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Parent-teacher Conference Conversations

4 Nov

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For the last two years, we’ve had conferences  on Hallowe’en, meaning that we avoid all the hullabaloo around that holiday. Some of the lids who came in with their parent(s) looked like they were about to see a ghost. It is often awkward for kids when worlds collide. This was my first set of conferences in 6 years. During the last 2 years, as the ESL teacher, I dropped in on some conferences, but I wasn’t responsible for organizing and running the whole show.

I always tell parents that, by 4th grade, I’m probably not telling them anything they haven’t heard already, and they should;t hear any surprises because if there have been problems, they would have heard from me by now. I got a few surprises, though.

First, there was the boy who came to our school part way through last year, a bit of a wreck.His mom has tattoos  and lots of piercings on her face. I’d seen a picture ahead of time, so I was prepared and we had a good conversation. You should have seen the  priceless look  on the faces of the boy and his family waiting in the hallway for the conference time that followed.

The most bizarre conference was with the mom who came in without her daughter, but with a plastic container. She said she really needed to trade this one for the one her daughter used for her volcano project.

“What volcano project?” I asked. We aren’t studying volcanoes and her daughter certainly hadn’t brought a plastic container with volcano into class. Apparently, though, she had told her mom it was urgent and due last Friday, so Mom emptied the cat food container and let her use it. mom wanted her cat food container back. The girl and I had a little chat yesterday. I hope she and her mother had one when Mom got home.

Although exhausting, it is always interesting, and sometimes exciting, to see families at conferences. Now I have to gear up for my first set of report cards in six years.

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