My First Experience With Parent Teacher Conferences

A few observations.

One, it was anticlimactic. Based on the word from other teachers I was expecting fang bearing, fire breathing “my child is perfect therefore this “F” is wrong” parents. What I got, though, was folks who were more than ready to trust me. Well, me and the grade book. It’s tough for the kid to blame the teacher when the teacher can point to the collection of zeroes where the grades ought to be. It might be my fault if a kid does not understand the subject; it is definitely theirs if they fail to even do the work.

Two, the ratio of parents of kids with passing grades to parents of kids with failing grades was about three to one. Plenty of kids flunked my class, and most because they ignored my assignments. Yet I only had about five parents of flunking kids come to the conference. The parents whose kids made “C’s” were the ones most interested in improvement. I suppose there’s something significant to that.

Three, I really enjoyed meeting the parents. Seventh graders can be real turds. The best way to deal with them is to remember that each one is someone’s kid. I know how I feel about my babies, so I try to remember that someone out there feels the same way about each kid in my class. Tonight was a chance to meet those folks, and having met them, it will be easier to personalize the kids in the future.

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