Thursday, November 8, 2007

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Today is parent-teacher conferences, which means I didn't have to come in until noon. It is SO nice to sleep in on a random day (Thursday). Of course I have to be here til 6:00, but that's okay. I like report card day. It gives me a chance to reflect on each child individually. Parents usually ask really good questions, too, which challenge me to really know what I'm talking about. And you know what? After 2 degrees and 10 years of doing this, I actually DO! Go figure!

Some parents, though, are clueless. Like I'll be in the middle of a conference and a parent will just walk in, right past the sign that says "Please sign in and take a seat outside. I will be with you shortly." Then they'll just stand there waiting for me to acknowledge them. Uh, hello! You've gone through the parent-teacher conference process for 5 years now. Try to catch on to how waiting your turn works.

Another annoyance is when a parent is surprised when their child is not doing well. I have developed a system in which EVERY graded paper goes home on a specified day of the week for the parents' review. The parents are made aware of this system the first week of school and I constantly remind them of this on my class "website." If a parent goes through the packet of graded work, they should know exactly how s/he is doing. Plus, they can always contact me just to "check in." I just had a parent who was surprised to see her daughter got a D in reading. She even said to me, "Her midterm progress report said she was getting a C, how can she be getting a D now?" Uhhh, easily. Do people not realize that the difference between a C and a D can be just 1 percentage point?

Oh, and parents, can you please turn off your cell phones when you are conferencing with me? And if you forget, which happens, don't answer your cell phone when it rings while we're speaking. I mean, come on!

Well, now I'm on "lunch," which I think is hilarious. We started a noon, we have lunch from 3-4, and we leave at 6:15. Could we make it more inconvenient for parents to have a conference with their child's teacher? Gotta love union jobs!

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