Last night, I was able to check off probably one of the biggest milestones off of my "teacher firsts" list. And that would be Parent-Teacher Conferences. Well, the first half of them, anyways. Call me silly, but I really do have a list of all of the things I've been waiting for years and years to do once I officially became a teacher (apart from actually teaching kids), and funny enough Conferences is the first thing on that list. I've already checked off a few things such as set up my classroom, grade papers (so over that), take a field trip, and decorate a bulletin board with student work. There's only a few things left - conferences was one and throw a holiday party was another...and that will be coming off the list next week.
Those little list items were a big part of helping me decide my future career so many years ago. When I was five, and even on through my school years, it wasn't the actual teaching that perked my interest - it was all the other things I witnessed my teachers do that interested me. My bucket list for teaching, I guess you could call it.
So, the first half of conferences are behind me. I was meeting with parents from 4pm through to 8pm last night with only a five minute break here or there. And, even though I was completely exhausted by the time I got home, I really enjoyed the experience.
I decided to compile a few thoughts on my experiences last night... cause you all know how much I like to make lists. My take-aways of what I learned and what surprised me. Here goes...
- It's an amazing feeling to be able to share with parents the progress their child has made and see the relief and happiness in their eyes.
- It was surprising to hear how many parents commented on how much more their child is reading at home. Which is something I push in class.. so it's nice to hear that my kiddos are listening.
- The most common question I received last night was "how is my child's behavior?" Parents truly are concerned about how their child is behaving at school - and that's always nice to know.
- When there are conferences that late at night, I must plan ahead for dinner. I grazed among open bags of chips and dips last night as my dinner. No bueno!
- My ego grew about 3 sizes last night when I had several parents make comments referring to how much they see the growth at home that their child has made and how thankful they are that I'm their child's teacher. I will add that my heart melted as my ego grew.
- I walked away from the only some-what negative conference with a lump in my throat as I heard about a father's struggle to bring his family to America from Guatemala and how important it was to him that his children do the best they can in school - and how much it broke his heart to hear and see that his child isn't doing that. Which has now resulted in fueling my fire to make this child succeed no matter what Hell fire I have to go through to get it done.
- I need to always make sure I have candy to offer at conferences, cause it's amazing how much a roll of Smarties can settle down a 2 year old that's had enough of sitting.
- Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the conferences and it didn't bother me one bit to be at work so late because the time flew by anyways. But don't tell anyone I said that - I'm not sure that liking conferences is normal among the teacher world.
Now it's time for me to go find some Western Wear to put on for another spirit day. Also, the last day before the Fall Break (even though I have to work half the day tomorrow). I know that I don't own any western wear, so this should be interesting.