Friday, October 8, 2010

Parent Chat

I'm sure there are many teachers who dread Parent Conference Day. I just don't happen to be one of them. I love getting the chance to spend twenty minutes with the parents who entrust me with their children on a daily basis. I've felt that way from the beginning, even after my first year when the parents in my last conference told me that their child wasn't challenged enough in my class and they were sure it would be better if she were moved to the other fifth grade classroom.

As a first year teacher my opinion didn't count for much back then. Yes, their perspective bothered me a bit and surprisingly I wasn't shy about letting them know that. However, in the end, as parents they must look out for the well-being of their child. I get that and I agree with it, even if I don't always agree with what they think is best.

The student was moved to the other fifth grade class, but when her father tried to console me by suggesting I shouldn't "take it personally" I had to speak up. I told him "I didn't see any other way to take it."

Discussion doesn't always lead to the outcomes one hopes for. In this case, I hoped she would stay in my class. She didn't. Her parents hoped a change in teacher would motivate their daughter to do the kind of work she was obviously capable of. It didn't. Just the same, I think we all learned something in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm - they missed out. I feel so lucky that we didn't! And, so does Rebecca. Thanks, Mary!