I am in the midst of parent/teacher conferences at school. One evening and two afternoons to meet with the parents of 22 students. I actually look forward to them. Sitting down with the parents one at a time and giving them the time allotted to focus on their child individually is so worthwhile, both for them and for me. Now that I have spent over 45 days with their children I am getting to know their personalities and mannerisms. I can discuss their children because I have gotten to know them. Holding conferences earlier in the school year would never be as beneficial. Since I teach Kindergarten, for some of these parents it is the first conference they’ve ever had. I hope that I am giving them a positive introduction to the next six years of elementary school!
This is the first year that I am not attending a Parent/Teacher conference for one of my own children! Six years for DJ followed by six for Drew – and only one of those years overlapped. It seemed a little strange! Every time I hold my conferences I find similarities in the ones I attended for my own kids. Some parents beg for ideas for reluctant readers….both my boys are unenthusiastic when it comes to reading. Some parents are surprised when I tell them how great their kids are with listening and staying on task because they tell me at home, it is quite the opposite. Exactly what I used to say about Drew!
Occasionally I will share a story about my own children with parents. I let them know that even my own kids have issues and struggles that other kids deal with. It isn’t different just because I am a teacher. On any single day, I will have 22 children under control and on schedule while at home, I can’t keep my own schedule and kids’ homework under control. I think by establishing a rapport with them helps to build solid relationships and leads to a successful school year for everyone.