I jumped another first year teacher hurdle today: my very first round of parent/teacher conferences.
It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be.
No one asked me questions I couldn’t answer.
No one came in with guns blazing and eyes flashing, bent on exacting retribution for my cruel classroom disciplinary tactics. (You never know–my Good Apple chart could be causing irrevocable psychological scarring.)
No one realized that I am essentially a twelve year old girl masquerading as a grown woman qualified to shape young minds.
Seriously, though, it was a good day–an affirmation of the teamwork that should exist between a parent and a teacher as they work together to bring out the best in the student. We brainstormed, we shared ideas, we talked about challenges. We brought our respective perspectives (say that three times fast!) to the table and left with a better understanding of the children in our care and how to help them.
I knew I would be sharing my experiences and observations with my students’ parents, but I completely underestimated how helpful their perceptions would be to me. (Those silly first year teachers; they think they’re so smart…) Their hard won insights into their kids are precious resources for me as I work to make our classroom involvement productive and positive. I’m thankful for every parent who took time out of their day to invest in their child’s school experience. It not only opens the channels of communication between parent and teacher, but it sends a powerful message to the child: Education is important. You are important.
It’s been a long day, but I’m finally finished. Well, almost. I still have one conference left to go.
Just wait until Paul hears what his son has been up to at school.