Points of Pride

October 20, 2017

Instructional Focus:

Conference week is upon us!

I had my first every parent teacher conference today for my son, and I have to tell you I was nervous! I have done hundreds as a teacher/administrator, but sitting on the other side of the table can be just as tough. The following thoughts were racing through my head: What if I am not doing enough to push him? What if I have "that" kid? What if he is not being kind to others? What if she is noticing something wrong with him? What if he is telling her EVERYTHING that is happening at home? :) Ultimately, each of our parents has entrusted us with their most prized "possession." I know for me, my kids do not just have my heart, they are my heart. I am sure I am not unique in this. Keep this perspective during your conferences.

I know for many of us, this is one of our least favorite weeks during the school year. On top of being long hours, many of us are nervous about possible confrontation. This leads us to either avoid difficult conversations, or get so anxiety-ridden that things come out the wrong way. Use the following tips to get you through:

  • Remember that no matter the circumstance, teachers and parents are ALWAYS on the same team. We both want what's best for kids. We may have different philosophies on how to get there, but we both have the same goal.
  • When giving information that could be tough to hear, JUST state the facts. Keep your opinions out of it. Nobody can argue facts! Let parents connect the dots. Be the reporter of information, not the analyst.
  • Let every parent hear a story or outstanding characteristic about their child. There is good in everyone (even though we have to search extra hard for some :)
  • Leave time in the conference to ask if the parents have any questions. This time is crucial to establishing a home/school partnership. Don't just talk to them, talk with them.
  • Just breathe, we get an AMAZING soup dinner out of it :)
  • If you want to use me as a sounding board for a conversation, or if you want tips on how to present some information. I would be more than happy to help. I am also more than willing to attend any conference you would like.

Thanks for all you do!