- Parents are to be commended for their continuing quest to communication with this teacher. We had 100% parent involvement, this time. They appreciate my desire to keep them in the loop through ClassDojo messages and School Story posts.
- None of the parents in this class are helicopter parents. They might advocate for their children from time to time, but they also understand that children sometimes make poor choices, that children sometimes make mistakes, and that children sometimes lie.
- We all see the value in teaching kids how to greet other people, how to use manners, how to empathize with others, and how to apply what they learn (especially these so-called soft skills) to their lives outside the four walls of our classroom.
- Parents don't need for me to bog them down with every little detail about the school day, testing data, and all the charts and graphs that come with it. Instead, I like to share with parents what I enjoy about having their children in my class. I can share concerns without making uncomfortable conversation. At the same time, I don't want to waste parents' time by giving them too little.
- Parents appreciate the new, simple report card. It's short and to the point, using traditional letter grades and reporting behaviors. I understand that my part in the report card extends beyond sticking a random grade here and there, but that I need to also communicate beyond a piece of paper. I must have a conversation with parents and reassure them that we're all working on a common goal.
- Parents know their children better than I do. When I bring up quirks and poor behavior choices, parents understand. They also realize that we are both attempting to make better lives for these students. We're all on the same team.
- Students are having less behavior issues this year than they have in previous years. Parents report not having to wrestle their children to get them to school every day as they did in the past. Children are not getting referrals to the office and don't require disciplinary interventions like they did. They are motivated to improve.
- Kids will be kids. Parents seem to agree that their children can be squirrelly, or squirmy, even to the point of disruptive at times. They understand that their kids might slip and bully another kid, that their child might throw childish fits, that their kids might have an occasional bad day, or even that their child struggles in specific academic areas.
- Parents understand that their children face challenges - physically, mentally, and socially. Their medical diagnoses of ADHD, Asperger's, Autism, or Dyslexia do not define these students and do not earn them an excuse for poor behavior choices or low achievement.
- We all want to see growth and maturity take hold during the remaining months of the fourth grade. Most parents want to know how to help their children at home.
- Finally, as enjoyable as it is to interact with the smorgasbord of families that we have at Cecil Floyd, it can be exhausting to do so for three or four hours straight on two consecutive school nights. It makes for long days, and a Friday off is dreadfully important for recharging this teacher's batteries. If only I didn't have so many things to do at home on such a day off!
Here are some quick thoughts about last week's parent conferences. These may not apply to everyone, but at least they apply to someone:
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