The students had this entire week of school off for Thanksgiving break and we had Parent-Teacher conferences. Our school stretches this time over three days. Throughout these days, all of the teachers camp out at tables around the commons area and parents can simply walk up to whoever is open. This is a very important time to honor the families involvement in their children’s learning. It was exciting to show parents the work that the students have been doing in class. I have continuously told my students to take the time to show their classwork at home, but I find that many do not. Parent-Teacher conferences provide an opportunity to bridge that gap and honor family involvement in the learning process.
Parent-Teacher conferences are also an excellent opportunity to get the parents on board with what we are doing in class. I am able to give parents a heads up about any learning challenges that their child might be having or that I could foresee occurring in the future. This is also a good platform to discuss any behavioral issues and see if parents resound with the same situations existing at home. Through open communication with parents I have found that many fall into the following two categories: The parents agree with the truths about their child’s behavior in my classroom or they are in denial and decide that I am incorrect. Most of the parents that I have communicated with fall into the first category, however, I have still experienced the latter. This is usually a sign of unrest in the household or a child’s behavior being dependent upon which authority is in the room. Either way, I think it is still important to softly explain my experiences with their child and hopefully we can work together to encourage the student to reach his or her full potential. After this week of conferences, I have learned that a humble and soft heart is going to open a lot more doors into the students’ lives. That is the heart I want to have in and outside of the classroom.