This year the county changed to a sort of "speed dating" approach. The full day set aside for these meetings was scaled back to a three-hour time block in the afternoon of an early-release day. No appointments were made, nor were students part of the preparation. Parents waited in the hall to speak to teachers. Students were asked to join their parents for any meetings but did not always do so.
I've never minded conferences. In fact, I think I'm one of the few teachers that actually likes them. I suppose this is odd for an introvert like myself, but I really enjoy getting a more complete picture of the students I teach. I've heard a lot over the years but was not prepared for one opening statement today.
"Okay, I have two things. One...you sent her to the office on a dress-code violation? Really? I mean that's the first thing I need to say."
That moment was a blip on my hours in the classroom this year. As I searched my memory for the details of the incident I could only think about why I had been taught to start each conference with something positive.