Friday, November 21, 2008


One of my least favorite things to do when I was working was paperwork. I disliked all the forms, all the documents, all the IEPs, all the testing, all the logging, all the progress reports, all the report cards - all the extra stuff. I loved working with the kids, helping them to become better communicators, helping them become better readers, helping them have better friendships (because they could understand what others where talking about). I loved working with most teachers and cooperatively designing a plan that would help the kids get to the next level. I loved that part. However with all the paperwork piles, teacher meetings and classroom activities, the only part that made me nervous was meeting with the parents. That was always tricky. You never knew what experiences the parent had had prior that would affect this meeting. They could have had difficulty in school, could have required Speech/Language services or Special Education classes, they could have disliked their experience so much that a barrier is slammed on the meeting before anyone arrives. For all I know, they could have disliked my predecessor so much that anyone would make them cringe. The other extreme could also have happened - they could have loved school and become a teacher. They could have all sorts of strategies and information to lend to the meeting. They could also be so over zealous about it all that it impedes the progress in the child's classroom (the child is the student now- remember?). All these factors were what made Parent Teacher conferences nerveracking for me. It wasn't that I didn't want to meet them or work with them. I just didn't have all the facts before arriving to the meeting - and I like to be prepared. Well what brings this topic up? We have our first parent teacher conferences today for our son. Although we have been in constant conversation with his teacher from day one and I occasionally volunteer in the class, we still don't have the whole picture of him in Kindergarten. We know he is reading (he reads to me at home from his work he brings home). We know he does basic math. But the whole Kindergarten picture isn't clear. Now to be on the other side of the table. Not the one working with the parent to help the child become a successful adult, the parent working with the teacher to help the child have a successful school experience. It feels very different and yet it really isn't. Should be a fun conversation.

No comments: