Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Parent Conferences

I don't mind parent conferences. Some teachers hate them, or at least dislike them. They used to make me very, very nervous - after all, most of the parents are older than I am, and I was a new teacher, and I look so young, and I'm not of the same cultural background as they are, which can be an issue as far as trust is concerned - but nothing dreadful ever happened, so now they only make me slightly nervous, and it passes quickly. I keep good records, I am pleasant and polite (but firm), and most parents know their own children, or are getting the same story from teacher after teacher. Plus, I know my administration will back me up if I am ever in a serious dispute about a student.

In my current school, most of the children get good grades, and so most of the conferences are pleasant, and most of the parents are involved and have generally positive relationships with teachers. We do have a few tough cookies, however.

One parent has two sons at our school. This father can be our biggest supporter, but he's also very demanding as far as evidence for his sons' grades. He wants to know the date & name of every missed homework assignment, and he tends to go a bit berserk over homework. Luckily, the boys are good students, but this dad does not accept even one missed homework! He also wants accounting for any differences between the two boys' performance, and is only slowly accepting that one boy always does better than the other, though they are both doing fine.

The students had important projects due on Monday in my class - timelines showing historical models of the atom - but most of them did a lousy job! Not very good timing on the kids' part, since I'm seeing their parents today and tomorrow! One seventh grader threw a roller skating party this weekend - and managed to make sure that everyone knew that only popular kids were invited, not to mention each child's precise popularity ratings - and her timeline was the absolute worst turned in - just a scrap of paper with a paragraph and a few dates. I didn't see her mother today. The girl knows that when her mom speaks to me, I am going to show her the timeline and the assignment sheet. D'oh! She's probably got her mom locked in the closet or something, to keep her from coming to school. Anyway, I hold that party responsible not only for the hostess's crappy project, but for the crappy projects of many other members of her class..... but I can't say that to her mother. I think it will be enough when she sees her daughter's work. *evil teacher grin*

*****

Now I have to find some way to keep busy and not think too much tonight. *sigh*

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