Have you ever thought parent teacher conferences should be something we look forward to and not dread. I always wonder if and why we can’t just do these darn things over the phone. I mean really, it takes me longer to find a sitter, get ready and get up there than the actual meeting itself. Lets be real. A lot of the time the meetings consist of what our child is not doing enough of or high enough a particular area of OR how they are meeting the “standard” of some sort of core or test, right?
How often do we ask the teacher about our child’s strengths from THEIR perspective?
I had a meeting recently and I let all the teachers go through their list and tell me about what they wanted to see improve. Mind you in a very quick meeting with one set of teachers, the main teacher stood up toward the end as if the conversation was about to end, which was the signal my time was up and that meant I was not going to get my “do you have any questions for us” turn. Well, I just sat there and I asked my ?s anyways. I stated that we all came to an agreement as to WHAT needed improving and I was on board for their plan. Next I asked what strengths do you see from my child thus far in your class. They started in with a few items and one teacher stated how smart and great my child was especially with memory and learning fast, then SHE SAID THE MAGIC WORD, “BUTTTTTT, this area still right here XYZ needs help and we really need to focus in on that,” etc. I stopped her right there and stated, “yes, you mentioned that already. We are done with that area, I just want to focus and leave on a positive note if we can for a moment,” smiled and waited for her reaction. To my surprise there was a bit of a pause. I don’t think she expected me to say that, but I really didn’t want to hear anymore “but…”—we addressed it, move along. When situations like this occur, how often do we, as parents, take the time to ask for some positive feedback.
My point is that each kiddo is different. I have four and I promise you, each one will learn differently. Each of their meetings, once all in school, will be different and each child will have different strengths to build off of, too. My suggestion to parents is to stand up for the positive. Learn to leave every meeting on a positive note about your child.
Learn to leave every meeting on a positive note about your child.
I mean after all, we are asking the people that spend the majority of the time with our children, the ones we sent our little birds out of the nest to go learn, inspire and grow. These teachers are suppose to be taking very good care of them, teaching them and hopefully loving them enough to see the good in them as well. So next time you have an IEP, ILP, parent teacher conference or just a check in with your child’s teacher do not be afraid to leave on a positive note, making them find the GOOD in each of them wether they like your child or not. You and your child deserve positive feedback. We work hard enough as parents and teachers. So, lets make this a positive place we want to come to every six weeks.
* pictures courtesy of Bella Bean Photography (our very own Shannon)