Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Parent Teacher Conferences

Twice a year parents and teachers come together to discuss the academic and social development of our children.

Parent-Teacher conferences provide a formal opportunity for us to share our collective insights into each child.  They also strengthen the link between the home and school environments in a way that written notes and phone calls cannot.

I love parent teacher conferences.

This causes a bit of a problem because time is limited and I love to talk with parents about their children.  Likewise, most parents love to talk about their children so the meetings tend to run long.

Yesterday Lauren and I were on a very tight schedule with 14 parents to see in 3 hours.  I felt the pressure.

The children in our class are all growing in beautiful ways.  Most students are performing at or above grade level but we have a few who are approaching this goal.  The key is that they are all making progress.  We keep detailed binders on each child containing reading assessments, alphabet and letter sound knowledge, writing samples (collected each month), handwriting development, math assessments, ASL rubrics, science growth, conference notes, guided reading/writing records and observations of social/emotional interactions.  

We use this information to plan our instruction and it paints a clear picture to the parents of how their child is doing in school.  One parent stated that we didn't need to say a word because it was all there.  She could see it for herself and thanked us!  How lovely is that?

I'm always grateful to the parents for the gift of their children.

It is such a privilege to teach.


37paddington said...

Gary, how wonderful it is to be doing work that feeds your soul. I loved hearing about the parent teacher conferences from the other side! Yes, we parents love to talk about our children and how gracious you are about that! Lucky families.

Gary said...

Angella - It is wonderful and I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to spend my days watching children develop, learn and grow. We get to know our students so well and get so attached that it is difficult to let them go each year. However, we will be moving to first grade with this class so that sadness can be avoided for a while.

Barbara said...

As a parent I always looked forward to parent-teacher conferences. I learned many things that I might not otherwise have observed from these people who were nurturing my children as they grew. I still have memories of some of those conversations.

Gary said...

Barbara - Learning things you might not otherwise know is one of the benefits of p/t conferences. It is also good for the children to see/know that we all share information and are aligned in our beliefs. They can play one against the other at times (such as "My mom said I don't have to do my homework").

la bellina mammina said...

I'm back sweetie, am back! Have missed your blog!

I have 3 PTAs to attend to this week alone.... And I agree with you - kids tend to play the teachers against their parents!!


Dana said...

Hey Gary,

I finally caught up with your blog and loved what you wrote about the function and fulfilling nature of the parent-teacher meetings. I too love the detailed evidence of their progression through Learning, as shown in their ring binders. And you and Lauren are such inspiring, wonderful teachers. Will you for suuure be teaching them for 1st grade next year?!


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