CONFERENCE: a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern; a usually formal interchange of view; consultation
Yesterday, Husband and I attended our first parent-teacher conference. It really doesn’t seem like that long ago that my mom was going to my parent-teacher conferences. But, now I’m the parent in the parent-teacher equation. Crazy.
In typical fashion, Husband and I over thought the whole event. We studiously reviewed the list of questions to consider in advance of the conference, mined Son for feedback, and quizzed each other on the adjectives we would use to describe our child.
I worry that because Son tends to be a mellow rule follower he will be overlooked in the classroom. After all, the teacher has twenty-six kids to monitor and her attention and intervention is demanded by the more assertive kids and required by the off-task kids.
I confess, I went to the conference with a bit of an agenda. I wanted to hear the teacher describe my kid because I was looking for evidence of whether Son was being overlooked and ignored because he’s an “easy” kid. How could she possibly have had a chance to get to know my kid in the midst of twenty-six other students asking for her time and attention?
Son’s teacher blew me away. She came in with a list of social and academic attributes she has noticed in Son and was able to eloquently articulate his strengths and weaknesses. In only a few months, she has truly got to know Son. She was able to articulate “areas for growth” with kindness and encouragement. I recognize that bursting parents’ bubbles about the fact that their precious child is not actually perfect is a daunting task, but she did it graciously and made it look easy.
Husband and I left the conference laughing – mostly because Son had a “writer’s workshop” piece in his folder that started with “Some dude….” Yep, he’s mine. But, also because his teacher’s descriptions of our child had been so spot-on it was like when a comic does an impersonation or a cartoonist does a sketch that captures the essence of a person in exaggerated detail.
I have been to the parent-teacher conference. And, I am here to report that the rumors are true. Kindergarten teachers are indeed endowed with super-human powers of observation and kindness.
Sure, deep down there must be something “off” about any person that chooses to spend his or her working day with a room full of children, but I thank God for those crazy enough to volunteer for such a task.