I call the ah-ha parents. The parents that once you meet them, it makes perfect sense why their child is the way they are! I am not saying this is a bad thing! But sometimes as a teacher, it is nice to know that you are losing it, but this child just comes from a family that has led to who he or she is!


These are one of my favorites, and can definitely be one of the most difficult conferences to get through. To try to address parents with serious concerns and ideas to improve their child's education, and they don't seem to understand the concern or the suggestions because they feel they're child is a genius, the cream or the crop, the brightest crayon in the box. You of course don't want to totally ruin these parent's idea of their child, however, you do want to make a point that there are some aspects that need to be addressed, and what more we can do to help the child.


However these parents.... these are the parents that we need more of. This year's conferences reminded me how important these parents are and how it's nice to experience them. This year I had a mother sit down, and when I began with my usual, "How is everything on your end, is there any questions and concerns before we get started...." is when she laid it all out. She expressed how grateful she was for the work myself and my co-teacher have done this year. She explained how last year and at the very beginning of this year, her son did NOT like school, he never wanted to come, and he just didn't want anything to do with it. Someway, somehow, we were able to change this child's opinion to the point that he is very excited to come to school, he is excited about everything he is learning, he shows enjoyment for reading now, and looks forward to getting his homework done. But the kind words this mother used to express how thankful she was, and how appreciative she is for all we do. She relates that she knows her son can be difficult, how he can be very stubborn, but she can't thank us enough for still getting through to him and helping change his view on school.

  These are the conferences that remind me why I am doing what I do. I can only hope that all of you out there have a chance to experience these parents to remind us of the power we really have over these children. To remind us that these parents do understand what we are dealing with because these are their children at home and they know them best!

But finally P/T conferences are done! Don't have to worry about them again until March!

Now just getting ready for a chaotic Red Ribbon week leading up to a Halloween celebration on Friday!

Hope you are all hanging in there! Have a fantastic week!

1 comment:

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