Conference Update

So the parent/teacher conference is done.

As I shared with you in my previous post (Conference Time), I was very apprehensive about this meeting.  I had great advice and support from readers… “Take deep breaths” and “Remember this is just a dot on your son’s timeline” were some of the support and comments that I received.

I decided that coffees would be necessary for an evening conference…especially when we both could be a bit nervous.  Last year, it was extremely necessary to continually advocate for my son which might have given me a bit of a challenging reputation.  Teachers tend to hear about parents like me from previous teachers and I’m sure last year’s teacher had plenty to share.

My TBP’s teacher was very welcoming and appreciative for the caffeine.  As I walked in, I noticed the Yoda Turkey that my son had decorated.  It was hanging with the others in the hall.  The room was organized and neat and had just the right amount of stuff without being too overwhelming for a person like me.  I sat down and took a deep breath and was preparing myself for what I was about to hear…

My son’s teacher took out a paper that had two sections.  One side was called ” Celebrations” and the other was called “Learning Opportunities.”  The first thing that I noticed was that there were several items listed on the “Celebrations” side.  The best part, was that the points that she wrote, were very personal and described my son very accurately.  Seeing these words moved me and I started to cry ( no big surprise, right?) as I read.  This made my TBP’s teacher nervous since I expected that she thought it was sadness that I was feeling instead of the joy and relief that I couldn’t keep inside.  I explained to her that I was so emotional because this was the first time where strengths and gifts had been noticed in a public school setting.  She continued by sharing specific examples of his growth and progress along with sweet stories of his positive interactions with others.

She knew that he was an excellent reader and admitted that she needed to do more to challenge him in this area.  She wanted to develop a strong relationship with him first where he would work harder for her once he cared for her.  I know that there are time restraints and that often the most struggling readers exhaust a teacher’s literacy time, but she shared great ideas about a book club and a response journal that I thought would work nicely.  There was talk of math enrichment once a solid understanding of skills were shown and I shared some of the problem solving work that I do with my son at home.

Was it all peachy?  No…His handwriting is sloppy and he hates to do pre-write and editing during writing time.  He tries to explain to her that his ideas are complete and fine as they are right now.   Although he is an excellent speller, the process involved with the spelling test is exhausting to him.  Because of this, sometimes he chooses to purposely spell words incorrect.  The recent test that she showed me made us both laugh out loud because every time an “r” was required…he put a “w” in its place.  Also, a “z” was used to replace “th” so “Zanksgiving” it was for number 10.

I was prepared for the “effort” grades and the “social skills” marks and I was happy to see that almost all of the social skills grades were “meeting standard” with a few “working towards standard.”  I felt her evaluation was fair and accurate and she shared what she was doing to keep the progress going.

I left this conference with a portfolio of work and wonderfulart, but more importantly…I left feeling reassured that my son’s teacher “gets” him and can see his talents instead of focusing on his struggles.  Because of this, I would say this conference deserves an A+  🙂

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13 thoughts on “Conference Update

  1. Great to hear!! Its great that he is connecting with her and she “gets” him. You can feel good about the long time that your child is at school with this person.

    • Carrie-this is SO true! She seemed to genuinely enjoy him and understand the need to build that relationship with him!
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  2. What a wonderful ending to this story! When you find the right teacher it makes all the difference. Heres to all the teachers that get our kids or at least try to get our kids.

    • Wendi-what a great comment! I know that not everybody will understand him, but you are so right when you say that the effort and desire to connect is there! I can tell you that I understand the need to connect with students SO much more now! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  3. This makes me so happy to read. I know you don’t know me and I’ve only read your blog a few times now but as a teacher (taking years off to be home with my kids) who is so passionate about it and so intent on knowing and loving my students and parents, this is so wonderful to read from a parent’s perspective. It makes such a huge difference when there are people out there doing their job like this. We as teachers should always focus on the positives first and teach each child in the way they need…this is hard sometimes with the heavy loads and huge class sizes but it sounds like this teacher is doing her job wonderfully!! Curious if she is a newer teacher. So glad to read that your mama heart is happy. All our children deserve the best teachers. I miss teaching. Especially after reading this.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! I believe that most teachers are good and intend to make great things happen with their students! For whatever reason, sometimes teachers don’t connect with certain kids…I am glad that there is a connection this year!

      I love teaching and hopefully you can return at a later time! 😉

  4. Good teachers are so undervalued. They make all the difference in the world…absolutely. It seems your son had gotten a good one.

    • Shiroi-I completely agree! This year’s teacher has been a game changer! Her expectation that he will be good and appreciation of his feelings, has made him feel part of the classroom community.

      I made sure to tell her how lucky we feel!

  5. So happy for you that your son’s teacher this year is so wonderful. I thought your comment in your previous post about parents wanting to know that the teacher likes and values your child was spot on, and it sounds like this teacher does.

    • Thank you!
      We are very happy with this year’s teacher and her understanding of the importance of developing a strong relationship with him!

      BTW…I have wanted to comment a few times on your recent blogs (especially the latest) but for some reason having s hard time getting thru your blog security…

      • Kelly, sorry you are having a hard time commenting on my blog. I’m not sure what the issue is as I cannot recreate the problem. Hope you will keep trying and that you will be able to break through.

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