Saturday, January 25, 2014

Impromptu Parent Teacher Conferences

When I dismissed my kiddos on Friday, I had a parent waiting by the door wanting to chat.  This wasn't a scheduled meeting, but the look on her face said it was urgent.  So I asked her to wait a few moments while I took care of some last minute end of the day issues (calling another parent, printing report cards for magnet school applications and dealing with another upset student).  She gladly waited and politely looked the other way when some choice words were used by an upset ten year old.

She came in and expressed her concerns about her son's math performance.  My neighbor, his math teacher, popped right over (without me having to ask, because she's amazing like that) to join the conversation. 

She expressed all the strategies she was trying to use at home and we talked about the strategies we're using in school, including changing his placement during our intervention/extension portion of the day to allow for more math support.  We talked about the importance of bringing home the math notebook and having her son talk through the math strategies we go over in class.   

It was a short, very positive conference.  My student was there and we all clarified that he wasn't in trouble, we (family & teachers) just wanted to work together to help him succeed.  They left feeling confident and armed with ways to support learning at home, which is wonderful.  I made sure to let her know how much I appreciate that she was concerned and wanting to help her son do his best.

While it wasn't a planned conference, I love that my students' families know I have an open door policy and that the whole fifth grade team supports their children.  I love that they know it's perfectly acceptable to come talk to us about ways to help their kiddos.  At the end of the day, we're all on the same side with the same goal: helping students grow academically and become successful, confident young scholars.  It's nice to have support at home! I'm glad my student's family cares so much for him and isn't afraid to ask for help!

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