Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Other Side of the Table

As educators, for the last eight/nine years, my wife and I have always sat on one-side of the table for parent-teacher conferences. However, this past week, for our five-year-old son's first conference, we had the pleasure to sit on the other side for the first time.

It was a little strange. We didn't quite know what to expect.
Our son, Ryne, ready for school

We assumed that he'd do well in school. We knew that he liked school. We were confident regarding his academic progress. But we didn't know for certain. And as a parent, unfortunately, it seems be human nature to worry about your kid(s).

Ryne with his pre-school teacher on his birthday
That is why it was so nice to hear his teacher tell us how well he was doing. And I apologize, but I'm going to stray for a just moment to brag about the specific takeaways that we heard at his conference:

  1. His peers want to be friends with him because he is so caring
  2. Even when his peers are maybe not making the right choice, he is responsible enough not to follow suit
  3. Academically, he is at/or above what is expected at this time for a pre-school student
Previously, in my educator's role, I maybe failed to always see the significance of a parent-teacher conference for the parents whose student is doing fine. I'd like to think that I now have a better understanding for the magnitude of this event for all parents.

Kids spend a lot of time in schools. In fact, by my math, they spend approximately 6,300 hours in school each year. Parents want to know what is happening during that time. We want to know the bad. We want to know the good.

And I can't imagine that this gets old. I can't imagine no longer wanting to hear positive things about my child. I will still want to hear about the positive things that he does throughout his time as an elementary school student, and then as a middle school student, and eventually as a high school student. I will still want to hear about the positive things that he does when he is an adult (I know that my parents still enjoy hearing about my accomplishments as a professional).

As parents, we never get tired about hearing the positive things that our children do while they are at school.

As educators, we need to continue to point-out to our students ALL of the positive things that they do while they are at school and then we must share that information with their parents. That needs to be our obligation.

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