Monday, November 3, 2008

Parent-teacher conferences

Is it only the formerly good students who feel great trepidation when having to attend parent-teacher conferences for their children? Or is it just me? I always feel as if I'm being called on the carpet for some wrong-doing even when the bulk (or truly even all) of the conference is positive and my children are lauded. Perhaps the fact that I know (and acknowledge) their short-comings better than anyone is the sticking point. But I inevitably feel anxious about this rite of fall. This year wasn't helped by the fact that R. never did give me the information about when my conference with her teacher was scheduled. Apparently it was *last* Tuesday. Oops! So now not only did I have to worry about R.'s inability to spell her way out of a paperbag and her newly acquired habit of neglecting to write down important homework (who needs to learn vocabulary words, anyway?) but I had to go in groveling over the missed appointment and wondering if I have any credibility left with the teacher. So now I'm the mom who sends back xerox sheets with misspellings clearly noted but can't be bothered to make an appointment set three weeks prior. Do I sound like the kind of parent you want in your classroom or what?! Luckily R.'s teacher is forgiving, seems to like R. a lot (called her a model student), and has a sense of humor. But I'm still mortified.

From that debacle, I headed to T.'s classroom. Before the conference even started, the assistant told me that T. is a congenial child who is polite and that she enjoys working with him (she reads with him). The child who is destined to inherit the world strikes again! Of course, then I had the actual conference with his teacher, who is very nice but quite strict and very by the book. She asked where he went to school last year as his handwriting isn't up to par like the children who had kindy here. I still maintain that the fact that he's a 6 year old boy contributes to the craptacular writing at least as much as the lack of emphasis on neatness last year. And she forewarned me that it won't be too long before the children will be graded on spelling. Given his genetics, I expect this to be a long and painful process. I'd guess that her mentioning it means she already knows this to be the case as well. But generally he's doing well and is where he should be (with the exception of his handwriting).

So all that pre-conference angst on my part for no apparent reason. I probably should have saved it *all* for the conference I need to schedule with the team of teachers who have to deal with W. on a daily basis! Talk about anxiety-inspiring!!!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same fear. And talking to the principal is also very frightening, even if it's about transferring my kid or something.

    My kids aren't scared of teachers or principals at all. Go figure.


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